Before I get into the details of this post and why I took on the daunting task of sewing raglans from seven different designers, I want to give a little background about myself since I’ve been writing for Phee since December and haven’t introduced myself. I’m Stephanie, I’m a single mother, work full-time and teach yoga 2-4 days a week. I have my own blog at S-Renee Designs, so feel free to see what I’m up to there.
One of those questions I often see in the land of Facebook sewing groups often has to do with choosing a raglan pattern, and with just about every indie designer having one if not more raglan pattern, I decided to try out a few. I was initially shooting for 9, but soon realized that was crazy (and 7 isn’t). I started a spreadsheet with a list of all the raglan patterns I could find, turns out that list contains 29 different women’s patterns. At the end of the post I’ll share the entire list in case you’re interested.
For each pattern I will let you know what size I made, how much fabric I used and what the required fabric length was. I am wearing the same bra in all images to keep the fit consistent, and in this bra I measure a 37”. When I started this project, back in late January I measured at 37” bust, 30” waist, 39” hips. I am also 5’6” tall, hopefully this gives you some insight on sizing.
I also wanted the fabric used to be the same, so that the fit would be the same throughout and not altered by the fabric’s properties. Each shirt is made from Phee Fabric’s 13oz rayon spandex. I love the thickness to this fabric and how soft it is. It also washes extremely well and doesn’t pill. Due to it being thicker than most rayon spandex fabrics, it’s easier to sew with than the thing stuff most people are used to when they think of rayon spandex.
Sinclair Patterns Demi
Deisgner: Sinclair Patterns
Pattern: Demi Classic Raglan Knit Top
Size made: 6/8/8
Options: scoop neck, long sleeve, straight hem
Fabric needed: 2.25 yards
Fabric used: 1.5 yards Light Heathered Gray Rayon Spandex (fussy cut)
** Only Boatneck Raglan, also includes Wide Boatneck (off shoulders) **
Fit: In the fit pics, it appears as though I need a swayback adjustment, but this could possibly be corrected by reducing the size waist. Fit says it’s to be semi-fitted, but I feel as though it’s a little larger than semi-fitted through my waist and hips with my measured size and grading. Upper arms are a little loose for my liking with about 2″ of ease.
Notes: This was the first one that I made, and I’ve been wearing it for a few weeks. Still with the fit issues, I continue to wear it because Phee’s rayon spandex feels so good, so I’ve just been ignoring the baggy arms. I do plan to take in the arms and slim the body through the waist and hips. This pattern is full of neckline options, and has so many possibilities. I’m planning to make more of these after I adjust the fit.
Designer: Greenstyle Creations
Pattern: Centerfield Raglan T-shirt
Size made: small
Options: crew, long sleeve, straight hem
Fabric needed: 2 yards
Fabric used: 1.5 yards Turquoise Rayon Spandex (fussy cut)
** Plus size pattern available up to 62” bust **
Fit: The pattern states that this is a slim fit shirt, but only provides the bust measurement for sizing, therefore I went off my bust measurement. Additional measurements for waist and hips would be helpful for sizing in this pattern since it’s a slim fit, as the top is tight on me below the waist. I expected since the fit is slim, and it’s fitting throughout the body that the arms would be as well, but the upper arms are loose compared to the rest of the garment.
Notes: I was disappointed with this one, probably because all other GreenStyle patterns I own have fit really well. I’m betting if they added in measurements for the waist and hips to this this pattern, it would make this pattern fit better right off the bat, because then I would have been able to grade between sizes based off of my measurements. On another note, I do plan to make this again, making sure to grade up on the lower half, as I think it will make a great running shirt in circular knit.
M4M Women’s Lee
Designer: Made for Mermaids
Pattern: Women’s Lee Raglan
Size made: blue
Options: crew neck (although with my issues it turned into a scoop neck), long sleeve with bands, shirt length, straight hem
Fabric needed: 1 5/8 yards
Fabric used: 1.5 yards Periwinkle Rayon Spandex
** Fits as expected! / Great for Hacking **
Fit: With how mad this pattern made me feel putting it together (see notes), I really hoped that the fit would be horrible. So when I tried on the shirt, I was amazed with how it fit, it literally blew my mind, as I wasn’t expecting it at all. I know I still need a few fit adjustments for my liking, but sewn as is, it’s really good. The only thing I really don’t like is how short the sleeves are, and I think this is because I didn’t notice the pattern is drafted for somebody who 5’5” tall.
Notes: I had a really hard time attaching the neckband with a 1/2″ seam allowance. I ended up ripping out the neckband, cutting a new one to 80% of the length and adding back in. My first one I accidentally cut way too much off with my serger, so I tried to make up for the fabric that was accidentally removed by adding a slightly wider neckband. The notches do not match up on this pattern, so if you are like me and ignore instructions completely, take note of that.
