Thursday, June 30, 2022

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement 325 - Model #30

Elastic Waist Dress in woven fabric

    There's something about the Summer edition of the Lutterloh patterns that always excites me. Some of my favorite patterns come from the Summer editions. It's probably because my climate is so warm most of the time that jackets and coats are just of so little use to me. Now give me a supplement full of dress patterns and I'm a happy camper. So here's another dress from the current Lutterloh supplement. You may want to give this one a try!

Pattern Hints:
    Like so many other Lutterloh patterns of late I found the neckline on this one to be higher than the fashion drawing. I lowered the neckline on my pattern by two full inches in front to achieve the depth you see on my dress.  
The red line indicates roughly where I lowered the neck on my pattern. After establishing the depth I just continued on with copying this curve for the facing.
    Also, it may not be as noticeable in miniature but the elastic waistline on this pattern is not a straight line across from the center front and back. The waistline needs to mimic the curve of the hem. It's not that difficult to mark as long as you're using the same curved ruler and make note of the numbers on your curve.   
    The only other tip I would mention for this pattern is to either make a cheap muslin or find some way to test where the elastic waistline will fall. I found by measuring up the 55cm that is suggested for the skirt length and inserting the elastic there I was left with a very blousy top portion.
I will insert my elastic at least one inch higher into the top bodice portion for future iterations like I have indicated by the red line in the photo above.
Design Changes:
    Because of the double border print I was using I did need to make a major design change. Where the pattern indicates to sew in elastic at the waist I cut my front and back pattern apart into two pieces each, top and skirt. I added seam allowances and continued on with my personal alterations for length and such. I was able to sew the top and bottom back together, adding elastic in the seam, all in one operation. This is when I discovered how billowy the top portion turned out. Determined to make this work, I cut off the elastic I had just sewn in and then cut another inch off the bodice length all the way around. Fortunately this didn't affect the skirt much and I had the opportunity to adjust that billowy top. Once again I layered the bodice, skirt and elastic and serged them all together. Eureka! Now that's what this dress is supposed to look like.
    You may have noticed how simply straight the side seams are for this pattern. This always screams POCKETS please! I'm usually sorry when I don't include them and always grateful when I do take the extra steps. 
Fabric Used/Suggested:
    Hey Fonnell, do you remember this pretty rayon challis from when we went fabric shopping at the EXPO? My husband even commented how nice it was. This fabric is the lightest fabric I could imagine without actually being sheer. I'm sure in a light background print it probably would be see through. It's a dream to wear and it wasn't too fussy to sew either. I would imagine this pattern would work in a knit too but you may need to reduce the ease quite a bit. Whatever fabric you choose make sure it's a light one to reduce the puffy factor at the elastic waist.
Closing Hints:
    Sometimes a really pretty fabric can elevate a very simple silhouette. This pattern, once you get the elastic at the correct level, is a breeze to sew. If you get the right fabric you may even decide all you need is a belt at the waist. It is certainly worth a try. 
I'll be taking another look at Supplement #325. I'm sure there are more favorites to find. It's always nice to dream anyway. Be sure to take some time to give your Lutterloh patterns another look. If nothing else but to give you inspiration.

Happy sewing everyone,
Ann in Calif.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Lutterloh Hidden Gems

 Supplement #324 - Model #269 - Camisole

The camisole is really hidden under this dress

    I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend. I've been busy with graduation and prom alterations so my own sewing has taken a back seat for now. I did manage to try out the camisole pattern that was hidden under the dress from last month's review here. The pants in the pic above are reviewed here. I prefer to wear a closer fitting cami under dresses but this one is a definite keeper for a pullover, woven fabric tank under jackets and such. Below is a pic of the tank untucked and without a jacket. 

FIT:    You can see that the neckline fits nice and close but the body of this top just skims my hips. There's no way to get this tank to fit closer without a zipper or opening of some sort. That's fine with me because I would rather have a simpler garment that needs no zipper. 

FABRIC:    The fabric choice for this top will play a big part in how it fits. A drapier, knit fabric could fit closer I'm sure. My camisole is made from a rayon lining fabric. It has a bit of sheen without being a high maintenance fabric.  

