Monday, August 10, 2009

Announcing Our First Lutterloh Sewcial!

Join Us for a Lutterloh Sewcial!

I hope you have all seen the post about getting ready for our first
Lutterloh Sewcial.

We hope this will be a fun and informative event for everyone!

Our poll reveals that, although we have many readers using older vintage books, a majority are using the more current editions. So, with this in mind we'd like for everyone to pick out a pattern for either pajamas or some other sleepwear from their current collection.

It's a Pajama Party!

This pattern can be for someone besides yourself if you like to sew for others.
If all you have is a vintage book then certainly feel free to sew any sleepwear pattern from that.

As long as this first Sewcial runs smoothly our next one will be a strictly vintage affair so if you'd rather wait, that's fine too.



We would like to request that each participant post some sort of comments on their progress.

This is the best way to know how everyone is progressing as well as give inspiration to our other readers.

These comments can be as simple as an update where you are in the project or as complex as a question with a photo of your problem.

In preparation for the start of the Sewcial we would like a photo or scan of the fashion page for the pattern that you'll be using. This will be a nice way to not only let everyone know what you're working on but will also serve to announce yourself as an official participant in the Sewcial.

Again, your photo can be e-mailed to Ann or Fonnell at the e-mail addresses mentioned above. The photos will all be posted at the end of this announcement in one group.
Feel free to start sending your intended fashion photos as soon as you like.



The official start of the Sewcial is Monday, August 17th, 2009 and will run until Monday, September 14th, 2009.

Don't worry if you can't start right away. Just send you're intended fashion photo when you are ready and we'll add it to the gallery.



When you are finished with your project please send a photo of your completed sleepwear. At the close of our Sewcial we will make a new post with all the photos together in one collection.

So Lutterloh enthusiasts, start leafing through your patterns. We're having our very first Lutterloh Sewcial!

Pam from South Australia's choice - Supplement #271 - pattern #75 & 76Here's Ursula's choice - pajamas pattern #237 & 238
Stephanie in AU will be making the nightgown - pattern #236
Sally's choice for a nightgown - pattern #175Ann's choice - little boys pajamas for a gift - pattern #28 shorts, #29 topBeth has chosen pattern #222 for her nightgownBarbara's vintage 1969 patternMelody's choice - pattern #246 from Supplement 268

Fonnell's pattern is #154 from the 2000 book
winter is cold and damp here.
Ann's Vintage 1964 choice


  1. I will go through my patterns tonight and pick something. I will have to start a week late due to vacation, but I think I will have time to catch up.

    What if we don't have any vintage patterns for the next one?

  2. Welcome Sally to the Sewcial! I am a Sewing supperintendant at the state fair and will be starting late too. I'm sure we will both be ok. Ann and I will take care of the vintage pattern issue by time we hold the next one. Not to worry.

  3. I would love to participate, this might just be the thing to end my 2.5 month drought.

    Anyhow, my Lutterloh is probably from 2000 or 2001, and it's the pajama pattern smack in the middle of your photo.

    I would love to get my hands on a vintage pattern book, but we'll see.

  4. Welcome Barbara I know you'll brake that drought! For the vintage Sewcial we will get a pattern for everyone. There sure are some beautiful designs in the vintage books. But first on to the sleepware!

  5. Pam from South AustraliaAugust 13, 2009 at 12:56 AM

    I will be joining the Sleepwear Sewcial. Will send a scan of my intended pattern and better check my stash to see if I have anything suitable to use OR I might just have to buy something new!

  6. Pam welcome! Yes isn't lovely we have stash. I like to think of a trip up to the spare bedroom as a shopping trip. Can't wait to see your pattern choice.

  7. wahoooooooo!!! I just scored a vintage (1969) pattern book on ebay so I might be working from that!!! It should be here in a week or so so I'll decide for sure when it gets here.

  8. Pam from South AustraliaAugust 19, 2009 at 2:05 AM

    I have just finished my pattern far, so good. Made my usual adjustments ie narrow shoulder, short waist and lower boobs. Fabric is washed and ready to go. Although the pyjama pants legs appear to be flying half-mast on the pattern picture, at 159cm tall, they are plenty long enough for full length. How's everyone else going?

  9. Great to hear you're moving along Pam. I still need to finish up one more project before I can start. I'm glad you mentioned about lowering your pattern's bust point. It's always a good idea to check where your darts are pointing while you paper fit your pattern. They should be pointing to the apex of your bust but should stop short by 1" to 1-1/2". Thanks for the progress report Pam!

  10. Hmm progress so far for me is thinking about how I will sew the nighty once I have fabric and have drafted it. I am off to Adelaide for a week this coming week and have not got any further than...wait for it....a new Bernina Aurora 440QE! I very probably will sew the nighty on Nina and my overlocker.
    No idea as to fabric yet. But I know I want to do a bias bound neckline as its so soft and comfortable to wear, more than a facing.
    I am thinking about using a contrast fabric and stitching rows of beautiful decorative stitching instead of lace as it can be hard to find nice non-scratchy lace where I live.
    I'm a natural fibres girl so will make this in cotton or linen or a blend of both, or if feeling VERY splurgy after testing it out, wouldn't silk be wonderful? I'll start out with inexpensive fibre first though.

