Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Raglan Shirt Pattern

That's right!  It's time for me to show you how to make a simple and versatile shirt pattern!  All you need is a shirt that already fits--and don't worry, you don't have to cut it up!  It doesn't matter what kind of sleeves the shirt originally has, but this pattern will be for a shirt with raglan-style sleeves like this one:

Step One:  Simply fold your shirt in half and place it on a large piece of paper like so:

You may want to iron it or turn the shirt inside-out so that it lays as flat as possible.  

Step Two:  Trace the outline of your shirt:

Step Three:  Draw a line (approximately 45 degrees) from the armpit of the shirt to somewhere on the neckline.

Step Four:  Add seam allowances to the sleeve section.  Add to the bottom of the sleeve and on the opposite side of the 45 degree line.  I like to use small seams like 3/8" but you can use whatever you're used to.  You'll want to add at least an inch to the cuff of the sleeve so that you can fold it over and hem it.  Don't bother adding any seam allowance to the neckline or the top of the sleeve.

Step Five:  Add seam allowances to the body section, just like you did before.  Again, you'll want at least an inch on the bottom of the shirt for hemming purposes.  Also, since my little guy has such a long torso I added a bit more on the bottom to make the shirt longer.

Step Six:  Trace!  Using another piece of paper, trace your pattern pieces, including the seam allowances.  It is then helpful to label the pieces and label which edges will be placed on folds when you cut the pieces out of fabric.  Since we folded the original shirt in half when we drew the pattern, that folded edge should be marked "fold" as should the top of the sleeve section.

You can also mark a front neckline on the body section if you'd like.  Having the neckline an inch or so lower in the front usually makes a shirt more comfortable.

Now that you have your pattern ready, it's time to sew!  Onto the Raglan Shirt Sewing Tutorial we go!  


  1. This is an awesome tutorial! Thanks very much for posting it. I ended up doing a standard shirt (not raglan) only because I was short on material! argh. My custom fit swim shirt for my hubby turned out great!

    1. Yay! I'm so glad it was helpful to you! Thanks for sharing! :)