Thank you Ann. This has been very helpful. You have given some very useful tips and I look forward to trying them out! Great post Ann!
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A few months ago I was very generously gifted not one but two Lutterloh pattern books from and That very same week on eBay I bid on a Summer supplement being sold from France.
Amazingly I won it for not too much. I resisted the impulse to edit my pics to make my waist look as small as the illustration… or to make the illustration look as realistic as me. This is a YouTube video of the Man From Lutterloh demonstrating with a simple waistcoat how it all works 14 minutes long if you have the patience. So how did my try at Lutterloh go? Well, drawing the pattern out was dead easy like the advertising says.
Also there are absolutely no sewing instructions or finishing suggestions, no hints of what to interface, line or even where to put openings to get the garment on and off. There are some lovely styles from the French system sold singly on Etsy by Mrs. Depew Vintage which could be an inexpensive way to experiment if you are so inclined. How accurate was the pattern once drawn out? Actually not too bad at all. The sleeves needed no alterations other than shortening to suit me and the skirt just a little adjusting to hang well.
I did add a good amount more fullness into it than the pattern had though. The bodice needed the most alteration as the shoulder height and pitch were really wrong on me, the armhole needed moving in an inch and the vertical under-bust dart was in a bad place so I finally just took one of my own basic bodice blocks and made a similar pattern with it, knowing then that all elements would fit me.
I made a muslin mock up first which as well as highlighting fit issues was a huge help in deciding how to finish edges and where to locate the zip. The neck edges are finished with a narrow self bias binding. The three extended sleeve darts definitely needed some support so some very stiff Vilene cut in crescents shapes then sewed into the armholes did the trick. The belt ends are just closed in the back with hooks and bars. I also have gleaned that the company is fairly hot on copy write infringements- it seems ok for people to post pictures of the styles but absolutely not of the actual patterns.
I lived in sensible, supportive, lace-up walking shoes for 8 whole months. Nice with trousers but dreadful with dresses. Frank Lutterloh, the current head of the company has just started a Lutterloh blog as of Sept. Should be interesting. Did you find the process easy? I need a push to do a pattern in one. And be prepared to make muslins to check fit and work out how best to sew the garment up. Just give it a go and see what you think! How did you alter the Lutterloh picture?
If one puts a zipper on the left side of the dress, how do you get into the dress? I wanted to put a left side zipper on a boat neck dress. Thank you, Kathy G.
Hi Kathy! The dress pulls on over my head. Having both the side opening and the release from the wrap being untied there is a good amount of room to do this. For a boat neck dress with a side opening you just need to make sure the boat neck is large enough for you to get your head through. Dear Vera, Hi! Thank you so much for your help! My boat neck dress will be somewhat fitted.
Should I do a lapped zipper insert as they did for the year of this particular boat neck dress that I think is circa ? Thanks again! A lapped zipper sounds nice. Bear in mind though if your fabric is a bit thick a centred zipper may lay better… sometimes the wider lap can make that side look a bit lumpy when your dress is worn.
I avoid invisible zippers like the plague! Thank you for your advice. It will be a quilting weight type of cotton fabric.
I can send you a couple of pictures with your direct email? Thank you, Kathy. Apparently German Ebay is a good place to look for original ones. The Lutterloh company, as it is still in existence and making new patterns, forbids people making copies of their vintage pattern books to sell and they are still under copy write.
Many people wish they would re-issue their vintage patterns, perhaps if enough people ask sometime they will! I just had a very quick look on Ebay US, French and German Ebay and original vintage ones are available but are quite expensive. A very similar French system to look for is Coupe Eclair which I believe, unlike the Lutterloh ones, are no longer under copywrite. There is an ebay seller in the states currently selling reproduction collections of Coupe Eclair at a very reasonable price pdfs on cd.
I love your dress, worth all the adjustments you had to make and you look gorgeous in it. I am new to the Lutterloh System, have recently bought the latest one.
Now I am researching the vintage patterns and loving the range available but not the prices!! I had no idea there were digital copies of the books, the search goes on. Thank you Chris! Have a look on ebay for Eclair Coupe Paris. There is a US seller with vintage ones on cds at a much more reasonable price than vintage Lutterloh can be found for. Its a different set of rulers and also has no making up instructions but a similar sort of home drafting system. Very chic styles. Thanks for the Lutterloh blog link as will definitely be following those with interest x.
In a way I think those systems had more to offer the home sewer in terms of variety of styles and as a tidy delivery system too.
I spent the other weekend researching scale-upable patterns. But perhaps over all the home seamstress of yesteryear was more prepared to and experienced in fitting herself. But do take the Lutterloh plunge, it is quite fun and bound to stretch your skills in a good way. Beautiful dress! Love the style and fabric. I have been sewing for 44 years and can make patterns, grade, etc but never attempted making patterns from miniature pictures.
Thank you Nancy! Ohhh Vera! That dress came out absolutely beautiful! There is nothing wrong with your waist! I have those patterns too and now that I have seen you make it I may give it a try. I am shaped like a rectangle or a column with little to zero waist definition. Also I am plus sized so that adds to my being out of the Golden rule in sizing. I will keep working on the basic blouse so that I can make a better sloper.
Thank you for all your inspiration! Hi Kathy, I agree and also think having a good set of personal slopers and using the vintage Lutterloh patterns mainly as a guide to draft styles from is a good way to go about it. I ended up doing my bodice that way. Certainly was less tweaking the of the fit! Persevere with your personal slopers…. Late to the party Kathy, but I have similar issues with not being standard size, particularly in the full bust 6 inches larger than high bust.
Then I am a bit over standard waist, bit less in hips. What works for me though is to move up and down on the measuring tape.
Larger size at bust and waist, smaller at hip and smallest at shoulders very, very in actual fact. Think of it as an infinite multi-size pattern where you can move in and out to match your measurements. Got to love that! Dear Jan, It sounds like you have a good method in place.
Thank you. Dear Jan, Hi! It sounds like you have a good system to go by. Just have to keep trying. A wonderful dress and I love you as a Lutterloh lady too! It seems strange that in the current climate of all things retro and vintage fashion that Lutterloh are not enthusiastic about releasing some of their older patterns.
You would have thought that they would have wanted to cash in on it. Well done on the recovery of your foot by the way!!
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