A dirndl is made with at least two fabric panels, depending on the desired fullness and the fabric weight; the heavier a fabric, the less width needed. If the fabric itself is narrow, you might need four panels for a full skirt.
Cut fabric rectangles equal to two to three times your waist measurement and the desired length plus 3 inches for a hem. Cut a waistband the length of your waist plus 1 inch for ease and 2 1/2 inches for seams and an extension; it should be twice the finished width plus 1 1/4 inches for seams.
Stitch the skirt with 5/8-inch seams, leaving an 8-inch opening in the left seam for a zipper. Finish the seam edges; press. Insert a zipper by the lapped method.
Loosen the top tension on your sewing machine slightly and set the machine for a long stitch-at least 8 per inch. Stitch 1/2 inch from the raw edge on the right side of the fabric, breaking stitches at the seams. Leave long
thread ends. Stitch again ‘/4 inch away in the seam allowance.
Divide and mark the skirt in four equal sections. Do the same with the waistband (excluding the extension). Pin the skirt to the waistband, matching the four markings. Anchor the bobbin threads at one end by winding them around a pin in a figure eight.
To gather, pull the bobbin threads at the other end and slide the fabric along them until the skirt fits the waistband; fasten the thread ends.
Even the gathers all around and pin; baste the skirt to one edge of the waistband. With the gathered side up, stitch just to the left of the gathering stitches, holding the fabric firmly on both sides of the needle to prevent pleats from forming. Stitch the waistband ends; slipstitch the inside of the waistband to the skirt. Add a button and buttonhole or a hook and eye.