Tonight I made a pattern from the Lutterloh system. I bought it on Ebay for about $50 for the starter kit - and almost immediately afterwards the prices on Ebay for Lutterloh books have gone through the roof. I would love to find someone who would be willing to share books - or copies - back and forth.
The Lutterloh - or Golden Rule Pattern-Making - uses two measurements to enlarge patterns to your size. And believe it or not, it seems to work. I find that I have to do a lot less tweaking with Lutterloh patterns than with store-bought ones.
Lutterloh is a German pattern company, operating since the 1930s. See it at www.lutterloh.com The started set gives you a book with 200 plus patterns (mostly women's patterns) and a measuring tape, thumb tacks and drafting marker. You set one on a piece of pattern paper (I use the Ikea kid's roll of paper - the best deal at $5 for 100 ft, even here in Canada). Enlarge it by marking out at each point by your measurements, using their special tape measure, for your size. From my first hour or two playing with it, it seems to work amazingly well, and doesn't take any longer than drawing out a Burda pattern.)
The concept is beautifully simple. You take your bust and hip measurements, then working from these numbers on a special tape measure, you enlarge the miniature pattern by extending out all round along points marked with the extension. It is quick and easy once you have practiced a bit, and again, I'd say no slower than drawing out a Burda pattern.
I believe, after having made a few patterns, that they are drafted for someone who is about 5'8, which means that I have to shorten my patterns a bit. Someone who is short-waisted may have to alter the length on the body and legs of any pattern too. I like my tops extra long because I work with children and need to bend and stretch all day, so I made that alteration. Its an alteration I make to all patterns though.
There are patterns for all sorts of people, children, teens, misses, full-figured and a few for men. And the range includes everything from swimsuits to winter coats.The women's patterns can be enlarged to any size (as all Lutterloh patterns can be) but I bring this up because the full-figured patterns are designed to flatter full figure women, but all women can make all patterns to their sizes.
I chose any easy shirt - nothing too complicated - and cut it out this evening. I drew out the pattern, and shortened it above and below the bust. The front band is drawn at the same time as the front, and has to be cut apart. You have to add seam allowances yourself. Yardage is given, in centimeters, but there is no pattern layout, and no specific instructions. I checked the pattern by walking all the seams, and again it was fine. So I cut, and am in the process of sewing.
Tips for Lutterloh Patterns:
Photocopy the pattern (or I guess, trace it out) so that the original stays in tact.
Use the tape measure provided, or make one by searching Google. You can buy one from the Lutterloh site for about $15 if you don't have one.
Look for this system at thrift stores -it has been around since the 1930s! There are new additions every season, and each year a new started book is put out.
Always pattern fit. Same as any other pattern.
There are no sewing instructions but any seamstress beyond a beginner can do this. The patterns are simple. For a beginner, I would recommend referring to Big 4 patterns for help with putting together the pattern. If you've sewn a few shift dresses from McCalls, you probably know what to do to for a Lutterloh shift dress (but since shift dresses are easy anyway, that was a bad example...)