Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 295 Model#-262 - Winter 2014
3/4 Sleeve Dress

Here's my version of dress #262 from the most recent Lutterloh supplement. The looser dropped shoulders with the fitted waist and zipper details drew me to the pattern right away. Clearly I am more hourglass shaped than the model drawing but I'm still pleased with the overall fit. 

Pattern Drafting Hints:
My plan from the start was to lengthen the skirt long enough to meet the top of my boots. The red lines in the photo below show where I cut the pattern pieces to add another 3 inches to the length.
As you can see the cross mark where we are directed to mark for our shorten/lengthen lines occurs outside the pattern. The general rule is to shorten/lengthen your patterns where the lines are most parallel to each other. The length could be added to the bottom of the pattern pieces but that would widen the flare of the skirt. Instead I measured down 2 inches from the top of each skirt piece to make sure the seams still matched up with the darts on the bodice. Once the extra paper was added for the length to each skirt piece then I marked the placement for the pockets.

For a garment with a more fitted hip shape you would need to lengthen or shorten your pattern pieces well below the hip to avoid lowering or distorting the shape of the hip. This particular pattern starts to flare immediately below the waist with plenty of ease so in this case was not a concern for me.

Although the front pockets are a nice design detail I do find them so small that they're nearly useless. If I were to sew this dress again I would probably make the pocket bags much larger and move them to the side seams. 

Fabric Used/Suggested:
I got a screamin' good deal on some ivory micro corduroy and when I saw this pattern I knew it would be perfect once it was dyed. The Dylon brand dye was named Terra Cotta. Although the color turned out nicely I had a heck of a time finding the right color zippers. I ended up using rust colored zippers from Wawak Sewing Supply. 

This pattern could probably be made up in a firm knit like a ponte roma but a thinner knit might not be firm enough to hold the zippers without major interfacing. This pattern might even look nice as a Spring dress in a lighter woven fabric if you were to leave off the longer sleeves.

Design Changes:  
I did add one more inch to the bottom of each skirt piece to get them long enough. Aside from the extra length on the skirt and a little on the sleeves and bodice the only other change was to switch the exposed zippers on the pockets with invisible zippers. I've found the teeth on metal zippers just aren't comfortable on pocket openings.

Closing Hints: 
Despite all the panels and zippers for this pattern it went together remarkably well with everything matching up like it should. I really shouldn't have expected anything less from a Lutterloh pattern. I did sew the side seams last just to leave one last opportunity for a good fit at the waist. 

I like to tackle a more complicated pattern now and again but with this dress out of the way I have a whole pile of knit prints calling to me. I'll work on some quick knit tops for my next projects. I already have one cut out! 

Happy Sewing until next time, 

Ann in Calif. 


  1. I love your dress and thanks for doing these real-life versions of Lutterloh. Sometimes it all is a bit much when there are no pictures of finished garments. I love this blog!

  2. That is so cute on you. I love it! Thanks for the review.

  3. Thanks for this post! Your dress fits and looks great on you! I love this blog too!! Do you add seam allowances before cutting out your fabric? I have been using chalk and a ruler to mark around the pattern, without adding the seam allowances. Beth

  4. Ann, I found an older post on the blog that showed you using your favorite marking tool and what looks to be wax chalk. I own that tool, and have never used it, so must give it a try! I have been using the Dritz sewing guage with the little red triangle that moves up and down the ruler, or a 1" c-thru ruler. Thanks for your tips!! Beth

  5. It is tailors chalk and because of the little ruler I use it only puts the chalk on the cutting line. I love both the chalk and the sewing gauge use them on everything! (I'm a quilter also) glad you enjoyed my posting on my favorite tools!

  6. Actually Beth, since I usually add just 1/4 inch seam allowances I admit that I most often just eyeball it while I'm cutting around the pattern. My favorite marking tools, when I use them, are a clear 1 x 5 inch quilting ruler and a Chaco Liner made by Clover. The Chaco liner is sort of a pen that holds loose chalk powder. There's a tiny wheel at the tip of the pen that dispenses a thin line of chalk as you roll it on the fabric. You should be able to find it wherever you buy quilting tools.

    Ann in Calif.

  7. Oh Ann this dress really came out lovely and the color looks good on you too! I agree with you the metal zipper teeth are not comfortable. I hadn't thought to try invisible zippers instead. Thank you for posting this and thank you for the tips!

  8. Thank you folks for the nice compliments on the dress. I'm finding it very comfortable to wear all day. It's even turning out to be totally wash and wear too, no ironing, yay! Gotta love that corduroy.

    Ann in Calif.

  9. I am new to Lutterloh. Your dress fits very well. From what I've read, you have to do 2 bust measurements a high and low one, if you are C size or greater. Could you tell me if you had to do this or did the standard measurement work? Also, the drawing looks almost empire style but your dress is some where between natural waist and empire. Did you make this change or is the pattern picture just misleading. Thanks for showing a real photo - it helps a lot to visualize what the item will look like,

    1. Thank you Ann, and good questions. I personally use the high and full bust measurements always for anything that fits above the waist. I also use these measurements for the sleeves where they would fit into the bodice in these areas.You do not have to use these two measurements if you are accustomed to doing a full bust adjustment on patterns with a slash and spread or pivot method. In that case you would just use the high bust measurement to fit the shoulders and then do your FBA to add more room for your bust area.

      The original pattern appears to me to be designed with a lowered empire seam. Since I am a little taller and bustier than average I always use generous seam allowances on any seams that affect the length and then fit as I construct. My dress ended up with the seam at my natural waist. This was partly due to the length of the zipper available to me. Each person needs to paper fit their pattern after enlarging to decide on any length adjustments. I chose the natural waist length because I thought I might belt this dress sometimes.That is the beauty of sewing for yourself. If the pattern doesn't suit you as designed you can change it!

  10. I am large busted. Enough so that I do both methods...I use my chest measurement for the shoulders and the bust measurement on the bust and waist AND I do a large bust adjustment when the pattern is made. Why do both? The large bust adjustment is most successful if you don't go over 2". So I don't. I'm fast at it and it works for any pattern I make. Once you know your body shape you will enjoy sewing up your patterns because you will have adjusted your pattern.

  11. Hope you can help me. When I'm drafting my pattern, how do I draw in the pocket placements on my paper draft. It seems impossible to get the correct place from the little pattern transferred to the correct place on the final pattern or am I missing something

  12. No Sylvia, you're not missing anything. I'm not sure how many Lutterloh patterns you've completed but you will notice eventually that the placements for small details like pockets, buttons and even darts sometimes are merely a suggestion. Each person should be paper fitting their pattern to determine the placement and often even the size or length of these details. I usually tape my pattern together in enough spots to hold it together and then hold it up to my body to mark these placements. This is part of the reason Lutterloh patterns don't have notches and circles and squares to transfer from the patterns as do other companies. By deciding for ourselves where these details belong we can truly make the pattern "fit" our own unique shape. I hope that helps liberate you from some of the tedious habits we've gotten used to with most commercial patterns.