Clothing, Culture

Altmodish Trachten / Old Fashioned Clothing

Instragram recently led me down a rabbit hole of really talented sewers and seamstresses who create reproductions of clothing from bygone eras. This got me wondering how I could perhaps take inspiration for my own designs not only from today’s Trachten styles, but also those of the past….

Thanks to friendly, hardworking librarians, I’ve had the pleasure of looking at some fascinating books on the topic. Last week I visited the Carnegie Public Library in Oakland and I’d love to share with you some of the images I found.

This first illustration shows what people in Oberbayern (upper Bavaria) were wearing in the mid 1800s – surprisingly similar to the Trachten still worn today! The detailing on the menswear is just lovely. I am wondering if the girl with the yellow scarf is wearing her Hausschuhe?!


Once again, mid 1800s, these ladies are from the Black Forest. I have a little doll that is wearing the same outfit as the second lady, red pompom hat and all! I also love that the lady on the far right has what appears to be a donut?!? on her head…must do more research into that!IMG-3701

Just when I was beginning to think that today’s trend of big hair bows had reached its climax, I see that one can go bigger!! :-O And she is OWNING it. lol


My greatest find was a book called “Original Tyrolean Costumes” published in 1937. Now, at first I thought, oh wow! this Baron Georg Franckenstein loves Austrian clothing as much as I do! and while this might have been the case, the date of publication makes me suspicious because it was clearly printed for an English audience. A bit of stealthy prewar propaganda, perhaps? Anyway, I love the book’s illustrations and the forward so I’ve included it below.

The fashion illustrations in this book are of such high quality! The children’s outfits are so cute! The artist made sure to show the intricate craftsmanship of the clothing, often including the backs of bodices and jackets.



I am a big fan of puffed sleeves, even though they aren’t flattering on everybody. These ladies are rocking them, and I especially love the fluffy white hats – they looks so soft and warm!


And finally, remember to wear what you like – embrace your personal style and if this includes “putting a bird on it”, then so be it! lolIMG-3734

Culture, Sewing, Uncategorized

Sewickley Stammtisch

Hallo! We have been blessed with a delightfully busy summer this year, as the length between my posts demonstrates. This July my father and sister both celebrated their milestone birthdays with a huge party. Many family members and friends joined us for the BBQ themed bash – even some of our German relatives came! It was so wonderful to see family again, and meine Tante brought me Dirndl hardware that is impossible to find in the US, for which I am eternally grateful!!!
Another exciting development was the start of a local Deutsch Stammtisch group, prompted by a shared desire to practice German. We meet every fortnight to speak German/Germish and drink beer – what more could you want?! I am learning so much from my friends, old and new, and having a blast as well. If you’re local and would like to join us, find us here. If you’re not local but think this sounds like a good idea, I encourage you to reach out to your community via Facebook, etc. You might find one already operating near you, or you can start your own 😉
Plans for Oktoberfest in Pittsburgh have already begun, and as always I am excited for the cooler weather and Fall festivities to arrive once more. I’m currently sewing a dirndl for a dear friend of mine, so look for updates on that project!
Bis bald, Kirsten. Xx