Thursday, January 10, 2013

Language issues

We are happy to see people all over the world using Lutterloh.
We are very sorry but we can't use comments that are not in
English and we can't respond as it is a long process to translate.
So our time is better spent writing up new postings. 

May I suggest you contact the Lutterloh representative
in your area for help in a common language.
And Thank you to those who write us in English when
it isn't your 1st language!  


Saturday, November 10, 2012

We aren't gone

Hello Lutterloh pattern makers




We aren't gone.

If you will look on the right side bar we have just covered 
everything we can think of.  We'd still love to hear
from you and get photos of your projects we can post. 
Our side bar is very busy and I've numbered it nicely
but soon I will make it easier, watch for the changes.

So keep making patterns, ask questions for stuff we don't have
and enjoy the up coming holidays.  Maybe your
Lutterloh book has the perfect gift for someone.
A nice evening at my house, is my lutterloh pattern books
a cup of hot cocoa and my husband and dog. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Help me out

I want to run a little test. 

 It will help a lot of you out.
It will give the newbies an interesting
look at pattern making. 

If you want to help me out here is what you do
Print out this pattern
Measuring from black line to black line it
should be 13.3 cm wide X 19 cm
When you print it out.

 It is from 2006,
pattern #266
You may already have it.

 Make the Front pattern piece


click on the drawing to enlarge it
Then right click and do a "save as"
When you find your pattern in your computer
right click and turn it to a PDF....If you 
have windows 7 this is very fast and easy.
Be sure you have your printers setting 
so that they Do NOT say "fit to page"
Or any of the change the size comments.
The PDF should print it at the exact size it should be.
I've tested it and it worked perfectly


This is a common simple shape top.
I want to see how many different shapes this one
pattern will make.

I'll post mine and another tomorrow.

When you have your pattern made
 and a photo taken.
Contact me below.
I will soon explain in a posting
all about this.

No one's name will be with their pattern...
Please help me out.
It will be fun!

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


  1. As anyone who makes lutterloh patterns know you do
  2. go through paper so buy a nice big roll of
  3. pattern paper...Nancy's notions carry some.
  4. I'd much rather fit with paper first and eliminate the
  5. really big problems, than to test everything in fabric. 
Nov 2012 I have only one front pattern (thank you!).  Not enough for a comparison.  If you'd like to add to my collection, follow the directions above  You are only making the top, feel free to adjust
it for your needed corrections if you are experienced.  If not make it as it is in the pattern.
JOIN US.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My medieval May day outfit

It's sharing time


 Just something fun I did. 
 For a long time my friend has wanted me to go to the May day medieval festival. 
 This was the year we went however 
we only gave ourselves a tiny bit over a week to finish our costumes.

I don't know much about this time period so
 I spent some hours watching Cadfile and Robin hood episodes.

Glad I didn't live then...

I decided on a nicely quilted vest and double skirts 8 gore.

So there are three layers in my skirt and
wow does that make you look larger than you are!


Lets start with the Vest. 

I wanted the shoulder to be long so it made that cap they wore
I wanted the back to be longer than the front, kidney warmer style
I wanted to be able to lace up the front 

I took out my cardboard I made from my Vest

I am full busted and so had moved my shoulder dart to my bust side
It makes it easier for me to see if the bust area will fit

I traced this form onto pattern paper



I started drawing the planned changes
I drew out the shoulder by a lot
I added a fold in the front for the lace loops
I made the back longer drawing it
from the sides and working it longer in the back center.
You can see that box around the bust dart? I moved my 
dart to match all those layers underneath. 



Maybe you can see the quilting. Just click on the photo

It took a day to quilt each side.
I was teasing my friend about being her servant
so quilted this on my machine in gold threads.
If you know this time period you will know that only the
wealthy were allowed gold or silver or copper in their clothes. 
My way of having fun with the upper crust

I added 1" to each side and the bottom for quilting.  I didn't need it
I quilted the fabric onto a flannel back and used a walking foot
and the fabric didn't shift at all!

