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

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 …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.

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 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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