  11. Congratulations on the new machine! Have you considered fabric made from hemp as a natural alternative? I hear it's very comfortable to wear.

  12. Pam from South AustraliaAugust 21, 2009 at 8:22 AM

    Progress report girls! All is not well. After making pattern and tissue-fitting it on Pam Too (the dummy - although after this I think its questionable about who is the dummy). I could tell straight away that the neck was way too big. So what did I do?? Nothing! Why? I dunno, just too anxious to get started I think. So I cut it out, stabilised neck (front & back) stitched darts and shoulder seams, applied facing and under-stitched. Then, after all that, I finally decide to try it on. Disaster. Neck is gaping and falling off my shoulders. So I twist & turn trying to tell myself that it will be okay because it's only PJs. Right? Wrong. Didn't fancy undoing all the stitching (read triple-stitch for stretch) so contemplated cutting off the facing fixing the neck and re-drawing a new facing and stitching that back on, which would have been the right way to go. my wisdom I decided to try an easy fix. I needed to remove 14cm from neck overall, so cut a piece of narrow, clear elastic the correct neckline measurement, quartered the neckline and elastic and applied it to the inside of the neck, on top of the facing. Neck fits great now, but does it look good? No, it does not! Once again I'm twisting and turning in front of the mirror telling myself it will be okay because it's only PJs. After reading Stephanie's post about binding her neckline, I'm thinking.....why didn't I think of that? Have decided to finish the PJs and fix the pattern so it will be right for next time. These PJs will be a learning experience. The lesson learned....always fix each problem when you come to it because it will only get worse the further you advance and I share my lesson with my fellow sewcial attendees.

  13. Oh Pam, I'm sorry this learning experience was not one of your better ones. I agree, it would have been prudent to adjust the pattern as soon as it didn't look right in the tissue fitting stage. In looking at that pattern I see that the width of the shoulder seam area does not seem even as wide as the T-shirt pattern in the same supplement. So, I would question is the neck hole just designed to be really open or is the whole shoulder area coming out too wide as you draw the dots? If the shoulder seams at the sleeve are sitting where they should be then perhaps you just need to add a little tissue to bring the neck hole in narrower. When making T-shirts that call for facings I often substitute a 2" wide folded ribbed binding instead. I cut this an inch or so shorter than the neck measurement. This serves to bring the neck in a little and slightly elasticize the area at the same time. If you think the problem is with the actual design of the pattern we can work on that too. Thanks for sharing your experience even if it wasn't your best.

  14. Big Reminder everyone, After cutting out the pattern hold it up to you and tissue fit. Is it the right length? Is the neck too wide or deep? Is it going around me? Oh I do hope so! I also check the Arm scye to be sure it isn't too deep. If something needs adjusting just lay out a fresh piece of pattern paper put you already cut out pattern on it. Tape it here and there and begin adjusting for what you saw as a problem.

  15. Pam I'm wondering if you used the correct measurement on the Lutterloh tape. We all add a slot now and again and with Pj's I might think I was good with a larger size.

    I'm guessing you cut this out of a knit but you can put tiny darts in a knit and if you do it in several places you can do it in a decortive way and add to the design of the neck.

    Is this the rounded neck not the square? Square neck are just always an issue.

    Can you send photos? They explain a lot.

  16. Pam from South AustraliaAugust 21, 2009 at 6:11 PM

    Thanks so much for your suggestions and comments girls. I have already made a narrow shoulder adjustment and I didn't use a higher bust measurement when I drafted the pattern. I believe the problem could have been easily fixed either at the tissue fitting stage or, as Fonnell suggested, as a design extra with gathers/pleats/darts etc before I put the facing on. I think the pattern is designed to be large so you can get it over your head without an opening, just too large for me. The elastic I have applied has worked a treat, just shouldn't have put it on top of the facing. The only choice I have now is to cut the facing off, which will leave me with a bigger neck again. I am thinking that if I use Ann's suggestion of a ribbed binding might be the go? What about using self fabric, it is a stretch? Because of the 14cm I have to remove (probably more by the time I cut the facing off)I'm thinking I should use the narrow clear elastic before I apply the ribbed binding. Ann, by ribbed binding, do you mean a neckline same as a standard t-shirt where the ribbing becomes an extension of the neck?

