Vintage Lace and Mannequin as Shabby Chic Treasures

This Shabby Chic Darling is what I got as the result of playing with vintage lace and doilies when trying to display them on the old mannequin that I had bought couple of years ago for my sewing adventures.Recycle doily lace mannequin diy

I had no intention to beautify my dear old ancient Annabelle with the treasures from my obsessively growing vintage lace collection. Not that Annabelle did not deserve a new outfit.

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In fact, she was in a desperate need for it. And I had plans for her. I envisioned her dressed up in a breathtaking embellishment of bright and bold motives that would show off her powerful character…

Vintage lace mannequin tutorial

But then, before I could figure out how to materialize my idea of that bright and bold embellishment, I had to find a solution for another challenge I was facing.

Embroidered mannequin diy

I was in need to make a good picture of my lace collection. And I tell you, – to create a good set up that would properly display my so dearly guarded lacy darlings – that was a challenge beyond my photographing beginner´s skills.

I tried everything possible to display my lace doilies, ribbons and other lacy darlings, and then capture their beauty with camera. I kept failing awfully. No matter how much creativity I put into the new set up of lace, no matter how much smoke one could see coming out of my ears due to the intensive work of my brain when figuring out the right set up in my camera modes – the pictures kept looking disappointing.

I invited my husband to show off his skills and get a great picture of my lacy wealth. He too did everything he could imagine so that he could rescue me from feeling desperate. The beauty of lace remained locked in the reality and refused to get transitioned to photos.

Antique lace decor diyThen, standing shortly before the line of giving up, I placed some lace on Annabelle. It. Was. Love. From The First Sight…

Annabelle fell in love. So did lace. So did I. So did my husband. The sequence and the directions of Love Spreading All Around were not important.

Antique shabby chic interior

Annabelle gave me a clear message – she wanted to keep her new dress. She wanted it to be durable and fit her properly.

shabby chic diy

I could only agree with her – that was a fabulous idea. So I took all my pins, spent two more days digging through my piles of lace, pinning and repinning the lacy bits until Annabelle and I were happy with the result.

Then I got out the invisible thread (I was happy that finally there was a great use for it), and bent the needle so it would have a curvy shape that made it easier to sew the lace on the mannequin.

And then during the next few days I spent each and every free moment (while my then four months old baby was napping or playing on his own) to sew each motif and ribbon on Annabelle. The best thing is – one does not see the thread. The lace looks as if it would invisibly attached to Annabelle.

Annabelle moved from my crafts room to our bedroom. She knows my plans of creating  bohemian flair for the bedroom, so she kindly agreed to contribute by being there herself.


If there is something I can be useful to you regarding this tutorial for creating shabby chic  bohemian  darling for your palace, or if you have any comments about it – do let me know!

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16 Responses to Vintage Lace and Mannequin as Shabby Chic Treasures

  1. Jamie says:

    Woman, this is beautiful! You are so talented, i always look forward to seeing what you come up with!

    • firegoodness says:

      Thank you, Jamie! :-)

      • Jamie says:

        Have you heard of the book: Linen & Lace? Beautiful. I got it and it reminds me of your lace work :) both beautiful

        • firegoodness says:

          Thank you Jamie for the tip about the book and for your kind words! I did not know about this book, so after reading your comment I checked it out on Amazon. You are right – it shows a beautiful work! I saw the treasure you created in Etsy: Christmas Shopping! Pink edition – so beautiful and inspiring images and feeling! I looked at your Etsy shop – you have soooo beautiful creations there and a wonderful photography work! I especially love your “old-school” crochet children hats. ADORABLE! My favorite is the red and white bonnet with flower. And I just love this treasury- Retro Red Romance where your work is included. Seeing your talent, I wonder what kind of things you create for yourself…?

          • Jamie says:

            Thank you SO much for your kind words. Ilove making tgings for children; I can imagine more and be more wgimsical, I think. I love that you liked the red/white bonnet; that is my daughter! ;)
            To be honest, making things for myself is pretty hard, as my time is limited so I end up selling most of what I make… The one thing I did make for myself was a lace beanie/hat with sparkly yarn. I love it! Used it all Christmas season ;)
            And you, you have very impressive crochet skills, do you have a shop? Btw, if I could, every curtain in my apartment would look like your bohemian lace curtain invention <3<3

          • firegoodness says:

            Jamie, your daughter is so cute! And I would love to see your white sparkling beanie, if there is such chance :-) I know what you mean that making things for kids gives chance to be more whimsical and gives space for more imagination… And I actually wonder, maybe when we do something like that for ourselves – dare to create those whimsical, more imaginative things – we could reach new levels of creativity and open up new and surprising possibilities (if not with the first item, then after some time for sure).
            I do not have a shop, even though I have played with this idea quite some time. I think I am more useful when I help others to explore their creativity. And it certainly opens up new possibilities for my creative approach and flight :-)
            As for curtain – it is the only curtain I have at my home… The windows in three rooms are without curtains because I can not make up my mind which type of curtain to make for each even though I have many ideas (maybe that´s the problem…)

          • Jamie says:

            About the curtains, Im just like you! I alwaus have too many ideas, and too little time and I jjust end up undecided! I would love to have the time to just explore… I think the best things I have made are the ones that i dont plan too much but rather just pick a yarn and see what happens!
            Oh and thank you for your compliments about my daughter; and maybe someday I will take a pic of the hat!

  2. Ann says:

    Absolutely Gorgeous !!!!

  3. Morena says:

    Gorgeous idea and beautiful story!

  4. Vairis says:

    (ideja + izpildījums)

  5. He quedado tan enamorada de este maniquí que no he podido resitirme a compartirlo en mi fan page. ¡Enhorabuena! por el resultado tan maravilloso.

  6. Donna says:

    Beautiful! Where did you find the mannequin?

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