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Made by a Fabricista: Floral Shantung Dirndl Skirt (Simplicity 8211)


Hi, all!  Happy September!

I always am in a bit of a bind in late August and early September when it comes to sewing.  I am always excited to have the chance to make something lovely and fresh for the new school year (I teach full time), but because setting up a classroom and getting all manner of things together for the start of the school year is tough at best, I often can't get my sewing mojo on.  That said, this year I decided to go for it with a very unique fabric and a very simple pattern.  The two together check two boxes--it's a showstopper AND it's an easy make.  Bam!

It also happens to be a dirndl skirt, and because I am of German heritage (my mother is half German, and my grandmother was born and raised in Berlin), I actually have dirndls and wear dirndls!  (Every chance I get I am at a German festival or an Oktoberfest--typically in the dirndls that were passed down to me.)  I decided that I need a handmade dirndl of my own, but I chose to make my first as a dirndl skirt and a dirndl top combo so that I could wear the skirt on other occasions.  (The top will be from this Burda pattern and with my leftover fabric.)  If I actually can get my act together (unlikely, lol), I will have a full dirndl in time for my school's annual Oktoberfest on September 21.


Let's talk about this fabric.  It is stunning!  It looks so special in real life, what with its structured drape (comes from the weave of the polyester shantung) and saturated pops of color on the white background.  I looked up dirndls and many of the dirndl styles incorporate beautiful fabric like this, and not just the quilting cotton/calico that is typically associated with dirndls.  I love that with a two piece dirndl, this skirt can be used with less formal tees to keep it dressy casual, but can also be super dressed up for special occasions like a winter wedding, etc.

This fabric has been used before on this blog, in fact!  The way it was used by Michelle is JUST STUNNING.  Wowza!  I love how the drape is so dramatic, and should be a consideration when using it in a project.


When I saw it came back in stock over at Fabric Mart this summer, I decided to tell Fabric Mart that I would use the fabric from my stash (I bought it the last time they had it on the website) and make something from it.  Though it is now sold out, I am sure some of you reading this here bought it and are looking for ideas on how to use it.  I love the idea of bolder print/simpler design, but I could see this being used in a structured dress with precise darting and seaming, too.

If you are looking for other options for a dramatically draped skirt using a heavier fabric choice, here are some good options currently available on the website:

https://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/Black-White-100-Polyester-Abstract-Ikat-Floral-Print-Satin-Backed-Shantung-58W.html

https://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/dim-gray-off-white-cotton-polyester-floral-brocade-42w.html?category_id=1147

https://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/black-off-white-blue-orange-100-silk-satin-faced-dotted-petals-jacquard-organza-42w.html?category_id=1147

https://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/highlighter-peach-fluorescent-yellow-teal-black-polyester-rattan-broken-lattice-stripe-textured-jacquard-with-interfaced-backing-imported-from-italy-by-milly-54w.html?category_id=1147

You can see here the effect of removing extra width...while this is a fuller skirt, it is not so full that it crosses over into costumey and less wearable.  You can also see the back zip if you look closely!

The process of actually making the skirt was super simple, and that included changing the way the pattern looked (Simplicity 8211; I cut a size 12).  I made sure to take out a LOT of the extra width on the skirt as the heavier shantung is too "puffy" for a wide skirt like that.  I could see having a very wide short skirt like that on the runways, but for more conventional outings, I preferred that the puff be less "marshmallow man" and more "dandelion."  :-)  I took out five inches from the mid point of the pattern for both the back and the front, which means that the width went down from nearly 75" to 55"!  Crazy!  I still feel it is very full.

I also added the zip to the back rather than the side.  I appreciate a good side zip, but I prefer sewing a back seam, and adding a zip there, so I cut the midpoint of the back on the selvedge.  Bonus is that the selvedge is naturally fray resistant, so I didn't have to serge those seams.  I used a nine inch zip at the back and that is more than sufficient to get the skirt on and off.


The pockets are lovely and deep and look very professional.  I love the feel of the fun material on my hands when I put them in there!  It is also deep enough for my phone, which is one of the biggest out there, the Note 9.


I am so excited I finished this cute skirt even though I was crunched for time (yes, a few of the sewing sessions were early--5 am--and a few were late--10 pm).  I think I will wear this next Tuesday which happens to coincide with our "blue" day at school (we do rainbow colors everyday for the first few weeks--the kindergarteners love it).

I hope some of you were able to grab this awesome fabric before it left Fabric Mart!  What are you planning on doing with it if you got some?

Do any of you plan on making a dirndl?  I know Julie, who works aft Fabric Mart, mentioned she may make one this fall!  I hope she does a blog post on it!

You all have a great September and October, and I'll see you back here in November!

Comments

  1. I love your skirt Dina!! The fabric is stunning! You're looking great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you! I'm really enjoying life, but it's been super busy! I was so grateful for a chance to slow down and sew!

      Delete
  2. I really like your skirt. What a perfect look for the classroom. I love the floral print and the colors. A very sharp looking teacher you are indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love your skirt. I just got some of this fabric as a mystery fabric. It’s gorgeous. Can’t wait to make something equally beautiful.

    ReplyDelete

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