Featured: Dirndl Skirt by Valentino

The Dirndl skirt (a full skirt with a gathered waistband) has come a long way since its origins in traditional German costume.  Lots of prominent designers have included dirndl skirts in their collections recently.  The Dirndl featured above is from the Valentino collection.

You can incorporate this adorable look into your wardrobe.  The Dirndl skirt looks great on everyone!  In contrast with the full skirt, the tight waistband highlights curves and minimizes your waistline.  The full skirt also makes legs appear thinner.

Overall, the look is very figure flattering and feminine.

You will need:

  • 2 – 3 yds. of fashion fabric, 60″ wide
  • 1 – 1 ½ yds. of fusible interfacing, 22″ wide
  • 1 skirt zipper, 7″ long
  • 2 hook & eye set, size 0
  • Coordinating thread
  • Heavy-duty thread
  • Kraft paper


On kraft paper, draw a line equal to your waist measurement. Add a 1 inch extension.

Draw a parallel line 4 inches from first line. Connect the 2 lines by joining the ends together. Draw the grainline through the center of the pattern. Add ½” seam allowance to the perimeter. This is the waistband.

Draw a right angle on kraft paper. (1)

From the right angle, pivot an arc using a compass equal to your waist measurement. (choose radius from the chart). (2)

chart6From the right angle, swing an arc equal to the chosen radius measurement plus 22 inches or desired finished length. (3)

Draw grainlines parallel to the vertical and horizontal axis in the center of the pattern piece. Add ½” seam allowance to the waistline and ¾” seam allowances to the side seams. (4)


Cut waistband 1X self

Cut skirt 2X self

Cut waistband interfacing 1X fusible


  1. Mark the center on each skirt piece.
  2. Staystitch the waist seam on each skirt piece. Do this from the side seam to the center.
  3. Do a seam finish on the side seams to neaten raw edges. (I used pinking shears).
  4. Layer the skirt pieces with right sides together and pin/baste the left side seam. Stitch the seam beginning 7 ½” from the top, using a ¾” seam allowance. Press seam open.
  5. Insert skirt zipper using a lapped zipper application.
  6. With right sides together, pin/baste the right side seam. Stitch seam using ¾” seam allowance. Press seam open.
  7. Open zipper and place heavy-duty thread slightly above the waist staystitching. Zig-zag stitch over the thread. Do this along the whole waistline. (Use a wide, long zig-zag and loosen your machine tension slightly).
  8. Turn under the seam allowance on one long edge of the waistband and press.
  9. At one short end, clip seam allowance 1 ½” from end for the extension.
  10. Fold the waistband in half with right sides together, and stitch the short ends. Grade seam and trim corners. Turn right side out.
  11. Divide the waistband in quarters excluding the extension. Beginning from the back of the skirt, pin the unpressed edge of the waistband to the skirt matching quarters to the CF, CB and side seams.
  12. Gather up excess fabric by drawing up on heavy-duty thread and shirr the skirt waist evenly and in proportion. Sew seam slightly beneath the staystitching at the waist.
  13. Turn the raw seam up into the waistband and encase it. Align the pressed edge of the waistband to the machine stitching. Slip-stitch the waistband to the skirt and the opening on the extension tab.
  14. Stitch a pair of hook and eyes on the inside of the waistband and the extension tab.
  15. Hem the bottom of the skirt with a ¼” double-rolled hem.