Friday, January 8, 2016

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 299 - Model #56 - Winter 2015
Princess Seam Knit Dress

While shopping for a dress to wear to a Christmas party last month I was reminded why I sew for myself. I found a bunch of dresses with a nice hounds tooth print as an inset but none of them fit quite right. If they fit on top they were too loose in the waist. When I found one that fit everywhere else it was too tight across my bust. If I'm going to spend good money on a party dress I don't want to have to alter it too. Then my Lutterloh supplement arrived in the mail and I knew just what to do with that great hounds tooth knit I'd been saving!

Pattern Drafting Hints:
This particular pattern is a shoulder seam princess cut. I have tried other princess seam patterns that end at the arm hole but always felt they drew too much attention to my bust. I have found the princess line ending at the shoulder to be more elongating and generally more flattering for me. I still use both my high bust and full bust measurements to enlarge the pattern so I need to remember to mark the dots on all the pieces to remind me where to switch numbers on the Lutterloh scale. For a visual of how I mark my dots see this post here.

Fabric Used/Suggested:
I was fortunate to buy the last 3 yards of this hounds tooth print Ponte knit from Girl Charlee Fabrics last Summer. Along with a solid black Ponte I was able to make this dress from just a little over 1 yard of each. If I hadn't needed to lengthen the pattern I probably could have made it with just one yard each. This pattern could probably even be made from a woven with stretch as long as there was a high percentage of spandex included and a nice long zipper to get into it.   

Design Changes: 
The first thing you likely noticed is that I left the collar off this pattern. I did make a collar piece but when I tried it on it reminded me of a schoolmarm and that was definitely not the look I was going for. I removed the collar altogether and cut the neckline down by about 1/2 an inch. My usual satin edge elastic treatment cleaned up the look to my satisfaction. Besides omitting the zipper my only other change was to fold the pattern a little longer than the pattern #56 view. The pattern has you draw the length out to the length of view #55 and then fold the pattern up a certain number of cm for view #56. I just folded it about an inch and a half longer and ended up with my perfect length.

Closing Tips:
I do believe this could turn into a TNT pattern for me. The shape is right and the panels lend themselves to options for color blocking or an allover print fabric. I can even see this shortened as a tunic over leggings or perhaps with godets added to the seams for more flair at the bottom edge. Of course with the Lutterloh System's ability to switch out sleeve patterns you end up with even more options. Uuugghhh, so many ideas, so little time!

If a princess seam pattern is what you're looking for I would wholeheartedly recommend this one! Here's hoping you can find some time for sewing with your Lutterloh patterns.

Happy New Year and Happy Sewing from,
Ann in Calif.
    
Bernice left a comment below and here is her lovely outfit
 Best wishes for the year 2016 ! I like your dress very much moreover because it has the princess cut from the shoulder. Using the Lutterloh pattern N° 41 of 2013 I too made a princess cut dress for a friend in December 2015. This pattern fascinated and challenged me because of the raglan Magyar sleeves with a seam in the center. But I changed the front opening making a double breasted front with soft folds at the waistline on the left. After drafting it, I realized that it was for a very tall figure so I had to adjust the waistline and remove a couple of inches between the bust line and the waistline. The rest had a perfect fit. I used a shiny dark blue lace for the front panel and black double knit fabric for all the other panels. I'm enclosing a photo of my gift.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

WINNERS of our Lutterloh T- party drawing!


Well folks, our T-party has come to a close and it's our pleasure to announce the winners of our random Lutterloh drawing!

Without further ado we would like to congratulate Ruth in the UK and Bernice in France!



To see all the entries please visit the original T-party post here.

We are so pleased to have received entries from all over the world! Everyone did such a great job of translating their Lutterloh patterns to suit them.

Ruth and Bernice please contact Fonnell with your mailing address at the same e-mail address where you sent your photos and we will get your Supplement #298 mailed out to you ASAP.

We hope you all have plans to do some sewing with your Lutterloh patterns this season

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all from Fonnell and Ann! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Lutterloh T-party is now over


The T-party is now closed
Thank you for making all those 
great T-shirts.



