Raglan Sleeve Pattern Hack - Sew Vintagely

Raglan Sleeve Pattern Hack

It was one of those mind blown moments. I’d made several versions of the Elliot Sweater and Tee pattern by Helen’s Closet, and I couldn’t figure out why the neck band kept pulling away from my neck.

Now, I’m one of those people who just jumps into a pattern and starts cutting and sewing. So I made three Elliot Sweaters before I finally stopped to research what I could do about the neck and shoulder issues. I know, I know….


I have square shoulders that roll forward a bit, and I usually have to adjust the shoulder slope on a pattern with a standard shoulder seam.  But how the heck do I fix a raglan sleeve? The answer: cut and spread the pattern to add more space for my shoulder – the equivalent of adjusting the shoulder slope in a standard seam.

Before and After

Here is what the neckband and shoulder looked like before the adjustment and after the adjustment. Do you see those draglines from my shoulder pulling on the fabric?

How I Adjusted the Raglan Sleeve Pattern

You can check out my video on Youtube to see all the steps showing you how I split and spread the pattern to get the perfect fit.

This picture shows you where I marked the pattern to cut it.  The lines meet at your shoulder, so that is where you spread the pattern apart. Just adding 1/4″ to three sides of that point makes a huge difference. You’ll see what I mean when you watch the video. 

(Just in case you don’t watch the video and just jump in…make sure you only cut to about 3/8″ from the edge and not all the way through!)

And here is the pattern after I finished spreading it apart and taping it.

Happy sewing everyone!

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