4. Add seam allowances + hem allowances
The front, back, and sleeve are going to need seam allowances and hem allowances. Up until this point what we’ve traced is just the seam lines.
Sew it up as is, and it’ll be too short and too tight! Find your ruler–I like a clear one with 1/8″ markings and we’ll do this up quick.
|Neck seam |
|Side seam |
For the seams, I like 3/8″. They’re easy to handle, easy to sew on the serger, and since this t-shirt fits me, I’m not worried about adding extra. If you like wider seam allowances, by all means, add what you’re comfortable with.
For the hems, I’m adding 1 1/4″ for the front and back and 3/4″ for the sleeves. Again, this is personal preference here. On to the last piece, and we’re building the seam allowances into it which is why it’s not on the table.
5. Make that neckband piece
The neckband is the easiest. It’s a rectangle!
To get it, first fold the neck together at the neckband. You don’t have to match center front or center back, just keep it flat and together.
Next, grab your measuring tape. Measure the length of the neckband along the neck seam.
We’re going to cut this length on the fold, but do add 1/8″ to this measurement. Why 1/8″? When we cut it on the fold, the 1/8″ becomes 1/4″ for a seam in the neckband. Smart, eh?
The total for my tee is 10 1/8″.
Really quick to finish off, measure the neckband width from the neck seam to the edge. Mine is about 5/8″. You want to add a seam allowance to this. I went with 3/8″. So 5/8+3/8= 1″.
For the width, multiply x2. In my case that’s 2″.
So the dimensions for my particular tee are 10 1/8″x2″, and we’re cutting it on the fold the long way. Feel free to make a pattern piece for this, or you can draw it straight on your fabric with chalk.
I’m a chalk for rectangles girl. But choose your own adventure!
Now we have all our pieces. But before we do a happy dance, and start sewing up ALL the raglans, we have a tiny task with a little less glamour.
6. Walk your seams
It would be super sad if you went through all of this and ended up with wonky seams that were different lengths. This method is pretty reliable, but it’s easy to shift things around. Consider this step the “measure twice, cut once” part of the process.
I’m going to throw a million pictures at you. Just kidding. Kind of. Don’t panic.
Also I retraced all my pieces onto tissue paper so you could see them better. You totally don’t have to do that!
Check the underarm seam
Fold your sleeve seam in half so the underarm seams are matching. Double check that they’re the right length.
If they’re not, true up the seams. For me, one side was 1/4″ longer than the other. I used a pen and prettied up the curve so that the sides were the same.
Check back and front sleeve seams
Next, grab the front piece and the sleeve, matching them on the sleeve seam.
Match the seams together at the bottom of the sleeve seam. Use your fingertips to pivot the seam as you match the seam going upwards towards the neck.
Some people walk seams like this by sticking a pin through the seam lines as their pivoting up. That works really well too!
Again, make sure that the length of the sleeve and the front are the same along that seam. True up the seams if you need to.
Now, do the pivot walking with the back and sleeve. If you get this one right, there will be a tiny triangle hanging off the sleeve. That’s okay. It’s just the edge of the seam allowances. You can cut that off during construction.
Last check: lay the front on top of the back right at the side seam. The side seams should match perfectly. Adjust if you need to, though you probably won’t.
Here’s a video version of the tutorial:
And that’s it. You have your diy raglan t-shirt pattern all ready to go, and it’s screaming at you to grab some jersey and get cutting!
Would you rather get your own pattern? Here are some raglan tee patterns for everyone.
I’m throwing the ball to you now: Have you ever tried to clone a raglan tee-shirt in your closet?
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Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.