Top Tip: How to raise a “too wide” Raglan Neckline

how to raise a too wide raglan neckline

So last week I made my first Linden sweatshirt (It’s black and I’m still trying to get some decent pics to show you, because I hacked it slightly!) and I have to say, as with the Hemlock from Grainline Studio, I’m hooked. The one issue I seem to have with both patterns is the width of the neckline. In the sense that it’s just a smidge too wide for my liking and ends up slipping to one side during wear and exposing my bra strap. Which is a pet hate of mine. Raising the neckline a little is a super easy adjustment if this is an issue you have too. Plus it means yet ANOTHER use for my favourite, unexpected sewing tool….Masking tape!!!how to raise a too wide raglan neckline

Raising the neckline on a raglan top is slightly (but only slightly) different to adjusting a standard neckline in that you need to perform the alteration on 3 pattern pieces (Front, back and sleeve pieces) as opposed to a set in or drop sleeve pattern where you only have to alter 2 pieces (Front and back). Because with a raglan top, the top of the sleeve forms part of the neckline. Savvy?

I should preface the “instructions” herein, for the sake of clarity and offending any drafting purists, that technically speaking any alteration to a pattern piece probably should “technically” involve removing the seam allowances, making the adjustments, then adding the seam allowances back on. That’s more faff than I could be bothered with considering this was such a tiny adjustment and didn’t alter the overall shape of the pattern piece. I’m not a stickler for rules for the sake of rules and in some instances it’s just not always necessary, imho. This worked for me. And took 5 minutes.  End of story 😉how to raise a too wide raglan neckline

Stick a piece of masking tape along the edge that you are going to alter. Then flip it over and lay a second piece of tape lined up over the top of the first piece of tape, sticky sides together. Essentially sandwiching the edge of your pattern piece between two strips of masking tape and creating a little extension piece. Kinda the same as gluing a strip of paper behind it, except less messy, sturdier and quicker!how to raise a too wide raglan neckline

Using a seam gauge or the end of a tape measure work your way around the edge adding on your desired increase. Mine was a 1/2″ all the way around each curve of all 3 pattern piece. (Front, back, and sleeve neckline curves). Make sure the vertical outer edges (ie the cb and cf fold lines) remain at right angles; and that the angled raglan seam lines are extended at that same angle…how to raise a too wide raglan neckline

Join up your dotted line in a smooth curve….how to raise a too wide raglan neckline

Then cut out along the new line and you’re done. No more flashing of bra straps, lol! (That’s not just me is it?)how to raise a too wide raglan neckline

Repeat for all three pattern pieces 🙂 *Update: (thanks to the peops that reminded me) you’ll need to alter the neckband to fit as well; as the neckline is now smaller the neckband will need to be marginally shorter too. I just pinned it to fit, then trimmed away the excess.  🙂 how to raise a too wide raglan neckline

I will hopefully have pics of my new Linden hack to share with you tomorrow. To be fair, a little idiotic of me to pick something black to photograph in the middle of a grey winter, with these crappy light levels, lol! Anyone else have serious blog photography woes??  It’s one area that causes me alot of frustration. Would be interested in hearing from you on that….;)

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12 Comments

  1. Karen January 28, 2016

    As always, simple, doable and its works. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Lisa January 28, 2016

    Thanks! I’ve had this very issue. I also find wider raglans a bit cold in winter, so this is a good fix for that, too.

    Reply
  3. Deepti January 28, 2016

    Hi Portia as always your tips are tops! I have made about 3 Lindens and my next will Surely be raised like this.. But how did you calculate how much to reduce the length neck binding by? When I guess this I always stuff it up. Is there a formula.. Do I remember you blogging it somewhere as the circumference minus something? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie January 28, 2016

      Apologies! An ommission on my part. I simply pinned the neckband to fit, sewed the ends and trimmed the excess. Apologies!

      Reply
      • Deepti January 31, 2016

        Thanks!!

        Reply
  4. Miriana January 28, 2016

    Did you do any kind of adjustment to the neck binding bit of the pattern (as the neckline is now narrower)?

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie January 28, 2016

      Apologies! An ommission on my part. I simply pinned the neckband to fit, sewed the ends and trimmed the excess. Apologies!

      Reply
  5. Camilla January 28, 2016

    Thanks. I’m in the middle of making Lindens and this is a great tip.

    Reply
  6. Charlotte January 28, 2016

    Thank you so much for this. I had the same issue when I made my linden. I was just wondering – do we need to alter the neckband as well?

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie January 28, 2016

      Oops! Yes you would. Just pin the band to fit. Apologies!

      Reply
  7. Yvette Chilcott January 28, 2016

    Nice and clear, thank you!

    Reply
  8. Chris January 29, 2016

    An especially Useful Tip! thank you

    Reply

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