Sunday, March 18, 2012

missing numbers and where to find them

We love your questions and try to get back to you quickly.  A dress pattern was giving one of you some real problems.  The patten didn't have any numbers on one side.  What to do...

Notice the numbers on one side and no cross to put your tack in.

Here is what you do...
The cross is above the skirt with a pointer aimed at the piece it is for
Now look at the hem line, 
You will see two numbers, one set does the side and one set does the hem.
Put your pin at your measurement for your hip on the tape,
now put that in the cross above the skirt and
make the numbers touching the hem.
Next do the numbers just dangling
below the first set of numbers.
 If when marking these numbers the tape goes into your waist or above
take the pin out and move it to your waist measurement
on the tape and continue.

 It's just that easy.

Please note another issue with this pattern.
The strap & waist piece has numbers on one side also and they will do both 
sides of the pattern.  You will see this with small pattern pieces often

The other thing you will see is pieces with just metric measurements
All you have to do is use those measurements to hand drawn that pattern piece


  1. Heather recommended your blog at after I wrote about my first attempt working with the Lutterloh patterns.

    A while ago I bought a 1941 Lutterloh Pattern Book and I'm eager to use more of the patterns. I think this blog will be of a great help!

  2. Helping that is the reason I started this blog. Ann and I work really hard to keep on top of Lutterloh pattern issues. If you have sewing problems we suggest a good sewing or fitting book. Our postings have some suggestions.

    Enjoy those lovely patterns!

  3. I don't have a Lutterloh system yet, I've been wistfully eying them for the past couple of weeks. But I have a couple of questions.

    The new Lutterloh system is out and of course it is expensive, a good sized investment, and I agree, in many ways worth it, but see, I don't really want to get the new set right now.

    Can you get just the rulers and curves and then just buy the supplements? I've been checking out vintage Lutterloh systems too, but even those are out of my budget right now. Plus, I'm really only interested in vintage Lutterloh supplements, not so much the modern ones.

    My second question is probably a little odd. But given how the system works, can you take a children's pattern and turn it in to a pattern for an adult? Can it work like that?

    And my last question is one I'll research myself as well, but I'm curious if anyone does non Lutterloh brand patterns but use the Lutterloh system.

    Thank you for this blog, when I began researching this system your blog was always the first hit no matter what question I asked Google. So far what I've read so far has helped me to decide that Lutterloh is indeed the system I'd like to learn.

  4. Jaie,

    Have you tried e-bay for some of the older Lutterloh? You can purchase, from the companies listed on the right bar, a tape and supplements to work from. Let me advise you a little. By time you spend the money on those two items you will find you may have spent just short of what the whole system costs. Don't bother with the rulers and french curve you can manage without those items.

    We have written a lot of information here in this blog about the Xxlarge tape, it only works with the XXlarge pattern book so don't be tempted to order it.

    If you are concerned about not liking the system after paying for it you can purchase a tape and there is a free pattern for a skirt top and pants. Run a test and see what you think. Some of us adjust patterns in every system so it's a matter of getting the styles you like.

    After looking into other systems they do not cross match one another.

    YES YES you can take an adult pattern and make it for most children. See "How does the Luttterloh system work" on the side bar and read that posting. There is a photo of a Pj pattern I made for myself my daughter and my grand daughter. You will see how easy it is to do.

    I love that you said you'd like to learn this system because that is what it is something that you learn and soon you are good at it and all those styles are at your finger tips!

    Hope this helped

  5. I actually found just the tools, which made me very happy. Tru-FIt patterns had it. I did find a nice priced vintage set on Etsy, but even it was out of my budget. I also want to work more with vintage patterns (and have several vintage books as ebooks) and I've looked at other systems. The only one that seems to be the same is called "Dot Pattern" the others are chart based (Haslam)

    As far as the children's patterns, I want to go the opposite, children's patterns made to fit adults. There's a reason to this madness. I'm a fan of a fashion called "Elegant Gothic Lolita" which is Japanese in origin. The clothes can be insanely expensive (I was looking at a complete ensemble last night that costs and easy $500) and it seems to be that most of the styles look like children's clothes from the 50's. (I'm also a fan of Mad Men so I totally will be doing adult fashions as well) but, as far as the other fashion, you can see a skirt example here and you can see what I mean when I say some 50's children's patterns look like this. It'd make my life so much easier to be able to draft the pattern and make my own stuff instead of spending a fortune.

  6. Jaie,

    Such adventure you enjoy the creative process in your sewing? I have spent time in Tokyo and have seen first hand the dress up scene. It is very little girl and spoof on Disney looks. The styles are very much 1950's
    please send me your e-mail and I'll send you some pattern picture I think would fit this style for you. I will not post your e-mail address....

    There are some adjustments that need to be made in vintage patterns to make them comfortable for today. Both Ann and I sew a great deal from the vintage books. We each have our favorite years to sew from.

    I think if you get some styles that you want fit and sewn you can begin to see how to copy other styles just by looking at the pattern drawings. I do this all the time. look at what kind of bodice there is, what kind of sleeves, what type of skirt. Once I have it all figured out I look in my Lutterloh patterns for the pieces that will make the outfit I want.