  17. Yes Pam a standard T-shirt type ribbed binding is what I meant. If you apply it right sides together at the neck and then turn it to the inside you will fill in at least a little of the gap at the neckline. I'm thinking once you cut off your facing you're going to end up with a really big neckline. You may need to pinch out some fullness with pleats or gathers AND apply a binding that will extend beyond the neckline. A T-shirt type ribbed binding has quite a bit of stretch but still pulls in on the side that's not stitched. Will your self fabric binding have this kind of recovery once it's stitched on? You may just have to see once the facing is cut off. If you like you can send a photo before you proceed just for a second or third opinion. You've already worked so hard on this. I can't imagine you want to do the neckline a third time. Just holler if you need some help.

  18. Pam from South AustraliaAugust 21, 2009 at 9:17 PM

    Thanks Ann. Just tried on the top again, with one sleeve in this time. It fits beautifully and the neck problem is limited to the inside now, as is, so I will leave it alone for this attempt. I am concerned that I might make it worse and end up with something I can't even wear. I have some great ideas for the future though. I will re-draw the pattern and be all set for the next PJs. Now on to the pants.

  19. Alrighty then, onward and upward! I guess it would be downward since we're talkin' pants. Lesson learned - adjust for problems after tissue fitting and before cutting fabric. Hope the pants go off without a hitch. Keep us posted and thanks for letting us learn along with you.

  20. Pam from South AustraliaAugust 22, 2009 at 2:09 AM

    Pants were a piece of cake. Other than shortening the leg, perfect fit for me. Something I did change this time.....I was having trouble with not enough ease (for me) from the waist down, in any pattern I had tried to date. After reading the pages Fonnell shared from her vintage Lutterloh, the scribblings in the front of the book said to add 4cm to the hip measurement if you had a bust measurement of over 38" (and I do). Also I used this hip measurement for my waist (seeing as I don't have one!). Worked great for these PJs but I guess a bit more practice with other patterns will reveal whether this will work for all patterns. All in all, a great result, I've even forgotten about the neck. Photo has been sent to Ann, ready for the gallery.

  21. Wonderful to hear that a sewer from the 50's left us some wisdom! I too have to add that bit to the lower part. This is so fun to hear from other Lutterloh sewers.

  22. Hello ladies... I just drafted #237 (the long t-shirt). Although I am not full figured, I chose this pattern because I prefer a shirt and pants/shorts over a gown for pjs and I read before that the crotch seams are longer in full figure pant patterns.

    I guess my questions are.... is the arms eye supposed to be a little deeper in a "pj type t-shirt" for comfort? And is the shoulder seam also suppose to be a little longer (past my shoulder joint - it's not by much though)?

    I did use my high bust measurement for the shoulder and part of the arms eye area.

    Tomorrow I will draft the back of the shirt and pants. My knit fabric is on its way!

    Thanks in advance for your comments.

  23. This really sounds like progress Ursula! Don't forget to paper fit before deciding you are ready to cut fabric. With knits there is always give in the arm but I find deeper arm scye make it so when I lift my arm it pulls my gown up. That action stops with a smaller arm scye. When we make a sloper we allow two fingers width under the arm. This is a good form fit. So when you paper fit hold it under and hold it to your mid shoulder and see if it is lower than two fingers. If it is just slightly lower that should be a good fit for a knit. The sleeve look to be nice and full in a bell style almost. Let us know when they are drafted what they look like.

    Keep moving forward. What color knit are you going with?

  24. Thank you for the info! I do wish to raise the arm scye about 5/8 of an inch. Do I have to remove any of the seam from the sleeve cap too?

    I noticed when I drafted the back of the shirt, the side seam formed an inside angle towards the CB fold. The hem ended up looking like a "V." I made my side seam almost perpendicular to the CB seam myself. Hopefully it will work.

    I purchased a boutique tie dye 100% cotton baby rib knit on ebay. I love anything soft and of natural fibers plus it was a great deal!

  25. Yes remove the amount from the sleeves. Remember to remove the amount cut in half and off of both sides of the sleeve. Today we don't like a lot eased into our sleeve caps as we once did. Your sleeve seems to bell out so I don't think it will bind your arm.

    I need to look up your pattern and see what it looks like. I know as a rounded women I can't believe how odd my patterns can sometimes look when I'm done drawing them.
    There is a removeble scotch tape I use to lightly tape my paper patterns together to try them on. Surprisingly they ususally work. I can't believe it!
    I'm curious to see what your V will do when you try it on.

    The fabric sounds really lovely. Can't wait to see it.

  26. I agree with Fonnell about the smaller armscye actually fitting better. I find that with a lower armscye I sometimes have trouble with pulling in the back too when reaching forward.

    I have noticed in lots of sleepwear patterns, not just Lutterloh, that the shoulder seam is often a little dropped off the shoulder. I wouldn't worry about it unless it's uncomfortable for you to wear. I'm sure it's just a slouchy kind of comfort feature.

    It's good to hear we're moving along with the project. I'm right behind you.

  27. Well, I made some real progress with the little boys pajamas today. Because they're such a small size I drew up the pattern lickety split and was on to cutting fabric in less than 20 minutes. I did notice, like Pam, that the neck hole seemed a little deep but I pressed on because I knew I would apply a ribbed binding later.

