Queen of Hearts by Cook Clean Craft

Today, my quest needs no real introduction because she’s one of the founding Sew Ready to Play participants! She’s Narelle from Cook Clean Craft. She’s always up for playing and has had fun games every year! One thing I love about blogging is getting to know people all over. I remember when her ‘Queen of Hearts’ was born! Crazy!! Narelle blogs about all sorts of things on her blog, hence the name! Ha! She’s got some of my favorite recipes and great sewing projects! One of my favorite tutorials she’s done recently is her stuffed snail. Totally cute!

Welcome Narelle!!!

Hi all, it’s Narelle here, from Cook Clean Craft, ready to have some fun playing along with Sew Ready to Play. I’ve had so much fun in past years, and always had a clear idea what I wanted to make. This time around, I was all out of inspiration. I’ve lost my sew-jo lately, and couldn’t even think of a game that inspired me. So I procrastinated.

And procrastinated.

Then finally inspiration hit. A simple deck of playing cards was my inspiration, and before I knew it, the Queen of Hearts dress was made:

Queen of Hearts

As a redhead who blushes like a tomato, I’ve never been able to wear red, but my blonde kids look great in it. When I bought the fabric, I was worried that red and black are a bit grown up for a 4 year old. So I went with a simple dress with very cutesy hearts. I searched for fabric with red hearts and couldn’t find any (what?), but found some perfect iron on appliques at my local fabric store.

Queen of Hearts Dress (2)

Queen of Hearts playing cards tend to have gold trim around the next. I found some sequin trim that was just perfect for my sparkly little girl.

It’s shirred in the back – much easier than buttons or a zip for an independent girl to dress herself!

Queen of Hearts Dress

My model wasn’t in the mood, so most of my photos turned out like this:

Queen of Hearts (2)

This Queen’s got attitude! But believe it or not, she loves the dress.

Queen of Hearts dress (3)

Here’s how I made it:

The fabric I used was poplin, basically because it’s cheap and I’m supposed to be on a fabric diet!

I started with a basic bodice pattern (this was from the 5 and 10 Designs eBook). I drew a line where I wanted the seam between the red and white sections and added seam allowances.

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (21)

For the back bodice, I added a couple of extra inches to the back to allow for the shirring. I should have made it a bit bigger since it only just fits over her head – oops!

For the skirt, I cut out a rectangle of fabric for the red section and then cut off corners to create the angled look, and matched up the same for the white section, making the top the same width at the bottom of the bodice.

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (2)

I also cut strips of 1 1/4” strips of black fabric for faux piping.

I sewed the bodice front centre panel to the skirt centre panel.

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (3)

Then I sewed the side and shoulder seams of the bodice (I actually should have sewn the sleeves before I did the side seam, but no making things easy for myself here!

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (4)

Then I gathered the red skirt section (I prefer to machine gather, by using a long stitch length and high tension):

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (5)

Adjust the gathers to that the skirt width matches the bodice width, and sew, right sides together:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (7)

Fold the black strips in half, lengthwise and press. Pin to the right side of the front seams, lining up the raw edges, and sew a basting stitch inside the seam allowance:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (8)

With right sides together, sew the centre panel to the red section of the dress:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (12)

The black piping should create faux piping like this (press it to one side for a crisp look):

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (9)

Sew the underarm seam of the sleeves, and then sew into the armhole:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (11)

To finish the neckline, sew bias tape right sides together to the neck hole:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (13)

Turn the bias tape to the inside, press and then stitch in place (don’t worry about the contrasting thread for the front panel – we’ll cover that with trim):

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (14)

Press and sew a double-fold seam for the sleeve and bottom hems:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (15)

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (16)

Draw two lines across the back bodice down from the shoulder with chalk or disappearing pen:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (17)

Sew shirring elastic across the back panel between the two lines (or you can shirr the whole back bodice, if you prefer:

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (18)

I jumped across between the rows rather than stopping at each row end. I didn’t pull the elastic enough, so the shirring pulls up a bit at the back. It annoys me, but not enough to fix it!

Finally, I added some gold sequin trim across the neckline (covering the contrasting thread), and added iron on appliques to the bodice from panel.

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (19)

I also added one heart to the skirt section and more sequin trim along the bottom hem stitching.

Sew a Queen of Hearts Dress (20)

And there is my cute Queen of Hearts!

Come over to Cook Clean Craft for more fun sewing projects, plus family-friendly recipes, household cleaning and organization tips and other craft ideas. Thanks for having me again, Louise!


  1. […] Queen of Hearts by Narelle from Cook, Clean, Craft […]

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