make: dirndl


longtime followers and friends may know that andrew and i host an oktoberfest party every autumn in which we cook massive amounts of german food and brew german beer for all our friends. four years ago, i made us both costumes by deconstructing thrift store finds with scissor and glue gun. this year, i purchased a sewing machine and my mom taught me how to sew! our first project was an authentic german dirndl, and i think it turned out smashingly.


my sister made her own dirndl too! the first chore was picking put fabric. the pattern called for three different fabrics – two prints that matched. the print for the apron had to be something heavy, so this limited our choices. we ended up using an outdoor fabric for my apron. as soon as my mom and i saw the blue flower print, we knew it was perfect. i then found a matching cotton print for the bodice, and a neutral print for the skirt.


we could not find a dirndl pattern from any american stores, so we had to order one from a german company called burda style. the pattern came as a pdf and was cheap ($6). we printed it at home and the cool thing was we were able to print two – usually, a pattern is only usable once due to all the cutting. the pattern was a little challenging though – the directions were unclear as they were translated into english, and some things weren’t even translated at all. if my mom hadn’t been there to interpret, there’s no way i could have figured out the pattern.



it took us two full days of sewing to complete the dress and apron. i got to learn all kinds of things like basting, piping, bunching, hemming, sizing, and installing a zipper. i thought sewing would be too tedious for me, but i ended up loving it! I’ve been working on random sewing projects almost every day since i bought my machine. for those curious, i picked up a used singer 8280 off craigslist for under $100.


almost done! pre-hemming the dress and apron and before the bodice lacing. we had to order special dirndl eyelets (the silver pieces that hold the lacing) from an etsy shop in austria!


finished! i love it so much and i can’t wait to wear it to our party next month.

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