Pattern hacks

5 Rockford raglans (Love Notions). Lace, piping, cardigan & dress hack. Mash with Rhapsody. Fun sewing.

The Rockford raglan is a pattern from Love Notions. I started sewing this pattern over a year ago and have been inspired by this pattern to try little details and hacks with it. It’s such a great base pattern with a great fit. The sky is the limit. You will see 5 versions with details such as the use of lace, faux piping and some cool and easy sewing hacks for even more fun.

*Love Notions is having a 40% site wide sale through Friday the 9th of October at 05:00 CST. Get all your favorite patterns HERE and the pattern for the Rockford Raglan HERE. These are affiliate links. If you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you, I receive a small commission that supports the work I do.

The Rockford raglan is designed for knit fabric and has many options for you to choose from. You can make many garments with this one pattern.

All the views share the same fitted style on the upper chest and bust, a scoop neckline with a neckband and different length sleeve options, including an optional cuff.

View A and B have a swing style with plenty of ease at the waist and hips. One is tunic length and the other hits the full hip.

View C and D have a straight closer fit to the body. One has an asymmetrical overlay piece and the other a banded hem.

The Rockford Raglan is designed for knit fabrics. These need to have at least 40% stretch and be light to medium weight.

For views A and B, that has a swing style, drapy fabrics like rayon spandex, modal, ITY, French terry, sweater knits are good choices. Please stay away from cotton spandex for this view. It’s too structured for the flowy look. My choices for view B have been: Textured knit, lace and *cotton spandex (I don’t recommend)

For views C and D, because it’s closer fitting, a more stable knit could be ok, like cotton spandex with great recovery. Of course, the knits mentioned above will also be great. My choices for View D have been: ITY and a sweater knit.

The Rockford raglan has been updated to include sizes XS-5X. There is a standard bust and a full bust option. The positive ease differs between the views and sizes.

View A and B have plenty of ease at the waist and hips, around 3″ at the waist and 10″ at the hips. I chose size Large for view B.

Views C and D have about 3″ of ease at the waist but only 1″ of positive ease at the hips. I sized up to a XL at the hips, while keeping Large on the upper body.

The lengths are in the chart with 24″ and 28″ for the shirt and tunic, respectively. I shorten the shirt length by 1-2″ and the tunic by 3″.

  • The pattern uses 3/8″ seam allowance
  • The sleeves are sewn in to the front and back and then the side seam and sleeve seam is sewn in one go. Super easy construction.
  • The neckline has a neckband.

BLACK ROCKFORD WITH LACE SLEEVES

My first Rockford raglan has been an absolute staple, and I probably wear it once a week. The knit is medium weight and textured and super drapy and appropriate for View B.

In my video, you can see how to cut the Rockford with one length of fabric and this layout will work up to size 2X and 58″ wide fabric.

The lace I used for the sleeves is also stretchy, and I used the scallops on the lace to be on the hem of the sleeves . No hemming! win.

I used the original neckline depth and knew it was a tad higher than my preference. I made notes to lower it for subsequent versions.

OFF-WHITE STRETCH LACE WITH LACE BINDING

My second Rockford raglan is made with off white stretch lace. It is also view B.

As mentioned, I knew I wanted the neckline lower, so I lowered it by 3/4″ (2cm). I used the stretchy selvedge of the lace to cut a long strip and used it as binding for the neckline. I measured my new neckline circumference and cut the binding length at 85%.

I serged the hem and left it unturned. My serger thread matches the lace exactly. I didn’t want to fold up and stitch because I didn’t want to interfere with the drape of the lace.

I love the delicate look and how easy this was to put together. I also well used the scallops on the edge to place the sleeve hem there and avoid hemming. Stretch lace is a great option, and I have my Rockford paired with a scuba Sybil Illusion collection pencil skirt. This skirt collection pattern is also from Love Notions and you can see a video with 10 makes HERE and a blog post about them HERE.

TROPICAL PRINT COTTON SPANDEX. The rebel one.

This is also View B, and I knew I should’ve printed View D for it. Cotton spandex does not drape at all, it “sticks out” and view D would have been a better choice for this fabric. But I was lazy and carried on making the PDF I had available, knowing I might need to take it in at the sides while I was sewing. I try garments on a few times while I sew as a general good practice.

