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Questions for the Lutterloh experts

JCKelly | Posted in Patterns on

Hello Everyone,

There are lots of posts regarding the Lutterloh patterns but still could not find an answer to my question.  I bought mine over a year ago but have not used it much because of one little issue I am having on the pattern.  Since it is hard to describe I will attach a sample where the area in question will be in a read circle. It seems like all the pattern I like have this thingy that looks like a dart but, I think, it is not.

Could you please tell me on how to handle that part as far as cutting and sewing is concerned.

Thank you very much and have a wonderful weekend.



  1. starzoe | | #1

    Yes, that is a dart and it is common, not only with Lutterloh, but with all patterns. In this case you have a dart that angles towards the bust point, and another (double) dart which also angles toward the bust point (from below) which results in a modified princess style.Match the markings and sew from the armscye to the point.

    1. JCKelly | | #2

      Thank you so much for your quick respond.  How about the trouser pattern below.  Would this be a waist dart? I never saw a horizontal dart.

      Thank you,


      1. starzoe | | #3

        This won't be a dart, this is the curved waistband fitting the curved top of the pants and the drawing shows you that it is curved and you are to match the markings....they have drawn it this way to show the whole band - if they had drawn it matching the marks, the top of the band would look distorted (crumpled at the top).At least this is my take on it.

        1. Tatsy | | #4

          That's my take on it too. Don't forget that when you draft those pattern pieces you won't have space to add a seam allowance to the paper pattern since the two pieces share one line, but you will still need to add the seam allowance to the fabric before you cut it out.I know this is obvious, but it's also easy to forget when one is in a hurry to finish a new garment.Have either of you had any luck with the children's patterns? I tried to make a dress shirt pattern for my four-year-old grandson but the only ones available were for 8-to-12-year-olds. The resulting pattern was way too long, of course, and that was easy to fix, but the neck opening was tiny. That presents more problems because the pattern has a collar stand and collar. Cutting a larger hole in a tee shirt and finishing it with ribbing is simple. Drafting a collar stand from scratch is a little more daunting. I suppose it's possible to just keep redrafting the collar and collar stand with bigger and bigger measurements until it's perfect, but that seems tedious. Any bright ideas?

          1. starzoe | | #5

            I have no experience with Lutterlo but I have drafted patterns from scratch. There's nothing new under the sun as the old saying goes. From what I have read about these patterns, it seems to me that the basic theory is faulty and the system is unnecessarily complicated.

          2. JCKelly | | #6

            Aaaaahhh....now it clicked.  My opinion is that the Lutterloh pattern are for experienced sewers, especially the ones who can sew without pattern directions.  I still consider myself a self thought beginner. There is still so much to learn but I am glad I found you.  Thank you very much for all your help. 

          3. Tatsy | | #7

            I might have agreed with you except that I've sewn dozens of outfits for growing children that I haven't seen in three or four years. The only time I had trouble before I tried to adapt a dress shirt pattern for a four-year-old is when I tried to make sweatsuits for my grandkids from adult patterns. The kids were two and three at the time and the sweatsuits were proportioned for six- or seven-year-olds.As for my own clothing, I gave up using patterns from pattern companies years ago. It's far easier to accommodate my sixty-year-old figure by drafting the top of each pattern twice from the same pinhole than by trying to figure out how to reduce the shoulders or enlarge the rest of the body with a multi-size pattern. With Lutterloh, for me at least, the two sizes intersect, blending the extra width needed for a size 14-16 midriff with my still size 4-6 shoulders. The lower shoulder line automatically cuts off the excess for my short upper chest. By ignoring the wider shoulder line and the narrower bosom line I have a nearly perfectly fitting garment, far more easily gained than messing with pre-printed patterns and guessing where to add tissue and how much is needed. I have several books on pattern-drafting and have tried to draft my own patterns numerous times. One notable pair of pants, drafted exactly to directions, came out huge everywhere except where I actually needed the width. The legs were not quite large enough for my torso, but the backside split when I bent over a student's desk. Lutterloh-drafted pants may not fit as stylishly as I would like but they are wearable, and with lots of practice, they're getting far betting fitting than anything I've ever been able to draft from the books I have or alter from ill-fitting patterns. Granted, I had to learn which body measurements to use because using full-bosom or the tummy-fanny measurements they recommend leave me with a plus-size garment that comes nowhere near fitting. I have found that using the upper chest measurement gives me a pattern that needs little alteration. I'm still working on pants, but that's because my weight fluctuates so easily and my figure is differently proportioned than most. However, a Lutterloh-drafted pattern at least gives me enough fabric in all the right places that I can trim away the extra, and the skinny jeans are decent fit, although they're more of a straight-leg on me. At least I'm not faced with the annoying rip of tissue as I try to make a pre-printed pattern fit when there is way too much paper where I don't need it and not enough where I do. I'm sorry Lutterloh doesn't work for you but for people whose size varies with the distance from the ground, they are a Godsend.

          4. starzoe | | #8

            I have never had hands-on experience with Lutterloh, but having taught pattern design I have in the past researched the systems on the market.
            A good many (maybe all) of them have a steep learning curve and any beginner sewer would have a real problem right from the start so I would steer beginners away from buying any system until they gain experience with the basics.As you say, your figure does not fit into any one category and you need pattern adjustments, a problem most people have, but with your experience you know about how it should fit and what you have to do to get it to fit. It's all trial and error, persistence and (let's face it) pride in the finished article, not to mention that we've learned something along the way.

          5. Tatsy | | #9

            Isn't that the truth! Before Lutterloh I was using Bonfit and was thrilled to see that the techniques I was using with Lutterloh automatically did what I had to remember to do every time I tried to draft a pattern with Bonfit. Both are easier than starting from scratch or trying to alter a commercial pattern.

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