Saturday, September 25, 2021

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement 306 - Model #72 - Autumn 2017

Cowl Neck Knit Dress/Top 
   Hi there fellow Lutterloh enthusiasts. I was trying out another knit dress pattern but decided to give it a go as a long top first. Boy am I glad I did!
Pattern Hints:
   There were no problems enlarging this pattern to my size. Since this is a full figure pattern I did use a number 4 dots lower on the scale than my actual measurement. Below is a photo of the front bodice pattern piece. You can see that a long, sew on facing is suggested for the cowl. 

I don't like a seam at the top of my cowl necklines so I cut my pattern as suggested in a previous post here. The red line indicates where I added to my pattern so I could still cut the pattern on the fold but now I have a fold down, cut on facing. If you go this route you'll need to decide how deep you'd like your facing and how far into the shoulder seam you'd like it to attach. Mine ended up about 1.5 inches wide at the shoulder and about 4 inches deep at the center front.

   I found the fashion drawing to be a little deceiving for this pattern. It could just be the pose of the model but the waistline appears to be sort of high to me. It turns out the waist seam sits right about on the natural waist.

Design Changes:
   This top was just an experiment for me to see how the cowl worked out. I was pleased with the cowl and the bodice of the pattern so I just cut 2 rectangles, the width of my fabric and  long enough to cover my behind, to gather and attach as flounces at the bottom. I didn't have enough of this fabric to make the skirt. It's probably just as well since this knit is a little clingy.

Fabric Used/Suggested:
   My top is made from a rayon/poly knit that drapes beautifully. This worked great for a top but maybe not for the entire dress. Because of the weight of my knit the waist seam was actually stretched lower. This is fine for the style of my top but I would use a slightly firmer knit for the dress as pictured in the fashion drawing. The advantage to using a very drapey knit is the effect it has on the cowl.
 Close up of cowl

Closing Hints:
   Despite having to redraw the facing I really like this pattern. The fold over facing is really just a personal preference. If you don't mind the seam in your cowl neckline then I'm sure the Lutterloh facing would work just fine. I may make one more top in a firmer knit just to evaluate the cowl and waist seam before I move onto the dress. The paper pattern puts the waist seam right on my waist but my fabric sure did stretch. I think a circle peplum might be a nice finish for an alternate top design. Unfortunately I have to go back to mask making for a while so we'll just have to see.

Here's hoping you're all safe and sound. Happy sewing everyone.

Ann in Calif.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement 321 - Model#84 - Summer 2021

Knee Length Shorts

    Hi there folks, it's still hot as Hades here in California so I thought I would make one more pair of shorts to get me through the Summer. I knew when I saw this pattern that it would be one I should try.

Pattern Hints: 

   The pattern for these shorts is straight forward but I did find an oddity when comparing the pattern to the fashion drawing.  

Above is the fashion drawing for the back next to the actual back pattern. In the fashion drawing the yoke is taller at the center and narrower at the side seams, the actual pattern is the opposite. I did find that the pattern, once enlarged, is indeed shaped like the pattern drawing not the fashion drawing. There is no way you'll get a "V" shaped yoke out of this pattern piece.

   Another point to note about the pattern is that the shaped waistband is supposed to be cut on the bias. See how the grainline arrow is at a 45 degree angle to the center back? This makes the waistband easier to curve but can also leave you with a stretched out waistband without some stabilization at the seam. I used 1/4 inch twill tape in the seam where the waist joins the yoke as a precaution.

Design Changes:    

   This pattern is really a good basic pattern for straight leg shorts. I made just a couple of changes to suit my preferences. First I left off the belt loops because I knew I wouldn't wear a belt with these. Next was to elongate the front pocket bags. I find that the pockets on most recent Lutterloh patterns are just too shallow to be useful for me.

   The photo above shows the front pocket pattern drawn according to the dots. The red line indicates where the original pattern would have ended. This pocket allows for about half of your hand to fit and ends at about the bottom of the crotch, not good if you want to actually carry anything in your pockets. I extended the depth of the pocket by almost three inches so now it ends below the crotch.

