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Friday, April 3, 2015

Lutterloh-a new sewing experience

Have you heard of Lutterloh sewing patterns? They are a German based company who began a unique sewing system in the 1930s. I have their book from the late 1930s pictured above. Called "The Golden Rule" it is a system of re-sizing miniature patterns to full scale. The book contains great drawings of the potential garments.
I have had my eye on the striped jigsaw puzzle blouse for some time. Perhaps a blouse would be a simple enough garment for the novice to this way of pattern making.
These were the war years, and fabric conservation and utilitarian clothing were first and foremost. The splicing of striped directions were intriguing, and could utilize the smallest swatches of materials. The perfect 1930s vintage cotton striped material came into my possession, it was in narrow bits and pieces, no more than 1/2 a yard. It is pictured in the first photo with the book.
This small book contains the drawings of the garments, and it includes the patterns. They are not the traditional full scale tissue patterns. Once you look up your item, you then find it listed in the back on these perforated tiny rectangles. Using a special ruler, measurements of the bust and hip are taken and then fixed over a crosspoint on the pattern.
The ruler is pinned to the cross point, and points are plotted out from it, thereby enlarging the pattern. It seemed like an impossible system to make something for a real person based on a pattern piece that would be too small for a barbie doll. But, I put my trust in the system, having faith that anything designed by Germans would be a magical mathematical event.
Here are the pieces laid out. I made a quickie test garment to see if it would fit over my body. Originally some of the pieces were cut the wrong way, a total flub on my part, and I had to piece a sleeve to eek out enough material to re-cut the stripes.
There are darts at the bust and sleeves, but otherwise no other shaping. The patterns have no instructions, nor do they include any facings, fastener ideas or helpful tips.
A facing was added at the neck and button area by cutting a shallow version of the same upper triangle piece.
Sleeves are always the enemy in my sewing experience. I tried to make them a bit larger to accommodate my large arms, and the seams at the puffed darted top did not line up. I am assuming they were supposed to, but there were no instructions to clarify this.
There were some pink and maroon matching vintage buttons in the stash and they served as the neck opening closure.
Here it is modeled on an Edwardian wasp waisted s-curve mannequin, the shape is incorrect for the blouse, but it shows it better than flat. I had added a bit to the neck area as it was strangling me. Unfortunately, that caused the shoulders to drop, so it looks weird on my body. It is better worn with a jacket, thus disguising the shoulders, and I hope to figure out how to modify the pattern for a future visit.

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