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.        

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 310 - Model #7 - Autumn 2018
Knit Pull on Pants

As the weather cools I find myself in need of more exercise wear. Since I like to take my music with me this requires that my clothing have some sort of pocket. These pants certainly fit the bill but I'm not sure I like them as well as my last pair.
The fit is fine, I think I just prefer my pants with pockets that don't fit so close. 

Pattern Hints:    
There was nothing unusual about the enlarging of this pattern. As long as your measurements are accurate you should come out with an easy to sew pants pattern. Just be sure to measure the length before cutting your fabric so you won't have any surprises in the end.

Fabric Used/Suggested:  
This pattern suggests a knit fabric and I really don't think you could get away with such a close fit in a woven fabric. My knit is a cotton/poly/spandex blend and of medium weight. The spandex content is 4% and I would definitely suggest at least this much to avoid bagging out at the knees and seat area.  

Design Changes: 
I did make just a couple of minor design changes. Since these were intended to be casual, exercise wear I did not sew the top-stitching for the crease down the front legs. I also omitted the zipper in the pockets because I find the zipper teeth to be uncomfortable when my hand is in my pocket. These pockets are also not quite deep enough for my phone to fit inside completely so the zipper might scratch the screen. 

Closing Hints:  
For this style of pant this is certainly an excellent pattern. I made my usual adjustments for length and fit just like any Lutterloh pattern and ended up with a nice pair of very casual pants. I may make another pair with deeper pockets and include the zippers for safety when biking. 
My next project is already underway. I cant seem to put away the last pattern for this dress.  
I've cut out another short version in this fabric. 
The contrast bands will probably be a black and white stripe but they're not cut yet so there's still time to change my mind  ; ).

So, that's my plan for my next project, what's yours?

Ann in Calif.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Lets go beach combing!!

I started this pair of Capri pants for the hot season

This is a 2001 Lutterloh Pattern

The pattern was as follows:

Zipper in the back
side trouser pockets
narrow leg
front and back darts

The Lutterloh pattern needed some work.  
Pants in any pattern can be tricky.  I redrew the pattern twice
and my recommend for people shaped as I am,
 keep going up to larger and larger sizes.  
Do a tummy adjustment and or
a hindy adjustment. 
It made all the difference in fitting a pair of pants.

I made a tummy adjustment, also moved the hip curve to
just 4 inches down from my waist where I get wider,
then go straight legged.

I made a crotch curve adjustment and was very glad I did.
The Capri legs were much too long!  I took 14 inches off
of it.  So be sure you know your pant length, adjust your pattern in
a straight area of the leg and you may find
you need less fabric than you think.
If you are tall well maybe more fabric! 

Here are the pants.

What would I change?
They flare a little too much I'd narrow the bottom
They fit good in the back because
I added elastic to the back waist band.
it was just too loose.
 I think a curved band instead of a straight waist
band would be in order.  Perhaps more darts and smaller darts in the back too.

I think I would shorten them more.
They are okay at the high ankle, I was making
them to match the pattern drawing.

Let's hope there is enough summer left to enjoy them.
Smoke is too heavy to go outdoors much right now

Monday, July 30, 2018

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 309 - Model #188 - Summer 2018
Knit Dress with Contrast Bands (plus updated shorter version)

I recently inherited a bunch of fabric from a dear neighbor and as soon as I saw this fabric I knew exactly which pattern to use. This turned out to be a very comfortable pullover type dress with enough style to dress it up for evenings too. 

Pattern Hints:  
There are a few pattern pieces to draw for this dress but in my opinion it is well worth the time. 
There is one error on this pattern. The arrow in the photo below points to where there is a number missing. There are ten dots to draw for the back piece but only nine numbers. I just drew a line perpendicular to the center back at the same level as the dot on the opposite side.
Fabric Used/Suggested:  
My fabric is a medium weight knit interlock with fine ribbing for the contrast bands. I'm sure many knits would lend themselves well to this pattern. I'm thinking of a sweater knit with long sleeves for a Fall into Winter version. You might even get away with a very stretchy woven as long as you install the side zipper. For the contrast bands I would suggest a fabric with a good amount of stretch and excellent recovery so the waist band can hold the weight of the full skirt without distortion.