Fabric Used/Suggested:  

   The knit symbol on this pattern would suggest that you can use stretch fabric for these shorts. I wanted to use up some of my 100% cotton corduroy so I used generous seam allowances when cutting the fabric. Since corduroy has a tendency to stretch on it's own, it turns out I didn't need those larger seam allowances. I sewed the entire pattern on the regular sewing line without needing any extra.

Closing Hints:
    Now that I've finished these shorts I'm glad I took the chance with the non stretch corduroy. They're the perfect shorts to take me through the end of Summer and into the Fall. 

Until next time then, Happy Sewing Everyone,

Ann in Calif.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement 320 - Model #47 - Spring 2021

Full Figure Knit Skirt
    Hey there, while waiting for the newest Lutterloh supplement I thought I would work on a simple skirt pattern. This skirt is such an easy going style it will work for year round wear here in California. Despite the simple pattern this skirt has a lot going for it with it's pull on elastic waist and side seam pockets. I decided not to make the accompanying pullover top because I knew a closer fitting top would be more flattering for my figure. 
Pattern Hints: 
    As you can see from the pattern drawing below, it is suggested that you cut a 2cm facing to make a casing for the elastic at the waist.
This just seemed too fussy for me for such a simple skirt. Instead I added on a 3/4" seam allowance to the top of the pattern and sewed my elastic directly to the wrong side of the waistband. I then simply folded this elastic to the inside and top-stitched it down at the 2cm marking. It still looks nice and neat without any extra facing pieces.
    Since this is a Full Figure pattern I enlarged the pattern by using a number 4 dots lower than my actual measurement indicated. If you'd like further information on using the Full Figure patterns for an average sized body then check out the link near the bottom of the right side bar titled "Using full figure patterns for smaller sizes".
Design Changes:
    In addition to the sewn on elastic waist I also narrowed the pattern at the top just a little. A rough drawing of my change is indicated by the pink lines drawn in on the pattern pic above. I felt like there would be too much gathering for me at the waist for this style so I used my hip curve ruler to make a slightly more exaggerated curve in the waist area.  

    My skirt is also just a little shorter than the fashion drawing shows. I didn't add my usual length adjustment to this pattern because I wanted a skirt that could take the place of shorts for the hot Summer months ahead. 
Fabric Used/Suggested: 
    This pattern calls for a knit fabric but you could probably get away with using a stretch woven if it was drapey and stretchy enough. My particular knit is very lightweight and only stretches on the cross grain. I used a nylon stretch lining fabric for the pockets so they wouldn't cling to me or the wrong side of the skirt. 
    Since my fabric is so lightweight I interfaced the hem with a 1.75" strip of fusible knit interfacing that I serged on to the wrong side and then folded up and ironed. This gives a little more weight to the hem as well as keeping it from getting wavy.
Closing Hints:  
    This pattern goes together so quickly it's a definite keeper for me. Skirts or dresses with pockets are always a nice alternative to pants or shorts in any season. Your fabric choice is really what determines the degree of dressiness for this pattern. I see more of these in my future for Summer and beyond!
For now then, Happy Sewing Everyone,
Ann in Calif.  

Monday, May 10, 2021

Top OR Dress

 Supplement 259 - Model #131 (2005)

Dress from a top pattern

     Hello Lutterloh enthusiasts, I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day. Mine was quiet, spending time sewing up this new dress. A long time reader, Jacqui, left a comment on an old post about this top pattern and it got me thinking about how easy this one was to put together. Since I've been on a quest to find some easy wash and wear dresses for summer I thought I would consider lengthening this top pattern for a dress. Boy am I glad I did!
The Pattern:
    This pattern is a breeze to draw out. You simply draw two pattern pieces, front and back, and then cut them apart at the bottom of the empire seam. It is important to pay attention to all the tiny symbols you're given because they do relay quite a bit of information.                                                

