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Shaggy Heart Valentine’s Dress with Heart Knee-Pad leggings (made from recycled Tshirts)



Okay, one more Valentine’s idea for kids clothes.  You know I still have some pink and red shirts to finish recycling……so I need to put those to good use.  Right? ;)  Oh, and I also have one more little baby girl to attach some Valentine love to.



But keep in mind, you know you can use these ideas for yourself too.  You know you want to celebrate Valentine’s just as much as the kids do. ;)  (okay, hearts can be worn year round…….so really, these are good for any occasion.)



In case you need a couple other Valentine’s Day Clothing ideas…….here are a few.

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(Click on each image to visit tutorial.)




This little outfit was inspired by some shag rugs I was looking at the other day online.  (You know, a nice full and fluffy one like this one.)  Haha……..I know, pretty random.  But I wanted a nice 3D affect on Baby Girl’s Valentine shirt.  So when I saw the soft shaggy rugs, the two ideas merged.  And then matched that with some little heart knee-pad leggings.  Perfect for my little crawler.




I guess we have our favorite holidays around here.  And Valentine’s Day is one of them (along with the other 7).




But oh, that heart.  Lots of little old T-shirt strips……sewn into a shaggy heart shape.  Oooh, I love texture.





This little girl isn’t walking yet (unassisted), so the knee pads are seriously cute……..but also functional. 







And because these are made from the other half of the old Tshirts I used for her big sister’s Vday dress…….

……..well, this outfit was pretty inexpensive.  (Except for the leggings.  I already had them.)





And my favorite part about this outfit is that it’s made from jersey knit.  So it’s nice and baby soft.






Why do I go to the effort of making fun little holiday things?  Oh yeah, because it’s just plain fun.

 **A tutorial for the clip in Baby Girl’s hair is found here.



Want to make a Shaggy Heart Dress and Heart Knee-Pads of your own?




First things first, cut out your dress pieces from an old women’s jersey knit Tshirt…..using the old collar and hem of the shirt as the collar and hem for your new dress, if you can.  (Need more info on making your own dress? Click here.)  Or you can also add this shaggy heart to a dress/shirt that you already have. 


Now, cut a heart out of paper to the size of shaggy heart that would look best on the size of dress you’re making/using.  Trace that heart onto a square of woven cotton fabric (because it’s sturdier and doesn’t stretch), making sure to have a few inches of space around all edges.


Next, iron some fusible adhesive to the square of fabric (that’s the same size as the whole square), then peel the paper backing off.  (More about fusible adhesive here.)


Next, cut some strips of knit from your jersey knit Tshirts……cutting across the Tshirt so that the long strips stretch left to right.  I cut my strips about 1 inch wide.  (Be sure to visit this post, for more tips on selecting your Jersey knit shirts to work with.)


Then I pulled on the strips so that they would stretch out and not stretch anymore after being sewn to the shirt.  If yours doesn’t stretch and curl as much as mine did, it’s okay, your Tshirt didn’t have as much lycra in it but will still work just fine.


Now, cut each strip into shorter pieces, each about 1.5 inches long.


Then place about 3-4 of your little strips under the sewing machine needle at a time and sew them to the inside of the heart.  Make sure to sew those little pieces right down the center, keeping your needle about a 1/2 inch away from the pen mark of the heart that you drew. 


Sew in a parallel line to the drawn heart, keeping the same 1/2 inch distance from the edge, and be sure to to curve right along the curves and corners of the heart.


Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be perfect……..but just try your best to sew these little strips into the heart shape.  Here’s what it should look like after you have sewn the strips just a half inch from the drawn heart.


Now, onto the second row.  Hold the first row of strips out of the way and start adding little strips inside of the heart, starting a new row around the shape of the heart, pretty close to the first one.  I just butt my presser foot right next to the original row, all the way around……and that way plenty close enough.


Go all the way around for the second time, just like the first.


Now, if you have room, go around for a third time, just like the 2 before.  Be sure to hold all of the little pieces out of the way.


Now, if your heart is bigger than mine, you can probably go around again.  If not, you probably just have small spaces left like I do.  To fill up the empty spaces, I added little lines of sewn in strips, just to fill in the gaps.


Once I filled in all the inner spaces, here’s what my completed heart looked like.


From the back side, you can see each of my 3 rows of sewn in strips.  In the center, you can see my little lines where I sewed in clusters of strips, just to fill in the space.


Now, time to trim.  Start trimming off most of the bulk of the heart……evening everything out.


Then trim your edges so that they only go out as far as the drawn heart on the base fabric.


Then trim some more.  I didn’t want the heart to bubble out……just slightly stick out.  So I kept flattening the top and evened it out.


Then I used the same paper heart to draw a heart onto the front dress piece (or yours may be a shirt) with chalk.


Then, take note how close you sewed your first row of strips to the drawn heart on your fabric.  Mine was about a 1/2 inch away……..


……, I cut out the center of the heart about a 1/2 inch from the edge.  If you sewed your strips about a 1/4 inch to the edge of the drawn heart, then cut this heart out about 1/4 inch from the drawn chalk heart.


Now, cut away the excess fabric/adhesive layer, about 1 inch from the edge of the heart.


Then poke the heart through from the back side of the dress/shirt front.  Tuck the edges of the dress between the little strips and the base layer beneath the strips.  Pin in place.  (You will probably have to tuck a little bit, then pin, then tuck a bit more, and then pin more.  It takes a little manipulating to get it right where you want it.)


If you lift the edges of the little strips, you can see the edge of the red dress tucked right under there……and the white is underneath that.  Now iron all the way around the heart, sealing that heart right in place.  Be sure to press the iron down then lift and press down in another spot.  Don’t drag and pull the iron across the fabric.  You can even turn it over and press it down from the back side.


Then raise your stitch length (I made mine about a 4 out of 5) so that the stitches show better, and sew all the way around the heart 2 different times, about a 1/4 inch apart.



Now, if you were making your dress/shirt from scratch…… the dress together.  (Make sure and reference the directions here for making your own dress from scratch.)


And that’s it.  Your dress (or shirt) is complete.

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. . . . .



Now, if you want to make the leggings with the heart knee pads…….you can either use a pair of leggings that you already have (like I did with these) or you can make your own pair of leggings like I did here.  Either way works.


First of all, make a paper heart shape that is the right size for your leggings.  Then cut 2 rectangle pieces of your recycled knit pieces……and then place a piece of fusible adhesive between the two layers and then iron them together.  (Be sure that this 2 layered piece is big enough to cut 2 hearts out of it.)


Then iron another piece of fusible adhesive to the back of this rectangle and then trace 2 hearts onto the back.


Cut out the 2 hearts and then peel the paper backing off the back side.


Iron the hearts onto the knee section of the leggings.  (You may need to try them on your girl to get the placement right.)



Now, you have 2 options to sew the hearts in place on the knees.



Open the pants from the waist and slide the pants under the needle until you just have the one layer of the legging fabric underneath the needle where the knee is at, while the rest of the fabric is pushed out of the way of the needle.  Then sew around the perimeter of the heart, about an 1/8 of an inch from the outer edge of the heart.  Then sew another 2 hearts inside of the first, gradually getting smaller with each heart.




You can unpick the inner seam of the leg to get easier access to the heart.


Then slide it under the needle and sew the 3 hearts just like shown above.  Now you’ll have to turn the pants inside out and resew that inner leg seam, using a zig-zag stitch (or serger) so that the leggings will still stretch.


And that’s it.  2 little heart knee pads.

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And there you have it. 


A sweet little Valentine’s outfit………perfect for February 14th.





Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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