Sewing Pattern Variation: The Ilma Raglan

Sewing Pattern Variation The Ilma Raglan Featured Image

And introducing a bit of a new series here on The Flora Modiste: The sewing pattern variation series! In these posts, I will be revisiting one of our monthly sewing projects and tweaking it to create a completely different, unique garment. My goal with this series is to show you that even with a single sewing pattern, multiple one-of-a-kind pieces can be created from it!

Because it is so easy to finish a sewing project and then never pick up the sewing pattern again. But it does not have to be like that friends. Case in point: Our very first sewing pattern variation is for the Ilma Raglan.

The Ilma debuted as a sewing project here on The Flora Modiste exactly 1 year ago. And I absolutely LOVE the original sweater. It's a cropped little beauty with a giant godet front and center. The godet gives the sweater a bit of volume (which I love) and is an element that I think is pretty unusual for a sweater. I'm also a sucker for raglan seams. Because I feel like no matter what type of design they are on, raglan seams are so flattering.

(And not to mention incredibly comfortable too.)

With the original Ilma, I also created the sleeves EXTRA long. Because who doesn't love extra long sleeves on a sweater?

I used a fairly lightweight knit for the initial Ilma, which worked pretty well for it. (Although I made the mistake of hanging the sweater up in my closet, rather than folding it up in my dresser. And now the sleeves are like 12 feet long and need a good hem.)

SO the original knit was definitely not lightweight enough to hang up, but I also wouldn't call it a midweight knit either. Somewhere in the middle.

(Not a fan of the raw seams on this sewing pattern variation of the Ilma Raglan? We most certainly have a tutorial from the original sewing project all about how to sew a knit seam binding. Grab your printable step-by-step tutorial below!) Ilma Raglan Sewing Pattern Variation: How To Sew A Knit Seam Binding Tutorial Sewing Pattern Variation: The Ilma Raglan Original Version

Sewing Pattern Variation: The Ilma Raglan Updated Version

But ever since I made the original Ilma, I have been wanting it in a heavier, warmer fabric. I wanted to be able to wear this beauty in the fall/winter without a jacket. (And keep in mind, a San Diego winter rarely gets lower than the 50's. So.)

I raided my fabric box and found this amaaaazing fabric that I knew would be perfect for a heavier version of the Ilma.

I believe it's actually a Polartec fleece, and I'm not entirely sure how I inherited it. But I only had like maybe 1 yard of it, and it's been in my sewing box for a long time.. Which made it the perfect fit for this project!

And I'm thinking it's a Polartec fleece because I actually worked with Polartec fabrics while working in NYC.. We used the fabric for some of the coats at the company I worked for! Yes, this fabric is THAT warm.

Where it would keep you toasty even in a New York winter.

While I was sewing up this version of the Ilma, I was literally getting HOT. I had to put the project down for a bit and come back to it. The fabric is that toasty.

I feel like the fabric is almost like a hybrid between a fleece & a felt. It has the look & feel of a sleek fleece, but the stiffness & shape of a felt. And I absolutely loooove how crisp those seams look--Perfection.

I decided to create the godet in a separate fabric because I felt like the Polartec fleece was just TOO stiff. Godets are meant to flow easily & gracefully, which is not something that a heavy fleece does well. (Also I may have run out of fabric...)

(Not a fan of the raw seams on this sewing pattern variation of the Ilma Raglan? We most certainly have a tutorial from the original sewing project all about how to sew a knit seam binding. Grab your printable step-by-step tutorial below!) Ilma Raglan Sewing Pattern Variation: How To Sew A Knit Seam Binding Tutorial Sewing Pattern Variation: The Ilma Raglan Front View

The black knit that I pulled for the godet is actually from a past project, the Alice Knit. You may remember? I recreated the Alice Knit based off of one of my favorite sweaters that REALLY needed a makeover.

And I'm not usually a big fan of color blocking--I've mentioned that to you guys before. I think it's a lazy design choice. But I think it actually works kind of well for this particular design. The design work is already there (i.e. The asymmetrical lines & the godet) and the color blocked black knit just emphasizes this design elements.

Okay cool. So I changed the fabric choice.

That's easy, but what else?

I also shortened the length of the sleeves quite a bit, almost to the point of a 3/4 length sleeve. This wasn't entirely intentional.. But I actually REALLY like it. If going somewhere reeeally cold, cutting the Ilma with the shorter sleeves would make it a great layering piece. Throw it over a turtleneck, and you're ready for snow!

Another big design change was that I left all of the edges raw. This is another upside to working with the Polartec fleece. The edges just do not fray like a typical fabric does. (I did have to hem the knit of the godet, because that was literally falling apart in my hands.) I also just love the look of the raw Polartec seams. And it doesn't even have to be a Polartec fabric--I just love the look of all raw seams.

