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Lutterloh System

tricone | Posted in General Sewing Info on


I have recently found the Lutterloh system on the internet. I would like to know if anyone here has used it and what do you think of it?
Is it accurate, ie does the garment fit as well as they say it does when you take only two measurements?

Do the patterns fits all sizes ie larger busted women?

Its just any pattern making system i have used usually needs a lot of alterations at muslin stage, but this system doesnt seem to . Is this right?



  1. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #1

    The Lutterloh system is a book of 1/4 scale patterns that need to be enlarged to be used.  The method of enlargement is the radial projection method.  You need to tape the scaled pattern near the bottom left corner of a large sheet of paper.  From a point in the bottom left of the pattern you draw radiating lines from the chosen point, X through all the corners and critical points in the pattern.  With other books full of 1/4 or 1/8 scale patterns, you would then measure from X to the edge of the pattern, then times that measurement by 4 or 8 and make your mark on the radial line extending through that pattern.  Most of these pattern books are sized Small, Med. and Large. 

    With the Lutterloh system, you have a grading ruler, which is a centimeter tape with markings below the 0 line.  Your size below 0 is how much the pattern is graded up as you enlarge it.  The distance from X to the corners of the pattern are printed, so you just put your grading ruler down on the X and mark on your radiating line.  The pattern is still based on a fit model, so the same fitting and alteration methods will be needed after grading and enlarging their "commercial" pattern to your size.

    There are numerous books out there with scaled patterns for the usual market book prices.  Check Amazon and your local library.  They aren't terribly popular due to the time, energy, and potential marking mishaps that can occur when hand enlarging.  I get mine used for dirt cheap and mostly use them for design references. 

    My oppinion is that Lutterloh is very expensive for what it is.  It is also my oppinion that your money would go much further if you got a book about pattern drafting and pattern fitting, such as Fit for Real People, by Patti Palmer, and How to Make Sewing Patterns by Donald McCunn.  There are numerous other fitting and drafting books out there, I'm just familiar with these two.

    I hope I helped.  Val

  2. mainestitcher | | #2

    I went to a Lutterloh demonstration back in the 80s.  It hasn't changed since then.

    The demonstrator made a pattern for a vest front and back for one of the women in the audience.  After she had stitched it together, it was clear it needed to be shortened between the bust and waist.  The extra room was folded out of the pattern, and a second muslin sewn up, which fit fine. 

    The demonstrator cheerily announced that this potential customer would  just have to adjust every pattern the same way.  I was left wondering why it would be an advantage to draw out a pattern by hand and adjust it to fit, rather than take one that was already printed and do the same. 

    The price of the system was high, the price of the seasonal updates was more than I spent in a year on patterns.  (At the time though, I worked in a fabric store.  And patterns cost less, then)

  3. nmog | | #3

    I went to the Toronto Creativ sewing show in October hoping to buy the pattern system. I am a mid-thirties stay at home mom who wants to at least attempt to be hip. Hmm. The patterns were horrendous, and I was really diappointed. I looked through the entire book of 200 patterns and only found 2 that I liked. It really didn't seem worth it. The additional booklets seemed to have nicer clothes, but it wasn't worth it for me. Good luck!

    1. jjgg | | #4

      there are often many Lutterloh systems available on e-bay!

  4. Tatsy | | #5

    I like it. I have some tricky fitting problems that I haven't been able to adjust for, and I own all the alteration books. With the Lutterloh system, I trace both the bust and hip measurements above the waist, and the two sets together give me the adjustments I need. I've used the patterns to sew for myself, my niece, her kids, my grandkids. The slacks I made for my grandnephew fit like a glove and I haven't seen him in two years. Tracing the patterns takes less time than altering.   

  5. jayzeyway | | #6

    Just read your message sitting here in my newly made trousers. I cut three patterns, one from Garment Designer, one from the Threads issue 134 and one Lutterloh and made a quick pair of shorts which each. The Lutterloh was the one I choose to use for the final trousers as the fit looked best and was most comfortable. However their tops have not fitted so well. Vests gap at arms because you need to make other adjustments for the full busted, small framed figure that the system does not allow for. If you are a standard size then the system is worthwhile, but if not be prepared to make pattern alterations. Hope this helps.

    1. tricone | | #7

      Thanks a million for your replies, they have been very helpful.
      I think i will have to continue to develop my skill in 'adapting patterns' at the moment. All your replies helped me so much, greatly appreciated.

    2. Tatsy | | #8

      I had trouble with tops too until I started tracing both hip and bust measurements on the same pattern. After you have it traced, hold it up to yourself and mark the measurements that are closest to the ones you need. I'm not sure why it works, but doing that took out all the extra gapping in the armholes and neck, narrowed the shoulders, and put the bust darts in the right place. For me it's as accurate as any altered pattern I've ever made.

      1. jayzeyway | | #9

        OK, thank you for the feed back, I will give that a try. So far I have made the vest, as per the video demo and that was fine. Then I tried the sleeveless scoop neck top and that was the disaster with the gaping. Then I made a top with a seam under the bust (no. 13). It was just about wearable, only other sewers would notice the gaping around the arms (I hope!). Some days I think dieting would be easier.

  6. dressed2atee | | #10

    I think you should check out Wildginger software for making patterns.  I sew for large-size women and I love it!!!  You can check out the website:  http://www.wildginger.com for a demo.  They just upgraded to V4 it's $200 but oh so worth it!

    1. tricone | | #11

      Thanks a million dressed2atee, I am going to check this out right away.
      Happy sewing.

  7. User avater
    Knitnut | | #12

    I purchased this system about 2 years ago in Chicago at a sewing expo.  The demo sold me.  I'm 5'2' petite, with a mature figure - lots of curves.  I was just getting back into sewing after years of absence.  My old "sewing figure" was 35lbs lighter and a petite size 8 (retail) perfect fit.  Now, at size 14 (retail), I still pick patterns AS IF I were the size 8.

    Ah - any way, their system is unusual.  I signed up for their online sewing classes.  If you buy this system, I suggest you pay the $25 for the lessions.  You get to talk directly to the owner via email - very personalized help. . . but . . I still have not been able to make the shorts fit, I could not transfer the bust darts from the tissue fitting to my pattern in their sample vest (waistcoat) even after the intense email lessons.  I think I was overfitting.

    You also have to know quite a bit about sewing in general.  You do get an electronic manual, but I'm old school and stuck to needing the pattern directions that come with the regular patterns.  I have purchased their supplements, and they do have some nice patterns in them, but I agree there are not many patterns in each supplement that interest me.

    Drafting the patterns is quite fun - making them fit is another.  I'm not giving up - I've bought a stash of fabric and intend to give it another try.

    I'd really recommend to the company that they have classes or seminars in the US for those of us who bought the kits - I'd pay for those.  I really wanted a custom fit that was promised.

    FYI - those of us over 35 - no matter what your shape - should use the patterns marked for fuller figure.  Sonja - the owner is  a thin lady and she states that she also uses the fuller figure patterns due to how they are drafted for the non-junior styled body type.  No matter how you increse the size according to your measurements, it is likely that the regular patterns won't fit right.

    Hope that helps.  Jackie

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