Thursday, December 7, 2017

Make something for the holidays

It's such a lovely time of year
So many parties and gatherings.

Bernice shows us a Lutterloh creation from a simple Lutterloh dress pattern

Here is another one of my  creations from a simple dress pattern (N° 216 - 2015).

An assymetrical dress :

I was always looking out to make an asymmetrical top or dress pattern and since I wanted to make my friend a gift. I chose this simple dress pattern and modified it. 

Design changes in the original pattern :

After drafting this pattern I drew a curved line from the front neck line to the right side and a little below the waste. I drew 12 lines like rays of the sun from this curved line towards the left side. I separated the two parts. For the left side of the pattern I closed the center dart and opened it in the side. For the right side of the pattern I cut along the lines leaving 1 cm at the edge. Next I spread each piece equal distance from each other and with cellotape kept them in place on another sheet of paper. Then I cut out the new paper pattern.

Placing the 2 front parts on the fabric I cut them out. After stitching the underarm dart for the left side, I pinned the pleats of the right side to get its original shape and attached both the right and left side together. I gave more ease for the waist so I didn't need to have a long opening in the back so I kept a small opening just to enter the head.

For the sleeves : I drafted the tee shirt sleeve and transformed it into a petal sleeve.

Difficulties : Though I myself took my friend's measurements I found 2 Lutterloh dress patterns that I drafted were much larger than the normal ease that is given. It was very frustrating not to get things correct at the first attempt. For example the bust measure was 82 cm and Lutterloh was 91 cm - armhole was 42 cm and Lutterloh was 48 cm - waist 68 cm and Lutterloh 84 cm - hips 97 cm and Lutterloh 108 cm. It's not very encouraging for learners to use the Luterloh system when there is too much of adjustment to be made. I have a little experience and a lot of determination to get through so most of the time I succeed in getting what I want.

 It is good to be creative as it helps to be economic too.

Are you all excited to try something new? 
I'd like to take that vest pattern and glitz it up.  

Thanks Bernice!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 306 Model#41 - Summer 2017
Raglan Sleeve Knit Top

I was trying to use up some remnants of fabric and this top seemed like a good candidate. It might appear to be just an average raglan sleeve top but there's a nice little zipper detail on the front sleeve of one side.

Pattern Drafting Hints:
Due to the raglan design this top is really only semi-fitted. There's plenty of room in the body and sleeves to pull over your head easily. Just enlarge the pattern to your regular Lutterloh measurements and apply any alterations needed for all your Lutterloh patterns. I have found lately that the Lutterloh necklines have been running both a little high and a bit wide for my taste. Make sure to paper fit before cutting your fabric.

Fabric Used/Suggested:
This pattern is designed for knit or stretch fabrics and I would not suggest otherwise. My print is a lightweight rayon/polyester blend and the solid black is a slightly heavier cotton blend interlock. Neither of my fabrics have a great amount of stretch but this pattern is loose enough to accommodate lots of different knits.

Design Changes: 
The one design change I made was to lower the neckline, only on the front piece, by 3/4 of an inch. I did use the sleeve length for the #42 top but this is actually the same pattern piece in two different lengths. I didn't have a decorative zipper so I used a regular 4" one and attached a charm. It's actually half of a fancy toggle clasp from my jewelry making supplies but who says hardware can't multitask?
Closing Hints:
This pattern was easy to enlarge, went together like a dream and is a great way to use up some remnants. What's not to like?

I noticed that just this afternoon the new Autumn 2017 Supplement #307 was published for sale on the German Lutterloh site. You can preview it at the link provided below:

I have barely had a chance to peruse it myself but I'm sure there will be something there that I'll be anxious to try. If you have any questions about the Lutterloh patterns or just want to leave a comment please feel free to add it below. 

