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I don’t own a lot of true vintage clothes.  My boobs and bum are more suited to reproduction pieces, when my bank balance allows me a little vintage shopping, I tend to stick to accessories.

Browsing Revival Vintage’s online store, I was pleasantly surprised to see a number of items that would fit me, including a lovely peachy pinky number.

Made in rayon in the 1940s, it had a pretty, delicate print, breastfeeding friendly buttons and a tie at the waist meaning that although it would fit me comfortably now, I’d be able to pull it in should I lose more weight.   Perfect.  I ordered it straight away.

The only problem was that it was a nightie –  a floor length nightie at that!

I don’t know about you but I’m not keen on wearing anything for bed that needs to be ironed :-/ and in any case the nightie was way too beautiful to be seen only in our bedroom.

Trying it on for the first time, I decided that but for the fact that the hemline was so long, I could get away with wearing it as a dress.  In its current style thought, it just wasn’t me.

There’s no way I’d ever sell/give away this piece.  When I hold something vintage I really buy into the romance of it.  I sort of connect with the clothing and its history and I can’t imagine ever letting it go.  So unless I found a way of making the nightie more wearable, it would sit in my wardrobe unworn, onlyto be rediscovered when I finally pop my clogs – hardly the way to treat a vintage gem.

It was nerve-wracking but I elected to have a few inches (NINE – eek!) chopped off the bottom, turning a longline nightie into a beautiful tea dress.

Unfortunately because the fabric was so delicate, it just wasn’t possible to raise the hem in a way that would be reversible – so the scissors would have to come out!  This might be something I could’ve tackled myself, but given how precious vintage clothing is, I opted to visit a professional!  My friend Rebekah from The Buttonhole was brave enough to take on the task.  I could barely watch as she cut into the skirt!

You can almost hear a pin drop 😂  I was soooo nervous but I’m thrilled with how the alterations turned out…

…even if my new tea-dress IS a little bit see-through 😂

I wore it with some retro, peep toe sling backs and a sweet little vintage clutch.

The experience has definitely made me feel more confident about buying and altering vintage clothing.  Since this little beauty came to live with me I’ve become a bit obsessed 😂

 What are your thoughts on altering vintage clothes?  Are you scissor happy – making things yours regardless of their age?  Or do you think vintage clothes should be left as they are?

 

Be a social butterfly...

  • You have adapted this nightie into a lovely dress, it looks gorgeous.

  • I would never have thought this was a nightie, what a great alteration you had done x

  • I think there are plenty of vintage clothes in museums and we should buy and alter clothes so they can be repurposed.

  • I have no objections to altering vintage clothing. If we like something why wouldn’t we make it fit us perfectly?

  • I absolutely love what you’ve done to it. I think it would have been more of a shame if you hadn’t been able to use the dress, so the alternation you decided on is brilliant.

  • What a great idea, it makes all the diffferent just cutting that length off and it’s going to make such a nice summer dress.

  • Jo Wiggins

    Your friend is so talented, that dress has been transformed into something amazing x

  • Lynne Harper

    I love all things vintage and no way would i have thought this was a nightie, it also looks very versatile as well, great for summer teamed with some saltwaters or dressed up with heels what a great find 🙂

  • I think it looks even nicer now that you altred it. The print is so fabulously 50’s as well!