    The fabric is a cotton/poly interlock with a Transformers print on it. My friends son is gonna love these PJs! I love how easy this fabric is to work with, not too stretchy but with a nice soft hand with plenty of drape.

    It's a relief to move on to an easy, breezy project after the vintage 1957 dress I worked on all last week. A challenge is nice once in a while but sometimes you need some instant gratification too. I may be able to finish the binding and hems on the pajamas tomorrow and join Pam in the finished circle. I'll let ya know later.

  28. I have changed my entry. I received my book from ebay and here's my new choice:

    1969 ladies pajamas, #367 and #368 my picture is here:

  29. Hi Barbara, I don't think I ever received your first entry. Your link to your photo was cut off in your message. This is why we requested that the scans or photos be e-mailed. You can e-mail a scan or photo of your fashion photo to me or Fonnell at the e-mail addresses mentioned in the post above. We'd be happy to add it to the gallery along with our other participants. I'm sure everybody would like to see a vintage entry for our Sewcial.

  30. I just e-mailed it to the both of you. Sorry about that.

  31. No problem Barabara, it's up now. That is a darn cute pattern too. Will you make shorts to go under it or is the pattern for the briefs included too?

  32. Pam from South AustraliaAugust 24, 2009 at 6:09 PM

    Very nice Barbara. I remember having PJs like that. What fabric are you using?

  33. Ann, I do want to make the briefs, like pantaloons sort of... they look knd of short but Iwill definitely make them longer.

    Pam, I'll be using some quilters cotton, not sure which one right now... but that's what I like - lightweight cotton.

    Thanks ladies, i'm excited.

  34. I didn't get to the hems of the little boys pajamas yesterday but they're done now. They went together so fast I'm thinking I should zap out another set for him for Christmas.

    I think I'll wait until I hear how they fit first. These are for a tiny little boy. The measurement I used for the pattern has Lutterloh putting him in a size for a two year old even though he is turning five. They should have a nice, loose, comfy fit for jammies though.

  35. hey ladies! I just got done tracing my pattern. I have some questions though...

    My modern lutterloh tells you if a certain design was made for knit fabrics... this vintage one does not. how do I decide what fab ric to use? I was thinking quilter cotton but now I'm thinking it might be more comfy in a jersey or something like that... c/l??

    Another thing is - my tracing/ drawing is really rusty. Figures since I haven't used lutterloh since I first got it... at least 7 or 8 years ago. Will it get easier/ better?

    I think that's it for now. Thanks!

  36. oh yes! it does get better. Read through out past hints and articles and if they generate more questions ask them! We know it gets better. Both Ann and I have experimented often.

    Now as for the knits and vintage. The symbol is the same but it was put on the pattern in many of the old patterns and NOT on the fashion page. The symbol is very tiny. Another consideration is that the knits you know now did not exsist then. All my sleepware growing up was cotton.(1950's-1960's)

    If this is indeed the case the pattern will have MORE ease than with a knit. If you make it from a knit you will need to test the stretch of the knit and decide if you need to remove a bit of this ease from the pattern. This however is a whole posting so let us know if you need to make the pattern smaller for the knit.

  37. Good for you Barbara, glad to hear you're moving along.

    I once made a nightgown, similar to the one you're working on, out of quilters cotton and I was disappointed with the drape of the finished gown. I was trying to copy an Eileen West nightgown and looked for the limpest cotton I could find. It still stands away from my body more than I like. I believe I should have looked for cotton lawn or batiste instead.

    A knit could work for your pattern if it doesn't have much stretch like an interlock. If it's a fabric with Lycra added you may need to adjust for negative ease. Let us know what you decide on and we'll help you with any adjustments needed.

  38. Oh thank you both! When I look at the picture, I do think lawn!! However, we will see if I even like it before investing in some of that fabric. For now It might just be quilter's cotton because I looked last night and I didn't see any jersey. Hmmmm.

  39. I am back from vacation and my fabric has arrived, so I'm going to draft my pattern this afternoon. I'm modifying it quite a bit. It is designed as a maternity dress so I will round down my measurements, but I'm also removing the sleeves and neck facing/binding, using a self-facing for the bodice, leaving off the bottom ruffle but making it longer, and making it out of an interlock knit. I may or may not put cap sleeves on it. I'm going for a semi-Eileen West look like my favorite nightgown. This pattern is the closest I could get to that.

  40. Welcome back. I'm just starting my two weeks as fair supperintendant so Ann will field most of the questions for me while I'm busy in the sewing Dept.

    I looked at your dress, lots of fullness, But be very wise about using any measurement but the correct one on the tape. It is better to adjust after making your normal size. In your pattern I would just remove some of the fullness in the skirt pattern. I'm excited to see this Eileen West look. I know you have the sewing experience but don't rush you have lots of time.