 The white camisole was purchased and I know the sleeves
are Renaissance.

The vest is a little bigger on me than I wanted. I should have removed that
3" the lacing added.  Before I wear it again I will take in the sides 



The outer skirt is linen 
The inner skirt is cotton

Camlann had suggested Spring ware in yellows or greens 
so I raided my sewing stash! 

Oh here is the web site for the fair 
http://www.camlann.org/

This 8 piece skirt was really fun to make
All you need is one pattern piece.  
I wanted to be sure the bulk of the fabric was below my waist 
It was bad enough to have it going over my hips! 

I used a straight skirt pattern
No flair...no A shape, just straight.


    FROM THIS





TO THIS

 The skirts each took 8 of these


If you'd like to learn how to make an 8-gore skirt and you
don't have one in your lutterloh patterns.
I'll write a whole posting on how.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

missing numbers and where to find them

We love your questions and try to get back to you quickly.  A dress pattern was giving one of you some real problems.  The patten didn't have any numbers on one side.  What to do...


Notice the numbers on one side and no cross to put your tack in.

Here is what you do...
The cross is above the skirt with a pointer aimed at the piece it is for
Now look at the hem line, 
You will see two numbers, one set does the side and one set does the hem.
Put your pin at your measurement for your hip on the tape,
now put that in the cross above the skirt and
make the numbers touching the hem.
Next do the numbers just dangling
below the first set of numbers.
 If when marking these numbers the tape goes into your waist or above
take the pin out and move it to your waist measurement
on the tape and continue.

 It's just that easy.

Please note another issue with this pattern.
The strap & waist piece has numbers on one side also and they will do both 
sides of the pattern.  You will see this with small pattern pieces often

The other thing you will see is pieces with just metric measurements
All you have to do is use those measurements to hand drawn that pattern piece


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How does the Luttterloh system work

Most of you reading this blog are 
deciding if Lutterloh is all it promises 
Or
You just bought the Lutterloh system 
and have no idea what to do first...

I didn't buy my first Lutterloh book at a sewing store class, or 
see a demo at the big sewing expo.  
No, I saw something on e-bay that was old and beautiful and interesting.
 I bid on it and won a book with several stacks of cards from 1940.
  
My knowledge of Lutterloh patterns has all been trial and error.
This learning is what I pass along to you... a journey I have taken
and added Ann, a fellow Lutterloh sewer, in.
  A pattern making, sewing journey. 

Lutterloh patterns started in West Germany in 1935.
Maria Aloisa Lutterloh started the business and
collected her fashions 
from several European fashion houses. 


The patterns were designed using the popular math formula
'The Golden ratio'

The idea of the body's shape being in balance
is a true principle
of mathematical balance.

Leonardo Di Vince used the Golden ratio
so do I when designing weaving patterns.

How does it work?
A pattern is made using an apportioning scale
H=full length of body
1/2 H=upper part of body
1/4 H=length of leg from ankle to knee
  from chin to navel
1/6 H=length of foot
1/8 H=length of head crown to chin bottom
1/10 H=face height and hand length
1/12=width of face

This is just a small sample of an apportioning scale

When you make a Lutterloh pattern 
with your tape and pin stuck in the hole


for the size of your bust
and then your hip you are using the system as a 
Graded system
meaning the pattern is enlarged in set amounts from
one size pattern to the next. 
The US pattern companies use this system.

They make a base pattern 
(much smaller than I am)
and grade it (make it larger in set portions)
until it is my size....



I had four daughters (yes one son) to sew for 
and we needed different size patterns for each. 
I could buy a pattern for each girl
or I could do my own pattern grading, which I did!  
Go crazy grading or spend too much money buying patterns.
(now there are multi-sizes in an envelope)
That still doesn't always work


 Brides maid dresses for my daughters wedding
took this many multi-size patterns to get 
all the girls a correct size! 
 Often you must use muli-pattern lines for larger hips 
or smaller bust and suddenly 
it's not a multi-size pattern.

If only I'd had a Lutterloh pattern book back then!  

