New Pattern Release: Sinclair Nova Raglan

Pattern Stats: Nova Raglan Sweatshirt
Pattern designer: Sinclair Patterns 
Pattern level: 3/10
Time start to finish: 2-3 hours
Suggested fabrics: Medium to heavy weight knits with some stretch such as sweatshirt, French Terry, sweater knits
Options: crew neckband, cowl or crossover hood; patch or kangaroo pocket; bottom band or drawstring casing
My fabric: Floral sweater knit from Mily Mae Fabrics; Plum sweatshirt knit from Walmart
Price: $7.99 through September 18, 2019 then $9.99

It's beginning to look like fall here in Oregon. I was hoping summer would stay a bit longer but with the start of school last week came all the rain back. Fortunately, during this huge weather transition, I was testing a raglan style sweatshirt or sweater that's amazingly perfect for fall. 

Meet the newest pattern in the Sinclair Patterns collection, the Women's Nova Raglan Sweatshirt! 

I was really excited about this pattern as the Sinclair Demi raglan is the only raglan shirt pattern I've found that fits me. I have a bit wider of shoulders and find that raglans sit oddly on me due to this. What's great about Nova is that it fit my shoulders and has the ease to give a more relaxed fit. 

Why Nova

I know there are quite a few sweatshirt and raglan patterns out there. Are you thinking what sets this one apart? Why do you need it? Well, there's three reasons!

First, the Sinclair patterns all come in 3 heights for both women and men. This is the petite/short, regular and tall heights. Each of these heights has a separate pattern file and has adjustments throughout the pattern in proportion to the heights. What that means is that the petite files aren't just shorter at the bodice length but throughout the whole fit. 

Second, the drafting that Oxana does is impeccable. She strives for excellence in the fit throughout all the sizes offered and achieves that. The testing process is thorough to minimize any fit issues. Keep in mind, if you have an adjustment you normally need to make, you will likely still need to do that. 

Third, the pattern options. The bottom drawstring casing is something I haven't seen much and I can't rave about it enough. The options on this pattern have been kept to a minimum to keep this a quick sew but that doesn't mean there's anything missing. 

For the neckline, choose from a crew neckband, cowl or lined crossover hood. There are also instructions for adding buttonholes or grommets for optional drawstrings on the lined hood. For the bottom hem, choose from a bottom band or the drawstring casing. The drawstring casing is my favorite thing right now. Plus if you feel like adding pockets choose from a patch breast pocket or kangaroo pocket. 


Let's talk sizing for the Nova. Due to the consistent pattern drafting from Sinclair, I am always the same size. I measure a size 6 bust, 8 waist and 6 hip in all Sinclair Patterns. The exception is when it's recommended to not grade due to ease. For the Nova, you don't need to grade out the waist up to 3 sizes! The only reason you would grade the waist out is if your hips will need to be graded. All of my Nova's are a size 6 regular. (I'm 5'5" tall and measure into the regular height size file).

Now different fabrics can affect fit. If you are using a lighter weight, drapier or non-stable knit I would recommend sizing down. During testing we had some testers use waffle knit and could have benefited from sizing down. 

You can see the opposite with these two Novas. The floral sweater knit lays nicely where the sweatshirt knit is thicker and has more defined creases. There's nothing wrong with either, they just come out with different fits and looks. 


As I've stated earlier, the fabric really plays a role into the fit and final appearance of your Nova. The Nova was designed for medium to heavy weight knit fabrics with 20-30% horizontal and vertical stretch. I would recommend select sweater knits, French Terry and sweatshirt material. What's great is that the fabrics that don't work for the majority of patterns because they lack stretch, work with Nova. Keep in mind though that Nova does need some vertical stretch or the bodice and sleeves will be too short. 

During testing, my first Nova was made from a floral medium weight sweater knit from Mily Mae Fabrics. This specific sweater knit sold out quickly but others are available here. It contains decent horizontal stretch but the minimum amount of stretch needed vertically, right around 20%. Since this fabric isn't overly stretchy, I decided to use DBP for the neckband, cuffs and drawstring casing. I really like the contrast with the black that makes the details pop.

My second Nova was made from a mystery knit from Walmart. It appears to be a brushed sweatshirt knit that has stretch but little to no recovery. The risk with using a fabric like this is that it can stretch out and not go back to shape. It may end up frumpy at the end of the day. I loved the heavy weight, plum color and faint stripes too much to not give it a try.

This one I went with the crossover hood for the neckline. I chose a DBP scrap piece for the hood lining and both drawstrings for a fun touch. 

Since I love the drawstring casing bottom hem so much, I chose to use it again on this Nova. I probably should have used a thinner fabric with stretch for the casing but wanted it to look like it was one piece so didn't. It still gathers some but is just bulkier.

My third Nova I pieced together from scrap cuts in my scrap bin. Both are sweater knits from Mily Mae Fabrics. The large polka dot is a 2-stretch sweater knit that has a bit of spandex in it which helps with recovery. I paired it with a lightweight two tone grey soft sweater knit for the sleeves, cowl and drawstring. 

The light weight and good drape of the grey sweater knit was ideal for the cowl. I know neither of these fabrics are what I recommended at the beginning but they both worked. I chose to use cotton lycra for the cuffs since neither of these fabrics has the recovery needed for cuffs. 

As you can see, I'm obsessed with the drawstring casing finish so I chose that option once again on this one too. I made the drawstring myself for each of my versions including this one out of sweater knit. There are steps in the tutorial for doing this and I'd highly recommend it for a more professional finish. 

Nova vs Demi

I've seen several questions in the Sinclair Patterns Facebook Group regarding how this pattern is different than the Demi raglan, also offered by Sinclair. Here's a comparison of the two patterns. 

Fabric WeightsMedium-heavy weightLight-mid weight with lycra for recovery
Fabric RecommendationsFrench terry, sweater knits, sweatshirt knitsCotton Lycra, Jersey, Performance knits

I would say the main difference is the style and purpose of each pattern. The Nova is a sweatshirt with relaxed fit while Demi is a top or shirt that is semi-fitted. The Demi that I've sewn was made from Cotton Lycra which was an ideal fabric for that pattern. 

Nova with cowl and drawstring casing
Demi in 3/4 sleeves with scoop neckline

Sale Info

The Nova Raglan Sweatshirt is on sale at new release pricing of $7.99 through Wednesday September 18, 2019 then will be offered for $9.99. My plan for my next Nova is to extend it to a tunic length that I can wear it with leggings all winter long. 

My posts may feature affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase from these links, I receive a small percentage in compensation at no cost to you. I may have received patterns or products to test or review but the opinions I voice are my own. 


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