Silvia Günther


Outline the story …

The Star Money by the Brothers Grimm (German title: Die Sterntaler) is a story about a kind hearted nameless orphan who hasn't got a home and has nothing left but the clothes on her body and a loaf of bread to eat. She wanders around and meets an old hungry man begging for food who she gives her loaf of bread. On her way she also meets three children who are freezing in the cold who she gives all her clothes to. The kind girl thought to herself: "It's a dark night so no one will see me naked" so she even gave her shift away. Now that she gave everything she had for others suddenly the stars began falling down. Twinkling and shining they turned out to be silver coins (Taler) and was given a new shift from the finest linen in which she collected the falling star money. She was rich for the rest of her life.
I chose the fairy tale because I liked the shortness and creative constraints because of the little bit of concrete information about what the main character wears at the end of the story.
I wanted to explore the themes of stars, richness in combination with a kind and humble character and how far I could stretch the imagination of a shift/shirt/undergarment into a gown without loosing the original idea. I clustered the main characteristics of the character I had in mind for the dress: kindness, simplicity, vulnerability, purity, softness, warmth and youthfulness.

Outline the construction…

After I had pulled myself back from the idea to make a starry, shiny, elaborate princess gown I settled down on what I would call a regency style dress with nightgown undertone, because it gave me the chance to be both simple yet elegant. I wanted to incorporate small details like the stars button closure and the stars lace to refer to the star coins without being the main focus.
I used the round gown from the 18th century dressmaking book as a base to work on. It was my first time scaling up an historical pattern. It worked out quite well but I had to elongate the bust part and take in a lot from the sides. I also had to change the closure from being a drawstring in the front to buttons in the back. The sleeves were drafted based on a pattern from Kosedos Lima dress. I kept the overall shape but added the band and the ruffles.
I used a viscose linen blend fabric which has a stunning drape and softness just like I imagined it but it was a hassle to work with It is really flimsy and heavy and does not want to keep it's shape. Because of that I enforced the arm and waistbands with fusible interfacing and lined the bodice with a standard cotton. I also hand gathered all the gathers and sewn them in by hand. But the stays that are not even visible were by far the most annoying thing.




  1. Avatar Emma Wayne on March 12, 2021 at 4:16 am

    A very sweet story and dress to go with it. Lovely details as well.

  2. Avatar Rebecca on March 12, 2021 at 4:20 am

    i love those star buttons! so sweet. Good luck! (from craftyroo/icarus!)

  3. Avatar Stef McKnight on March 12, 2021 at 7:57 am

    The star buttons are a beautiful touch for such an elegant ensemble

  4. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Your interpretation of this story is magnificent- the star buttons are just the most perfect tail! Love it so much

  5. Avatar Sarah Lowes on March 12, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    I love this. I love the simplicity yet beauty, the tiny details and the soft look of the fabric. A truly ‘class’ garment.

  6. Avatar Alexis on March 12, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Simply gorgeous! I especially love the subtle star references in the buttons and trim! Your design exactly expresses a sense of kindness, simplicity, vulnerability, purity, softness, warmth and youthfulness that was portrayed in the story.

  7. Avatar Kait on March 12, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    Very elegant indeed! Beautiful work!

  8. Avatar Alice Markey on March 14, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    This is so amazing! Everything about it works so well – those star buttons are adorable. Your connection of the garment to the story is so thoughtful and creative, too. Outstanding work!

  9. Avatar Christiane Edel on March 16, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Such a lovely interpretation. Beautifully elegant indeed.

  10. Avatar Amanda on March 19, 2021 at 1:24 am

    What an elegant, beautiful gown! The star buttons are super pretty and really make this such a lovely look. I totally want one of these!

  11. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 19, 2021 at 11:26 am

    So beautifully made, and elegant. I love the star buttons.

  12. Avatar Clara on March 21, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    Dear Silvia,
    since Sterntaler was amongst my favourite fairytales as a little girl, I was so delighted to see you bring the character to life! I even had day dreams about her new linen dress as a child and all of the little gathers you did here make my heart sing 🥰

  13. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 24, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    I love this interpretation of the fairytale, that pure white gown perfectly reflects the innocence and purity of the girl’s heart. Not to mention, it is an absolutely beautiful dress!

  14. Avatar Maeri Certo on March 26, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Beautiful! I am a bit star-obsessed so I love the theme and trims. I need to go read this!

  15. Avatar Danielle Probst on March 27, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    This is a perfect encapsulation of the Sternthaler story. I love how subtle the details of the lace and buttons are. Very well done.

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