    Happy sewing

  41. I'm stuck already.....I drafted the front skirt part as it showed, but then it shows a little cut out part 1.5 cm in and 9 cm down to make room for the placket. I'm assuming I don't add any seam allowances to that particular area since, if I did, that would come out farther than the fold line of the rest of the center front skirt piece.

    I find that Lutterloh has too much ease for me, so since I was 91 in the bust I used 90, and since I was 95 in the hips, I used 94. I held it up to my dressform, and it seems to be right. I have found if I don't round down, I get clothes that are quite loose.

    I have to admit that it's frustrating to not have more specific directions when enlarging a pattern with regard to adding seam allowances, as in the case of the placket "cut-out." I had to order fabric for this so I don't want something unwearable because that would just be a waste of money. :(

    Any help would be appreciated.

  42. Oh Sally I agree fully. None of us can waste fabric or money. Let me help on this. Can you e-mail me the pattern? I need to look at it. I'm good at that part. I've drafted my own patterns since the 1970's so I think a bit like Lutterloh drafts. Or tell me the year book this pattern is in. I may have it. I need to see more than the fashion plate.

    Hang in there......

  43. Hi Sally,
    Fonnell and I have conferred and I have consulted my Vogue sewing book as well as the directions for an actual Eileen West pattern put out by McCalls. Both sets of directions have you cut the entire center front on the fold and then slash down the center and cut an inverted "V" into the corners of the last 5/8" of the placket area. Since the 1.5cm noted on the pattern is the equivalent to 5/8" I believe the answer to your question is, yes, you need to add a seam allowance, just to the fold line. Once you slash down the center and cut into the corners you are creating the seam allowance.

    I will send you a personal e-mail with a scan of the instructions a little later. In the mean time I would look in whatever sewing reference books you have at home to see if they diagram a lapped button placket.

    The Lutterloh patterns do assume a certain level of sewing expertise and there's no reason not to consult your favorite sewing book if you're not sure of a technique. After all, everybody knows, there's usually more than one way to accomplish almost any task.

  44. Okay, so then the line that I thought was a cutout is in actuality the sewing line, with just a slit where it would otherwise be a fold, with diagonal cuts into the corners, correct?

    That does make sense since the space left once sewn in would be 3 cm for the placket to fill up, and the finished placket piece is indeed 3 cm.

    The placket isn't necessary as far as getting in and out of the nightgown, but I like the design feature.

    Thanks for your help and for having a conference on my behalf! :) I haven't cut actual fabric yet.

  45. Yup, you got it, and you are most welcome. I think once you see the instructions that I e-mailed to you it will all come clear.

    Ya know, my favorite Eileen West gown doesn't even have a button placket. On the yoke it closes with three buttons and loops with an inverted pleat underneath at the center front of the gathers. The details in her gowns are so sweet and romantic looking.

  46. Pam from South AustraliaAugust 27, 2009 at 7:20 AM

    I'm puzzled. What's an Eileen West gown? Sounds soft, dreamy and old worldish, but I've never heard the expression before.

  47. Sorry to be a name dropper Pam. In the US Eileen West is known for her beautiful lace trimmed cotton and now knit sleepwear with a distinct romantic appeal. She is a San Francisco based designer who now designs for Lanz of Salzburg. If you do an internet search you will likely find lots of her gowns and robes for offer at exorbitant prices. She must have all her cotton lawn prints made especially for her too because I have never found anything like them.

  48. Pam from South AustraliaAugust 28, 2009 at 4:56 PM

    Thanks Ann. Well, aren't they just beautiful? Certainly a look all her own. We're going to have a great variety of sleepwear in our gallery when we are all finished.

  49. Pam, I'm so sorry to hear you have had problems. I am a quilter so bindings are to me even easier than doing a facing and seem often less bulky. Sometimes I don't like doing facings because they have distorted garments in the past if the fabric, pattern shape and interfacing is not spot on.
    I'm back from Adelaide and did look for nighty fabric but didn't know how much I'd need. I did find a lightweight cotton voile and I am sure I could find it locally or mail order as the local shop probably won't have the pretty lavender shade I found in Lincraft.
    But I did come home with some linen/cotton for a shirt, and a remnant 2.5m piece from elsewhere for a skirt. And of course loads of Kaffe Fassett patchwork fabric...but I digress.
    Now, its time to draft up the nighty around work sewing commitments...
    I'm still undecided about fabric but once I know how much I need from the pattern I can then see what's around. And be grateful its a simple pattern as I may just have time to finish it by the sewcial deadline!

  50. Hi Fonnell, Ann and Sewers,

    It's Melody here in North Lake Tahoe. I've been following the blog for a bit now. We only have a 90 day growing season here in the mountians, and I've been busy trying to cram 6 mos of summer into our 90 day allottment, lol.

