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Working button sleeves

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I saw a wondeful Oxxford and Purple Label suit but the sleeves on both of these have been finished with non working button holes.

Can a sleeve that has been finished with unworking button holes be converted to a sleeve with working button holes ?

I read in another thread about when a suit has the vents closed they can never be opened and I was wondering if the same was true for sleeves.
post #2 of 11
If there is a sleeve vent, yes.
post #3 of 11
SF has visited this territory previously. However, from personal experience I can remark that even RTW sleeves lacking sufficient underlap to make a true vent can be made to enjoy working buttonholes.

Removing the faux buttonhole thread and any traces or shadows of their existence begins the job. Next, remove the stitching that secures the sleeve lining. Open the sleeve seam. If sufficient underlap is available, the anchor points for the sleeve buttons need nothing save for attaching the buttons in a later step. If insufficient or no underlap exists, a skilled tailor can affix/graft a similar weight, color, finish, (etc.) piece of cloth where the underlap would normally be.

Then, the overlap part of the sleeve can be marked for working buttonholes to be cut - presuming the sleeve length is already correct. Once the working buttonholes are cut and finished, the corresponding anchor points for the buttons can be marked and the buttons sewn in place.

Whether or not the sleeve has sufficient underlap cloth or not, the sleeve lining is unlikely to have sufficient extra material in its circumference to reach into the overlap as it does on bespoke and MTM jacket sleeves ordered with working sleeve cuff buttons. So, the lining must invariably be sewn back in place with no real possibility of a break for the sleeve vent.

Since the sleeve is vented, but there is insufficient lining material to properly finish the vent's overlap underside (wow!), the overlap of the vent is usually invisibly tacked down to disguise the relatively narrow underside area lacking lining material in addition to obscuring the grafted material. So, you now have working sleeve buttons where (seemingly) none were otherwise possible. Proper selection of the material to be grafted, skilled tailoring, and the otherwise untrained eyes of the average observer will allow the finished sleeve to pass all but the very closest scrutiny.

My tailor has done this on a few RTW Oxxford suits and odd jackets that I just couldn't resist on sale. It's a great compromise if you're willing to compromise.
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post #4 of 11
If you were also planning on slimming down the sleeves and chest (and in doing so raising the arm holes) to make the jacket overall much more fitted, would this result in enough extra fabric to create functioning button holes (and maybe convert single to double vent in the back)?
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arethusa
If you were also planning on slimming down the sleeves and chest (and in doing so raising the arm holes) to make the jacket overall much more fitted, would this result in enough extra fabric to create functioning button holes (and maybe convert single to double vent in the back)?
You might be better served by buying a whole new jacket
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Everything is perfect but the sleeves and I am still digesting the awesome reply by Full Canvas.

I don't understand the second to last paragraph and I am rereading it.

Thankyou.
post #7 of 11
I bought an Italian corduroy suit just before Christmas that had four working buttons on each sleeve - except the buttonholes weren't opened, and the buttons were sewn onto the outer flap.

The explanation might be that the suit was made from the same pattern as suits with working cuff buttons, with sufficient fabric on the inside. It just seems they skimped on the last operations: Opening the buttonholes.

All that needed to be done was opening the holes, cutting off the buttons and resewing them to the fabric underneath the resulting flap, to button them through it. Italians are odd.

20 minutes and my visiting mother's handiwork fixed that. Cost me a drink and a dinner.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
One tailor just told me over the phone there is an attachment , but I thought these were done by hand.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by rssmsvc
One tailor just told me over the phone there is an attachment , but I thought these were done by hand.

I don't understand.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by rssmsvc
One tailor just told me over the phone there is an attachment , but I thought these were done by hand.
A buttonhole attachment? Yes, there is a buttonhole attachment for sewing machines that will make the buttonholes.

The "vents once closed cannot be opened" does not apply here. On the rear vents material must be taken out when the vent is closed; on the sleeve vents this is not true and the vent is never closed in the same sense - the overlap is kept purposely.

In my opinion, this is a lot of work for no real benefit. The second-to-last paragraph you were confused about regards the inner satin lining of the sleeve. A sleeve made without working buttonholes in mind has a single round tube of lining made. When the working buttonholes are made, material must be added to the lining so that it can cover the inside of each side of the sleeve vent. To avoid this showing, Full Canvas was saying that they will sew the vent closed anyway.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thankyou, now I see.
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