Friday, August 14, 2009

'Revamp it' Challenge

I signed-up for Natasha's 'Revamp it' challenge last month, and having said that I'd join in, I then remembered that we'd be away on holiday for one week...we've also had two Birthdays in the family recently too - (our eldest daughters turned 20 and 22)

'First born' decided that she'd like to come home for a few days for her Birthday, (from Aberystwyth) and would bring her boyfriend too...We arrived home from our holiday to a houseful...Middle daughter had been house-sitting for us, with her boyfriend...and so I was thrown straight back into things the next day, cooking a Birthday meal for 7! (Holiday? What holiday?!)
What can I say?
What are Mum's for?!... ;-))
OK, that probably all sounds a bit lame...but revamping the bri-nylon nightdress that I'd bought at a flea market was fairly low down on my list of priorities after all that...

But I had a go anyway...and they do say its the taking part that counts! ;-)) - Plus I'm always up for a bit of creative recycling...

The white (discoloured to a charming yellowy/cream, yuck!) nylon frilly lace was the first thing to go. Unpicking any stitching is not my favourite task, as it usually means I've made a booboo...but needs-must!
And it was worth it...
Looks better already...

The shirring elastic under the bust-line had completely lost its elasticity and would creak and make ripping sounds with every I threaded some narrow elastic through the channels to give a better shape.
Then the fun bit...
I took some mossy green vintage millinery veiling tulle; the soft stuff; not the stiff, modern kind that's all scritchy, and followed it along the neckline, stitching bunches of it in place with a tiny purple bead.

I then added lots of vintage millinery flowers, including a large rose and some velvet pansies...

hand stitching each in place to create an asymmetric flower garland effect. There's a few teeny violets and some paper roses in there too.

It was then that I really ran out of time!
I wanted the dress to have a more flattering length and a fantasy, fairy look inspired by 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Given that we are now well into August, I felt it appropriate. So I cut the skirt roughly at the knee, with deep zigzags, to give a petal-like effect.

And here it is, kindly modelled by my youngest daughter...

She felt that the flowers around the neckline were a little bit large...and I have to agree...

but she still looks very pretty; bless her for indulging me.
I was also inspired by a gorgeous original 1950's gown that I have, which I bought from Lizzie a few years ago. I love the unusual colour scheme, which would certainly get you noticed at the ball, and also the lovely hand painted flowers on the organza overlay.


And if that doesn't float-your-boat, then perhaps I can cheat and show you a revamp I did last year...when I had a little more time to complete the project.
My embellished satin shoes can be found here.
Don't forget to check in with Natasha later today, to see all the other revamped items created by those who took part in the challenge.
And while I'm here, I just wanted to show you a surprise parcel that arrived for me yesterday, all the way from Australia. It was from Suzy at Fabulous Frau; a pretty box tied with gathered ribbon, and filled with some of her delightful handmade cards.
Thank you Suzy - you are so kind!! - I shall enjoy sending the cards to the special people in my life x
Hope everyone has a jolly weekend,
Niki x
Update: I have just received an email from Blurb this morning, saying that they intend to increase the prices of their services on 27th August, due to the global recession. This will mean that the price of my book will become beyond the budget of some. If you had thought about buying a copy, then I would advise doing so before the 27th...hope that isn't cheeky of me to mention. Thanks again for your interest; details on my sidebar, or in my on-line shop.
Niki x


  1. Nikki, you are so gorgeous! I did NOT send my parcel to you to put on your blog - but how sweet are you! So glad you like them. I'll have to send you a pick of my massive haul of vintage - circa 60's/70's - trims - I used a piece of one to wrap your 'ancient box' (probably 70's LOL). They are divine and now that my good camera is behaving - and so am I, I'll get to it! I so adore your blog and your Sunday travels give me a nostalgic faraway look in my eyes - I just love your brooch collection - and of course everything else! Hope you've had a super break. We've got a slightly famous and fabulous market down the road and I'll have to snap a few pics too - everything hippy and recycled - some vintage. Thanks and kiss, kiss to you. Suzy xx

  2. Wow, if that is what you can do when you are short on time, you have some serious talent. I love how it looks on your daughter. Very elflike indeed.

  3. wow Niki I really did gasp when I saw what beauty you made from your vintage nightie! It's absolutely gorgeous! I don't think the flowers are too big at all. I would absolutely wear this in Summer, with pride, and smile and say, "no, you can't get one, this is a one of a kind, sorry!", hehehe!
    Thanks so much for joining in!!!

  4. OOOOH! Faerie creations and such a wonderful blog!! I am glad to know of you know! Blessings.

  5. Hello Nikki

    I love your creativity. What a transformation and so beautifully modelled by your daughter! I had wondered what you were going to do with it.
    You sound like a busy bee, I hope all the holiday rest is not wearing off already! Happy belated birthday to your daughters. It's a lovely time of the year to have a birthday.
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  6. I can´t believe! all is so so so so so cute!
    What a transformation and so beautifully modelled by your daughter!