The two symbols circled above are to indicate that the top of the lower bodice and the waistline are at right angles or 90° to the center front. The same is true for the back piece. The 45° symbol in the oval is to tell you that the lower bodice pieces should be cut on the true bias or at a 45° angle to the selvage. The arrow is to point out that the center front on the top bodice piece is NOT cut on the fold but is rather a seam where you need to add seam allowance. 
You may have noticed that the numbers for the side seam dots are the same for the front and back pieces. As it turns out the lower front and back pattern pieces are exactly the same. If you didn't want to draw out all those dots feel free to just cut one full pattern, front or back, and cut two identical fabric pieces for the lower portion.
My Changes:
    The pattern is nearly tunic length already so the hip curve is already established. All you really need to get it to dress length is to establish how much length you need from just under your bust down to whatever hem length you like. I did this with a yard stick. Once this measurement is determined you simply extend the lines for center front and back and draw the side seam lines to match. Using your curved ruler you can extend the side seams straight down or even curve them outward just a little for a more A line skirt. The choice is yours. 
    I mentioned that the center front of the empire bodice is cut with a seam. I didn't want to interrupt my floral pattern so I cut it on the fold instead. It makes the V neckline a little less sharp but that's fine with me. I also raised the neckline by one inch because it seemed a little low for me.

    The bodice on my dress may appear longer than the fashion drawing for this pattern. This is simply a result of my substantial full bust adjustment. In addition to the usual one inch that I add to all my top patterns I also needed to add more length just under the fullest area of my bust. You can see how I did this in my original review of this pattern here. Unfortunately as the years go by I find myself adding more and more in this area.😒 
    This major bust adjustment is likely the reason that I need to insert elastic all the way around the empire seam now instead of just at the back. Without the elastic this dress was not just boxy but almost sack like. There is no closure in this pattern so in order to get it over your head it needs to be quite roomy if made up in a woven fabric. I would imagine someone with a much slimmer figure might get away with this top/dress without any gathering at the empire seam. 

The Fabric:
    My dress, like my original top, is made up in everyday cotton quilting fabric. This affords me the greatest options as far as prints, and I do love a printed dress. Initially I looked for rayon challis for this dress transformation but alas I couldn't find one in a print in a color that was flattering. A drapey fabric cut on the bias would provide a nice silhouette for this dress so I'll keep my eyes open for one in the future. There are already two more iterations of this pattern on my cutting table with one being a thin shirting fabric. Of course a drapey knit would work nicely too but I was going for a more breathable option for the hot months to come. If you decide to try this pattern keep in mind that, even cut on the bias, the stiffer the fabric the more it will stand away from your body. 

    I am so glad that Jacqui brought this pattern to my attention again. Thanks Jacqui 😊 With no fasteners or zippers this pattern goes together lickety split even with the addition of the elastic in the empire seam! The only fussy operation for this pattern is folding the fabric on the bias so you can cut the center front and back on the fold. Because it's cut on the bias, this dress did take a little more fabric but I managed to get one out of 3 yards of 45" fabric or 2 ¼ yards of 58" fabric.

    I hope this gets you thinking of more ways to make your Lutterloh patterns work for you. I may need to look through the other patterns I have drawn already to see if I can find more short cuts. After all, the less time drawing patterns the more time there is to sew!

Until next time then,
Ann in Calif.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 320 - Model #74 - Spring 2021

Full Figure Jumpsuit for knit fabric
     Hi there, before the weather heats up here in California I thought I would sew up this knit jumpsuit. This is a very straightforward pattern with lots of opportunity for dressing up or down. The pattern page includes pieces for long sleeves and full length pants but the shorter version seemed more appropriate for my climate.

      Even though this is a full figure pattern I was able to make it work for me by moving the pin in the scale down by 4 dots thus creating a smaller pattern. So, instead of drawing out the pattern with my usual Lutterloh measurement of 102 I counted down 4 dots and put the pin in at 94. My bust and hip measurement are the same but if yours are different you would just move the pin down for each corresponding measurement. If you are more of an average size I would suggest reading the post titled, "Using full figure patterns for smaller sizes",before trying a full figure pattern from Lutterloh.

Pattern Hints: 
     I have had trouble in the past with the full figure pants patterns. They have a considerably longer crotch length than the regular size patterns so be prepared to make a mock up or at the very least paper fit your pattern before cutting into your good fabric. With the regular size patterns I usually need to add a little to the crotch length but for the full figure ones I always need to cut at least a couple of inches off the top of the pants patterns. 

