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A Dirndl for Oktoberfest: Burda 8448

Burda 8448
My daughter went to Germany as a foreign exchange student several years ago, and ever since, she has been asking me to make her a dirndl for Oktoberfest.  I finally succumbed this year to her request.  A dirndl is a traditional German folk costume that includes a dress with a very full skirt and a very fitted bodice, an apron that goes over the skirt, and a peasant top to go under the bodice.

Burda magazine always features a dirndl in their September issue, and the Burda pattern book had lots of styles to choose from- from sexy St. Pauli girl type outfits, to long covered up ones.

My daughter chose 8448, which is one of the more covered up ones.  I used a black striped linen for the skirt, a pretty blue cotton for the apron, a black stretch corduroy for the bodice, and a lovely white batiste with little pink tufts of embroidery for the blouse.

The pattern takes a TON of fabric- it called for 3-3/8 yds just for the skirt.  My daughter is petite and I knew that she would just be swimming in fabric if I used that much for the skirt, so I improvised.  I used a 2 yard piece of fabric, cut it in half, so that there was one yard for the front, and one yard for the back.  I pleated it until it was the same size as the bottom of the bodice.  This was plenty of fabric for her as you can see!

I shortened the length of the apron pattern piece, so that it wouldn't be longer than the skirt.  The pattern also called for some shirring on the apron, but I chose to just gather it instead.  The top pattern was designed to hit just below the bust.  I added 10 inches to it, to make it full length, so that she can wear it alone as a top, which she has been doing.

Burda instructions from their paper patterns are horrendous.  They are done in about 6 point typeface, printed oh so faintly on newsprint, and several columns in different languages.  I also don't like that their layout diagrams are printed on the pattern tissue, not the instructions.  But if you've got good eyes, or a good pair of reading glasses, you can make it through them.  I am so spoiled by the quality of American pattern company instructions.  It's good to sew a Burda patten once in a while, just to appreciate our homies so much more!

However, my daughter is very happy with her dirndl and has worn it to a couple of events already.  I think she will get lots of years of use from it, so I'm happy with the results.


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