Sunday, 19 June 2011

Super Simple Dirndl Skirt - tutorial

Lying awake last night, with that familiar anxious feeling I always get as I'm approaching the end of a project and itching for the next, I very nearly got out of bed to make this Super Simple Dirndl Skirt.  But I didn't.  I made it today instead, taking up only an hour of my son's hour-and-a-half nap.  And I still had enough time left for a coffee.

~Super Simple Dirndl Skirt~

Size: can be easily adapted to fit any size
Time to make: about an hour

  • for the skirt - a length of fabric at least twice the length of your waist measurement and as wide as you want your skirt long (+ an extra couple of inches for hem allowances).  My length of fabric measured 60 x 25 inches.
  • for the waistband - a length of fabric (same as the skirt or contrasting) measuring 6 inches + your waist measurement, and about 6 inches wide.
  • a length of elastic to fit unstretched around your waist.
  • tailors chalk & pins.
  • optional - any applique or trimmings to embellish your skirt.
Step 1
Hem (by pressing only, no need to sew) the 2 short ends of your fabric.

Step 2
Press and hem the top-line of your skirt to ensure a neat, straight edge.  If you have a selvage for your top-line, skip this step.

Step 3
Fold skirt in half (right sides facing each other) to align the waist.  Mark the end of the waist opening, approx 7 inches from top-line.  Mark where your applique trimmings will meet at the seam.

step 3

Pin trimmings to the right side of your skirt, making sure they will match up once the skirt is seamed.

pinning the trimming

Step 4
Beginning at the point you marked as the end of the waist opening, stitch the side seam and press open.  You will now have a closed tube resembling a pretty shapeless - and massive - skirt.

step 4

Step 5
Take your length of elastic and pin the 2 ends to the 2 open ends of the waist line of your skirt.  Now pin the centre point of the elastic to the centre point of the waist line.  You could go on like this, evenly stretching and pinning the elastic along the waist, but I find just pinning those 3 main points to be enough.  Using a zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine, and stretching the elastic towards you to match the length of the fabric, carefully stitch the elastic to the waist line, which will quickly and evenly gather the top-line, giving your skirt that lovely Dirndl shape.

step 5

Step 6
Using the length of fabric for your waistband, sandwich it closed lengthways (right sides facing) and stitch the 2 short ends and 3 inches along each side, leaving [your waist line measurement] open in order to slot in the top of the skirt.  Turn it right side out and press.  Slot in the top-line of your skirt, pin in place, and stitch.

step 6

Step 7
Almost done... But make sure you try your skirt on before hemming to be sure of the length!

And there it is, a perfectly pretty gathered Dirndl Skirt in an hour.  Just think of all the possibilities... colours, fabrics, trims, panelling, layers even... Yum.


  1. How does the waist-line close? Hooks? Buttons? Do you tie it somehow?

  2. Auntie: the waistline closure is totally up to you... I made the ends about 15cms long so I can tie it up in a little bow.


I love hearing your thoughts, and if you have any questions at all, I will reply to them within these comments - so please be sure to check back to get your answer!

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