Polka Dots and Linen a Lutterloh Dress for Summer Hell

My Beloved says that there are FIVE seasons here in Southern Baja. There are Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer and Summer Hell.
What is Summer Hell? That is the time in late August to early October when we are in the middle of hurricane season. But it is not the hurricanes that are his own private hell. It is the cloying humidity, heat and searing sun with nary a breeze to cool his brow.
And this is the time of year we hibernate in our climate controlled homes, when we are not hanging motionless in the pool, wearing only a big, straw hat and sunglasses. A cooling  drink sits poolside.

Moving makes you sweat. We don’t  like to sweat. It makes us  sticky, stinky and grumpy.Wecannot spend     all of the day naked, we do have to go to town for things, like breakfast with friends, jazz night, and coffee out.
 I wanted to make  a cool, comfortable little linen dress  to wear to town. Dresses keep the air flowing, there are no pants waistbands to bind and restrict airflow.
 Dresses are pretty.  I feel pretty in dresses.
 I chose the following Lutterloh dress

 I made the white version, with a few changes:

  •  lowered the V significantly
  •  made a center front  seam and inserted an exposed zipper
  • left  out the facings and made bias binding from red polka dot  quilting cotton

 I lowered the V neck because  people blessed with hour lgass figures like mine, need the deep V to add height, narrow the look of the torso, and accentuate their gifts: the “girls”.

 This dress has a beautiful long French dart that hits exactly where it should on my body and creates a subtle shaping. Hourglass girls should never wear  shapeless sacks. There are back shaping darts as well. This dress just skims my hips. Here is the finished dress on the hanger:

In case you  have not heard of Lutterloh, it is a German pattern making system that has been around since the  1930’s.
A miniature pattern is  enlarged by following guidelines that radiate out from the pattern. You use only your bust and hip measurements and a special tape measure to  enlarge the pattern.
 The fit is superb. There are still small tweaks that have to be made, like adjusting for a long or short waist. But there is no Full Bust Adjustment needed, no slicing and dicing of the pattern trying to make it fit.

Here I am enlarging a pattern:

So here are some dress details:
The zipper and  bias binding. I have had this adorable zipper for a few years. I finally found a use for it, just as the exposed zipper trend is waning. But to make a black linen basic shift look interesting, this zipper does the job, don’t you think?

I love polka dots. and I love stripes, and I love them together. But in this dress it is just two sizes of polka dots. 
 Note: I have  trouble seeing. And sewing with black is a trial. And I love black. It is classy, simple and a good foil for other of the vibrant colors that I consider neutrals in my  wardrobe.
 So to make my life easier, I sewed all of the seams with RED thread. My old high school teacher ( if she were alive) would be feeling faint, and needing to sit down upon hearing that!

Here is the top of the zipper

Here is the top of the zipper.

And here is the bottom of the zipper I spilled iced coffee all over everything, I think you can see the spots.

Now be honest, do you think I look like a Volkswagen in a house dress?
 I mean I love the dress, I love the way I feel in it. But oh boy, my mirror and the camera say otherwise!
And that seagull tried to poop on me!

This is my front yard. there is actually a bay, the city and mountains out there. We were socked in all day. Very romantic.


  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply September 12, 2013

    Susan, I love the dress, the zipper, and the trim. nancy2001

  • Diana

    Reply Reply September 13, 2013

    A very lovely dress. I love,love the exposed zipper and bias trim. Oh, you make me want to rethink getting the Luterloh system!But my sewing life is already so complicated!! Lol.

  • Diana

    Reply Reply September 13, 2013

    A very lovely dress. I love,love the exposed zipper and bias trim. Oh, you make me want to rethink getting the Luterloh system!But my sewing life is already so complicated!! Lol.

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply September 13, 2013

    Perfect for summer hell here, too. think I'll make one similar,when it rains and am forced to stay homw from the barn. I have been known to ride in a sprinkle, tho. Or my Mexican sister could make me one.LOL

  • Jane M

    Reply Reply September 13, 2013

    We have days of summer hell so I can empathize. Your dress will be perfect! I have yet to try an exposed zipper but love what you did with yours, so fun.

  • catspec

    Reply Reply September 14, 2013

    No, you do NOT look like a VW in a housedress. Seen in the beach setting too – that dress is perfect. It really looks like a cool dress for your environment!

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