It worked:) #phew

Creating clothes is what I do. Altering RTW is not, especially if it’s a formal mens jacket. But I’ve done it #phew.

As the eternal pushover, I said yes to extending the sleeves on a formal jacket for my ‘little brother’. I could not have completed this alteration without the style and sewing advice of those very able sewing men: Joost of make my pattern and Thomas sewingdude. Thank you both for all your advice last week. 

First attempt: moved the top button down.

On the left is the original sleeve. The right is the first attempt at adjusting the sleeve. 

Joost advised me to move the top button down after lengthening the sleeve. When I took this pic, I then decided to move another button down so the button placement matched/was closer to the new sleeve length.

What I discovered

The buttonholes are sewn and not cut, making moving the buttons easy. 

Here’s the original insides showing the buttons stitching.

This jacket had a layer of armoweft under the buttonhole stitching.

A piece of fusing is used to keep the lining and sleeve seams together.


Here’s the stitching for the entry point on the sleeve lining. The lining pocket inside the jacket is really cute.

Both sleeve linings had an entry point. The stitching was in a contrast colour and easy to undo. So I was able to unpick the sleeve without affecting the sleeve seams.

The sleeve corner had a row of handstitching so I made sure I did a row of hand stitching to keep the sleeve looking RTW.

Reattaching the lining to the jacket sleeve

Stash benefit

I didn’t have exactly the same fabric at home, but I did have a similar dark grey piece to use on the inside of the sleeve. There is a 1/2cm fold on the inside where I joined the stash fabric to the jacket fabric. 

Finished sleeves; to be professionally pressed.

The verdict
My little brother wore his jacket last night to a formal event. He was really pleased the sleeves were at the right length for him. He didn’t feel at all self conscious wearing his re-engineered jacket and had a great night with the ‘missus’ while we babysat the kids. They both beat us at Xbox and ‘Game of life’ in a big way.

More summer ‘fits’

 This RTW green dress was too big at the armhole and the bodice was too wide. The armhole is now 2 cm lower at the shoulder seams. I’ve also taken out width from the two back seams (2.5cm each) to bring in the bodice. This took 2 1/2 hours to do. There was no unpicking involved. 

 This RTW dress has been taken in at the centre back seam by 5cm. The hem has come up by 4 inches. I’ve also tucked in the front neckline so that it doesn’t gap. This took 2 1/2 hours to do.



This pink number is one that I made as a wearable toile. The fabric was a gift and I’ve got stacks of it. This dress is not lined.

I’ve taken 3cm from the side seams and the tricky part was resewing the armhole edging.  This took 2 1/2 hours to do.

This burnt orange dress took 2 hours to fix. Mostly because I took the back zipper out, then took out an inch from the centre back seam, overlocked the seams and reinserted the back zipper. I’ve taken out 2 inches.
I made this dress at least 5 years ago and I have a jacket made out of the same fabric. This dress is not lined but the jacket is.

In total, this alteration took 2 hours to do.

This dress took 2 hours to fix. I cut off the sleeves, dropped the shoulder seams by 2cm, turned in the sleeve edges and took the side seams in by 1 inch. 
Yesterday I didn’t like the look of this dress around the waist so I took off the front waist band. So in total this dress has taken 2 1/2 hours to fix. This weekend I’ll take out some of the fullness out of the blue cherry dress too.

This is the quilt fabric that I’ve used a lot. I made this dress a couple of years ago and it’s not lined but has bias binding on the neckline and armholes. I’ve taken this in at the side seams. The seams are overlocked.

This alteration took 1 1/2 hours to do.

I won’t bore you with any further alterations. What I have learnt by altering my summer dresses is the hardest part was deciding if the dress was worth keeping and then what area needs to be adjusted. Once I’d done this planning part, the rest was doable. I’m not saying it wasn’t stressful, but it was worth the work.

I’m working on Vogue 1204 pants so I’ll really ready to make these pants from scratch now.

And one day, I’ll learn how to layout these pages better…