make · tradition · Uncategorized

Sewing a Dirndl: Aprons

I’m sewing a Dirndl, a traditional Bavarian dress – or rather one of it’s modern day versions. In other posts I was working on the folds („Stifteln“) for the apron.

I spent hours hand-sewing the folds for the aprons, now it’s about time to put them together. I’m doing two similar aprons in different fabrics and so far I have gotten both ready for adding the waist band and ties. Again, Andrea’s blog post was golden. Even if you don’t understand the text, the photos are explaining things very well.

mangia minga // 'sewing a dirndl: aprons'

First I had to finally finalise those folds. Pull and pick them to create the right width and to have them sit nicely and evenly. Apparently, regular sized aprons roughly 38 cm – 40 cm wide. Rather than measuring though, I just compared my project aprons with ones I already had at home. Once I had my width, I just tied knots into all those fold threads on either side.

At this point, it really pays to even things out – namely the folds. Because once the waist band is added, those folds are locked into their positions. What I struggled with most, was getting the last folds on either side and that hem there to sit nicely.

mangia minga // 'sewing a dirndl: aprons'

The waist band goes on right side together. For the second apron I decided to get some waist shaper interfacing (Stanzband) at 9 cm which was a blessing. It make it so much easier to get a straight waist and gives it a nice strong feel.

For positioning the waist band vertically I slightly struggled. You’d want to get the top part of the folds just touch the centre line of the waist band so that once you fold over the waist band the whole waist line has a continuous thickness. Mine either ran a little short so that the waist band feels a little lose (berry coloured one) or just a tad long so that the waistband looks slightly stuffed.

mangia minga // 'sewing a dirndl: aprons'

mangia minga // 'sewing a dirndl: aprons'

Before folding the waist band over attach the ties. I made ties from the whole width of the apron fabric (140 cm) and 8 cm wide. Fold it in half, sew it together creating a pointy tip on one end and turn it outside in.

Because my was it band is a little slimmer than the ties, I folded the ties where they attach. I took me a moment to figure out where to place it correctly and where the seam allowances would go, but with some practise pinning I got it right.

mangia minga // 'sewing a dirndl: aprons'

Once the ties are on, fold over the waist band and pin it in place in the back. You can see the seam from the front. Make sure the rear part of the waistband extends just a little beyond that seam. This way, you can flip over your work and affix the rear side by sewing along the crease on the front and the seam will be near to invisible.

mangia minga // 'sewing a dirndl: aprons'

mangia minga // 'sewing a dirndl: aprons'

And finally, I hand sewed the rear side of the ties and the remaining seam along the waist band between tie and apron.

Et voilà.

All that remains to be done now is cutting them the right length and hemming. I’ll do that once I’m done the skirt of the dress so that I get the length just right.

mangia minga // 'sewing a dirndl: aprons'


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