Design Changes:  
The only design change I made to this pattern was to leave off the side zipper. My fabric was plenty stretchy enough to slip it over my head. I do have a few design changes planned for future iterations of this dress though. I can see this becoming a staple pattern for me by switching out different sleeves and skirt shapes.

Closing Hints:  
The shape of the skirt and the bodice of this dress are so appealing to me that I already have plans to make it into a short dress to wear with leggings and even a top to dress up some jeans. With the ability to exchange skirt and sleeve pieces this pattern becomes endlessly versatile. 

Maybe my next version should be a darker one so I can wear it to work at the chocolate 
shop. 😉

Happy sewing everyone,
Ann in Calif.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

a quick sew dress

I love this fabric!

It needed a simple line pattern.
Something that would show off the lovely blocks of color.
This is the pattern I choose.

What did I change:
I didn't do any contract fabrics. and left the belt off.  It would just 
be hidden with this strong patterned fabric. I didn't want a pocket
to make the fabric pop out at my hip. 

I loved this fabric so much I bought a vintage bag and shoes long ago
They have cried out to be used.  So glad this dress made up quickly.
The fabric has lots of gold lines on it very pretty.

There is a zipper in the back and a side slit.  
Because I left the belt off I made the vertical darts deeper
 and it helped pull in the fit.

I loved the shape of this dress.  
It wasn't straight and leaves some nice movement wrinkles.
The good kind.

I did add a full facing, it connected the arm facings  and the neck.  It's just 
wide enough to hold everything down nice and flat. This is an update for the older
patterns I would always do! 

Now to work on my flabby arms.  Hand me my 3 pound weights!  
I considered the over jacket but what fabric would ever do this fabric justice?

That beautiful necklace was a gift from my daughter.  She bought it in Haiti when she 
was working the earthquake. 
 I love it. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 138 - Model #264 - Autumn 1975
Chef's Apron

Hello again folks. I'm posting this late because I just started a new job! I've started working in a new chocolate shop and they told me I should wear whatever apron I like until the company printed ones are delivered. I knew I had seen a standard BBQ type apron in my older patterns and this is the one I found.

Pattern Drafting Hints: 
You may notice from the fashion drawing that this pattern has a designation letter of W for apron. This is actually a letter that is no longer used in the current symbols key. I guess we modern folks just don't wear aprons as a standard accessory anymore. 

It was nice to see that this pattern actually uses the regular Lutterloh dot to dot type format rather than just a drawing with approximate dimensions listed.
This makes for a nice smooth curve instead of having to guess at it. You still need to estimate where the placement of the pockets should be but at least you can get a custom size in case you're sewing for a particularly large or thin person. So many of the one size fits all aprons you see for sale just don't fit everyone.

Fabric Used/Suggested: 
For my apron I chose a medium weight cotton/polyester twill that I dyed pink just for fun. This should hold up to plenty of washings and the polyester should help it repel stains. Any fabric that is considered a bottom weight should work great for this pattern. I actually already have another one cut out in a pinstripe denim for a gift.

Design Changes: 
The pattern for this apron suggests a pre-measured strap for the neck. I wanted mine to be adjustable so I added a small loop where I could attach two D rings for adjustment. I liked the large pocket on the bottom that is divided by topstitching but I only needed a small pocket at the chest for my candy thermometer.

Closing Hints: 
Overall I'd say this pattern is a keeper. I'll keep it around to use for gifts since it should fit most people of average build. If I need one for someone who is much larger or smaller than myself I can always draw up a new one. 

Once I get settled in this new job I hope to get to some more exciting sewing projects but we'll just have to see how that goes. Sometimes our sewing has to take on a much more utilitarian nature doesn't it?

Happy sewing for now everyone,
Ann in Calif.       