Here is our first T-shirt!


  • What is your first name and country where you live?
             Annette, US
  • What was the pattern you used (listed as year and number) and the fabric you used?      2014-143
  • How long have you been using Lutterloh patterns or the number of patterns you've made? 
It's been just over 1 year now and I've made 5-6 different patterns.  I'm still definitely learning but enjoying myself

  • What did you like about the pattern/process; did you have any difficulties?
 I do not feel the bust measurement works well for my bust, it's not that it's real large or anything, but I am getting a better fit with the high bust measurement.  My upper back is always small and I have to make clothes smaller there.  It's all still a work in progress but I'm getting the hang of it.

  • What sewing machine do you use?
 I have two machines, a Pfaff Expression 3.0 and a Brother Dreamweaver.  I also use my Babylock Enlighten serger and Janome Coverpro 1000

  • What is your favorite sewing tool? 
I absolutely adore my gravity feed iron from Pacific Steam, it was probably one of my best investments ever.
*******************************************






What is your first name and country where you live?
My name is Ruth and I live in the UK.








  • What was the pattern you used (listed as year and number) and the fabric you used?








  • The pattern is from a 2015 supplement 296 and the model is 191. The fabric is a lacy knit with a touch of gold thread running through it.








  • How long have you been using Lutterloh patterns or the number of patterns you've made?
  • I've been using Lutterloh since the beginning of the year so I've made quite a few garments now, mainly separates and one tailored jacket. They have mostly been a good fit just needing a few tweaks at neckline and shoulders.

  • What did you like about the pattern/process; did you have any difficulties?
  • I loved the fabric but hadn't got a clue how to sew it so chose the simplest T-shirt pattern I could find! As it turned out it, after some experimenting, it wasn't too difficult using 'Seams Great' and a serger. I ran some gathering stitches round the neck and hem edges to stop it stretching out of shape whilst attaching the binding.

  • What sewing machine do you use?
  • Janome as I work for the company and they are great machines.

  • What is your favorite sewing tool?
  • My wooden block and cutter for making perfect holes in eyelets and keyhole buttonholes.

  • I am looking forward to seeing what the other contestants make as I need some fitted T-shirts to wear under jackets for work. Your blog is great and has been a massive help to me in getting going with Lutterloh.
  • Thanks and regards Ruth 
  • ***************************



     What is your first name and country where you live?Bernice - France

    What was the pattern you used (listed as year and number) and the fabric you used?
    N° 152 - 2013 and a polyster fabric.

    How long have you been using Lutterloh patterns or the number of patterns you've made?
    When I looked for the cowl neck pattern this summer, I found another Lutterloh web site and since it is a challenge for me to sew without the least instructions I bought the kit and this is my 3rd Lutterloh pattern.

    What did you like about the pattern/process; did you have any difficulties?
    I liked the length of the T shirt and the hidden pockets in the seam line. The bust measurement had an ease of 7 cm and the armhole was a bit small. Since I wanted a well fitted shoulder line, I used your method, then I increased the armhole and did the necessary changes on the sleeve. I have a few years of experience in stitching so I can manage the adjustments. If I was a  beginner it would have been difficult for me to use the Lutterloh patterns without any instructions.
    What sewing machine do you use?
    For nearly a year I'm using Janome Jeans & stretch 8077. I also have a simple Singer sewing machine which used for about 30 years.

    What is your favorite sewing tool?
    My sewing machine. I can't live without one, as it helps me to sew not only garments, a number of useful articles for our home like curtains, bed linen, table cloth, napkins, aprons,  etc. but it also helps me to do a lot of mending and transformation. I have done a lot of economy by knowing to sew. This credit goes to my mother for having encouraged me and guided me to sew from an early age. At the age of 8-9 years I first started using a hand sewing machine (USHA), then a leg machine (MERRITT), then an electric machine with a motor (SINGER). Now I have an electronic one (JANOME).

    Bernice

    Here is another T-shirt from Bernice







    What was the pattern you used (listed as year and number) and the fabric you used?
    N° 184 - 2013 and a cotton moderate knit fabric.

