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Decreasing sleeve width on a long sleeve raglan

Decreasing sleeve width on a long sleeve raglan

Home Page Forums Ask A Question Decreasing sleeve width on a long sleeve raglan

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  • #69707

    Hi there!

    I’m needing to decrease the sleeve width on a long sleeve raglan pattern. I understand the technique and I’ve watched the helpful video for increasing sleeve width but when I’m trying to use that same technique for decreasing the width, it doesn’t seem to be working. The whole sleeve is just too wide so I don’t know if I need to adjust the sleeve width and the armscye. I don’t have much experience with adjusting patterns yet; I’m still learning and I’m more of a visual/hands on learner ;). Thanks in advance!


    hi there! raglan sleeves are a bit different because they’re also a part of the bodice section and neckline. I actually decreased the width of a raglan sleeve last year because I wanted it to be more form fitting and it just seemed a bit too baggy. This is what I did. I cut out a sleeve using a similar knit fabric to what I would use for my final shirt and then just basted the underarm seam together. Then I slipped it on my bare arm inside out so I could get an general idea and what it currently was. Then I pinned along my underarm seam on where I wanted that seam to actually be to tighten up the width. I basted here and then retried on the sleeve, making sure it was still comfortable and I could bend my elbow. If it was good, I trimmed the seam allowance to leave 5/8″ past my second basting stitch then removed the basting stitch so my sleeve was flat again. Now you could lay this on your pattern to adjust your pattern, but I just took my adjusted fabric sleeve and used that as my pattern because it was already customized. In my case, I didn’t adjust the width all the way up to the top of the sleeve cap so I didn’t have to adjust the armcycle of my shirt and it worked out for me. If you’re not doing it by much, I would not adjust the armcycle but if you feel that the armcycle is too baggy, you can also take in the side seam of the bodice at the armhole but you may want to do a muslin to see if it’s necessary. If you’re making your top from knit, it should be pretty forgiving. good luck!


    Thank you! That’s what I did and then transferred that to my pattern. I’m worried that it will still be too baggy at the armscye and I don’t know how to make that adjustment either, haha!

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