Here are pj tops for a daughter and
her two children. 
Made in one hour with one pattern!


The Clear Truth of the Matter

If I buy a pattern or draft my own pattern
or make a much faster Lutterloh pattern
I get the same results.

YES!

Each system doesn't fit my body without help.

They never have whether I was skinny or round as I am now.
 The people I sew for have the same issue.
You can assume most everyone doesn't fit every pattern right off.


With that in mind I offer the idea that
  some skill in fitting will make the difference.
You just need to figure out your own shape and how it differs from
the patterns you like.....
then learn to adjust for those few issues.
For me it's a bust adjustment, a shoulder, and a length adjustment. 

The biggest problem I see when people try to fit
patterns on themselves is they do too much
Fitting is most successful when
you make small changes and only do one change at a time.  
Most people do too much.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A New Fitting book that will help you fit any pattern




The complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting
by Sarah Veblen
 http://www.sarahveblen.com

I've taken several classes from Sarah and was so happy to see this
wonderful book

This is all done with color photos and step by step instructions.
The photos are clear and easy see what is happening.
Each photo is numbered with an explanation for each photo. 

Get a tripod or a step ladder and put your camera on it
take a photo while fitting and compare it to the book photos
you will see what needs to be done.  
Fix it and take another photo
compare again.

Sarah covers everything! 

How to see the problem
How to correct the problem
How to change your paper pattern to reflect the correction.
How to use HBL, my favorite Horizontal Balance line
What order to fit in for the most success

She councils you on how much fitting is too much!  That's good to hear
She uses real women with shapes we can relate to in her photos.  

Nothing is missing from this fitting book!
  READ it from cover to cover
 Mostly you will only need a couple of the corrections
Note these corrections on paper for next time

Once you see what your fitting problems are
life will get so much easier.  
make those same changes on each pattern 
 
This is why Lutterloh asks you to sew a vest first
it lets you see what changes you need for each pattern

It is best to learn from a simple test pattern. 
1. Make a paper pattern

2. Do a paper fitting
See what might be a problem

3. If you can correct it (as in a shoulder slant)
do it in the paper pattern

4. Make a trial garment from scrap fabric or muslin

5. Take a photo of you in the test garment
Now use the "Perfect fitting"book


Use the photos to match issue you see in your test garment.


Lastly sew with that fashion fabric and enjoy your new outfit.

Do you have to do this each time?

yes and no
You can adjust the paper pattern each time right at the start
You can trust the master pattern to help you fit all the others.

However if I'm making a jacket with a fitted sleeve, or pants
Or a style that looks different than I usually wear I would want
to make a mock up and see if the style is good and if the fit needs 
some adjustment. 


Ann;
Thank you for bringing this up Fonnell.
 I haven't seen this book yet but have read other very favorable reviews. 

I think the important point here is that until we determine our personal fit issues there is no pattern that is going to fit everyone straight from the drawn stage or envelope. The nice thing with Lutterloh is once you work out your fitting alterations on your trial vest then you can use these same adjustments on every Lutterloh pattern there after. 

Whichever fitting book makes sense to you is the one you should use. 
Whether it be Sandra Betzina's Fast Fit or a book from one of Cynthia Guffey's seminars or, my personal favorite, Fitting and Pattern Alteration by Liechty, Pottberg and Rasband the important thing is to just get started fitting! 

 Once you work out your necessary alterations your sewing will be 
so much more enjoyable and productive!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tradtional system and X- XX large system which tape for which system

This is our most often asked question in one form or another.  
Let me help everyone understand so when you purchase Lutterloh
you will get the correct tools for making all your families clothes.

1. The traditional system has a tape with a white or cream plastic end.
This can be different depending upon the generation the tape comes from
They all work just fine however check our links on how to place 
your mark with the different generation tapes.


The traditional system pattern books have a mix of patterns, 
something for everyone in the family.
There will be a few knit patterns, and a few patterns for larger women. 
Each has a symbol to show you what the
pattern was designed for.

