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How to make a dirndl skirt

How to make a dirndl skirt // FREE tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary
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!)

dirndl-tutorial-sew
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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About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Julia
Julia
13 years ago

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

becks
becks
13 years ago

you have the best shoe collection ever! love this skirt, off to make one! thanks.

Alviana
Alviana
13 years ago

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

Alli
Alli
13 years ago

This is super cute – love it!

Meg
Meg
13 years ago

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

JacRan
JacRan
13 years ago

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! ;)

Rachel
Rachel
13 years ago

I love the outfit and the boots are fantastic.

Timmy
Timmy
13 years ago

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

Trina
Trina
13 years ago

So cute! I hope to try this soon!

Mochachocolata Rita
Mochachocolata Rita
13 years ago

justtt the skirts i love…and the bangle…come to mama

lorrwill
lorrwill
13 years ago

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

Kristin Sellars
13 years ago

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!

Megan
Megan
13 years ago

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.

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[…] OK so if you would like to make a dirndl too here’s a downloadable tutorial. […]

trackback

[…] recently, that I’ve actually only written a tutorial for a dirndl skirt (you can download it here if you’d like it)… oops! So I’m going to try and rectify that over the next few […]

districtofchic
12 years ago

I love all the beautiful feminine pieces here! And that skirt is so beautiful, as all of your creations are :-)

LilMt
LilMt
12 years ago

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

laura
12 years ago

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

trackback

[…] recently, that I’ve actually only written a tutorial for a dirndl skirt (you can download it here if you’d like it)… oops! So I’m going to try and rectify that over the next few […]

trackback

[…] OK so if you would like to make a dirndl too here’s a downloadable tutorial. […]

Kimmy
Kimmy
11 years ago

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!

trackback

[…] didn’t turn out evenly and I had to take the waistband back off and try again) Helpful Hints: Megan Nielsen’s pdf tutorial for how to make a dirndl skirt This entry was posted in Ravel Rousing and tagged Butterick […]

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[…] Megan Nielsen, Eucalypt tank, AW2010 Skirt: Megan Nielsen, made from a pillowcase, get the tutorial here Shoes: Pebble Point Wedge c/o Modcloth Necklace: Clydes Rebirth Belt: Vintage Coach, […]

Click here
Click here
3 years ago

These products look so interesting and beautiful. Also your tips are great, especially one about shaving lags with coconut oil. I never before hear for that, but I would like to try.

Jo-Anne Theuerkauf
Jo-Anne Theuerkauf
3 years ago

I’m not sure what size this skirt is in but for me, it would be easier to have a link to download the pattern instructions, so I’m not going back and forth from my computer to the floor…..

Claudean
Claudean
1 year ago

I had to make a dirndl skirt in home economics way back in the early 1950s. The sewing machines were not electric but treadle. Been making dirndl skirts ever since then.