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.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Sewing Expo two days left!

It's a Northwest favorite!!
Held at the Puyallup fairgrounds
The  Pacific Northwest Sewing expo!

If you live in the Seattle, Olympia, Bellingham area 
it's not too far to go for great sewing classes
Vendors galore
and just Fun Sewing events.  
It's a four day event with only
Saturday and Sunday left.

If you want to pick up some Lutterloh patterns
or just watch a Demo
Look who is at the Expo!

Sewing and Stitchery Expo 
 March 2nd  - March 5th 2017 
at the Washington State Fairground in Puyallup,
$14 at the door, hours 8:30am-6pm and 8:30am-4:00pm

Say Hi to my friend Annette, 
she is doing classes for Shannon Fabrics.  
Tell her I sent you!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 303 - Model #192 - Winter 2017

Sleeveless Knit Top w/ Keyhole Neckline

I'll be taking a tropical vacation next month so despite the dreary, rainy weather outside I need to sew some cool, comfortable clothes.

Pattern Drafting Hints: 
This pattern was a breeze to enlarge to my size. There were only front and back bodice pieces plus front and back neck facings to draw. It is suggested that you also draw arm hole facings but I knew I would use binding so I skipped these.

If you make this pattern up for yourself I'd suggest you measure the keyhole opening on your own neckline as the 25mm mentioned seemed awfully low to me.

Fabric Used/Suggested
Although I believe this top would look smashing in a solid color I am trying to use up some of the prints in my fabric stash. This particular print is a cotton lycra blend with a very soft drape. Unfortunately the busy print camouflages the interesting tucks at the neckline. Here is a close up view.

The pattern for this top suggests a knit and I agree wholeheartedly. You could probably use a stretch woven for this top but it would need to have quite a bit of drape to it to avoid puffiness around the bust area. The button opening at the neck allows for ample room to get this over your head.

Design Changes: 
There were a few minor design changes to this top pattern. The sleeves are bound with satin edge elastic and I left off the back darts altogether. I originally pinned the darts but decided I wanted a less fitted top so left them off in the end. The front neckline was lowered just slightly by cutting the fabric with no seam allowance and then sewing the facing on with a 1/2" seam. As mentioned above, the keyhole neck opening seemed mighty low to me. Mine ended up about 18 cm from the neckline rather than the 25cm suggested on the pattern. This is as low as I can go without showing part of my deepest plunge bra.

Closing Hints: 
I was pleasantly surprised to find this top is plenty long for me without any addition. When it's not tucked in, it nearly covers my whole behind in back and crotch in front. This gives more opportunities for wearing it untucked with a belt. Hey, with just a little additional length I could make this as a sleeveless tunic. The skirt pattern paired with this top doesn't really appeal to me but I do have enough fabric left to make a companion skirt for a dressier look. Don't you just love that about separates?

The newest Lutterloh supplement has just been released and is available here:  
Supplement 304
Or you can always do a search for the Lutterloh dealer in your country. We have links to a few of them listed on our right sidebar.
Here's hoping you're getting some sewing done. 
Ann in Calif.    

Thursday, January 12, 2017

My favorite T

 Basic T turned cowl neck tunic

Happy New Year everyone!
I have stopped searching for the perfect T shirt pattern. For me it's this shirt pattern #254 in Supplement 282 from 2011.
You may recall seeing this same pattern reviewed last year in this post.

In that post I determined the fit for my favorite T and then added one wide godet to a center back seam. When I started looking for a pattern for a knit cowl neck top I realized the most recent cowl pattern I could think of was for a woven. Not to worry, I already have a well fitting knit top pattern. Why not alter it to the shape I need? 
The picture above is from one of my favorite pattern making books, Pattern Making by the Flat-Pattern Method by Norma Hollen and Carolyn Kundel. Another book I consulted to transform my basic pattern is called Patternmaking For Fashion Design by Helen Joseph-Armstrong. I believe these were both textbooks at one time. Parts of them are fairly technical but there are also some basic operations in them that anyone should be able to accomplish with just a little patience and some basic tools that you're already using for your Lutterloh patterns. It really is eye opening to see that with a little manipulation of a basic pattern you can truly end up with a wardrobe of different patterns.

For my cowl I took this pattern one step further by opening the slashes at the shoulders for small pleats. That step is well demonstrated in the book too so it really was just a matter of marking the pleats well for when I sewed the pattern together. 

Below is a close up of my pattern laid out on the fabric. You'll see that I've drawn my cutting line in chalk.
This is the outside, bottom corner of the bodice back. Notice I've started drawing a slightly curved hem at the bottom. When you don't add seam allowances to your pattern until cutting, it allows you to change the length and even the shape of the hem of your pattern for each project. You can also adjust the seam allowances for each different fabric based on the amount of stretch of various fabrics. All of these changes to your pattern can be accomplished with the drawing tools that you use every time you enlarge one of your Lutterloh patterns.

The sleeve is from yet another pattern that I've already reviewed here:

After all why reinvent the whole pattern when our Lutterloh patterns make it so easy to interchange the sleeves and such? They're both knit patterns and I'd already drawn them both to the same size. Presto, 3/4 length sleeves! Now when I see a pattern or a top that I'd like to copy I think carefully about whether or not it really is just a slight variation of my basic T. I certainly have enough fabric to make a whole wardrobe of T's. ; )

Do you ever change your patterns to copy another style you've seen? Feel free to leave your comments below. I'd really love to see everyone using their Lutterloh patterns to their full potential!

Keep on sewing folks,
Ann in Calif.