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.


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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lutterloh Patterns Come Alive!

Supplement 302 - Model #253 - Autumn 2016
Trousers with Button Front Closure

This will be my outfit for a casual holiday party this weekend. I'll likely pair it with a black velvet jacket or a cashmere cardigan. Despite the trouble I had figuring out the sewing sequence for this pattern it really was very well designed.  

Pattern Drafting Hints:
Enlarging this pattern to my size was very straightforward as with most Lutterloh patterns. The pieces all fit together very nicely and they produced a nice fitting pair of slacks. The greatest challenge I encountered was with figuring out the sewing order.
As you can see from the pattern pieces there are very few letters to direct you. A,B,C, and D are the only hints you get and that really only gets you through the front and back pockets. The real puzzle begins once you attach the facings and try to overlap the front legs onto the side front. I won't detail my sewing sequence here because it was fraught with pinning and sewing followed by ripping and eventually hand basting to get the layers in the right order. 
When you finally get to sewing the outside leg seam there are a total of 6 layers of fabric to sew together at the point of the triangular side front where all the facings meet. Make sure to pin and check before sewing this spot to be certain all the facings will be caught in the seam and stay tucked inside the leg. 
This is definitely not a fit as you go type of pattern. Once you get those side seams sewn you do not want to mess with them again! You will still have the center front and center back seam for minor adjustments but this is not the first Lutterloh pants you should be making. As long as you've already made some Lutterloh pants to determine the shape of your hip curve and length and depth of your crotch this pattern should fit just fine with adjustments that you've already worked out. Just draw it to your regular Lutterloh measurements, make your usual figure alterations and take your time assembling the pieces of the puzzle!
Fabric Used/Suggested:
Although this pattern is clearly a trouser pattern I chose to make mine in a stretch denim. This does affect the hang of the pants but I was trying to replicate my Dittos jeans that I remember from my youth. As soon as I saw the pattern I knew exactly how I wanted them to look. I think I got pretty close considering I no longer have the figure of a teenager ;). 
To cut down on the bulk of the many layers I used a navy broadcloth for the facings and pocket bags. I also sewed navy twill tape into the waistband to prevent stretching out of shape.
Be sure to use a fabric that will take a press. This will save you frustration when lining up all those layers at the side seams.
Design Changes: 
I only made one small design change to this pattern. I wanted to avoid any gaping at the button closure so I used 5 buttons on each side instead of 4. The look on the model was exactly what I was hoping for. Other than adding a little width at the thighs and length at the bottom I made no adjustments to this pattern. I may go back and sew the back crotch just a bit deeper but since these are actually trouser jeans now I may leave the closer fitting crotch.
Closing Hints:
I must admit I'm happy to be done with these pants so I can move on to some simpler sewing projects. Don't get me wrong, I love how they turned out in the end, but the puzzle of the sewing sequence does not make me want to repeat the experience. Overall I'd say this really is an excellently drafted pattern but unless you are up for a challenge I would leave this pattern to the more expert seamstresses.
I hope you all make some time for sewing in the busy holiday season ahead. I'm sure glad I did.
Ann in Calif.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Autumn coat guest review

It's nice to see some of our readers are 
 making Lutterloh patterns & sewing them!

Our Guest pattern maker is Bernice
she used a coat pattern from 2013
Here is her report

This autumn I needed to make a coat to wear over my 
sleeveless dress so this pattern attracted my eye. 
It is a princess seam pattern with the dart starting 
from the armhole to the waist line.

The coatee is 52 cm long which is much shorter than all my other coats.
  I bought a black coat that was on sales and I wanted
 to make one exactly the same length (52 cm) 
but a different pattern and colour. 

In fact the normal length was 55 cm after drafting the Lutterloh model but I didn't leave any allowance for the hem and I took in 3 cm. 

After drafting the pattern I only had to cut the armhole of the 
body a little deeper  to match the sleeve. 

All other measurements were a perfect fit. I used some raw silk fabric. 

I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't match the sleeve 
seams with the armhole seams as they are usually done.

 I took the risk of lining the coat so
 it was a bit difficult without any instructions 
but I finally achieved what I started. 

It gave me great pleasure
 to do the Lutterloh pattern