how many ways to take in a jacket's sides

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by a tailor, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    show details 9:17 PM (23 hours ago)
    \t
    Taking in the sides of an off the rack jacket:

    The most common alteration on a jacket seems to be the sleeve length,
    but we have beat that one to death.
    The second is altering the sides. the easiest way is to take in the
    center back seam, but that only works well is when the customer has a
    narrow back and a flat seat, and that does not happen very often. So,
    let's take a look at some of the different possibilities...

    PLAN A
    The side seams is the usual place to take in the body of the coat, but
    note the side seam is located more toward the back rather than the
    true side of the coat, but that is the most convenient seam to work
    with.

    [​IMG]

    If the amount to be taken in is small, the sewing stops just short of
    the armhole (see the arrows at the armhole). If the amount taken in is
    a great deal, then this part of the armhole must be opened to allow
    the side seam to be finished cleanly. if the amount to be taken in is
    large, the reduction concentrates mostly toward the back. That's
    because that seam is closer to the back. If the looseness is near to
    the back, that's fine. But, what if the looseness is more to the
    front?
    This calls for the one and only PLAN B. [this must be where the term came from].
    So, let's go there.

    PLAN B
    Here's the plan. Since the looseness is more to the front, the cloth
    is taken in at the front of the side seam. Yes, a seam can be taken in
    or let out on one side only instead of both sides at the same time.
    Taking in this way pulls in more at the front and less at the back.
    See the first dotted line. We also may need to do the something at the
    armhole, just like plan A.

    [​IMG]

    If a great deal must be taken in at the front, then a problem may
    arise, see the second dotted line. the amount of pull at that seam may
    be so great that it creates lines of strain [pull]. See the dotted
    line of arrows? This can often be seen on the coat itself. So, what to do?
    Believe me, there is also a PLAN C.

    PLAN C

    Here's the plan, let's use the underarm seam. It's closer to both the
    front and closer to the side. That's a great idea, eh? ... as long as
    we do the armhole thing again. Oh, oh, what's that horizontal line
    cutting through the seam? It's the pocket, now what to do? The
    solution is simple, but doing it is a big job and headache. The
    pocket must be taken apart first, and then remade after the seam is
    taken in. This adds a great deal to the cost, but with better effect.

    [​IMG]

    What to do when the back and sides fit perfectly, but the front looks
    like a maternity dress? It's true there is also a PLAN D.

    PLAN D

    Here's what we do. The dotted lines show how the front dart is taken
    in. If there is no dart, one can be made. Taking in the dart works
    well on a canvased coat, but on a fused job it may look a bit awkward,
    that's because of the extra bulk of the fusing. In this case, the
    pocket must be removed and re-made as before. The dart takes in above
    the pocket. Below the pocket is done at the underarm seam. See the
    offset of the seam. And no, that will not create lines of draw like
    Plan B.
    Plan D is often used for a person with a large chest and flat stomach.

    [​IMG]

    Each of these plans can be used single, or in pairs, or all of them
    together depending on necessity. A weight lifter, for example, with a
    small waist might need a C and D. If he had a flat seat, he may need
    the center back seam taken in as well.

    Remember the more hours of work, the higher the cost, but then there's
    no substitute for doing the correct alteration.
     
  2. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Was thinking about this just last night.

    And a completely noobie question (what isn't noobie coming from me): When doing these alterations from where should one open up the lining to get access to these seams?
     
  3. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    in the title that was supposed to be "sides" not sidfs.
     
  4. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Was thinking about this just last night.

    And a completely noobie question (what isn't noobie coming from me): When doing these alterations from where should one open up the lining to get access to these seams?


    the entire bottom where the lining is fastened is available.
    most tailors will open most of the bottom for easier access.
    then close the lining bottom when finished with the alterations.
     
  5. jack220

    jack220 Active Member

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    a tailor,

    Could you post other techniques? or link them if you have posted before. These diagrams and illustrations help a lot.

    By adjusting the sides, back seam, side or front, will it affect the balance?
     
  6. johnnyhooks

    johnnyhooks Well-Known Member

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    I have a thread on here talking about an Alteration mistake. I bought a 44 instead of a 42 and my tailor should have read this thread. He actually should have advised me not to touch it but thats another story.

    He actually worked on it twice and it came out quite skirty. Oh well, you live and you learn. I have learned a $260 lesson; buy something that fits in the chest shoulder and armholes and keep tailoring minimal.

    If a lot of tailoring is desired; go bespoke [​IMG]
     
  7. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    a tailor,

    Could you post other techniques? or link them if you have posted before. These diagrams and illustrations help a lot.

    By adjusting the sides, back seam, side or front, will it affect the balance?


    the alts shown will not affect the balance. its a different thing.
    a jacket hangs from the shoulders, thats where the balance is adjusted.
    if the bottom of the coat front kicks out, the front is short. the same would apply to the back.
     
  8. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have a thread on here talking about an Alteration mistake. I bought a 44 instead of a 42 and my tailor should have read this thread. He actually should have advised me not to touch it but thats another story.

    He actually worked on it twice and it came out quite skirty. Oh well, you live and you learn. I have learned a $260 lesson; buy something that fits in the chest shoulder and armholes and keep tailoring minimal.

    If a lot of tailoring is desired; go bespoke [​IMG]



    thats a good rule. choose it for the shoulder fit.
     
  9. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  10. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    [​IMG]

    did you fix the title for me?
     
  11. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    What about using the center back seam?
     
  12. binge

    binge Senior member

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    What about using the center back seam?

    The second is altering the sides. the easiest way is to take in the
    center back seam, but that only works well is when the customer has a
    narrow back and a flat seat, and that does not happen very often. So,
    let's take a look at some of the different possibilities...


    ..
     
  13. Bartolo

    Bartolo Senior member

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    I have a thread on here talking about an Alteration mistake. I bought a 44 instead of a 42 and my tailor should have read this thread. He actually should have advised me not to touch it but thats another story.

    He actually worked on it twice and it came out quite skirty. Oh well, you live and you learn. I have learned a $260 lesson; buy something that fits in the chest shoulder and armholes and keep tailoring minimal.

    If a lot of tailoring is desired; go bespoke [​IMG]


    You bought an ill-fitting, $160 sports coat. I would recommend buying a good-fitting, higher-quality RTW before "go[ing] bespoke." Something must give people the impression here that one must "go bespoke" to get a good-fitting jacket.

    But you're right; you should have left the tags on the jacket, your tailor should have advised you to return it, and you'd have been out nothing but some time and inconvenience.

    A Tailor -- I'd be interested in seeing the same discussion of 'options to let out a jacket.'
     
  14. jack220

    jack220 Active Member

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    the alts shown will not affect the balance. its a different thing.
    a jacket hangs from the shoulders, thats where the balance is adjusted.
    if the bottom of the coat front kicks out, the front is short. the same would apply to the back.


    So are you going to write how to adjust for balance? [​IMG]
     
  15. a tailor

    a tailor Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You bought an ill-fitting, $160 sports coat. I would recommend buying a good-fitting, higher-quality RTW before "go[ing] bespoke." Something must give people the impression here that one must "go bespoke" to get a good-fitting jacket. But you're right; you should have left the tags on the jacket, your tailor should have advised you to return it, and you'd have been out nothing but some time and inconvenience. A Tailor -- I'd be interested in seeing the same discussion of 'options to let out a jacket.'
    the only option on letting out is at the side seam and the center back. thats the only place there is any extra cloth inside. that means you can only have what the manufacture has given you. some are very skimpy and some are generous. oh yes and then theres lengthening the sleeves.
     

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