FUN:   What makes this pattern a true gem is the potential in its simplicity. Now that I have the fit worked out I have all kinds of ideas on how to rotate the dart and lengthen the body to create variations of tops and even dresses.  

    Before I make any changes to this pattern I'll copy it to a sturdier paper and make copies of the facings in their original form too. Once I have a master pattern of sorts I can lengthen it at the red line to maintain the nice shirt tail hem for a tunic or dress length. For ideas of where to rotate the dart see the post here for a practice pattern shape. 

    Since I noticed this pattern hidden behind another in the fashion drawing I started looking more closely while flipping through my Lutterloh patterns. They don't happen in every supplement but I did find a few more just in the few years worth of patterns that I perused. 

    In the picture above you can see the typical tank hidden behind the sweater on the right. There's also some great leggings in the middle behind the apron and even a bandeaux and shorts set under the duster on the left. The key to finding these hidden gems is to pay close attention to the letter symbols under the model numbers. Sometimes you don't even notice them until you turn to the pattern page.

    I'm glad I noticed this camisole pattern. It's always a nice find when you can use a pattern in more than one way. You may find your next favorite pattern hidden in your Lutterloh book. Have fun giving them a second or even a third look!

Happy Sewing until next time,
Ann in Calif.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement 324 - Model #269  

Classic Wrap Dress for woven fabrics

    Hello again fellow sewists. This current project turned into a dress to wear to a funeral 😢. My friend's mother lived a long, full life. I always admired her sewing too. Here's to you Anne 💖
Pattern Hints:     
     This pattern enlarged to my size without any hiccups. Since it's a full figure pattern I used a number on the scale 4 dots smaller than my actual measurement. There are some facings to draw too but they really are necessary to help keep the front of this dress neat and secure. I did find it odd that both the right (ri) and the left (li) piece on the pattern page are suggested at a 130cm length although one is clearly pictured much longer than the other. I'm guessing the number is a typo but just be aware that the tie for the underlap of the front skirt may need to be shorter than the other depending on where you'd like to tie your dress.
    In the fashion drawing this dress is shown with a camisole underneath. In fact there's even a camisole pattern included on the same page. I concur that this dress is too low to wear without some sort of top under it. I didn't make the included cami but may try it at some later date. If you didn't want the extra layer under your dress you could always redraw the angle of the crossover neckline.
    Oh and don't forget to mark a spot on your side seam through which to thread your tie. There is no symbol or mark to indicate this on the pattern but clearly you need one for this to be a wrap dress.  
Design Changes:     
    The only significant design change I made was to shorten the sleeves on this dress. I used the same sleeve pattern and just folded up about 9 inches from the bottom, hardly a major change really. I did also draw a slightly wider end to my tie pattern piece. I knew I wanted wider ties than the half inch wide ones suggested on the pattern page. I cut mine to approximately 2 inches wide by 55 inches long with a little flare at the ends. This is what the pattern for the last 18 inches of my ties looks like.
I cut the whole tie on the fold with seam allowances and ended up with ties about an inch wide flaring out to about 3 inches. It was just a tiny extra step to personalize it.   
Fabric Used/Suggested:    
     My dress is made up in a dark navy blue linen blend. It's a classic "linen look" blend that's available at JoAnn's Fabrics all year round. This is part of the fabric collection that I inherited from a neighbor. The look I was going for was conservative and respectful. I think this pattern and fabric pairing hit the target spot on. 
    I would imagine many fabrics would lend themselves to this pattern. A nice print would probably add a little fun factor to this uncomplicated pattern. Just be careful about choosing any fabric that's very lightweight since you do need the dress to stay closed.
Closing Hints:    
   As wrap dresses go this one is a winner. I'm just not sure how many wrap dresses I need. It's pretty windy around where I live but this dress wasn't too difficult to control. It stayed nice and modest even while sitting so that's another bonus. I'll keep this pattern for a reliable, classic dress but Summer is coming and I'll need something even cooler!
 So long for now, happy sewing everyone,
Ann in Calif. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement 322 - Model #123 - Autumn 2021