Jalie Marie Claude
** Most Sizes – Girls size 2 through Women’s 22 **
Fit: The body isn’t super fitted even though I went by my measurements and it says it’s supposed to be fitted (I may have forgotten to measure my torso), and the arms are incredibly long, like super long. You can see in my photo of the raglans all hanging next to one another how long it is. I know it’s a thumb cuff, so it should be longer, but in RTW I often find long sleeved tops don’t have long enough sleeves. I do really like the fit of the body though.
Notes: I always love how Jalie doesn’t try to over explain everything, and the illustrations are detailed enough for me. I wanted to try out the thumb cuffs as they weren’t like any that I have tried before, I think this is a great way to do a thumb cuff if you are working with less fabric.
Hey June Lane
Designer: Hey June
Pattern: Lane Raglan
Size made: medium
Options: ¾ sleeves, curved hem
Fabric needed: 2 yards
Fabric used: less than 1.5 yards, as I used leftovers of the Periwinkle Rayon Spandex and the Dusty Pink Rayon Spandex
** Built-in Full Bust Adjustment **
Fit: The sizing of the Lane is based on your high bust measurement. The description says the sleeves are fitted, but I found them big, and for the 3/4 length they hit at an odd spot. I think once the sleeves are fixed this will be a great weekend shirt since I can’t wear a color blocked top like this to the office as it looks too casual. I do like the fit through the body. The neck is really wide on this top as well.
Notes: As I was sewing this, I noticed that the armcyes of the sleeve were straight while the armcyes of the bodice were curved. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go together, but it worked. It also worked for a good fit through the armcyes, which I wasn’t expecting. This reminds me of a baseball tee, which is a lot of fun.
Side note: I have owned this pattern since basically back around the time it first came out, in 2014. Since then the pattern has been updated at least 2 times, yet I had never made it. This version is the most recent version, and it’s well loved by many people. It was one of my first knit patterns I purchased, but then I got angry with knits when I tried to sew the Kitshy Coo Comino Cap Top and couldn’t figure out the sizing, so I gave up all knits then.
Petite Stitchery Runway Raglan
Designer: Petite Stitchery & Co.
Pattern: Women’s Runway Raglan Tee & Dress
Size made: medium
Options: long sleeve, front bodice detail, shirt length, straight hem
Fabric needed: 1.75 yards
Fabric used: 2 yards Dusty Pink Rayon Spandex, Light Heathered Gray Rayon Spandex scraps (I’m guessing that I only used 1.5 yards or less of the Dusty Pink, as I was able to still get a bodice for the Hey June Lane Raglan out of the 2 yard cut)
** Largest Bust at 53.5” and Lowest Price **
Fit: The Runway Raglan is more of a relaxed fit top. This is due to the bodice side seams being straight and not curved with the body’s curves. If you are looking for a raglan that is cut this way, this is the only one of the 7 that was designed this way.
Notes: I really liked that it had me hemming before attaching the neckband, when patterns do this, it pushes me to actually do the hemming and not put it off for a month like I’ve done in the past on garments. I like how the front bodice detail kind of dresses up this raglan. I can see myself wearing this with a skirt to the office.
New Horizon Riviera Raglan
Designer: New Horizon Designs
Pattern: Riviera Raglan
Size made: medium
Options: high-cut, crew neck, long sleeve, shirt length, straight hem
Fabric needed: 1.75 yards
Fabric used: 1.5 yards Olive Rayon Spandex (fussy cut)
** Smallest Bust Size at 29” and Most Options **
Fit: On the pattern pieces there’s an option for a standard raglan and a high-cut raglan, but the instructions don’t mention anything about what the difference was, so I decided to try this option. I’m not sure if this gave me a better fit, but according to the sizing info, which I looked more into after I cut my pattern, I should have gone with a full bust adjustment. I really like the fit on this one, but the arms have a lot of extra ease.
Notes: This is another raglan with a lot of options, you can even make a tank top with it! It’s the only one of the 7 that has a v-neck option as well. I really should have tried the v-neck, but I didn’t have the patience for it.
I think I need to slim down on sleeves, as basically all the sleeves have more ease than I typically like, either that or I just have really skinny arms. Looking at my fit pictures, I’m starting to realize a few things. I most likely need a full bust adjustment (which I should have used on the Lane Raglan, since it’s built into the pattern), and I could also use a forward slope adjustment. Personally I have never been one to think I needed an FBA, but it’s looking that way in my pictures with the pulling of fabric under my arms pointing toward my boobs.
During this process of sewing 7 shirts, I came to the realization of why I hate hemming. One is that I hate pressing my hem on sleeves and shirts when in the round. To get past this, I started looking up my hem allowance before sewing the front to back, as well as the sleeves, and pressed the hem up the required amount. This then left a crease in my fabric which made the hemming process go so much faster.
Lessons Learned: Take all measurements next time. If an important measurement isn’t included, then measure the pattern pieces and compare to something I already own.
View all raglan patterns found here. Raglans from this post are listed on the first tab of the spreadsheet, and the remaining raglans are on the second tab.
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