Pattern Stash: The raglan tops

Here is the next instalment of my pattern stash busting. I was working through some raglan sleeve top patterns.  Starting with a Lekala one and moving up to a more complicated design.  As I found out, raglan sleeves come in many different disguises – two part, darted shoulder, single piece, single piece with raised neckline.  Plus there is no one way to sew them in – ie side seams first or last.


1. Lekala 4496

I thought I’d start with this pattern as theoretically it should fit me.  It has a two piece sleeve, wide neckline and gathers on the front neckline.  The shoulder part of the sleeve isn’t the best fit and I think part of the problem is that the neckline is way to wide.  I like the fit of the body though (darts at the back) and the curved hemline.  It would be good to rework the neckline – perhaps adding at split at the CF and then gathering up the neckline a bit.  **** Full review on PR ****

2. Vogue 8670

This pattern also has a two piece sleeve but a higher neckline (crew or turtleneck) which is more to my liking.  Bust darts add a bit of shaping.  I compared the Lekala pattern to work out the best size, using a size smaller through the shoulders and graded into the recommended size elsewhere.  The pattern is below-hip length, so I’ve shortened it and added a curved hem from the Lekala pattern.  In this pattern, you sew the side/sleeve seams, then sew the raglan seams.  This fits really well and will be my TNT   **** Full review on PR ****

3. McCalls 6614 – aka the sloth top

How cute is this sweatshirt fabric? Looking at the photo on the pattern cover, you’d expect this to be loose fitting, but it is not.  The princess seams give good shaping – front and back, plus there is a shirttail hem.  The sleeve has a dart across the shoulder line.  I cheated a bit by sewing the sleeves on and then pin-fitting the shoulder dart.  Again, I’ve compared the pattern with the Vogue and  cut a size smaller through the shoulders and it has worked well.  Really happy with this pattern and will make a few more versions over time.  **** Full review on PR ****

4. McCalls 7261

When I looked at the tech drawing, it looked the same as that for the sloth top.  They have different stretch factors (60% for this one, and 30% for the sloth top) and the sleeve is a single piece (no dart).  As with the previous pattern, the raglan sleeves are sewn before the site seam ( the opposite to the Vogue).  I’ve used the lapped collar, which I love.  The cuffs with the thumbholes aren’t all that useful as I plan to use this x-country skiing or kyaking where I’ll be wearing gloves. So I’ve just sewn a narrow band.  This pattern is definitely a keeper  . **** Full review on PR ****

5.  Kwik Sew 3843

After the success with the previous three tops, I decided to give this pattern a go.  I’ll admit that I’ve been intimidated by fitting the raglan sleeves extending into a funnel neck.  A lot could go wrong.  I traced out the size I needed for the body, then graded back to a smaller size through the shoulders.  This was tricky on this pattern, but it helped having the other patterns to check the shapes.

All the fluffing was worth it though, as I love the neckline on this pattern.  The facings sit very well.  The plan was to coverstitch over the seamlines to show them up more.  The fabric was too stretchy to handle this with all my samples stretching out and buckling.  The fabric is brushed-back poly/nylon – soft and warm – but has turned out a tad see-through.  I may dye it. **** Full review on PR ****

6. Style Arc Steffi Jacket

So I plucked up the courage to have a look at this one.  I’d really like to make this put it was pretty clear that I had bought the wrong size.  Lots of strange angles in the pattern means it won’t be easy to adjust and being single size, I’m not really sure which direction to go.  Bummer.  But at least I figured that out before I committed any fabric

So what did I learn?

  • using a smaller size through the shoulders gives me a better fit ( I’m a short/pear shape)
  • prefer a two piece or darted shoulder raglan sleeve to be able to finess the shape over the shoulder
  • still have difficulty gauging the length of the sleeve when taking measurements on the pattern.  Much depends on where the neckline will actually finish and this is a bit unknown.  Comparing previous patterns is a better check
  • 4/6 patterns will be made again – which is pretty good going

Next up….

the last of the pattern stash posts and then one on the rug that I’ve been weaving – it is FINALLY finished. Yayyy

2 thoughts on “Pattern Stash: The raglan tops

  1. Interesting review! I would not expect Vogue or McCalls to be the top drafts for such a sporty look. Thanks for sharing!


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