    I have a newer and a few vintage Lutterlohs, but none with nightgowns. The first pic I selected had a zipper, so that was out. Finally decided on dress pattern #246 from Sup 268, for a light, summer nightgown short enough so my legs don't get tangled while sleeping. Should be pretty simple, so a nice starter project. Just got a new Singer embroidery machine. Also have a Singer w/serger attachment and an actual serger. Now I just have to find time between gardening, dancing, going to the beach and a trip to crash my sister and brothers high school reunion, then following her home to Colorado for a visit in mid Sept. Not sure I'll complete the nightgown within your time restraints, but think that's flexible anyway.

    Great to have everyone's input, and problems with solutions!

    Soon.....I hope,

  51. Hi Melody,

    I was JUST in Tahoe last weekend! Even went to visit Fabrics Unlimited and bought a few pieces of fabric. Very nice store and enjoyed visiting your area!

    Sally from Southern California :)

  52. Melody from North Lake Tahoe, CAAugust 31, 2009 at 7:41 PM

    Hi Sally,
    Sounds like you were in South Lake Tahoe (SLT) as we don't have fabric stores in North Lake Tahoe. Both Reno and SLT are an hours drive, and Reno has more stores, so don't get to the other side of the Lake often. Glad you enjoyed your visit. It is beautiful up here, isn't it!!

    See ya in your jamies!
    Melody from North Lake Tahoe, CA

  53. Hi everyone,

    Glad to see so many trying this project with us. I have one more week of Fair work in the sewing department and then I will begin sewing my PJ's. I need to put a picture up for you but it is on a past posting if you want to try to find it. A loose top and pants.

    Keep working everyone.

  54. Why is it that when I don't have bonafide instructions I lose all confidence that I'm doing something the "right" way? :)

    I gathered my fronts onto the bodice, meeting the CFs of the bodice pieces at the CF line, which will actually be slit for the placket (that way all cut edges will line up vertically), and I'm about to put trim on, but I'm skeeeered to make that cut. I think that I assemble and attach the bodice lining at the neck BEFORE putting on the placket, though -- is that right?

  55. Yes Sally, finish the neck of the bodice before you attach it to the gathered skirt. If you look at the e-mail I sent to you right after the one where I scanned all the other directions I’m pretty sure I explained the differences for a lined version.

    If ever you feel you need directions spelled out, you can always buy a similar pattern when the fabric store puts them on sale. It doesn’t have to be the exact same style, just close enough to outline the steps. A few basic sewing books are always a good resource to have around too. I think Fonnell mentioned her favorite in the post where she explained the cuffed shorts for you. My current favorite is Vogue sewing. I also did an internet search for “lined bodice” and came up with a couple sites that provide instructions complete with photos. So you see there are lots of places you can find directions for your sewing projects. There’s no need to lose your nerve just because you’ve made changes to the pattern.

  56. Thanks, Ann! :)

    It wasn't that I lost nerve since I changed the pattern -- more that I lost nerve because I was afraid of finding out after the fact that I did something wrong altogether, and it's not all that easy to rip out on tee-shirt knit. My fabric is so darned cute, I don't want to mess it up.

    I have the gown half done now, about to sew the neckline and then will tackle the placket. From there it's just sleeves, side seams, and hems -- the easy part. Loving it so far.

    I think for me I'm better when I "just do it" because sometimes I can't picture how it's going to work until I actually start working it! :-) Thank you for the encouragement.

  57. Progress...planning on drafting some of the pattern tomorrow before a weekend trip away.
    This week has been all about basting, quilting and binding not one, but two quilts. Hand finishing one binding to do over weekend-the other is being sewn by someone else for a change!
    I am also going to hit the local fabric shop and search for some fabric, tomorrow. I had thought voile initially and then I see the pattern suggests knits. I am assuming they reduce the size accordingly so if I cut the pattern as is and made it from non-stretch fabric, it would be too tight or uncomfortable?
    I shall look for a cotton knit or cotton blend depending on what they have there.
    Last cotton interlock I bought shrunk terribly even after the first wash. I should have washed it maybe twice or even three times before cutting the garment ( I washed only once forgetting how much knits can shrink).
    I'm hoping I can make some progress and try to finish the nighty in time. I guess even if I don't make the deadline at least a nighty will be on its way.

  58. Stephanie, once you get the pattern drawn up, the sewing should go pretty quickly, so I bet you'll still finish on time. :-)

    Finding fabric is definitely one of the challenges for me since I have only a JoAnn's and a local store that specializes in dance/baton fabrics with a bunch of odds and ends as far as other fabric, so finding fabric is hit or miss for me and leaves me with mail order as the only other option.

    My nightgown is complete all except for buttonholes/buttons and sleeve/bottom hems. I am very pleased with it, though it required taking additional 1/2" seams at the shoulder and additional 2-1/2" seams at the sides (it was designed as maternity wear). I do think I should have stabilized the neck, though, because it stretches very easily, so thinking on that one for now.

