Thursday, 20 June 2019

Swishing Well

So how did I do at the Swishing Party? I got two black and white tunics, which I have been wearing over the past few days with black leggings and boots. They are comfortable, and easy to pull on. I shall get a lot of use out of these.
My third item was an unexpected choice. I'd seen this dress when we were putting things on the rails and been attracted to the shape, and the fabric. But it said "Size 20" both on the inner label, and on the inside of the matching floral fabric belt.
I'm a 12/14 in most ranges.

But we had got to round 3 of drawing the tickets and it hung forlornly on the rail. I was near the end of the 3rd draw, and decided to take it and try it on. Maybe I could alter it- or make something of all that fabric in the skirt? I went off to the side room and tried it on. My friend Dani, who assisted with the zip, said "It really suits you!" I have to say it fitted comfortably, on bust, waist and hips. 
"I'm not a size 20!" I said. But I took it anyway.
Getting home I hung it on the wardrobe door. I didn't like the way the blue lining drooped below the hem [I think that's deliberate, Dani had said earlier] I measured the bust and waist - it was in fact a size 14/36". I wonder if it had been mislabelled, and the original buyer didn't realise and couldn't be bothered to change it?
I googled the label and found the website. This is the Audrey Divinity 50s dress- normally retailing at £38, in sale at £33. But the pretty pictures on the website, showed a dress which appeared to be more ...swish...than mine on the hanger.
Aha! small print says "for maximum volume and full effect, we recommend a 20" organza petticoat, sold separately" [this is normally £25, currently £23] 
How does one get the full effect, and turn my ho-hum 50p bargain, into a perfect Audrey Hepburn frock, without spending a further £23 [plus shipping costs] ? Answer; investigate online tutorials for making petticoats, and rummage in the Great Stash for some netting, and elastic - and in the back of my drawer for a black nylon petticoat from the 1980s. Then spend Saturday evening, crawling round the floor pinning three tiers of ruffles together.
This all seemed to work - but 
1-Forget the bit on the tutorial which said "I ran this little number up in about an hour". I consider myself a fairly competent needleworker, and I'm pretty fast at this sort if thing. It took me almost 3 hours to complete!
2 - The nylon underslip is essential, to stop the net scratching your legs!
3- Be aware that pinning net is difficult- they fall through the holes. Bob was till finding pins on the dining room carpet 3 days later!
The final result was as swish as I could have hoped for. Thank you to all those people who made kind remarks when I wore it on Sunday morning [I was amused by those who said "If I'd known things like that were going to be at the Swish Event, I'd have come"] Final result [please note, she is 5'6", wearing size 78, I am 4'11" wearing size 14 - her legs are much longer, her waist much smaller]
Definitely a bargain.
And yes, we will be having another Girls' Night In Swishing Party at UCF next summer!


  1. The dress looks lovely. I remember those petticoats from the 50's/60's.

  2. I think you look gorgeous in it!!! It really suits you and was a bargain, esp with the underskirt!

  3. I too remember the petticoats, very scratchy! It looks super, Ang, well done.

  4. You look awesome on that floral dress!The price was right! It's good to find something that fits well.

  5. You look beautiful in the new dress.

  6. You look amazing - what a great buy! Funny story about "crinolines" as we call them. I used to take one of my nieces shopping a lot - she was very girlie and loved dresses. When she was about 4 we had gone for a new dress for Easter and she was at that stage where she wanted "privacy" so insisted on going into the dressing room alone. We waited and waited and finally a little voice asked for Auntie. It was the first time she'd ever seen a crinoline and didn't know whether to put it under or over her new dress! But once we got it sorted she loved the way her dress and the way it swished! :-)

    1. What a great story! I love the fact that you still call the frilled underskirts "crinolines" - I'm not aware of that term being used in the UK for MAY years.

  7. That floral dress looks lovely on you!

  8. THANK YOU EVERYBODY - such kind words!


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