Cowl Neck Knit Top
    Hi again from sunny California. I'm trying to make some more transitional pieces to get me through til Summer. This top had me curious about the cowl neckline.
Pattern Hints: 
    This top pattern comes out pretty much as the fashion drawing indicates. The one thing that did surprise me was how close to the neck the cowl drape sits. My neckline, at the shoulder seam, starts much closer than the drawing would suggest making the drape narrower than I would like. I was pleased to find that the fullness of the cowl was the right depth for me though.
Design Changes: 
    I knew I would be wearing this top as a tunic over leggings so I lengthened it quite a bit.
I cut the pattern at the longest length for model #125 and then added another two inches to the bottom. To get it even longer I added a four inch contrasting band to the bottom hem. For the sleeves I added a two inch band to the shortest length of the pattern.
    The pink line in the photo of the pattern above indicates where I took my side seams in for a little shaping. I may take in the sides even more since this top comes out fairly boxy and shapeless.

Fabric Used/Suggested: 
     Lutterloh suggests a knit for this pattern and I would tend to agree. The boxy nature of this top would make it truly shapeless in a woven fabric even if cut on the bias for the cowl. My fabric is a rayon with spandex knit that has a really nice drape. The only thing I don't like about my knit is it tends to pill after repeated washing. That's why I needed to make another brown cowl neck tunic. My last one just looked tired.  
 Closing Hints:
     I'm not sure I will make this pattern again. I wasn't entirely pleased with the width of the cowl and there are so many other patterns that can be lengthened or shortened to my preferred tunic length. I do love a cowl neckline but perhaps it's possible to have too many. I'll be looking for Spring and Summer dress patterns soon to get me through the hot months ahead. I saw a wrap dress pattern in Supplement #324 that I think should fit the bill.
Here's hoping you're finding some time for sewing even if it's just dreaming of projects to come. 
Happy Sewing everyone,
Ann in Calif.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement #322 - Model #141 - Autumn 2021

Knit Dress w/ Gathered Skirt
    Hello fellow Lutterloh enthusiasts. It almost looks like Spring here in California. I wanted to get one more project in before I need to turn my attention to preparing for fire season. 😓 This dress should work great for those last few cold days before the warm up. The model for this dress has bare legs but a pair of sweater tights for me turns this dress into a transition piece.
Pattern Hints:  
    This pattern enlarges easily enough with just a front and back bodice and a sleeve to draw out. The skirt and the lower sleeve and cuff are just rectangles where the size has been suggested. Make sure to paper fit your pattern because I found the neckline to be much higher than the fashion drawing indicates. I also thought that this pattern came out much roomier than the drawing suggests. I will detail my alterations below.
Design Changes:   
    As I mentioned, the neckline for this dress drew out deceivingly high. When I went to paper fit the bodice the neckline looked much more like a crew neck than a scoop to me. The photo below shows, in red, where I drew my actual neckline.
You can see that I also drew my neckline in a little closer to my neck because I was afraid my bra strap might show at the original width. Of course I also had to adjust my back bodice neckline to this width. Instead of facings the neckline is finished with my favorite satin edge elastic.
    After adding my usual one inch of length to the bodice I paper fit again and noticed that even with wider darts this bodice would not fit closely like the fashion drawing looks. I needed to take half an inch off each side seam to get it to fit more like the drawing. That's a full two inches that needed to be taken in. I still ended up using generous seam allowances when sewing in the side zipper and seams but it does look closer to the fashion image now. 
    Because I was a little short on fabric the skirt of this dress is a few inches shorter than the pattern. I won't likely wear this dress without tights or leggings under it so I don't mind the shorter length. Oh yeah, I added pockets too! The model appears to have her hand in a pocket to me but there is no pattern piece for it. I snagged a pattern off the internet and put them in easy, peasy on the straight side seams of the skirt. Right where the zipper ended was just the right level for me. 
Fabric Used/Suggested:  
      This pattern suggests you use a knit or stretch fabric. The bodice of my dress is indeed a cotton blend with spandex but my skirt and puffy sleeves are in a solid rayon challis. The stretch of the bodice and sleeves along with the side zipper really do allow for lots more choices for the skirt fabric. I found the skirt piece to be about double the volume of the bodice width so keep in mind your skirt fabric should look good gathered. 
Closing Hints:  
    You can see from all the changes detailed above that this pattern was a little fiddly for me. Now that I have it all altered I'll probably keep it. I just don't know if I would recommend this one at least not to those in the busty crowd. I suspect that's why I ended up with so much ease in the lower bodice. Nothing that can't be easily fixed but there are just so many more patterns to try out there.
   Onward then to the next project. Supplement #324 should be arriving soon and I do always prefer the Spring and Summer editions. That seems to be the only seasons we get in California anymore.
Happy sewing for now,
Ann in. Calif.  

