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.      

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 307 Model#102 - Winter 2017
Loose Fitting Knit Top

To call this top oversized would be an understatement. The silhouette in this drawing looks somewhat shapeless but I forged ahead with this pattern anyway figuring I could always take in some seams to make it fit more to my liking.

Pattern Drafting Hints:    
This pattern has quite a few pieces to draw but none of them are complicated. Often Lutterloh has us draw patterns with the princess seams connected at the cross mark. This pattern has us draw each piece separately so make sure to mark the cross point on each one. See the line drawing for the pattern pieces below.
If you mark a notch at each cross point then you can use these to match up the princess seams when you sew these together. I also made notches at the waist to help align the long princess seams. It never ceases to amaze me how even separately drawn pieces line up so perfectly once the pattern is enlarged.

Fabric Used/Suggested:  
My gray top is made from two different reversible fabrics. The solid, quilted fabric is a cotton poly blend with thin batting between the layers. The print fabric is a rayon poly blend with stripes on one side and dots on the other. These fabrics both have stretch but the thinner, print fabric has a lot more than the heavier quilted fabric. This may have been the reason I had problems with rippling when I sewed these together. I left off the top stitching to avoid any further distortion of the seams. 
Although I'm pleased with my extra warm version of this top I think next time I would try it in all one fabric like velour or a ponte knit. 

Design Changes:  
As I mentioned this pattern is rather oversized. I fit mine as I sewed and found the silhouette to be unflattering when sewn as the pattern was intended. I ended up serging off all the seam allowance that was added and then serged off another 1/4" to 1/2" on each of the seams again. You likely noticed that my version is longer than the model's too. I added my usual half inch to the bodice pieces and then an extra two inches to the bottom. The last change was to exchange the funnel neck opening for a hood. I used a hood pattern from a top with a similarly open neckline and this fit just fine. 

Closing Hints:  
Now that my family has seen me wearing this top I have decided not to make another one.

My son's first comment was "It's so baggy." 

The only slightly more complimentary comment from my husband was "It looks comfortable."

Good thing I only intended this to be a nice, warm top for walking the dog. Oh well, the pocket is handy, the fabric is super soft and the hood is perfect for foggy mornings and breezy afternoons. 

On to the next project then!  

I hope these reviews help you to decide on your next project.

Ann in Calif.  

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 307 Model #118 - Winter 2017
 Children's Knit Pajamas or Lounge-wear

I'm calling these lounge-wear because, according to the US government, children's sleepwear must either be flame resistant or fit so closely to the body so not to cause the potential for catching fire from a spark. In either case I say "ewww". I just cautioned the parents of my recipient of the lack of government standards for these pajamas and figured they can decide their suitability. Have you noticed that all the flannel at the fabric store has a disclaimer stating that the fabric is not intended for children's sleepwear?

Pattern Drafting Hints:      
The pattern for these pajamas indicates it is intended for children 3 - 6 years old. The child I made them for is only two but I forged ahead anyway. I figured 48cm was close enough to the 50cm, where the Lutterloh scale starts. The sleeves appear to be 3/4 length in the drawing but I found them to be plenty long enough for full length sleeves once the pattern was enlarged.

Fabric Used/ Suggested:     
The tiny giraffe print used for these pajamas is a very fine, cotton rib knit. The orange bands are a poly blend with a chunky ribbing texture. The pattern does suggest a knit for this pattern so if you wanted to use a woven fabric like flannel you would likely need to add a wider neck opening either at the center front or back or perhaps at one shoulder with snaps. 

Design Changes:     
The only design change I made to this pattern was to use slightly wider ribbing bands. I find when making pajamas for growing toddlers this helps extend the length a little. Because the bands are tight enough around the wrists and ankles the extra length doesn't hinder their movement but it does extend the length of time they can wear them. Although not really a design change I did cut these with no seam allowances because they were drawn slightly larger than necessary.

Closing Hints:     
I'm pleased to have a pajama pattern that I can use as this toddler grows. It would be easy enough to make these pajamas in a short version for Summer so it really is quite versatile. Lutterloh seldom produces patterns for the youngest children so it's nice to see a little more variety. 

