March 25, 2015

Sewing Lutterloh

Today, I've finally started on my first Lutterloh project. I already wanted to sew from these books for last year's Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge but didn't get round to it. 
I know I said that I wanted to sew from my late 1940's book (as part of the Pledge, because I mostly sew 1950's stuff) and I even had a nice, basic, dress picked out but... Well... Some things just want to be made more than others.

I'm making this (on the right):

It's from the 1954 book and in the text, Lutterloh describes it as "a decorative robe for the spoiled taste"... I don't think my version will be that spoiled. I'm making it from a bright mid-blue cotton jersey/sweatshirt fabric (with very little stretch).
I just really like the notion of a robe with a massive skirt.

There is actually a real need for this. I made a robe in coral red toweling last year. It's very nice and I've worn it a lot but I always knew the fabric wasn't of particularly good quality. By now, the seat is pretty worn. So much that it's see-through... So, I obviously need to replace this very nice thing.
I bought this blue fabric with that purpose in mind although at the time, I planned on re-using the pattern I had made for the coral red robe. 
Last week, I suddenly remembered this Lutterloh pattern and decided on that instead.

It is my first time working with this system. Lutterloh is a fairly well-know enlarge-to-size system which started in the 1930's (as far as I know) and is still being made. 

You get a book with pictures of the designs and at the back of the book are the patterns in miniature, looking like this.

To enlarge them to your own size, you tie a special ruler, which comes with the book, to the end of a tape measure (overlapping the first 8 centimeters). Then, you put the miniature pattern (which I scanned from the book and printed) on a big sheet of paper and tape it down. You prick a pin through the number of your bust measurement (or hip measurement for skirts) on the special ruler and than through the cross in each pattern piece. From there, you can turn it around and match every little line at the edge of the pattern. There's a number at each of them which tells you how many centimeters to add to place a point for your pattern. All you have to do is carefully lay out your tape measure in a straight line and make a dot at that number. Once you've transferred all the points, you can take away the tape measure and the miniature pattern and connect the dots. It wasn't difficult to do but I don't really believe this will magically generate a perfectly fitting pattern for each size and every shape, which is sort of suggested in the introduction. 

I was initially worried about waist length (and, in this case, overall length) because I'm at the small end of normal ladies' sizes according to these companies. Frohne was pretty clear about which waist lengths came with which bust sizes and how and where to add or subtract length if you needed to. 
However, when I measured myself and the top pattern pieces and held them up against my body, I thought it was going to be OK. 
Because of that, I decided not make a muslin. After all, this was also a sale fabric, I know the piece won't be too short and only those waist pieces are closely fitted and those are small and could easily be re-cut if they don't turn out right. 
I've cut my fabric and hope I can start sewing later tonight.


  1. Im looking forward to seeing how this will turn out & how well it will fit, using this system. I know of lutterloh but habe never tried it

  2. Oh, I can't wait to hear about this---I'm so intrigued by the system! And this looks like a great fun style!