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Have you ever had a random question about sewing, fitting, patterns, etc.? Now’s your chance to ask it!


Raising a raglan neckline

I recently got this question in my email and thought it was such a great topic, it needed its own feature. So here we go!

Hi Tami,
As a breast cancer survivor, I need to raise necklines so that I can lean forward without showing my lack of cleavage. It’s not hard to do on regular necklines, but I don’t know where to start on a raglan pattern!  I bought your cute Rockford Raglan pattern and need a little guidance,  but I don’t do Facebook. I follow you on Instagram and I’m subscribed to your newsletter. Where can I find help with making a raglan neckline smaller?  (Your patterns have gotten me sewing again for the first time in years!)

Hi Yvette,

I think the best way to do this would be to lay the sleeve piece on top of the front piece, as if it were sewn, and then draw in the new neckline. Once the neckline is drawn in, trace the new sleeve and body. Here’s a quick illustration I did for you:
  1. Align sleeve to armscye at the front, overlapping the 3/8″ seam allowance. Draw in your new neckline. To determine how much to raise by, just take a tape measure to yourself to see where you prefer it. Be sure to keep the first .25″ or so square so your center front neckline won’t have a peak.
    raising a neckline
  2. Trace the new sleeve, shown by the blue line.
    Raising a neckline
  3. Trace the new front body, shown by the green line. Raising a neckline
  4.  And just one more step- measure your new neckline, including the back piece, at the seam line. Now measure the original neckband. Add (or remove) the difference to the neckband since the neckline measurement has changed.

That’s it! I hope that helped Yvette and you all. I love that Yvette is looking for creative solutions. I hope you have many more healthy, sewing-full years ahead of you. <3


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Tami Meyer

Author Tami Meyer

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