December 5, 2014

Lutterloh choices

For the past two days, I've been pondering my options for the next Vintage Pattern Pledge item. I want to use my other pattern-enlarging-to-size system this time. You may be familiar with this one: Lutterloh.
I've seen it mentioned before on blogs and definitely on We Sew Retro so I assume this system has some international fans. The earliest publications I've read about (I haven't researched it, this is purely based on what other people blogged about) are from the 1930's. And it's still there. Unfortunately, that modern website doesn't have any information on the history of the brand but the system is still basically the same.

Like Frohne (which is, by comparison, probably no more than a short-lived competitor), Lutterloh offers its customers books with pictures of the designs and miniature patterns. To scale these up to size, Lutterloh relies on a special grading ruler.

This little thing. You have to attach a tape measure at one end, overlapping the 8. I'll take some pictures of how this works when I start on enlarging my pattern.
The system seems to rely on the idea that the human shape obeys certain rules, which has me a bit worried. This text comes from the introduction to the system in my books: 

When a human being is fully grown, the most important measurements of his limbs barely change anymore. One will only, based on predisposition, get fatter or thinner. Every human being only gets 3.5 times as large as he was at birth. Per size, there are, on average, just 3 groups (not counting dwarfs and giants). To make the sewing patterns usable for these three groups, it is desirable for very slender tall people and very short fat ones to adjust for the differences in waist length, sleeve and skirt length by lengthening or shortening the pattern pieces.

Okaaayy. So according to Lutterloh, there are no different body types (since the rest of the text suggest that the three groups refer to 'tall', 'medium' and 'short')... And where does that "3.5 times" thing come from? I'm pretty sure everyone, as an adult, exceeds 3.5 times his or her birth weight and height.
And that was also all the information given about height adjustments. Basically, you should just figure it out as you go along. And then we should remember that making muslins was certainly not common practice in the past.
Of course, this system doesn't enlarge in the same way as Frohne so its 'false' shortening or lengthening might be less. I'll tell you when I find out. 

So, now I just have to pick a pattern. I own three Lutterloh books, one from 1954 and two without date which overlap partly. Those two are definitely earlier. The designs there are an odd blend of 1940's and sort of 1950's which leads me to date them to 1947 or 1948. The time when the New Look was slowly gaining fashion ground. 
Ideally, I want to make something which is not just nice but also appropriate for this time of year, a sort-of-new-to-me style and can be made in a fabric from my stash. And that wish-list makes things difficult.

For one, it basically rules out the many wonderful things in the 1954 book.

Even though I quite like this sporty little jacket...

Then, this dress became my favorite. Cute look and basic enough to make weirdness in the sizing easy to spot and fix. But really a summer dress.

So. Other options. I love these but I'm not so sure I've got the right fabrics for them. 

Or of course, I could be sensible and make a blouse...

This one shouldn't even be on this list. It has plissé and that means it's impossible.

And how about this dress. A real 1940's look but not really 'me'.

I really don't know. Every time I look through the books again, something may leave the list and something else may be added. What do you think?


  1. I like number 120 and 149 as winter dresses, maybe in a light wool, like a challis

  2. i like 34, and 38 (is it a wrap dress?) but probably because i am thinking of spring.they are all lovely, it will be a tough choice