    I love your blog!
    I´m following your blog!


  7. Hi Nikki, Happy birthday to your daughters.

    I can not belive my eye's you have made a beautiful dress, I bet hanging both dresses side by side they would look amazing, gorgeous!!! stunning!!!


  8. Niki, you are amazing!!! i LOVE your revamp of the vintage nightie...SO cute how you added the tulle and the flowers...and the new length is really looks so sweet on your daughter...i am in love with the shoes revamp from last year, they are stunning!!!

  9. What an exciting revamp - I honestly couldn't imagine what on earth you would be able to do with it when I first saw it! It's the sort of thing that makes me shudder when I accidentally touch it in a jumble sale... And now it's a fairy's dream! Wonderful, Niki.

  10. This is magical and divine!
    The flowers are to die for ... not too big at all, I LOVE all of it.
    Terrific job!!

    Your blog is lovely as well ... I'm happy to have found you ... you are now in my "favorites" ... I'll be back for more yumminess!


  11. The nightie is wonderful, I was also thinking of a 'Midsummer Night's Dream' before I even got to the bit of your blog where you mention it ! Your vintage 50s dress is beautiful as well.
    Ann x

  12. That Midsummer Nights Dream faerie Titania dress is fantastic

  13. Fantastic revamp! I just remember those nylon nighties from my childhood - I have particular memories of a pale blue one owned by my mother. But definitely much better with flowers rather than scratchy lace!

    Pomona x

  14. I immediately thought the same thing...'A Midsummer Night's Dream' look about it. Beautiful!

  15. Fabulous! The gown is splendid! I love the vintage dress, too. So beautiful!

  16. Beautifully flouncy, feminine and romantic Niki! Thank you for showing your handiwork... you've inspired me greatly today (and I desperately needed that). I haven't been in a creative mood at all this summer, but now I at least have creative images in my head to make me smile, thanks to you! ;)

  17. I just LOVE these posts, so up my street (yes I should have joined) That is soooooooo gorgeous so much inspiration, first Natasha and now you, I may be on blog all night following all the revamps.

    Good Job Niki and yikes I want one of those books I better move, ment to get one at your fair but of course your dolls wowed me over and forgot about everything else LOL.
    best wishes Ginny xx

  18. What beautiful projects !!! The shoes are out of this world. Everything is just lovely.

  19. Wow! That is a beautiful transformation. I love, love that vintage dress too. The colors are gorgeous!

  20. Anonymous5:57 pm

    So beautiful, and modeled by such a lovely young lady too :). Well done!

  21. Niki, what wonderful creations!!!! I am in awe of your talent.... And you daughter is the perfect model!!

  22. I think this is just amazing! You did a swell job on sewing, but also on choosing colours. You should have a fairy party once! Those shoes, I just love them, I haven't checked the linked post yet to see whether you used some tacky glue on this pair of shoes ;-), but I will after I leave here.

    I always lurk here, give comments once in a while, but now that I am here again I just want to thank you for publishing such beautiful posts, the most lovely antiques and giving me so much inspiration. I think I should have said this much sooner.
    Have a lovely weekend!

  23. Oh this is just too fabulous! I love what you did with the neckline. It reminds me of Fairies going to the midnight ball. How creative of you and how beautiful.

  24. BEAUTIFUL!!!!
    You did a fabulous job!

  25. Well done on the dress! I love it!
    Hugs, Lisa

  26. Niki, it's so nice to *meet* you today!
    WOW. I could not get past the ugly lace and am amazed at how beautiful the garment looked as soon as you removed it! I adore the waist and would've not seen the potential with it all stretched out.
    Love the color and embellishment.
    That vintage dress is one of the prettiest I've seen.
    Cute shoes, I'm off to look at more!

  27. Totally and utterly divine! Rachael:)

  28. These colors are amazing together! I love your creations. They belong in Mid Summer Nights Dream!

  29. Niki, you did a great job! love both the dress and the shoes! stunning! seriously you are so creative! job well done!

  30. Fabulous
    What a wonderful revamp, the colours work so well together.
    Natasha does host some fabulous parties and a good chance to meet lovely creative folks.

  31. beautiful. I dont think the flowers are too much though.. they look perfectly wonderful! I'm so impressed with the revamps that you girls have done! they are all pretty amazing!
    I loved seeing them!
    have a great day!

  32. I just ADORE what you did to your nightgown - SO pretty and romantic! And your shoes are to-die-for beautfiul, Niki!

  33. The dress is wonderful!!...we like the big flowers on the front and the fantastic color combo! What a transformation!

  34. ow I adore you, you are so unbelievable with texture and needles ! How great!

  35. i really like how you have transformed the dress it looks much prettier! fliss xx

  36. How beautiful! You have such vision. I wouldn't have seen such a lovely dress under the lace, but with your eye & stitchery, you brought it to life!

  37. Absolutely stunning gown. You are sooo clever.


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx