How to Make a German Costume

Updated February 21, 2017

Dance the polka at Oktoberfest in a German costume. You can add a few details to a thrift shop clothes to make a German costume for a man or a woman. Of course, German costumes are even more adorable on children. You will find many occasions to wear these outfits. You can be Hansel and Gretel for Halloween, liven up the October meeting of your brew club, or perform "Do-Re-Mi" from "The Sound of Music" in a talent show.

Put on the white shirt. Leave the collar unbuttoned. Sew a gold button on each side of the collar. Put on the short trousers. Choose shorts with a 3-inch inseam that fit just below the natural waist.

Create suspenders of embroidered ribbon, by pinning a length of ribbon inside the waist of the trousers, 3 inches out from the centre on each side. Run the suspenders over your shoulders and pin them at the same point on the back of the waistband. Cut a short length of ribbon to connect the suspenders in the front. The ribbon should be long enough not to pull the straps out of place and short enough to lie flat. Sew this piece to the suspenders so that it lies in the middle of your chest.

Cut the socks off 1 inch above your ankle bone. Finish this edge with a stretch stitch on the sewing machine. Set the stitch length as short as possible to create a finished edge. Cut an 8-inch band from the top of the sock and finish the bottom edge of it in the same way. Wear these bands just below your knee.

Wrap a wide--8-inch or more--band of black fabric around your waist for a belt. Measure it and cut it so that there will be a 3-inch opening in the front. Have a friend use pins to mark the opening in the front, before you cut it. Cut a piece of iron-on, heavyweight interfacing the same size as the fabric. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.

Sew embroidered ribbon around all the outside edges of the belt, to finish the edges. Sew the "eye" side of silver-coloured, decorative, hook-and-eye fasteners along the opening of the belt. Place the eyes every two inches along the opening. Be sure the eyes are at the same height on each side of the belt.

Hem the apron so that it is 2 inches shorter than the skirt. Sew a band or two of embroidered ribbon a few inches above the bottom edge of the apron. Put on the full skirt, white blouse and apron. A blouse with a scoop neck and puff sleeves is best.

Put on the belt and lace ribbon through the eyes to lace up the front. Braid ribbon in your hair or wear a ribbon headband if your hair is short.


A felt hat with a short brim and a feather is a nice touch.


Follow manufacturer's directions for ironing on interfacing.

Things You'll Need

  • White dress shirt
  • 2 gold buttons
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Short trousers
  • Embroidered ribbon
  • Safety pins
  • Scissors
  • Heavy wool knee-high socks
  • Sewing machine
  • Black broadcloth
  • Heavyweight iron-on interfacing
  • Large decorative silver fasteners
  • White half-apron
  • Full skirt
  • White peasant blouse
  • Ribbon
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.