Pattern Review

Grainline Penny Raglan

***This post originally published on the Cali & Co blog***

If you’ve ever read my blog, it should be no surprise that I love loose, oversized garments, particularly those in bamboo jersey.  And this Penny Raglan (which I originally featured as a Cali & Co contributing blogger) is one of my all-time favorite flowy patterns.

Katie Lee: Penny Raglan
Photo Credit: Go Dream Photos

For this Penny Raglan, I chose a lovely lavender bamboo stretch jersey.  This is a pattern that needs fabric with a lot of drape — it’s pretty much a box with sleeves, and that’s exactly why I love it!

Katie Lee: Penny Raglan
Photo Credit: Go Dream Photos

This bamboo jersey was perfect for the Penny.  It has tons of drape, which makes that big boxy shape lay really nicely against the body.  Even though this is one of the most shapeless tops I own (along with my other Penny), I think it may be one of the most flattering!  And a lot of that has to do with fabric choice.

Katie Lee: Penny Raglan
Photo Credit: Go Dream Photos

One thing I love about bamboo jersey is that, unlike a lot of knits with this level of drape, it isn’t the slightest bit see-through.  Often lightweight drapey knits, particularly in lighter colors, are somewhat translucent, which can be an issue for the modest among us (not a problem I am known to have), or for those whose light-colored bras are in the wash (something I am more likely to encounter).  I’ve never found that to be an issue with bamboo.  It’s almost always thicker than your average knit, with as much drape as even the drapiest rayon knit.

Katie Lee: Penny Raglan
Photo Credit: Go Dream Photos

As for the Penny itself, it sews up so quickly and easily that you can easily populate your closet with loose, oversized tops in an afternoon!  It has raglan-cut sleeves, which are really easy to sew and wear — no need to ease in a sleeve cap, which is always nice.  And the loose style of the top makes the shirt really forgiving.  A few inches over the Grainline size chart?  No need to worry about that with the Penny.  This top is drafted with 18″ of positive ease at the bust, which means you could lose several inches and still have a really loose top!

I got distracted by other projects over the last few months, but skinny jeans are next up in my sewing queue.  I think a few Pennys in fallish colors would pair perfectly with those jeans!

In this outfit:
Top: Penny Raglan by Grainline Studios
Pants: Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files
Jewelry: Stella & Dot
Shoes: Born Elly Sandals
Bag: Coach leather satchel (similar here and here)

Katie Lee: Penny Raglan
Photo Credit: Go Dream Photos

Pattern: Penny Raglan by Grainline Studios

Price: $12.00

Size: 6

Difficulty: Knit beginner

Techniques Required: Working with knits, attaching a neckband, sewing raglan sleeves, working with drapey fabric.


  • None.  There is only one view.

Supplies Needed:

  • Drapey knit Fabric
  • Matching thread

Similar Patterns: You can find any number of raglan patterns on the market right now (seriously, the indie market is saturated with raglans and basic tees), but the lovely thing about the Penny is that its oversized silhouette is very underrepresented right now.  The closest you would come would be Grainline’s own Linden sweater, and maybe the Patterns for Pirates Relaxed Raglan.  Though really neither of those is a substitute for Penny, in my opinion.

Fabric: Bamboo/spandex knit from Cali Fabrics.

Fit: Perfect.  Granted, this top has 18″ of positive ease at the bust, so it doesn’t take much to get a perfect fit.  Still, even with all that ease, the neckline doesn’t slip off my shoulders, and I have no weird bunching anywhere.

Modifications: None.

Pattern format: PDF. This file is pretty easy to deal with, largely because there are so few pieces.  Only front, back, sleeve and neckband, so taping is pretty painless.


  • Really fast and easy construction.
  • Loose, forgiving style makes fitting pretty much a non-issue.
  • Abundance of ease built into the garment means that it will fit a broader range of sizes and still be quite roomy.
  • This loose, oversized style is not only uber-comfy, but it’s very stylish right now.
  • Pairs perfectly with skinnies.


  • Not a lot of options — there is only one view.  Though you could easily lengthen this top for an oversize tunic or dress.
  • Hemming thin, drapey knits can be challenging.  The pattern is so loose that it doesn’t really require a stretch stitch, though I still think it’s a good idea.

Overall Grade: B+.  I looooove the style of this top, but I know that not everyone shares my love of relatively shapeless sacks.  Still, if this is your style, no need to hesitate about this pattern!

**All photo credit in this post goes to my friend Rebecca Collier, a Kansas City photographer, who can be found at Go Dream Photos.

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