Friday, February 27, 2009

Raglan Revised

For the last couple of weeks, I've been working on updating the All-the-Rage Raglans eBook. This revision required lots of experimentation, which is a good thing because Louie needed shirts!



I made quite a few changes to the actual pattern for this one. I modified the angle of the sleeve attachment edge, which resulted in a narrower sleeve and a wider front/back. This gives a fit that is more in line with the standard T-shirt. I shortened the long sleeves (which were coming out too long because of the stretch of the knit) and lengthened the short sleeves (which just look cooler a bit longer). I also added multiple cutting lines to the Front/Back pieces so that the patterns can be made to make shirts in a range of hip to thigh lengths. Instructions for drafting custom lengths are also included.

In addition to the pattern modifications, I've included even more detailed instructions for selecting knits and tips/tricks for attaching the neckband. I've had a few customers write in and tell me that their neckbands came out huge. I double-checked the patterns and made some suggestions, but really couldn't give an answer as to why this was happening to them. One of the customers told me that she was using a ribbed knit and a thermal knit, both of which are very soft and stretchy. I decided to do an experiment with a similar material.


I used a thermal knit in a beautiful shade of blue. Before piecing the raglan, I added Kimberbell's adorable Frog Charming Applique. As I started sewing, I noticed that the fabric was deceptively stretchy. It didn't seem to recover like the other knits I had worked with, either. When I added the neckband, I took extreme care to avoid overstretching, and even added in some steps to keep the neckband in check. When I was finished, I had a great looking shirt with a normal sized neckband. Of course, I had to put it right on Louie to soak in the cuteness. My glee was short lived, as the neckband started expanding right before my very eyes. Within a half hour, my little boy looked like he was ready to "Flashdance" in his off-the-shoulder frock. My conclusion - very stretchy knits are not suitable for this project.

In the eBook, I now include a gauge to measure stretch, and I also give specific fabric recommendations based on what has and has not worked for me in the many raglans that I have made. Hopefully this will prevent future giant necklines. As for Louie's frog shirt, I was about ready write it off as unwearable and turn it into a dust rag. He was already so attached to that frog, however, that I just couldn't do it. Instead, I brought in a reinforcement.


Twill tape is commonly used to stabilize seams in knit garments (I just looked in the hoodie I'm wearing, and it has twill tape in the neckline). Black and white twill tape can be found in the notions section at most fabric stores. I found this pack of pretty colors in the scrapbooking department. If you don't have twill tape on hand, you can also use grosgrain ribbon (it isn't as flexible, however).

Before applying the twill tape, I washed and machine dried the shirt. This caused the neckband to shrink back to a reasonable size.


With the shirt turned inside out and the back side facing up, I added a piece of Wash-Away Wondertape (oh how I love that stuff) to the neckband seam allowance.


I folded the twill tape over 1/2" at one end to hide the raw edge...

...and stuck it into place.


I trimmed the twill tape, folded the end under, and stuck it into place.


Using matching thread, I stitched the twill tape into place very close to the edges.


Long live Prince Froggy! The updated version of the Raglan eBook is now available at If you already own this eBook, the new file will be in your "My Library" section. Hop on over and check it out!


littlebuttercups said...

umm, can we say too cute! I was wondering what you have been up to! Currently working with your peasant top/dress, can't wait to share! Have a great weekend!

Courtney said...

Love it!

I do need to hop on over and get it! There are a few of yours I have been wanting for awhile! I really need to get started on spring clothes! :)

SNubile said...

Louie is too cute in that frog shirt. Another great CarlaC revision!

Stephanie said...

Wow, I had not had any problems with the neck stretching but I love that you recognized a problem and found a solution. I use this pattern all the time so I appreciate the update. I have been making a lot of t-shirt dresses for spring with it!

...t. said...

I actually don't have this pattern...can't wait to get it! I've been a little askeered of knits but I'm going to start practicing on them LOL.
I love the prince froggy too, I'll have to show that picture of louis to Little!

Mom of 2 princesses said...

Knits are on sale and now I think I will finally try them out with this pattern!

Three Prince Designs said...

I have bought the pattern- but need to make it. You make it look so easy!!

Kris said...

Wow Carla...I've never heard of twill tape before. Thanks for always sharing such GREAT information! Long live Prince Froggy!!!!

teresajoy said...

So cute! Louie looks great in that color! Of course, he looks cute in everything!

I love the twill idea! As Lydia says, "CarlaC is a GENIOUS!" (really, she says that!) I have to agree!