    How long have you been using Lutterloh patterns or the number of patterns you've made?
    I've been using Lutterloh from september 2015 and this is my 4th Lutterloh pattern.

    What did you like about the pattern/process; did you have any difficulties?
    In my kit of Lutterloh patterns (2013) there wasn't any simple T-Shirt. Though some of them had the knit symbol they were sleeveless, or had openings, or gathers or soft pleats. Being my first experience with knit fabric I wanted to stitch something simple so I chose this pattern because it had a side dart and raglan sleeves, but I didn't like the turtle neck. So I made a round neck and finished the neckline with a simple band (your video reference). 
    As in my previous patterns the bust measurement had an ease of 9 cm and the armhole was a bit small. So I did the necessary adjustements there to make it according to my taste. The sleeve had an opening in the crown which was difficult to understand though I drafted it as explained. So I drafted it into a simple raglan sleeve and shaped the neck accordingly. For the hem finishes I used a knit stay fusible, and a twin needle (your reference). On the left hand side of the raglan sleeve seam I embroidered 3 small round mirors. It was fun and excitement about stitching knit fabric for the first time.

    What sewing machine do you use?
    For this knit fabric I used only Janome Jeans & stretch 8077.

    What is your favorite sewing tool?
    My favorite tool after my sewing machine is my cutting board which my husband and I made from a large plank of wood. I put my own markings on it in inches and centimetres, to help me cut straight lines, 
    right angles, semi-circles to cut flares… and I place it on my adjustable ironing table whenver I need it.

    ***********************************************************
    My name is Susan, I live in Baja California Sur, Mexico








    Supplement 287 pattern 205  2012

     I have been using Lutterloh since the 80's. I was a tiny size 4 my daughter a larger size and I sewed for both of us. Some boxes  including the one with my Lutterloh stuff in it got lost in our move  in 2000 and it wasn't until 2007 when I purchased a used system and got started again. Counting my past pattern work I have made 100s.

    I love the drafting, cutting sewing and fit. I decided not to use the facing as the pattern called for and made a neck binding. It did not work as well as I would have liked.  I also changed the high, jewel neck to a deep v-neck.
    I have a Janome Horizon 7700 and a Babylock Imagine 2 serger.
    I have no favorite tool, I love everything in my sewing room!
    It is wonderful to have family here, and wonderful when they go. But the letdown afterward is sometimes hard.
     Saludos,
     Susan

    ************************************************************

    What is your first name and country where you live?
    Joe from central Missouri, U.S.A.
      What was the pattern you used (listed as year and number) and the fabric you used? 
      Special Edition No. 27 (2000?) #37
      I used a thin cotton jersey knit from Wal-Mart. I wish I had followed Fonnell's advice and gone with something with more weight.
      How long have you been using Lutterloh patterns or the number of patterns you've made?
      I have made a few shirts and pajama shirts with Lutterloh patterns in the past couple of years.

      What did you like about the pattern/process; did you have any difficulties?
      Am always impressed with how these patterns go together. I wish I had watched the binding video before I put my binding on, I assumed that the shoulder seams were the two center sides, assuming that may have caused some puckering in the end result. In spite of that I am pleased with how my shirt turned out. This will be a work shirt layered on top of or underneath another shirt.
      What sewing machine do you use?
      A Kenmore 158.1345. A five dollar thrift shop find that has never failed me and began my vintage sewing machine interest.

      What is your favorite sewing tool?
      I lucked into a Singer no. 74 Spinet cabinet that I find to be the most cleverly designed sewing cabinet. Small when closed, ample leg room for a big guy when opened, machine (a Singer 201) is angled in the cabinet placing the needle closer to you, the stool “locks in place” underneath the cabinet when closed keeping prying hands away from scissors, buttonholers etc All though, I didn't use that machine on this project.
      *****************************************************************
    What is your first name and country where you live? Ann in Calif., USA

    What was the pattern you used (listed as year and number) and the fabric you used?
      2015/Pattern #238 from Supplement 298. I used a fine cotton rib knit with giraffes printed on it and a heavier rib knit for the neck and sleeve bands.
     
