In non-sewing news: The One with the Dirndl

363 days in the year, I’m a “Home is where the heart is” kinda girl. As long as I have my family with me I think I could be happy anywhere (well, maybe not ANYwhere, but you know what I mean). But for two days a year, the two days where my town celebrates its local parish fair, I’m fiercely patriotic. In honour of St. Kunigund, the local patron saint, I put on my dirndl and throw myself into the celebration:


Why have only one ice cream when you can have two, I’m sure you agree!

The procession is mainly horse-drawn carriages, music bands and kids groups (all the local primary school kids get the day off in order to attend!) and it’s just a lovely occasion full of local pride and great fun.




Well, that’s all very well, but enough of that, I hear you say. Let’s talk about clothes, shall we?!

Well, I have to admit I didn’t make my dirndl, I simply went to the shop and bought one. Shocking, ey? But I thought I might show you the workings of an originally Bavarian dirndl all the same:

IMG_8700The actual dress has a princess bodice. Before dirndls became a fashion item the bodice would have a built in corselet function so that the dress could be bound more or less tightly in order to accommodate more or less breathtaking work. In my version the chain is only decorative, the bodice as already fitted as it is. Interesting detail: You always buy your dirndl one size down from your usual RTW size, how else are you gonna get your boobs to spill out of the top otherwise?  😉


The bodice finishes about 5cm above (!) the natural waist, basically just a little below the rig cage. This means it can be quite tight without being restrictive because most of the tummy is below the bodice. That’s also the reason why muffin top is not existent in a dirndl and why  larger women actually look better in a dirndl that skinny ones. You get the vavavoom of the decolletage but you don’t even look below.

My favourite detail is the trim: it’s called “Froschgoscherl” which means “sweet little mouths of frogs”.

IMG_8703I already love the word!

A dirndl gets worn with a blouse which, in the olden days, would have been the only item to be laundered, together with the apron.

IMG_8705You get blouses in all styles, mine obviously is a festive style. And this is how you wear it:


The blouse finishes just below the bust in order not to interfere with the dress that goes over it. If you go for the full on dirndl look you can get special bras which are basically extra-extra-exaggerated push up bras to fill that neckline. I kinda felt that would have been a step too much for me, so I am going with the “subdued look”. 😉 .

Of course I’ve been checking out the competition.


As you can see, some of the nubile young things wear their dirndls a lot shorter. I might have done too, 25 years ago, but fashion dirndls didn’t really exist at that time. As it is, I’m happy with my longer length.

While Bavarian women are rated according to their neckline, a proper Bavarian lad is meant to have big calves bulging out of his leather pants. What do you think about this specimen:


And because it’s not too long since the 4th of July I thought I might end this post with a little nod across the pond to my American friends.

A red, white and blue greeting from Bavaria to the States!



In the next post, normal service shall resume with a post about my finished Jalie jeans!



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9 thoughts on “In non-sewing news: The One with the Dirndl

  1. gingermakes July 8, 2014 at 2:19 am Reply

    What a fun post! Thanks for showing us your dirndl!

  2. Very cute blog!

  3. Eliza-sew-little July 8, 2014 at 7:31 am Reply

    Das siet sehr schon aus. Ich war in Reutlingen fur ein paar Monate Es ist lange Zeit siet ich Deutsch gesprochen habe und mein iPhone mochte est nicht! Wo ist der umlaut? Entschuldigung. Mehr Bilder von der schoner Stadt bitte.

    • Chris July 8, 2014 at 11:08 pm Reply

      Hallo Eliza,
      das ist aber schön, dass dir die Bilder gefallen. Leider kenne ich Reutlingen nicht, aber bei uns in Franken ist es auch sehr schön!

  4. Marianne K July 8, 2014 at 10:58 am Reply

    Interesting! I never realised it could be so colourful. Whenever I see these dirndl patterns in Burda magazines I wonder if anyone is ever wearing them. Now I know 😉 You look darn good in a dirndl dress!

    • Chris July 8, 2014 at 11:07 pm Reply

      Thank you Marianne! I suppose you are right, very, VERY few women wear those dirndls more than a few times a year. It’s a bit of fun I suppose.

  5. […] have seen these kinds of pictures before it only serves to remind you that another year has passed. The photoshoot of our local festivies from last year is here (including me in a Dirndl, if you fancy a bit of the old Sound of Music […]

  6. […] This was from two years ago: […]

  7. […] blouse and apron were recycled from my rtw dirndl, which you can look at in more detail here, if you are so […]

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