Sunday, October 26, 2014

FAQ Our favorites!

People ask questions of us 
on whatever posting they land. 
 We seem to answer them on those pages thinking
 that is where they will check back for our answer.

Wouldn't you like to see some of those


Here are Fonnell and Ann's favorite Questions and Answers. 
Maybe you will find some valuable information here.

QUESTION: Where do I use the bust measurements 
and where do I use the hip measurements? 
ANSWER: Bust measurement is used in all parts above and 
including the waist.That includes collars, necklines, sleeves, front and 
back upper bodice pieces. Hip measurements are used for all pattern 
parts below the waist as in skirts, pants and shorts.

QUESTION: How exactly should I take my bust and hip measurements?
ANSWER: If you check out this link : you will 
find a couple videos that should explain this more clearly. 
It is a little different than you would regularly take measurements.

QUESTION: Can I buy a replacement for my Lutterloh tape separately 
or do I have to buy the whole kit?  
ANSWER: We are not a Lutterloh System dealer 
but if you check out the links in our sidebar you should find a dealer that you could ask.

QUESTION: Where can I buy new Lutterloh patterns? 

Can I buy them individually?
ANSWER: Please check the links in our sidebar for a Lutterloh dealer. 
Lutterloh Patterns are sold in quarterly supplements of 40 patterns to a booklet. 
They are not offered for individual sale through Lutterloh.

QUESTION: Where can I buy older or vintage Lutterloh patterns?
ANSWER: The U.S. and European Lutterloh websites offer many of the 
older supplements dating back about 20 years. 
For supplements or whole kits older than this watch for offers 
on Ebay, Etsy or other popular auction sites. 
Prices vary be sure you know what older kits are selling for.

QUESTION: Will the Lutterloh company draft a pattern from my own 

design or a photo?
ANSWER: They never have been known to do that but you could 

always ask them.

QUESTION: Can I give you a pattern number and year so you can 

look at what I'm working on?
ANSWER: Many people do this however we would have to buy 

every pattern and we just can't do that. We are not part of Lutterloh 
so we have no way to have everyone's pattern. Sometimes we get 
lucky and can find it in one of our books. Mostly we can't.  
Please send us a copy of your pattern so we can help answer 
your questions.

QUESTION: Can I use the Lutterloh scale and tape measure to enlarge 

other small scale pattern drawings?
ANSWER: No, the Lutterloh System uses a formula based on the 

Golden Rule to enlarge only their patterns. There is no way of 
knowing if other drawings are drawn proportionally correct.

QUESTION: Do I have to make a vest and 

where is there a pattern for this vest?
ANSWER: It is a fitting vest. Once it's made you will make adjustments 
to make the bodice fit you better and the vest even goes past your 
high hip so you can adjust this. The goal is to note every change you make.
You will make these same changes in every Lutterloh pattern. 
The Vest is a fast discovery way to fitting, you may just start making 
patterns you like but do paper fit, and note every change you make in 
the first few outfits. We have a posting listed on the right that helps 
you take your vest pattern a step further. Check it out! 
 Check with a Lutterloh dealer for a pattern, we have those dealers 
listed on the right sidebar.

QUESTION: My pattern looks askew on the paper once I’m done enlarging
 it. Should I still use it?
ANSWER: Remember that each person will use their own measurements 

to draw their pattern. Because we each have our own combination 
of bust to hip ratio this will sometimes cause the pattern to tilt away from 
the original tiny drawing. As long as you are following the directions 
carefully for drawing out your dots and connecting them your 
pattern should work just fine. Check out our links on the right 
sidebar to find a post on drawing out your patterns. 
Trust the system and make sure to paper fit the pattern.

QUESTION: Is there an index for Lutterloh Patterns somewhere 

or do I have to flip through all my patterns to find the one I need?
ANSWER: Unfortunately there is no master index for the huge collection 

of Lutterloh Patterns spanning nearly 80 years. However since more than 
half of those have been published on individual pages there is no stopping 
you from categorizing them in your binders in whatever order you like.

QUESTION: Ease, everyone asks how much ease is in each pattern. 

