Sunday, April 8, 2012


Lutterloh -- have you heard of them? I bought the system, back in the day, and when I had a lot of fitting issues I was dealing with. I had thought it was a fitting system, but it turned out that what it really is is a pattern drafting system. So, basically, any issues you have with fitting need to be addressed with the patterns you develop with this system just as they would with any pattern. It got put aside. Time passes, and I've learned more about changes I need to make for my body type, plus, weight has been lost and certain issues have disappeared. I see a review on Pattern Review for a cute pair of shorts made with the system, and think -- maybe it's time I got that out again.

I decided to do a test garment with just about the simplest pattern around -- a one piece pattern for leggings. I thought this would be quick and easy, plus would give me a rough idea of whether I was anywhere near the ballpark as far as fit goes. It was quick, it was easy, and the fit, while not perfect, was perfectly wearable and good enough for me to try something a bit more complicated -- these longer length shorts.

Don't look like much, do they? I find with Lutterloh you need to look beyond the somewhat awkward illustrations at the actual "bones" of the garment. These shorts looked promising to me for a couple of reasons -- front pockets, and a good length for my purpose. So, off I went. You can visit the web site for a demo, but basically, pattern is achieved by plotting out points using a special tape from a diagram like this one --

I decided to give the pattern a try 'as is' in order to see what I thought of the various components of fit. Also, my trial leggings had made me think that the crotch depth/shaping, which can often be an issue, would at least be passable. I figured I would probably need to take some length from the legs, but knew I could do that after the fact. And, what do you know, I ended up with a pretty decent pair of shorts! Yea, Lutterloh! (forgive the unmodeled shot -- legs are still pale, pasty white here at Mingling Yarn and are most definitely not ready for prime time)

And here's a closer look at the pocket area --

The fit is good in the hips/crotch, but needs to be smaller in the waist. I think I took that in by about 1". The legs did indeed need to be shortened by about 1 1/2" in order to hit me right above the knee. Other than that -- pretty darn good! I will definitely be making these again, and I will definitely be trying another Lutterloh pattern.

A few thoughts, pro and con. On the plus side, there are a lot of good, basic styles in the collection. Updates can also be purchased separately; I believe there are 2 per year. It's nice to have such a variety right at your fingertips. I'm also fairly sure that you can interchange components such as sleeves, etc. As for minuses -- well, you really need to know what you're doing in terms of putting garments together -- there are no instructions. Also, you do have to plot, and draw the patterns out, which some folks might consider tedious. I don't think it's any more of a chore than tracing out patterns from Burda, My Image, etc., but there are those who don't even like to do that. It's not really a minus -- insofar as it's the same for any pattern -- but keep in mind that this is NOT an answer to your fitting woes, but simply another pattern line. For anyone who thinks they might be interested in the system -- visit the website (link above) and watch their demo. It's probably not for everyone, but I find it intriguing, and will be trying it again.


Jaie said...

Excellent job. I'm not real interested in the modern Lutterloh myself, I prefer the older stuff (they go back to the mid 1930's) but it's good to see anyone doing anything with these and being happy with the results. Your shorts look fantastic.

Karen said...

I'd love to try a vintage Lutterloh myself -- maybe a set will turn up in my periodic vintage/junktique ramblings. They seem to go for a pretty penny on that Internet auction site, so I haven't been tempted to bid there.

Sophia said...

What a cute blouse! Really nice fabric selection, too.