Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 282 - Model #254 - Fall 2011
Long Sleeve T-shirt

A couple months back when we were sewing T-shirts for our tea party I started this striped T-shirt for myself but I didn't finish it in time to post it with all the others. Now that it's done I think I may have found my go to T-shirt pattern. I was even able to use the pattern to duplicate a top that I bought from the clearance rack after Christmas. I'll get into that a little more later.

This T-shirt is a little on the long side but I wouldn't exactly call it a tunic. Depending on your chosen fabric and whether or not you want to add a little length this could easily work as a tunic if that floats your boat.

Pattern Drafting Hints:
This pattern is a pretty straight forward ladies T-shirt pattern. Its distinguishing features are really its longer length and flared long sleeves. I enlarged this pattern with my usual measurements and sewed it without adding seam allowances for a close fit. If I wanted an even longer length I would just add it to the bottom edge.

Fabric Used/Suggested:
Both of these shirts are made from Rayon/Lycra blend fabrics. The striped fabric doesn't have quite as much stretch but both fabrics have a nice drape to them. The striped shirt is finished at the neck with my favorite piped elastic. The solid color shirt is just finished with clear elastic serged at the edge and then turned and topstitched. 

Design Changes:
The striped shirt is the pattern made up with just a few changes plus personal alterations. I reduced the width of the bell sleeves and the width of the neckline. I have trouble eating gracefully with really dangly sleeves. I've also noticed that quite a few of my last Lutterloh patterns had rather open necklines.

This solid colored shirt, on the other hand, has a godet added into a center back seam to create an entirely different look.
I bought a shirt at Macy's after Christmas that had an interesting high/low hemline. When I was folding it to put away I noticed that it really had a basic T-shirt shape with just a slightly curved back bodice. The real shape comes from a wide, triangle shaped godet inserted into the center back seam.
See how close in shape my Lutterloh pattern is to the original shirt. I just needed to add a little length and shape to the back bodice and then trace out the godet triangle. Since the godet is just a triangle I only needed to draw three points and the shape of the hem. Connect the points and I had a nice curved triangle shape for the very back of my shirt.
The 3/4 length sleeve was from an entirely different dress pattern but it fit in the hole with no trouble at all, just like a Lutterloh pattern should. This is honestly one of my favorite features of Lutterloh patterns. 
Closing Hints:
With the right pattern to start with, a few tweaks here and there should allow you to make a whole wardrobe of T-shirts for Spring and Summer ahead. I have two more of these cut out with and without sleeves. I'm shortening them a little in back now that I managed the duplicate I was after. Here's hoping you find some staple patterns for your stash. It really does cut the sewing time down considerably.

Happy Sewing now,
Ann in Calif.


  1. I made the same top and loved it! It fit really well, and the pieces went together beautifully. I've been using it as my go-to knit top pattern ever since. I made it as a v-neck, too.

  2. I like BOTH versions of your "T"! Thanks for explaining how you added the godet in the back. It is very pretty and drapes so lovely :-)

    Rosemary (NZ)

  3. Super cute, I love them both and that purple shade is divine, (yup, I'm reading)

  4. Thank you ladies. Now that I have the fit worked out for this pattern I may challenge myself to make more with small design changes to see how many different versions I can make. The "V" neck was high on my list.;)

  5. Very clever design work there, Ann. And I love your pattern weights! It took me a moment to figure it out. And, Oh, your top is lovely!

  6. JillH has left a new comment on your post "Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!":

    I have that pattern - it looks good on you and I like your changes. When I've finished the tank top and cardigan I'm making at the moment, I'll give it a go.

  7. Thanks, I was feeling pretty clever when I realized how easy that design change would be. The pattern weights are some huge washers my husband had laying around.

  8. Love your top
    cant use goole sorry

  9. I just discovered you!
    May I come and play?

    This looks like a wonderful site full of insightful people.

    LOVE Lutterloh.

  10. Welcome Victoria. Be sure to check our links on the right sidebar. If you LOVE Lutterloh there's lots to discover there.

  11. I just did something very similar: made a rounded train on one of the cross-over knit top patterns for a more in-style look. It turned out wonderfully! and changed the look of the top. I love that I can just throw in design changes as the whim hits me.

  12. Hi Ann would you be able to go through a pattern construction from start too finish for those of us in the UK who have only just been introduced to the golden rule system? I have only just started making clothes and am so confused on how to do the Lutterloh system when it comes too facings etc. Its not having the construction details in front of me that gives me a mental block. lol. You are a very talented lady

  13. Hello Angela, actually there is already a post outlining these steps. The link is #7a on our right side bar. You may also want to check out link #2, Fonnell's post on sewing your patterns together and most certainly get a good comprehensive sewing book to keep on hand. There's a link near the bottom of that same list titled "Our favorite sewing reference books". Directions from another similar pattern you own can also come in handy. Lutterloh can be a little overwhelming for a beginning sewist but with patience and some good reference books anyone can learn the system. Lutterloh is truly more of a pattern drafting system. They do absolutely assume a certain level of sewing skill. However once your pattern is enlarged they sew up like any other pattern on the market. If you check through the links on our right side bar I believe you'll find the answers to many of your questions about getting started.

  14. Hi Ann thank you so much for the advise. Many thanks Angie

  15. Hi..I'd like to get the Lutterloh System os sewing. Where can I get a dress and top pattern for starters?

    Any help will be much appreciated.

    1. Hello,
      The patterns come in seasonal supplement booklets, or in a large book of many patterns, and the needed tape measure in your starter kit. Depending on where you live you can order any of the lutterloh items from the vendors listed on the top right of this page. We are not with Lutterloh just two people who love to draw and sew the patterns.