I finished this skirt at least a month ago kind of slapdash-style, and it even went to the UK with me. It's a basic dirndl skirt using Simplicity 4496, from the 1940s (but undated).
The construction is pretty easy: it's basically two gathered rectangles and a waistband. In fact, Gertie did a tutorial on making your own gathered skirt from scratch several years ago if you're looking for a similar pattern.
I'm in the mood for these fun and flouncy skirts! More roomy and breezy than an a-line and easy to wear with a casual blouse. You can even dare to mix patterns like I did.
|(Yes by the way, my blouse really does snap up the front that way, I'm not missing any.)|
I do have a tip for my fellow short-waisted + busty friends out there: I find that you really need a good, uplifting bra when wearing this style of skirt (check out my old 40s bust silhouette post for tips—I need to actually add a couple of bra updates to that). Somehow with the gathers extending out at the waist instead of a plain flat front, it's really easy for your bust and your waist to creep closer together than you'd like, unless your girls are as high and proud as you can get them. That'll keep you from feeling dumpy in this style. Just sayin'.
The fabric I used was in my stash forever and it's a lightweight cotton blend, but I discovered something terrible: the damn polka dots are, I don't know, painted on? Not silk-screened. Or at least not silk-screened well. I managed to wash and dry the fabric fine, press the fabric fine, press the seams fine, press everything and its brother fine, but when I was pressing around my zipper I smeared a few #@$%^&% polka dots. Aaaargh! Fortunately it's subtle, I really had to try to get them to show up on a photo.
But I can forgive the stupid smeary polka dots because the pockets are so cute. I liked the look of the super deep patch pockets on View 2 but didn't have enough fabric for them, so instead I took the slash pockets from the Sewaholic Cambie pattern and added them to this skirt. (By the way, this was my inspiration to do the same type of thing on my Refashioners skirt!)
On a gathered skirt like this they stick out to the sides in a very cute manner.
Kind of like the original pattern artwork!
The only slightly awkward thing about adding the Cambie slash pockets was that I also wanted a lapped side zipper, like I put in pretty much everything. Things around the pocket opening and the zipper lap can get funky if you do that combo, but it's possible if you hand pick the zipper and your fabric isn't too thick... I wouldn't go heavier than medium-weight cotton.
I actually should have omitted the first 'pick' on the pocket as it closes off the very bottom of the open edge of the pocket as you can see below, but it's no big deal.
I topped off the waistband with a beautiful vintage button. I was going to handwork the buttonhole but after the smeared polka dot episode, meh. I didn't bother.
I'm going to live in this skirt this summer. Well this and several siblings of it that don't yet exist but will. I'm loving dirndls right now. Patterns, novelty prints, plain... I better get sewing!
What will you be living in this summer?
1940s dirndl skirt: made by me
1950s H Bar C western shirt: somewhere or other
Bakelite bangles and earrings: miscellaneous
hair flower: Ruth Nore Designs
bow flats: Mel by Melissa