How to make a dirndl skirt

How to make a dirndl skirt // FREE tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary A dirndl skirt is a full skirt with a gathered waist and close fitting waistband. The concept comes from traditional german costume, isn’t that cool?
Anyway this is one of the simplest and cutest skirts to make, as you just need to be able to cut rectangles for the pattern pieces. Seriously who can’t do that? I think it makes it a really great beginner project. I’ve made heaps and they always end up being total wardrobe staples.
How to make a dirndl skirt // FREE tutorial by Megan Nielsen Design Diary

How much fabric you need will of course depend on your size. Use the above cutting guide to determine how much fabric you will need. You will also need a 9” invisible zipper, (if you feel more comfortable using a standard zipper we have a tutorial for that too!)

Step 1 // Lay your skirt pieces with right sides together and sew along one side seam 5/8″ from the edge.
Step 2 // Sew a line of basting stitches a scant 5/8″ from the raw edge. Use a long stitch length and don’t backstitch! Leave your threads long and loose on each end. Pro tip: sew an additional row of basting stitches for more controlled gathers. If you need some help gathering fabric, check out our tips for gathering fabric neatly.
Step 3 // Gather the fabric by pulling one of the threads on each side of the skirt. Gather your skirt until it is the same width as your waistband piece.
Step 4 // Lay one of the waistband pieces (the other will be used as the waistband facing) on the skirt with right sides facing and so that it lines up with the raw gathered edge of the skirt. Sew 5/8″ from the raw edge to attach the waistband. Press the waistband up away from the skirt.
Steps 5-8 // insert your zipper, sew the rest of the remaining side seam and attach your waistband facing using this really in-depth tutorial.  If invisible zippers make you break out in hives (it’s ok) you can use a standard zipper using this tutorial.
Want more gathered skirts? Check out how to make a really simple jersey maxi skirt here or try out our Brumby skirt sewing pattern.

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  1. Julia says

    Cute skirt and perfect accessories. I finally made my great nieces’ pillowcase dresses. I will post about them soon.

  2. Alviana says

    soo cute. It’s so easy to make and turn out soo pretty, I’ll try it someday. Thnx for sharing :)

  3. Meg says

    Thanks ladies!
    Becks – I have a “little” bit of a shoe problem… it’s a total weakness of mine!

  4. JacRan says

    GAH! I wish this was posted two nights ago so that I could’ve made one to wear today for Easter! (Here in Australia!) Love it, I will make one anyways. Happy Easter. I’ll eat a Cadbury creme egg for ya! ;)

  5. Timmy says

    Absolutely lovely…I am so trying this one out. You make it sound so easy, hopefully mine looks as good as yours

  6. lorrwill says

    Your tutorial is AWESOME and seriously, if you decide to get rid of the bangle, just let me know, ‘k?

  7. says

    Love the dirndl skirt and can’t wait to try it out but I don’t see where you download or open the tutorial. If you could email it to me that would be great! Thanks!

  8. Megan says

    Hi Kristen, I’m glad you like the skirt. If you click on the underlined words ‘pdf tutorial’ in the post it will open the pdf tutorial for you to save or print.

  9. LilMt says

    This was great! You rox! I luv this! I practically wear it everyday! Thanks! You rox! Again

  10. says

    Hey megan,
    Just to say your tutorial gave me some great inspiration so I have linked you in my blog with my own finished article! Thank you so much for such clear help xx

  11. Kimmy says

    Just tried this tonight, it took less than 3 hours! I am JUST starting to sew and this was easy to follow and ended up being just beautiful!

    Thank you so much!