Pattern Fitting trial with Lutterloh


This Lutterloh adventure is coming along quite nicely, as I've already taken a trial on the vest pattern included in later editions. The vest pattern is designed for women and is intended to help illustrate what fitting changes will be standard for our individual Lutterloh patterns in the future.

The first step to using the vest fitting pattern is enlarging the base pattern, using the special ruler included in your Lutterloh set. Please read the Come Sew Lutterloh with Me blog for more information. It is a treasure trove of help!

Tips/Steps from my experience:
  1. Gather your tools:
    • Ruler kit, push pin, tape, french curve or curled ruler
  1. It helps to have something beneath your pattern to push the pin into. I used a cardboard mat beneath my pattern & paper, and added a second square of cardboard beneath the mat so I could push the pin farther into my pattern without damaging my floor (or table)
  2. Measure properly! Watch the instructional video on Lutterloh's website about pattern fitting and grading. It's helpful to see what you are getting into.
  3. Grading: I'm wearing some winter weight right now but I'm not going to by shy about my measurements. My high bust measures ~86 cm, my full bust is between 89 and 90 cm, and my full hip (the fullest part of my bottom half) is 110 cm. We have two options:
    1. Grade the upper half of the pattern, INCLUDING the waist, at our full bust measurement as instructed, and grade the lower half using our hip measurement. Then we can adjust for things such as narrow shoulders, larger waist, full bust, etc as needed.
    2. Grade the shoulders/neckline and armscye midpoint (basically the middle of the armscye) on our high bust measurement for a better fit through the shoulders, then finish grade the lower portion of the upper half (lower armscye, side seam, waist, etc) with our full bust measurement. I found this gives me a much better fit through shoulders and I have fewer alterations to make. Use full hip measurement for all points BELOW the waist point.
      • *** This method is not endorsed by Lutterloh. I recommend trying approach 1 first to see how it works for you-- but if the shoulder/neckline area of your garments are often too large based on your full bust measurement, I suspect approach 2 might work for you. Or you can Just make a full bust adjustment if your waist measurement is closer in line to the result of grading entirely with your high bust measurement. Basically, make it work for you.
  1. Trace the pattern, sew a muslin, and evaluate the fit. The waist darts don't have plot points, so you need to align them with the shoulder/neckline plot point vertically, then draft them yourself. I didn't bother with this when working the paper pattern and regretted it on my muslin since I was left to just pinch out the darts as needed. It wasn't even and I took in too much at the waist, but I understood the intent and moved on. In the future, I will grade the waist darts like this: measure my total waist circumference of the pattern, determine what my final waist measurement should be (including ease), and divide the difference among the darts as appropriate. I will adjust the waist darts to the shape that bust suits my body, with the dart tips ending at the proper point on below my bust and/or back. Make sense?
My muslin looks ok... but I plan to make modifications this week. The shoulders seem to fit properly for a vest, the waist feels a few cm low, and the bust might be a tad tight for a vest. 

I think I may need to narrow the shoulders a bit. In the future, I might need to draft a slight FBA but I find vintage patterns from mid- 40's - early 60's usually give me extra room as needed in the bust area. I'll pay attention to the waistline on future vintage patterns as I might need to grade out a slight amount there since I won't typically wear a girdle or corset. 

The darts sewn here are too large at waistline-- see the drag lines? This is in part because its a bit tight, and partly because of the length. 

The back of my vest only has darts pinned at the apex so it's not representative. It's easy to tell, however, that it will need work. I am short between the neck and waist and will take out a pinch there, and a narrow shoulder adjustment seems appropriate too. My shoulders look rather sloped too. Once I adjust my darts and sew properly, I will post more pictures with alterations as described. 

Where I had trouble:

  1. See the extra lines on the bottom half of my vest? That's because I initially forgot to plot the points based on my hip measurement! Oops! I am ignoring the blue lines on the bottom half and paying attention to orange instead. When I made a mistake, I found the correcting to a different color helped me cut where I intended.
  2. I had some pretty sharp angles at the waist. I might grade this into a more natural curve depending on the pattern. 
  3. My hip measurement is SIGNIFICANTLY larger than my bust measurement, proportionally speaking. I looked at some of those plotting dots and thought "Seriously?? This is what I should connect?" I did. It worked. I was surprised.
    • The plotting dot at center front seemed really out of line and I wonder if it might give me more room than I want/need. In the future, I might grade this closer in line to the other dots at center front. We'll see.
Older editions of Lutterloh do not have this specific vest pattern-- it appears to have come along once the binder-style editions of Lutterloh were released instead of the old book styles. Regardless, I found the vest is available for free if you sign up for the mailing list at the New Zealand Lutterloh website. The free pattern will be emailed to you shortly after adding yourself to the list.

PS. Sorry about the poor quality night-time pictures. Sewing often gets done in the evenings, and though the days are starting to get longer, I'm dealing with poor light during most of my non-work hours.


  1. So how's the blouse going? I finally finished mine but I'm rather meh about it. Might be the poor choice of fabric. In the end green vichy plaid isn't really anyone's favorite I guess, even if it did look promising for some weird reason. Choose your fabric wisely!

    Now, I don't know if you do such things, but I got invited to Liebster Award and wanted to invite you, in turn, and I linked your blog here:
    If you'd like to answer a few questions and invite some other people to join in, it could be fun! But please feel no pressure :). It's just for fun after all.


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