Friday, January 28, 2022

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement 323 - Model #181 + #175 - Winter 2022
Knit Kimono Top with added midriff
    Hello folks, I hope you're all feeling well and getting a chance to sew. I had some sweater knit to use up so I thought I would try a little experiment. I saw this kimono sleeved cropped top pattern and thought I could add a midriff piece to make it more appropriate for a more mature figure. 
Pattern Hints: 
   The main pattern for this top was #181 but it only had a stretch band just under the bust to finish the bottom. I haven't worn a cropped top in years but found another pattern, #175, in this same supplement that included a fitted midriff. Pattern #175 is actually for a dress but the fitted midriff starts just below the kimono sleeved bodice similar to pattern #181. I would have just made the top of dress #175 but the neckline shape looked too fussy to me. Below are the two pattern fronts side by side so you can see the differences. 
   As it turns out I don't much care for the neckline on pattern #181 either. The neck hole on this pattern is so small that it barely fits over my head. Next time I think I would eliminate the neck facing and replace it with a stretchier option or just cut a much deeper front neckline. Better yet, perhaps I should find a way to alter the neckline of #175 to a more standard scoop. I suspect the squarer shoulder line of #175 would look better on me. Oh well, it was just an experiment.
Design Changes: 
    The first true design change was to add the midriff piece from pattern#175 to the bottom of pattern #181 to make it more modest. Since the front midriff for #175 has a slight peak to it I did end up folding that down to resemble the back midriff pattern. I also added an extra 3 inches to the bottom of the midriff pieces thereby extending it into my hip area. I made sure to use my handy dandy hip curve to make sure it fit nice and close to the body. I'm actually pleased that I added such a long midriff piece since the whole top lifts when you raise your arms. We can thank the low, kimono style arm hole for that.
    My knit was stretchy enough to eliminate the zipper suggested for pattern #175. The top portion, pattern #181,  is really oversized so as long as the knit for the midriff has plenty of stretch there's no problem putting this on without a zipper opening. Pattern #181 produces a top that truly resembles the fashion drawing but I'm not sure even adding a midriff can save this style for me. I'm afraid oversized is just not my friend. 😞 
Fabric Used/Suggested: 
    My animal print is a 95%poly/5% Spandex blend sweater knit and the solid is a stretchy, medium weight T-shirt knit. The fabrics for my experiment went together nicely. They have the right amount of stretch and drape to complete the look as intended but unfortunately the overall style does NOT work for me. I know I have worn kimono sleeves before so it must be the oversized nature of this style that just doesn't work. 
Closing Hints:
    Making up this pattern wasn't a complete waste of time. Even though I won't wear this top my niece will probably love the animal print. This adventure into an oversized style has finally convinced me that they are best left to the young and svelte. Onward to the next pattern then!
Here's hoping your next project is more successful than my last. No need to lament though, there are SO many more Lutterloh patterns from which to choose
Happy sewing everyone,
Ann in Calif.      

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement 305 - Model #239 - Summer 2017

Little Girl's Easy Dress

    Hi folks, I hope the holiday season is treating you well. I managed to get in some last minute sewing for Christmas and thought I would share it with you. The night shirts that I made back in October went over very well as a birthday gift. She liked the fabric so much that she requested a daytime dress of the same print. How could I refuse? 

