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Lutterloh Systems Sleeves

TrishyBob | Posted in Patterns on

I have just started using the Lutterloh System for pattern making and have had an awful time  in several patterns with the sleeves and arm holes. They are so small and require quite an enlargement for me and another person I sew for.  Has anyone who uses this system had the same problem? If so, did you make a new sleeve pattern to be used interchangeably with the other patterns or how do you handle the small sleeve and sleeve holes?  I thought the Lutterloh system would help eliminate some of my fitting problems, but so far, I have spent more time on the sleeve problem than I did with the commercial pattern fitting. At least, the sleeves fit. I must say, the upper chest area of the patterns fit great, but the sleeves are giving me fits.



  1. dressed2atee | | #1

    Wow, I remember that horrible system from the early 90s....they used to go around giving demos and selling those itsy bitsy patterns and you had to mark dots and plot out the pattern...didn't know that it was still being sold.

    I use pattern designing/drafting software from Wildginger and it is wonderful!  You get an actual size pattern that usually fits exceptionally well.  They have free trial downloads.

    check it out http://www.wildginger.com


    1. TrishyBob | | #3

      I have managed to get a jacket pattern made and surprisingly, it fits my Mother rather well. I had a lot of problems with the sleeves and armholes and also the bust dart but the area above the bust fits great and that was  the problem area  with my Mom.  I wanted to know if anyone who uses the system has had the small sleeve problem and if it was common to all the Lutterloh patterns.  I still have mixed emotions about making your own patterns (like the Lutterloh system) and if it is really worthwhile. I have only tried the one pattern and it took a tremendous amount of time to alter and make the muslin. Drawing the pattern off does not take that long and the system is great if you need a pattern in a hurry. With the cost of patterns today, being able to make your own, could save some money for fabric etc.

      Thanks for your input.


      1. dressed2atee | | #7

        glad it's working for you...I'd still go on-line and get a demo of Wildginger.  I think you'll like it.

  2. ricstew | | #2

    I gotta admit I dont have probs with the armholes in Lutterloh.........but I go with a high bust measurement instead of the full.........not that it makes any difference.

    I still need to tissue fit with it as my /DD shape isnt quite (!!) the norm but Lutterloh comes pretty close.



    1. TrishyBob | | #4

      I used the high bust measurement since my Mom has a small bust  and it is quite possible that I just made a stupid mistake somewhere. However, I remade the pattern from scratch and still got the same measurements.   I like the system and plan to try another pattern or two before I give up on it.

      I like the  convenience of the system and if I can just get the sleeve worked out, I will be very happy. By the way, I am using a 1970's system as I  wanted to do some vintage sewing.  Do you know if their present patterns are made as small as the old ones??

      Thanks for your response.



      1. ricstew | | #5

        I bought mine maybe 2...3 yrs ago new..........yep the patterns are little! but they are nice basic styles I can play around with.

        If mum has a smaller bust you may be better off using the full bust measurement. It will then give you a larger armhole. I only use the high bust on DD as she is a c+ cup and I need to mostly do a FBA with anything for her. For myself ( who is not so generously endowed ) I use the full bust measurement as it fits me better thru the shoulders.



        1. TrishyBob | | #6

          Thanks for your response.  I have been reading about using the high bust measurement to get better fit, but when there isn't much to measure,  it doesn't seem to make much difference whether you measure full or high bust.

  3. Tatsy | | #8

    I love the Lutterloh System. It's one of the few methods I've tried that actually fits me, and I've tried a lot of them. I draft the whole pattern twice on the same tissue without moving the pin, once using the high bust measurement and once using the hip measurement. The combination approximates the kind of adjustments I had to make to get any other pattern method to fit. Using the high bust measurement reduces the armholes to the smaller size I need. (Yes, I mean it. The armholes/ shoulders are way too big!) Using the hip measurement puts enough room in the bust and belly to accommodate my mature figure. Works great.

    1. TrishyBob | | #9

      Tatsy:  Great hearing from you. I am a little confused about how you can draft the pattern twice without moving the pin and using different measurements. I thought you would have to move the pin to change from bust measurement to hip measurement. Maybe I am missing something here. I haven't used the system but once,  and so I am still learning and need all the help I can get. The concept sounds good if I can just get in my mind, how you draft your pattern or what it would look like once you finished.  I'm thinking it would look like a commercial pattern with several sizes on it. Help me out here.

      You are the only person I have heard from who has anything positive to say about Lutterloh. I have got to get in some more practice before I decide if I like it.  I don't know why I had so much trouble with the sleeves. My arms aren't that large, not tiny, but not so big to warrant the trouble I have had with the sleeves. Next time I am going to use full bust measurement rather than high bust. I don't know if that will make that much difference.  

      Thanks again for your response.



      1. Tatsy | | #10

        You're right about having to take the pin out to change the measurement, but it goes back in the same place and you trace the second size from the same spot. You might think this would give you the same outlines with space between, but it doesn't. When I draft patterns for myself with other methods, I usually have to take 3/4" (vertically) out of the bodice above the bosom and cut at least an inch off the shoulder seam. By drafting both sizes from the same spot, I'm able to use the lower shoulder seam and the outer side seam and the lower neckline. It makes all the alterations for me, melding a small size upper chest with a larger hip.

        The method works almost as well for pants, but I do have to do some custom alterations there. One thing I don't do is wrap the measuring tape around my belly and bottom. I tried that once and the pants were huge and didn't fit anywhere.

        I sew for my niece and nephew, whom I haven't seen in three years, and their mom raves about how well the clothes fit.

        1. TrishyBob | | #11


          Thanks for the info. I am going to try your method as soon as I can and see what happens.  I also need to get a more recent pattern supplement. As I said, I bought mine in the late 70's and have not used it until now.  I love the old pattern styles much better than the new ones  in circulation today.

          Thanks again.


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