Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch vorhanden.

(Diesen Post gibt’s nur auf Englisch, da er für die Roots Sewing Series von Elegance and Elephants ist und einfach zu lang, um ihn auch noch auf Deutsch zu übersetzen. Solltet ihr etwas nicht verstehen oder Fragen haben, schreibt mir einfach eine email an naehconnection at gmail dot com oder hinterlasst einen Kommentar. Ich helf euch gerne!)

I had the unbelievable luck to get asked by Heidi from Elegance and Elephants to participate in her Roots Sewing Series. When I got her email I was pretty much freaking out. Heidi asks me? That’s totally crazy ;) However, I decided to accept this chance and challenge and I must say I’m so happy I did. I have never before sewn so many hours just for one single outfit (I didn’t take the time, but I think it must have been somewhere between 15 and 20 hours), included so many details, ripped so many seams. But, I have also never before been so proud about an outfit ;) (So please be aware: Picture overload…)

Well, let me first say some words about the series: Heidi asked us to sew something for our children that is inspired by our cultural heritage. Sewing and cultural heritage – well, when you are German, in fact even Bavarian, live in a small village relatively close to the alps and work in Munich, there’s no question what you got to sew. Some “Trachten” (folklore costume). As I’m definetly still to scared to sew with leather, a “Lederhosen” was out of my reach (well, Heidi, maybe for the next roots series…), so a “Dirndl” it was…


I’m pretty sure that wherever on Earth you live, you’ll have heard of Oktoberfest, of Dirndl and Lederhosen, of Bier and Blasmusik. In fact wearing Dirndl and Lederhosen is again quite “in”. No matter if you are 3, 16, 40 or 80 years old for certain festivities a Dirndl or a Lederhosen is something you don’t have to, but definitely can wear. Such festivities are the yearly village or town celebrations, Oktoberfest and similar events, but also birthdays or weddings. While in the past Trachten were specific for certain areas and even different from one village to the other, a Dirndl and also a Lederhosen will nowadays be chosen depending on what color and style, length and fabric you like.  You can even by them with african prints. The more typical prints that you’ll see in most Dirndls are little flowers, ornaments and gingham. And there are certain features that pretty much all Dirndls have: A bodice, mostly with button closure or tied in the front, then a skirt with a hugh amount of twirlability and an apron. Under the Dirndl you wear a short blouse, a so-called “B’scheißerl” (Bavarian: little cheater), that ends slightly below the bust and can only be worn under the Dirndl.

When I had decided to make a Dirndl, I first searched the internet for the right pattern. I knew I had seen it last summer on some German blogs and it didn’t take me very long to find it. The Vroni Dirndl by Renate from the blog Mondbresal. You could obviously, use pretty much any basic bodice pattern, alter it to your needs, add a full skirt and an apron as well as a short tight fitting blouse. However, I wanted to have something that will fit together well as I knew alone the details would take quite a while and I didn’t want to fiddle too much with fitting issues.
Before I get to my version of the Vroni Dirndl, I have some great news for all those of you who want to sew a Dirndl. Renate’s pattern is currently getting translated and will soon be available in English! You should grab a copy – pattern and instructions are great. Also, (both German and English readers) read through my whole post as at the end there’s something you won’t want to miss ;)

The Vroni pattern has the very traditional button closure in the front, but I decided to go another way and to alter the pattern. As I told you already in one of my last posts, my neighbor and good friend Miriam is very generous and creative. What I didn’t tell you is that she has the most amazing collection of trim, ribbon, buttons etc. (and fabric as you can see in this post). When I told her that I was taking part in Heidi’s series and that I wanted to sew a Dirndl, we started brainstroming and got inspired by a look in this book. It had some trim and ribbons in a middle front panel at the bodice which especially for a little girl seemed to be a fun idea. I thus altered the pattern to have a middle panel that is cut on the fold. The Dirndl opens with a zipper at the side. If you want to see how I did these alterations of the pattern and how you have to sew the bodice with these pattern pieces, come back on tuesday next week. I’ll then post a tutorial. Almost all of the ribbons are from Miriam. I love how they are in the same colour range as the rest of the Dirndl, but still add some additional fun. To apply these ribbons I went really slowly with my sewing machine and the same accounts for the (self-made) piping which I applied along the front and back middle panels and around the neck and arm holes. For the piping I used the Cottage Mama’s tutorial which is really detailed. I won’t, however, come back to it again: Not because it’s not good, it’s the best (check it out!)! But, for this Dirndl I made and applied so much piping that I’ll never forget how to do this ;)
Last but certainly not least I added a beautiful (store bought) ruffle ribbon around the neck hole. Sewing the whole bodice, which is also lined, took like forever, but it definitely is unique and special.

For the blouse I altered the pattern only very slightly: In the pattern there are two versions included; one with puffed and the other one with straight sleeves. I went somewhere in between as the puffed version was a little bit too much for me and the straight would have been to “basic” for this Dirndl. I added lace trim at the sleeve and neck binding plus some (again self-made) piping around the neck. I’ll show you how I changed the pattern and how to apply the piping and lace on tuesday, too.

The apron was in fact what I sewed first. The main part of it is cut on the straightgrain while the band at the top and the ties are cut on the bias. I had to piece the ties together: Look at the arrow at the left pic: When you look really closely you can see that I matched the different stripes almost perfectly at the seam. I’m really happy how this turned out!
Something that you should know if you want to do the “Dirndl-thing” right: If the apron is tied on the left, this means the girl is unmarried, tied on the right means married and tied in the back is for widows.

For the beautiful applique on the apron, I again have to thank Miriam for helping me with her embroidery machine. I chose the flowers from this embroidery file. The rhinostones are from Miriam, too, and were just ironed on. I sewed the applique on very carefully, around all of the leaves and blossoms. Such an embroidery is also some kind of “heritage”: A heritage of the german sewing blogger community – it seems as if almost all of them have an embroidery machine and all different kinds of embroidery are, thus, used on almost all sewed items…
I finally, also have to thank Miriam for taking the pics of this post with her nice DSLR and for editing the first pic in this post. With no green meadows, but rain and temperatures close to zero degrees Celcius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) taking pics outside with the real mountains in the back was unfortunately impossible…

Well, I hope you like my work of Love…Thanks again, Heidi, for asking me to participate. That has been so much fun and I’m so glad that I had the guts to sew a Dirndl.

Congrats, you really made it to the end of my post. This means that I have some goodies for you. Firstly: Take part in the fun and sew along with this series. There are some amazing sew along prizes. Heidi has gathered some amazing prices. The best “sewalonger” will be chosen and get an whole bunch of gift certificates, patterns etc. But not only this: ALL Sew-Along participants will automatically be entered to win one of another three incredible prize packages. So: Get sewing.

No, wait: I also have something fun for you: Renate from Mondbresal was so kind to offer me one Vroni pattern for a giveaway! Just enter through the rafflecopter widget below! The giveaway runs till the end of the roots series. When the winner is chosen, I’ll ask her to tell me whether she wants the English or German version. Please be aware that the english version is not yet finished. This one will be send out as soon as it is ready, but I can’t give you an exact date!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, go and check out the other Roots post and show the other bloggers some love.

This is also linked to Meitlisache and Kiddikram (two german speaking link parties for girl clothes and kids clothes respectively) and Friday Favs Party.


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