Friday, July 17, 2015

bavarian apron tutorial for a Dirndlschürze

My, oh my! Where have I been?? Once again Instagram has taken over me, and I have neglected to post here on my blog. I've been such a bad girl. ;-) The truth is...the end of school madness has taken over. We have lots of birthdays filled with end of school parties, and there is just no more time to get the sewing done!

We recently celebrated the 198th Sommerfest in Leipheim where both my of my kids participated. What is the Leipheimer Kinderfest? It is a celebration of ending the Hunger in Leipheim after a three-year struggle of bad weather an not crops two hundred years ago. I guess you could also call it the Hunger Games. It starts out as a huge parade beginning at the town center and leads to the Sportheim (Sports Field) where Grades 1-7 participated in a group dance/performances.

198th Leipheimer Kinderfest Parade - the Beginning

Surprisingly, not all boy were not required to wear Lederhosen...just the boys from my daughter's class and the 7th Graders who were required to wear the pre-made costumes that are worn every year for the past uh...50 years!? They are not very attractive, and they must hate it with a total passion that they have to wear them!!

Costumed Seventh Graders ready for their "Hunger Games"

The girls from my daugther's class were asked to wear Dirndls which is a Bavarian style of dress with a "corset-style" top and an apron. The rest of the girls were asked to wear their best dress. I didn't want to buy a new Dirndl for this one event, and kids grow so fast don't they?! Instead, we had a new all-white dress for my daughter that could be "pimped" to make look Bavarian. All I had to do was make an apron or Schürtze!

My daughter in the 198th Leipheimer Kinderfest Parade

Two days before the big parade, I took it upon myself to get to it and start sewing my daugther's apron! I looked high and low for a good tutorial on a Dirndl. I found this video on YouTube which was a good start, but there was no free pattern. This pattern helped me out even more. But, if you can't understand German, then you might be lost. I will walk you through the process if you would like to make one.

A Dirndlschürze or apron should be
  1. Slightly shorter than the dress or Dirndl,
  2. Cover the entire front of dress from side seam to side seam,
  3. Tie in the front of the dress,
  4. and have a button tab to hold it to the center of the dress.

I used a 3/8th inch seam allowance instead of 1.5 cm.

Materials Needed:
  • 2/3 yard fabric (My daughter's choice - Kate Spain's Honey Honey by Moda)
  • 3 x 13 inch interfacing
  • 3" long elastic band for button tab
  • matching thread
  • sewing notions
  • dressmaker's ruler (tape measure)

First, you need to write down all of your measurements. Measure the width from side seam to side seam of dress yoke (A - 12 inches). I wanted the apron to go slightly higher than waist level to drop right below the lace on my daughter's dress yoke but end higher than the lace at the bottom. Most Dirndls stop one inch above the length - mine about five inches. Measure the length of dress front (B - 15 inches). My measurements are 12 x 15 inches
Apron Front:
Cut one rectangle 16 x 25 inches

Formula for your custom  measurement:
Length + one inch x Width * 2 + one inch seam allowance on each side

You are going to fold the shorter sides in twice to get a finished hem. Mark with at 3/8th of an inch with a ruler and Frixion pen. Mark again at 3/8 of an inch parallel to the first line.

Fold over the fabric to the first seam and finger press.

Fold over to the second line and pin in place.

Sew hem using a scant 3/8" seam allowance.

Repeat for the Bottom Hem using a 1/2" seam allowance. Mark your two lines at 1/2 inch intervals.

Fold over using your drawn line as a guide. Finger press. Fold over again to next line. Pin in place. Press if desired. Sew hem using a scant 1/2" seam allowance.

Now you have an APRON FRONT without ruffles.

Now you will need to put some stay stitching in the top of the apron to make all those pretty ruffles. Sew along the top about 3/8" using an extremely large stitch or hem stitch. [Please ignore the black elastic band. I didn't use it.]

Take the bottom thread and pull to get some puckers or ruffles.

Pull from each end and smooth them out the ruffles along the entire length of front apron yoke.

Tie a knot in one end of the the thread to hold the ruffles in place.

Lay along a ruler to get a width of the starting measurement. Mine was 12 inches.

Tie a second knot in the opposite side and use pins to keep ruffles in place. Yes, there is a tiny knot in there. ;-) Set aside the APRON FRONT for now.

On to the APRON YOKE and TIE.

Take your original measurement (A). Add one inch to the length. Mine was 12".

From Fabric - cut a rectangle 3 x 13 inches.
From Stabilizer - cut a rectangle about 1/2 smaller than the fabric.

Apply stabilizer to wrong side of fabric.

Fold fabric inward along all edges. Press.

Fold in half lengthwise and steam press.

Dirndl Specialty: Make the button tab by cutting a piece of elastic 3" long. Sew to the top inside of the Apron Yoke.

Baste the front of the YOKE to the APRON FRONT using large hand stitches. Set aside for now.

