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Girlfriend With A Sewing Machine

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by galwaykinnell, May 19, 2011.

  1. galwaykinnell

    galwaykinnell Member

    Messages:
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    May 18, 2011
    I went on vacation to Los Angeles this weekend, raided the thrift stores, and ended up with 15 fitted shirts, a few pairs of pants, and a cordoroy blazer. My girlfriend has a sewing machine, and she's offered to help me learn to tailor my clothes, which is great because I'm a short, muscular guy whose clothes never fit. I just found this forum recently and I've been inspired to have well-fitting clothes. My questions are:

    *What can be done? I figure hemming the bottom of my pants and shirt sleeves will be easy, but what about tapering my shirts? What about tapering my pants?
    *Should I even touch the blazer?
    *I'd like to shorten all my t-shirts a bit. Is there a good rule of thumb regarding where the hem should hit?

    40" chest
    28" waist
     
  2. CYstyle

    CYstyle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Truthfully, nothing. you need to go bespoke for your clothing, nothing OTR will fit, and no amount of alterations will help. It will be expensive but thats the cost of working out =\\

    you can hem the pants no problem, you can slim them but only so much until you would need to recut them entirely.

    Tapering shirts is not entirely difficult, but time consuming.

    Shortening sleeves is not difficult either, however there's a limit to how much you can shorten before it becomes much more complicated, the sleeve is cone shaped.

    the alterations will help, but for the most part it'll still look "off"
     
  3. officeboy

    officeboy Well-Known Member

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    I'm not nearly as pessimistic as CYstyle. This may be in part because I like to have a hands on approach to almost everything I do.
    I have tapered and altered pants and that is a slippery slope. Casual pants like chino's are pretty easy, anything more dressy I take to a tailor. Tapering or thinning out a leg is very simple, but once you get into the upper thigh getting the transition to the seat to look ok can be hard. I have about 5 pairs of chino's that I started with and did everything from just taking an inch of of the leg, to practically jeggings. it's doable but if the pants need work in the seat/crotch/pocket area, you might be in for some trouble.

    Shirts are simple, Look up the pinch and pin and do that.. Just unstich a few inches at the cuff and at the bottom hem so that you can resew that area back together at the end and not have your surged edge blend into the double stitched area. Also you need to cut away any access material in the armpit or things will not be right.

    Leave the blazer for last and play with it if you feel sure, otherwise it will be $50+ at a tailor probably. I would mess with an unlined or 1/2 lined jacket, but probably not a fully lined on.
     
  4. Kurt N

    Kurt N Well-Known Member

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    Jan 22, 2010
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    So Cal
    the alterations will help, but for the most part it'll still look "off"
    Heh? It all depends on how ill-fitting the clothes are to start with. Cheap clothes (T-shirts or anything thrifted), are great for experimenting. Start with an item you wouldn't be too sorry to lose, and have a go at it. Save the blazer for later. Shortening jacket sleeves isn't terribly difficult, but it's more involved than hemming trousers. EDIT: Like I now see officeboy says. Oh, and here's a blog that's possibly of interest: http://off-the-cuff-style.blogspot.com/
     
  5. galwaykinnell

    galwaykinnell Member

    Messages:
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    May 18, 2011
    CY Style, such a pessimist! I do understand where you're coming from. I won't be doing any tailoring on formal clothing, just the casual stuff that looks better than what most people are out wearing anyway.

    What a perfect web site, thank you. This answers all my questions. I figure I'll start with the shirts, since I've got so many of them, and at $4 a piece, I can afford to lose a few and consider it tuition. It's hard remaking my wardrobe on a thrift store budget, so I'm really excited to learn my way around a sewing machine. Regardless of the experiment, my clothes are going to look better than the baggy jeans and tenty shirts I wore in the past. Thanks again.
     
  6. a tailor

    a tailor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    chicago suburbs
    I went on vacation to Los Angeles this weekend, raided the thrift stores, and ended up with 15 fitted shirts, a few pairs of pants, and a cordoroy blazer. My girlfriend has a sewing machine, and she's offered to help me learn to tailor my clothes, which is great because I'm a short, muscular guy whose clothes never fit. I just found this forum recently and I've been inspired to have well-fitting clothes. My questions are:

    *What can be done? I figure hemming the bottom of my pants and shirt sleeves will be easy, but what about tapering my shirts? What about tapering my pants?
    *Should I even touch the blazer?
    *I'd like to shorten all my t-shirts a bit. Is there a good rule of thumb regarding where the hem should hit?