Happy sewing everyone from,
Ann in Calif.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 306 Model #56 - Summer 2017
 Pullover Blouse

After all these years of using Lutterloh patterns I thought it was high time I got around to trying a full figure top pattern. I tried a full figure pants pattern once and it turned out to be a waste of time for me. I had heard that the only difference was a longer crotch length. Well, there was plenty of extra crotch length alright. I needed to chop off four inches from the top of the pants all the way around before I could fit them. I have stuck with the regular patterns ever since. Now that I have completed my first full figure top pattern I wish I hadn't put it off so long.

Pattern Drafting Hints:
The Lutterloh company suggests that their full figure patterns are best suited to people with a  bust or hip measurement of at least 110cm. My measurements aren't quite there but I thought I would give at least one pattern a try. Frank Lutterloh once suggested that when using a full figure pattern, a smaller person could move down 3 to 5 dots on the Lutterloh scale to achieve an acceptable size. Sure enough, this top is the result of using a dot 4 spaces lower than my actual measurement or the equivalent of 8 cm smaller. 

Fabric Used/Suggested:  
Although this pattern does not suggest it I used a lightweight knit for my top. The neckline, with narrow, stitched down facing, is large enough to use a woven fabric and still fit your head through but I wanted some drape to my fabric. Keep in mind that if you do use a woven fabric for this top that you'll want one that isn't too stiff. A limp fabric will be better suited since any fabric that stands away from the body will contribute to the puffiness factor of this top.

Design Changes: 
Again I had to lower the neckline for this pattern. This time by an inch and a half. The bottom and sleeve openings also have elastic in mine instead of a drawstring. I could just imagine dragging those ties through my food or getting them caught in some machinery. The elastic in the casings works better for me. I didn't make any other changes because I was trying to evaluate the usefulness of the full figure patterns. 

Closing Hints: 
Overall I'd say this pattern is a real winner. I may need to lengthen my future patterns, just like I do for the regular size patterns. At least I have the reduction on the scale worked out so I can do this to all the full figure patterns. Yay, this opens up a whole range of patterns I'd been overlooking until now! 

If you've been avoiding the full figure patterns because you thought they may be just too large then think again and give them a try. You may be pleasantly surprised. Here's wishing you a fruitful and productive holiday season ahead.

Happy Sewing,
Ann in Calif.      

Friday, September 29, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive! - FASHION FLASHBACK

Supplement 142 - Model #60 - Autumn 1976
Knit Top or Dress 

I'll be the first to admit that this is not my favorite knit dress for this year. Yes, the dress is comfortable but is that really enough? I suspect that the error is likely mine in matching fabric to pattern. There's just not enough shape going on for a knit dress for me. 

Pattern Drafting Hints:
This pattern didn't have any flaws in drafting so it went together well. I did appreciate the small tucks in the front of the dress to help control some of the extra fabric. 
It was simple to just pinch out some fabric at the waist and then transfer the marks to the wrong side of the fabric to sew the tucks. The back does not indicate any tucks but with the help of a sewing partner or a dress form you could certainly put a couple in back too.
Fabric Used/ Suggested:
My fabric choice is likely where I went wrong with this dress. The cotton blend interlock that I used has great stretch but only on the crosswise direction. It's actually pretty stable on the lengthwise grain and this is where I could have used a little more give. This pattern is indeed intended for a stretch fabric but I believe a fabric with both length and crosswise stretch is needed to get the right shape for this dress. If you need to leave extra ease to get this dress over your shoulders than it isn't going to be as form fitting as the drawing suggests.  
Design Changes:
I did make a couple design changes to this dress, the first being to shorten it to knee length. The other more obvious change was to the neckline. This pattern does suggest a zipper in the back just to the depth of the yolk. Perhaps if I'd stuck with a back zipper and extended it into the dress I could have ended up with a more shapely silhouette. What I really wanted was some more interest in the front neckline so I omitted the zipper and added a split facing to the center front yolk. Well, at least the facing for the split front worked really well so this project wasn't a complete waste. 
Closing Hints:
Oh well, live and learn. I am determined to find the right pattern for this gifted fabric. It is of good quality and washes well too. I'm sure there's a perfect pattern in my Lutterloh books for this fabric somewhere. 
I hope you're having better luck with your sewing lately. On to Supplement #306 for me!
Happy Sewing All,
Ann in Calif.  

