The Dirndl Dress–Successfully Completed!

It has taken me a bit longer than expected but at last I am pleased with something I have made. It’s been a long journey this past year to get back my sewing, patternmaking and draping skills. This basic, simple style was just what I needed to bring back the enjoyment and coordination needed to successfully complete any sewing/design project.

The finished version of the Dirndl Dress is much different that the toile due to my selection of fabric. The quilting cotton I used made the dress much fuller and more weighty than I envisioned. The choice of fabric was based solely on the cute pattern. At the time I had no knowledge of what a dress made out of quilting cotton would be like. Although I like the results I would have preferred more movement and drape in the fabric. I think this is why I will choose not to use quilting cotton in future projects.

I found a lovely faux pearl necklace that had a slightly pinkinsh tint in a local 99 cents store. I think it is the perfect touch to the dress.

The positive side to using the quilting cotton was that it had the right amount of body to hold the French darts nicely ensuring that the bodice had a flattering fit.

The highlight of this project for me was learning how to apply a slot zipper by hand using tiny running stitches. This technique comes from Claire Shaeffer’s book “Couture Sewing Techniques”. From a distance the slot application is barely discernible. It is a bit time consuming but I think well worth the effort. I plan to detail the process when I make a skirt as part of my next project.

If you like the way the dirndl skirt portion of this dress looks please check out my previous postings where I present an overview of how a flat pattern for a pencil skirt can be turned into a dirndl skirt that will have just the right amount of of gathers for your size. In another posting I provide a diagram and instructions for creating the dirndl skirt used as part of this dress. The instructions are for a Misses Size 4. Anyone may use this pattern in whatever manner they choose.


2 thoughts on “The Dirndl Dress–Successfully Completed!

  1. Looks gorgeous!
    Some people use quilting cottons a lot for their dressmaking but I have always found them a little bit stiff unstructured garments. Your dress has lots of structure though so I imagine it will hold that perfectly.
    Hope you get lots of wear out of it.


  2. Thank you, Norma. This dress turns out to be a perfect addition to my teaching portfolio. It illustrates the pros and cons of using quilting cotton. My next project is a half-circle skirt made in a light-medium weight 6 ounce denim. The contrast between the denim (made for garments) and the quilting cotton is striking. Although the denim is a tad bit weightier, it still has a lovely drape and makes a beautiful, flared or circle skirt. Photos of the toile are coming soon along with progress photos of the skirt.


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