Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sylvi coat

i just was impulsive and bought a knitting pattern:

I bought it here: twist collective
It's absolutely great, don't you think so?

How to sew a Dirndl - Part IV The Leib and finishing

For the bodice I use a pattern a seamstress drafted according to my measurements during a sewing course.
Cut the pattern, from the rest of the fabric make bias-cut stripes:

The facing of the left front piece was reinforced with fusible interfacing for the button-holes which will later be there.
I also cut the interlining.
The interlining of a Dirndl is worked a bit different than usual: You baste it to the according pieces of your fashion fabric and treat them as one piece:

From the bias-cut stripes I made piping (using the zipper-foot of my sewing-machine) that I placed between the back pieces before sewing: (using the zipper-foot again)

Then I cut the seam allowances of the back center piece and interlining, the bias-cut stripes and the back side piece fashion fabric (but NOT the back side piece interlining) to about 0.5 cm. I folded the seam allowance of the interlining of the back side piece around this and sewed it in place by hand:

Next, I sewed the darts in the front pieces, basted shoulder and side seams and tried the bodice on (I definitely should have cleaned the mirror first ...)

I was quite content with the fit. The folds from shoulder to bust will vanish as soon as the neck-line and armholes are finished, and I'm going to make the side seams a bit tighter (those are sewed when the armholes are finished)
Next, I decided on a neck-line and the line for the armholes. Those edges I also bound with piping, finally I sewed the side seams:

On the left side, the piping is sewed in place by hand:

On me, it looks like this by now:

Now it's time to mark your exact waistline and the position for the buttonholes. I placed them 1.5 cm from the neckline and waistline, respectively, the others I divided evenly. Then I sewed the buttonholes and buttons:

Next, you sew the Kittel to the Leib. Use the threads in the Hansl to pull the skirt ot the right length. The pleats should start and end right between the front dart and the side seam, the rest of the fabric is folded once or twice (the bag should be hidden in one fold):

The Hansl-threads are not cut but braided, so that you can alter your Dirndl. (Also, don't trim the seam allowances on the side seams):

After you sewed the Kittel to the Leib, sew the Kittel closed (up to now, it still was a rectangle of fabric). Leave enough room in order to be able to dress easily:

Now there's only the hem left!
I decided to make a so-called Kittelblech. This is a 15 cm wide piece of fabric in a contrasting colour. I stitched it to the hemline (right sides facing), folded it about 1cm wide and stitched in the ditch:

Important: Do NOT cut any fabric away! This way, your Dirndl remains fully alterable!
Now there's still about 10 cm of the Kittelblech left, I use this for the hem (of course: by hand!)
et voilá:

(I look a bit awkward in this picture ... hemming by hand is not really my favourite work in the middle of the night ;) )

How to sew a Dirndl - Part III The apron

We're sewing the apron now :)
Again, you start with a rectangular piece of fabric. For the apron of a ankle-length Dirndl you need about 1m of 1,40m wide fabric.
From this, you cut two 12 cm wide pieces for the apron strings and one 8 cm wide piece for the waistband.

We need a Hansl for the apron, too. Its checks are just a bit smaller than the one we used for the skirt:

This strip of fabric is sewed on the whole shorter edge of the apron-fabric:

For the apron, you thread 9 - 11 rows of button-hole thread through the checks. I admit, this is a LOT of work, but it really is worth it. Here's a picture of a finished apron:
from the left:

and from the right:

Now it's time for the apron strings. Not really difficult, again. Just fold the 12 cm wide strips in half, sew them together and make a tip on one end. Turn them around, iron them et voilá:

For the waistband (6 - 8cm wide, about 5cm shorter than your waist) I use fusible interfacing:

Now my favourite piece of work: Pull on the threads you used on the Hansl until the apron is about 35 cm wide and sew it to the middle of the waistband (have I told you that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this fabric?):

The apron strings are folded into a box pleat and also sewed on the waistband:

Fold the edges of the apron twice and sew.
Fold the waistband and sew it in place by hand. Finished :)

Next, we're going to do the Leib (bodice)!