Check our link for the symbols chart.
#3 on the side bar. 
Also see "The Lutterloh System Symbols page-An evolution"



2. Supplements.  We love the supplements! From all ages.
I have some from the 50's and 60's that take my breath away.
They are still being made and you can purchase them on the web sites 
on our side bar, depending on which country you are in.
Your pattern books contain supplements.
Check our side bar for an article on this. 
There is an older supplement for mature women that
uses the traditional Measuring tape.
These styles are timeless.

I just checked one of the Lutterloh web sites and there is a new
 Fuller Figure supplement and the classic suppliments are nice 
on most everyone also.  

If you are sewing for larger folks
This supplement and the traditional system is for you!


 The X large  XX large tape is the blue on the left

3. The X-large XX large system.  It comes with a tape that is blue.
It does not work on the traditional system
You must use this tape with the x-xx-large system. 


We find that most all women can use the traditional system by choosing styles
that look nice on larger bodies.



The X-large XX Large system has
very large clothing and would only be needed if you find you
are sewing for someone who won't fit anything from the supplements. 

There you have it!
  Every pattern system will require you to make adjustments for
your figure.  You can read some of our postings to help you along.
If you work at making a good fitting vest it will help you know what must be
adjusted in all the Lutterloh patterns.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Time for my pattern fitting secrets

 I have picked up a handful
of fitting hints I should not keep secret!

Sewing should be FUN. That is why we buy and use Lutterloh.
Why not master some great ways to fit your patterns?



When you think about fitting a garment the first thing to consider is:
"what does everything hang off of?"

Starting at my head my next widest part is my shoulders.
All my dresses and tops hang off my shoulders so
why not get that part of the pattern correct every time with a this tool.

My handy tool is a tracing of my neck and shoulders.
  I had my daughter trace me with a pencil.
It took a couple of tries with a three year old about.


This is the paper tracing.  It was taped to the wall and needs some touch up 


Let's start with getting the shoulder correct.

1) Collect a piece of paper wide enough and long enough to
capture a tracing of your shoulder and neck.

2) Make a straight line down the center of the paper.  We just folded ours in half.

3) Tape the piece of paper on the wall at a level you 
can stand at and easily be traced from
Stand so you are in the middle of the center line.  
Your helpful friend can make sure you are in the center.
 
4) Have someone trace you by holding the pencil straight up. Start at the neck below your ears, trace all the way down your shoulder and slightly onto your arm.
Repeat for the other side.  
Don't move one more step......

Have your helper put a nice big dot at your neck just as it turns
to your shoulder (where a neckless chain would rest)
and then at the peak of your shoulder.
To find that raise your arm and feel for the space where the shoulder bends.

5) Take down the paper and using a french curve tidy up and smooth out your shape.  You can use a marker for this to make a nice dark outline.  I put my
Shoulder shape on a piece of cardboard.  It gets used over and over again.
 
Now each time you make a Lutterloh pattern you can lay it over your shoulder shape and see if it fits you properly.  If it doesn't use the fix I show you in the photos below.

This will also help you see if the garment is much too wide
across the shoulder or too narrow.




This is the tidied up shoulder that I traced on cardboard.
I also added a red line to note the lowest I'd want a neck line to go.
Might as well check that while I do the shoulder check. 



I'm going to use a commercial pattern so you can see it on the white cardboard background.  My Lutterloh patterns are all made on White paper.
White on White in photos? I think not.

This is a princess line top I've made before.
We only need the part of the pattern that will hang off our shoulder.


  Fold back any button bands, etc.  We will lay the center line of the pattern on the center line of our shoulder drawing.


Now for the fun.  Lay the pattern on the center line and
match the pattern to the shoulder. 
I never put seam allowances on my Lutterloh patterns.  I add them on the fabric.
This pattern however has 5/8 seam allowances so I have red penciled them so I can avoid using them.  We want to do our measuring on the stitching line.
The pattern is also a multi-size pattern and I am using one of the smaller sizes, so you will see that extra paper.



Here's a nice close look, remember it's a multi-sized pattern so the
paper above the neck mark is the larger sizes not in use.
Hum looks like a lot of fabric I don't need.



