While on a trip to the Wearhouse Sale at Abakhan in Mostyn this year, I discovered they also had a sale on the Lutterloth System (a system that allows you to make your own patterns using bust and hip measurements). The offer was so good (70% off) that I felt that it was worth the risk of buying a kit and trying it out.
For my pennies, I got all the stuff in the picture above (a special tape measure, 2 pattern making rulers, an instruction DVD and 320 patterns (280 for the standard kit and 40 with the supplement). My kit covers sizes from XS to L mainly patterns for women. However, their website shows that they have kits made for the fuller figures, as well as special editions with patterns for men and children.
For a visual person like me, a YouTube video that shows how to make up the patterns and the instructions on the back of the box was sufficient to get going. Yes, I did not even get the DVD out to check it out.
Each pattern has a fashion illustration on one side of A4 with the pattern number, type of fabric and fabric yardage. For example in the picture below: pattern needs approx 2.3m for a fabric that’s 150 cm wide. As there are no other symbols it means that the style needs woven fabric to make it.
On the back of the page you mini pattern pieces with dots and numbers. These are used to scale the pattern to full size using bust measurements for all dots placed above the waist and hip measurement for dots places under. Because one has to cut out each mini pattern piece, I just copy the original page and then I still have the pattern to use if I want a different size for someone else.
Trying to set myself for success, I picked a pattern that did not require any fitting other than shortening (lengthening is hardly ever an option for me). Since I was in Mexico holiday fever a maxi dressing gown was in order.
Although a bit messy (loads of paper and rulers everywhere) I quite enjoyed making my pattern pieces. It was like a puzzle. And, it did not take as long as I thought it would to make up the pattern pieces.
I did not add extra hem allowance to the sleeves or bottom hems because I had the feeling that I’ll have to shorten them anyway. At only 157 cm height (5ft2) it’s a given that I have to shorten the patterns.
I added a 1cm seam allowance right after I made my pattern pieces, otherwise, I forget about it. Construction wasn’t an issue for me as I tend to freestyle it even when I have instructions anyway. The book that comes with the kit has a few pages in which some construction tips/techniques are given. I would not rely on them though as they are very basic.
My first make was a success. I think they must draft these patterns for very tall people. I did not add anything at the bottom for the seam allowance ( I was aiming for a maxi length) and even then I had to take out approx. 10 cm to make the robe floor length.
With my next makes, I’ve gone for a few dresses. First on the list was the one on the left mainly because there are separate pieces for the bodice and the skirt. This means if the bodice did not fit, it was easier to just re-make the bodice and not ruin all the fabric. There was no marking for the position of the apex or hip line.
I was really glad, I did start with this pattern because the bodice did not fit properly because the pattern is too long between waist and shoulder. I took at first 1.5 cm of the length of the bodice.
In the end, I could have taken another 0.5 cm but could not be bothered cutting the bodice a third time, even though I still had enough fabric left . However, I did make the necessary changes to this pattern for when I make this dress again. Originally, I left the hem as it was, below the knees. However, as I am only 1.57m (5ft2″) that length does nothing for me. So, I had to chop off about 25 cm of the length of the dress to make it suit my shape and height. I did not finish the hems on this dress as I was working with scuba crepe fabric that does not fray.
At the same time I drafted the pattern for the second dress (middle drawing a few pictures above). On this one I shortened the bodice above the bust by taking out 2 cm before I cut the fabric. Also, I had to adjust the sleeve cap to make it flatter and fit the new armscye. Once these adjustments were done, I created the pattern for the facings which I cut on the fold to reduce bulk a center front/back seams would add.
On this second dress I chose to leave the hem longer because of the slit in the center front seam. When I’m stood there, it does not look to great, but when I walk it shows a bit of leg making it cute.
With these dress patterns I think I got the adjustments I need to do for the bodice sorted for my next projects.
It was then time to tackle a different project. I made a jumpsuit. I’ve made all the adjustments I’ve talked about before (shortened the bodice above the bust, sway back. lowered the hip) and hoped it will all go well for the rest.
I opted not to make a channel for the tie/belt to go through, but added belt loops instead.
I even got some help from the social media friends who helped me realise that buttons are better than snaps on this jumpsuit.
I found the front pockets not big enough. When making this jumpsuit again I’ll have to make them wider. I should have realised this when I saw the pattern piece. It was way too slim for a proper pocket.
However, my main problem with this is the back trouser. As you see in the picture, the waist is too low. If I had a flat bum maybe it would look better. Looks like I also need to raise the waist in the centre back by about 4-5 cm. OPS!
I still like my jumpsuit. I am planning to make more projects using the Lutterloh system (The Golden Rule). It’s like putting a puzzle together. I’ve made a note of all the changes I need to make using these patterns so my next one will fit me better.
In my opinion, this is a system that is recommended to those who already have a good knowledge of garment construction and fit. There are no instructions with the patterns and the information is quite basic.