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How To Make A Raglan Dress

Raglan dresses are a popular style of dress due to just how comfortable and versatile they are, with various kinds available.

How To Make A Raglan Dress

If you are thinking about investing in a raglan dress for yourself or for a loved one, then why not consider making one rather than buying one?

Making a dress can be a tough but rewarding challenge, so if you have experience in or are interested in dressmaking, then a raglan dress is a great option. 

With this in mind, we are going to be looking at how to make a raglan dress. Let’s get started. 

What Is A Raglan Dress?

A raglan dress is a type of clothing with sleeves that extend in one piece to the neckline, leaving a diagonal seam from underarm to neck.

This design allows for more ease of movement compared to traditional set-in sleeves and is often used for sportswear or casual clothing, though they can also have more sophisticated and elegant styles. 

Most Common Kinds Of Raglan Dresses 

  • A-line raglan dress: This type of dress has a flared silhouette and is often made from lightweight materials like cotton or linen. It is a versatile style that can be dressed up or down and is suitable for a variety of occasions.
  • Tunic raglan dress: The tunic raglan dress is a longer style that falls to the knee or mid-thigh. It is often made from a knit or stretchy material and has a relaxed fit. This style is ideal for a casual day look or weekend wear.
  • Shift raglan dress: The shift raglan dress is a simple and straight-cut dress with a loose fit. It is typically made from a lightweight material and is suitable for warmer weather. The shift style is a versatile option that can be dressed up or down.
  • Babydoll raglan dress: The babydoll raglan dress is a shorter, flared style with a fitted bodice and full skirt. It often has a playful and flirty look and is ideal for a casual or semi-formal occasion.
  • Baseball raglan dress: The baseball raglan dress is a sporty style with classic, three-quarter-length raglan sleeves. It is often made from a knit or stretchy material and has a relaxed fit. This style is ideal for sportswear or casual wear.
  • Hoodie raglan dress: The hoodie raglan dress is a casual and comfortable style with raglan sleeves and a hood. It is often made from a knit or stretchy material and is suitable for lounging or casual wear.

Why Make Your Own Raglan Dress?

There are various reasons why you might want to make a raglan dress for yourself, including the following: 

  • Comfort: Raglan dresses are designed to offer a relaxed and comfortable fit, making them a great choice for everyday wear.
  • Versatility: Raglan dresses come in a variety of styles and can be dressed up or down, making them suitable for a range of occasions.
  • Easy to make: Raglan dresses are relatively simple to make, making them a great option for beginners or those with limited sewing experience.
  • Customizable: When making your own raglan dress, you can choose the fabric, style, and fit that suits your tastes and preferences.
  • Cost-effective: Making your own raglan dress can be more cost-effective than buying one, especially if you already have some fabric to hand or if you find a good deal on the material.

What You Will Need To Make A Raglan Dress

  • Fabric: Choose a lightweight fabric such as cotton, linen, or knit material.
  • Pattern: You can find a premade raglan dress pattern or draft one yourself. If you make your own, ensure that you include the diagonal seams from the underarm to the neckline.
  • Sewing machine and supplies: You will need a sewing machine, thread, pins, and scissors.
  • Ruler or French curve: To accurately measure and cut your fabric, draft your own pattern or adjust an existing one.
  • Sewing pattern paper: If drafting your own pattern, you will need paper to make the pattern pieces.
  • Optional: Fabric markers, rotary cutter, or tracing wheel if you prefer to trace your pattern pieces onto the fabric.

How To Make A Raglan Dress

Here are the basic steps when it comes to making a simple raglan dress:

Choose A Pattern

How To Make A Raglan Dress (1)

Choose a premade raglan dress pattern or draft your own, making sure to include the diagonal seams from underarm to neckline.

Cut Out Your Fabric

Cut out your fabric using your pattern pieces, making sure to lay them out efficiently to minimize fabric waste.

Sew The Sides

Sew the sides of the front and back bodice pieces together, then sew the sleeves to the bodice pieces along the raglan seams.

Attach The Bodice And Skirt

Attach the bodice to the skirt by sewing them together at the waistline.

Finishing Touches 

Hem the bottom of the dress, add any desired embellishments, and finish any other details such as button closures, zippers, or neckline finishes.

Try It On!

Try on the dress to ensure the fit is correct and make any necessary adjustments.


These steps are a general guide, and the specific details of making a raglan dress will vary based on the pattern and style you choose.

Make sure to follow the instructions provided by your pattern for the best results.

Final Thoughts

Making a raglan dress is a fun and satisfying project that can be accomplished with a few basic tools and some fabric.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sewer, a raglan dress is a versatile and stylish piece that can be dressed up or down, making it a great choice for a range of occasions. 

When making your own raglan dress, be sure to choose a pattern that suits your style and skills, and take your time to ensure a perfect fit.

With a little patience and attention to detail, you’ll end up with a custom-made raglan dress that you’ll love wearing for years to come!

If you enjoyed this article, you might like our post ‘How To Feel Confident In The DIY Clothes You Make‘.

Liz Miller
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