Lisa here from Not Sew Selfish, with a review of the Refined Raglan from Winter Wear Designs. When you are sewing for yourself, it’s always good to be aware of the body shape that the designer designs for - and they are all different. One of my favourite things about sewing a Winter Wear Designs pattern for myself is that Suzanne designs for someone very close to my body shape - this is one of the few times when I see my proportions represented exactly in a single size on the chart, which is very rare! If you’re a pear or an hourglass shape, you’ll find it will be easy to get the right fit with this one. If you’re not, don’t be put off - you’ll see Marnie (who has a very different body size and shape to me) has also made herself a gorgeous top with this pattern here - she has added an inch of length through the waist, because she is taller than the pattern states it is drafted for - but otherwise didn’t need any adjustments. The style is fairly forgiving in fit, so a great starting point if you want to sew for yourself. It also includes a couple of really good pages on how to get a great fit for different body shapes, which makes it very easy to do some basic adjustments to get the right fit for you.
This pattern is a raglan top designed for wovens. No zippers, no fasteners, no easing the sleeve into the armscye. What’s not to love? It’s very straightforward, and the basic option is certainly something a beginner could make. The only thing even remotely tricky here is working with bias around the neck, but the instructions and diagrams are clear, and there are three different options/techniques provided so you can work with what is most comfortable for you, or suitable for your fabric choice. If you’re an adventurous beginner, the open front option is not too hard either - just have a practice at that v-neck turn on some scraps first.
The Refined Raglan gives you a great chance to get more adventurous with your fabric choice - even though it’s designed for wovens, put those quilting cottons back in your stash, and have a go with something with more drape for this one. There are a huge range of apparel fabrics you can choose from - lots suggested in the pattern - which means you can create lots of different looks. This top can work for summer or winter, day or night, boho or dressy - it’s all in the fabric choice. We’ve sewn up two quite different looks here with different fabrics and pattern options. Mine is a boho look in cheese cloth with some added lace, and Marnie has sewn hers in cotton voile (with front and back cut on the bias) for a gorgeous summer top.
This pattern can be made with short, ¾ or long sleeves, and has a scoop neckline with optional open front (which I’ve used on my white boho top here). It has a curved hem with optional vented hem, and also a pintuck option to add a detailed feature to the front. I’ve added my own embellishments with two strips of guipure lace trim sewn to the centre front, and the hems of the long sleeves. I used the full length sleeves here and then added the lace trim, intending for it to end up hitting past my wrist like this. There are so many ways to create your own look with this pattern - it’s a great basic canvas to get creative with. This is so quick and easy to sew up… I’m off to see what else I have in my stash now to make another one or five!