Saturday, August 18, 2018

My Favorite Summer Outfit - Loose Top and Dirndl Skirt

From Pinterest

It's been a busy and hot summer and I have enjoyed making an easy, quick, and simple outfit out of lightweight cottons.  I have several colors I like to use for summer wear.  I look for a pretty cotton print and matching  cotton solid in Walmart or Hobby Lobby  and cut them out in an evening or short afternoon. Sometimes I cut several layers together.  I haven't timed making them but they go together rather quickly using some simple tips listed below.

Here is the easy blouse pattern I use:

There are quite a few available on Etsy and ebay.

Details: Blouse

I make the short sleeve on the blouse and usually leave out the pocket.  I found it easy and money saving to  fasten the front facing to the bodice so that the center front seam lines overlap as in the picture and you can cut it out in one piece.

Note seam allowances.

Seam allowances are matched on the actual seam line.

The resulting piece cut out thus eliminating the front facing sewn to the bodice front.

I like the blousing effect when using this top pattern.  The waist has more definition since the skirt also is gathered and fuller.  I like that as it makes my waist look smaller (vanity?) since it now measures more than when I was younger!  This may not work for all.  The blouse can be made from a variety of styles, but if it is tucked in it should have some give, not form fitting, and length so that it won't come up out of the waistband easily. Blousing makes it look more feminine as men definitely do not wear their shirts "bloused" at the waistline.

I also mark the seam allowance of the outer edge of the collar and place it on a lengthwise fold, thus eliminating the seam and making the points easier to turn and look sharp.

Details:  Dirndl Skirt

These simple gathered skirts with a waistband were made popular by the German folk outfit worn during Oktoberfest.  The below-the-knee skirts are practical, becoming, and very feminine-looking in this day of short and tight skirts.

This is the skirt pattern I use  as I find it makes a very comfortable fit:
I found this at a thrift store also.

When I make my skirts I use the no-zipper put-on-through-the-side-pocket method.  It is quite easy and I don't have to put a zipper in.  There are several sites that will explain it better and a couple with patterns that use that closing.  Check these sites out:  Answer to side pocket opening,  waist closure in pocket discussion, an actual sewing pattern that has the pocket closure:  McCalls 7918.  It may be a little confusing at first, but once you understand the method, it is quite easy.  I usually overlock my pocket edges but they may be finished with zigzag or folded over and sewn.

I put in 2 gathering stitches on the skirt front and then two on the skirt  back as I stop where I have pockets on the side seams.  I just make sure I have the pockets facing the front when I sew the waistband on.

A much easier way to make a dirndl skirt  is to measure your finished skirt length add however deep you want the hem.  I make mine an inch and topstitch it down.  Add twice the width of your elastic plus 3/4 inch which you fold at 1/2 inch and stitch down leaving an opening to insert the elastic.  Perhaps a better explanation is found here:

Here is a site for an easy skirt:  Summer Skirt

Here are some pattern ideas from the past found on Google:  (please pardon the  extra hands, feet, etc. not edited out)

Here are some contemporary patterns:


McCalls 7604

Make this neckline smaller and higher so it is modest.

Butterick 6563  Leave out the waist darts and make the side seam straight rather than fitted and perhaps lengthen the hem if necessary to keep it tucked in.

The Crimson Rambler by Philip Leslie Hale 1908
Background Information

May you finish out your summer in something cool and comfortable as well as                                                                     pretty and pleasing to the Lord.