  59. Stephanie, if the pattern suggests a knit you could still use a woven if it's not too firm. The fashion drawing looks like a fairly roomy garment so you may just want to start with larger seam allowances and baste at the side seams to check for fit. With a larger seam allowance you'll have a little extra room at each seam and if you don't need it you can still take it in.

    I have gotten into the habit of washing all my fabric at least two or three times before cutting. One of my biggest problems with ready to wear is shrinking in length after a few washes. There's no point in sewing my own clothes if they end up too short too.

    I hope you find some really nice fabric for your nightgown.

    Ann in Calif.

  60. I am hearing in some of our comments that we are a bit unsettled in the steps we do at certain times in a garment.

    First we don't like to cut until our pattern is really ready. That is solved with paper fitting most the time.

    Next is as we do steps in sewing the garment. Let me suggest paper once again. Take a piece of paper and in mini form do the step. You may even want to redraw your pattern on some more pattern paper and fold, dart, bend, ruffle or what ever you are about to sew. Test on paper. I do it all the time. Next best is fabric mock ups. They take time so I reserve this for when the paper isn't giving me an answer.

    Ok one more week of answering sewing questions for fair goer's and I will start my pj's

  61. Good advice, Fonnell. That's exactly what I did with my placket/neckline. First I wrote out the sewing sequence, and then I drew a picture of the neck and placket area and what my plan was there. By the time I got to the placket, it went SUPER fast. Actually, the whole nightgown went really fast.

    My problem seems to be more in the fitting department, not with proportion, but with actual size. I even take very snug straight-across (not over the shoulder blades) measurements, and I consistently get something that is about a size bigger than I would have bought in the store. This has been the case with every Lutterloh I have made so far. I even paper fit my pattern to my dressform (dialed to my measurements), and that seemed to be good -- until I made the actual nightgown. Let's just say it's really, really comfortable. :-) I do like how it came out, style-wise, though! I have more fabric to test my adjusted pattern, but in reality, I shouldn't have to do that each time.

    Anyone else have issues with the fit of Lutterloh being on the, uh, generous side? If so, how do you compensate for that? I'm on the short, small side (a 4 RTW, sometimes a 6), and I don't like my clothes too loose or they just look sloppy.

  62. I finished my pajamas! Here was my experience....

    I adjusted for sloping shoulders and a sway back. I also added more height to the lower armhole and took off length from the shoulder seam. The issue I had with this top and a button-down top I did earlier this year is.....

    Armhole area:

    From the middle of the armhole to the end of the armhole (at the side seam) the seam goes AWAY from my bust area into my upper arm. When it does that, my sleeves feel a little snug around the bicep area and there's alot of extra fabric between the armhole and bust area.

    Regarding the pants, I took in 1 1/4" from above the hip on the side seams. I'm really straight and have no defined waist. I also added an inch above the waist line of the pants and sewed elastic to it and then folded it over and stitched. The knit was a bit stretchy so there's alot of pinched fabric in the stitching (they are still very comfortable!). I did not check if the waistband pattern for the pants was smaller than the waist of the pants. I'm sure I'll make these again because the crotch seam fits so well.

    I also did not do any hemming. I did lettuce leaf edgings. Next time I'll just hem because I felt it took longer than just stitching the regular way.

    I will be sending pictures regarding the armhole and my final results! Sewing these pjs together has been so much fun!


  63. This project IS turning out to be fun! I suspect the trouble with the armhole may be that the armscye is still too deep. You say you raised the armscye and shortened the shoulder seam already. This makes me think the pattern was just too large to start with. The full figure patterns are intended for those with more fullness all around. This includes more fluff under and around the arm. Have you tried comparing your PJ top to one that fits the way you like? This can even be done with your paper pattern before you ever cut into fabric.

    Since the pants fit so well at least the project was not a total wash. We can work on the fit for your top so you'll have a better result next time. Thanks for sending in your report!

  64. Thanks Ann! Yes I could copy the arm area of another PJ top to the paper pattern. So if the Lutterloh pattern is still too deep (long length wise) then I would just raise the armhole of to copy the PJ top that fits well? I guess I would have to take the difference off the seams of the sleeve too correct?

    I'm assuming this would apply for a woven top as well?

    Thanks again!

  65. Well Ursula this isn't exactly what I meant. I'm thinking that if you compare your finished full figure top to another one that fits well you will find that it may be too big all around. You may be experiencing ill fit in the armhole area but I'm not convinced this is the only problem. If the armscye is the only area that's different then by all means copying the curve should help considerably. You will always have to make adjustments to sleeve seams when you change the armscye.

    As far as copying the armscye for a woven top pattern the procedure would be the same. I wouldn't try to make a woven top from a knit pattern though. With patterns for knits some of the ease is assumed to be achieved by the stretch of the fabric. If you use a woven you will likely end up with a very close fitting garment because there is not enough ease built into the pattern.