I've laid two rulers down. One on the shoulder of the pattern, one on
my shoulder line.  It was over 1 1/2 inches different.
That extra fabric becomes a bubble of fabric above my bust.
It makes my armscye too large also if this was a sleeveless top
I'd have a loose arm hole.

This can work both ways.  
Your shoulder could be higher than your pattern allows
for and you may need to add fabric.


One important note: If I was going to put in a 1 1/2 inch shoulder pad then I should NOT make this change! 
The shoulder pad will take that space. 
Maybe I will put in a low shoulder pad
then make a small adjustment in the shoulder.

Ready to correct this problem?

1) establish two cutting lines
One line horizontal about 2 inches below the armscye.
I use my cutting boards lines to get a nice straight line.
  Just mark it with a pen.



2) Make a 2nd pen line vertical from the shoulder
(about 2 inches or so from the armscye)
To the Horizontal  line you just made


Note: Before I go any further, because I know this pattern
I have pinned out the extra width in the shoulder. 
I will have to add a large bust change but that's another issue. 
This pattern is much too far down my shoulder and would look
like a drop shoulder which it is not. 
If your bodice hits your shoulder where you want it no change need be considered.

3) Here is the piece I marked in two directions and now cut free
from the bodice pattern.
It will help me correct that extra 1 1/2 inch shoulder problem.
It looks shocking to cut up a pattern but we will put it back together soon!

4) Slide your loose piece to the point that it hits your shoulder at it's armscye end.
Click on the photos to see this up close.
Remember I have a seam allowance in the way.
Be sure to match the sewing line to your shoulder with both pieces.

  I now have one pattern piece up high and one down
where it should be on my shoulder.

  (Because I still need to loose some of the width of this shoulder 
I have overlapped the two pieces a little, You may not need this so 
slide the lower piece right next to the higher piece butt them 
together don't overlap them. When using a Lutterloh pattern I use a size that fits better than this commercial pattern does)



5) If this is was a larger amount to remove you would need some spare paper underneath to add to the missing spaces you encounter.  Lay your ruler down on top of the shoulder line you see underneath the pattern.
Now draw a nice  line across the two pieces.
It should connect the highest point with the lowest.



Here is the finished shoulder.  
My top should hang on my shoulder perfectly now!

It's a much better start to have the pattern hanging off the shoulders
correctly before you do anything else. 
If you removed/added some from the neck edge (I didn't) then remove/add 
that amount from your collar.  Don't remove it from the center back, remove
it from the shoulder line.  Photo to follow.  

Because this was a multi-sized pattern I just folded over the pattern pieces.
With your Lutterloh pattern just cut off the un-needed area.

DON'T FORGET TO REPEAT THIS ON THE BACK PIECE.
Small adjustments may be needed on the sleeve.
Walk it in the armscye and see if you need to adjust this. 
I'll show sleeve adjustment in my next posting.
************************************************

Did that hint give you some ideas? 
Well here are some more hints to help make every pattern fit you and your shape.
*******************************************

Let's do some FRENCH CURVE work.





  Yes get that curve out and let's learn how to use it to get the fit we want.
By comparing some of our best fitting garments we can transfer
Our French curve shape to the Lutterloh patterns.

Look at all the places you use the French curve in pattern making. 
Many of these locations can be checked in our favorite
clothes and used on our Lutterloh pattern.

Use the french curve to note your hip shape 








Save your favorite hip shape from your pants or your skirt and use it over and over
Check the curve in your crotch to improve fit.  
CAUTION:  The area without red in the crotch should be mostly straight.















This is where the French curve shines. 
Note your favorite necklines
Check your favorite sleeves 


Check your Cap and curve 
see why you never never like your garments sleeves by comparing the french curve lines with a favorite garment. 


The French curves have numbers all the way around and down the French curve.  These are the numbers we will want to note.
I am using my favorite curve in the photos below.

HIPS:  repeat your hip shape by noting the numbers on the curve that fit your hip shape.