    How long have you been using Lutterloh patterns or the number of patterns you've made?
      I've been using Lutterloh patterns since 2008.

    What did you like about the pattern/process; did you have any difficulties? 
    I wanted to see if a slim fit womens pattern would work for my slim pre-teen  niece. It worked much better than using the patterns for children because I didn't need to lengthen it. 
     
    What sewing machine do you use?
    I use a Brother 4500D sewing machine and a Babylock Enlighten serger.

    What is your favorite sewing tool ? I use my DRITZ EZY-HEM tool on nearly every project.
    **************************************************************
     

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

    T-shirts

    There is a real beauty in making such a simple garment.
    Let me take you step by step


    1. Choose your Lutterloh pattern.   Any knit pattern in your Lutterloh collection can be made into a t-shirt.  The hallmarks of a T-Shirt is a round neck with no collar, short sleeves, simple shaping, simple hems, typically made from cotton fabric.  If you lay it out it makes a T shape!



    2Knit Fabric will be your most carefully planned part of this project. 
         Why?  There are so many  knits types and each makes the garment different.
          Here are some of the better choices for T-shirts
        
    •  Cotton Jersey Knits, come in different weights.  The lighter the weight the more tightly it will hug you.  Very light Jersey is hard to cut and hard to sew and it is being sold more and more often.  I love a med weigh Jersey and that is what I will make my t-shirt out of because I have a drawer full.
    • Cotton Lycra and Cotton Spandex knits (used mostly for sports wear)
    • Cotton interlock Knits
     The Give or Stretch of your fabric will change how you plan your pattern drawing.  
    example:  A stable knit that has no Give is best made with a pattern NOT for knits
                     A knit with 100% Give will need a knit pattern perhaps
                                             as much as 1 size smaller than you wear
    Here is a bit of a guide to help you.  Take and put your hands at each end of 4" of knit fabric.  Pull with both hands with a ruler below you.  How much has that 4" pulled comfortably to?

    Stable Knits: 1/2" Approx.
    Moderate Knits: 1" to 1 1/2" Approx.
    loosely stable: 2" Approx.
    Unstable: 4"  Approx.
    As knits go from Stable to unstable the fabric and the 
    garment goes from staying as your pattern was cut to
    a garment that grows in size as you wear it. 

    Because we can't let you touch my collection of knits and explore 
    this on our blog you will have to give this a try in your fabric
     store and at home.  You must make adjustments with 
    your pattern to fit the Stretch of the fabric and the 
    look you are wanting.

      3. Use a knit needle in your machine.  It's a difference between a sharp needle that can pierce the knit or a rounded needle that will slip between the yarns of the knit.  I use Schmetz needles and I have a Jersey ball point and a package of Stretch needles. Use a size fitting to the knit weight, mostly 80/12 and 75/11


    4. Neckbands are the mystery to many however the easiest part when well measured.  I love this blog for some great neckband choices and hem finishes.

     http://madmim.com/finishing-techniques-for-knit-fabric-stretch-yourself/

    How about a video on making a neckline, nine minutes long, loads a bit slow but very helpful!
    Sarah is a very good teacher, I've taken many of her classes.
     Watch this before cutting your neck binding

    http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3839/video-a-neckline-binding-for-knits





    5. Hems   I'm a bit fussy about my hems.  I don't want any ripples or wide stretched out looking hems.

    I will put a little soluble stabilizer on the cut edge and surge over it then I make my hem with
     only a single fold.  I finish off with sewing on the front side with a double needle.
    It make a very nice hem.


    HINTS:

    As you sew the shoulder seam sew in a strip of like colored selvage or some other stable woven strip of fabric.  Your shoulders will then stay nicely in shape.  

    Darts the new addition to t-shirts.  The nature of a t-shirt is loose, but why not a dart in front? just a bit of one.

    I start with a piece of scrap folded fabric as I sew, then sew right into the knit seam, this saves the knit from being pulled into the bobbin area at the very beginning.  The scrap is a little bridge to stating.  

    Ann have you some hints to add? 

    Well yes, I do....