    Your best bet would be to develop a good fitting pattern for wovens and then another for knits. Once you figure out what adjustments need to be made you can apply these to all your patterns.

  66. Before we post your project photos I'd like you each to give us permission to put you on this blog. I must say how very GREAT the outfits are looking How excited I am to see the creativity that is coming out in your garments. We'd love to put the photos up soon so e-mail us a note of permission.

    Thanks a bunch

  67. Pam from South AustraliaSeptember 5, 2009 at 12:15 AM

    You have my permission to put my photo on this blog.

  68. You have mine too. I will send the updated completed photo today for the gallery.

  69. You have my permission as well.

  70. Progress report! I drafted the whole nighty early this afternoon. It was simple.
    I notice there is not a single dart in the whole thing anywhere, I guess roomy and baggy is ok for nighty. If it needs something dart ike I might fold the fabric on me and add one as I sew!
    I found a cotton blend knit with bright stripes-it was only $5 a metre instead of $13 as it is being least it will be ok to test sew the pattern with and get a feel for the pattern proportions once in fabric.
    Fabric is drying-I did a warm wash too which may have helped to shrink it down extra.
    As will some steam when pressing the fabric.
    Looking forward to sewing this nighty.
    Anc can I just say how much I'm enjoying seeing what the more organised sewers have made already? Great job everyone!

  71. Pam from South AustraliaSeptember 7, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    Way to go Stephanie. I also got a bargain with my bright pink fabric. Not a colour I would have chosen, but it's growing on me. Can't wait to see your nighty.

  72. Anyone still working on their sleepwear? There's still a few days left!

    I decided after all the talk of Eileen West gowns that I would attempt a knock off of my own. I drew out the pattern and made a few changes to more closely mimic my favorite nightie. I first eliminated the center front seam and the little jog upward at the hem. The pattern has sleeves but I will leave these off. Because of the sleeveless style I found I needed to draw the armholes a little deeper and cut the straps narrower at the outside edge. I also added about 2 inches to the back skirt piece so I could gather it onto the yoke. This should give me 4 extra inches total to gather and create the full, billowy effect these gowns are famous for.

    The cotton lawn I ordered turned out slightly more sheer than I expected but my husband will be the only one to see so I guess that's fine. Hopefully I'll get to cutting fabric this evening. There's nothing like a deadline to get me moving!

  73. Pam from South AustraliaSeptember 10, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    Haha Ann. Does that mean we won't have a photo in the gallery?

  74. We'll see Pam. I suppose I could wear a slip underneath just for a photo. Definitely no back lighting though!

  75. I'm going to try to get my nighty cut out tomorrow morning. I've been working for most of the day and am knackered-do not have the energy to even iron the fabric. I have half day of work tomorrow-Sun, i know... but its in the afternoon so I'm hoping so sneak off from the children who are on school holidays, into my sewing room and cut tomorrow morning. Maybe even make progress on the sewing. Maybe if all goes well I can post a piccy on Monday evening if its done in time. Or not, as its Quilting day with the quilty friends!!
    I'm going for minimal fuss and have decided since I couldn't find nice trim to cut the fabric to the length it would be with the trim attached and dispense with the trim altogether. I had thoughts about changing the direction to cut the pieces with for contrast around the hems-so that the hem and cuff stripes run at 90 degrees to the body, but may not bother this time around.
    I would love a heirloom style cotton voile nighty with fabulous old world lace trim but getting that where I live will involve mail order.
    We've been travelling alot lately and I'm just hankering for some quality sewing time to construct some clothes and quilts.
    I admire the very organised people who have minagaed to make their sleepwear so early before the deadline.

  76. I finished my "Queen Anne's Lace" inspired gown. I was trying to copy a favorite nightgown and despite the sheer nature of my cotton lawn fabric I did get pretty close. I think I will try voile next time for a slightly more opaque fabric.

    I almost blew it when I first went to cut out my fabric. I didn't notice until I was pinning that this was a border fabric. That wasn't mentioned in the description when I ordered it. I repositioned the pattern and saved the lovely border, thank goodness.

    This wasn't a difficult pattern but once you start adding trim and lace it always complicates things. I think the most fiddly part of the whole gown was binding the armholes. There's just so much pinning and pressing to get it smooth.

    There's still time left before the end of our Sewcial if anyone is still working on their sleepwear. Make sure to send your permission to post your photo when you e-mail it to me or Fonnell.

  77. Well, today marks the last day of our Lutterloh Sewcial. We sure hope everyone enjoyed the journey and learned something new from working with their pattern.

    If anyone is still finishing up their project we will still post any finished photos that we receive by the end of next weekend, Sept. 20th.

    The results of our efforts go to show that this system truly has something for everyone. I am so proud of all our participants for sharing their experiences, both good and bad. The bonus is we now have new sleepwear to wear too!

    So, although this first Sewcial has been fun it's time to move on to something new. Watch the blog for what's coming up next. We'll post something new in the next few days.