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 305 - Model #237 - Summer 2017
Swimsuit Cover-Up/ Topper

Although this pattern is modeled as a short swimsuit cover-up in the newest supplement I knew I would lengthen it to wear as a lightweight blouse for a cool Summer top layer. The pants in the right picture are also from supp. #305. You can read that review here.

Pattern Drafting Hints:   
The basic shape of this pattern is loosely fitted from the shoulders to the bottom of the armsceye and then flares gracefully to the bottom. Because of the very loose shape, and to save time, I decided to draw the whole pattern using my high bust measurement to fit the shoulders. The contrast bands on my topper are achieved by cutting the pattern apart at the facing lines. I'll detail this further in the design changes below.

Fabric Used/Suggested:    
My version of the pattern is made up in a black and white, rose print, polyester chiffon. The contrast bands are interfaced with a knit interfacing for a little extra weight and stability. Realistically this pattern could be made up in almost any fabric that has enough drape to keep it from standing away from the body. I can imagine this garment in lace, gauze, burnout velvet, knit or even loosely woven rayon or cotton. If your fabric choice is not terribly drapey you might consider adding some weight to the hem with a beaded or ruffled trim.

Design Changes: 
The first design change was to lengthen the entire pattern, front, back and sleeves, by four inches at the cross mark, per the Lutterloh instructions. As I mentioned above, my next design change was to convert the facings into a contrast band. The photo below, on the left, has arrows that point to where I cut the facings from the main pattern.

The photo on the right shows an additional four inches that I added to the back by reshaping the hem to form a more exaggerated shirttail shape. The contrast band on the sleeves is just a three inch wide band, folded, and attached to the sleeve hem. Although it's not indicated on the diagram, I cut my back pattern on the fold because I didn't want the seam to interrupt the lovely floral pattern of my chiffon.

Closing Hints:  
In sheer chiffon this might not make a very effective swimsuit cover but I love it as a breezy Summer top layer! I do prefer this in the longer length for me. My first paper fitting revealed that the pattern would hit right at crotch level just as shown on the model. In any length you prefer I would wholeheartedly recommend this pattern! 

With Summer coming to a close I'd like to remind you that the Autumn supplement #306 is now available for preview. It usually shows up for preview first on the German Lutterloh site here:  

We appreciate your comments and are happy to answer any questions you have about this wonderful pattern system. Happy sewing everyone!

Ann in Calif.   

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Guest posting by Bernice

Here I am to present my two outfits made out of 1 pattern (#259-2013)


A raglan top:

This top was chosen because of the raglan sleeve. When I was young we stitched clothes with Magyar sleeves, sleeveless, normal shirt sleeve and the puff sleeve which was simpler and for economical reasons.  Now that I'm sewing on my own for myself and friends I like to try something new.  The shirt sleeve needs more accuracy of starting from the shoulder line whereas the raglan sleeve starts from the neck needs a dart, a few gathers or plain if it is a stretch fabric.  This pattern gives me a perfect fit and I'm sure I'll use it for all my future raglan sleeve patterns.


Design changes in the original pattern:

I wanted to have a different neckline than what the pattern had so:

1-I raised the front neckline by an inch
2-I drew 6 lines from the neckline to the bust line
3-I added 1 inch to the front of the raglan sleeve to correspond with my front neckline.

Then I slit the neckline along the 6 lines I drew, closed the side dart and opened it along the 6 lines.  I placed the paper patterns on the fabric and cut them out.  I stitched 6 darts tapering them from the neckline to the bust line.  I joined the sleeves and stitched the side seams.  A small band was added to the neck.  Since hte collar was a bit loose I stitched 3 rows of elastic on the band.

