Monday, April 20, 2015

Just a little reminder


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Spring Skirt Challenge!

We told you we had a surprise in store and here it is!
We are declaring April "Skirt Month" on our Lutterloh blog! 

  Two lucky winners will receive the newest Lutterloh supplement #296 pictured below! 
 (We do have a few others available if you already own this one.)

Skirts are fun, relatively easy, and come in so many styles to suit almost any figure.
Did you see Fonnell's post about skirts posted last week?

We hope this got your creative juices flowing because we are hosting a little non-competitive challenge right here on our blog. 
Come join in the fun! 

We invite you to sew along with us this month any Lutterloh skirt pattern you have in your collection. At the end of the month we'll all have a new skirt to wear!

Here are just a few rules we would like everyone to follow:
  • Make any skirt from any Lutterloh pattern you have. (The skirt can be for anyone.)
  • All participants will be entered into a drawing for a Lutterloh supplement.
  • Two different winners will be chosen by random drawing.
  • The project must be started and submitted between now and the last day of April.
  • Each entrant must submit a finished garment photo and answer a few questions about their Lutterloh experience.
  • All entries must be submitted in English.
  • Multiple entries allowed if made from a different pattern or for a different person. 
  • Winners will be announced the first week of May.

Once your skirt is complete please send a comment to this post with your e-mail address (we won't post these) so we can tell you where to send your photo. 
Along with your photo please submit your answers to these few questions about your Lutterloh experience:

  • What is your first name and country where you live?
  • What was the pattern you used (listed as year and number) and the fabric you used?
  • How long have you been using Lutterloh patterns or the number of patterns you've made?
  • What did you like about the pattern/process; did you have any difficulties?
  • What sewing machine do you use?

 We're hoping everyone can learn from this fun project so if you have questions or need help please send them as a comment to this post so everyone can read the answers.

Alright then Lutterloh enthusiasts, Start Your Engines! It's Skirt Month!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

With a Twirl & a high heel Swing we introduce SKIRTS

Easy to make, fun to wear,
 often a beginners first project, 
I bring you SKIRTS!

The fun in planning your wardrobe is that you can plan your artful silhouette!
Factor in your height, body shape, and fabric and you have the tools to choose
 the skirt that gives you the shape you desire

Silhouettes vary here are some common ones:

straight skirt (equal hip to hem)

Tapered skirt (fits snug at waist and hips tapers from hip to hem)

A-line skirt (hem circumference greater than hip circumference)

Gathered Skirt (equal waist, hip, hem, larger than needed with waist gathered)

Circular Skirt (wow lots of fabric based on 180, 270 and 360 degrees)

Pegged Skirt (hem circumference less than hip circumference)

Trumpet skirt
 (tapers below hip line and flares to hemline,
 the flare larger as hem circumference grows larger)

Gored Skirt is used in many of the styles above
(individual panels or gores that fit collectively around the waist 
gradually flare to hemline)

Lengths go from
 (mid-thigh or above)

(4" or more above knee)
 to knee

 to midi
 (between knee and mid -calf)
to Maxi
 ( Lower calf level) to long ( Ankle)

Avoid stopping a skirt at the largest parts of your leg!

If you have this what to do....
Small waist-fitted waistlines are best, enjoy all the rest!
large Wais
smooth front waistbands with elastic in the back are best, 
avoid too much fullness in waist and hips.
Short Waist
  use narrow waistband or faced waistlines
yokes and dropped waistlines help 
Avoid high and gathered waist treatment 

Long Waist
 choose wider waistbands, high-rise waistlines (unless you are low or full busted)
Mid-calf length is great Mini is not
Large Tummy
 gored, wrapped and A-line, not too much fullness through waist and hips, 
avoid pleats from waistline and fly-front closures.   Keep the front smooth, waistbands narrow.
Wide Hips
  let the fabric skim the hips, avoid Peg skirts that are too narrow near the knee,
avoid side pockets and bias cut skirts with clinging fabric.  Use lengthwise details 

Large Derriere and Waist
Use Gentle fullness and softly gathered skirts
Avoid pencil straight skirts and use A-line and Gored styles
Avoid flared trumpet or ruffles at lower edge they will make you look wider
Avoid yokes and dropped waistlines
handkerchief hems will draw the eye away from your heavy lower torso. 

Flat Derriere
back fullness, yokes or pocket will help in the back
Gathered and elasticized waistline and full, bias-cut skirts will 
add fullness, lucky you!

