Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dirndl Part 3 - the final chapter

It is done and I can hear the Alps calling my name. Finished this baby up Monday night. It was definitely a challenge, and I thought about burning that pattern at one point, but I kept telling myself; if Maria could make seven sets of play clothes out of curtains for the von Trapp children, I can make one little dress. To say that it took over my weekend would be an understatement. I wish I had drawn it out a little longer, now I need a new project!


No doubt about it, this was the most complex thing I've ever sewn. It really wouldn't have been that bad if the directions were written in some sort of comprehensible manner, but I spent half the time trying to decipher their meaning and half the time sewing. Eventually it got to the point where I said screw it, I'm just going to guess and do it how I think it should be done. But it definitely was a lot of fun to make and a learning experience for sure. I learned about princess seams, neatening allowances, how to gather, and look at that piping! And those buttons! And that lace! The top part of the bodice is my crowning achievement in sewing so far.

 I apologize for looking like a goon, I just naturally excel at looking awkward. Check out my shoes! It's those vintage babies I found, perfect for my little German outfit.

I took artistic liberty and added lace to the bottom of the dress, because the girlier the better in my book.

 Of course the cats were jealous and wanted to get in on the modeling action. Doesn't she look thrilled? I really wanted to hold a beer stein or some sausage links, but alas, we were fresh out of both. Cats will do.

Greg trying to beat me up and a shot of the dress minus the apron. I prefer it without. The apron is kinda bulky and a tad too wide for me. Unfortunately the smallest the pattern size went was a 38 and I'm about a 35 so I had to take the whole thing in a bit. The apron is still a little too big, but that's fixable!

There are a few things I'd change if I did it again. The white fabric I chose for the blouse and apron is really thick and stiff. I would definitely go with something much thinner and softer, maybe even gauzy. I also don't like the way they handled the neckline, I would alter that a bit. There's bias tape around it that I think just looks awkward. Although the lace on the sleeves is really pretty, I'll give them that.

A big thanks to Mr. H for taking pictures and for being supportive in my latest creative endeavor. The poor man had to listen to me talk about a dress nonstop for like 4 days, gotta give him credit.

Also, Kristy this is for you! This is my little sewing machine! It's simple enough to not be scary but it has been able to handle everything I've thrown at it so far. I have no idea what's on the market right now as sewing machines go, but something like this would probably be a great starter machine. It's super easy to use and pretty tough, it once fell from the top of the closet (thanks cats) and survived. I have no need for anything fancier yet, but we'll see.


  1. stop it. this is adorable. i am SO impressed!

    i AM livin' da life in France. er, sort of. still waiting on the whole having-a-house thing. couch surfing (as in, i'm literally sleeping on a stranger's couch...found him -- and the couch --online) while i frantically search for an apartment. but Lannion is SO picturesque and i wish you could come see it because i just want to share it with everyone. stone buildings and medieval churches around every corner, a small river and lots of rolling hills, just a few kilometers from the beach. surriously, this is legit. as i said to lisa, "I don't know what Belle was bitchin' about. I totally dig this provincial life." anywayyyy updates to come on the blog soon. good work on the Dirndl. make me something when i come back?? :)

  2. WOW!!!! The dress came out fantastic! I would have made a disaster out of every part of that...I'm so proud of you! I think you should consider making costumes for people...Halloween is right around the corner! You should put out some flyers and see if anyone's interested.

  3. Tyler!! Diane posted that picture you sent to us at Coffee Bean on the bulletin board and I threw up on the stairs when I saw it. NOT FAIR! I am sooooo jealous of you living in a postcard! Belle was indeed trippin' when she was bitchin'. I can't wait for your updates and I hope that you find a more permanent living situation soon. And that the strangers are nice to you! I'll make you something French, what do the French wear? Eat a baguette for me!

    And Mom, thank you! You would not have, you taught me how to sew! And I should totally do that! I don't know where I'd put flyers up though. Maybe I should start a costume business!