How to sew a Dirndl - Part II The Kittel

Welcome back :)
The Kittel for the Dirndldress is really easy to make. For a Dirndl that's about the length of your ankle, you start with 2m of 1,40m wide fabric. Then you cut this in half (you should have two 1m pieces of 1,40m wide fabric now) and sew it together on the selvages. If your fabric has a pattern on it like mine does, of course you should match those patterns up. By now, you should have a rectangle of 1m x 2,80m. I don't have a picture of this ... a piece of fabric this large is really difficult to photograph, you likely wouldn't see anything anyway.
Next, the so called Hansl is used:

This is just a stripe of checked fabric, the cheques are about 0,5cm x 1cm. Now you sew the Hansl on one of the long edges of your Kittel, starting and ending about 30-40 cm from the corner (depens on your size - the larger you are, the smaller the distance to the corner). It should now look like this:

For sewing, just use a zig-zag-stitch (or a serger, if you own one). Also zig-zag around the edge of the Hansl that isn't joined to the Dirndl, this kind of fabric frays quite a lot.
Next, we're going to sew a bag. Yes, a bag. And quite a big one, too :)
Cut out 2 pieces that look like this (the exact shape isn't really important, the "bottleneck" should be about 15cm):

Now we cut a slit about 5 cm away from the edge of the Hansl, and 5 cm from the top edge of the skirt: (in the picture, the slit is between the pins)

Pin the first bag-piece to the Kittel along the slit (right sides facing each other) and sew it:

Do the same with the second bag-piece and pull them to the left side of the skirt.
Now, make little "darts" next to the slit in the skirt:

Finally, sew the bag-pieces together and zig-zag the seam-allowances (you could use a serger here, as well.):

Well done now, the skirt is almost finished :) I admit, though, that the next step is really time-consuming. You may have wondered what the Hansl is for ... well, the mystery is ready to be unveiled ...
The back and sides of the Kittel are folded very closely to fit it to the bodice. In order for these tiny folds to be regular, we use the Hansl. Take a long piece of button-hole thread and thread it through the checks. I let a picture speak for me here:

Make sure that the checks of the Hansl and any pattern on the fabric are properly aligned!
Make 8 rows of this.
As a teaser, I'll show you what the Hansl looks like on a finished Dirndl:
On the left side:

and on the right side:

Okay, the Kittel is done! (except for the seam, of course, but we'll do this when the Leib and Kittel are joined)

How to sew a Dirndl - Part I Introduction and fabrics

As promised, I'm going to again put the Dirndl-how-to up here.
For the international guests in my blog: a Dirndl is a traditional Austrian dress. Depending on where in Austria you live, you wear it on special occasions, but there are several areas where a Dirndl is still worn every day.
Here is a picture of several different Dirndldresses:

(source: Wikipedia)

There is a special kind of Dirndldress: A Tracht
A Tracht is strictly regulated by organisations: the pattern of the bodice, colours, fabric, buttons, what kind of blouse you wear underneath ...
Trachen are typical for their respective local areas, usually there is a version for winter and summer, one for every day and one for festive occasions. Sometimes, the every-day-version is just upgraded for special occasions by using a silk apron ... the diversity is huge! (you can probably tell by now that I'm really fascinated by this ...)
Anyway, I sewed a Ausseer Tracht, which is one of the Trachten in the Salzkammergut (a area in the south of Upper Austria and northwest of Styria). It has a green bodice (called the Leib) out of dark green linen, a pink skirt (called the Kittel) and a violet apron. This colour-combination might seem a bit adventurous, but let yourself be surprised!

These are my fabrics:

Of course, the green one is going to be the Leib, the violet one is used for the apron. The pink one at the right is the Kittel, and the pink one on the upper left is the interlining for the Leib.

Okay ... in the next post, we're going to make the Kittel :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

problems ...

sorry that my blog hasn't been available these last few days ... there have been some technical problems. unless something like a christmas miracle occurs, all of my blog posts are gone.
however, this is a great chance to start over, and i decided to do so in english. as soon as i have time i'll re-post the dirndl-wip, so don't worry :)

so long and enjoy your christmas preparations