Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dirndl Bodice: Part One ~ Patternwork & Fit

The Folkwear Austrian Dirndl pattern has 2 FRONT bodice options.  *Back bodice is the same for both.
Option A has a modest square neck with button closures.  
Option B is the low, square, “serve ‘em up a bowl of tits” neckline. 
I cut and fit muslins of BOTH options, and these entries are posted in the order I worked on them.

Option B Front Bodice:
Version B was my first choice.  Not really because of the low neck, more because I liked the unique bust gore detail.  However, something alarmed me from the very beginning….this version had front armhole darts….WTF?  uh-oh….
And yep, I was right….I sewed up the muslin, and the front armholes were totally janked and ugly.  Fuck. 
The dart is unnecessary to achieve a close fit, and the armhole’s too big and scooped out, no matter how much I darted….yuck…
Oof, seriously, overall, Option B fit was astonishingly sad.  Part of me wants to re-draft this bodice for Folkwear with NO front armhole darts….eesh.
Option B was immediately aborted due to time constraints.  Yes, I have the ability to fix, but not the time.  This requires some intense pattern work and at least 1 more muslin fitting.
BYE BYE, Option B!!!

Back Bodice (same for both options A and B):
The other WTF was the back bodice.  It is 1 piece with no darts or anything.  This 1-pc design was also a huge contributor to the poor fit/balance.  So, without changing the distinctive V-shape neckline, I immediately altered the back bodice to be 3-pc with curvy princess seams: 
This solved the fit issues immediately.  Moreover, all the authentic dirndls I’ve seen have 3-pc back bodices….with piping in the seams, which I will add as well:
Revised, better fitting, Back Bodice piece, with piping basted in place.

Option A Front Bodice:
OK….so, Option B front bodice with the cool bust gores was a no-go….
At this point, I had to decide on the surest thing…which would be to attempt the more modest, basic, Option A. 
Luckily, with all my research, Option A seems to be the classic overall design still worn today. 
I cut a muslin of Option A in a medium weight khaki twill, with 1” seam allowances to play with.  Oh, and this included my revised 3-pc back bodice as well.  Thankfully, the 1st fitting was good, with barely any changes.  Because of this, I was able to use my muslin as the interlining!  I sewed Ridgeline boning directly on the khaki  at the sides, and might add more later at the CF area, or in the front darts....not sure yet.
A view of Option A Front Piece, with inside exposed to show Ridgeline bowning sewn to interlining.  Use zig-zag stitch through center of bone.  **Be sure to round off all cut corners of boning and melt the edges with a lighter, or boning will poke through fabric to the skin....yowch!!

Each khaki piece is sandwiched in between layers of lightweight black twill.  All layers (3 total) are zig-zag stitched together at the edges to become one piece.    This can also be done with a serger, if you have one J
This construction techique of combining all layers (SELF, INTERLINING, LINING) as one piece is also known as FLATLINING.

Each of these layered pieces will eventually be basted together for final fitting/placement of the armhole, darts, and neckline….

Stay tuned for more on the Dirndl Bodice!!

Later, y'all!

-Kathleen in Oakland

1 comment:

  1. The Folkwear pattern was originally drafted in the 1970's. I've heard the critique about the 1 piece back other places, so when my Mom pulled out the dirndls that I wore as a kid, I rushed to check. 2 out of the 4 had one piece backs. These are all circa 1970 - 1974, made in Bolzano, Insbruck or Salzburg, for regular use on Sundays and going to town days. I call them authentic. Folk costume does evolve over time; these also had the really short 1970's skirts!


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