Annals of shirt alteration

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mack11211, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. mack11211

    mack11211 Senior member

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    Dear Folks:

    A few English shirts that I recently bought secondhand have sleeves altered in a way that is, to me at least, unusual.

    To shorten the sleeve, rather than cut away fabric at the cuff end, someone doubled up the fabric at the shoulder on one shirt, and a few inches down the upper arm on the other. I only realized this when I was looking at the latter shirt hanging and wondering why its stripes suddenly ceased to match in mid-bicep. On the other shirt, where this was done at the shoulder, the doubling is less perceptible because it is more or less flush with the shoulder seam.

    My general question is, is this alteration something professional tailors do, or is it just a sort of home remedy?

    If I remove the mid-arm stiching and let the fabric unfold, will the holes close up after a good wash? Or must I do something else?

    yours

    mack11211
     


  2. amirrorcrackd

    amirrorcrackd Senior member

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    Sounds like the sleeves were shortened at the shoulder. This is normal so as not to have to alter a cuff or placket at the end of the arm. It's an easier alteration. As far as letting the stitching out, this won't work. Sleeves taper toward the wrist, so if they were altered, fabric was cut off. This means the shoulder opening will be a smaller circumference, and that is why the stitching is there, to pinch the shirt, and make up for the difference.

    Dan
     


  3. mack11211

    mack11211 Senior member

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    Not sure if I made myself clear.

    I just looked on the inside of each shirt. All the fabric is still there...it's like a dart in the back; the fabric is folded over and the fold is sewn shut. On the one shortened at mid-bicep, the fabric is drawn up all around the arm. On the one shortened at the shoulder, the fabric is drawn in at the shoulder but not at the under arm.
     


  4. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

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    Sounds like a do-it-yourself alteration. I am guessing that the holes would be a lot less noticeable after a good wash or two, but I'd be concerned about whether the fabric has faded or otherwise aged unevenly. Only one way to find out....
     


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