Susan Connects the Dots and makes Well- Fitting Clothes

Jacket and shorts

It is really that easy! Using the Lutterloh pattern making system is literally connecting the dots. Here is an outfit I completed last week:

Me in the jacket and shorts


Instead of trying to  adjust a Vogue, McCall’s, Butterick or Simplicity(the Big Four) pattern to fit your body. Lutterloh patterns are based on just two measurements: 

  1.   your bust
  2.   your hip

 They call it the Golden Rule I call it “Getting My Garment Sewing Mojo Back.”


In years past I sewed most of my  clothing,and my daughter’s. I made bathing suits, lingerie, nightgowns, blazers, pants and skirts all using  Lutterloh. And they all fit. And I did not need to have lots of patterns  in two sizes, mine and my daughter’s. 
The beauty of the Lutterloh system is that  each pattern is usable for many sizes.
 I lost the system in my move down here to La Paz. I went back to the Big Four patterns.

I started to feel like a misshapen freak! 

Nothing fit well. I lost confidence in my ability to sew.

 The Big Four prices got higher and the quality  went down.  For years I have been unable to get a good fit, I have gained weight and I am short.Trying to  find patterns that looked good and would not  need lots of changes was near impossible. 

 In a few posts back, I showed off my 5 piece mini wardrobe I made entirely from Lutterloh patterns for a Pattern Review contest. I had not used the system in  20 years. I was able to  get started again and made  those five  items plus 4 more, with more on my cutting table waiting to be made. 

Now I feel like I can sew anything again!

Here are the tools you need to make a basic vest or any  of the patterns

Your Tools:

 Velum paper, or any  wide paper, Special Tape measure, a piece of foam to  stick push pin in, tape to hold the pattern in place, A pencil, a seam gauge for adding seam allowance. A design from the collection.The miniature pattern and  tailor’s curve.

Here I am connecting the dots and making a basic vest:

 I fold the page so I isolate the pattern piece I  want. I insert the pin in a hole near  my bust measurement in cm. I swing the tape along a line radiating from the  dot. The dot is numbered. I draw a dot on the paper  that corresponds to the number on the pattern and my tape. Dots above the waist use the bust measurement, dots below the waist use the hip measurement.
 The left image shows all of the dots. You can see the shape of the full-sized vest. The right image shows the dots connected and the seam allowance added. You can see  my drafting  does not look like an engineer’s. But the pattern fits!
Here I am in the muslin. It needs a little tweaking at the shoulders. And here is the finished vest. The sun was so bright I had to close my eyes!
This is not a sales pitch paid for by the company. I am  just so happy to be able to make clothing I like and that looks good.  

 All of the pattern pieces are interchangeable. Like the sleeve from this blouse? Or the  hem treatment from those pants? Just  draft them along with the  other patterns pieces you need to complete your look. 
After doing some “snoop shopping” on luxury resort wear sites, I have come up with some ideas for my cooler weather wardrobe. Then I compare the silhouettes in my Lutterloh binder to see if I can re-create the look.

 Over 200  patterns come in the basic binder, and  then supplements are available every quarter. So the latest  trend is at your finger tips. Each supplement has 40 new patterns, and a supplement costs less than one Vogue pattern.

 Here is the Lutterloh US site complete with two short videos that tell the story.

 Here is what I am working on this week.
I call it the Pineapple Express:

I am making the blouse on the left and the pants on the right. the fabric is embroidered linen.        

 On November 1m two contests  on Pattern Review begin. and I am entering both.
 Watch this blog for updates!


  • Melissa

    Reply Reply October 23, 2012

    Wow Susan!
    You continue to amaze me with your talent. I had never heard of that system until I saw your collection. Then…wouldn't you know it…there will be a demo on Kauai while I am on the mainland!
    I am getting my courage up to make a skirt. If that works, then who knows!!!
    Take good care.
    Warmest aloha,

  • BeaJay

    Reply Reply October 23, 2012

    I have the Lutterloh system and tried it once but it didn't work for me. I will try again once I become more proficient at sewing – you have inspired me – and I do love the patterns. What a great job you have done and I am sure there is a sense of pride at having "drafted" the pattern yourself – so to speak.

  • Susan Fogel

    Reply Reply October 23, 2012

    BeaJay and Melissa,
    Thank you so much for your kind words.
    You will both love using the Lutterloh system.
    I am free of those awful, and expensive patterns that need so much altering.
    It really is not difficult to draft the patterns, and sewing them is so nice because the pattern pieces fit together.
    And yes I feel a sense of pride and power!
    I keep my Vogue Sewing Book close at hand, and in case I need direction on construction.
    Choose a simple pattern and get going. You will love it!

  • MissMeliss

    Reply Reply October 23, 2012

    In high school, all my friends thought I was 'exotic' because I had all these amazing clothes that no one else could have. (I have since forgiven you for the camp shirt with daisies over the breasts, really.)

    You're amazing, Mom.

  • sheryl

    Reply Reply October 23, 2012

    WOW – I am impressed!

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply October 24, 2012

    Great blog Susan, keep it up, I would like to follow.

  • Annie

    Reply Reply October 25, 2012

    Agreed: great blog, Susan, thanks! You really are getting me back to Lutterloh – and sewing. Are the lingerie patterns in a particular book or scattered around? I don't remember seeing any.

  • Canie

    Reply Reply October 26, 2012

    Hello! I'm french (Réunion Island) and I'm using Lutterloh's pattern too.
    I love vintage patterns, and Lutterloh's pattern are so many and so beautiful!
    But when I'm drafting my pattern, it doesn't fit well together every time. Sometimes I have to "reorganize" my dots… Why??

  • Diya

    Reply Reply December 3, 2012

    Hello:) following your blog from PatternReview.. Thank you so much for your comments on my LBD.. I blog over here – TheHobbyHarbor. I browsed your blog.. INteresting sewing posts:)It would be nice to have you visit there and follow too..

  • Susan Fogel

    Reply Reply December 11, 2012

    Canie thanks for stopping.
    I have the same problem. I use the curve and try to make the best match up that I can. I study the miniature, and just make my enlarged piece looks as close to that as I can!

  • Susan Fogel

    Reply Reply December 11, 2012

    Happy Holidays Annie,
    My current supplement, from the fall has a robe and night gown, and bathing suit which could also be panties.
    the designs are always scattered. I sent an email to Frank and Marcus Lutterloh about some improvements they could make in the system, and what designs are in demand. Let's see what happens.

  • Susan Fogel

    Reply Reply December 13, 2012

    Diva, I visited your blog and I am following you as well. Thanks fo stopping.

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