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alter american cut to european cut suits?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
i have an opportunity to purchase a really good quality american cut suit.
i am a 38r and the suit is 44+? i dont know i just know that it is larger
then i am. ive had suits taken in from all areas, but i have never had the
armpit raised, and arm thinned to complete the mod look. is this possible.
if so are there things to look out for in the donor suit?

thanks
post #2 of 11
In my (limited) experience with altering suits, it's certainly possible to alter anything, but there is a point at which the cost of extensively altering/modifying the suit outweighs the benefits of "a good deal" on the suit. In addition, if so much work was to be done to the suit, I'd think that it would take away from the overall quality of the suit. Knowing what I know now, if I find something for an absolute steal that doesn't quite fit, I try to make sure that at least the main elements of the garment won't need any alterations.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
i totally understand. i have found some old oxxfords super 100's and cashmeres
for 20-30$. even if the whole suit is completely re-tailored. i would be hard pressed
to get a bespoke suit with that level of fabric for that price.

i guess my main question is. if one were to take in the armpits should i look for
suits that are 2-3 sizes bigger for the extra fabric needed? should i look for bigger
sizes in the 4-5+ range, etc?
post #4 of 11
If it really is a 44+, the amount of work involved would completely ruin the suit. If it were a 40 I'd say go for it, otherwise no.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mteran View Post
i have an opportunity to purchase a really good quality american cut suit. i am a 38r and the suit is 44+? i dont know i just know that it is larger then i am. ive had suits taken in from all areas, but i have never had the armpit raised, and arm thinned to complete the mod look. is this possible. if so are there things to look out for in the donor suit? thanks
From a 44 to a 38r? Won't you have to alter the shoulders? I expect that would cost a lot... .
post #6 of 11
If it is really a size 44, it is simply not possible!

Short andd simple!

It's not only about the costs, but also about the fact, that the outcoming would be everything but satisfying.

If the suit is nice, sell it on the B&S forum and buy a fitting suit from the gain.
post #7 of 11
At $20-30 a pop, the best idea is to sell them here, and use the proceeds to buy a suit that fits.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbjorn View Post
At $20-30 a pop, the best idea is to sell them here, and use the proceeds to buy a suit that fits.

+1
post #9 of 11
It seems to me that altering a 44 down to a 38 would not be worth the trouble irrespective of the cost of the suit. Do a bit more searching and find a suit closer to your size that will not be completely destroyed by the alteration process.
post #10 of 11
It is not possible. The armhole will be too big, the pockets too low, the buttonholes miles down from their correct position. All these things are cut into the fabric; they cannot be shifted. Forget it!
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mteran View Post

i guess my main question is. if one were to take in the armpits should i look for
suits that are 2-3 sizes bigger for the extra fabric needed? should i look for bigger
sizes in the 4-5+ range, etc?

An armscye is a hole. How are you going to fill it? It is an empty space. Were you hoping excess cloth could be turned into a patch?

Admittedly, you can make the armscye smaller by opening up the sideseam and underarm seam where they join into the armscye. You take a section out of the armscye at these points. You will have to remove the sleeves, unpick them, and then fully recut them and reset the sleeves so they fit into the newly narrowed armscye. You will have to ensure that the sleeve pitch is correct when the recut sleeve is sew back in. The lining will also have to be recut. The side pockets will also have to be opened up and then remade. You will likely require one or two fittings as on a bespoke coat.

All in all, you are looking at about $1000+ of work. It takes twice as long to do this as it does when you are making a coat from scratch because you have to first laboriously unpick all the seams, then recut and then stitch it back up again. This requires highly advance - bespoke level - tailoring skills. Any sensible tailor would refuse to do the job, and anyone competent enough to do it well should charge a minimum of $2-3000 for it.

In the end, as Bengal says, it will still go to charity because the pockets and button positions will be too low. You can also only narrow a coat so much because the pockets start to get in the way.

I suggest that if you are going to do it, do it yourself. Buy a good book on how alter coats and either get a sewing machine or learn to hand stitch. At least this way you will learn something useful. The project will take about a year or so, unless you are an excellent sewer already, when you could learn in about 3-6 months of intensive learning.
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