Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How do I sew my garments together once the pattern is made?

Are you completely new to sewing?

Make one of the aprons or something that is easy and hasn't too many pieces to figure out.
What is in your Lutterloh pattern book that has only a few pieces?

Beginning sewing is taught in most fabric stores so I won't cover that
(check our links on the left for sewing help)
what I will cover is

"How to sew together a Luttorloh pattern".

I like Nancy Ziemans ideas for starting a sewing project. It helps to brake up your sewing time into little snatches. We are all so busy I find this format the best for me.

I do these steps in little bits until I'm all finished!

I learned so sew in high school without instructions so a step by step list is very helpful. I will add mine for pants to start you thinking.

Look over the pattern. Did you make each piece?
a. Lay the paper patterns together as they would fit and see if all are fitting together OK.
Walk sleeves into armscyes etc.

2) Did you make facings (or change them to update?)

3) Cut out the fashion fabric adding seam allowance and hems.

4) Is there a lining and did you cut it out? Did you need to cut out facings, iron on or sew in?
Once all this is finished you are ready for the sewing steps.

WARNING: you must add seam allowances and hems on all Lutterloh patterns before cutting.

Facings are shown on the pattern with the hatch marks as below and an ST written in the area. Some hatch marks work as interfacing some tell us to roll the fabric around for a self finish. It may surprise you that you will often make the choice as to what way you use a facing mark.

You can trace, with see-through paper, the area for a pattern piece labeled facing. Can you find the facings in the patterns below? I would leave my finished pattern taped to my table and lay a 2nd piece of paper over the area with facing marks and trace them. Some have measurements you can just cut from.

I see facings on the coat front only. The front and back and on the pant waist band would be interfacing in my thinking. The hatch marks on the knit top are just turned under facings Another point of interest is the two piece sleeve. See the one cross but two arrows? Draw it as one, cut it as two. It is a coat after all and the sleeve are usually two pieces. See anything I missed?

Nancy calls this next step

1. Did you pre-treat your fabric

2. Do you have your scissors, pattern weights, rulers for seams, thread, buttons, zippers, hemming materials etc. I dump them into a plastic box or bag. Keep it on hand for the project.

3. Mark your pattern pieces for the darts, the hems, buttons, etc. You may like to mark with chalk on the wrong side or you might use pins. What ever marking method works best for you. Before I cut out fabric I will often put a safety pin on each piece to show the front of the fabric.

4. Test and apply fusible interfacing.

5. Set up your machine for sewing.

6. Sew facings and linings, this includes iron in facings

WARNING: you must add your seam allowances to everything! I prefer 1/2 seams use what ever works for you. Don't forget your hems

Once all the facings are in you can proceed to the step by step part
let's do pants first because I think they are the hardest to do.

1) do everything you can do while the pants are flat
a. sew darts, press toward the center

b. put in pockets, put in belt loops

c. put in zipper

d. press hems (yes on each piece)

2) Put the pant pieces together

a. Stitch the side seams front to back

b. Stitch the inner leg seams front to back, press seams allowances toward the back.

c. Sew the crotch curve from the center back at the waist to the zipper opening

3) Waist and Hems

a. Fold the hem and sew using what ever technique you wish

b. Make and sew in waist band, or turn waist band for elastic use. Pattern notes elastic, otherwise use a faced band.

c. add waist snap, hooks, or sew close opening for elastic.

Press everything and if you have a trouser you will have pressed the center fold before sewing.

All done!
It's just that easy.

Ann's note - A few details I tend to forget when sewing without directions:
1.stay stitch curved pattern pieces after cutting to avoid stretching of the bias
2.clip curves and grade seam allowances before pressing facings
3.under stitch facings and secure to seam allowances to keep them from rolling outward


  1. I just received my Lutterloh system today and I am very very happy.
    I found your page here a few days ago and in preparation I have been looking around.
    How neat is it that I ordered the book
    "The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting"
    Last week and they just informed it they
    are sending it out earlier than promised.
    I sewed many years ago for my children and then the last time for my daughter who is extremely well endowed but is not heavy in the rest of her body,I had to make blouses to accommodate that problem. My daughter is now 45 y/o. I will be sewing for me for a change and this time I want to do it all right.
    I will be coming here often and want to thank you for all you have done to help us to make great clothing.
    This has helped me already and I really haven't started yet.

