German and Switzerland Dirndl Costume

costume_german_dirndleMake it from an ordinary tee shirt, some fabric and shoelaces.

You need:

  • 1.5 Yards of 60″ Fabric (will make two skirts) thinner fabric will work better
  • 6″ x 30″ piece of contrasting fabric (a flannel or fleece will not fray so it is your best choice)
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Tee Shirt (regular fit two sizes bigger)
  • Leggings or Stretchy Shorts
  • 2 Pairs of Shoe Laces
  • Large Safety Pin


Cut the neck band plus 2″ off the tee shirt neck. Make a little snip every inch around the new neckline 1/2″ from edge. These little holes will be lacing holes. String the shoe lace in and out through the holes beginning and ending at the middle front. Pull gently so neck gathers as shown. Tie in a bow.

To gather the sleeves, make a little snip in the hem of the sleeve at the side.You will probably also have to make little snips an the underarm where the seam is. Pin a large safety pin to the end of one shoe lace. Push the shoelace around the inside of the hem. If you need help with this, there is good step by step instructions here with photos. Repeat with other sleeve. Pull to fit around the upper arm and tie with a bow.

Cut fabric in half the long way. You will have two 30″ x 1.5 yard pieces. Each will make one skirt.

sari1 sari2 sari3

Beginning at one end, tuck the edge of the fabric into the waistband of leggings. Fold a pleat in the fabric and tuck the next section in the waistband. Continue pleating and tucking all around the waist. (images 1 – 3 above)

Cut a contrasting piece of fabric 6″ wide to fit around your waist. Make little snips every inch on both ends 1/2″ from the edge. Use the final shoe lace to lace it closed around your waist.