Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How does the Luttterloh system work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is just a small sample of an apportioning scale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Clear Truth of the Matter

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


Each system doesn't fit my body without help.

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

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

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

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A New Fitting book that will help you fit any pattern

The complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting
by Sarah Veblen

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

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

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

Sarah covers everything! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Make a trial garment from scrap fabric or muslin

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

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

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

Do you have to do this each time?

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

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

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

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

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

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