How to Fix a Gaping Raglan Neckline

I’m still trying to perfect my pattern for a basic Raglan sweatshirt. I was able to make a sweatshirt for Ryan fairly easily. I used the Kwik Sew Pattern 3045. Ryan has a 38” chest measurement, but monkey arms and larger shoulders, but adjusting the pattern was easy.

My trials and tribulations have been worse. I started with the Grainline Linden Sweatshirt pattern, size 12. I hated the neckline though and the upper shoulder seemed too tight. The second attempt was blending a size 14 shoulder down to a size 12 bust and waist. Failed. The neckline was even worse. The shoulders were slipping off of me and I was getting the chokehold from my sweatshirt.

I went back to the drawing board. I added an inch to the neckline of the size 12 pattern and this resulted in WAY too much fabric on the shoulder. The neckline was gaping badly, but I found an easy solution: box pleats. I took in about 2 inches to each shoulder. If you are struggling with keeping the box pleat folded, use masking tape to hold the fold down while sewing. The masking tape tears away so easily and won’t damage your garment.

Now I’m back to the drawing board to see if I can get a basic pattern to fit me that doesn’t have a neckline so wide that you can see bra straps. The next iteration was just hilarious. I made a muslin of the Lane Raglan from Hey June. I’ve already thrown the pattern away, because there was NO way I was going to be able to adjust it to make it look decent. Clearly, not a pattern intended for anyone other than petite women.

I’ve lost count on how many patterns I’ve tried. Ryan’s sweatshirts fit me best of all, so I’ve resorted to using the tried and true  Kwik Sew Pattern 3045. It’s not modern, there’s nothing feminine about it, but it works. I might use some of the trendier aspects of the Grainline to adjust the basic pattern (i.e., remove some of the bulk from the arm), but really, why mess with something that works? Besides my frustration with patterns, I have appreciated the practice on sewing neckbands and working with muslins. I’m already planning future posts to review my techniques.

Tips & Tricks

Ribbing is like catnip for sewers. It’s diffcult to find and even more difficult to find any that aren’t just black and white. I came across Ottobre, the pinnacle of awesome ribbing. I was reluctant to buy on Etsy from Finland, but it was fine. I had my awesome ribbing in less than a month. I also found Nosh to be just as wonderful. Nosh has fewer color choices, but everything matches with their beautiful fabrics. If you don’t want to bother shipping from Finland, my other recommends are Hart’s Fabric or Girl Charlee:

However, desperate times can call for desperate measures. You can also go to a local thrift shop or a place like Marshal’s and buy a sweatshirt or shirt with ribbing and carefully pick it off to reuse. Ribbing can have a limited shelf life and tends to get distended.


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