  2. Wonderful! I think I am in your same stage of life. Time to sew for myself! You will love the fitting book! It is so visual. Let us know if there is something about the Lutterloh patterns you can't find in our many posting!

    Happy sewing

  3. i just received my lutterloh pattern system in the mail and I am excited to get started. I am so glad I found your blog. I plan to make a blouse first - and just cut out the pattern pieces and loosely follow the pattern instructions from another pattern for a blouse.

  4. I just bought this system today and I can't wait to get started! I have never sewn a piece of clothing for myself, just for my kiddos. I am so glad I found this site and I will be visiting often! P.S. I also have the book mentioned above but have not used it yet because fitting problems seem to be way easier with kids clothing. I am excited to get the chance to use it!

  5. Starting your first Lutterloh pattern is indeed exciting but do take the time to make the fitting vest first. This will help you determine any alterations you need to make to all your Lutterloh patterns in the future. Have fun with your new pattern system!

  6. I'm a newbie at sewing and I am currently making my vest - i mean, i am putting my cut fabric pieces together. Am stumped at the armscye... How do you hem it? Does it need to have a bias tape or a facing? I am not quite sure if i missed something because I don't see anything pictured on the armscye pattern picture. Any help would be great.

  7. The vest is a fitting tool. Did it fit as it should? did you make any adjustment to length, shoulder width etc?

    I would sew it with a lining and that would close all the open seams. However you can make a facing from the pattern, draw it on the pattern they are usually about 2 to 2.5 inches wide. Be sure to add seam allowances. A sewing book would be best to consult. Check our posting on the right side for some great suggestions.

  8. How do I determine my size? Please help. Thanks

  9. with your system should be a pattern book and a tape measure. The front of every pattern book has directions for measuring your size or go to this web site and watch the helpful video on how to measure your size:

  10. Hi, I have made a muslin of a trouser pattern, fits lovely around the hips but the waist is too small - how should I make this wider ?

  11. Jackie,
    I suggest the book "The complete Photo guide to Perfect Fitting" by Sarah Veblen. I've taken several classes from Sarah and her photos are perfect to see what to do to make a perfect fit. We usually fit the waist first in trousers perhaps you should make a larger pattern and try again?

  12. Hi Jackie,
    If you don't have a good fitting book handy you can always do a quick internet search such as: Enlarge the waist on a pants pattern or some such similar phrase. This should turn up at least a few options in either printed or video instructions.
    Lutterloh patterns are still just basic sewing patterns after all. The same alteration techniques that work for commercial patterns work fine for Lutterloh patterns too.

  13. thank you for the quick responses, will have a google - I only bought the Lutterloh on Saturday at a sewing show in the UK where I also got some nice trouser fabric - think the problem is because I am petite in height but not width !

  14. Jackie, if you read a few more of our posts listed in the right column of our homepage I'm sure you can be off and running with Lutterloh in no time.

  15. I'm working on my 1st Lutterloh pattern and I'm confused about the front button placket --- I'm making the jumpsuit pattern #220 and the buttons don't show on the picture but are marked on the pattern --- how do you do a hidden button placket? Thank you.

  16. Patti,
    Your first pattern should be your fitting vest that is the only way you will know how the patterns need adjusting.
    You must be excited to make your first outfit. I'm so sorry telling us a pattern number means nothing if we don't know the year or supplement number. If it is a hidden button placket you need a good sewing book one that will show you step by step how to make the placket. I am fond of "The complete guide to sewing" by readers digest. Simplitity patterns has printed several good sewing books. The used book stores often have these books. I prefer drawing so photos but there are many with step by step photos.

