Gingham Dirndl Skirt

SDC12534After spending more than 2 hours last night trying to coax my Singer 467 into life in the hope of writing a post relating to it, I’m afraid I gave up.   With no bad language at all, obviously.  However, yesterday I also finally finished this skirt, so it will have to do instead!

I nearly finished it about 3 months ago, well I did everything except hem it.  I pinned it up to this length, wondered if it was right, lengthened it a bit, and decided that wasn’t quite right either.  So I left it sitting sadly on the corner of my sewing table, until yesterday, when I tried it on again and decided the original length was the right one…  So it’s finished!

It’s about the easiest kind of skirt there is – a dirndl, which is 2 big rectangles, gathered at the top, sewn together and attached to a waistband.  You don’t need a pattern, I sewed this using the instructions in Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing.  The lovely Gertie has made hers in silk taffeta gingham.   Mmmmm.  I went for a rather less glamorous poly-cotton gingham from Sew Fabulace Fabrics – at £1.99 a meter, you can’t really go wrong!  It’s actually quite nice, as poly-cotton goes, but tending rather more to drape than body, so my effort doesn’t stand out stiffly like Gertie’s taffeta one…  But I don’t mind, actually, it’s nice and swishy, and a bit more casual – in fact it’s more like the original Vogue illustration…full skirt crop small


 …although it appears that my legs are about a foot shorter than that model’s…

Because the fabric is so thin, I made the skirt front and back 65″ wide instead of the recommended 40″ – this does mean it’s gathered quite severely at the waist, so wouldn’t be suitable for fabrics with more body – you could decrease down to 40″ for something like taffeta, or somewhere in between for cotton.

The waistband took a bit of doing…  Originally, I put waistband stiffening in, but it was too heavy for the fabric and made the waist too stiff, so out that went.  Eventually, after a few experiments, I ended up cutting the waistband 4 times it;s depth, so that the seam allowances were the full depth of the band (ie the waistband consisted of 4 layers of fabric).  This seemed to work just fine.  I pick-stitched the waistband to make sure the inner layers don’t start shifting around:

SDC12548I finished everything off in royal blue:  the zip, the pick-stitching, the decorative button and the seam binding in the hem.  Which I forgot to photograph, and now it’s dark…  Ah well.



 And that’s it!  The world’s simplest skirt!  It was quite nice to actually wear it today after looking at it sitting there unfinished for so long – all I need now is some better tops to wear it with.  I’m thinking Gertie’s Portrait Blouse might work, or alternatively the Nettie by Closet Case Files.

In the meantime, I will see if Bambers have any suggestions about my poorly Singer… Fingers crossed!



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