Here's wishing you a Happy New Year. Make sure to set aside some time for yourself.

Happy sewing from,
Ann in Calif.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Make something for the holidays

It's such a lovely time of year
So many parties and gatherings.

Bernice shows us a Lutterloh creation from a simple Lutterloh dress pattern

Here is another one of my  creations from a simple dress pattern (N° 216 - 2015).

An assymetrical dress :

I was always looking out to make an asymmetrical top or dress pattern and since I wanted to make my friend a gift. I chose this simple dress pattern and modified it. 

Design changes in the original pattern :

After drafting this pattern I drew a curved line from the front neck line to the right side and a little below the waste. I drew 12 lines like rays of the sun from this curved line towards the left side. I separated the two parts. For the left side of the pattern I closed the center dart and opened it in the side. For the right side of the pattern I cut along the lines leaving 1 cm at the edge. Next I spread each piece equal distance from each other and with cellotape kept them in place on another sheet of paper. Then I cut out the new paper pattern.

Placing the 2 front parts on the fabric I cut them out. After stitching the underarm dart for the left side, I pinned the pleats of the right side to get its original shape and attached both the right and left side together. I gave more ease for the waist so I didn't need to have a long opening in the back so I kept a small opening just to enter the head.

For the sleeves : I drafted the tee shirt sleeve and transformed it into a petal sleeve.

Difficulties : Though I myself took my friend's measurements I found 2 Lutterloh dress patterns that I drafted were much larger than the normal ease that is given. It was very frustrating not to get things correct at the first attempt. For example the bust measure was 82 cm and Lutterloh was 91 cm - armhole was 42 cm and Lutterloh was 48 cm - waist 68 cm and Lutterloh 84 cm - hips 97 cm and Lutterloh 108 cm. It's not very encouraging for learners to use the Luterloh system when there is too much of adjustment to be made. I have a little experience and a lot of determination to get through so most of the time I succeed in getting what I want.

 It is good to be creative as it helps to be economic too.

Are you all excited to try something new? 
I'd like to take that vest pattern and glitz it up.  

Thanks Bernice!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 306 Model#41 - Summer 2017
Raglan Sleeve Knit Top

I was trying to use up some remnants of fabric and this top seemed like a good candidate. It might appear to be just an average raglan sleeve top but there's a nice little zipper detail on the front sleeve of one side.

Pattern Drafting Hints:
Due to the raglan design this top is really only semi-fitted. There's plenty of room in the body and sleeves to pull over your head easily. Just enlarge the pattern to your regular Lutterloh measurements and apply any alterations needed for all your Lutterloh patterns. I have found lately that the Lutterloh necklines have been running both a little high and a bit wide for my taste. Make sure to paper fit before cutting your fabric.

Fabric Used/Suggested:
This pattern is designed for knit or stretch fabrics and I would not suggest otherwise. My print is a lightweight rayon/polyester blend and the solid black is a slightly heavier cotton blend interlock. Neither of my fabrics have a great amount of stretch but this pattern is loose enough to accommodate lots of different knits.

Design Changes: 
The one design change I made was to lower the neckline, only on the front piece, by 3/4 of an inch. I did use the sleeve length for the #42 top but this is actually the same pattern piece in two different lengths. I didn't have a decorative zipper so I used a regular 4" one and attached a charm. It's actually half of a fancy toggle clasp from my jewelry making supplies but who says hardware can't multitask?
Closing Hints:
This pattern was easy to enlarge, went together like a dream and is a great way to use up some remnants. What's not to like?

I noticed that just this afternoon the new Autumn 2017 Supplement #307 was published for sale on the German Lutterloh site. You can preview it at the link provided below:

I have barely had a chance to peruse it myself but I'm sure there will be something there that I'll be anxious to try. If you have any questions about the Lutterloh patterns or just want to leave a comment please feel free to add it below. 