    I like to use a strip of clear elastic in the shoulder seam. You see this often used in RTW garments and it works particularly well for very stretchy or heavy knits. I will even use clear elastic inside the folded edge of a neckline if the fabric is very thin or easily stretches out of shape.

    For an alternate hem treatment to avoid ripples and stretching see the end of this post.
    http://sewingnhumming.blogspot.com/2014/11/lutterloh-patterns-come-alive.html 

     It's up to you now to create a T-shirt 
    add sparkle, add designs, make it festive for
    holiday gathering.  There is nothing plain about 
    T-shirts you make yourself!

    Join the T-party

      Thursday, October 15, 2015

      I am the owner of this bog!

      Hi Everyone...This is me....Fonnell.  
      I started this blog a long time ago.
      I wanted to help you all learn to use
      The Lutterloh pattern system.

      It's been a long haul and a lot of work!
      I am grateful for Ann adding to this blog
      she is amazing.

      But please don't forget all my work and that I do own and 
      manage this blog.
      Give me credit once in a while you yahoo folks.
      Please!  
      I put my my heart and soul into this blog.

      Sunday, September 20, 2015

      Supplement 292 - Model #202 - Spring 2014

      Knit Sheath Dress

      Next week I'll be on vacation in Mexico and figured I would need some dresses that were easy to wear as well as easy to pack. This Lutterloh dress certainly fits the bill. The bust darts appear as tucks in the shoulders and there are long shaping darts on both front and back.

      Pattern Drafting Hints: 
      I love the shoulder darts on this dress and found with the fabric that I used I didn't even need the long shaping darts in front or back. With a thinner knit or one with more drape the darts would likely be necessary to give this dress some shape. 

      Fabric Used/Suggested:  
      The label for this fabric is long gone from my collection but it appears to be a "techno knit" of some sort. The zebra print only appears on the front surface and is really soft and slightly "brushed" feeling. The back of the fabric is a strange nylon looking, almost spongy texture. There is most definitely some spandex in this fabric because despite its medium weight it has great stretch and excellent recovery. I made leggings for my niece out of the leftovers from this fabric and they don't even bag out at the knees. 
      Although a medium weight knit is not necessary for this dress I would definitely suggest your fabric have good recovery once stretched.

      Design Changes:  
      I already mentioned skipping the darts for this dress but I also left out the back zipper and back vent at the bottom. The stretch of this particular knit is so comfortable they just weren't necessary and I admit I was in a bit of a hurry to get this done. My well known distaste for facings in knits forced me to use my satin edge elastic again on both the neckline and arm holes. You can see the application for that elastic on this post.

      Closing Tips:
      This dress pattern really is a classic shape with the additional comfort of an easy fitting knit. I'll certainly have to try this again in another fabric to see if I like it as well.

      Well, off to Mexico for me! I hope you all find some time for sewing while I'm gone. 

      Hasta la vista,
      Ann in Calif. 
       

      Thursday, August 13, 2015

      Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

      Supplement 288 - Model #143 - Spring 2013
       Peplum Top
       
      This peplum top is designed for knit fabrics. This has turned out to be my favorite top this Summer. The neckline isn't too low and the bust dart provides lots of opportunities for design changes. The straps aren't too narrow but they are cut in just a little at the shoulders so I need a racer back bra under it to avoid straps showing in back. The shorts I'm wearing in the photos are reviewed on my last post here. 

      Pattern Drafting Hints:
      The peplum top look this year is a little looser and lower than when it was at the height of it's popularity from a couple years back. However, this shouldn't stop you from enjoying this shape if it makes you happy. If you check out this link on the Fabric Mart blog you'll see that the most important tip on wearing this trend is to get the proportions right for your figure. There's even a tutorial on how to extend the peplum longer to turn this into a dress here! Because this Lutterloh pattern provides both a bust dart and a fairly shallow peplum it affords lots of opportunities for adjusting it to your figure and the shape of the current trend. 

