A Fantastic Raglan from 5 out of 4 Patterns

Winter has been dragging on here in southern Ontario. My husband doesn’t really wear winter weight jackets; he tends to wear a heavy sweater or a long sleeve with a fall weight jacket that is water resistant. His wardrobe as we transition to spring can be challenging. He only wears long sleeves in the cooler weather. I really wanted to test out the Ryan Raglan from 5 out of 4 Patterns. As a plus size couple, I’m excited to see more men’s and women’s patterns become available from designers . This was a good opportunity to add a staple to his wardrobe. What I didn’t know, is how much I would LOVE the look of this hooded raglan on him.

The Pattern: Ryan Raglan
Designer: 5 out of 4 Patterns
Size Range: XS to 6X
Difficulty: 2/5
What I Made: 4XL based on Chest Measurement, lengthened for height
Alterations: Full Tummy adjustment, previously established shape and length from sewing Desmond Pajamas

I’ve had this luxurious french terry solid and interlock stripe from The Fabric Snob since last year. We picked up a number of coordinating colours of these interlock stripes with the intention of making shirts for Dave. In the last year though, life has been a rollercoaster of emotions and it took me a while to get the motivation to sew again. And really, to start seriously sewing clothing for both of us.  Grief and loss has a way of paralyzing you for months.

Anyways, back to the pattern. On a regular sleeve, I sometimes have to do a narrow shoulder adjustment when sewing the size that fits his chest girth. In a raglan style, we found this was not necessary.  I have also established a lower front bodice shape that fits him well. One of his main complaints with ready to wear clothing is that the shirts are never long enough in the front. His tummy contour means that for them to be able to tuck in (and stay tucked in all day!) they have to be super long in the front. Often times ready to wear clothing just barely tucks in which is a hassle. He has a long torso to begin with, his height is 6’3″, and the tummy means his length requirement in the front is even longer. So, here’s an example of the shape I create on the front bodice. This is actually my Desmond pattern piece, another pattern from 5 out of 4, so I know it’s compatible.

Essentially, I took a few measurements measuring from the middle of the shoulder seam to establish approximately where his body gets wider. I made one vertical slash and then two horizontal slashes. The top slash is where he starts to widen out, and the lower one is about where he evens out. I then spread the vertical slash until I was happy with the measurements of the front bodice compared to his actual measurements. To bring the side seam back in, I essentially created a wedge at the top, and then the bottom area overlaps (green hash area).

In the picture, the rainbow line is the original length of the pattern. Before doing the slash and spread I added length to both the front and back bodice for torso height (where the side seam ends is the length I added). *picture of traced pattern piece used with permission from Jessica at 5oo4

Raglans are really easy to colour block; in fact – I feel like they are meant to be colour blocked! We are learning that stripes across his stomach area isn’t as forgiving, but the stripes on the sleeves are perfect. Also, sewing with too many stripes makes me dizzy. There are a few of his shirts with a narrow stripe like this that I have to squint to fold or else my eyes go all wonky. This raglan pattern fits nicely through the front chest seams and under the arm. A bit of bunching is inevitable due to the nature of a raglan sleeve, but this one actually sits quite comfortable.

But I think perhaps my favourite part about this whole pattern is the AMAZING HOOD! I’m new to sewing actually, and I hadn’t come across a scuba style hood yet. The hood is actually separated into 4 pieces, the 2 sides, top gusset, and the front chest piece. The seams of the hood line up with the 4 raglan bodice parts. There is real potential for a neat effect. I didn’t quite get my stripes and seams lined up on this one, but I will be more careful on the next one for a really crisp finish. I also love the way the gusset on the hood sits on him. He finds it quite comfortable. I should also mention it’s a lined hood so there are 2 layers. The french terry and interlock is about as thick as I’d like to go on a lined hood. Much more and it would be too bulky and not sit flat. Final note, I didn’t lengthen the arms at all, they were a perfect length for him.

Isn’t he handsome? All the heart eyes from me for this man, he’s such a good sport even though it was really cold the day we were out taking these pictures in the nearby park. And starting to rain too on and off. We had to take warming breaks in the car. We photographed four different garments for him that day,  two raglans and two hoodies. He’s supportive of all my hobbies. He helps me wash the fabric, wrangle the giant pieces on the cutting ..ahem dining… room table. And he even helps with cutting fabric out. He knows that he gets amazing well fitting clothes at the end, but I think he’d help me anyways even if he didn’t. He’s the lead photographer on our photo shoot outings. He’s a novice hobby photographer with lots of knowledge about lighting and composition. At some point I’ll share some tips from him about photography skills that I think other sewists would appreciate.

Good to know…

  • Don’t forget about stripe/pattern matching your hood pieces in the front
  • Pin/clip the 4 main seams of the hood and bodice where they join and nest the seams to get a nice lined up hood/bodice seam
  • Don’t hesitate to make bold pattern adjustments on just the front of the bodice for men’s bodies, they are curvy too!
  • To make this pattern in a 4XL chest with the adjustments mentioned above took just under 2.5 metres, most of this was require for length as the bodice pieces can fit side by side. I have large scraps leftover.
  • If you have broad shoulders and regular women’s raglans don’t fit well, or you want a more relaxed bodice, consider making this for yourself. There were a few testers who did exactly that and had a great fit.

Future versions…

  • At least 1 or 2 more exactly like this in other colour-ways of my Snob stripes and solids
  • We talked about sizing down in the chest a bit to make a swim shirt for when we are up at my parents place. They live on the water and Dave loves snorkelling to stay cool, but sunburn on his back happens easily. I would probably hack a zipper into a shoulder seam to make it easier to get on and off when wet.
  • I think this will be a staple in his wardrobe for in-between seasons. I will make a few in 3/4 length sleeves with crew neck for warmer days and cool summer evenings.

You can get the pattern HERE – Ryan Raglan from 5 out of 4 Patterns. This is an affiliate link.

The last garment we tried to get pictures of on this same day was the other raglan I made with black sleeves and striped bodice. It was starting to rain more consistently by now and we were getting pretty cold. But we still got a few fun pictures, all part of the adventure!

Do you sew for your partner? What do you find challenging or rewarding about sewing for another adult? Looking at these last pictures, I think he needs some better fitting jeans – oy!

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