Long Legs
Great for Divided skirts, tiered and hemline ruffles
Mid-calf and longer styles are perfect
Avoid mini length you'll look out of balance
Short legs
Use Short Skirts you'll look more in balance
avoid short full styles you'll look dumpy.
you can test our mid-calf with heels and see 
which lengths look best on your short legs
Use slim, trim skirt styles and put your
skirt details close to the waistline.   

let's wear more skirts

All pictures are from my current Lutterloh pattern book & graciously given by the Lutterloh family 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 287 Model#229 Winter 2012
Color Blocked Knit Dress

There are times in one's life that make sewing a necessity rather than a pleasure. I recently found myself in need of a funeral dress. This dress is the end result, modest and not too colorful.

Pattern Drafting Hints:
I don't usually buy princess seam garments because my full bust makes the whole rest of the garment too big. Fortunately Lutterloh allows you to use your own measurements to achieve a much more flattering fit. I wasn't sure if the princess lines would fall in the right place so I decided to make a test garment from this pattern. Normally I would sew a knit garment with no seam allowances to compensate for the stretch of the fabric but my test fabric only had a little stretch. I decided to use just 1/4" seam allowances for the test.

For the test fabric the extra seam allowance worked just fine. Since the bust area was the only one in question this shortened tunic length was enough for a successful test. Now I have another "run around after the gym" top.

Fabric Used/Suggested: 
The dress is made from a heavier cotton/poly/lycra fabric that Jo Ann's Fabrics refers to as "jeggings" fabric. The tunic is from a ponte knit with a little crosswise stretch and no lengthwise stretch. As long as you don't mind a zipper closure a fabric with just a little stretch should do for this pattern.

Design Changes:
Other than applying my own personal alterations the only changes I made were to use satin edge elastic instead of neck facings and eliminate the side zipper in both garments. Both fabrics were stretchy enough to allow for easy on and off without them.
Closing Tips: 
This pattern went together remarkably well. It may have to do with the sturdier knits I used. I'm not sure I would try this one with a thinner or clingier fabric. Since I managed to eek out the main body of this dress from 1 yard of fabric I'll keep this one around to use up remnants.

Here's hoping you all get in some quality sewing time,

Ann in Calif.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Paper pattern fiting, this is a must watch video!

I've always been fond of the products and information
 I've gotten from Palmer/Pletsch

Melissa Watson has online this great video
on Paper fitting.  

The Lutterloh patterns are prefect for a paper fit!

If this link won't work for you go to youtube 
Put this in the search bar. 
Learn to Fit with Melissa Watson: McCall's M6989 Dress

The other really great thing in this 30 minute video 
is she does a princess line large bust 
adjustment in the video, one of the more complex adjustment.
You won't have the great Palmer/Pleitch adjustment lines
However you can add them yourself easily. 


Monday, March 9, 2015

I love a suprise!


Spring is upon us, well at least here in the Pacific Northwest
We are planning a little Spring Surprise for you
however while I wait for Spring to catch up to more of you
let me give you a hint.....

We will be working from one of the new supplements
You can order one now and work along 
Or just work from something you have already

 Supplements can be ordered
from any of the Lutterloh dealers on our side bar

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive! / 1 Pattern 3 Ways

Supplement 295 Model #271 - Winter 2014
 Color Blocked - Kimono Sleeve Top

As appealing as this pattern looked on the drawn model I found it needed quite a bit more shaping for my hourglass shape. This is the reason for the different iterations but I've found I like each and every one of them.

Pattern Drafting Hints:
The photo below is the line drawing of the actual front pattern piece.
I circled the tiny 90° angle symbol in red to point out what this symbol is telling us. There is no other number, like 45, to indicate this should be cut on the bias so we are to assume the symbol indicates a 90° angle. There is no dot drawn here to tell us how far down to start the contrast piece. However, the other dots along the contrast piece are definitely curving downward toward the armpit. The 90° angle symbol is to indicate that the center of the contrast piece should be drawn at a right angle to the center front. For my pattern I drew a gently curving line to connect the dots that are drawn and then connected that line with a straight line drawn at a right angle to the center front. Not at all complicated but worth mentioning so everyone stays on their toes about looking for those tiny symbols. 

My first top, on the far left of the photo, was sewn together with the pattern as directed with no alterations except for using both my high and full bust measurements. The result was a loose, comfortable, somewhat boxy shirt. It turned out pretty much how I expected. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the arm hole is not cut too deep so there's no bra showing through there, thankfully.

Fabric Used/Suggested: 
All these tops were made with various weights of cotton or rayon knits. The loose shape of this top lends itself to many different fabrics but I would definitely suggest a knit for this one. A woven fabric, even with stretch, would not drape as well and might leave you with an even boxier shape. I finished all of these tops with 5/8" fold over elastic. I have seen 1 inch FOE and might try that next time for a bolder stripe at the edges.