      Fabric Used/Suggested:
      Both of the tops in these photos are made from Rayon/Lycra blends. They're both fairly thin and clingy but also have considerable two way stretch and great recovery. The first top I made from this pattern was from a cotton interlock. It was indeed comfortable but because the fabric did not have much stretch or good recovery I ended up with a top that was fairly shapeless falling from my full bust, not a good shape for an hourglass figure. Just keep in mind when choosing your fabric for this top that it needs to stretch over your full bust but also recover well enough to accentuate your waist. 

      Design Changes:
      It's difficult to see in the photos that the bust dart has been rotated into subtle gathers at the neck. The dart would have interrupted the striped pattern. If using a solid or a very small, busy pattern I wouldn't bother to do this. For a little exercise and some suggestions on how to rotate your bust dart, check out this blog post. If you rotate your bust dart to the bottom of your bodice pattern remember that this will make your bodice wider where it attaches to the peplum. You'll need to slash and spread your peplum pattern an equal amount or you'll end up with gathering where your bodice and peplum meet.

      Because of the slight cutting in of the armholes I would lay my pattern over another T-shirt pattern with regular shoulders to extend them if I wanted to add sleeves. Otherwise a close fitting sleeve may have to stretch too much in the back causing strange wrinkles.  

      Closing Tips: 
      After making this pattern up in a few different knits I'd have to say I definitely prefer the ones that have a little spandex in the blend. If you don't think the peplum look is right for you I would suggest doing a search for some different images. You'll see that you can wear a peplum in lots of varying shapes and you just might find one that you'd like to try.

      Now, for a little announcement.....  The newest Lutterloh supplement is available for preview on the German Lutterloh site or the UK site here.
      Check out the new patterns coming and keep using those Lutterloh patterns!

      Happy sewing everyone,
      Ann in Calif.

      Monday, July 27, 2015

      Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

      Supplement 270 Model #111 - Autumn 2008
      Straight Leg Jeans

      Here is my version of model #111 from Supp. 270/2008. I have made this pattern up into long pants before and they were so comfortable that I actually wore them out. We're having such a hot summer here in the San Francisco Bay Area that I decided to supplement my regular wardrobe of T-shirt dresses with some shorts and tops. The peplum top in this photo is model #143 from Lutterloh Supp. 288/2013. I'll review the top in a later post since I did make some modifications to the pattern. You can see that top review here.


      Pattern Drafting Hints:
      I chose this pattern because of its jeans styling with a straight leg rather than the skinny jeans that are so popular these days. After all not every figure is suited to every style and the skinny jeans tend to give my figure an ice cream cone shape. I feel a little too old to be sporting that look.

      A while back I experimented with a few pants patterns to find the right shape for the fit I prefer. You can see that post here. After some trial and error I discovered that I preferred a straight leg with a shaped waistband and back yoke. 
      The picture above is the pattern pieces for these pants. The rise is just a little lower than the ones from my previous post as you can see by the length of the zipper. Fortunately I did find the pockets to be deep enough. I wanted to demonstrate their depth by putting my hand in my pocket for the final photo above. 

      Fabrics Used/Suggested:
      The fabric I used for these shorts is a subtle herringbone stripe stretch twill. It's one of those fabrics that I ordered online and as soon as I used it for a project I wished I had ordered more. Oh well, live and learn. The original pair of pants that I made from this pattern was from a soft stretch pinwale corduroy. The softness of the fabric likely contributed to their early demise. The twill is holding up much better. This pattern does not call for using a stretch fabric but a little extra stretch and recovery never hurts in a pair of pants, huh?

      Design Changes:
      Obviously this pattern is for long pants but what I needed was shorts. Since I already had my personal alterations worked out for this pattern I decided to shorten them to just below the knee. For a tip on how to find the knee point on your pattern see the post I referred to above in Pattern Drafting Hints. The only other change I made to these shorts was to leave off the belt loops. I very rarely wear a belt in my pants because most of my shirts are not tucked in. Why go to the trouble of making all those loops if they'd never be used?