Friday, April 27, 2018

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 297 - Model #39 - Summer 2015
Short Hooded Bathrobe

Hello again, here is my version of this comfortable short bathrobe. My winter robe was getting too warm to wear most days so my goal with this pattern was to end up with a loose fitting robe in a lighter fabric. Yay, mission accomplished! 

Pattern Drafting Hints:  
This pattern was plenty easy to enlarge to my size. My only complaint is that I wish there were a shorter version of the back piece so you didn't have to draw out the longer version and then shorten it.  
Since the pattern page includes a short and long version of this robe you need to draw the full length back pattern piece and then shorten it. The red arrow points to where you should fold the pattern by the suggested amount. I ended up matching the side seams and folding the pattern to match the front. This did end up being right about the 35 cm as suggested.

Fabrics Used/ Suggested:  
This floral print fabric is a 100% cotton terry cloth and the white terry is a cotton poly blend. Other than some major shedding this fabric was a dream to work with. I got it for a steal at a rummage sale last Summer. Fortunately I had just enough to eek out the most important pieces. I did have to use three shorter lengths to piece together the tie belt but the busy print hides all the seams.

This robe is pretty basic so could be made up in just about any fabric that you like. Fleece or flannel would be nice for Winter and any cotton or perhaps gauze would work nicely for the warmer months. I'm sure even a knit could work if that floats your boat.

Design Changes:  
There isn't much shape to this robe so I didn't bother with any design changes. I did have a really hard time turning the super long tube of fabric for the belt so I cut my second one a little wider than the 4cm suggested by the pattern page.

Closing Hints:  
This pattern was exactly what I anticipated it would be. If you need a really basic, everyday robe, this pattern is for you. My next one will likely be a long one with some shaping and nice details but I'm sure this one will last me a good long time.

I've been perusing my vintage Lutterloh patterns lately so my next project may be one of those. I hope you're all finding some time for yourselves.

Happy sewing everyone,
Ann in Calif. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 308 Model #154 - Spring 2018
Long Sleeved Blouse with Neckline Tie

This is a nice top for transitioning from Winter to Spring. Depending on the fabric and trim you choose this top can easily be dressed up or down. My version in rayon knit with lace sleeves is definitely ready for warmer weather.

Pattern Drafting Hints:      
This is the second Lutterloh pattern this year that has sewn up too big for me. Not an issue really since the seams can just be taken in but notable in that it might be something to look out for on my next few projects. I've taken new measurements (smaller than last year) so it's not likely that's the problem. I'll report back if this starts to feel like a trend. 

Other than the issue with perhaps too much ease for my taste this pattern draws up in a pretty straight forward fashion. 

Fabrics Used/Suggested:   
This rayon/lycra print was part of an apparel collection at JoAnn's Fabrics at some time. I ended up with the remnant at the end of the bolt. The one yard piece wasn't quite enough to squeak out the sleeves so I used an equally stable stretch lace. The lace sleeves are what relegate this top to a transition piece. Those sleeves don't offer much protection from the cold!
This pattern does not specifically suggest a stretch fabric but I would suggest one with some drape to it. The tie opens plenty wide enough to fit this over your head so a woven could be used.

Design Changes:   
There were no significant design changes to this top pattern. I did use a double faced satin ribbon for the neck tie and omitted the sleeve cuffs in favor of elastic in a casing. The only major difference to my version is that I had to take mine in by 1/2" on each side seam. I had already cut the fabric with no seam allowances to compensate for my stretch fabric but it was still too shapeless. Mine looks closer to the model's now with the extra ease taken out.

Closing Hints:   
I see a lot of potential in this top pattern. The shape is basic but with enough interest at the neckline to make it your own in lots of different fabrics. A shiny or glittery fabric could really send this over the top or just make some up in thin T-shirt knit and self ties for a twist on your basic tee.

I'll definitely be stashing this pattern away for jazzing up my basic T shirt wardrobe. There's no need to wear boring tees when patterns like this one take just a couple of extra steps.

Happy sewing to you all,
Ann in Calif.