Summer sew-along week 3


The best part of the SSA for me is seeing what you’ve made!

Some of you have posted on the Wrenfeathers Flickr page here:

You can also see more lovely creations on instagram here:

Shirley starred in “Heidi,” an adaptation of the Johanna Spyri book in 1937.  Movie costumes can either follow or inspire the style of the present day, and my guess is that this dress from the pattern was influenced by the Heidi aesthetic.

Traditional folk costumes of Europe often have a specific name in their language.  In German, the word “Trachten,” refers to all folk costumes, and the specific women’s costume is called a Dirndl.  The generic type you might see girls wearing at Oktoberfest or an event like that is often a jumper made of a cotton print and has a gathered blouse underneath.  There are much fancier versions and specific regional variations as well.  The blouses today usually have elastic or drawstrings to gather them, but for a doll it’s easy enough to sew the gathers in place, which is what was done with this one.  A real Dirndl almost always has an apron too, but that wasn’t the case with these costume versions.

Although it’s not authentic to Trachten, I really like the embroidery on the sleeve! Printed transfers were not new at this time.  McCall had an iron-on transfer called a “kaumagraph” since at least the 1920s, but the popularity of stamped/printed designs was increasing, especially with flour and feed sacks.  It was possible to find flour and feed sacks with designs printed on them that you could embroider over, and then wash to eliminate the marks.  These would be used for functional or decorative purposes, such as towels. 

Here it is in both sizes on etsy or you can also get it directly from me (link below)

A .pes file of the sleeve embroidery is available free with purchase, just let me know you need it!

10 responses »

  1. Jennie,

    Thanks as always for your wonderful, historically-based patterns. I’m looking forward to making my Sashas some dirndl outfits. I’m looking forward to incorporating more machine embroidery into my projects.

    I had added a Shirley Temple doll to my collection, and had to clothe her in a costume based on one of her films. So I made things for Heidi. I was practicing making ¼” seams on my serger,  and made pin-tucked muslin undergarments, a tucked skirt, eyelet closed vest and stockings. I was rather pleased with the results.

    But my Sashas are jealous!


  2. Thank You Jen. I can’t upload to flickr and I am trying to figure out instagram Posted to face book.

  3. I like this jumper dress! It is very versatile… I think I’ll let myself be inspired by the Heidi costumes Shirley Temple wore in the movie… Or maybe it’s just my stash that will be deciding for me! :). I can’t wait to start this project!

    I have to say, I love the embroidery on the sleeves… However, time-wise, I don’t think I’ll be able to manage to do the same as I would have to do it by hand. Bex looks adorable in her yellow dress, and it is a perfect take on the original drawing of this pattern!

  4. Love this pattern. Thank you. Here are some tips “not” follow:
    Always pick out some random heavy fabric because it’s pink to use when Jen calls for batiste. Finish the jumper top and discover a fabric flaw right in the front middle. Spend half a day trying to find bias tape in my stash that matches to use instead of rick rack which I couldn’t find either. It’s in a plastic tub somewhere. Sew the gathered top together up side down because it looked right. No wonder the pattern was printed that way. Forget to take in the jumper top before cutting to fit my doll. Cut another one and lining. Make the skirt nice and full only remembering after hemming and gathering and pinning it to the top that you have chosen that thick fabric which makes sewing it nearly impossible. I can go on and on, but the lesson here is follow Jen’s directions! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.