If you like a relaxed fitting top, a gathered-neckline top may be to your liking – it has comfortable elastic gathers at the neckline. This top also features a Raglan Sleeve, in which the sleeve extends in one piece to the neckline, creating a diagonal seam from the underarm to the collarbone.
How to sew this gathered-neckline top
Step 1. Draft the Raglan sleeve for the gathered topMark the bodice as in the picture below Mark regular sleeves as in the picture below or according to your sleeve pattern. The armhole line of the bodice and the 1/2 of the sleeve width should be the same, that is the stipulation here. For the raglan sleeve you have to cut the bodice into two parts at the neckline. Mark 2 1/4 inches down from the shoulders at the neckline and extend it to the armhole. Cut it out Add extra fabric along the center fold line for gathers (fullness)
Cut out the back pattern the same way. You get 2 pieces cut from the bodice top.Now join these 2 pieces to the sleeve pattern as in the picture below. You can add extra fullness by adjusting the two pieces. Mark around the sleeve pattern and cut it out.
Step 2. Gathered top bodice
Step 3. Gathered top SleeveI have cut the sleeve slightly longer than the elbow of length 16 inches. Finish the hem of the sleeves.
Step 4. Join bodices and sleeves
A top with raglan sleeve is joined differently than a regular bodice. You have to join them by the cut you have made along the armhole and neckline.Start joining them to each other
Step 5. Elastic casingMeasure the neckline of the joined bodice, all around. Cut out fabric strip of 2 inch width and length equaling the neckline round plus 1 inch extra. Fold one long edge of the strip to the inside 1/4 inch and sew.
Join this casing to the bodice neckline edge. Keep the bodice rightside out as you sew. Keep the casing fabric strip folded and sew it on the neckline. As you reach the end over lap the end of the strip over the folded edge as in the picture below.Turn it over to the back and stitch from the front, ensuring that you are catching the binding fabric in your stitch. This way you will have made a casing for elastic on your gathered top neckline. Remember to leave 2 inches unstitched when you sew – this is to insert elastic. This will be sewn shut later.
Step 6. Insert Elastic
You will first have to measure the neckline of your regular bodice to know how much elastic you will need to insert through the casing. The length of the elastic also depends on the type of elastic you have and its elasticity. Cut out the elastic in the measure you have measured and then insert through the casing with a bodkin or a trusty safety pin (trusty because, it should not open up midway)
Step 7. Sew the sides and the hem
As it is a curved hem, you will have to make a baby hem. Baby hem involves sewing the hem twice but it creates a tiny folded hem which is neat on curves.You have to be careful as you sew from the sides as the seam allowance should be carefully folded twice from the start of the slit.It is better to hand baste near the slit so that you get it accurately.