Happy New Year, readers! I’ve got another custom clothing company to review this week. Hearts & Found is a shop on Etsy that specializes in vintage dress styles made to order. You can select from the standard size chart or have a garment made to measure for free. Yes, that’s right—custom measurements don’t cost extra.
I have two dresses from the company, but one of them is in storage since it’s a summer dress, so I only have two photos that I scoured from my phone and computer. Unfortunately, that’s the one that fits better! In fact, the reason the other one isn’t in storage is that I thought I would make some alterations to it; but after having it sit in my sewing project pile for several months, I finally put it on tonight and ultimately decided it’s fine as is…it’s just not completely perfect the way the first one is.
Anyway, here are the measurements (in inches) that I provided for the dresses:
Shoulder Width: 16
Shoulder to waist: 18
The first one I ordered was the “Grace” dress in balloon animal fabric. When I got it, I was shocked by how well it fit. Considering my extra long torso, it felt like the first dress I’d ever tried that actually hit my waist in the exact right spot:
And here’s another photo of me wearing it in real life:
It’s 100% cotton, fully lined, with fully adjustable straps, and sewn with extreme care and quality. I was so thrilled with it that I promptly ordered another dress in parrot print “Josephine” cut, which essentially has an open back but still remains bra-friendly:
However, this one did not fit the same as Grace. The bodice was several inches shorter than Grace, so that if my boobs were covered then the waistband sat right under my bust and made me look totally pregnant, or if I pulled the waistband down to my actual waist, then the neckline sat only about halfway up my bra. When I measured the bodice, including the straps without adjusting them from how they arrived, it was three inches shorter than the “shoulder to waist” measurement that I’d provided.
I wrote to Hearts & Found to complain, and after I provided a photo of the bodice against a measuring tape to prove the discrepancy, they sent me a replacement dress for free without even asking me to send back the first one. However, the second Josephine bodice was still a couple inches shorter than the perfect Grace. I didn’t really feel like dealing with another exchange, so I threw it on my projects pile intending to cut some length off the skirt to extend the waistband. But then tonight, as I prepared to make the alteration, I put a belt on at the bottom of the band, and decided it was good enough as is.
Josephine also has a weird flare-out at the armpits, which I was going to pinch and sew in place…but then I couldn’t really get it to line up straight, and I don’t really feel like taking apart the whole bodice, so I think I’ll just leave that alone too.
Without the belt:
And with the belt:
Even though the waistband isn’t quite in the right place and the armpits flare out, the bust otherwise fits quite nicely and follows the contours of my body. And while I’m wearing a bra with black straps and band in these photos (an Ewa Michalak CHP in 65GG), ordinarily I’d be wearing a strapless bra that would be mostly covered by the tie in back. Additionally, I’ve noticed that strapless bikinis for some reason are much narrower at the back closure than strapless bras of the same size…so if I could find a well-fitting white bandeau bikini, then it might be entirely camouflaged in back.
Now, one thing I have to absolutely rave about is the absolutely massive pockets! When I wear these dresses, I don’t bother with a purse. I just throw everything into the pockets—wallet, phone, spare phone charger, sunglasses, headphones…
In fact, can you tell what’s in my pockets in these next photos?
It’s a full bottle of rye whiskey and a full bottle of hard cider! Completely hidden in the pockets! With these dresses, I’ll always be prepared.