Design Changes:  
After the first one I realized I really liked this top and had a bunch more knit prints with which to experiment. My only complaints about the first top were the slightly boxy shape and the width of the neckline, my bra straps are almost showing. Below are photos of my pattern pieces after altering them.

The top with black zig zags was made from this pattern with an inch added at the bottom for good measure. Now this was a pattern I could work with!

For the tunic on the right, I just added a 6 inch deep rectangle half the width of my fabric to both front and back pieces and attached them with clear elastic in the serged seam. Since the "skirt" panels were just slightly wider than the pattern pieces and the elastic was just slightly smaller than the bodice pieces I stretched them all while I sewed the seam and ended up with a little gathering. 

Closing Hints:
Yeah, I know the leggings are a little loud. I was going for clothes that I could wear to and from the gym without actually looking like I just left the gym. A quick change into my tunic and boots and this is what I got. The leggings BTW are Lutterloh pattern #232 from Supplement #287- Nov. 2012. I'll be making more of these too!

What a great way to use up some remnants though, huh? The shorter tops only took about one yard total so if you have one small remnant and a larger one you're in business for this pattern. I'll be tucking this one away for later remnants.

Since we're getting close to the middle of February we can be expecting a new Lutterloh supplement to show up soon. I usually check for it first on the German Lutterloh site here: 

Please check our side bar or use your favorite search engine to find a Lutterloh dealer closest to you.

Happy Sewing until next time,

Ann in Calif.

*For Ann's patterned fabric the fitted sides are wonderful.  If you have a top all made (and the print will not be hurt by it), after the fact you can add some darts. They will be going from the bust circle to the hem.  You do not need to change the hem, tapper the dart at the bust and hem making it larger at the waist.
It's easy,  you have finished your top, it's a bit too loose, put it on wrong side out and pinch in a dart at your waist.  If you wish to do the same in the back you'll need a friends help.  We dart knit fabric all the time for a better fit.  However loose is lovely in hot weather.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 295 Model#-262 - Winter 2014
3/4 Sleeve Dress

Here's my version of dress #262 from the most recent Lutterloh supplement. The looser dropped shoulders with the fitted waist and zipper details drew me to the pattern right away. Clearly I am more hourglass shaped than the model drawing but I'm still pleased with the overall fit. 

Pattern Drafting Hints:
My plan from the start was to lengthen the skirt long enough to meet the top of my boots. The red lines in the photo below show where I cut the pattern pieces to add another 3 inches to the length.
As you can see the cross mark where we are directed to mark for our shorten/lengthen lines occurs outside the pattern. The general rule is to shorten/lengthen your patterns where the lines are most parallel to each other. The length could be added to the bottom of the pattern pieces but that would widen the flare of the skirt. Instead I measured down 2 inches from the top of each skirt piece to make sure the seams still matched up with the darts on the bodice. Once the extra paper was added for the length to each skirt piece then I marked the placement for the pockets.

For a garment with a more fitted hip shape you would need to lengthen or shorten your pattern pieces well below the hip to avoid lowering or distorting the shape of the hip. This particular pattern starts to flare immediately below the waist with plenty of ease so in this case was not a concern for me.

Although the front pockets are a nice design detail I do find them so small that they're nearly useless. If I were to sew this dress again I would probably make the pocket bags much larger and move them to the side seams. 

Fabric Used/Suggested:
I got a sreamin' good deal on some ivory micro corduroy and when I saw this pattern I knew it would be perfect once it was dyed. The Dylon brand dye was named Terra Cotta. Although the color turned out nicely I had a heck of a time finding the right color zippers. I ended up using rust colored zippers from Wawak Sewing Supply. 

This pattern could probably be made up in a firm knit like a ponte roma but a thinner knit might not be firm enough to hold the zippers without major interfacing. This pattern might even look nice as a Spring dress in a lighter woven fabric if you were to leave off the longer sleeves.

Design Changes:  
I did add one more inch to the bottom of each skirt piece to get them long enough. Aside from the extra length on the skirt and a little on the sleeves and bodice the only other change was to switch the exposed zippers on the pockets with invisible zippers. I've found the teeth on metal zippers just aren't comfortable on pocket openings.

Closing Hints: 
Despite all the panels and zippers for this pattern it went together remarkably well with everything matching up like it should. I really shouldn't have expected anything less from a Lutterloh pattern. I did sew the side seams last just to leave one last opportunity for a good fit at the waist. 

