Wednesday, 17 April 2013

My brand new Lutterloh measuring tape

Certainly to many a seamstress out there, Lutterloh is well-known. A sewing system called "the golden rule", which allows you to draw a pattern in your size from a miniature pattern. All you need is the Lutterloh measure tape inlcuding a special scale and some enlargening skills. And the original miniature pattern, of course.

Sounds simple enough. And yet a brilliant idea.

Recently I was given an extremely precious and generous gift: a kind lady gave me the copies of her Lutterloh collection, which is almost complete from the very beginnings in the mid 1930s until the year 2000 and somewhat. This IS a real treasure, believe me. I was so agitated and almost moved to tears, as I was a complete stranger to the nobel donator. I still feel very touched when I look at the inspiring designs of these decades. 

Look at this lovely design from the autumn 1939 issue. My father was born then, but I doubt my grandmother was looking so stylish. Living on the countryside in Northern Switzerland she probably was dressed more like a peasant woman, even though she ran a hardware store.

Autumn 1939

And these two beauties are from the winter/spring journal 1942/1943. Hard to imagine how during the WW2 such wonderful and lovely patterns were designed. It was, by the way, probably the first partially coloured issue.

Winter/spring 1942/43, during WW2

Well, of course, I'm not so taken with the 70s, not to mention the 80s (I grew up in this time, so I know how we look like on the pictures taken then....). But still I treasure these patterns. And you never know, what to me seems to be not so vintage, may be very vintage for my daughter one day.

Look at the coat, isn't it gorgeous?

Winter 1952
I could go on showing you pattern after pattern, each one beautiful and stylish. I promise, as soon as I tried out my fist Lutterloh pattern, I will surely make a very detailed post about it.

You see how small the patterns are. All those tiny numbers make me feel a little bit uneasy, but there is a nice instruction video on the company's homepage, which should make it easier to draw the patterns for my size. (I wouldn't probably look THAT slim, I'm still fighting to get rid of my "not-so-vintage" pregnancy pounds, he hee...)

But here's the best thing about it. As the measure tape the nice lady gave me was almost useless, I contacted the Lutterloh company.

They still exist, not so far from where I live, in Germany. I was called by Mr. Lutterloh himself who is an extraordinary kind and interesting person. The system was invented by his grandmother, so the company is still run by the family, now in the 3rd generation. He probably could tell a lot about his company. I like stories like this, really. He was very kind, so I could order a new measure tape. So, I am very sure that one of my ned projects will be a Lutterloh pattern!

I only (only?) have to figure out how to enlarge the pattern, but as it was easy enough back in 1936, it should be feasible today as well.

And there's good news! They plan to make a re-issue of some vintage pattern - so maybe some of you vintage sewers will be interested in this.


  1. How much wonderful inspiration in this post, I knew this method of pattern from the internet, but I have no real knowledge about it. I understand that you are moved by this great gift ... a treasure of old patterns! You are very lucky!

    1. Thanks! I still will have to get my head around how exactly it works. Figures are not my favourites... I hope I can sew something from this treasure real soon.

      There are similar systems which all disappeared after some time, I have another one in my collection which I will show in another post. The advantage is clear: you have a huge choice of patterns on a rather small space. :-)

  2. All you have to do is send an email to and she has it set up where it just bounces it back with the download link Lutterloh measuring tape you can print it out. hope it help you out.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. The email to pamarnold94@gmail returns a link to an invalid file. Windows can't open it. :(


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