Ease is how much space the pattern allows for movement in the garment.
ANSWER: There was much less ease in the fashions of the 1950's, 1960's 

and 1970's. Ease seems to be growing in the Lutterloh patterns. 
The style of a fashion will denote less ease also. 
I've never seen a pencil skirt with but a little ease. 
Knit fashions in Lutterloh can't tell how stretchy your fabric is so ease 
will be greatly determined by how far that fabric stretches against a ruler. 
We have several postings on our right bar about ease. 
You should find them all useful.

QUESTION: Can you explain how to calculate the yardage needed 
for the pattern I'm making?
ANSWER: Most of the patterns have two numbers right under the 

fashion drawing. That is the amount of fabric it would take to 
make that garment if your bust is 92 cm If your bust isn't that 
size you can learn more about fabric calculations at this posting 
on our blog:

QUESTION: Is there something Fonnell would like to tell us about Lutterloh?
ANSWER: YES! no pattern, including Lutterloh patterns know how long
 you want your sleeves, your pants, your skirts, your tops, your dresses. 
Only you know so paper fit every pattern you make. 
How do you paper fit? Lay the paper pattern up to your body.
It is only half a pattern so the center should reach your center, 
the sides should meet your sides. I don't put seam allowances on
my patterns until I lay them on the fabric. I can clearly see when a 
pattern is not wide enough and I can clearly see when I want something 
longer or shorter. I can then take my pattern back to my paper roll 
and tape changes to it or cut and remove parts and paper fit again. 
I'm working alone so I pin the patterns right to my clothes 
I have on to look at all angles of the fit.

QUESTION: Is there something Ann would like to tell us about Lutterloh?

 ANSWER: Yes, although we enlarge the Lutterloh patterns to our
unique measurements rarely will any pattern fit without at least some
personal alterations.  By making the fitting vest first each person can 
discover which alterations will achieve the best fit for them.  
If you are new to altering your patterns to get the optimal fit, 
your best resource would be a reference book detailing 
these alterations.  It is usually recommended to start from 
the top of the pattern and work your way down doing just one 
alteration at a time.  This may require a few test garments or 
"muslins" but the time is well worth it since these will
be the same alterations you will make for each Lutterloh pattern thereafter.
There are a few recommendations for fitting books at the end of this post:


  1. Yeah, I'm glad you are back. I refer to this blog all the time.

  2. we are re-designing the page and hope everyone will like our new features. Thank you for the devotion!

    1. How do you mark the placements of pockets on an outside of the white or outside of pants?

  3. Jasmin, not sure what you are asking. When drawing the pattern put everything on the main pattern paper. Then lay some tracing paper on top and trace off facings and pockets etc.
    For marking it on your fashion fabric, I've always just marked things with a little thread stitched on the corners to note the pocket, distances of slots, etc. There are marking pens for fabric but I have found them not to be trust worthy. I use tailors chalk if it will clearly come off the fabric.

  4. First, thanks a lot for all your help! (I feel like you're putting much more effort that Lutterloh...)
    Then I was wandering if you have any advice concerning the vintage pattern:
    -I'm having a lot of trouble with the dart, pleats and other internal details, when there are no points- I try using % (/proportions) but it doesn't work...
    -Is it just me or those pattern need a lot of verifications afterwards (most of the time the pieces don't match)
    -Did you notice on the old and recent ruler the number are slightly different (yes, it's not much -1mm or so- but since I own the 2 I would like to use the right one. It seems to have change somewhere after the 70's but I really not sure when and just bought a 1986 supplement...)

    ALso, you said that you (and many of us) make a copy of the page before using it, it is really not important if it is real size or not, since all the system is based on the central point and the direction lines.
    (I've learned this using the ebooks:
    I can print it up to full page size, then I cut each pieces
    and glue them to paper so that if I forgot a point it's not trouble at all and with the vintage patterns it easier to read! (Just don't enlarged it to much if you have small pieces or you end up tracing on the diagram)

    Merci Beaucoup!
    (I'm actually french so excuse my english if it isn't right...)

  5. Hi Lea,
    Well that is a lot of questions and there are answers. Please check the list on the side bar it has a posting about what happens if you enlarge too much, I just looked for it and it's possible I lost it when I had to shut down this blog long ago. I'll try to find it for you. Try looking at each of our postings, many answers are in the pieces of our postings. And keeping watching the blog something exciting is about to happen that you will enjoy.

  6. Hello Léa,
    Here is the address to the post to which Fonnell referred.

    There is another post here that may explain the slight differences in the vintage scale.