I like to tackle a more complicated pattern now and again but with this dress out of the way I have a whole pile of knit prints calling to me. I'll work on some quick knit tops for my next projects. I already have one cut out! 

Happy Sewing until next time, 

Ann in Calif. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Choosing an outfit for the holidays is never easy,
 unless you can draw up several and see
which paper pattern inspires you!

Pattern 276#
  Supplement #295 Winter

Materials used:
very stretchy lace patterned black knit with a nap
black lining material
black invisible zipper

No seam allowances taken...stretchy fabric, non knit pattern
 knits as stretchy as this need hand basting,
princess line from the arm scye to the hip, the zipper
and the sleeve all were basted
 It saved the dress!
I basted where the tiny pins are
on the photo

I made the neck facing wider so it would sew into
the arm scye and the princess line.  It should give me
no problem with is being larger, and it will make that neck area more stable

I use scissors designed for cutting knits, they have little ridges to hold
the fabric from slipping.   I love these Scissors!

I am only 5'3" so I removed about 4 inches from the length
I did a large bust adjustment
I found the sleeve to be too large and curved the
sides in to make a more fitted sleeve,
I made the sleeves a tiny bit longer but may remove
that if I don't like them this long

The pocket at my hips gave me pause
my fabric has a very busy design.
I left out the back vent also, it just isn't needed
with such stretchy fabric

I can't seem to keep the neck line from
 flipping open into a V.
I am going to redo the facing
 heavier knit interfacing maybe
to hold the neckline better.

I didn't need the zipper...I should have
guessed with this stretchy fabric!

The dress fits perfectly!

Now on to some clothes for the new year!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Childrens' Collection #2/ Model # 9 - 2013
Girls T -Shirt

FYI: This pattern also appears as the last model in Supplement #284 from 2012.

This T-Shirt is for my ten year old niece, I'll call her K. As you can see, the pattern is suggested for 4-8 year olds but my K is very thin and petite so I can usually get away with a slightly younger pattern. I did notice though, as this top languished away on my sewing table, that K has all of a sudden sprouted tiny boobs. I may need to start using the teen patterns and just scale down. Up until now I have had great success with using a pattern for younger girls and adding several inches to the length.

Pattern Drafting Hints:
The back view for this pattern indicates a center back seam with a keyhole opening.
Since I know K was not going to fuss with a button closure on a T-Shirt I drew the pattern with a fold at the center back and no opening. I'll discuss how I made this work later.

Fabric Used/Suggested:
The body of the T-Shirt is a poly/cotton interlock and the sleeves are a remnant of cotton /lycra left over from a summer skirt. I would suggest a fabric with at least some crosswise stretch for this top just for comfort and wearability for a child.

Design Changes:
As mentioned above I eliminated the center back seam and closure at the neck on this top. Because of this change I also had to abandon the facings since the understitching required to keep them inside also negated any stretch left in the neck hole. I initially attached the facings to the neck but soon realized K's head would never fit through that hole without the opening in back. 

I'll admit this T-Shirt did spend a short while in the waste basket until I suddenly thought of a solution. I ended up cutting off the facings and used a satin edge elastic instead. Since the front of this top is gathered I still needed to use the facing patterns to determine the length for the elastic.
I turned my tape measure on edge to measure the edge of the facings that should attach to the neck edge. I cut the elastic at a 1:1 ratio, according to the facings, to fit the neck and then marked the center front, center back and the points at which the front should gather. The elastic was sewn at the 1:1 ratio all around the back neck and when I got to the gathered area I just stretched the elastic to fit the gathers. 
The elastic did need a tiny zig zag top stitch to keep it from flipping to the outside. Although the look is not the same as the original fashion drawing I'm still pleased with the outcome. I know K will appreciate the ease of wearing that the elastic neck provides.

Closing Tips: 
You may remember the tip I used from my last post on hemming my knit dress with fusible knit interfacing. See the tip at the end of this post.
Well, I couldn't afford to lose any length on this top so I opted for fusible thread instead.
I used fusible thread in the lower looper of my serger to create a similar fusible hem on the inside of this T-Shirt. When the hem is pressed up, right at the edge of the overlock stitches, the hem is neatly fused to the underside and I just finished with the same tiny zig zag top stitch that was used at the neck. I have found this to be a great alternative to a narrow coverstitch when the fabric refuses to stay pressed. 

If you have any questions or comments about our reviews please post them to the comments section below. We'd love to help you get the most out of your Lutterloh patterns too!

Happy Sewing and Happy Holidays from Ann and Fonnell!