Happy sewing everyone from,
Ann in Calif.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 306 Model #56 - Summer 2017
 Pullover Blouse

After all these years of using Lutterloh patterns I thought it was high time I got around to trying a full figure top pattern. I tried a full figure pants pattern once and it turned out to be a waste of time for me. I had heard that the only difference was a longer crotch length. Well, there was plenty of extra crotch length alright. I needed to chop off four inches from the top of the pants all the way around before I could fit them. I have stuck with the regular patterns ever since. Now that I have completed my first full figure top pattern I wish I hadn't put it off so long.

Pattern Drafting Hints:
The Lutterloh company suggests that their full figure patterns are best suited to people with a  bust or hip measurement of at least 110cm. My measurements aren't quite there but I thought I would give at least one pattern a try. Frank Lutterloh once suggested that when using a full figure pattern, a smaller person could move down 3 to 5 dots on the Lutterloh scale to achieve an acceptable size. Sure enough, this top is the result of using a dot 4 spaces lower than my actual measurement or the equivalent of 8 cm smaller. 

Fabric Used/Suggested:  
Although this pattern does not suggest it I used a lightweight knit for my top. The neckline, with narrow, stitched down facing, is large enough to use a woven fabric and still fit your head through but I wanted some drape to my fabric. Keep in mind that if you do use a woven fabric for this top that you'll want one that isn't too stiff. A limp fabric will be better suited since any fabric that stands away from the body will contribute to the puffiness factor of this top.

Design Changes: 
Again I had to lower the neckline for this pattern. This time by an inch and a half. The bottom and sleeve openings also have elastic in mine instead of a drawstring. I could just imagine dragging those ties through my food or getting them caught in some machinery. The elastic in the casings works better for me. I didn't make any other changes because I was trying to evaluate the usefulness of the full figure patterns. 

Closing Hints: 
Overall I'd say this pattern is a real winner. I may need to lengthen my future patterns, just like I do for the regular size patterns. At least I have the reduction on the scale worked out so I can do this to all the full figure patterns. Yay, this opens up a whole range of patterns I'd been overlooking until now! 

If you've been avoiding the full figure patterns because you thought they may be just too large then think again and give them a try. You may be pleasantly surprised. Here's wishing you a fruitful and productive holiday season ahead.

Happy Sewing,
Ann in Calif.      

Friday, September 29, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive! - FASHION FLASHBACK

Supplement 142 - Model #60 - Autumn 1976
Knit Top or Dress 

I'll be the first to admit that this is not my favorite knit dress for this year. Yes, the dress is comfortable but is that really enough? I suspect that the error is likely mine in matching fabric to pattern. There's just not enough shape going on for a knit dress for me. 

Pattern Drafting Hints:
This pattern didn't have any flaws in drafting so it went together well. I did appreciate the small tucks in the front of the dress to help control some of the extra fabric. 
It was simple to just pinch out some fabric at the waist and then transfer the marks to the wrong side of the fabric to sew the tucks. The back does not indicate any tucks but with the help of a sewing partner or a dress form you could certainly put a couple in back too.
Fabric Used/ Suggested:
My fabric choice is likely where I went wrong with this dress. The cotton blend interlock that I used has great stretch but only on the crosswise direction. It's actually pretty stable on the lengthwise grain and this is where I could have used a little more give. This pattern is indeed intended for a stretch fabric but I believe a fabric with both length and crosswise stretch is needed to get the right shape for this dress. If you need to leave extra ease to get this dress over your shoulders than it isn't going to be as form fitting as the drawing suggests.  
Design Changes:
I did make a couple design changes to this dress, the first being to shorten it to knee length. The other more obvious change was to the neckline. This pattern does suggest a zipper in the back just to the depth of the yolk. Perhaps if I'd stuck with a back zipper and extended it into the dress I could have ended up with a more shapely silhouette. What I really wanted was some more interest in the front neckline so I omitted the zipper and added a split facing to the center front yolk. Well, at least the facing for the split front worked really well so this project wasn't a complete waste. 
Closing Hints:
Oh well, live and learn. I am determined to find the right pattern for this gifted fabric. It is of good quality and washes well too. I'm sure there's a perfect pattern in my Lutterloh books for this fabric somewhere. 
I hope you're having better luck with your sewing lately. On to Supplement #306 for me!
Happy Sewing All,
Ann in Calif.