A few months back, a customer of mine, Steff asked me if there was any way to use her mother's dirndl to make a traditional german dress that is more modern? My answer of course was YES! It would be like making a custom dirndl dress, but instead of using fabric from the store, I would be using that fabric from her mothers old dirndl.

Steff loved the fabric, but it was way too small and the style was a tad dated. However there were some great things about that I adored and wanted to make sure that I kept. The fabric was in really good shape, so I was positive that I could turn this vintage dirndl into something fresh and new.

A lot of times, older fabrics that have been washed many times start to disintegrate and repurposing them could cause the new piece to fall apart after only a few wears. To combat this, you can add a fusible interfacing to the fabric to make it more sturdy, but in this case it was not necessary.    

traditional german clothing
german clothing on a mannequin
knee length traditional clothing

I also loved the fabric and I found some matching fabrics from the store that would bring the whole piece together. After taking apart the dirndl I decided that I would only need to use the skirt fabric to make this new piece.

I used the vintage fabric a new bodice, use a raspberry crepe back satin for the skirt and then a green cotton apron with some detailing at the hem using the vintage fabric bring it all together.

The trimming around Steff's mothers dirndl is a classic dirndl style trim and is very time consuming to make, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that trimming into the bodice.

Since the vintage dirndl dress was smaller than the new one, I didn't have enough to go around the entire neckline, but I added a green top panel to the center front and then added the trim there.

Below the panel I added edelweiss hooks to create the lace-up corset style front and then used green and pink ribbon to complete the look.

Paired with the white Sweetheart Blouse with Lace, I LOVED the way the custom dirndl turned out and now Steff has a truly one-of-a-kind, unique dirndl with a story all it's own!   

dirndl bodice

If you have an old dirndl dress that's been in your family for years... a prom, special occasions, or bridesmaids dress, and you would like me to up-cycle it into a fresh and new dirndl send me an e-mail erika[at]raredirndl[dot]com and we can get the ball rolling.

custom made dirndl remade from vintage fabrics

woman wearing a bright custom made dirndl dancing with her son dressed in lederhosen

Pricing is the same as a custom dirndl, Click here for a PDF of the process and pricing. These are some of my favorite projects to work on and I can't wait to work with you!!

From Vintage to Fresh & Modern: Steff's Dirndl Up-Cycle Project

Ever wonder which dirndl style you are? Click here to take our quiz and find out now! 

April 11, 2016 — Erika Neumayer

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