 These are my favorite pants, most of my skirts are gathered
but you can get this shape from a skirt also.
I work from just below the waist band down to just past the widest part of my hip.
REMEMBER: place the French curve on the seam line not the cut edge.

As you can see in this photo my widest part of my hip is only 4 inches
down from my waist.  It hasn't mattered if I was skinny or thick,
it's still just 4 inches.

I used the straight edge of the French curve to show you that you only need to measure the curve area, once your leg is straight it is not a french curve area.
If you need to see where the curve ends just lay a yard stick up the straight of your leg and note where it no longer touches the pant.
Measure from there to the waist.
Slide the French curve up and down until you find the perfect match to the shape.
******


1) Find an outfit that fits as you like, a skirt or pair of pants work.
Smooth it out on the table, wrong side out is sometimes a better
way to see what the shape of the skirt is. 
Only measure along the stitching line.

2) A French curve will fit any curve but you must move it up and down until it perfectly fits the shape you want to take note of.

3) Write these important fitting numbers on a bright recipe card.
At the waist band bottom what number is on the french curve?
Write it as top #__.
With out moving the french curve note the place were your body
no longer curves but hangs straight.
That would be Bottom #___.

Now when you make a skirt or even a pair of pants you can take your french curve and check that the Lutterloh pattern fits your shape. Match the top number you wrote down to the pattern waist, and the bottom number to where the curve ends. Did your pattern match the French curve?  If not trace around the French curve and use the new shape.
This is a quick easy change to make. 

REMEMBER measure on the stitching line not the cutting line
  ********

This little trick works for your neck line also.

  I don't like surprises when I make a neckline.
I don't like it to be too loose, or too low or not look perfect.

Take a couple of necklines you really like and using the french curve
do as you did for your hip.

1. Fold the top or dress in half so you only work with half the neck. 
2. Move the french curve on the neck line until the shoulder seam
and the bottom of the neckline match the french curve. 
You can see the direction I have placed the curve in the photo above.

REMEMBER: you measure the sewing line not any facings or neck finishes.

This is a V neck I really like, it isn't straight but curved a bit.
Because it is a V neck I did not fold the top as the V was clearly the center.
It is also a knit so I washed it first to make sure it wasn't stretched out from wearing it.

3. Note the number at the shoulder seam as Top #___
Note the bottom of the neck as Bottom #___

You can barely see the V in this busy top.
But the numbers are Top 12 2/8   Bottom  22




I have only showed you the hips curve and the neckline. 
You can use this for the armscye and the crotch of your pants.
I will address those in another posting as there are several issues to show you. 
So for now go measure some hips and necks in your favorite outfits.  Write the top number on the curve and the bottom number on a master sheet
and put them to use in your pattern making. 


 
Hope this improves all the patterns you
make from here on!



Here is where you can get more information on these techniques.
Using the shoulder slant = Threads fitting DVD Series Torso


Using your french curve=Peggy Sagers DVD Success from the start
http://www.silhouettepatterns.com/html/media.htm 
This is a great video that will teach you how to compare all your patterns to the clothes you like to wear. If you struggle to understand sleeves this also answers the questions you didn't know you had.  I love this video! 



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Reading" the Lutterloh Fashion Drawings

Greetings Lutterloh Fans! Fonnell and I both had a crazy busy holiday season but things are calming down for me a little now. That must mean it's time to get some sewing done right?!


Well, I've decided I need to get some more pants sewn for work but I must admit I have not been entirely pleased with my last couple of pants patterns. Don't get me wrong, I love the fit of all the Lutterloh patterns I've made. I'm just having trouble finding the right pattern to flatter my figure. This is where "reading" the Lutterloh fashion drawings comes in. Most of the major commercial pattern companies use terms like fitted, semi-fitted, loose fitting, regular rise or low rise to describe the fit for their patterns. Unfortunately, Lutterloh gives far fewer directions for their patterns so we must interpret the intended fit of a pattern from their fashion drawings.