    40" chest
    28" waist


    go for it man. you are lucky having a coach, be nice to her. it just takes patience and lots of time.
    be prepared to rip stitches and resew again and again, like i said patience.
     
  7. a tailor

    a tailor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,852
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    chicago suburbs
    I'm not nearly as pessimistic as CYstyle. This may be in part because I like to have a hands on approach to almost everything I do.
    I have tapered and altered pants and that is a slippery slope. Casual pants like chino's are pretty easy, anything more dressy I take to a tailor. Tapering or thinning out a leg is very simple, but once you get into the upper thigh getting the transition to the seat to look ok can be hard. I have about 5 pairs of chino's that I started with and did everything from just taking an inch of of the leg, to practically jeggings. it's doable but if the pants need work in the seat/crotch/pocket area, you might be in for some trouble.

    Shirts are simple, Look up the pinch and pin and do that.. Just unstich a few inches at the cuff and at the bottom hem so that you can resew that area back together at the end and not have your surged edge blend into the double stitched area. Also you need to cut away any access material in the armpit or things will not be right.

    Leave the blazer for last and play with it if you feel sure, otherwise it will be $50+ at a tailor probably. I would mess with an unlined or 1/2 lined jacket, but probably not a fully lined on.


    O.B. what you need is a gf that sews like galway has.
    if you can sew. tapering trouser legs you can do the rest, thigh,waist,seat.
    by the way the full lined coat is easier than half lined, really.
     
  8. pvrhye

    pvrhye Well-Known Member

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    I've never met anybody who was so misshapen that I thought they *must* wear bespoke. I think that's just bad advice.
     
  9. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus

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    I've never met anybody who was so misshapen that I thought they *must* wear bespoke. I think that's just bad advice.

    Clearly, you have never seen Vox.
     
  10. CYstyle

    CYstyle Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to be super pessimist, just trying to save the op time, cause time is money as well. There's limitations to alterations and Yes I haven't seen how the clothes fit currently. Perhaps he found some bespoke or MTM pieces for someone built similar to him, then the alterations wouldn't be too difficult. But chances of that are slim :d
     
  11. Richard Pryor

    Richard Pryor Well-Known Member

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    Sep 1, 2010
    What a fucking pessimistic individual. Everybody hates you here and nobody will take your advice. Go get a new username and start from scratch.
     
  12. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus

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    What a fucking pessimistic individual. Everybody hates you here and nobody will take your advice. Go get a new username and start from scratch.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Digmenow

    Digmenow Well-Known Member

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    Mar 26, 2011
    Location:
    The Land of Pleasant Living
    [​IMG]

    Deets on the kettle?
     
  14. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus

    Messages:
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    Deets on the kettle?

    Bespoke.
     
  15. Digmenow

    Digmenow Well-Known Member

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    Bespoke.
    I should have guessed, based on the neck size. You wouldn't be able to get a fit like that OTR, I'd wager.
     
  16. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,527
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    May 15, 2009
    Deets on the kettle?

    That's an Alessi kettle. You can tell by the stopper and the handle, if not the general design of the kettle basin itself.
     
  17. mlongano

    mlongano Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Feb 9, 2010
    Pics of the girl friend please...you can include pictures of the sewing machine too, if you'd like...
     
  18. jcmeyer

    jcmeyer Well-Known Member

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    My ladyfriend has a sewing machine as well and we both plan to learn how to use it this summer for alterations at minimum, and I'm actually hoping I can learn to make a shirt. Plenty of old ones laying around that I can reverse engineer [​IMG] I wonder whether the cost/availability of fabric makes that pursuit worthwhile, though.
     
  19. CYstyle

    CYstyle Well-Known Member

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    What a fucking pessimistic individual. Everybody hates you here and nobody will take your advice. Go get a new username and start from scratch.

    No thanks you sound perpetually angry
     
  20. officeboy

    officeboy Well-Known Member

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    go for it man. you are lucky having a coach, be nice to her. it just takes patience and lots of time.
    be prepared to rip stitches and resew again and again, like i said patience.


    ^^this... On the first few pants/shirts I've done I probably ripped 3x as many stitches as I kept. So be careful. I have a hole in a pair of pants and in a shirt where I was trying to run the ripper down the length of the stitch and it got caught in the fabric giving me a hole.
     

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