DG Patterns Loose Fit Raglan Top, Dress and Jacket
If you haven’t tried a pattern from DG Patterns, you should. Daniela designs terrific modern and classic patterns, with sizes up to 22. Her styles are ones that you can make your own easily, by different fabric choices, and embellishments and/or additions. I recently made DG Patterns Loose Fit Raglan Top, Dress and Jacket.
Check out our interview with Daniela, and learn more about her!
With my body shape, raglan sleeves work well. They fall nicely on my shoulders and it is easy to add those extra inches over my hips. DG Patterns are digital, so you need to print them out, then tape the 8-1/2 x 11 sheets together to make your pattern. I am lucky to have a block that fits me. To determine which size would fit me best, I overlaid the block over the pattern. I am one of those folks that am a few sizes larger around the hips, and it was easy to cut the pattern accordingly.
Making the Muslin
I used the first taped together piece as my pattern for the ‘muslin’ on the black and white polka dot fabric, to make sure it fit well.
Several years ago, when I used to make actual muslins from muslin, one of my friends said she never did — she is an amazing garment maker and I was shocked! She always uses fabric from her stash, that isn’t precious.
You know, those fabrics that were on such a good sale you couldn’t leave them in the store? And, they take up important space in your sewing room. Her philosophy is why not use them for your muslin? If it works, you have a new garment, that you can wear, instead of another muslin. And, especially if you are working with knits, true woven muslin will not fit correctly.
Thus, black and white polka dot knit that I’ve had in my stash for plenty of years became my ‘muslin’.
Sewing the Dress
I love this pattern, it is so easy to put together! Seriously, this dress took just a few hours to cut out and sew all of the way to completion! Some things I did a little differently than the directions:
- I didn’t add the side pockets. With a light weight knit, if I have pockets I have a tendency to add too heavy items into the pocket and then they stretch out. By not adding them, I can’t add too heavy items to pockets on my hips, that I really don’t need (or want) to draw attention to!
- I didn’t read the directions carefully at first, and started to cut it out of a gorgeous Japanese linen. Oops! This pattern is for knits only. I literally took the first little cut into the fabric with the pattern, and realized there were no darts — hmmm . . . looked a little more carefully and saw this pattern was designed only for knits, so no darts are needed (unless you are big bosomed and those alterations you’ll need to make yourself).
- I put the dress together a bit differently then the directions. My experience is stabilize the neckline as soon as you can, as it is mostly on the bias and can stretch out. I started by sewing the front and back pieces to the sleeve pieces, and then finish the neckline BEFORE sewing the side seams and sleeve seams. You can sew from the bottom of the sleeve all of the way to the hem of the dress in one seam, and finish the entire neckline first.
- I do like to add a strip of clear elastic to the primary seams that carry tension, like the raglan sleeve seams in this dress pattern. That gives the seam some stability without added bulk – and stretches with the knit fabric.
- The other thing I did differently is to add a strip of knit fabric around the neck edge to finish it a bit more than just turning it under. I find this finish gives a little more professional look, and I think is easier! Just cut a piece of fabric wide enough to cover your seam allowance + 1/8″ and the length to be about 1/4″ less than what you measure the flat neckline (after the garment is put together). Don’t pull or stretch the neck, or you’ll have a gapping neckline. Just put the garment on your table, and carefully take your tape measure and go around the circle. Remember: Measure twice, cut once! I sew it into a circle, and then sew right sides together.
- I usually use a 3/8 or 1/2 ” seam allowance, depending on the look I want. Then, turn the fabric to the inside, and stitch in the ditch to catch the fabric on the inside. Since this is a knit fabric, no need to do any other finishing!
Now is the time to try it on and see how it fits. In my adjustments to the pattern versus my block, I gave too much ease through the hips — looked like I gave myself some saddlebags! Since I already have enough, I made note and made those adjustments to the dress and to the pattern. That’s why this is a muslin. When I tried it on again I loved the fit!
Finishing the Dress
For the black and white polka dot dress, the sleeve length was determined by the pattern of the fabric. I wanted to take advantage of the gradation. They ended up about 3/4-length. I turned up 1″ and just did a straight stitch, as I didn’t have access to my serger. Then I turned up 1-1/2″ and straight stitched for the hem. And done!
The polka dot was my ‘muslin’, so then I cut it out of this lovely tonal grey fabric. I saw this stripe in my stash, and thought they worked well together.
For this dress, I added a flange of the stripe that I found in my stash along the raglan sleeve seam, to add a little more visual interest to the garment. I also changed the neckline as I did above, adding a strip of fabric and stitching in the ditch to secure it.
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