Pattern Hints:
    This pattern is intended for a woven fabric but I knew my knit fabric was stretchy enough to accommodate this dress with no zipper or other closure. Just to be certain I drew my pattern a little larger to account for growth between now and Spring. My recipient measured 61cm at the chest and I drew my pattern for a 66cm size.
Design Changes: 
    The most significant change that I made to this pattern was to use a knit fabric instead of a woven. This allowed me to eliminate the back zipper. Since I needed to bind the neck and sleeve edges with something I chose a nice stretchy satin edge elastic to stabilize the openings and give a little detail to the dress. 

    The next change was to add some fullness to the sleeves. I wanted a bit of a puff sleeve so rather than drawing a sleeve from another pattern I used the slash and spread method to add some fullness that I could gather into the sleeve head. This was easy enough to do with the existing pattern piece. Below is a before and after photo of my sleeve pattern alteration.

    The original pattern is on the right with the lines drawn where I slashed the paper to (but not through) the sleeve pattern edge. On the left is my final pattern with paper filling in the areas where I spread the pattern. When I sewed in the sleeves I simply gathered the exaggerated sleeve head to fit the armseye and presto, a puff sleeve! 

    The only other change I made was to the skirt. The pattern suggests one rectangular piece for the skirt measuring approx. 45cm high by 63cm long. This just didn't look like enough gathering to me so I ended up cutting two rectangles measuring 18" high by 24" long, one for the front and one for the back. This is roughly the same length skirt as suggested but nearly twice as full. This required more gathering but also gave me a much fuller, swingy skirt. 
Fabric Used/Suggested:
    Although this pattern is intended for a woven fabric it also worked out just fine in a knit. If you decide to use a knit be sure your fabric is stretchy enough to fit over your child's head and shoulders or you may need to put the suggested zipper in the back.
Closing Hints:
    As I was about to finish this post I got a photo of my little friend in her dress.
    It looks a little large to me just as I intended. It should be perfect for Spring and maybe into the Summer. These dresses were easy enough that come Autumn I'll be happy to make some more for her. I'm told she loves her new dresses and the way the skirt twirls. I love the sweet little puff on the sleeves and the thin trim at the neck and sleeves. This pattern is a definite keeper!
Here's to a prosperous new year for all. May we all get some time to sew!
Ann in Calif.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

More playing with godets


Supplement 271 (2008) w/ side godets
     Hi there folks, I wanted to try a different pattern for my next experiment with godets. You may recall a much earlier post here where I inserted a large godet into the back seam of a favorite T shirt pattern. This particular T shirt pattern has always looked a little closer fitting than other Lutterloh tops I've made.

The photo above has the front pattern piece for my favorite T shirt pattern on the left while the right is the current pattern that I used for the top above. The difference is subtle but I've always wondered if the older pattern was as slim fitting as it appeared. I am pleased to report that, yes, this T shirt really does fit closer than most of the other Lutterloh T's I've tried. 
The Godets:
   Since my plan to add godets to this top was always to add them into the side seams, I thought it best to start with a close fitting T to begin with. I wanted to add a little swing to just the bottom of my shirt without sacrificing the fit on top. This was the original shape of my godets but the extended tail ended up being cut off. They just looked a little silly.  
4 inches across at the bottom and the length starting at 1 inch below the waist is the size of the godet I chose. This added just enough fullness to the sides to make this top into a swingy little tunic.
Other Alterations:
     To get this top to a tunic length I did have to add a full 3 inches to the length at the hem. I believe I'll add even more next time. The neckline of this current pattern is definitely higher than my favorite T shirt. I used the original pattern to draw a lower, wider scoop that I know I prefer. 
    For this godet experiment I think I chose the right pattern. For my next experiment I think I may use a princess seam pattern with more seams to add the godets. Another favorite pattern of mine from 2012 may be a good candidate. 
Here's hoping your holiday season is off to a good start. Happy sewing everyone.

Ann in Calif.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

  Supplement 319 - Model #240 - Winter 2020

 Children's Night Shirt

     Hi there Lutterloh enthusiasts. Sewing has taken a back seat for me recently because of a serious computer crash. I was just trying to do a Windows update and it corrupted my registry. What a mess! Now that I have that almost under control I decided to do a quick sewing project that will also get me started on Christmas presents.

