the easy tee {raglan sleeve tutorial}

For today’s tee, I took my easy tee pattern and modified it to include raglan (baseball tee style) sleeves. This is a really fun modification for two reasons: 1) adding a raglan sleeve the right way eliminates some of the bunching you see near the underarm in the original easy tee, which is a dolman sleeve shirt, and 2) raglan sleeves open up a lot of options for color and pattern mixing. Today’s post will show you how to create your own raglan sleeve pattern the right way. If you don’t want to make your own pattern and you happen to wear a size L, click through to this post for a free PDF pattern!

Free pattern and sewing tutorial for this easy to sew raglan sleeve tee for women.


FYI: I used this fabric from Girl Charlee.

I’ve seen tutorials on blogs before that show how to add a raglan sleeve, but they always skip the step that gives a raglan sleeve shirt a better fit than a dolman sleeve top (where the sleeves are just part of the shirt, not their own piece). To do it right, follow these easy steps.

Start with a dolman sleeve top pattern, or make your own by tracing around a fitted cap sleeve tee as shown:

To add raglan sleeves, follow these steps:

Cutting the curve in your pieces will make the shirt lay flat across your chest/underarm area for a better fit. Cut your bodice pieces on the fold, as seen below. Cut 4 of your sleeve piece, turning it 90 degrees before laying down on your fabric (this makes sure the sleeve will stretch across your arm).

You’ll end up with these pieces:

And here’s how you put the shirt together. (In this first photo please pretend two sleeve pieces have not already been sewn together – that was a mistake.)

Me and my dirty mirror showing you what your shirt looks like now:

I used strips of knit to bias bind the neckline (like I did in the colorblocked version) and the armholes.

Turn it up and hem (use a double needle like I did on the peter pan version or a single row of zigzag stitching to make sure the hem stretches).


Check out the other easy tee variations (click photo to go to post):


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  1. 1

    Teresa says

    I have loved all of these tees, but I think this raglan version is my favorite! And check out your pattern matching!

    • 2

      Susan says

      Could you please share how you matched up the stripes so perfectly? Also, do you need to stretch the top of the sleeve in order to fit it into the opening? (Please and thank you. A little new here!)

      • 3

        Gay says

        To match stripes exactly:
        1. Cut the front of the T-shirt out separately and be sure to lay the underarm seam at the top of the same stripe on both sides. If you have a multiple stripe fabric make sure to line up all the pieces on the same stripe.
        2. Lay the underarm points of the sleeve on the same stripe as you did for the front and back. Always cut each sleeve out separately! Never fold striped knits in two and then cut out 2 sleeves at once! Always use one thickness of STRIPED knit fabric when cutting out T-shirts. If you are using a solid knit or small pattern knit you can double it and cut two sleeves at once. I hope this helps!

  2. 7

    susana says

    Ja ja he vuelto para cortar según sus indicaciones ,veo que amamos sus fotos .
    Me olvidaba su pollera es bella ,bella.

    • 9

      Marie says

      really, a candle giveaway – who cares? what a rude way to try to get interest for your own site by posting this here.. i feel sorry for you

  3. 10

    Jen @ de Jong Dream House says

    I love your tutorials! I’ve pinned all of your shirt tutorials. I’m a quilter and haven’t been brave enough to make anything to wear, but you’re giving me confidence to try.

  4. 11

    pfirsch says

    Can you give a few more details about how to draw the curve? I don’t understand how to draw it so that it will properly.

  5. 12

    Amy says

    I have been looking for a good raglan tee pattern and just stumbled upon yours – love it! And thank you for making a free pattern 🙂

  6. 16

    Anita o. says

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I’ve been looking for a way to improve the fit of a tight raglan sleeve and I think I finally found the answer. By the way, my Stretch and Sew book recommends making the neckband 3/4 the length of the neck seamline (plus the seam allowances for joining it into a band) to make it lie flat, I hope this tip helps other sewers.

  7. 17

    Claudia says

    Thank you for this helpful tutorial. The shirt fits great.
    Question: How much fabric, measured at its widest, do you cut away when you curve the line for the raglan seam? 1/2 inch on each piece, more, less? Thank you.

  8. 18

    Hanneke Kerkhof says

    Hi, thanx for sharing this pattern. I just wanted to know it the seam value allready in it or should I draw it extra on the pattern?

  9. 20

    slcsinger says

    Thanks for the pattern and instructions! I modified by cutting the sleeves on the fold instead (I didn’t like the extra seam on my arm), I lengthened both the front and the back and cut a bit more curve into the bodice so that its fitted. I’ve done two practice 3/4 sleeve shirts and now I think I’m ready to try making a dress!

  10. 22

    Anne says

    Thank you so much for the pattern and tutorial! It fits me perfectly 😀
    I made the raglan swing dress and is so cute ❤️


  1. […] Girl Charlee has a HUGE selection of jersey solids and prints and I find that while the solids are always very soft, some of the prints, especially those with darker colors, can be a little stiff from the dye used to print the design. They soften a bit with washing and I use them regularly, but that’s something I wanted to make you guys aware of. You can see this striped cotton jersey in the raglan easy tee. […]

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