      Although not really a design change I thought it worth showing how I used thinner quilting cotton as the pocket bags to reduce the show through on the front of the pants. 
      I sliced the pocket pattern apart in a curve about an inch below the outside curve on the front of the pants. You can use the pattern piece for the front pant to get the curve right. The top of the pocket is cut from your pants fabric and the lower, inside portion can be cut from whatever fabric you choose. I use quilting cotton because its thin and lays flat under the fashion fabric. Once you've cut the pattern piece apart you now need to add seam allowances on both parts. Since the seam will be inside and completely hidden you can attach the upper and lower pieces together by just laying them atop one another creating a less bulky seam. The lining for the front of the pocket is also cut from the quilting fabric. The lining for the front pocket piece will have to be carefully pressed and top stitched to avoid any contrast fabric showing on the pocket curve. This should give you a pocket that looks cohesive with the fashion fabric but doesn't show through much from the front of the pants.

      Closing Tips: 
      Once you've determined what style of pants you like to wear you can concentrate on finding a pattern that will give you the right shape. Make sure to pay close attention to the length of zippers, width of the legs and of course the fashion drawings, in all the views provided, to give you clues as to the rise and width of the pants and the weight of the fabric to use. 

      Here's hoping you find your ideal Lutterloh pants pattern. It is certainly worth the effort.

      Until next time, Happy Sewing from,

      Ann in Calif. 

      Sunday, June 21, 2015

      Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

      Supplement 297 Model #38 - Summer 2015
       Slim Figure Bikini Swimsuit

      These are two swimsuits that I made for my niece K using a Lutterloh "slim figure" pattern. I have always had trouble sewing for K because she is so slender for her age. At age 11 she is now beginning to develop the figure of a teenager so choosing patterns is getting even more challenging. I decided to use this slim figure pattern as an experiment and it did prove at least partially successful. 

      Pattern Drafting Hints:
      Below is a photo of the pattern pieces I ended up with after enlarging the pattern. I could tell the pattern for the bikini bottom would work just fine but the top was another story. 
      Even after expanding the width on all the pieces, the top was just not going to provide enough coverage for her new teenage figure. I decided the remedy would be to build the top around some pre-formed bra cups. I'll detail that change later. 

      Fabric Used/Suggested: 
      Because the pieces of a bikini are so small I was able to make each of these suits with just a tiny remnant of less than half a yard of nylon/Lycra plus a little lining. Since all the outer edges require elastic I did need about 1 1/4 yards of 3/8" rubber elastic for the outer edges and about 1 1/3 yards of 3/4" rubber elastic for the top and bottom band. Make sure your fabric and elastic are intended for swimwear since these will hold up to chlorine and sun exposure. I chose rubber elastic over the cotton covered type widely available only because I don't like how the covered type stays wet longer than the swimsuit fabric. Both my nylon/Lycra fabric and the rubber elastic were purchased from eBay sellers.

      My favorite seller for swimwear fabric:   lycra4sale

      Design Changes:
      As mentioned earlier I decided to build a top for better coverage from a sew in bikini bra. 
      The bra cups come in the package like the tiny photo in the gray box. Since I knew I would use more substantial 3/4" elastic I unpicked the stitches from the existing elastic to separate the cups.
      Once the cups were separated I was able to draw around one to create a pattern that was similar in shape to the original Lutterloh pattern. 
      You'll see from the photo above that I needed to cut the pattern from the bottom to nearly the edge of the top so I could spread the paper and add some width for gathering. The lining pattern is spread just a little less to fit better inside the concave curve of the cups. 

      The lining, fashion fabric and the contrast binding were all sewn directly over the side edges of the bra cups to avoid bunching inside. I left the bottom of the cups free from the gathered edge so the elastic bottom band could stretch as needed.

      Closing Tips:
      If you'd like to try sewing swimwear I would highly recommend either or both of these two books.

      Yes, the styles are a little dated, from the 1990's, but the measuring and construction directions are well worth the cost of the book. If you can only manage to get your hands on an old Stretch & Sew swimsuit pattern the instructions for measuring and elastic application should help with most swimwear projects.

      The thing I like most about sewing swimwear is the speed with which you can produce the finished project. The pieces are so small and can even be sewn, start to finish, with nothing more than a regular zig zag stitch. I believe everyone should try it at least once! I actually had to stop myself from cutting more suits for K in order to move onto other projects.