Fabric Used/Suggested: 
     This jumpsuit is suggested to be made in a knit fabric and I would agree wholeheartedly. As much as I would like to make this up in a stretch woven I would advise against it. Mine is made up in a medium weight black, cotton/poly interlock with stretch only on the cross grain. If I make it again I will use a knit with stretch in both directions. It would be so much easier to put on if the fabric had some lengthwise stretch. 
     I did omit the narrow neck facings and opted for clear elastic sewn to the entire neck edge and then folded over and cover-stitched down. I'm so glad I did it this way because the neck edge stretches more than with a facing making it easier to put on but still avoiding any gaping in the front.
Design Changes:
     The only real design change I made was to change the bodice crossover to right side on top of left. I've noticed that the Lutterloh patterns show bodices with either configuration so feel free to cross the front bodice to your preference. I did make a rolled edge hem at the bottom of the legs giving them a lettuce edge effect. To be honest this was more out of necessity than an actual design decision. I had lengthened the legs of my pattern by 2 inches as I always do but since I also needed to cut 2 inches off the top of the pants I should have checked the length again before cutting the fabric. Good thing this was just a mock up 😒. I have since made a note on my pattern to add another inch plus hem allowance for next time. I will just add the extra length to the bottom since these are wide leg pants that are nearly the same width from thigh to hem.
Closing Hints:
     Now that this jumpsuit is finished I'm glad I took the time to make a muslin of it. I have plenty of knit fabric in lovely prints that I'd like to try for this pattern. For now I'll dress up this plain black one with different belts, shoes and jewelry just for some variety. 

Until next time then, happy sewing everyone,

Ann in Calif.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement 304 - Model #23&24 - Spring 2017

Knit Dresses - Full Figure

Hello sewing friends. I've been sewing up some short dresses in preparation for Spring in California. Around Christmas time I ran across a website for some nice knit dresses called Karina dresses (no affiliation) that I felt I just had to replicate. One of the features of these dresses is that they almost all have pockets. Since I like to wear short dresses over leggings I need to build pockets into the dresses.

You may notice that the pattern I used is for the Full Figure size range. My measurements don't actually reach the Full Figure range but by moving the pin in the scale down by 4 dots I can still draw out a pattern that works just great. If you'd like further information on using the Full Figure patterns for an average sized body then check out the link near the bottom of the right side bar titled "Using full figure patterns for smaller sizes"

Pattern Hints:

I did find one omission in this pattern that is worth mentioning. Normally Lutterloh patterns have a mark to denote center front with a "VM" even on a surplice bodice. You can see in the photo below that this pattern is missing that marking.  

This isn't a deal breaker but you will need to mark the center front on your pattern when you're paper fitting it though. You can see that the bottom of the front bodice is drawn in a strange jagged configuration but just trust the system and you will find that, once the darts are sewn, you end up with a nice smooth piece all ready to attach to the skirt.
I did also need to lengthen the bodice, front and back, by half an inch to get the waist seam to fall where it appears on the fashion drawing. This was in addition to the length I always add to my bodices.
Fabric Used/Suggested:
Both of my dresses are made up in knit fabrics. The sleeveless version is a very stretchy rayon/spandex knit and the one with sleeves is a ponte. They both worked fine although I do like the stretchier knit better. I didn't put a zipper in either one but I'm sure you would need a zipper if using stretch woven. For the pocket bags I used swimsuit lining so the pockets wouldn't cling to the dress or my leggings.
Design Changes:
The pattern photo above shows that a full front facing is suggested. Since my dresses are intended to be casual I opted for skipping the facings altogether and instead used rib knit bands. I also shortened the skirt of these dresses by 4 inches for more of a tunic length. I did draw the pattern at full length in case I'd like a knee length dress later. It was easy enough to fold out the 4 inches so I could still use the nicely shaped hem already drawn at the bottom.   

Closing Hints:
This pattern is definitely a keeper for me! I did find the darts in front to be a little fiddly but still worth the effort. If you do make the full front lining I would suggest a thin lining fabric since all those darts could make the front pieces bulky. My inspiration for these were the Karina dresses and I feel like these are very close and at a fraction of the price too! I have another dress pattern picked out with a slight cowl neckline. I'll likely make up a top first just to judge the drape of the neckline. Along with this dress from an earlier review I think I'm well on my way to a wardrobe of Spring dresses.