    How experienced a sewer are you? Don't want to bore you with details you don't need.


  7. Hi Jaie,
    I would be wary of trying to draw an adult sized pattern from one intended for children. The biggest problem I foresee is that children's patterns do not account for any bust shaping. The other obvious trouble would occur in the length of the pattern. I think you would be much better off finding a pattern with the right bodice style and if need be switching the skirt with another pattern even if you need to add more pleating or some such alteration. The beauty of the Lutterloh system is this is entirely possible. The sleeves, collars and skirts are all interchangeable as long as you stay within the same style. I have done it with no trouble what so ever. Do let us know how you're coming along with the system.

  8. I agree about bust shaping (and I have a lot of bust that needs shaping over)but I'd already assumed I'd have to draft in some darts, and some of the older ones I've looked at, actually have darts already.

    But I do see more of what you said, taking elements from one piece and adding them to another. I had intended on doing that with 4 or 5 of the Big 4 to create what I wanted. I'd love to say that there was one pattern for my need but so far, so not.

    But me being me, I'm still going to see what happens when you take a children's pattern and grade it WAY up.

  9. I just discovered the Lutterloh system on youtube yesterday and was fascinated! I have a question. Is there a way of taking your favorite patterns that you already have and working out the numbers so you can create the pattern according to lutterloh's method or are you only able to use Lutterlohs patterns for this technique?

  10. we love the patterns so much we don't find a need to explore further. You can only use the Lutterloh patterns with the Lutterloh tape measure. Its a fun system hope you give it a try!

  11. I just purchased this system at Hancock Fabrics in a class at a reduced price. Of course the very first pattern I want to make has missing numbers, can you explain that a little clearer? I'm not sure exactly understand how to figure out the side without numbers. Help.

  12. please read the posting Missing numbers and where to find them...If you are posting here, you are on that article. It explains where your missing numbers are.

    Did you attend a class at Hancock?

  13. I just purchased this system but after looking at the pattern book I have a few questions. There is a pattern piece marked HCC and for the life of me I cannot figure out what this means. In the code list it shows H as a belt or waistband and the CC is "loose part". What is this and when they have this piece with no numbers do you just hand draw it as shown (5cm x 3cm)? Also when the pattern is two pieces but they show the two pieces partly attached in the pattern do they mean to make two pieces?

  14. Yes just make the 5cm X 3cm is loose.....If you have two arrows in a pattern you can assume it is to be cut into two piece. Put some Horizontal hashes with pencil across the two pieces before you cut them out. It helps when matching the fabric to put a tiny snip at those hash marks.

    If you just purchased the system we highly recommend you work out your fitting issues making the fitting Vest. We also have a posting with some of the sewing books we recommend. The patterns don't have sewing instructions but those sewing books do.


    1. Oh so that piece is a belt. Duh...
      As to the other question regarding two pattern pieces; the pattern I am looking at has only one arrow between the two pieces (a skirt front and the piece between the front and the waistband-pattern #6 or 7 in the pattern book). So when I am making this I use the one arrow to make both pieces and then cut apart? What about seam allowance for those pieces? I get what you are saying about the hash marks but if I am not trying to match fabric does that matter? A little confusing but I will get there. By the way, I have made the vest and now am working on a blouse and these patterns fit better from the get go than any other I have tried.

  15. Lets see if I can help.

    When you make a pattern it's a cross that you put your tack into. The arrows I referred to are within a pattern piece. If there are two arrows within the piece it is drawn as one and cut as two. If only one arrow it is one pattern piece.

    You will add your chosen seam allowance to your pattern pieces and Yes add them between the two drafted pieces.

    If you go to our posting "Making a pattern" the pattern I am using has examples of the two arrows in each side of a sleeve. Also it shows the different ways and X or cross can be on a page each pattern piece.

    Every pattern books numbers are a mix from supplements etc. I have no way to know what pattern you are working with.

  16. Jackie in La
    I have the Lutterloh system, I bought it yes ago, it came with a VCR, which is obsolete, can I get a DVD for this system ?

  17. Hello Jackie,
    My most recent Lutterloh Sysytem came with a DVD. If you contact one of the Lutterloh distributors listed on our right side bar you may be able to order it from them.

  18. Jackie,
    You can also go to youtube and put in Lutterloh and the video for how to use the system is there. Enjoy

  19. I recently wS given a vintage lutterloh folder ruler and cardboard curve ruler. I'm so excited to use it. Found some little girl dresses in the book. Was wondering did i need a different ruler for children clothes? Ive got twin girls would love to make them dresses. Sorry I'm years later haha.

  20. Maisy, the standard Lutterloh scale should work fine as long as the child fits into the size range for the scale. If your girls measure less than 50cm then be sure to check out Fonnell's post on the right sidebar on how to size for a baby.

  21. Are the Luterloh patterns I see on the web usable if downloaded? Or are they not to scale? C

  22. The Lutterloh patterns you find on the web are likely not to scale. You would need to compare them to one of your purchased Lutterloh patterns to be sure.