Sleeves Part 3: Raglans. (Part One of Two)

11 October 2023

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In Parts One and Two of this series, we looked at how to modify the fit of the sleeve and armhole of drop shoulder, circular yoke, and set-in sleeve sweaters. Now it’s time to dive into the raglan sleeve.

Continuing Kim McBrien Evans’s series on garment size and fit, this instalment tackles the Raglan sleeve structure.

Other pieces in this series:

The History of the Raglan

The raglan sleeve was first drafted as a solution to a very specific challenge: an amputated arm. FitzRoy Somerset, the first Baron Raglan, was injured in the Battle of Waterloo and lost his right arm. The Baron worked with his tailor to develop a one-piece sleeve construction with a diagonal that spans from the neckline/collar, around the shoulder joint to the underarm. This innovation allowed the Baron Raglan ease of dressing and the arm movement required for him to wield his sword using his non-dominant left arm and continue his military career.

Raglan Vs Set In 20230925

Understanding the origin of the raglan sleeve can help us understand how it should fit: more relaxed (less fitted) to the shoulder joint to allow for full arm movement and comfort in the garment.

All images by Kim McBrien Evans.

Copyright © Kim McBrien Evans except as indicated.
Photo of Kim McBrien Evans

About Kim McBrien Evans

Curiosity and exploration are the name of the game for Canadian knitwear designer and indie hand dyer, Kim McBrien Evans. A lifelong love of colour, texture, and pattern prompted Kim to transition from working artist to textile maven. Her knitwear designs are known for their ability to turn an abstract idea into a textile reality while simultaneously fitting and complimenting a wide range of bodies. This design work has lead her to explore how home sewers and knitters can create clothing that fits, while showing professional designers the beauty of inclusive design. Her yarn company, indigodragonfly, is renowned for its vibrant colours, offbeat names, and ever expanding plan for world domination. Her work has appeared in Vogue Knitting, Knitscene, Knit.Wear, Knitting Magazine (UK), A Stash of One’s Own (ed. Clara Parkes), The Sewcialists and Uppercase. She is co-author of Custom Shawls for the Curious and Creative Knitter.

Related Posts

Sleeves Part 3: Raglans. (Part Two of Two)

Sleeves Part 3: Raglans. (Part Two of Two)

[For Armchair & Studio Members] Kim McBrien Evans continues her series on sweater size and fit, addressing the issue of raglan garment structure. In this second installment, she explains specific alterations – both the rationale and the calculations.

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