Raglan sleeve button down shirt

Is this just wishful thinking that I can do this? After the last season id watched of Project Runway US, I’d obsessed over the raglan sleeve shirt the eventual winner Sean Kelly had made in, I think, the semi-final round. 

It looked like this..

I do realise I’ve neither the youth nor figure to quite pull that look off considering it, well, only buttons at the collar but I loved the idea of the sleeve and I’d always kept it in my mind as my next big sewing project. 

Of course then, my flat refurbishment got under way and all my sewing got pushed to the back burner but now that I’m getting back in my stride, this was the first thing I wanted to do!

Being a bit out of practice though I thought I’d cheat a little (naughty me!). Normally I’d just do the whole pattern from scratch but I was missing half my usual supplies and tools with the move and well, I couldn’t be bothered… I ended up using a Burda pattern- I’d bought on a whim and never used- of a pretty bog standard semi fitted collared shirt. I figured that this would limit the chances for sizing and cutting errors and I could then just focus on altering the standard set in sleeve to a raglan sleeve.

Unfortunately I didn’t realise the shoulder seam was pulled forward on this pattern (the illustration and photos on the packet are rubbish!) so I think it ended up being more difficult than if I’d drafted it all myself from scratch… Following one of my mum’s old pattern books and with a bit (probably too much) guesswork, I managed to fudge out a workable pattern. I had some nice lightweight white cotton to make it in so with all fingers and toes crossed, I dove in a cut up my fabric. 

I’m really not one to hesitate and hold back. 

And the initial fit wasn’t too bad! The body of the shirt was fine. I’d let out the darts and extended the sides to create more of a tent shape so there was no way that wasn’t going to fit. The sleeves however were a little small. That was something I hadn’t considered. Because I had never made the shirt before (even without any alterations), I hadn’t tried the fit of it and most likely I’d have found the sleeve to be a bit tight too and the raglan style exacerbated this. 

No matter though. The joys of using patterns with a 1.5cm allowance! Definitely some room to manoeuvre. 

After much fiddling about with everything and making a few overly hasty style choices with the sleeve, this is what I ended up with!



Next time I’ll try draping a sleeve from scratch rather than what I did here. I think it’ll be a less forced shape. Plus I think I want longer sleeves? Maybe? I spent like an hour and a half pinning the sleeve at different lengths and trying on. I totally overthought it and a usually when that happens, a little confused at what I ended up with…

Regardless, it’s a lightweight shirt with some cool style lines, long enough to wear with leggings or perfect tucked into high waisted skirts and trousers. I’m still considering it a win. 

Happy Monday! And for the Brits, I hope you’re all having a lovely long weekend! X


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Love your designer inspired shirt. In turn you inspired me. If I shamelessly re-steal the shoulder slit idea I’m not a huge fan of my skin showing through the slits, but if I back it with a contrasting fabric so IT shows through…. Or wear something under it.. Anyway thank you, and happy sewing!

    1. Emmy says:

      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you’ve been inspired by it! Good luck sewing your own!

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