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How much can you take a jacket sleeve out?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My brother gave me a suit the other week that he's never worn. It fits perfectly but the sleeves seem about 3/4" too short for me (perhaps 1" on the right arm). The jacket has never been tailored before. I unstitched the lining at the sleeve end to see how much fabric there was left in there. From the current point where the lining is stitched to the very end of the fabric there seems to be about 1.25 to 1.5". So, I'm guessing that this means the sleeves are pretty easily alterable to where I need them. The sleeves do not have working buttonholes, and indeed do not have "faux" buttonhole stitching either. So, my sense is that you'd just remove the last button and reposition it as the first button and, voila. Am I correct here?
post #2 of 9
Pretty much. You do need to have some to fold back, obviously, but if there's 1.25 and you move it .75 it should be fine. If I did it myself I'd take off all the buttons and redo them, but that's just me. I like them shanked and touching, so I'd do that. But the quick way would look fine too.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
J., do you do your sleeve alterations YOURSELF? I did a sleeve lengthening once on a very old suit, and it seems fairly complex, because I had to take all the buttons out in order to do it correctly (maybe I did it INCORRECTLY). In any event, I'm going to take them to my tailor (she's terrific), and I'll have her taper the cuff a bit while she's at it.
post #4 of 9
Along these same lines, I recently was given a suit that has working button holes, but the length of the sleeves are about an inch too long. Is it possible to have these sleeves altered to fit me?
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
You could probably just have that first buttonhole eliminated when you take the sleeve up, don't you think (that seems like the perfect length if you say it is an inch too short).
post #6 of 9
Quote:
You could probably just have that first buttonhole eliminated when you take the sleeve up, don't you think (that seems like the perfect length if you say it is an inch too short).
That probably would work and I could just go with three buttons instead of the four it currently has. I'm certain a good tailor could fix it, I just had momentary panic since I really love the suit, but can't wear it with the sleeve length the way it is.
post #7 of 9
I think a problem with simply shortening a sleeve with the working button holes is that the lowest remaining button will be at the end of the sleeve, which is not the correct placement of a sleeve button, and I think this will be pretty obvious and look awkward. The preferred way would be to have the sleeves shortened from the shoulder, via the removal and reattachment of the sleeves. However, I believe this is a relatively complex and difficult tailoring task, so perhaps your solution, while not perfect, may be the most cost-effective solution. I would call a tailor and see what s/he says.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Perhaps you are right, Shoefan. But it depends on whether the buttons are kissing or not. What I was thinking was that if you totally removed that first buttonhole, the second buttonhole would act as the first and would be close to the correct position. I think obviously shortening at the shoulder will ensure correct button positioning, but the choice has to be affected by cost considerations too. The good think about the jacket I need lengthened is that there are not even faux buttonhole stitchings that will look off if I extend the sleeves an inch.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Perhaps you are right, Shoefan.  But it depends on whether the buttons are kissing or not.  What I was thinking was that if you totally removed that first buttonhole, the second buttonhole would act as the first and would be close to the correct position.  I think obviously shortening at the shoulder will ensure correct button positioning, but the choice has to be affected by cost considerations too.   The good think about the jacket I need lengthened is that there are not even faux buttonhole stitchings that will look off if I extend the sleeves an inch.
Upon further consideration, you are both right. I'll probably have my tailor take it in from the shoulder. I'm not so worried about the cost. The suits are quite nice and I wouldn't want to be a penny wise and a pound foolish. Ps: The buttons are "kissing." I'll let you guys know the results when I go to the tailor tomorrow, just as a follow up.
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