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Altering Sweaters

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Would most tailors be able to take in the sides on a sweater?. I have one from BR that I like but it isn't quite as form fitting as I'd like. The sweater is 100% merino wool I believe.
post #2 of 15
Most tailors won't work with knits. You might need
to find a weaver or a dressmaker who makes knit dresses.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Millerp
Most tailors won't work with knits. You might need
to find a weaver or a dressmaker who makes knit dresses.
+1
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector
Would most tailors be able to take in the sides on a sweater?. I have one from BR that I like but it isn't quite as form fitting as I'd like. The sweater is 100% merino wool I believe.

This has been a west-coast secret for many years. If you are willing to send your sweater to Seattle and WAIT your turn, this is the place. All they do is knits. Just don't be in a hurry because they have more work than they can handle.

It ususally takes about two months when we send something to them. So, this Winter will have come and gone before your merino would be back in your hands. There is always next winter and the job will be perfect!

I've never seen better work on knits. Their prices are reasonable. Maybe one of the Seattle forum members know about this establishment and would care to comment.

http://www.knitalteration.com/index.html

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post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector
Would most tailors be able to take in the sides on a sweater?. I have one from BR that I like but it isn't quite as form fitting as I'd like. The sweater is 100% merino wool I believe.


If BR=Banana Republic you are better off buying a smaller size as the alterations cost would not be feasible

MrR
post #6 of 15
Of course, quite doable and at a low cost here in Beijing. Shipping would probably make up for the savings though.

I suppose the only real purpose of stating this is that if you are coming through China, I advise that you bring clothing of all types to be altered. The price is generally about 1/4 of the US for good work. Some things are especially inexpensive. That jean operation (taking them up the proper way) can cost as little as 1.50.
post #7 of 15
Why dont you just take the sweater to a good tailor and ask HIM..??

fwiw, I've had a BR and JCrew sweater taken in successfully but it depends on the kind of knit as other sweaters I've wanted to have work done he said it wasnt possible.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector
Would most tailors be able to take in the sides on a sweater?. I have one from BR that I like but it isn't quite as form fitting as I'd like. The sweater is 100% merino wool I believe.

I don't know why I forgot to mention it in my previous remarks (above). Forget alterations altogether!

Any good full-service dry cleaners can do knit blocking. With such an inexpensive garment and your desire to use it immediately, just ask the cleaners to "block" your sweater. Essentially, they can shrink it down overall or just in certain areas as necessary. This is good for only about one size. They can also stretch a knit up approximately one size. The person that does the blocking will measure you against the sweater's dimensions and block the sweater accordingly.

Blocking is quick, harmless, reversible, and relatively cheap. This is the way to go for a Banana Republic sweater. Knit alterations would cost more than you originally paid for you sweater.

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post #9 of 15
What does "knit blocking" involve?
post #10 of 15
I looked into Knit Alteration for myself only a week or two ago, and they seem very good, but obviously the wait time is a downside. So far I haven't tried them; if I get my hands on some nice sweaters after the cold weather has mostly passed (probably mid-April or earlier for Florida), then I might give them a shot. As for knit blocking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blocking_%28knitting%29.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Get Smart
Why dont you just take the sweater to a good tailor and ask HIM..??

fwiw, I've had a BR and JCrew sweater taken in successfully but it depends on the kind of knit as other sweaters I've wanted to have work done he said it wasnt possible.

Yes, I'll ask my tailor tomorrow, but he doesn't work on weekends. I'll let you guys know what he says. Down the street there is also a wedding dress place that makes custom dresses of all kinds that I will ask. I'll also ask the best cleaner in the city who happens to be 4 blocks away.

and yes BR=Banana Republic. I really shouldn't have bought the sweater because I thought it would sell out like a cardigan I had wanted the same day but a month later a new shipment of them came in and I have seen 3 people wearing it all ready. It's all very devastating really.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I called my tailor and he said he could do it for about $25. He usually gives me a little bit of a deal sometimes though. I also called the cleaner and they said blocking wouldn't make that much of a difference to make the sweater smaller but she said it is entirely possible to enlarge the sweater.

So what is better? getting the sweater too big then taking it in, or buying it too small and taking it out?
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector
I called my tailor and he said he could do it for about $25. He usually gives me a little bit of a deal sometimes though. I also called the cleaner and they said blocking wouldn't make that much of a difference to make the sweater smaller but she said it is entirely possible to enlarge the sweater.

So what is better? getting the sweater too big then taking it in, or buying it too small and taking it out?

Since you remarked previously that you already own the sweater and it is too big, shouldn't your concern be how to make it fit correctly, quickly, permanently, and at a fair cost to you?

If you have a good relationship with your tailor and both of you are confident he can do what you want, twenty-five dollars is certainly fair in my neck of the woods.

I cannot speak for your dry cleaners' comment about upsizing being easy while downsizing might not be so easy. All I know is that a skilled knit blocker can almost always go up or down one full size without problems. Perhaps they know something about your sweater you didn't mention in your posts? A good knit blocker won't likely charge any less than your tailor.

Either method is mere speculation until you present the sweater for examination by the tailor and/or the knit blocker. Good luck!!

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post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Canvas
Since you remarked previously that you already own the sweater and it is too big, shouldn't your concern be how to make it fit correctly, quickly, permanently, and at a fair cost to you?


Yes, I was just stating a hypothetical. I want to make my sweater fit well. $20 or so isn't too bad. I will call a couple other cleaners, there is one other one that is supposed to be good. I'll let you know what they say.
post #15 of 15

If I want to have a sweater taken in on the side seams, is there a non destructive way to do this? Like if I want to let it back out in the future?

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