The last two Lutterloh pants I sewed did produce pants that fit beautifully and I can certainly wear them but neither one are the most flattering shape for my particular figure. Here is the drawing and pattern pieces for the first pair I made:




On the model I thought this looked like a narrow, straight leg pant. If I were shaped like a narrow legged model perhaps this is how they would have fit me. What I ended up with were pants that were too slim in the thigh area and tapered all the way to the ankles; not a good look for me.


The next pattern I tried was this one with much looser legs:



Although the width of the legs was far more flattering I found the rise of the whole pants to be much higher than I'd expected. So, even though I have two pairs of pants that indeed fit, I don't feel all that comfortable in them.


Learning from my mistakes

Now that I have some more time to sew I am determined to find a Lutterloh pants pattern that will both fit comfortably and flatter my shape. I did learn a few things about my fit preferences while sewing the last two pants patterns. First, I need a roomier leg width to accommodate my fuller front thighs. Secondly, I prefer a lower, shaped waistband to a straight one. I also learned that, like most ready to wear pants, Lutterloh patterns are a little short on me.


With all this information gleaned from my first two patterns I decided my next choice should be analyzed a little more carefully.
If you look closely at the two front pants patterns you'll see that the zipper placket is shorter on the first pattern. This lower rise in front combined with the back yoke of the second pattern will help me alleviate the gap I sometimes get in back from my slight sway back. I know I need to look for a wider leg but I don't want it to be slouchy like the second pattern. So, this is the pattern that I've chosen to try for a happy medium:



I'm hoping this pattern has all the elements that I liked from the first two without the pitfalls of my previous fitting woes. I have the back yoke to adjust for my sway back, the shaped waistband and the wider legs without being a true wide leg pant. I may need to sew deeper seams when attaching the front waistband. I noticed the zipper placket appears almost as high as the second pattern. I will definitely leave off the front cargo pockets too. I don't need a puffy pocket right on top of the fullest part of my legs.


Onward and Upward

To cut down on surprises later I like to do a little flat pattern measuring of my pattern before I cut it out. First I will measure across the mid thigh area to be sure I have enough room. This pattern looks good for me. Next I will find the knee position of my pattern to determine where I need the extra length I've been missing. Although Lutterloh patterns give us the cross mark for lengthening/shortening lines, there's no point in arbitrarily lengthening there if this will then drop the knee point below my actual knees. Here are a couple of drawings to demonstrate how to find the knee position on your pattern.




The drawing on the left shows a red line at the bottom of the front pant leg and another red line at the crotch point. This is done before any seam or hem allowances are added. Now if I take this pattern piece and fold the bottom red line up to meet the red line at the crotch point the resulting crease in between represents my knee position. I have marked this as a green line in the drawing on the right.


When I paper fit my pattern I found that the knee position was right about where it should be already. So, since this pants pattern has fairly straight legs, I've decided to just add the extra length to the bottom of the pattern. I want to make sure to have at least a one inch hem allowance so I'm adding three inches to the length of the front and back leg pattern at the hem.



Evaluating the finished product

Well, I'm finished with the pants and I'd say they came out just as I expected this time. The waistband hits me at my natural waist, the legs are wide enough to accommodate my front thighs and finally I have pants that I can put in the dryer without fear of ending up with floods. Here is a photo of my finished pants:


I made them out of a flat sheet that I was going to donate anyway. I see no point in getting rid of perfectly good fabric if I can use it myself.


Now that I've tried a few different pants drafts from Lutterloh I think there's just one more I should draw out to truly evaluate if I have found my favorite. I still think I need to try a true jeans pattern draft. I will look for one with the yoke in back, a shaped waistband, straight but not wide legs and a zipper fly that appears a little shorter than the last two pants I've made. I'm still trying to find a waist that is high enough in back to avoid gaping but hits slightly below the waist in front. I do believe I'll have to start with a waistband that hits below the waist in front and then make a longer crotch length in back to compensate for my swayback; nothing I haven't done before.


With all the practice I've gained through making all these different pants patterns I'm confident now that I can accurately "read" the Lutterloh fashion drawings!