Sewing Pattern Variation: The Sleeveless Ilma Raglan

Sewing Pattern Variation: The Sleeveless Ilma Raglan Featured Image

And alas.. The sleeveless Ilma Raglan is here! This sewing pattern variation is based off of the original Ilma Raglan–The sweetest cropped sweater that you ever did see. (And one of our very first sewing projects here at The Flora Modiste!)

We actually have quite a few posts relating to the Ilma.. You might be able to tell that I love this project:

Soo yah. I like the Ilma Raglan.

Ever since I sewed up the original (and its subsequent variation) I have been wanting to sew up a sleeveless version. All you really need to do is tweak those gorgeous raglan seams to create a traditional round armhole.. And then voila, you have a sleeveless sewing pattern variation.

(More of a knit seam binding kind of girl? While the sleeveless Ilma sewing pattern variation is closed with a facing, you could absolutely close a similar project with a knit seam binding–Like on the original Ilma. Download your step-by-step sewing tutorial today!)

The Ilma Raglan: How To Sew A Knit Seam Binding Sewing Tutorial

Sewing Pattern Variation: The Sleeveless Ilma Raglan Side View

Sewing Pattern Variation: The Sleeveless Ilma Raglan Back View

If you have a garment that you absolutely love and would want to reimagine.. You can most certainly do it. Don’t doubt yourself girl!

(We actually have a post on how to remake your favorite clothing–So if there is a piece in your closet you absolutely love and want to recreate, or simply tweak, make sure to check out that tutorial as well.)

Granted–Revising the Ilma was slightly more difficult because of the raglan seams. But, still possible. (See more on how I went about doing that below!)

If you have a garment with a regular round armhole, and sleeves (long or short, it doesn’t matter) that sew into those armholes.. You would literally just not cut and sew the sleeves.

It really is that simple.

On the original Ilma Raglan, I chose to close the neckline of the sweater with a knit seam binding. Bindings are a popular closure option for knits–Especially sweaters. And it also provided a way to match the cuffs of the sweater, creating a bit of symmetry.

Since the sleeveless Ilma doesn’t have sleeve cuffs, I decided to just close the neckline and armholes up with a neckline facing. (Not sure how to sew a neckline facing? Girl, we’ve got a tutorial for that too.)

Now, I am not the biggest fan of neckline facings. But I become a much bigger fan if the neckline facing turns into a neckline AND armhole facing–It helps to provide some more structure and security, and keeps the facing from flapping around. Especially when you tack the facing down–Which I always, always do.

(More of a knit seam binding kind of girl? While the sleeveless Ilma sewing pattern variation is closed with a facing, you could absolutely close a similar project with a knit seam binding–Like on the original Ilma. Download your step-by-step sewing tutorial today!)

The Ilma Raglan: How To Sew A Knit Seam Binding Sewing Tutorial

Sewing Pattern Variation: The Sleeveless Ilma Raglan Construction Details

Other than chopping off the sleeves, the rest of the construction details for the Ilma are exactly the same as the original. Beautiful, flowing raglan seams, asymmetrical seam lines along the front, and a giant, voluminous godet.

I chose to use a knit for the sleeveless Ilma, as I did with the original, specifically because of that giant godet. With the first Ilma sewing pattern variation, I ended up using woven fabrics.. And while I do like that variation, I think the design of the Ilma just flows so much better with a knit fabric.

It’s like the Dany.

While yes, it works in a woven--It was made for a knit.

Btw–Not sure whether to choose a knit or a woven fabric for a project? We’ve got a comprehensive fabric guide for that.

The fabric I ended up using is a buttery soft organic cotton knit from Birch Fabrics. I had originally purchased this fabric when doing sample research for the Dany DIY kits–But I fell in love with the bright Sunny Daisies knit and went with that.

However–The midweight knit works perfectly for the sleeveless Ilma sewing pattern variation. (It’s almost like it was made for it?)

One reason I am real excited for the sleeveless Ilma is because summer is coming. And this little beauty is going to be perfect for high waisted skirts and shorts–My summer wardrobe.

(More of a knit seam binding kind of girl? While the sleeveless Ilma sewing pattern variation is closed with a facing, you could absolutely close a similar project with a knit seam binding–Like on the original Ilma. Download your step-by-step sewing tutorial today!)

The Ilma Raglan: How To Sew A Knit Seam Binding Sewing Tutorial

Sewing Pattern Variation: The Sleeveless Ilma Raglan Side View

Summers in San Diego get HOT–90+ degrees hot. So I need a summer wardrobe that is lightweight and breathable. Which just so happens to be exactly what the organic cotton knits from Birch are. (Side note–We also did a post all about why choosing organic cotton matters. Make sure to check it out!)

If you are looking to move forward with your own sewing pattern variation (do it) I have a few tips:

  • Sleeves: As mentioned above, it matters what type of sleeve the original garment has. Designs with typical round armholes are easy–Just don’t cut and sew sleeves. But if the garment has raglan or kimono sleeves, then you will need to do a little bit of drafting. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or super technical–Just make sure to draw out the new round armhole, and test the fit on yourself before closing it up.
  • Closure: Think about how to close up the neckline and armhole. You’ve got a few options: Separate bindings for the neckline and armhole, a facing (like on the sleeveless Ilma), rolled hems, or you could even fully line the garment. Just make sure to think about that before proceeding with the sewing pattern variation, because it will most probably affect the finished design and overall process.
  • Fabric: The choice of fabric can quite literally make or break a design. (I have had experience with both–The latter is not fun.) So make sure to pay attention to what fabric was used for the original garment. Is it a woven or a knit? Does it work well with the design? Is the fabric printed or solid? If it’s printed, are there stripes that need to be matched?

It’s easy to get caught up in the creative process of tweaking a design without really thinking all of the details through. I have done this many times myself–Which is why I can tell you it’s important to really think these things through.

(More of a knit seam binding kind of girl? While the sleeveless Ilma sewing pattern variation is closed with a facing, you could absolutely close a similar project with a knit seam binding–Like on the original Ilma. Download your step-by-step sewing tutorial today!)

The Ilma Raglan: How To Sew A Knit Seam Binding Sewing Tutorial

Sewing Pattern Variation: The Sleeveless Ilma Raglan (Make Your Own!)

When it came to the original sewing pattern variation for the Ilma, I didn’t really think the fabric portion through.

I figured that what I saw in my mind would just work–And while it kind of does, it’s not exactly how I envisioned it. The fabric is too think and too bulky for the soft, flowing design of the original Ilma. A big reason for that is because of the fabric–Both fabrics I chose were heavyweight wovens, rather than midweight knits.

And while that might not seem like that big of a deal, it absolutely is.

It's why the sleeveless Ilma flows so beautifully.

The same goes for the sleeves. When I was working on the sleeveless Ilma, I figured it would be cake to just cut the length of the raglan sleeves off. And that’s it, right?

While it wasn’t incredibly difficult.. It also took time. An entire afternoon that I had not planned on. So yes–I think my best advice if you are pursuing your own sewing pattern variation is to really think it through. Don’t just wing it.

Do you have any sewing pattern variations you are working on? Any long sleeve winter projects you are tweaking for the upcoming summer months? Let me know below, I’d love to hear about them!

(More of a knit seam binding kind of girl? While the sleeveless Ilma sewing pattern variation is closed with a facing, you could absolutely close a similar project with a knit seam binding–Like on the original Ilma. Download your step-by-step sewing tutorial today!)

The Ilma Raglan: How To Sew A Knit Seam Binding Sewing Tutorial

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