Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Talk Back Tuesday

I'm a bit behind in my "talk back" posts, so I thought I'd squeeze one in on a Tuesday and catch back up. :)

Thank you so much to Webfrau, Carla, Sarah, Faye, Cindy, Dana, Becky, Joannely and Elaina for talking back to my confession a couple of weeks ago! I asked if people have and/or use the Lutterloh sewing pattern system.

The Lutterloh system comes with hundreds of patterns, but (as you can kind of see in the picture above) all of the pattern pieces are scaled down to a small size (so that all of the pieces for one garment can fit on a single sheet of paper).

You expand the pattern by aligning the start of the tape measure (white part) on an x (usually near the center of the pattern piece) and then rotating it around and marking dots on tracing paper to represent the corners of the full size pattern piece. Little lines and numbers on the miniature pattern tell you where and how far out to go for each dot. Once you have all the dots marked, you just connect them (often using a curved ruler) and, voila!, a full size pattern.

I got it in part because it came with literally hundreds of patterns and in part because I hoped it would give me some insight into pattern drafting. And my confession was that I rarely use it... :(

It turns out that I am not alone on this point. Based on the small and completely NON-random sample of commenters, I do not have good news for Lutterloh. Of the nine people who commented, 1 had never heard of it, 6 had heard of it but don't have it and 2 have it but rarely use it.

Several people commented on how expensive it is and Cindy said that she was approached to sell it in her store, but the split between her take and the company's take wasn't reasonable for her.

Besides the price, most of the comments/questions had to do with the relationship between this system and drafting your own patterns. Pieceing together the various comments and my own experience, I'd say that using this system puts you somewhere in-between using full size commercial patterns and drafting your own patterns from scratch. (Note: this is my opinion, the commenters may not all agree.) It did give me more of a feel for pattern pieces and how they fit together. And you might be able to mix and match components of different garments more easily because you can do the combinations with smaller pieces. But it's definitely not magic. And if you really want to learn pattern drafting, it could be that the best thing to do is just study pattern drafting directly.

Finally, a couple of folks mentioned the pattern styles. Elaina, for example, is not so keen on the supposedly "current" patterns, but she loves the vintage ones that you can get with this system. I should look into those - you can get some of the older supplements (with vintage patterns) on ebay.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time and effort to comment! Maybe someday I'll revisit my Lutterloh book and make up a bunch of the garments! :)


annaminiac said...

I've been taking drafting classes for a few months and I definitely agree that drafting your own patterns is the way to go. Granted, I've only made my way through skirts, but drafting is so much more fun than copying off BWOF patterns or adjusting fit on an existing pattern. Once you have a sloper that works for you, the possibilities are limitless and everything just fits.