Wednesday, June 25, 2014

When I saw this, I almost screamed! Rare Dirndl are ALWAYS made in the USA!

Well…. last week, it was brought to my attention by Debra from Trachten-Quelle in Canada, that there is a Rare Dirndl Impostor out there!

I guess I've really made it big because a Pakistani manufacturer is copying my designs. I was quite upset about the whole thing, not because they were copying my designs (it's bound to happen in this industry) but because they are so blatantly using my photograph!

I had fire running through my veins! What if people start thinking that Rare Dirndls come from a sweatshop in Pakistan?! Debra also did a little investigating for me and asked for pricing on my designs, and at the price that they are offering, there is no way that the quality can be there! It's impossible… their wholesale cost is less than the cost of just the fabrics! (not to mention that fabric is sold out… so it must be a "similar fabric") Anywooooo… before I get all riled up again about this, let's get to the good stuff!

I want to show you some details that go into a Rare Dirndl that you can't see and I'm sure that the Pakistani manufacturer is not including in their dirndls. The details that we put inside Rare Dirndls is just as important as what is on the outside. Without the inner structure: extra fusible, boning, and pressings… the dirndls wouldn't last very long, look as nice, or fit as well.

All of the dirndls have an extra layer of fabric that is fused to the center front to make it more durable. This way, when we add the extra weight of the hardware, hooks, spikes, chain etc… the center of your dirndl doesn't start tearing, ripping, or buckling under the pressure!

Another SUPER important detail that we include in our dirndls is the boning (or stays) at the center front. Along the front zipper is a type of boning that is stitched to the inside and keeps the front from collapsing.

This particular style of boning is expensive, (probably why you don't find it in cheaper dirndls) but this boning is my favorite. Sometimes after lots of wear and tear, small pieces of it may start to poke out the top, but a quick trim with scissors or filing with a nail file can fix the problem. Cheaper boning can poke out completely and once it breaks through the fabric, it creates a hole that is very difficult, if not impossible to fix.

Rare Dirndls are also pressed frequently throughout the sewing process. This is more time consuming, but really makes the final product look much more polished and more likely to stay looking fresh.

Another thing that is very important to me is that anyone who is working for Rare Dirndl, whether it be the seamstresses, the pattern makers or the window washer, is paid properly. Rare dirndls, menswear, blouses etc are all created in ethical conditions, NOT in sweatshops! (I mean the studio does get hot in the summer, but that doesn't count ;-) haha!)

The details that are inside Rare Dirndls that you can't see are what make them really great. Also, they are sewn with care! If I don't sew them myself, they are made by a local Chicago manufacturer (5 miles from the Rare Dirndl Design Studio) and these ladies are awesome! They can sew circles around me and their attention to detail is beyond impressive… that's why they're the only people I trust to make Rare Dirndls!

So there you have it, what makes a Rare Dirndl… well… RARE! If you ever have any questions about Rare Dirndls, feel free to send an e-mail or give the studio a call and we'll answer your questions as best we can. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get an inside look at the daily goings on!

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

World Cup Dirndls?! Actually just "In Bloom" Dirndls!

With the World Cup in full swing, the Rare Dirndl Design Studio windows are all set up with dirndls representing Group G: Germany, Portugal, USA, and Ghana! How did I have time to make 4 dirndls to represent each country? I used the In Bloom Dirndls and Vest and it was super easy!

Germany vs Portugal
The first game on Monday had Germany playing Portugal! 

Our German representative in the window is wearing the In Bloom Dirndl with an Off-the-Shoulder Blouse with gathers, Yellow Semi-Circle Skirt and a German Flag themed custom apron!

Our Portuguese representative is wearing the In Bloom Vest with the Sweetheart Blouse with Lace, a Black Semi-Circle Skirt and Portuguese Flag themed one-of-a-kind apron!

USA vs Ghana

The next game was the USA versus Ghana!

Our American representative in the window is wearing the In Bloom Vest with the Sparkle Organza Blouse, Royal Blue Semi-Circle Skirt, Modern Bavarian Scarf, and an American Flag themed custom apron! 

Our Ghanaian representative is wearing the In Bloom Dirndl with a Black Blouslette, Red Semi-Circle Skirt and one-of-a-kind apron (the fabric I used celebrates 50 years of independence... I bought the fabric in Ghana when I was studying abroad in 2007!)

All of these pieces are available online! [except the Portugal apron... which is just pinned for the window and the Ghana apron... which is mine ;-) ]

Click Here to get stared building your own In Bloom Dirndl look to represent your country! But if you are a little confused as to how this dirndl works… why its so versatile and what makes it the perfect dirndl for Oktoberfest or any other occasion, watch this video!

This weekend I'll be keeping a close eye on the games in order to update the scores in the Design Studio Window. If you have any questions or would like more details about the In Bloom Dirndl, simply reply to this e-mail.

Happy World Cup!!

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
Take our dirndl quiz and find out! Simply type in your email here  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight: Cathy Kling

Cathy Kling - West Harrison, IN

My love for Oktoberfest celebrations started when my family would gather in Minster, Ohio for their annual event. My ancestors on my mother's side originated in Prussia.

When I met my now husband, David (whose ancestors came from Germany in the 1800's and settled in Cincinnati Ohio) it became apparent we were a good match.
David and I have made it our mission to seek out and attend every Oktoberfest within the greater Cincinnati area (Germania being our favorite!) We have been to Frankenmuth, Michigan and hopefully Munich one day! With that being said, we decided what better time and place to get married but at our own Oktoberfest with family and friends, and since the original event started with a wedding between Prince Lugwig and Princess Therese in 1810... we thought what a great idea!!

Now came the difficult task in finding the perfect dirndl. I searched many websites with little to no interest on what I found. Until one day I came across the Rare Dirndl website and I finally found what I had been searching for, the perfect dirndl aka "The Pit and The Pendulum Dirndl"!  It was truly an Aha moment!! I loved it and so did David. That design was everything that I was looking for and I received many compliments on our wedding day.

Our wedding was truly a wonderful day and I'm so glad I found that dirndl! (and I've already got my eye on another)

Do you want to be the next Rare Dirndl Customer Spotlight? As the winner you will recieve a $50 Coupon Code for any online purchase, a feature on the Rare Dirndl website and blog, and a gift package worth approx $100!! Click here to get all the details!

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
Take our dirndl quiz and find out! Simply type in your email here  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ask the Dirndl Designer! - 5 Most Common Questions!

This past weekend was one of Chicago's most beloved street festivals, the Maifest in Lincoln Square. I also had the Rare Dirndl Design Studio doors open for anyone who wanted to stop by and shop! It was a lot of fun and as usual… when people find out that I design a line of fashion forward dirndls for a living, the questions start rolling! It got me thinking that after 5 years of doing this there are pretty much 5 most common questions so I decided to answer them for you via video!

Watch this video to learn the answers to the most common questions I get asked. The very last one is the best one (and I was only asked that once, but it's probably my favorite question ever!!)

Do you have a question that I didn't answer? Feel free to write it in the comments and I'll be sure to answer it for you. Have a fabulous week!

Ever wonder what dirndl style you are? 
Take our dirndl quiz and find out! Simply type in your email here