Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom


Ladies Raglan Top Pattern

You've probably noticed, I have a thing for tunic-length tops.  I like the length on me and on my daughter too, especially now that leggings are so popular.  I made her a sequined raglan tunic top several weeks back and my plan was to make myself one too. (I bought the prettiest teal sequined fabric and sweatshirt fleece.)  But, I spent too much time fiddling over the pattern and now March is practically over.  I've decided to shelve the sequined sweatshirt for me until next winter.

Since finishing the pattern, I've made a couple different versions so far.  The first top is made with a really nice quality french terry fabric.  I love that this particular fabric had such great stretch and recovery.  (Unfortunately, I don't know where it came from, I bought it from someone selling items from their personal stash.)  I made no changes to the pattern for this version.

Sew a ladies Raglan top with this free pattern!

(I can not stress enough how much I detest taking photos of myself!  Though I also dislike having my hubby take the pictures, it's so awkward...  I finally ordered a dress form, so I'm looking forward to using it for some of my pictures.)

I really like how this top turned out.  Paired with leggings and my shearling boots it's so perfect for morning drop off and running around in!  The length is tailor-made for me, but you can easily lengthen or shorten  the pattern to whatever length is most flattering for you.

The sizing is a little weird on this particular top.  I traced the pattern from a top I love.  (I think the reason I like it is that it is really roomy, but still flattering.)  The size of the original top is tagged as a medium, but it fits more like a small large or a large medium. And when it comes to RTW tops, I wear either a med or a large depending on how roomy the top is.  (Clear as mud??  :)  So, I just called it a medium/large and graded the next size down to be more of a small/medium.  On my next pattern, I'll be more careful to start out with a pattern that is closer to a true size...  (There are finished garment measurements towards the bottom of the post.)

The next version I made was this denim blue top, made the same as the first, but with a slightly wider neckline. (For a wider neckline, trim 1/2 inch off the top of the sleeves, front and back bodice pattern.)  

I like the blue top in general, but it was a very poor fabric choice.  The fabric is another another french terry (if you can call it that...) - lots of stretch but absolutely no recovery.  After wearing it for a bit, it becomes very "shlumpy".  Fine for around the house, but not out and about...  The fabric was a online order  failure-  had I seen it in person, I wouldn't have bought it.

This last top was made with a very stretchy tissue weight knit.  For this version, I lowered the neckline, made the sleeves 3/4 length, added an inch to the sleeve cuff and left of the bottom band.  I left the bottom un-hemmed in the photo, only because I was out of time, but I do plan on hemming it with my double needle.

Are you ready to try making this top for yourself?

I didn't do a separate tutorial for this pattern since it is made the exact same way as my child size raglan tunic pattern/tutorial.  Follow the instructions in the tutorial (found here) using pattern and binding measurements below.

Pattern link:  Ladies Raglan Tunic Top

Fabric: stretch knit, about 2 yards
Binding:  use a ribbed knit or other knit with at least 75% stretch- any less than that, you will need to add a couple of inches to the binding and cuffs.  (If you are worried, cut your binding a little long and stretch it with your fingers to make sure it will go all the way around.)

Neck binding: (cut on the fold)
S/M:  10.5 inches by 2 inches
M/L:  11 inches by 2 inches

Sleeve cuffs: (not on the fold)
S/M:  8 inches by 4.5 inches
M/L:  8.5  inches by 4.5 inches

Bottom binding: (not on the fold)
S/M: 37.75 by 4.5
M/L: 40 inches by 4.5

Body Measurements:
S/M:  Bust: 34  Hip: 36.5
M/L:  Bust: 36.5  Hip:  38.5

Finished garment measurements:
S/M:  Bust: 39.5  Hip: 39.75
M/L:  Bust: 41.75  Hip:  42

As you can see there's plenty of ease in the top for a nice loose fit.  (I can wear the smaller size too,  I just don't like my knits too clingy...)

Let me know if you end up making one of these!

Like this project?  Be sure to pin it!     

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  1. I love the tops you have made! My mother-in-law is donating her old serger (called an overlocker here in the UK) to me soon and I can't wait to try sewing some knits. I have stock piled a knit stash in anticipation of its arrival, but I am so tempted to have a go at this top with my regular machine. Do you think a normal sewing machine would cope with stretchy fabric and not make it hideously out of shape?

    1. I forgot to mention it, but you can totally make this top without a serger. I did use my serger on the side seams, not because it is necessary, but because it is faster. I used my regular machine for the cuffs and binding. I used a regular straight stitch, with a ball point needle and I lengthened the stitch length by one setting and had no problems... If you have the lightning bolt stitch, that is always a good one to use on stretch knits.

      The only place you might run in to trouble is if you leave off the sleeve or bottom cuff and want to hem the ends. In that case I recommend using a double needle or zig zag or the lightning stitch and a walking foot if you have one. (You can't really use a serger for hemming anyway.)

      I have some good tips for sewing with knits on this post:

      Good luck,

  2. I really like this top and I think I like the lighter knit the best. Thank you so much for the pattern. There are so many different styles of knitted tops, but this is one of my favorites and may I just say you do rock it. I have followed your blog for quite a while now, and really love and appreciate all your tutorials and teachings and patterns. Happy Sewing!!

    1. Thank you VernaGrace! These tops were just my test versions... I have some really pretty knits that would be great to use on this top.

  3. This is a great top! Practical but also cute!! I totally understand the awkwardness of photos of yourself in garments. My husband takes the world's most unflattering pictures of me, so now I'm trying to train my 10-year-old to take fashion photos. It's not going so well. :) Anyway, just wanted to let you know I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that links to your pattern:

  4. Great pattern! I love this kind of top - perfect for looking pulled together but still comfy:)

  5. I love this - it turned out great! Thanks for sharing your pattern. You look great in the photos, by the way. I used to hate putting myself in my photos too but have gotten used to it. I don't have any girls to model for me only teenage boys and I don't think they are going to wear my creations!

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. I've been looking for a good raglan top to try my hand at. :)

  7. thank you! My girl loves her top and now I get my own!

  8. Hello and thank you for sharing this!!! I'm about to share in on Pinterest and to put it in my to do list. I came from We did it Wednesday! linky. I hope you'll stop to hello in my blog

  9. Just checking but is the neck binding supposed be on the fold lengthwise? I don't think 10.5" is big enough to go over my head.

  10. Yes, cut the binding on the fold. I will add that additional instruction to the post when I get back to my computer. Two things to keep in mind about the binding: it needs to have about 75% stretch and If you are not sure about the strerch, you can always cut it a little bit longer, then use your fingers to hold it/stretch it around the neckline and make sure it's going to fit and trim it later.

  11. What kind of material did you use on the pink/red shirt that is first pictured? Is it thick?

    1. The fabric was not very thick, I would call it a medium weight french terry. Similar to this one:
      (the photo is of the wrong side of the fabric- I tried to poke my fingernails through it, so you could see the density and how it stretched.) Hope that helps.

  12. Following about the neck band post. I just made this and it turned out perfect but the neck band is very fitted around my neck. I like the looseness that's shown in the picture of the pink one, but mine fits like a turtle neck. Was your neck band 10.5?? Not sure how to post a picture here either. Thank you.

  13. It was 10.5 cut on the fold. (So it was 21 inches.) I'll edit the post to make that instruction more clear.
    Good luck!

  14. Is the seam allowance already included in the printed pattern? Thx

  15. Thanks for the great pattern. I made one and you can find it here:


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