August 18, 2012

The Bavarian issue

Hi everyone and thank you for all the nice comments this last week. I really hope you will enjoy the pattern and if you were wondering about the neat finishes on that swimwear: you haven't seen my first efforts a few years ago, with the sewing machine which ate lycra...

Right now, I'd like to talk about something I noticed on holiday in Bavaria.
You know how Burda does those dirndl patterns, just about every year? In the process annoying what seems like the entire sewing world ( ok, that's just judging from those few blogs I read) by wasting so much space in what could have been a perfectly good October issue?

Well, a visit to Bavaria puts it all into perspective. I have, in fact, been to other parts of Germany in the past, and that didn't make much difference.

The dirndl, as you may know, is the traditional women's dress of Bavaria. Along side it, men should wear lederhosen.
As one might expect, waitresses in touristy areas wear dirndls and some souvenir shops sell them. And of course we are reminded that dirndl and lederhosen are the appropriate clothes for the Oktober Fest.

All of that makes sense and doesn't justify Burda's ongoing infatuation. However, I came across a wedding party in the small town of Oberammergau, and all of the guests were in traditional dress. At the same day, there was also a feast put on by the local "traditional dress community" (pictures are from their opening parade) where a lot of people wore these clothes.
Even adding to that, I learned that, in the mid 19th century, the Bavarian king Maximilian II actively supported the wearing of dirndl and lederhosen and even managed to popularize it in the rest of Germany.
Incidentally, the first Oktober Fest was held in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of his father, then crown prince and later king Ludwig I.

So, the dirndl is alive and kicking in Bavaria. I even found a sewing magazine dedicated to the phenomenon...
And I think historical precedent and the popularity of the Oktober Fest to well beyond the German borders are what makes Burda offer it's readers their version...


  1. What a wonderful thing to see. It does sort of put it into perspective.

  2. I do believe you, but frankly, Bavaria is hardly the center of the fashion world and other than this weird tip of the hat in its October issue (I think their September plus feature jumped the gun this year) Burda aspires to give us fashion. It's just a weird quirk to oblige one very unstylish corner of a provincial world.

    1. You are right about that, but let's bot forget Burda is originally German. It's more like they sometimes forget how far they've grown...

  3. I didn't know it was used at weddings. It looks nice. I actually like dirdnls and have been thinking about making one after spending a week in Sud tirol...but then thought I would never wear it and gave up. So thought it was nice to have a pattern on Burda...then again not every year!

  4. Burda originally comes from munich where the octoberfest is still a very important and popular feast. So it has to do with tradition for them as a Bavarian magazine.
    They somehow forget their international readers- it must seem very awkward for somebody not Bavarian.
    Marie from Munich

  5. I lived in Bavaria for almost three years in the 70's, so I know how popular dirndl and lederhosen are there. Having German ancestry myself, I like the dirndl and am thinking of making one for myself, though I live in the US. I think you could wear it anywhere you would wear a nice dress. I got one of the dirndl pattern magazines and was impressed with the many variations on the theme.

  6. I moved to Bavaria almost 2 years and actually quite enjoy that traditional garments are worn for all kinds of festivities. The traditional clothing has actually enjoyed quite a revival during recent years and among young Bavarians. And even if you are from other parts of Germany, you wear a dirndl when visiting the Oktoberfest.

    So I'm not really bothered by the patterns they bring every year around this time. I actually plan on sewing my own dirndl so I won't stand out at any fairs anymore.