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.


  1. Hi, I would like to ask a question about drawing the pattern. I just got my Lutterloh kit and I made a pair of pants and tunic that fit great! I want to make a sundress from the book (#170 that came with my kit but when I look at the pattern, which is an empire style dress, pieces AC, BC, A, B don't have measurement lines or numbers. How do you know where to place the dots. All the numbers are only on one side of the pattern pieces. Thanks in advance for anyone who can help me!

  2. Oh nice easy question.

    There might be a central cross on the page or X that you do those pieces from...Or they are part of the main outfit drawn with the main X within the outfit and cut away after you draft them.

    If you find two numbers on one side it's fine. As you draft those two numbers a narrow collar or cuff will appear. So two numbers stacked are a hint that you are ok.

    On the bar at the right we have listed our most useful postings and I suggest to study "the symbols chart a must have" "How to make a pattern" has a collar with 2 stacked numbers check out that posting. I think there is something in all our postings, photos of patterns etc that might help.

    One other thing, many pattern pieces just have the metric numbers for you to draft the piece on your own without the special tape measure.

    I hope this helps....

    We find it hard to know what '#170 that came with my kit' means as each book has different sets of patterns reusing the pattern numbers so this could be any pattern. There is a posting on the right about how to tell which supplements are within your book.

    Ann may respond if she knows this pattern. I've made several of the empire dresses and so has she. Is this a knit?

    Good luck to you!

  3. I am not sure what you mean by stacked numbers? How can I post a picture of the pattern to show you what I mean? The numbers are only on one side of the pattern piece but only are for the dot on that side it.

  4. I'm so glad you are right there. Send me a posting with your e-mail, I will not post it and will e-mail you my address so you can send me a copy! That will be so helpful.

  5. I see what you mean about the numbers that appear to be missing. The numbers for the dots on those sides are actually lined up at the bottom of the pattern pieces. Do you see the lines with numbers that don't appear to be attached to any dots? Once drawn, those dots are going to fall on the side of the pattern piece where there don't seem to be any numbers. Because the cross mark being used is way outside the pattern piece to accommodate the length of the gown, the numbers for those sides are also affected. I have found that if I just draw the dots out the way the pattern directs I usually end up with a perfect pattern. It may be difficult but do try to trust the patterns and give them a try just the way they're printed.

    1. Thanks Ann,
      I did and you were exactly right. The patterns were perfect when drawn. Thanks again for all your help.

  6. Hola Lutterloh Mavens!
    I have just returned to Lutterloh. I used the system exclusively back in the late 90's-90's.
    Somehow one box of my sewing supplies did not make it in our move from CA to southern Baja 12 years ago.
    So I drafted #52 Skort from my system, which I think is about 2005. I purchased it used on Pattern Review.
    It fit perfectly.
    I drafted the short version of jacket 186.
    It has the fuller figure symbol.
    I took that to mean it was complimentary to fuller figures. And based on Lutterloh , I expected it to fit.
    It was HUGE.
    I tapered the sides by 2" and took up the shoulders by an inch.
    Now of course the sleeve will not fit the armscye. I tried gathering the sleeve, but it looks silly, I am not a puff sleeve person.
    So is there a formula to use to reduce these patterns?
    I have turned the jacket into a sleeveless top.
    Any suggestions?
    Or should I just skip designs for fuller figures?
    Susan in La Paz.

    1. Hi Susan,
      I haven't heard of a specific "formula" to reduce the fuller figure patterns. I have heard that they do include quite a bit more ease than the standard size Lutterloh patterns though. Perhaps you are not as full figured as you imagine. I have noticed that if you look closely at your book of patterns that Lutterloh frequently includes the same style in both regular and full figured sizes. It may be released a few supplements apart but they usually can be found.

  7. I am relatively new to Lutterloh, I already made the vest and a jacket muslin. I am not sure of my size category. The neck, shoulders and collar fit me great in a standard size, but I had to add 2 inches at the sides around the waist (this is based on my own measurements). My question is this: Should I be using the fuller figure patterns, which would probably gap severely in the neck, or should I be using the full-figure designs for skirts and shorts only, and the standard sizes for everything else? (My lower arms & legs are actually in the slim-fit category!)

  8. As you have learned you will need to add 2" or more for some styles around the waist. Sewing the Vest is to teach us where we need to make changes to the patterns. You can try going up one size only for the waist area on the tape. Go back to your true measurement on the chest, neck and hips down. Did you need a large bust adjustment? Doing that would give you a lot more waist room. Remember 2" is really only 1/2" added to each pattern piece if there are 4 edges. It's not much.
    As for the full-figure patterns they are noted in each supplement as a dress form. Look at the styles and see if they are you. If not learn to adjust your pattern no matter what style it is. Does this help you?

  9. kleinbottle,
    The full bust adjustment was the first thing I thought of too. Do you usually need this in other pattern companies? The Full Figure patterns are designed for a bust or hip measurement of at least 110cm and the Slim Fit patterns designed for those with measurements no larger than 90cm. If you fall somewhere in between these sizes you are probably best off using the standard patterns and adding where you need to for waist or hips.

  10. I Just bought the Lutterloh system yesterday. I haven't tried to make a pattern yet. After looking at the style book, I'm confused about how to draft the collar patterns since the "x" is outside the pattern. I also saw stacked numbers. I think I may understand that. Are there ant Lutterloh classes in the Charlotte,NC area that could help me understand this better?

  11. Now the fun begins! The only class you need after you read our blog is a how to sew class. We have answered all these questions in our postings. As you read on you will find many helpful hints, a group of online classes really. We don't work for Lutterloh, however we put some of their web sites on our side bar and you can contact them that way. The biggest hint I can give you is put your tack with your tape measure in the center of the X and follow the numbers on any pattern. It works out even when you don't see how. stretch over to each number in the collar and suddenly a collar appears!

  12. I am interested in purchasing the Golden Rule pattern system but am not sure whether I buy the "Standard" or "XL-XXL" one, my hip size is 133cm.
    Cananyone help me with this please.

    Maureen G

  13. Hello Maureen,

    I'll include a quote from another post on the symbols page,
    " The XXL system, which is a completely different system with it's own unique measuring scale, should only be used by those with a bust or hip measurement of at least 130cm. Many have found though that if they are close to the lower limit of the XXL set that the full figure patterns can work just fine with perhaps some more generous seam allowances."

    Since your largest measurement is so close to the top of the regular scale I would suggest you skip the XXL set. The standard Lutterloh enlarging scale does go up to 140cm.

  14. I'm thinking og buying this but not sure my bust is 113cm and my hips are 128cm. Should I go with traditional. Any suggestions?

    1. we find most people do best in the Traditional book, if a large bust you can easily fix that with a large bust adjustment. Also with a tummy anyone can do a tummy change and still use the regular patterns. Hope this helps. The XXlarge system is for very large folks all the way around their body. There are a lot of wonderful styles in the regular book also.

    2. The regular tape measure goes up to 140cm so unless your measurements are much larger than this you may find the XXL system too large. If you stick with the Fuller Figure styles (marked with a solid dress form icon) you will likely need smaller adjustments than some of the others in the standard system.