Self Drafted Valentine's Skirt and Ric Rac Heart How-To

Posted Friday, 19 February, 2021

Hello everyone!

Thank you for stopping by. I hope that you have had a wonderful start to the year and that you're able to find something joyful to focus on.

Today I'd like to share with you a simple "How-To" on using ric rac to create some kitschy hearts for garment embellishment, or even aprons and homewares!

For those of you who follow me on Instagram (@retronovella) you've probably already seen my embellished Valentine's skirt. Or quite possibly, you may have seen my friend Kate's complimentary twin version all the way in the Netherlands! Kate's skirt was a refashion and mine was a "from scratch" version. I love this because it represents two different approaches to the same thing! To see more of Kate's sewing and sustainability click here.

For more photos and info about my Valentine's Day look, check out

As I was thinking about how fun ric rac embellishments are (a complete flip from when I used to think that they screamed "home sewing!" or "1970's", two things which I now love), I realised that this was the second time that I've added a bit of ric rac to a make.

Above "in-process" shot. Ricrac has been pressed into shape and pins are in place for form.

My first time was way back when I was pregnant in 2018! I was gifted the I AM Patterns "Celeste Dress" by the lovely Evie of Indie Stitches and couldn't resist accentuating the heart detail in the back. More details on that make are here.

For those who haven't played with ricrac before, here's a simple "How To":

  1. Get your project item for embellishment (if it's a pocket, remove it from the garment so it doesn't get sewn together) and select your ric rac. Don't cut it yet!
  2. I eyeball my shapes, but if you'd like, feel free to trace an outline on the fabric using tailor's chalk or a washable fabric marker. Curves and points are easier to navigate with the use of an iron and pressing as you go. That way the ric rac remembers what it's meant to do. (Iron a little test piece to check that your ric rac won't melt from direct contact. If it does melt or warp, try to negate this by using a pressing cloth or linen tea towel. And of course, you can adjust your iron's settings).
  3. Once you have an idea of how much ric rac to use, cut to length.
  4. From there, pin your shape and then sew in place.
  5. Regarding the edges: depending on the thickness of ric rac you can either fold the edge under and sew in place or find a place to tuck it under the edge of the design. Alternately, you could sew the edge and allow for a small amount of fraying.

Voilà! That's it!

Let me know if you have any questions, and have a wonderful day everyone.

Brooke x