Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April Block for Heather

I loved the fact that we could decide which block to use. I used a star from EQ7, printed the paper piece template and voila. Next time, I'll be more creative and change the block around a little, but I have yet to grasp that in EQ7 ;)

Heather asked us if we did any sewing other than quilting:

I kinda only happened on quilting. I used to sew for my children and myself for years, and always thought of quilting as sort of antiquated and boring. But that was before I discovered the modern quilt movement and quilts outside of the traditional, civil war quilts/patterns. While I now appreciate the hours and love that go into a civil war reproduction quilt, the colors still don't appeal to me.

The most challenging and time consuming sewing happened when I sewed two Dirndls last October/November for the U.S. Marine Corps birthday balls. I am Austrian (Upper Austrian to be precise) and I have always worn Dirndls for many occasions.

Good quality Dirndls, that aren't made in China but rather in Austria or Germany start at about $200 for short ones and $300 for long ones. But at these starting prices they still come off the rack and look sort of blah. If you want a special Dirndl, say with linen, silk, or original Dirndl fabric you'll have to expect to pay around $700-1000 minimum. Let me just tell you that the apron fabric for my long Dirndl (see below) was about $40 a meter (a little over a yard), and because you ladies appreciate fabric talk, I needed a good 2yards to make the gathers look authentic and for the apron to fall nicely.

Before sewing the Dirndls I had no idea that there were exact rules in place on how much the apron has to end above the main skirt (a hand width) and what exactly a "Kittelblech" is (it's a facing on the inside of the main skirt hem that serves as a protection to the hem and also peeks during dancing) or how to make the small trim around the cleavage (Froschgoscherl). Little did I know how labor intensive it really is!

I am now going back to my roots so to speak and plan on making them again this fall. They are a quite some work and a lot of hand sewing is involved, but I love how you can customize them and really make them your own. And you know what else, a Dirndl fits every type of woman: small, tall, skinny, round–it doesn't matter what shape or size you are. I really love that!

Here are some photos of the Dirndls:

And here's a last one of hubby and me ;)


Jennifer Barclay said...

Wow! What an awesome thing to sew!!! I lived in Vienna for 4 months and bought myself and authentic Dirndl from a second hand shop before I left. I'm trying hard to fit back in it after having 3 kids. What a neat thing. You look great in the pictures!

mumziepooh said...

So interesting! Thank your husband for his service!!!