Saturday, December 19, 2015

FO: Beyond the Sea - 1950's novelty dress (Weigel's 1593)

If you're on Instagram, you might have seen me alluding to a seahorse dress I was making - well, it's finally finished!

 miss l fire luella vintage shoes wicker handbag 1950s 1960s novelty dress applique seahorse ocean sea fish border skirt

I was going to an end of year Christmas Party with a sea-theme and realised I had nothing to wear. Great reason to make something!

The pattern is Weigel's 1593 - an Australian pattern, I'm thinking early-mid 1950s?

The dress is made in stretch cotton sateen - not my favourite fabric, but I needed something with body to make the skirt sit properly. I didn't want to wear a petticoat as we'd be dancing and it's very hot with more layers.

The skirt is more of a 3/4 circle than a full circle - it even has cute little gathers for some interest.

The only mods I made were:

  • to remove the buttons down the front (cut on a fold), 
  • do a Full Bust Adjustment
  • add some width to the waist
  • lengthen the straps by about 1/3 of a inch.
I made the Xmas hair flower too!
But the main amount of time was on those darn seahorses - they took forever! I used the seahorse template from a free knitting pattern I posted last month - the Novelty Seahorse Jacket.

They're cut from felt, and hand-stitched around the hem (ten in all). They have diamantes for eyes, and the bubbles are large sequins with pearls in the centre. I repeated the bubbles on the bust for symmetry.

To get the bubble lines the same every time, I used a template to repeat the shape for each seahorse.

Would I make this again?
The dress itself was very easy, so perhaps. I do have plans for a similar skirt involving lobsters. LOBSTERS.
But I need to recover from this dress first.


  • Hairflower - made by me, Xmas flower from Spotlight
  • Shoes - Miss L Fire Luella
  • Pearl jewellery - my Nan's
  • 1960's wicker bag - found at a market.


mel said...

This is awesome, makes me want to start on something time consuming, too^^

mel said...

This is awesome, makes me want to start on something time consuming, too^^

Helena said...

Beautiful! Love love love the seahorses. Have a good party!

Jen said...

I am in love with your creative use of the seahorse template! The color and fit of the dress are marvelous!

Evie said...

This dress is perfection!

Mugsy's in Stitches said...

My goodness it's wonderful! LOVE seahorses!! Merry Christmas to you... :)

Jessica Cangiano said...

This is officially, off-the-charts spectacular! What a stylish, adorable creation that looks positively stunning on you, sweet lady.

Big hugs & joyful holiday season wishes,
♥ Jessica

Tasha said...

Love this soooo much!! So worth the work (and I say this from experience, having just done a felt applique skirt). Crazily, I sewed up a vintage wrap dress pattern early last year that has pink seahorses on the fabric. ;)

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