DIY Raglan Tee into Funnel Neck Pullover

By | April 18, 2018

It started as a “Hmm… I wonder if this would work” hunch, and turned into a great project!

I’ve been having the most fun tweaking patterns lately. I’m not super into the idea of drafting my own blocks, but I just can’t resist the urge to add my own spin to pretty much any pattern. Now that I have a little more time to dedicate to sewing, it’s all about playful experimentation!

I was curious about whether I could turn a regular raglan tee into a funnel-neck top by just widening the neck band. Answer: yes!

Wet hair, don’t care

The pattern I used is an old early-aughts McCall’s, but you could do this with any raglan tee pattern. I’m not going to do a whole tutorial since that’s not my thing, and I’m not sure anyone wants it. That said, here’s a quick rundown of the steps I took to turn a basic raglan pattern into a DIY funnel-neck pattern.

  • Added a number of inches (maybe 7ish?) to the neckband pattern piece, then doubled that so I could fold it over and stitch it to the neckline like a cuff
  • Added two buttonholes in the top front of the funnel-neck and created a casing by just adding a line of stitches about 5/8″ from the top fold
  • Inserted cording through the buttonholes and knotted the ends
  • Added cuffs to both sleeves, breaking stitching along the cuff seam to create thumbholes
  • Added a band of doubled fabric at the bottom and attached like a cuff
  • Added a kangaroo pocket to the front

That’s it! It was pretty easy, since none of the parts needed any real shape or actual “drafting,” It was more about just measuring the existing pieces and, for this particular fabric, matching the stripes where possible. I’m thinking McCall’s 7093 could also be a good candidate for this funnel-neck treatment!

I’m finding this top so wearable, especially as a spring transition item. I just wish I had yoga pants that went along with it, so I could go full soccer-mom.

When you line up your pocket too well and it disappears!

The funny thing for me is the fabric. I bought this heathered windowpane knit fabric, and was a bit let down at some discoloration along the selvedge and throughout the piece. That’s when this fabric was downgraded from, “can’t wait to make something awesome” to “I guess I’ll just experiment with it.” And after I cut out the front, I noticed that portion of the fabric is a shade or so lighter than the rest of it! I was expecting this garment to be recycled almost immediately.

Turns out, the discoloration is a feature, not a bug. My mom actually thought it was a RTW garment because the slight two-tone look isn’t something home sewists can easily replicate. So, with mom-approval, I wholeheartedly embraced this top. While I’m excited to make another (I have some French terry lined up… yum!), it looks like this garment will be sticking around for awhile.

See? I promise the kangaroo pocket is there, just extremely well-matched!

As far as changes to the original pattern, I narrowed the sleeves quite a bit (possibly too much), shortened the sleeves before adding cuffs, and definitely needed the bottom band added because it was pretty short as drafted.

Finally, let’s talk budget. The fabric was a steal at $3 a yard (I picked up 3, so that I could make something more complex if needed), and the navy cording cost $1.25. At a total of $10.25, I have a lounge-y top, some boxer shorts, and about a yard leftover. (A sleep shirt? A regular tee? Playclothes for Baby JuJu?) What looked like a waste of money is already paying for itself. I love it when that happens!

Welcome to the closet, my Surprisingly Successful Funnel(neck) of Love!