    1. I'm a newbie at Lutterloh, just got my book. What is a fitting vest? I see that in several posts. Do you just pick a vest pattern and go for it? And it's for what? Wouldn't each pattern need to be adjusted separately depending on what you're making?
      Also, is the only option to get from pattern to finished garment to have another book to give you those steps? They don't seem to include any instructions for putting the pieces together at all. I'll keep going over these, surely I'll have a break thru! Thanks for this site!

    2. Wendy, Excited to hear you got a pattern book, did you attend a demo? They usually have the vest patterns. Because they no longer include them in the pattern books I felt I could start including them on my blog. Here is the vest pattern This posting is useful also at the bottom it has our favorite sewing books.

      Once you get the hang of it you will see that pants have a set group of steps, Tops another and dresses another you will be learning techniques from the sewing books. Some of our favorite books cover these steps.

      Enjoy looking at all those fashions! The Vest will fit your bust, waist and lengths and once you know what changes you had to make you will make those very same changes on any pattern you chose from your pattern book.

  17. Thank you for responding back. My Pattern is from the August 2015 Supplement and is #220 --- the jumpsuit. I'm in the middle of sewing this and I'm confused about the concealed button placket. Most plackets either have the buttons sewn on them or the buttonholes; but on this picture it appears that the buttons are concealed. Please help if you can (the vest that you suggest that I make shows a normal buttonhole enclosure which wouldn't help me with this pattern). Can you tell me by looking at the picture what is intended for the front enclosure of this jumpsuit. The pattern tells you to cut two strips (for the placket) which are to be folded and if so, one strip would have the buttons, but would the buttonholes be on the other strip that would also include the concealing fabric in front? Any help would be much appreciated as I would really like to finish sewing this jumpsuit. Thank you!

  18. Hi Patti, I also recommend a comprehensive sewing book for figuring out directions for techniques I haven't sewn before. The one Fonnell suggested is my favorite too along with Vogue Sewing. Because you're anxious to get your project completed I would also suggest a simple Google search or whatever search engine is your favorite. I just typed in "sewing a hidden button placket" and was directed to several reliable sources for photo tutorials and even a You Tube video. It's astounding the amount of help that's already out on the www if we do a search! Good luck, I'm sure you'll work it out just fine.

  19. Thank you for your reply. I did do a web search, but, unfortunately, the sites I saw were either doing a regular (not concealed placket) or the placket was a lot wider than what the Lutterloh pattern calls for and they are folding the panel into thirds rather than in half like this pattern calls for. So I'm still not sure what to do.

  20. Patti, have you seen this one:
    It most closely resembles the directions I found in my Vogue Sewing book. There's also no reason you can't cut an extra wide placket piece and follow the directions you found that folds the placket into thirds. As long as it looks right in the end no one will know you deviated from the pattern. Whichever directions make the most sense to you and give you a satisfactory end result should be the directions you follow. If you're still unsure you can always make a mock up of the technique with smaller pieces of scrap fabric just to be sure you understand the execution.

  21. Thank you so much for your help. I'll look at craftsy's website and then just experiment on my own.

  22. I am a plus size. I have the origonal ruler from a pattern making class I took years ago. Where can I get a. Plus size ruler?

    1. most plus size people can use the normal system and make a large size and use the fuller figure patterns. The plus size in Lutterloh is a whole different system. You must purchase the patterns and the tape measure for the plus size. You can inquire from the closest Lutterloh online shop to where you live. We have them listed on the side bar.

  23. What is the difference between the plus size and normal size systems. I have both, but the patterns in the plus size are fuddy duddy looking and I have a normal size pattern I'd like to use. Thanks!

  24. What is the difference between the plus size and normal size systems. I have both, but the plus size patterns are fuddy duddy looking and I have a normal size I wish to use, but the Plus says to use only with plus size patterns.

  25. Hello Mrs. C,
    If you look on our right side bar you will see links to some of our most popular posts. Near the bottom of the list is one titled "should I use the x-xx large system or the traditional system". You should find the answer to your question there. Make sure to read the comments to that post as well. The comments usually expand on the original posts.