Having lived in Munich for 4 years, my husband and I have our own Bavarian lederhosen and a couple of dirndl’s hanging in the closet. So when Oktoberfest came to Virginia Beach this past weekend, it gave us an excuse to pull out our traditional attire and have some fun together!
Most people think of Oktoberfest and immediately think of beer. And while this is true to an extent, what many people do not know is that Oktoberfest is actually a large family friendly festival that has carnival rides, petting zoos and more. The beer consumption actually happens in large beer tents, that you need tickets or reserved tables to get inside. The rest of Oktoberfest is occupied by families having fun together.
- Tourists = Oktoberfest = beer.
- Locals = Oktoberfest = family carnival and/or business meetings for their out-of-town clients.
With our local Oktoberfest on the brain, I thought it would be fun to get the kids involved this year. Our middle child has a fascination with Germany, especially since she was born there, and cannot wait to go back and visit. What better way to encourage her curiosity…
How to sew a Dirndl and how to sew Lederhosen || German kids costume DIY.
Please note, these are NOT traditional lederhosen, nor a traditional dirndl. Those would be way more time consuming to make – often made with real leather and tons of gorgeous embroidery. This dirndl and lederhosen DIY is simply a costume version. Perfect for the occasional dress up or handmade Halloween costume.
How to sew a Dirndl
- Pattern – Five and Ten Designs, Volume One eBook
- Coordinating cotton fabric, amounts listed in Look No. 1
- 3/4 yd. cotton fabric for apron
- *Optional – button up collared shirt
- Basic sewing essentials
Sew Look no. 1 from the 5 & 10 designs volume one eBook, using your desired fabric choices.
Variation: Instead of putting the buttons on the back bodice, put the button closure on the FRONT bodice.
*Please note – I chose to put a separate button up collared shirt underneath my dirndl. This way the dress could be worn with or without the full ‘dirndl’ look. But this is not necessary with the 5&10 eBook, you can add sleeves and a collar directly to your dress, by using the collar and sleeve add-on option!!!! The choice is yours.
HOW TO SEW AN APRON:
To sew the dirndl apron to complete the look, see below…
- Cut (1) rectangle of fabric the same width of your skirt panel, minus 2″ in length.
- Cut (2) rectangles of fabric 4″L x width of fabric. Sew these right sides together along one short side edge, to create an extra long strip.
- Fold the side edges of your apron 1/4″ towards the wrong side and press. Fold again 1/4″, press and sew. Sew a long basting stitch along the top edge of your apron.
- Pull the bobbin thread to gather fabric. You want the apron to be slightly smaller than your skirt front, or about 1/3 your waist circumference.
- Fold the long outer edges of your strip 1/4″ towards the wrong side and press. Fold again in half, enclosing the folded edges and press.
- Slip apron’s gathered edge into the center of your strip and pin. Sew along the entire bottom edge of your strip to enclose and create the tie.
- Fold the bottom hem of your apron 1/4″ toward the wrong side and press. Fold again 1/2″, press and sew.
To tie, simply wrap the apron around your dirndl, and bring the tie to the front.
Tie on the right hand side = married. Tie on the left = unmarried.
How to sew lederhosen
These are truly costume lederhosen. Just a reminder, so I don’t get any peeved Germans commenting on my page about how these are not traditional lederhosen. Trust me, I know. Keep in mind, these are for a child :).
- Heavy corduroy fabric (I used a pair of thrifted men’s pants)
- 8 buttons
- Heavy duty sewing needle
- Boys shorts or pattern for tracing around
- Basic sewing essentials
- Cut out pattern pieces. (I cut mine all out from one pair of men’s thrifted corduroy pants) Using the side seam as a fold line, cut the front and back shorts pattern. Trace around a pair of existing, loose fitting shorts. If a pattern is needed, I highly recommend Dana’s flat front shorts pattern HERE. You will also need to cut the following:
- (8) straps for suspenders
- (1) 7″ x 4″ rectangle for front suspender connector
- (2) 6″ x 5″ rectangle for shorts front button flap
- (2) waistband rectangles 1.5″ L x shorts width
- (2) pockets
- If using thrifted pants like me, cut around the pockets on the butt carefully.
