It’s been the day of our local festival again, and noone who’s ever been to Bavaria will be at all surprised that beer plays a major role.
However, I stuck it out with the kids and not a drop crossed my lips! Instead I went to show off my nex wax print dirndl, which started life like this:
The blouse and apron were recycled from my rtw dirndl, which you can look at in more detail here, if you are so inclined.
The story of this dirndl started last year, when I got obsessed about the thought of making a dirndl in non-traditional fabric. Now, although I live in Bavaria I don’t live a traditional kind of life and consequently don’t wear a dirndl more than once or twice a year (and, on a side not, dirndls were never really traditional attire, but started life in the 19th century as the kind of dress the towns people wore when they played at being peasant, much like today).
In order to make the dress more wearable I decided I needed to make one that was wearable on its own, with out the dirndl trappings.
So I decided on using the By Hand London Kim dress pattern for the dress. It’s cut a lot higher than a normal dirndl, which, worn without the blouse would be somewhere between undecent and undressed.
I took a lot of trouble on pattern placement and matching. The front bodice is made up out of strips of half-circles across the border of the print that were painstakingly matched to make up the full circles. At the same time this creates the criss-cross effect that on normal dirndls is normally achieved by threading a metal chain or ribbons through loops in the princess seams. Oh, those seams are piped to add an extra little embellishment
Here you can see the border of the skirt – rotate it by 90 degrees and you get half of the bodice centre.
I made the dress last year in autumn, but never got round to wearing it, so this summer it had its first few outings. I have to say I prefer the dirndl look, with the apron – I’m not crazy on a plain dirndl skirt on me, I prefer something slightly more tummy skimming. Having said that, the dress is just a lot of fun, and because the wax print I used isn’t quite as heavy as most, the dress is swishy and very, very comfortable so if the nice weather continues I’m sure it’ll get worn loads.