Make the TIES by cutting 2 1/2" fabric strips. Your length should be 3 * (A) the yoke front for each side tie. Mine should have been 36". (Mine are actually shorter, because I was using up a smaller piece of fabric.)

Cut 2 - 2 1/2" x 36" from your main fabric

Sew along the length right sides together (RST) using a 1/4" seam allowance. Flip right side out. Flip one end in 1/4 inch; leave one end open - this end will be enclosed in the yoke. Stay stitch along all the three finished sides.

Insert the finished TIE into the YOKE. Pin in place.

Pin the back of the APRON YOKE in place enclosing the TIES and APRON FRONT.

Carefully sew along the YOKE making sure you catch the TIES, APRON FRONT and BACK of APRON YOKE.

Remove your basting stitches!

Now look at this glam Dirndlschürze! What a gorgeous apron for any dress! Attach a button to the dress you sewed the apron for. Finished! Remember, my ties are a little shorter than they should be. You should be able to tie a bow in the front.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my quick tutorial on how to make an apron for a Bavarian Dirndl. Are wondering if I have a Dirndl? Yes, I do! But it was just too hot for my winter Dirndl and I have yet to buy a summer one. I thought I would leave you a picture of my dear husband in his Lederhosen. ;-)


And a picture of my sweet daughter. I am so terrible at braiding hair, but I partly managed this french braid.

Daughter watching the Show

The kids rocked with their version of "Rock You," by the way! It was totally awesome and hilarious - Bavarian style!

2nd Grade Class Rocking to a Bavarian Beat

Weißwurst und Bretzeln!

Thank you for stopping by! If you find a mistake, please share with all of us. Hope you enjoyed the coffee and the tutorial.


  1. What a pretty dirndl and excellent tutorial! The day sounds like it was a lot if fun. Enjoy the summer!

  2. The picture of your daughter gave me goosebumps. She's so cute and it just tickles me so that she's participating in this cultural event. Her daddy looks like such a kind an gentle man, giving her his attention during the festivities. Her apron is precious. Thanks for taking the time to do up the tube. There was nothing quick about it, having to think, stop and take pics, put it all together with the're a doll.

  3. Oh, ich liebe es, wie du "was ist ein Dirndl" erklärt hast! :-)
    Da hast du dich ganz schön ins Zeug gelegt, mit deiner Schürze!

  4. Oh Karen! Thanks so much for sharing these pictures! Yes- the boys look thrilled to pieces to wear their lederhosen! Your daughter is just the cutest!! The apron was perfect!

    1. Thanks, Tammy for stopping by. It was a really nice event. I enjoy going to it and I really must buy or make a summer Dirndl! ;-) My husband really likes to see me in one...I wonder why!? ;-)


  5. Als ich jung war, habe ich mein Dirndl nicht gerne getragen. Aber jetzt - auf dem bayerischen Land - ist es für uns alle selbstverständlich, bei den zahlreichen Festen in richtiger Tracht zu erscheinen und ich liebe es, wenn die Burschen in Lederhosen kommen! An der Schule meiner Kinder gibt es zur Wiesn-Zeit auch immer einen Trachtentag. Das ist soooo schön!

  6. Und eigentlich wollte ich Dir noch sagen, wie wunderschön Deine Tochter ausgesehen hat - tolle Schürze, tolle Haare :-)

  7. Dear Karen,
    very clever idea with the apron for the Dirndl. How beautiful your daughter is, congratulations.
    do I need to comment on the whole story, no, because there are no mistakes and I should know what I am talking about.
    Love my Dirndl and wear it as often as I can.

  8. Dear Karen,

    I love your tutorial and the fabric you used! Your daughter looks so lovely in it. Thank you so much for mentioning my Dirndlschürze tutorial on Lisibloggt- I had a hard time finding a free pattern on the Internet as well, that's why I made it.

    Greetings from Regensburg,

    1. Thank you so much, Lisi for dropping by! Your tutorial was awesome! (Lisi wrote the free tutorial for the Dirndlschürtze in German that I Referenced above! You can find it at Danke sehr, Lisi! Ich freue mich, dass Du vorbei geschaut hast und dass meine Version Dir auch gefallen hat. Liebe Grüße, Karen

  9. Your daughter is so cute !! This must have been a wonderful day and ... thanks for the tute. Hope your holidays are .. or were ... fine.
    Kind regards.

  10. Great tutorial. I came here via CraftyTokyoMama's blog, Your post jogged an idea I had - we have a sizeable population of Old Russian Believers around where I live and their dress patterns are not published online. Patterns are handed down, custom seamstresses are employed and fabric shops in the area cater to the particular fabrics and trims that these dresses require. Someone needs to put something together.
    Thanks for showing us this festival.

  11. Your tutorial is great. Easy to follow. And your daughter rocked it. I love the Weisswurst und Brezel in the party, too. I miss Deutschland! Prost!


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