About Charmaine Nightingale

As with so many other proud grannies, my daughter was blessed with the prettiest little smocked dresses made by my mother starting with her first dress in 1971.  I had the time consuming job of picking up the dots which were ironed on from a transfer as my mother didn’t have a pleater.  Once I had done the laborious work, I would watch her do row after row of beautiful embroidery on my daughters dresses.
 
In 1984, although a good seamstress and with my children both at school I decided I needed to perfect my sewing skills and enrolled at the Pretoria Technikon, now the Tshwane  University of Technology, where I learned “how to do it properly”, and after the one course  went on to do an extended course in patternmaking and design.
 
Time has marched on and the day came when the corporate world decided it was time for me to go home and retire.  I could not sit still and that is when I decided that I didn’t want to make clothing for adults anymore, I needed to do something more creative and what better way than to apply my skills to making beautiful clothing for little girls. From that first tiny dress right up to the ultimate confirmation or Bat Mitzvah dress. But, why only for little girls, I also make lovely traditional boys clothing and easy to wear Bubbles for both boys and girls.
 
Each and everyone of my outfits is unique, there is no production line, I make  each and every one personally in prior consultation with the customer whose little princess  or prince will be the privileged wearer of one or more of my unique creations.
 
Being a purest, all my outfits are made from 100% cotton and unless otherwise requested I use Liberty cotton, with a personal preference for their Tana Lawn fabric range.  Which although it feels and looks delicate is hardwearing withstands most activities, dribbled ice cream and other spills  and once outgrown can be handed down through generations and the  little girl who has outgrown her original dress can move on to the next size made specially for her.
 
Rainbows and Angels  -  is a tribute to my mother who was naturally talented and  where my love of sewing started.
 
Rainbow; my mother was her fathers little rainbow and it stuck.  Her siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews all referred to her as either Ray or Aunty Ray.
 
However, her name  was Angela and so it didn’t take too much thought about what the name of my company should be other than Rainbows and Angels and so the craft I first experienced watching her stitch lives on in the dresses I now make.
 
Having achieved my Diploma in Pattern Making and Design where I also perfected my needlework skills, I’m proud of the quality of my work and the girl who wears one of my creations is assured that she is the only one who has a one of a kind dress.