A Harry Potter Cape

The same pattern that was drafted for my top was used to make a Harry Potter cape.  My colleague's daughter, Sara was invited to a birthday party and the theme was Harry Potter.  So her mother needed a cape for her daughter within a week.  Since I had this pattern already drafted I just needed 2 measurements, the full length and the sleeve length.  So I adjusted the pattern for the length of the cape and the sleeves giving them the necessary shapes. I put a dart in the crown of the sleeves to give it a perfect fit.  I added the hood to the neckline and was able to finish the cape for the birthday party.  It is quite large for her so she can wear it over her clothes like a winter coat and will last her for many more years to come.


Thank you Bernice for this fun look at what can be done with our pattern books!! You surely do enjoy creating.  Can't wait to see what you are planning next.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

  Supplement 305 - Model#202 - Summer 2017
Princess Line Capri Pants 

A while back I was offered a free Craftsy class and I chose a pant fitting class from Sandra Betzina. The pattern was very similar to this one but it didn't have pockets. When I saw this pattern in the newest supplement I knew I had to try it.

Pattern Drafting Hints:    
This pattern was simple enough to draw out. The front and back patterns are drawn as just two pieces and then cut apart at the princess lines. Because there are extra seam lines there are more opportunities for adding or subtracting to achieve a better fit.

Once all your lines are connected but before you cut them apart, make sure to mark all your pieces carefully. Some of the pattern pieces look similar so you don't want to get them confused. In fact I left my pattern pieces pinned on my fabric until I was ready to sew them together. Sewing this pattern was very much like putting together a puzzle but everything lined up flawlessly.

Fabric Used/Suggested: 
These pants are made up in a 100% cotton twill. This medium weight twill started out a pale icy lavender but I dyed it to a nice pinkish lilac color. Because I was working on perfecting fit I didn't want any stretch in the fabric. I do think my next pair will either be a softer, drapier fabric or perhaps a lighter weight with some stretch. The stiffness of the twill causes this fabric to wrinkle around any areas where your legs bend. 

Design Changes: 
There were no major design changes to this pattern. The only minor changes were to leave off the tie belt and belt loops. They just seemed a waste of time since I rarely tuck my shirts into my pants. The pattern for these pants matched up so nicely I'm sure it would be easy to lengthen or shorten them for different seasons. Some welt pockets in back would be a nice way to dress them up too. Here's a pic of the back view of my pants:

Closing Hints:   
I'm so happy this pattern was drafted so well. It made it easy to use for following along with the Craftsy class. I must admit after all the adding and subtracting to the pattern I was feeling a little deformed but I did end up with a very nice fitting pair of pants so it was all worth it in the end. 

Now I just need the weather to cool off enough to wear these. Here's hoping you're staying cool this Summer.

Ann in Calif. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!- FASHION FLASHBACK

Vintage Supplement 109 Model #48 - Summer 1968
 Sleeveless Dress w/ shoulder tucks

It can get really hot here in parts of California so I pretty much live in casual dresses all Summer long. I'm always on the lookout for patterns that I can translate into easy care pull on dresses with just a little detail. This sleeveless dress with asymmetric shoulder tucks certainly fits the bill.

Pattern Drafting Hints:
Although this pattern is considered vintage I was able to enlarge it to my size with my modern Lutterloh scale. There are no odd numbered  dots to plot; they all fall either on a whole number or sometimes at the .5 mark. There are however quite a few dots to mark for the front bodice as you can see in the photo below.
Truly the front bodice is the only complicated step in this pattern. The rest of the pattern is pretty straightforward to draw and sew.

You'll see in the pattern photo above that there are three tucks on one side and a dart on the opposite side of the bodice. I found all of these needed some adjusting in the paper fitting stage. The side dart was way too high and the tucks just looked wonky once I pinned them in. The side dart was easy enough to change on my paper pattern but the tucks were a different story. Be prepared to fiddle with the tucks at the pinning stage because the fullness and height of your bust will determine where the tucks will look best. Here's a close up of how my tucks turned out.

Fabric Used/Suggested:
This casual version of this pattern is sewn in black cotton/poly interlock. The fabric has  stretch on the cross grain but none on the lengthwise grain. This makes the fabric a nice stable knit. The contrast band is a remnant of a poly/nylon jacquard.