- Angle down the front of each shorts pattern so that the back crotch seam is higher and the front dips 1.5″ lower.
- Sew pocket onto the middle of each leg, 1″ – 1.5″ up from the bottom hem. Pin and sew around, using a zig zag stitch to make sure no loose threads come undone.
- Place shorts right sides together and sew crotch seams. Finish seam with either a serger or zigzag stitch.
- Open up the shorts so that the crotch seams are in the center. Pin and sew inner leg seam. Finish seams. My shorts are already hemmed as I used upcycled pants, but if you are using corduroy fabric from scratch, them hem your shorts now.
- Making sure you (2) waistband pattern pieces are the same width as the front and back of your shorts (+ seam allowance), place the (2) pattern pieces right sides together and sew side seam.
- Slip waistband around the top of your shorts, right sides together, matching up the side seams. Pin and sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Finish the top raw edge of your waistband with either a serger or zigzag stitch.
- Turn waistband to the inside and press. Pin around the bottom of your waistband, and leave a 2″ opening along the back center crotch seam. Sew.
- I made my shorts with a flat panel front, and elastic back. To do this, cut a piece of elastic about 1/3 your child’s waist circumference. With safety pin attached to one edge of the elastic, insert into waistband and thread all the way around until the elastic end is at you side seam and the elastic safety pin is almost back at your opening again. Pint he elastic end to your side seam and sew the side seam down with a straight stitch back and forth. Take the safety pin off, and carefully thread the elastic through the waistband with your fingers to the other side seam. Once there, pin and sew. Sew waistband opening closed.
- Measure your rectangle button flap against the front of your shorts, and cut away any excess fabric. You want the rectangle to only be about 1/3 in width of your total shorts front. Place (2) button flaps right sides together, pin and sew 3 sides. Clip corners and turn right side out. Press.
- Place button flap raw edge facing up, right sides together, centered on the front crotch seam of your shorts. Pin and sew using a zigzag stitch.
- Flip button flap up, lining up the top edge with the waistband of your shorts. Pin. Sew 2 buttons on either side of your button flap to secure.
- Pin (2) suspender straps right sides together and sew along the shorter edge. Press open seam. Repeat for other suspender straps, giving you (4) long straps. Place (2) of the longer straps right sides together and sew along outer edge. Turn strap right side out and press. Edge stitch if desired. Repeat for other (2) long straps.
- Pin the raw edge of each strap 1.5″ from the center back seam of your shorts along the inside of the waistband and sew back and forth to reinforce.
- Try your lederhosen on your child at this point to ensure strap length. If there is no child in front of you, simply make multiple buttonholes along the from of the strap to ensure proper fit. Sew buttonholes on the front of each strap, and buttons on either side of the front of your shorts button flap.
- Cut your suspender connector pattern piece into an arced shape if desired. Place (2) connectors right sides together, pin and sew the top and bottom.
- Turn connector right sides out and edge stitch. Finish raw side edges with zig zag stitch or serger to eliminate loose threads.
- Pin the side edges of your connector to the underside of your front suspenders, about halfway up along the front of the suspenders. Sew around in a square to secure.
- Sew buttons along the top of your suspender, over the suspender connector square stitch.
And you are finished!
I know, it is a lot of sewing steps. But it is easier than it looks! If you can sew a pair of shorts, than you CAN sew these lederhosen!
Simply pair them with a gingham shirt, some big wool socks (if you have them) and boots, and you are good to go!
Looking for a fedora to complete the look? Try this fedora hat pattern by Elegance and Elephants! I have sewn it twice now with great success.
The hills are definitely alive.