I took the sides in by about 1″ and shortened the shirt by 2″ to get a nicer look from this structured knit. I also lowered the neckline further to form a V neckline (not part of the pattern). I measured the new V neckline circumference and used the V neckband piece from the Classic Tee, also from Love Notions.

To highlight the raglan seams, I cut small strips of contrast red rayon spandex and sewed “faux piping” into the seams. I didn’t want the raglan seams to go unnoticed in this tropical print.

These little strips are folded lengthwise wrong sides together and sandwiched between the sleeve and the font and the back main pieces. 3/8″ seam allowance is used and there will be about 1/4″ of the piping protruding from the seam. Pretty and easy.

To see all the details of this Rockford raglan and the previous lace version, along with sewing footage and look-books, visit the video from my channel below:

I really love this version. The print is everything I love and changing the fit to adapt to the fabric is never wrong. This one is a little closer to my body, but not fitted.

CARDIGAN HACK USING THE ROCKFORD RAGLAN!

Having made the Rockford so many times now and always in View B, it was time to print out View D. This view has a straight cut from the bust down to the hips and looks perfect for the base to hack it into a simple staple cardigan. So exciting.

First, I used the shorten and lengthen line to make it 3″ shorter. I want the cardigan to hit mid-hip length. I added 2″ of length for the sleeves.

The only pattern piece that needs modification is the front piece. Below you can see the changes:

  • I lowered the neckline by 1.5″ (pink line).
  • From the original neckline height, I measured down 7.5″. This is approx 2″ above my bust height. I know this from trying on my other Rockford raglans and marking this on the front. There is a little green horizontal notch marked on the pattern.
  • I drew a line from the hem up, 3/4″ from the center front. From the notch on the neckline, I curved the neckline up to the top of the pattern piece. This will be the cut line for the front. It will be narrower than the original because there will be a 2″ band sewn onto the center front.

  • We will measure the neckband in two sections.
  • The FIRST SECTION is from the hem up to the notch. The hem has been folded away at the bottom. I have used 3/4″ hem allowance. This section will include 3/8″ seam allowance at the bottom to finish the band neatly. This section measures 11 3/4″ and I will draw it 1:1 on the neckband piece. This means that the band will be the same length at the cardigan in this section.
  • For the SECOND SECTION, attach with pins the sleeve and back piece as if they were sewn, discounting the seam allowances. I measured from the notch up to the center back 1/4″ away from the edge. This is because the band will be sewn 1/4″ away from the edge. This section is 19.5″ and will be drawn at 90% on the neckband piece. This will ensure that the band does not gape at the upper chest and neck area. This second section at 90% is 17.5″
  • The neckband piece will be 4″ tall by 29.5″ long. The 29.5″ will have a section that is 11 3/4″ long from the hem up to the notch and then 17.5″ from the notch up to the center back. This includes 3/8″ at the bottom edge and I will add 1/4″ seam allowance to the long edges.
  • The neckband length drafted is for half of the body. It needs to be cut on the fold and if that is not possible, adding a center back seam is perfectly ok.

To see how to sew the neckband, measuring and drafting in more detail, visit the video from my channel below.

I used a basic black loosely woven sweater knit for my cardigan. There was a mess of fluff in my room and I was careful to serge the seams as quickly as possible. I hemmed the sleeves normally with a twin needle. There is a cuff option, but I preferred the simple hem for the sleeves.

Winter Autumn styling

Here, I have my Rockford Cardigan paired with a Rhapsody dress I made with knit fabric: rayon spandex. It was a fiddly sew, but possible with buckets of patience. A pair of 2″ heel leather boots completes this simple look. To see more about my dress, see THIS VIDEO. My winters are very mild and this layering piece is all I need for this relaxed and comfortable style.

Spring- summer styling

All that changes now it the dress and open shoes. The Rockford Cardigan takes up no space at all, and I could carry it with me to put on in freezing air-conditioned areas and cooler evenings.

Here I have my Cadence dress with front ties hack in a bubble tie dye crepe print and my fave red leather block heel sandals. To see more about the dress hack, see THIS VIDEO.

Such an exciting a fun project to envision and have come to life. I am telling you, I will wear this cardigan forever. I love it that much!

ROCKFORD BODICE WITH RHAPSODY SKIRT MASH UP!

