For a long time, I’ll admit, I didn’t actually know what Hearts and Found was. I saw the account tagged on Instagram many times in ladies outfit posts but somehow I never twigged that it was a custom made Etsy maker, probably because their Instagram account is focused on posting collections of 40s and 50s era photos, rather than pictures of their hand made goods. When I finally twigged earlier this summer and took a look at the Etsy store, I immediately saw at least a half dozen items I wanted to buy. All were totally affordable in vintage-style terms, even when delivered to the UK from Vietnam where the maker, Marjorie, is based. I dithered for weeks over what I wanted to order first, changing my mind not just over which item of clothing but also which print, before finally settling on the Sunday Picnic Penelope dress.
Photography by Confetti & Toast
Dress: Sunday Picnic Penelope dress by Hearts and Found
Cardigan: White Cropped Cardigan by New Look
Bag: Red Vintage Inspired bag by Lola Von Rose
Hair Flower: Ivory Blossom Falls by Alternate Normality
Bracelet: Old season New Look
In truth, the dress I actually settled on was the Lemonade gingham Penelope dress, which is this same dress in the yellow gingham fabric. I put my order through, buzzed with excitement for a few minutes, and then realised, duh, I already have a very similar cut of dress in an almost identical large yellow gingham. I immediately messaged the store through Etsy asking if I could change my order to their red gingham, because I own so many clothes I can’t even keep track of them any more, and the owner Marjorie wrote back promptly, friendly and perfectly happy to comply with my requested change. She also confirmed the rest of the details in my order, as I had selected custom sizing and provided my measurements, and let me know where my dress sat in their queue of orders and how long it would take for it to ship consequently.
All Hearts and Found pieces are made to order, so not only do they offer a custom made-to-measure service, but they do so at no extra cost, encouraging you to give them the measurements that will allow them to make you an item that will be a perfect fit for you. Those custom measurements apply not only to making sure your dress or skirt fits your body well, but also allowing you to chose the length of your item, available from, 50cm to 72cm, once more at no extra cost. It was so refreshing to discover a company that
I expected it might take up to 3 weeks for my order to be fulfilled and to arrive in the UK. It took 8 days. Eight days to be custom made and to arrive from Vietnam to the UK. That blew my mind. Not only that, but when it arrived my parcel was adorably gift wrapped, arriving with a cute gift of tropical drink umbrellas, and a selection of care instructions and custom sizing diagrams. The whole experience, from ordering through to arrival and trying on of the item, was so clearly centered around making sure their customers are happy and attended to that I was quickly won over by Hearts and Found.
The dress itself is exactly what I expected, adhering to my given measurements and well made. It has adjustable shoulder straps, a feature I greatly appreciate, and pockets, something I’ve truly begun to take for granted, getting disappointed and frustrated when I get a new swing dress that doesn’t have them. The dress is made from cotton and cotton poplin, fully lined, featuring a metal back zipper closure. The back has a low scooped neck, though not so low as to cause issues with my bra’s back band, and the skirt is beautifully gathered. It’s slightly less full than I prefer, since it won’t fit my puffiest of petticoats without looking oddly strained, but it’s got a 90 inch circumference, which is nothing to sniff at.
The Penelope dress costs roughly £58 in XS-XL sizes, while the 2XL-4XL costs nearer £66, a small jump to account for the extra fabric. It’s currently listed in 24 fabric choices, including multiple ginghams, plain colours, florals, and novelty prints, but it’s also available to be made from any fabric carried in Hearts and Found’s entire store under the Custom Penelope Dress listing. This ‘pick a fabric + pick a dress/skirt style’ custom ordering is available across their whole Etsy store, making Hearts and Found a vintage-style shopping heaven. For a plus sized lady, especially, it’s wonderful to know I can have something made in exactly the print I want, to my exact measurements, at my exact favourite length, for a reasonable price, with excellent service and quick turnaround to boot.
I’ve been so impressed by the whole experience that ever since receiving my first order I’ve paralyzed myself with indecision, unsure which piece to order next of the dozens of styles I most want. One thing for sure is I’ll definitely be going back for more. Something autumnal or wintery might be in order next, methinks.
Hearts and Found offer dresses, skirts and 2piece playsuits/sets, in over 100 fabrics, so there really is something for everyone. Their pre-determined sizes run from XS to 4XL, covering 24 to 44 inch waists, but they have custom sizing options available on every listing. They ship worldwide.
Thank you to Confetti & Toast Photography for their beautiful pictures and for being so fun to run around with in Kemp town. Both ladies, Emma and Leanne, put me completely at ease and made me laugh, so any couples in the South of England looking for wedding photographers should definitely give this duo a look ❤