Thursday, August 25, 2011

A tale of two dirndls

Photos by my 12 yr old.  Focus on silly!

I've had a recent much-needed burst of creativity, focusing on the simplest execution of some classics to build up my me-made wardrobe.  Because I have a ruffle attachment on my loveable Singer 503A "Rockateer", I have made a few dirndl skirts, this being my favorite. 


Elastic waist dirndl(self-drafted) in Valorie Wells Nest

  Made of medium weight cotton woven from the Valorie Wells Nest line, not only is it a color palette that works immensely well for coordinating with my existing separates, but I got to impudently play with several style rules with great success, mainly, that hourglass curvies shouldn't wear gathered waist skirts, and that white is to be avoided.  It might be the 1.5" elastic waistband, but I really like how this silhouette works for my body, especially with tops tucked in.  I used my ruffle attachment set to pleat every 6 stitches (which is the same recommendations Kay Whitt uses in her Sew Simplicity book) and in the middle center front switched to every stitch for some additional camouflage for my child-torn lower midriff since I'm not big on wearing smoothing shapers.  To draft this, I simply cut two panels of 45" wide fabric, 23" long and gathered as indicated above.  If you wanted to refer to Gertie's dirndl formula, I gathered approximately 89" to create fullness from my 38" waist.  I created the waistband using 36" of 1.5" waistband elastic laid over the stitchline created by my ruffler attachment.  To create an even stretch, I divide the elastic into equal fourths and match those points up to center front, center back and each side seam, gently stretching to line those points up. 

 My other dirndl was made of one of the many circus fabrics in my collection.  This one is especially sweet, retro, with just the right amount of whimsy.  I made a folded over waistband with an elastic casing only on the back waist, but I am unhappy with where it sits on my waist, which is a little too high in my opinion making my chest look more the size of cantaloupes than the preferable pomelos.  My original plan was to make this fabric into the "No Fuss Knit N' Cotton Dress" which is Kwik Sew 3758.  The Michael Miller chartruese dot fabric I was using went with so much of my wardrobe, that I switched gears to create separates instead. This was the skirt I used to refine my personal dirndl equation, but I did even pleating here, and I prefer the switch to single stitch pleats over my belly, for flattery.  I'm switching out the fabric waistband for a 2" black elastic waistband.  I love the small touches of black and gray in this print, and think it will transition into Fall well.  I am excited to layer the black tulle skirt I often wear as a petticoat with this once the weather allows me to wear something lined with nylon polyester as my tulle skirt is.  I tried wearing it in June and it was an awful tactile experience.

The T-shirts featured are also both me-made.  The green polka dot is Michael Miller interlock by Patty Young, charmingly named "Ta Dot".  We're all out of it at Sewtropolis unfortunately.  The pattern is New Look 6569, which I am quite pleased with.  It elongates the neck into slight swaniness, but doesn't take you all the way to Cleavage Avenue.

The gold shirt is from the Oliver and S City Weekend knit collection.  It's called "Cafe Dots", and the mini polka dots are perfect for pattern mixing.  Kwik Sew 3036 is the pattern we're using in the Basic T-shirt class I'm teaching in September.   It's a great first knit pattern, since it's two pieces, front and back with kimono sleeves, and I love it because the pattern instructions are done manufacturing style, with you hemming the sleeves before sewing your side seams.  I was especially pleased because I used a double needle for the hemming, so we could include that skill as part of the class.  It sews up great even without using a serger, and finishing it with the double needle adds that RTW touch that all nervous home sewers crave.

The beard coordinates with the circus skirt AND hides my weak chin!  Styling learned from chubby hipster boys nationwide...

Tune in Tomorrow for a post on the bias skirt frenzy I had earlier this week!

1 comment:

  1. I love your fabric choices... I almost bought that same Valerie Wells fabric but held off at the last minute. (Couldn't have resisted a circus print cotton, though!) Your skirts are both so whimsical and wearable!