    As far as what you call the internal details of the vintage patterns, these were largely left to the seamstress to decide. There is no way for the Lutterloh company to know how tall you are or whether or not your bust or hips are average size. If you watch the videos on the Lutterloh sites you will see that it is intended for you to determine darts and such when you paper fit the pattern. I believe if you read through our past postings you will likely find the answers to most of your questions.

  7. Thanks to the both of you for your very fast answers!
    I am going to try the different scale just like you did but I had no trouble before... (I do always check and measureall the lines afterwards because they almost never match even when I am using a 100% copy...)
    I'm wandering if the older book weren't made for seamstress because sometimes it seams like you have to fish in several diagram and need a lot of adjustement to get the model that is drawn...
    But, thank to you, I'm going to persevere! : I really like the vintage models, I find them very different, interesting and they are full of vely details! (Sure some patterns pieces make my brain sweat but thats part of the fun!)

    I'm looking forward to Fonnell surprise!
    Adn goiback to my Blouse (n°45 of the 1936 book with and nice closure and not yet understand sleeves and underflap...)

  8. Lea I also find putting a penny (what ever coin you easily have) on the page when I scan lets me check the finished copy by laying my penny on the penny scan I set on the pattern. Try it!

  9. Hello there, I just bought the system and I would like to know if I need to use ONLY THE BUST MEASUREMENT for a shift dress, or should I use bust for the upper part or/and the hip measurement for the lower part of the dress. Thank you

  10. Cleopatra,
    You need to use both measurements. you adjust your tape when you hit any of the numbers from the waist down.

  11. Cleopatra,
    It shouldn't matter what type of garment you are making. You always use the bust measurement for every dot above and including the waist and the hip measurement for every dot below the waist.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Could you answer a silly question. As a newbie I am not sure which side of the ruler I should be placing my dot. Does it go on the left side or the right. Made a garment using the left and it is very snug. Watching demo's some seem to use the left and some the right - which is correct.

  14. Good question Jacki. The dots should be made on the same side of the tape where you place your pin. After you make a few patterns marking the dots with a marker there will be colored marks left on your tape so it will be easier to remember.

  15. Considering purchasing Collection 5 (plus sizes).Any feedback would be appreciated. Also considering knit(stretch fabric) patterns . Your thoughts on these.

  16. BiBi, the full figure patterns are best suited for a figure with a bust measurement of at least 110cm. If you are smaller than this you can still use them but may need to go down 3 or 4 dots when drawing the pattern. The patterns for knits are scattered throughout the supplements and I highly recommend them. The ease is already figured into the pattern so there's no need to adjust for the stretch.

  17. I have purchased this system, and though I do not like any of the patterns included, I have been able to locate Lutterloh patterns that I like on-line. I was drafting one pattern and when finished, several of the pieces were very distorted. For example, on one piece, the vertical lines were fairly vertical, when I drafted my piece, the verticals were spread outwards about 20 degrees on the sides. I redrafted on a new piece of paper, thinking that I had made some sort of error. Identical results. So I tried drafting for a smaller size and these vertical lines were slanted decidedly inward when compared to the original image. The curve that connects the top also distorted from a strong ellipsoidal section (larger measurement) to almost a straight line (smaller measurement) the measurements I used were for a 44 inch bust (112 cm) and for a 32 inch bust (81 cm). How can I correct this problem to create accurately scaled pattern pieces?

  18. Alexia,
    first I need to ask if your online patterns are printed to the right scale? That can create a big problem. As for how the drafted patterns look on the paper, they are most often looking out of balance. Once you cut them out you will see they all line up. Your drafted pattern will not look like a commercial pattern on the paper. Once cut out check your pieces to see is sleeve match the armscye, and that your fronts and back have matching lengths. I always recommend you make the vest first and fit it so you know how the Lutterloh patterns will fit you. So first see that your pattern from online is printed the size to match the page from the time period it comes from. Cut your pieces out before you worry about if they are wrong, match the pieces and paper fit the pattern on you. Does it look good. If you needed length on your vest then add length to your pattern, if you needed shoulders shorter or longer on your vest then do that on the pattern. You can see why we love using the vest as our fitting tool. If it didn't come in your book we have a link here on the side bar. Remember how the pattern looks on the paper is not a reflection of if it's correct.

    Hope to hear how it goes for you.