Pattern Hints: 
    This night shirt pattern is one of a group of patterns for children's sleep and lounge wear. The size is suggested for 6 - 10 year olds. The little girl who will receive this is an average to small size 6 year old. Since children grow so fast I did use a number on the Lutterloh scale that was 2 numbers larger than her actual chest measurement. I didn't find any discrepancies in this pattern except that the spine of my supplement was over glued and thus tore through one of the numbers upon opening. I had to take a guess at the number based on the other number at the bottom of the pattern. It seems to have worked out in the end.
Design Changes:
     This pattern is a very simple design and I made no changes for this nightshirt. Being so simple it does leave a lot of room for options though. For future iterations I may consider a "V" neckline or perhaps a cute, puffed sleeve. The body of this shirt is perfectly straight from armpit to hem so a little shaping could be fun too. 
Fabric Used/Suggested:
    Lutterloh suggests a knit for this pattern and I would agree that some stretch in the fabric is needed to get this on easily. My version is made from a cotton/poly interlock with stretch ribbing at the neck. If I make one with puff sleeves I will probably add ribbing on the sleeves as well.
Closing Hints:
    Now that I have this pattern drawn out I should be able to get plenty more made by Christmas. It's easy enough to cut two at a time and if the fabrics are similar in color they can be sewn assembly line style to go together even faster. I'll be looking through my remnants to find those narrow pieces left from sewing adult sized clothing. The holiday season is fast approaching so these quick sew gifts are even more valuable in a pinch.
I hope everyone is carving out some time for sewing. It really is such a rewarding hobby.
Happy sewing then, bye for now,
Ann in Calif.        

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

 Supplement 306 - Model #72 - Autumn 2017

Cowl Neck Knit Dress/Top 
   Hi there fellow Lutterloh enthusiasts. I was trying out another knit dress pattern but decided to give it a go as a long top first. Boy am I glad I did!
Pattern Hints:
   There were no problems enlarging this pattern to my size. Since this is a full figure pattern I did use a number 4 dots lower on the scale than my actual measurement. Below is a photo of the front bodice pattern piece. You can see that a long, sew on facing is suggested for the cowl. 

I don't like a seam at the top of my cowl necklines so I cut my pattern as suggested in a previous post here. The red line indicates where I added to my pattern so I could still cut the pattern on the fold but now I have a fold down, cut on facing. If you go this route you'll need to decide how deep you'd like your facing and how far into the shoulder seam you'd like it to attach. Mine ended up about 1.5 inches wide at the shoulder and about 4 inches deep at the center front.

   I found the fashion drawing to be a little deceiving for this pattern. It could just be the pose of the model but the waistline appears to be sort of high to me. It turns out the waist seam sits right about on the natural waist.

Design Changes:
   This top was just an experiment for me to see how the cowl worked out. I was pleased with the cowl and the bodice of the pattern so I just cut 2 rectangles, the width of my fabric and  long enough to cover my behind, to gather and attach as flounces at the bottom. I didn't have enough of this fabric to make the skirt. It's probably just as well since this knit is a little clingy.

Fabric Used/Suggested:
   My top is made from a rayon/poly knit that drapes beautifully. This worked great for a top but maybe not for the entire dress. Because of the weight of my knit the waist seam was actually stretched lower. This is fine for the style of my top but I would use a slightly firmer knit for the dress as pictured in the fashion drawing. The advantage to using a very drapey knit is the effect it has on the cowl.
 Close up of cowl

Closing Hints:
   Despite having to redraw the facing I really like this pattern. The fold over facing is really just a personal preference. If you don't mind the seam in your cowl neckline then I'm sure the Lutterloh facing would work just fine. I may make one more top in a firmer knit just to evaluate the cowl and waist seam before I move onto the dress. The paper pattern puts the waist seam right on my waist but my fabric sure did stretch. I think a circle peplum might be a nice finish for an alternate top design. Unfortunately I have to go back to mask making for a while so we'll just have to see.

Here's hoping you're all safe and sound. Happy sewing everyone.

Ann in Calif.