This pattern was probably intended to be sewn in a dressier fabric like crepe with an overlay at the waist. A description in the front of the book refers to this as a party dress. My version is still party worthy but perhaps better suited to a backyard barbecue.

Design Changes:
The only design change to this pattern was to lower the neckline and shape it into a gentle V. The pattern, as originally drawn, ended up with a deceivingly high neckline. I needed to lower it a full two inches to achieve the shape you see here. I did also need to reduce the width of the waist more than my usual amount so you may want to do some quick measurements of the pattern before cutting your fabric.
Closing Hints:
For those that don't have this pattern, don't despair. If you check out this blog post here:
Making the most of your Lutterloh patterns
you should be able to refashion a basic pattern with bust darts and a full skirt with waist seam into one that resembles the vintage one. You will need to draw a whole front bodice piece like the one above and then change the dart to tucks on only one side.

If you'd rather just buy your patterns all worked out already there is a pattern like this vintage one in the newest Lutterloh supplement #305 here.. You'll see model #227 has a very similar shape. It doesn't have the asymmetrical tucks but it does sport a nice pleated skirt instead. The most important thing to remember here is the more you use your patterns the easier it is to imagine them in new ways.

So keep using those Lutterloh patterns and feel free to ask any questions or make comments on our blog here. We check for comments every day and we'd love to help you make the most of your Lutterloh patterns too!

Enjoy your sewing time,
Ann in Calif.     

Monday, April 17, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 304 - Model #5 - Spring 2017
Tapered Leg Knit Pants (Joggers)

Have you heard the term "athleisure"? These pants are the epitome of this style. They feel very much like athletic wear to me. I'm not sure I'll be running around town doing errands in these though; much better suited to walking the dog, which is why I needed them. 😉 

So, am I the only one who feels like their knit garments continue to shrink shorter the more you wash them? This created my need for knit pants that are a little longer than average. Sure I could probably order sweats from somewhere that offers talls but it seems like the price increases exponentially as they add those few precious inches. 

Pattern Drafting Hints:
This pants pattern was not at all complicated to enlarge to my size. I needed to make all my regular pattern alterations even though these pants are intended for knit fabrics. I find the Lutterloh patterns to fit me about the same as most pattern companies. In other words I still need to lengthen all my patterns just a little. 

Fabric Used/Suggested:
These casual pull on pants are made up in a medium weight poly/cotton interlock. This fabric has about 30% crosswise stretch but no lengthwise stretch. I wanted to reduce the risk of sagging pocket openings so the pockets are interfaced with knit interfacing. The wide waistband has 1.5" elastic all the way around. These pants could really be made up in almost any weight knit you like as long as your fabric has sufficient stretch with good recovery.

Design Changes:
There were just a few minor changes plus one major change. I didn't bother to install the drawstring waistband since I knew I wouldn't use it. I also added 2.5 inches to the length because I wanted these pants to cover the tops of my shoes. The major design change was to the width of the legs of this pattern. From experience, I know that pants that are tapered all the way to the ankle are not the best shape for me. I drew my pattern so it tapers to about mid calf and then drew the seamlines straight down. I also cut my fabric with generous seam allowances but ended up trimming off most of that with the serger by the time I was done. 

The fashion drawings for these pants were a little deceiving to me. About the only clue to the fit of these pants is on the drawing for model #4. See the arrow pointing to the slight wrinkling in the photo below?
This should have been my clue to the ease in these pants despite how slim they look on the other model. The extra ease I achieved by adding room at the seams turned out to be unnecessary.

Closing hints:
These pants are turning out to be super comfortable. My only concern is that they may bag out at the knees after wearing them all day. The top photo was taken about midday and they don't look too bad. So far, so good. I'll be on the lookout for another color fabric to make these again.

Here's hoping you're getting in some sewing time for you.
Happy Sewing!
Ann in Calif.     

