*Warning: Image heavy post ahead!*
If you’ve been following my Pinterest, you may have seen me pinning an abundance of dirndls and vintage dirndl patterns. I have a serious case of dirndl on the brain, and can’t stop thinking about them!
It all started this fall when my husband and I started tossing around the idea of visiting Germany sometime in the future. We both have German heritage, plus we are Lutheran, and it is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year! I began to think of what a vintage-living woman might wear in to visit Germany, and dirndls came to mind.
I had seen dirndls occasionally, at beer fests, on waitresses at German restaurants, and, of course, at Oktoberfests. They always intrigued me as something that would be cool to have, but where would I wear it outside of Oktoberfest?
But now that my everyday wear is not quite the norm, I think I could pull off a dirndl. I remembered Gertie’s Dirndl Mania post (among others), and binged reading them all, including a lovely post on dirndls and wearability. I was hooked.
The pinning began, and I soon found a plethora of vintage pattern images and pictures of dirndls. Lots of them from the 30s and 50s and beyond! They come in all shapes and sizes, though older dirndls tended to be more conservative than today’s dirndl.
Etsy has a plethora of modern dirndls, as well as a lot of 70s dirndls. It seems there aren’t too many of them floating around from before that era though, perhaps because the dirndl looked very different before that time, when it became the look we know today, a jumper like dress, a blouse, and an apron. Based on the patterns and illustrations that I have seen, they were popular, at least in the media, at that time, but perhaps they grew in popularity from there, having been depressed during the war times.
The vintage pattern wiki has three pages of dirndl patterns, but most of them are, unsurprisingly, in German.
The dirndl is, in some ways, the ultimate vintage look. It’s very traditional, respecting the past, but it is still relevant and has been updated over the years to appeal to the modern eye. There’s no wrong way to wear a dirndl. It’s party wear, wedding attire, and festival garb all at once!
There are many designers who specialize in dirndls, including Lena Hoschek and Julia Trentini (be warned, that website is in German) among others. They sell mostly high end dirndls that are way out of my reach. Rare Dirndl is a US based company that sells more modern dirndls, but they too are too expensive for me (plus they’re a little too modern). I appreciate their craft and wish that I could spend several hundred dollars on a dirndl, but this girl’s on a budget!
So where do I go from here? I’m not sure yet. I could buy a cheap dirndl off of amazon, but that doesn’t feel right. I don’t have hundreds of dollars to drop on a high end or custom one either.
This Burda pattern intrigues me, and might be something that I will attempt this year, but the craft put into the dirndl is frankly overwhelming to me. There is so much detail involved in the process, and I am not sure if it is within my sewing skills to make one just yet.
I’ve done some research, but most of the blogs that I’ve found on making your own dirndl are in German. I’m trying to learn German through Duolingo, but it has not been exactly helpful on the sewing front.
There are also these two patterns put out by Gertie, which are intriguing, and would be fun to wear on a more casual basis, as they more hint at the dirndl than emulate the dirndl itself. But the second one eats fabric (6 yards!), and the ruffle is a bit much for me. I think I will try to make at least one of them by this summer, as they would both make a good summer dress.
If you want to join in the dirndl fun, follow my Pinterest board!
What do you think of the dirndl?