If you’re snowed in like we are, you’re going to need a project! Today’s raglan T-shirt tutorial will show you how to turn the basic raglan into an A-line top or dress (sometimes called a trapeze top or dress). Like this:
Yesterday I mentioned that this alteration is often done incorrectly. Here’s how to do it the right way.
If you only add width to the side seams you’ll end up with a dress or top that flares at the sides and stays flat everywhere else. In order to add width, you need to add it all over, not just to the sides. But it’s an easy change to make. You’ll start with the front and back raglan pattern pieces.
Draw a line about halfway across the pattern pieces and parallel to the center front/back cut-on-fold line. Like this:
Then cut along the line, leaving the pattern uncut at the top raglan sleeve seamline. (See the circle I drew in the photo above.) Spread the pattern piece open an inch or two at the hem, keeping the pattern piece itself flat but opening up the cut line while leaving the pattern piece connected at the uncut paper hinge. Tape another piece of paper underneath the piece to fill in the gap, and then you can also add width or flare (straight lines connecting at the top of the piece but getting wider at the hem) to the front/back and side seams of the piece. To keep the flare even all the way around the top or dress, divide the width of the center cut (at the hem) in half and add one half of the width to the center front/back and the other half to the side seam. In other words, if you add 1″ to the hem at the cut, add 1/2″ to the center front and 1/2″ to the side seam. Like this:
Try to add the same amount of flare to the front and back pieces, and keep in mind that 1″ of additional width at the hem will become 4″ of width when the dress or top is sewn. In other words, don’t go crazy with adding a lot of width. It adds up quickly!
When you split up the added width into three different spots like this you’re allowing the top or dress to flare all the way around instead of just at the side seams. And you’re changing the shape of the armhole/raglan sleeve and neckline a bit, which is why it flares all the way around instead of just at the side seams. Does that make sense? Just be sure that you choose a size that will fit well across the chest so it doesn’t look too big when the hem is flared.
You know I had to style one for you. I love this outfit.
Oh, and I promised a photo of S in her short sleeved raglan peplum top. Here she is!
We’re digging in and watching the snow and ice pile up around us. Have a great day!