Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Do You Want Some Candy, Little Boy?

Dirndle Plaid Suspender Skirt from “Pauline Denham”, c. 1965

My husband caught a glimpse of this cover from across the room, and chuckled in a filthy way only he can manage. “Baby, I’d sample some of her candy...” Then he took a closer look and said, “Actually, no. I take that back. I’m not messing with her.”

“Why’s that?” I asked.

“Look at her scary eyes. If you crossed her, she’d boil your bunny!”

Yes, this Pauline Denham design is not so much “Naughty Schoolgirl” as it is “Psychotic Mistress”. Instead of making your boyfriend’s heart go pitter-pat with desire, it’llgive him arrhythmia. So if you have a burning desire to terrorize the males in your life this Halloween, this is the costume for you!

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

The dirndle skirt was a staple of the fifties and sixties wardrobe because it’s dead simple to make. It’s just a tube of fabric gathered at the waist.

On the down side, this skirt will also make your hips, belly and butt look enormous. Not to mention make your legs resemble tree stumps. But if you slap a big ol’ bow on it, I’m sure no one will notice!

Hairspray not included.
Model No. 2801

Sizes: 12-14-16 (14-16 in parentheses).

Materials: Pauline Denham Nomotta Sport Supra. Contrasting color (C.C.) “A” (yellow) 4 (4-5) 1 oz sks; CC “B” (red) background color 6 (7-8) sks; CC “C” (black) 4 (4-5) sks. No. 5 circular needles (or whatever size necessary to maintain stitch gauge); 7’’ zipper; 3 yards 2’’ grosgrain ribbon.
I’m not sure what the purpose of all this C.C./CC business is, since we’ll be calling these colours A, B, and C throughout the pattern anyway. I suppose we do need reminding that the colours must CONTRAST. None of this blue, purple and bluish-purple business. If your colours don’t CONTRAST your skirt will be ruined, and no one will invite you to their parties.

And trust me, you want to be invited to these parties!

This woman’s dirndle skirts are in contrasting shades of bilious yellow, blood red and under-the-cover-of-night black. These men are putty in her hands, and their bunnies are hasenpfeffer.
Gauge: 6 sts = 1’’.

Pattern Stitch: Broken Plaid, Multiple of 8 + 7. Colors A, B and C. Color B is the background color. Row 1: (Right side). With A, knit. Row 2: With A, k 3, insert needle (as if to knit) into next st and wrap yarn 3 times around point of needle, then knit the st (k 1 – 3 wraps); * k 7, k 1 – 3 wraps; repeat from *, end k 3. Row 3: With B, k 3, * sl, 1 with yarn in back, k 3; repeat from * (throughout pattern the extra wraps are dropped from the elongated stitches when these stitches are slipped. Row 4: With B, p 3, * sl 1 with yarn in front, p 3, repeat from *. Row 5: With C k 3 * sl 1 with yarn in back, k 7, repeat from *, end sl 1, k 3. Row 6: With C, k 3, * sl 1 with yarn in front, k 7, repeat from * , end sl 1, k 3. Rows 7 and 8: With B repeat rows 3 and 4. Row 9: With C, knit. Row 10: With C, k 7, * k 1 – 3 wraps, k 7; repeat from *. Rows 11 and 12: With B, repeat rows 3 and 4. Row 13: With A, k 7, * sl 1 with yarn in back, k 7, repeat from *. Row 14: With A, k 7, * sl 1 with yarn in front, k 7, repeat from *. Rows 15 and 16: With B, repeat rows 3 and 4. Repeat rows 1-16.

Skirt: 1 pc (seamed in back). With No. 5 needles, cast on 303 (311-319) sts. Work even in pattern st for 23’’ (or desired length) allowing 1’’ for stretch. Bind off by knitting 3 sts tog across row.
Considering the sheer tedium of working 303-319 stitches across in sport weight yarn, not to mention all the ends you’re going to weave in, your “desired length” may be closer to 8 inches than 23 inches. That’s okay, it’ll be all the easier to play naughty school girl!

Belt and Suspender: Cast on 13 sts. Work in pattern to fit waistline for belt and over shoulders for suspenders.

Finishing: Block pcs to measurements. Sl st back seam, leaving 7’’ opening for zipper. Work 1 row sc around opening. Sew in zipper. Face belt with 2’’ grosgrain ribbon. Sew on edge of belt over top of skirt, holding to fit and extending 1’’ of belt for underlap. Face suspenders with grosgrain ribbon, attach suspenders to the front of waistband as desired; cross in back and adjust for length and spacing. Sew on hook & eye for belt closing.
And now you’re all ready to go out and menace your men this Halloween!

Now, if you don’t have the time or patience to knit up a dirndle skirt, you could always just bake up a mess of this, instead.

“Why no, honey! That’s not a threat, that’s just dinner. Now, pass me your plate and I’ll chop off a hotdog for you.”

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. hilarious. and YIKES! she looks scarier than the evil clown mask. *hides from clown anyways*

    1. Hiding from clowns should always be anyone's default state! ;)