Here in California, Spring looks like it's nearly upon us. If we could just get some decent rain .......😟 Bye for now

Ann in Calif.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement 318 - Model #256 - Autumn 2020

3/4 Circle Skirt

Hello fellow Lutterloh enthusiasts, I know it's been quite a while since I've posted a new review. Like most sewists I've been making masks and trying to be useful but everyone needs a break now and again. A quick skirt in a cheerful print is always a nice pick-me-up though.

Pattern Hints: 

I'm not certain if this pattern is actually 3/4 of a circle. It's definitely not a full circle but it's also more than a half circle. My photo was taken while I was spinning so you could see the fullness. 

 On the pattern the hem is one swooping curve from the center front/back to the side seam so you'll want to be careful while connecting those dots. The straight waistband is just a suggested length so you'll need to adjust it according to your actual waist measurement. I found that the suggested width for the waistband didn't turn out quite as wide as the fashion drawing appears but that's fine with me. My wide belt covers most of it anyway.

Fabric Used/Suggested:

My skirt is made up in a linen look blend that has great movement but is still lightweight. The blend is nearly 50% Lyocel with linen, rayon and cotton in the fabric content. It washes and irons nicely for a skirt that can be dressed up or down depending on the top and accessories. The large checks can't match up perfectly on the side seams but they do form interesting diamonds on the sides so I can overlook it.

This skirt would probably work fine in a stable knit too as long as you interfaced the zipper openings sufficiently. I considered making it in a buffalo plaid flannel for winter but I haven't started it yet and Spring seems right around the corner.

Design Changes: 

Other than adjusting the waistband for my actual measurement the only design change was to add POCKETS. I used a pocket piece from another pattern that had straight side seams. My pockets are a teensy bit low because I wanted them to start just below the side zipper. Low pockets are better than no pockets IMHO. Side seam pockets are so easy to add I just couldn't see making this skirt without them.

Closing Hints:

If you love a full skirt this is a pattern for you! The full, sweeping hem draws out beautifully and the waistband is easily adjusted to any length or width. I'll keep this pattern around for any time I need a quick sew for a fresh look.

Thanks to Frank Lutterloh my patterns are all up to date so I'll do my best to post reviews more regularly. Here's hoping you're all safe and well.

Happy Sewing Everyone,

Ann in Calif. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

You can't beat a great Sewing Expo and our history connects!

Puyallup Sewing Expo happens!

I help my friend Annette Millard as she
 teaches classes at the Puyallup sewing Expo 
Each Spring we spend 4 to 5 days in sewing heaven.

This year was made extra special!!

Ann helps me run this Lutterloh blog.  
We have never met!! 

I started this blog after finding a box of 1950's Lutterloh
pattern books and making some fashions only to find
little if any information online to help me.  
Ann joined me in 2009, She has added so much 
to my blog, when I was busy with my kids weddings, 
and grand babies being born, Ann was writing posts!

We met for the first time on Wed.  

How amazing!
We like so many of the same fabrics and when
we had a moment we talked and talked.
She lives two states away from me and
she had to fly to come to the Sewing Expo.

We are at an event where Kenneth D. King
 will speak to us. He is a designer from New York
and it was breath taking!  If you aren't sure
Who Kenneth is his work made the hats 
Elton John was famous for.  

One little note, I'm sorry I didn't get your name,
however I met a follow Lutterloh pattern lover.
I was standing in line for one of the many classes
at Sewing Expo and there was another person
passionate for this wonderful pattern making system.
Hopefully she will see this and share something about her experience with the patterns.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Summer top Guest posting

Since I had some time to spare I took up my favorite hobby of sewing and this time I made something for myself.

It is a 3-in-1 asymmetrical spring or autumn top

Since we have longer spring and autumn days I wanted to have a top applicable for the 2 seasons hence this idea of an asymmetrical top made from 3 patterns. 

I used 2 technical skills for this pattern :
- 1 pattern made from 3 different patterns ;
- 2 different fabrics.