If you'll recall, the raw seams of the original Ilma were finished off in a few different ways. The hemline was hand stitched as a rolled hem, and the sleeves were finished off with cuffs. The neckline of the Ilma was finished off with a knit seam binding. (Which we have a full, step-by-step tutorial for!)

(Not a fan of the raw seams on this sewing pattern variation of the Ilma Raglan? We most certainly have a tutorial from the original sewing project all about how to sew a knit seam binding. Grab your printable step-by-step tutorial below!) Ilma Raglan Sewing Pattern Variation: How To Sew A Knit Seam Binding Tutorial Sewing Pattern Variation: The Ilma Raglan Updates

Sewing Pattern Variation: The Ilma Raglan Back View

Theoretically, this new version of the Ilma could also be finished off in all of the same ways.

But again, I just really liked the look of the raw seams. And I think adding anything additional to those raw edges would just make the sweater a hair too bulky. And keeping those raw edges cut down SO MUCH on my sewing time for this project. (I literally sewed it up in an hour and a half. Not kidding.)

If looking for a quick, easy project to sew up, working with a fabric like the Polartec fleece is THE way to go.

Felt works in a pretty similar way too, in that it still looks great with the raw edges exposed. (Although more often than not, felt is pretty rough and not very soft to the touch.) One mistake that I did make with this project was that I still snipped all of the notches for my pattern, out of habit.

Including the notches along the exposed neckline.

#facepalm

So if going to keep an exposed raw edge like with this version of the Ilma, then make sure to PAY ATTENTION to the notches you are snipping. And to not snip notches that will be left on a raw, exposed seam line. (Pro tip, but not really.) I ended up having to go back through and hand stitch the snipped marks very, very carefully.

Thankfully, the Polartec fleece works well with hand stitching, so it turned out pretty well. But it was just more time that I didn't have to spend on the project, and something that could have easily been avoided.

Ultimately, there were even more things that I could have adjusted with this pattern to make it stand out from the original Ilma. Like making the entire front a single piece, or having a flat center front panel instead of the full, voluminous godet. Creating a short sleeve sweater. OR maybe even a sleeveless vest?!

(Not a fan of the raw seams on this sewing pattern variation of the Ilma Raglan? We most certainly have a tutorial from the original sewing project all about how to sew a knit seam binding. Grab your printable step-by-step tutorial below!) Ilma Raglan Sewing Pattern Variation: How To Sew A Knit Seam Binding Tutorial Sewing Pattern Variation: The Ilma Raglan Front View

Even with such an easy, simple sewing project as the Ilma, there are so so many possibilities for a sewing pattern variation. (I feel like our sewing patterns here on The Flora Modiste are particularly good at that.) And I am pretty happy with how this particular sewing pattern variation turned out.

While the original Ilma was perfect to wear with jeans, under a lightweight jacket.. I feel like this version of the Ilma is perfect all on its own.

I can already see myself wearing this beauty around the house with leggings. (HELLO 3/4 sleeves perfect for washing dishes!) Or with a high waisted skirt.. Or if I ever go somewhere cold, with a turtleneck underneath.. Seriously.

It's amazing what you can with a sewing pattern that you already own and fabric scraps just sitting in your sewing box. OH and that's another bonus of working with a sewing pattern variation.

GETTING RID OF FABRIC SCRAPS.

You guys KNOW that getting rid of fabric scraps is my jam. All this year I have really been trying to emphasize how you can use fabric scraps for all kinds of different sewing projects. Projects liiiike: How to sew a chair cushion. An easy DIY pet bandana. How to sew a patchwork pillow.

And not to mention the Tartt Racerback & Naoko Tank! (Both were made entirely from scrap fabric that had just been sitting in my sewing box.) So yes. We are all about lessening waste and using what we have here on The Flora Modiste.

And I was actually considering turning the Ilma Raglan into a free, downloadable PDF sewing pattern that you guys could print out at home.. While it really would be an excellent way to get you sewing, you would also be adding a DIY sweater to your closet.

AND be using up any fabrics scraps you may have just lying around. (You can make this project with just 1-1/2 yards of fabric! It really doesn't take much.) Would any of you be interested in that? Let me know below!

(Not a fan of the raw seams on this sewing pattern variation of the Ilma Raglan? We most certainly have a tutorial from the original sewing project all about how to sew a knit seam binding. Grab your printable step-by-step tutorial below!) Ilma Raglan Sewing Pattern Variation: How To Sew A Knit Seam Binding Tutorial

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