Monday, March 27, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 287 - Model #231&232 - Autumn 2012
 Sleeveless Tunic Top and Leggings

Wow, between getting ready for vacation and then being gone a week, the month of March has nearly gotten away from me! I didn't get any sewing done this month so I will share with you a couple of outfits I made back in the Fall for my niece K .   

Pattern Drafting Hints:
Both the top and leggings patterns are pretty straightforward to enlarge to one's own size. The top is just front and back pieces with combined neck and arm hole facings. The leggings have no side seams so are simply one pattern piece for each leg. I do particularly like that the leggings have a little shape to them as opposed to some pattern companies that just draw the lines for the legs perfectly straight from crotch to ankle. This allows for a little customization in case you have either slimmer or shapelier legs than average.

Fabric Used/Suggested:
The leggings are made from a cotton/poly/spandex blend fabric in a lovely teal color. There is a tiny bit of glitter in it if you catch it in just the right light. I would recommend a fabric with a good amount of spandex in it to avoid stretching out and bagging at the knees.

You may notice that the two tops hang  just a little bit differently on K. This is because the zig zag one is a lightweight poly/rayon knit whereas the spotted one is a slightly heavier weight cotton/spandex knit. Both fabrics performed admirably for this pattern but do be aware your fabric choice will affect the shape of your top. Since there is no closure at the neckline your top will need to have enough stretch to pull it over your head. 

Design Changes:
There were no design changes to the leggings at all. For the top, instead of the facings, I did use fine poly/cotton ribbing at the neck and arm holes to widen the shoulders just a tad. If you look closely you'll see that I did make one more change to add some interest at the neckline and add some swing at the hem. On both front and back I made a small inverted box pleat. Below is a photo of how I cut the pattern to achieve this. 
Since the pattern pieces are cut on the fold I simply moved the edge of the pattern away from the fold to add some extra room in the neckline. When the pleat is folded it takes up all the extra fabric at the neckline so your facing or binding length is not affected. Keep in mind that this does add some width to the entire length of your garment. If you like you can try this as a more prominent pleat on the outside too.

Because K is still a young teen I found the length of both patterns to be plenty long. When I made the leggings pattern for myself I did need to make my usual length adjustments just like any other Lutterloh pants pattern. You can see a pair of the leggings on me in this post here:
1 pattern 3 ways  

Closing Hints:
The leggings pattern is now my go to pattern for leggings of any length. As the weather gets warmer I will likely make a couple of the tops for myself since the simple shape lends itself to some embellishment opportunities. Although it may appear so in the fashion drawing this tunic top is not longer in the back. However, I did find it long enough to be considered a true tunic. I won't leave the house wearing leggings if my top is not long enough to cover my crotch in front and my whole behind in the back! 

How do you feel about leggings as pants? Do leggings require a longer shirt?
Please leave your comment below even if its as anonymous.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Vest fitting pattern

The vest fitting pattern is very important to your success

I did a search online and the site I send everyone to
 has moved or closed.

If you just bought the system 
If you didn't pick up a vest fitting pattern
If you aren't getting your patterns to fit as you like


Make it and don't settle for less than perfect fit.
Paper fit first for a quick look at the issues. 

1. Is the waist at your waist? No? bring it up, move it down
2. Are the shoulders as long or short as yours, do they slant as yours does?
3.  Is the vest flaring around your hips?  Don't let it flare, we should drape over our hips
4. Is the vest too long too short?
5. Are the darts getting the fullness under control? 
They can be moved or made larger or small.  

Make these changes on the vest pattern,
Make a list of what you changed so 
when you make your first Lutterloh pattern
all you need to do is follow that list and 
change the paper pattern before 
cutting it out in fashion fabric.

REMEMBER: Facing, button bands etc must reflect any changes you make

I've put a ruler so you can get the correct scale when printing. 
Most printers have a way to do a custom size 
that general works very well if you turn off scaling.

Use the Lutterloh tape measure to make this pattern
It came in your kit.

Don't bother to contact us for a tape measure
we are not Lutterloh, just a couple of people who
LOVE TO MAKE lutterloh patterns. 
You can find Lutterloh sites 
on the right of our site.