I am using view D again for the base of this hack. I really like the fit of the Rockford raglan on the chest and shoulders and always thought a nice little bodice with a skirt would be nice. To determine the exact length and shape my bodice needed to be, I put on my tropical Rockford inside out and tied 1/4″ elastic around my waist. I drew the shape of my waist on the shirt (frixion pen yay) and transferred the marks to my pattern.

This method is unconventional but very exact to determine a bodice length on a body. My bust volume will cause that the front will have a curve and it will be lower in the center front. When the bodice is worn it will look level and straight on the front. If I cut a bodice straight across the front, my bust volume would make that seam ride up. Not an impressive look. See how the line looks on the pattern pieces.

I have the lines ready to cut the pattern piece shorter to have a bodice that hits my natural waist. The Rockford raglan has some positive ease at the waist and that is perfect. I can sew on a skirt, add an elastic casing in the seam allowance and have slight gathers bringing in the waist.

I measured across the width where my bodice lines are and they match the Rhapsody skirt piece PERFECTLY! The Rhapsody blouse was updated in April to improve sizing, and a skirt piece was added as part of the 1000 options this pattern has already. I have made 2 Rhapsody dresses and love that the ease at the waist is not excessive and likewise, the gathering. I am not a fan of TOO MUCH gathering at the waist. I have made a woven version, which is the intended style and also made a cheeky knit version. NOTE: the neckline, yoke and gathers on the knit version was very fiddly to sew and I would not recommend the Rhapsody in a knit, unless you have a lot of patience 🙂 The skirt piece is lovely and has a curved hem.

Chiffon version
Rayon spandex version

It turns out that my Rockford “bodice” matches the Rhapsody skirt PERFECTLY. If there were a bit of discrepancy in the width, it would be easy to adjust the bodice and skirt to match, and I would do that without blinking… but it wasn’t needed. Yay!

The Rhapsody skirt has 1/2″ seam allowance on the top. When sewn to the bodice with 1/2″ seam allowance and having the raw edges serged, there is a little space for a casing to put 1/4″ elastic inside. This means that from my bodice green lines, I needed to cut 1/2″ below that for seam allowance.

The Rhapsody skirt has different lines across the center. The back is wider when cut on the fold and the front is narrower. I used the “back” for both the front and back for this Rockford Raglan dress hack. I cut one skirt piece and placed it over my fabric in order to facilitate stripe matching on the side seams.

My fabric is an ITY knit and lightweight. I enjoy cutting the back twice and sewing it like it’s one layer to provide structure and prevent bra lines from showing. I have enough fabric to do it. If I didn’t have enough of the same fabric, I would use another lightweight knit to line the back piece. Hopefully, in a color that matches the main fabric.

Raglan sleeve dress patterns are not common to find, and this dreamed project brought so much fun and joy to me. Mashing up pattern is always exciting, and it opens the door for a million possibilities with these great patterns.

Let’s see how my Rockford Cardigan and Rockford dress look together!

NO one would ever know both garments are made from the same pattern, right? Now my head is spinning with more ideas for the Rockford Raglan. I still haven’t made view C. I’d like to make it shorter and make all black with a black and white lace overlay for the asymmetrical piece. Can’t wait to make it!

*Love Notions is having a 40% site wide sale through Friday the 9th of October at 05:00 CST. Get all your favorite patterns HERE and the pattern for the Rockford Raglan HERE. These are affiliate links. If you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you, I receive a small commission that supports the work I do.

DISCLAIMER: I was provided the pattern without cost, as a brand ambassador. I Purchased my own fabric for all of these projects. My opinions are very honest, especially around fit and sewing techniques.

I have affiliate links in this post to the pattern company and the pattern. If you click on these links, at no cost to you, I receive a small commission that helps finance my sewing, blog and Youtube channel.

HOW TO SUPPORT MY WORK:

I spend a lot of my time sewing, filming/editing videos, writing and taking photos for both my Youtube channel and blog and if you love what I do and consider my work valuable for your own sewing, you can support me financially in a non-committal manner by purchasing me a ”coffee” through Ko-Fi here.  $3 gets me one cup of “coffee”.

Did you love this post? did you find it helpful?

Your generous donation supports the cost required to keep sharing sewing tips and resources with you. Thank you.

5.00 $

If you would like to support my work in a continual basis, you are welcome to pledge on my Patreon Page where I offer rewards in tiers. Lots of extra exclusive sewing content awaits and a chance for us to connect more 🙂

Join Patreon for exclusive sewing content!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.