Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Golden Rule Lutterloh Sewing System from 1954

A very kind friend gave me this book a few weeks ago. It is part of a cutting system from 1954, "The Golden Rule: Lutterloh. The Universal Measure." I think that it is missing the ruler and other measuring pieces which it would have had originally.

Lutterloh sewing system
It is a system that is still in use today. It was developed in Germany in the 1930s.

The Golden Rule: Lutterloh

Included in this book are patterns for women, men and children, and day wear, sleepwear, underthings, ski-ing clothes and even wedding dresses. The illustrations are beautiful.


I am very pleased that it is the 1954 publication (I'm assuming one was brought out every year?). The 1950s are (on the whole) one of the eras that suit my pear shaped body. But pencil skirts are not my friend. I would not have looked good had I been around in the 1930s, with those gorgeous but slim silhouettes.

Leisure wear for the whole family from Lutterloh

Reading the "How to Dress from the Morning to the Evening" section, I love this part:-

  "Fine fathers make fine birds" says the proverb, but is it only clothes rich and expensive that lend a woman smartness in appearance? Does it not matter more that a dress is chosen rightly in reference to her shape, colour and cut, and that the woman knows how to determine with instinct the suitable garment for the various occasions during the day, thus displaying culture and personality. It is especially through simplicity and discretion of the attire that the elegant woman attracts attention, and not through exaggeration or showiness." 


Summer Clothing of 1954




Patterns from the Lutterloh system

Sadly I don't have much time to sew clothes for myself, but do know how popular vintage style and patterns are. If you had this system, you could (as the books says) save yourself a fortune!


Pattern making the Lutterloh way


 It even has a page instructing one how to make a knitted article from the patterns:-


I have always longed to knit. I LOVE all things knitted, and the vintage knitting patterns are so wonderful as they actually have some shape. I have tried and tried, but can still only knit a scarf. Maybe one day I'll get the hang of it.

I will end with this charming "Valuable Advice to Women"-

  "To be well dressed does not mean to follow every whim of fashion, but to dress oneself suitably for every occasion simply but adapted to your figure. Try not to be too conspicuous. It is of advantage to possess less but procure the better qualities, which are easier to work upon, always look more distinguished, and give longer wear."

Naomi x

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Late 1830s Early 1840s Chemisette

This lovely chemisette has a very unusual feature that I have never seen before- the fine strips of fabric down the centre front edges (which look like pin tucks) are actually formed in the weave of the fabric.

1830s/40s Chemisette

Details of 19th Century Chemisette



Rear of Chemisette
It is a beautiful piece of needlework. The chemisette has a high collar, with an embroidered and drawn thread trim section, then ruffles above that.

I was totally stumped about the strange tucks down the front, then whilst flicking through my favourite book ever, I came across a photo of a late 1830s and early 1840s chemisette on page 124, and it reads:-
  "the linear bands of decoration down the front edges are formed in the weave and by a hem."
Query solved.

It fastens with 2 tiny pearl buttons down the front, and has button holes on both sides, which seems a little odd. (But in "Costume in Detail", there are 2 chemisettes with exactly the same feature, from the early 1800s.) The back at the bottom has been folded over to shorten at some time.

It needed a good clean, and a few iron mould stains have been removed. Some stitching had come adrift at the bottom of the drawstring casing at the back, so I have repaired this. The other points to note- there are 2 areas around the collar where the fine ruffles have come away from the whitework trim, and there is a small hole on the back near the folded over part. It is in extremely good condition for its age. There are ties running through the hem of the back piece, which come over the front of the chemisette to tie.

I love finding chemisettes. No two are ever the same.

 It can be purchased over at Antique Historika. I hope it finds a good home someday!

Update:-  It did indeed, going to the new Fashion Museum MoMu in Antwerp, Belgium.

Naomi x