The “Slightly Snow White” Dirndl Bodice, Skirt, & Apron


























 The Facts
⁃ Fabric: bodice is leftover yellow linen from upholstery days, blue apron fabric is cotton trachten fabric, and skirt is broadcloth
Pattern: bodice is Burda’s Bodice #118, apron is self-drafted, skirt is self-drafted

Year: 2011
Notions: bodice – white floral trim, hook/eye closures, apron- none, skirt – zipper
Time to complete: spare bits of time since August
First worn: this week around the house
Wear again? maybe parts of it… dunno about all three together
Total price: 20 EUR (apron fabric 8EUR, blue skirt broadcloth 12EUR)

It’s been a marathon of design and illustration projects since the end of August, and I’m glad to be back.  Believe it or not, August is when I started this gambit thinking I’d have a dirndl in time for this year’s Oktoberfest!  Oh well. A bit about dirndls and Oktoberfest…

Munich, where I currently reside, is where Oktoberfest originated in order to celebrate a royal wedding back in 1810.  As was stated in the comments section of Tempest’s Dirndl project, dirndls and Trachten (traditional costumes) are worn year round for special occasions (weddings, dinners, nights out) here in Bavaria, but they are seen most often during Oktoberfest which is from mid-September to early October.  This being my fourth Oktoberfest, I wanted to make my own dirndl, and was so close to finishing the bodice when a flood of projects came in – yay work! – to the detriment of my sewing habit.

Now that things are settled down again, I finished all three outer elements of the dirndl.  But, this was not before a friend of mine came over while the yellow bodice and skirt fabric lay on my sewing table, still unfinished, and pointed out it looked like Snow White’s outfit.  Sure enough, I looked it up and it’s a reverse of Disney’s version of Snow White with her blue dirndl-like outfit and yellow skirt.  That was definitely not what I was originally going for, but now I can’t undo this association.  Maybe it’ll make a nice Halloween option next year?



I’m wishing…. (singing in impossible falsetto) I’m wishing… for a dirndl I loooove…

Tiny tip about bow-locations (dirndlschürze binden) on dirndl-aprons during Oktoberfest…

  • Wearing the dirndlschürze bow on the right signifies that you’re married/engaged/not looking.
  • Wearing the apron bow on the left means you’re single and available.
  • Wearing it on the back tells the world you’re a widow.
  • And, wearing it on the front… a waitress? virgin? of loose lady?  Not sure.



Adriprints is an illustrator and designer by trade; a knitter, crocheter, and pseudo-seamstress by craft. You can find her work in typo-phile calendars, online knitting mags, and on random people's business cards, greeting cards, and websites. She currently lives in Munich.


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  1. You’re such a cutie! Nice ensemble.

  2. Oh cute! I would never have noticed the Snow White colours if you hadn’t pointed them out – and didn’t have the bird! You could always make another apron in a different colour if you wanted it to be less Snow-White-y. I like the notes on bow locations. In Hawaii a flower over the left ear means you are taken, a flower on the right ear means you are available, and flowers over both ears mean that you have someone, but you’d switch if someone better came along ;-)

    • That’s what I’m thinking… I can make another bodice since the first was a lot of fun anyway, another apron is easy as pie, and maybe just a black skirt, and I’ll be ready to mix-and-match for a while!

      Love that there’s a correlation with the flowers!

  3. I’ve never heard about the bow positioning meanings (or the flower placement either!) I like dirndls and you and Tempest are seriously tempting me to have a go at one.

    • Glad I could share something new! If you decide to go with the Burda pattern I referenced, I’d raise the back to the neckline for more strap stability.

  4. Love the bow folklore! Your whole look is very reverse Snow White, but in a very charming way. Fun photos too.

    • Thank you, Barbara! I learned of the bow folklore the hard way… I had the bow tied in the back middle and a friend pointed out its meaning. Oops.

  5. Super super cute, I too love the bow folklore.

  6. I’m loving all the stuff we learn about other traditions here on the Sew Weekly! I think your outfit is super cute and having made my daughter and each niece a Snow White dress I can say that I did NOT think Snow White off the bat : ) It’s bright and cheerful and what more do we need? Now I’m going to have to work the bow folklore into something…

    • heheh. Thanks for *not* thinking it was Snow White, although now I’m in the acceptance/embracing stage and am considering wearing the ensemble for Starkbierfest… we shall see. And, I’m sure whatever you create that integrates the bow folklore will be awesome. Can’t wait!

  7. I like it-I didn’t get Snow White either. Now that you’ve had some practice you can make “a dirndl you loooove!” I like the part about the bows. I so would have screwed that one up. It would never have occurred to me that there was meaning there.

    • I’m looking for some worthy fabric for another dirndl. Should be a cool endeavor – the bodice sews up quicker than I thought it would. Also, I learned about the bow thing the hard way. Oops.

  8. This is so gorgeous, the colours are so happy and the lace detailing just perfect. Love it and your photos make me smile :) And loving the dirndlschürze binden info……although they label me as a loose woman when you see this week’s apron ;)

    • Thanks, Tempest! I’m glad you like the bright colors. It’s what sets it apart from the “typisch” dirndl. Can’t wait to see your loose-lady-tied apron!