Category Archives: 2013/5-04 Raglan Darted

320+ Raglan Designs

I’ve discovered something interesting about Otto Raglan patterns:  they’re interchangeable. Now some people might be disappointed. They want an entirely new pattern every time. In fact a complaint frequently voiced about Burda is that Burda recycles patterns.  I have two thoughts about this. 1) You don’t have to buy past issues.  If it’s a pattern you liked, it will published again. (2) More importantly and more specific to Otto, I’m getting variations on a pattern I’ve already fit. Which means, unless I change shape , I don’t need to fit a new pattern.  Indeed with yesterday’s darted raglin, I did not trace the front and back pieces.  I traced the sleeve pattern and trimmed the excess tissue. Then I the pinned the shoulder dart closed and compared it to the already traced sleeve from 5/2008 #8. The body of the garment had not changed only the sleeve style.  *No fitting needed!

I feel like Otto is leading me through creating lots of styles from the same pattern. Let me explain.

Otto introduced the Basic Raglan T shirt in Issue 5/2008. Very basic, front, back and 1 piece sleeve. (I discard the band piece. I find bands need their length adjusted depending upon the fabric.)

If you do nothing else to this pattern, you have one great style to use over and over. But Otto also provided in the same issue Style #14, which is a pleated sleeve that you could rouch as well.

You now have 3 styles instead of 1: Fitted raglan, pleated raglan and rouched raglan.

In 2010 (Issue 5) Otto revisits the basic Raglan T and adds

a cap and a 2 Piece Sleeve (Note I have not traced, walked or used the 2 piece sleeve. It could need adjustments to work, but I don’t think so. )

And now in 2013 (Issue 5), Otto is providing us with the darted shoulder raglan sleeve:

You now have 1 pattern with 6 sleeve variations; SIX STYLES you can make without the average person knowing you are using the same pattern.


This darted shoulder comes in 2 lengths. I believe in the industry that counts as an additional style bringing the total to 7.   Style #4 in 5/2011 uses the same basic pieces, but trims the sleeve and adds a cuff.  8 STYLES.

Now here’s an interesting situation. We have 8 sleeves for 8 styles. But take a look at 5/2011 #4 again. The hem has been trimmed 2″ and replaced with a coordinating band. This makes not 9 styles but16. How? Each of the previously sleeves can be combined with either a plain hem or with the banded hem. Each combination counts as a new style.

Ready for more? Look again a 5/2010 #4, the cap sleeve

It is a dress length. That’s another length and has a cover stitched hem. 2 more style changes for now 8 *3 or 24 total styles. Oh I do realize that in our eyes, the dressmaker, changing length isn’t a big deal. We can easily add 2 more hem changes that of the tunic length and cropped which would make for  40 ( 8 sleeves*5 hem) style changes.  I won’t even try to count the asymmetrical, or shirt tail hems or any of the seemingly endless variety of hems that could be chosen and easily adapted to the basic Raglin T.

I will however start to point out necklines.  So far I’ve concentrated on the scoop neckline. Otto also provides a faced and pin-tucked neckline in #4- 5/2010. So that’s 8 sleeves * 5 hems *3 necklines  or 120 STYLES

Still got your socks on?  Well then consider the mathematical effects of  5 more necklines

Issues 5/2008, 5/2008, 5/2008, 5/2010,5/2012

That could be 8 sleeve * 5 hems *8 necklines or 320 Styles that Otto has drafted for you. If you look through Otto there are also jacket and cardigan styles (5/2010 #15 was attached to a cardigan).  Also I haven’t counted the zipper and pleated fronts or the variety of pockets Otto has provided. These are all drafted by Otto. No need to do anything but lift and use.

Then there are lots of easy changes we can make.  I’m pretty sure boat, V  and waterfall necklines would be fairly ease to draft. I make sleeve length and cuff changes all the time. Collars would be a little more demanding as they must fit the neckline. Generally what I do is pin the pieces together; trace the neckline and then establish the outer edge of the collar. I think collar’s are easy, you might not agree.

OK for myself I have to say, I’m not going to make all 320 styles. I’m unlikely to make any dresses; and while I occasionally add hoods, that’s not a very likely style for me either. But I expect to get lots of use from the basic Raglan T because I will use many of the styles Otto has drafted plus I will make many minor changes on my own.  How about you?


*Unfortunately as noted yesterday, I really do have to make some fitting changes.  My maturing body changed again this year requiring that I refit all my TNT’s.

5/2013 #4 Raglan

I’m enjoying the latest issue of Ottobre Design, 5/2013.  This time for its variation of the basic Raglan Knit top.  The 5/2008 version used a 1 piece sleeve as well, but this version contains a shoulder dart.

I’m not completely sure of the advantage of the darted as opposed to the not darted shoulder.  I do know that it’s part of LH5205 the fit of which  I’ve always been enamored.  I suspect that the grain is changed from on- grain to bias and therefore could produce a smoother fit over the shoulder.  I say “could” because the fit depends upon stitching a perfectly smooth dart.  I did this one on the serger.

The front has the same scoop neck as the 5/2008 version.  I finished with a 1-3/4″ band, cut cross grain and folded in half.  I basted the band, corrected the length; then serged and top stitched into place.  I’m fond of top stitching the band. It keeps the band down in place. By selecting my HV Ruby’s “knit” advisory, my SM knows to build in a little stretch.  I don’t know how Viking does it, I just know that the stretch will be perfect even using the straight 4mm stitch length that I did.

However I’m not as happy with the fit as I thought I would be.

While the shoulder and upper bodice fit smoothly, I think the sleeves are about an inch too long and the both front and back are too tight across the tummy and hip.  The hem is rising at the front. I’m not sure if I need to lengthen the front (usual for me) or if I just need to add ease.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell this during fitting.  The garment felt entirely comfortable probably due to the rayon fabric’s 75% stretch.  While I have a single, full length mirror to check fit, the lighting is not the best and of course, I can’t really see the back and side until I check the pics. Which I didn’t do before hemming.

Fortunately for me, this is winter.  Which means that when I wear this top I will probably be wearing either a vest, jacket or cardigan. Either one of which will cover the worst of ills, err ill-fitting garments.

One thing I do want to point out is this spectacular embroidery:

It was to me totally breathtaking and while I don’t usually purchase a single design, Secretsof got my money this time.