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  • Nicole Seafolk

DIY Dirndl Part 1: Drindl Blouse

So let me start by saying that this is one of those things that sounded and worked out a lot better in mead that in did in practice but I made an entire three piece “Dirndl” in one evening. Yeah, you read that right, one evening. The boy and I got it into our heads that we were going to go to an Oktober fest celebration last Saturday, and Thursday night I got the brilliant idea of “whipping up” a drindl to wear to the event. A quick Pinterest search told my that that was absolutely nuts and most likely wasn’t going to happen but I was determined.

Now I am putting “dirndl” in quotation marks because my dirndl varies greatly from the stunning traditional Bavarian dresses in one key way, authentic drindls are made out of 100% cotton woven fabrics and I used a knit for the main dress from my stash. There was no way I was going to have time 1) find a dirndl pattern online and have it shipped to me and 2) be able to muslin out and perfect the fit of a super fitted woven bodice in one night or even two so I decided to go more than a little rogue and make myself a “stretch dirndl”.

Making this traditionally very fitted outfit in stretch fabrics meant that the fit was so much more forgiving, especially for the bodice, and also gives the added benefit of being able to stretch and move with me as I drunk my weight in beer and stuff as many pretzels into my mouth as I possibly could.

The other great part about using knit fabrics was that I was able to modify patterns that I already have and love (the M4M Ava tee and the P4P Boundless dress) to fit the look I was going for with very little extra work!

In case you ever find yourself in a desperate dirndl needing situation like I was, I ma going to share the process of making all three pieces of my stretch dirndl over the next couple of days here on the blog, starting today with the blouse!

The blouse that goes under a dirndl dress is surprisingly easy to make! There are a few different styles that I saw most commonly when searching for dirndl inspiration and what was a white blouse with short puff sleeves, an off the shoulder white blouse, and a white 3/4 or long sleeve “regular” fit sleeve. I choose to go with the 3/4 sleeve option because it is already getting super cold where I love and there was no way I was about to go traipsing around outside without my dang arms covered.

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Many of the long sleeve blouses had a beautiful deep v shape, perfect for showing off the girls while still looking feminine and classic, and also super easy to copy! I quickly pulled out some white stretch lace yardage, my favorite t shirt pattern, and some picot elastic and got to work!

The first step was to straighten out and deepen the V of the neckline. I used a trusty acrylic ruler for this and a piece of strap paper. Measure out how much deeper you want your V to hit than it does normally and mark that length down from the center point of the V. Then use your ruler to draw a straight line from the end of the shoulder seam allowance down to that marked point. You may need to add a piece of paper underneath like I did if your patterns included V neck is rounder than you are now wanting.

The next step is to cut your pattern off at about the natural waist. Dirndl blouses stop just under the bust formally, no sense making a full top if you are just going to cut it off later!

Then out of your white fabric cut your back piece and sleeves as normal. When cutting out the front of your blouse, do not cut on the fold like you normally would for a t shirt, instead cut the front as two different pieces

Sew your shoulder seams as instructed in your pattern before finishing the entire neckline with 1/4 inch picot elastic.

Place your front pieces right sides together and sew down the center, being sure to secure stitches at the beginning and end of that seam.

Insert your sleeves, sew the side seams, and hem your sleeves as instructed in your pattern.

Now is the time to stop and check your fit and make sure everything is looking like you want it to! (I had to bring in my center by 1 1.2 inches to make it snug around my body) While you are trying your bodice on, mark where you want it to end when completed, again this is traditionally right under the bust.

Once you are satisfied with the fit, cut your bodice to 1/2 inch below your marked ending point. Cut a piece of 1/2 inch elastic four inches smaller than your ribcage and attach evenly to the inside of the lower band.  Flip the elastic under and top stitch around the entire bodice to enclose the elastic and you are done!

See it really isn’t as hard as it looks! and the finished result it so pretty and feminine I can’t wait to find ways to style it in my daily life as well! Next week I will be showing you how I made this sweet cotton and silk apron to go with my dirndl so be sure to stop back!

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