Hearts and Found is one of those Etsy shops I go through phases of stalking. Because they custom make all their dresses in any of the fabrics they stock, I’ll check it several times a week to see if there’s a new print I absolutely have to have. And then after a few weeks of this, I’ll stop for a while because inevitably I’ll have spent too much money of late and I can’t risk that if I see something I need to own I’ll have to make the tough choice of being a sensible adult who doesn’t overspend again or, you know, having more pretty clothes. Guess which tends to win. Hence, sometimes it’s better that I just don’t look.
They offer skirts, tops, playsuits and dresses in several different styles, and after my first purchase of the Penelope dress last summer I knew my next buy would be the Grace dress. A couple of times I came close to a purchase of this dress style, only to be thwarted by everybody else loving the same fabric as I did and buying it out of stock. Finally, though, a few weeks back I spotted the newly added Livewire Chain link print, available in purple and a dark red, and I knew I’d found my Grace fabric. I ordered during the 20% off Lunar New Year sale and shortly after my pretty new pretty was in my paws.
Dress: Dark Red Livewire Grace dress by Hearts and Found
Cardigan: Honey Tootsie Cropped Cardigan from Doll Me Up
Bangles: Assorted Splendette clear and carved bangles
Shoes: Old Primark
One of the brilliant things about ordering from Hearts and Found is their incredible customer service. You can choose to order your items in their listed standard sizes or pay no extra cost to have them custom sized to your measurements. As such, at check out you’re asked to leave any custom measurements or fabric requirements in the Notes box. This is only my second order with them and yet it’s the second time that their customer service has saved me from disappointment! The first, I ordered the Penelope dress in a yellow gingham–only to remember a few hours later that, oh yeah, I already have a dress almost exactly identical to that. I was allowed to switch to a red gingham fabric without any trouble at all, and shop owner Marjorie made sure to confirm all my measurements with me before giving me the information of where my order was in their making queue and when to expect dispatch.
This time around, I accidentally selected the wrong dress length in the drop down menu boxes during ordering and was so focused on listing the right fabric name and correct body measurements at checkout that I forgot to double check that part of the order as well. Marjorie messaged me shortly with all my order information to confirm it was correct, and what would you know, nope, I was an idiot again. I conveyed this to her and asked her to kindly alter my order to the longer length skirt that I’d wanted and Marjorie did so happily. There’s nothing worse than realising you’ve ordered something in error and the subsequent panic of emailing a big company, hoping that your message is seen before it’s too late for them to halt your order in the processing queue. With Hearts and Found, their double-checking of each order as standard before they begin making means they’re not only happy to make sure any errors are caught early on, but more than likely they’ll help you to notice them earlier than if you were left to your own devices.
The other obviously brilliant thing about ordering from Hearts and Found is the pure flexibility offered by their full custom service. Being able to choose from any fabric in their store to have any of their patterns made for you, in your exact measurements, to the exact length you wish, offers you the same luxury as having your own excellent local seamstress on hand. No, to most of us shopping with them they’re not exactly local, seeing as they’re based in Vietnam, but my hand-made, custom sized dress arrived to me in the UK within a couple weeks of ordering–that’s LESS time than it took my local tailor to replace a broken zip in my skirt, do it incorrectly, send it away again to be done properly, and then finally hand it back to me with only a lame apology to show for the shoddy £22 service and 2 weeks wasted of my time.
My Grace dress is a perfect fit to my measurements, with adjustable shoulder straps for further customisation, and pockets for practicality and my general happiness. It’s fully lined, which a lot of dresses aren’t these days, even from the most expensive vintage style companies, and the material is a medium weight premium cotton that gives the dress a sturdy, comforting feeling to wear. It also has enough stiffness that the skirt lays nicely at a medium volume without a petticoat (as pictured above), rather than flopping limply against my legs, though it will accommodate a petticoat well to give more flair and swish to the dress’s shape.
Basically, Hearts and Found is a seamstress collective of angels and I will continue my stalking of their new fabric listings because one good purchase always deserves another.
The Livewire Grace dress can be custom made in sizes ranging from XS-4XL, at custom lengths, for between £65-£74 depending on sizing and length options. The Grace dress itself can be ordered in any fabric from their shop stock by way of this Custom Fabric Order listing, or in any of their other pre-selected fabric Grace Dress listings. Hearts and Found ship internationally and regularly offer seasonal and holiday discount codes from 10-30% so it’s worth favouriting their Etsy store or following them on Instagram for announcements.