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Raglan Sleeve doubts…

I’ve got my muslin together for my Yuzu Coat.  It’s actually made out of some fleece I had kicking around, since I thought that would closer represent the weight of wool with Thinsulate interlining planned for my final cut.

Now that I have the trial version sewn I’m feeling some doubts about the fit.  I don’t really know how to adjust or if it is actually fitting as it should.  This is the size 42 of Yuzu based on my measurements of 38″ bust 32″ waist and 42″ hips.

It’s the raglan sleeves that are causing my angst.  The only place I’ve ever used or worn this type of sleeve is in stretchy knit garments.  This coat has a 2 piece raglan with a beautiful curved seam shaped over the shoulder.

The less beautiful part is what seems to be going on under my arms.  The underarm seam is so low that it seems to restrict my mobility.  When I lift my arms it causes quite a lot of bunching around my shoulders, neck and back.

If I lift my arm above my head the sleeve hem, which was pinned at a generous length half covering my hand when lowered, is halfway up my arm!  The 5-6 inches is lost when the underarm seam moves up my side to the actual spot where my arm meets my body.

The problem is I have no idea how these sleeves should properly fit.  Are they supposed to be this low under my arms?  It’s a coat so it obviously needs more room so it fits over a sweater but how low is just right?

I tried the internet search for “adjustments to raglan sleeves”  and “proper depth of sleeve on raglan coat” but the only information I’m finding is how to adjust the curve over the arm.

Looking at the picture on the Waffle site or on IndieSew perhaps this is just how this style should fit. If that’s the case perhaps I should just skip interlining, making it a spring coat, so there is less thickness to bunch up when moving my arms.

So now I’m not sure how I should proceed with this pattern.  What is the right adjustment to make if any? If this is how the coat should fit does the shape suit me?  Any  advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

5 thoughts on “Raglan Sleeve doubts…

  1. Hi! I like your analyzing as you work toward better fit. I have made Marcy Tilton’s coat dress pattern with raglan sleeves and found the armscye lower than what I was used to. However, I’m wondering if you need to go down a size despite your careful measuring. To me, it looks too wide on you–even the neck opening seems too wide. I think trying the next size down might solve some of your concerns. I’ll try to do a posting on my blog, which I have neglected for a couple of months and show you the pattern I made and include a photo which shows the lowered armscye with the raglan sleeve. My sewing mentor told me that I needed to wear it and then judge. She was also the one who pointed out that I tend to choose a size that is bigger than I actually need for a smaller back. She taught me to choose a smaller size to fit back and shoulders, and the do a Full Bust adjustment when needed. My measurements are similar to yours.


    1. Thanks for the advice and I’ll be watching to see your finalized coat post! I was trying to compare to photos of other people’s raglan coats but nobody seems to show their lifted arms when wearing them. I think you might be right and I’m going to try a 2nd muslin with the upper body in a smaller size and a FBA adjustment adjustment so we’ll see if that does the trick! I’m still adapting to the fact that I need FBAs now after gaining some weight and having more of a chest.

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  2. Hi there, I’m wondering if you’ve had a chance to try one size down? My initial thought when looking at the photos and reading your post was that it looks too large for you. I see Donna has suggested the same. I struggle finding a coat with enough room for the winter layers but that doesn’t feel oversized. I’ll be looking for your update!

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    1. Hi Fran,
      I am in the process of a second muslin where I went down 2 sizes at the shoulders, then did a FBA adjustment and blended out to the first size just in the lower half. Got it all cut out and hoping to sew it up this weekend. I’ll post pics showing how it goes!


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