      I sure hope everyone is making good use of their Lutterloh patterns. If there's any type of Lutterloh project that you'd like to see more of just leave a comment to this post and we'll see what we can do in the future.
       
      Happy Sewing from,
       
      Ann in Calif.

      Wednesday, May 13, 2015

      Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive! - FASHION FLASHBACK

      Supplement 37 Model#20 - Summer 1950
      This is my version of a Lutterloh dress from the Summer of 1950. Obviously I don't have the slim figure or the restrictive undergarments of a model from that era so my dress can't look the same. Nonetheless I'm pleased with the outcome and am happy to wear this lovely frock.

      The poodles are not mine. I was with friends strolling in Carmel-by-the-Sea, a little resort town in Northern California, when we took the photos. My friends saw a man walking these dogs and insisted I needed them as props for the photo. They do lend some elegance to the whole scene, don't they?

      Pattern Drafting Hints:
      I have found there is no point in rushing into these vintage Lutterloh patterns. You can see from the pattern pieces in the photo below that the construction of these vintage patterns is not always as straight forward as the current ones we're used to today.
      First of all you absolutely need a vintage Lutterloh scale or at least a current scale attached to a tape measure with all the centimeters marked. I have erased most of the numbers from the pattern above but if you look closely you'll see that there is a 24.3 on the front bodice and a 59.8 on the back skirt piece. The current Lutterloh scales are attached to tapes with only full and half centimeters marked. You could take your tape apart and attach it to the other side of the tape but I'd rather just use a different tape with a vintage scale. 

      Next, you may notice that there is no sleeve pattern on this page. I looked over and over at all the pattern pages in this supplement and didn't find a sleeve pattern for models 20/21 so I had to use a sleeve from a different pattern for this dress. At least Lutterloh makes that part easy. 

      Lastly, and perhaps most important of all, for this particular pattern there is no separate collar piece. I had to think this through very carefully to figure out how and in what order to attach the collar to the back bodice. When I was done enlarging this pattern the collar piece seemed too short to wrap around the top of the back bodice. Upon measuring this collar piece it looked like it would be about an inch short of meeting at the center back so I added a half inch in addition to my seam allowance at the center back of the collar. In retrospect I suppose it may have been intended to have a separated collar at the back but that's not how I envisioned it. I'm still not certain I attached it correctly since there is a very sharp corner at the inside of the shoulder that then wraps around to the back collar. It does work this way though so I'm satisfied with my construction decisions.

      Fabric Used/Suggested:
      I asked my aunt,who's 95 this year, what fabric she would have used to make this dress in 1950. She couldn't quite remember so she pulled out a vintage McCalls pattern and found that most of the fabrics suggested would have been cotton or silk. I chose a 100% cotton lawn in a print that just plain makes me happy. The fabric is a tiny bit sheer so I do need a slip underneath. Since the skirt is cut on the bias I believe almost any light to medium weight fabric could work for this dress, even a knit if that floats your boat.

      Design Changes:
      Other than my typical fitting alterations I didn't need to change anything about the overall design of this pattern. I did however shorten the skirt by three inches to update the look a little. This brought the skirt up to just below my knees.

      Although not really a design change, I did put an invisible zipper in the side seam. If you look carefully at the pattern photo you'll see both the back bodice and the back skirt are cut on the fold. In these vintage patterns there is often no suggestion of a closure so the decision is left up to the user. Clearly this dress needs some sort of opening to get it over your head so this left me with the side seam option.

      Closing Tips:
      One of the nice features of Lutterloh patterns, whether vintage or current, is the possibility of switching sleeves, skirts or collars and such. If you have a copy of these vintage patterns and their corresponding vintage scale they are an absolutely worthwhile challenge. Just don't expect to whip through them with the ease with which we produce our more modern Lutterloh garments.

      After this dress I think I'll move on to a quick, easy project. There's something so satisfying about finishing another project! 

      Speaking of moving on, there should be a new Lutterloh supplement #297 coming out any day now. I usually check the German Lutterloh site for the earliest preview.
      Ann in Calif.