I drafted pattern N° 91 (MMXIV) to form the upper part of the top (collar and yoke) using a plain cotton fabric for the collar and a printed cotton fabric for the yoke. The middle part of the top (body and sleeves) were drafted from pattern N° 136 (MMXIII) and made from a printed cotton knit fabric. The bottom part of the top (skirt) was drafted from pattern N° 232 (MMXIV). But I used only the bottom half of the skirt, making it from the same fabric as the yoke and cuffs.

The 3 different parts were stitched separately and then all assembled together. First I made the collar and the yoke. Then I made the body with the sleeves and the cuffs. At this stage my mannequin came handy to attach the yoke first to the body  and finally I attached the skirt to the body.

Important tools used : Converted cutting table, sewing mannequin, serger and sewing machine. I’m getting used to my serger as it gives a very good finish and very motivating to do quicker work.

Difficulties : After drafting pattern N° 91 I tried to fit it on my mannequin but the back and the front neck lines didn’t correspond so I drew new necklines to meet at the shoulder line and drew a new neck line adjusting it to the top part of pattern N° 136. The neckline of N° 136 was made a little deeper to show the yoke and collar.

I took great pleasure in realizing this top. Though it was difficult and time consuming I was able to get through, mainly because of my sewing mannequin. Now I have 3 patterns drafted to use, as and when I choose, to make a full length top or a full length dress or a full length skirt.

I sincerely hope and wish we all find time to use our skills.

Yours sincerely,


Thank you for sharing your summer top!  Bernice is an adventurous Lutterloh pattern maker. 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

A Lutterloh Frankenpattern

Using pattern 254 from Supp. 282, pattern 202 from Supp. 292 &
pattern 229 from Supp. 287 

Hello Folks,
I know that it's been ages since I posted any new sewing. I have been working more than I ever intended to since being employed again. I've actually been wearing this dress for weeks already but have been trying to find the time to chronicle it.

The pattern for this dress was really born out of necessity. I looked through all my Lutterloh patterns, more than once, but I could not find a pattern for a basic T-shirt type dress with no bust darts. I know, I could just rotate the bust darts as Fonnell explains here. However, why not use some patterns that I already have drawn and combine them to create my simple pattern? With this style of dress once you have the pattern and fit worked out it's so easy to use it again and again. 

Here are the patterns that I combined to get my one simple T-shirt dress pattern. I have reviewed each of these patterns separately in the past. Here are the links to those reviews: 

Combining the Patterns:

Now this may sound like more trouble than it's worth but bear with me and you'll see it's not that complicated. The only real challenge was to combine the top of the shirt with the skirt of the dress pattern. You'll see in my photos below that it's not really a challenge after all. 
Copying the skirt:

I first laid out the two patterns with the dress pattern on top. Since they are similar shapes and both drawn to the same size you can see that there isn't a great deal of difference until you get to the neckline. With the center back lined up and the waist line matching on the two patterns there's just a slight flare at the bottom of the shirt pattern that needs to be folded in. Of course when I drew the pattern these pieces were on top of a new piece of paper but the dark background gives a better contrast. I folded in the extra shirt pattern and started copying the skirt but only up to the waistline.

Copying the shirt:

Once I got the whole skirt drawn to the waist I then folded the dress pattern at the waistline and anchored it with a huge pattern weight. I needed to be sure the center backs stayed aligned while I copied the shirt on top. I had already used this same bodice and sleeve pattern together so I knew there would be no issue there. I repeated this same procedure for the front pattern pieces, blended in the waistline areas, and PRESTO I had front and back pattern pieces for a dartless T-shirt dress!

The Conclusion:

The original dress pattern has darts suggested, both front and back, but I knew from my experience with the first dress that with the right fabric I may not need the darts. Sure enough, the stretchy, heavier weight knit I used, much like the original dress, did not need the darts. I do think a lighter, clingier knit would still need darts but I'll cross that road when I sew another version of this dress. Now that I have this worked out I'm sure this will become a staple pattern for me and with the pattern drawn to my measurements it will fit better than any commercial pattern out of the envelope. 

See, that wasn't that difficult. I'm sure there are many more applications for combining your Lutterloh patterns if really necessary. That is one of the beautiful features of this pattern system. Oh, and if anyone comes across a Lutterloh T-shirt dress pattern without darts, I'd really like to know. 

Happy sewing everyone,
Ann in Calif.