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The Tailors' Thread: Fit Feedback and Alteration Suggestions

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by emptym, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    I assume you're asking if it's possible to alter the shoulder without making that prominent roped look...?
    And the answer is yes, it is, but it's easier to alter and just press everything over towards the sleevehead. Creating a natural shoulder involves pressing the seam open a few inches forward and behind the shoulder seam....which is more labor on an already labor instensive job. I'll post a pic.
     
  2. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    [​IMG]
    I think this picture is self-explanatory. I'm amazed at your ability to "illustrate" that picture above. I'm obviously skilled in other areas.
    Anyway, this sketch is a natural shoulder on top and a roped shoulder on the bottom specifically how the seams are manipulated to achieve the look. There is more that goes into it than just seam manipulation, but it's part of the whole equation. In the drawing on the left you see what would be the top view of the shoulder seam and on the right you see what would be the front view. You see how the seam allowance is pressed towards the collar a few inches forward and behind the shoulder seam? Basically, it's just sliced in two spots and pressed open and then towards the collar. It's sandwiched between the fabric and the shoulderpad.
     
  3. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    Check in my profile pics for these pics
     
  4. gotmoo

    gotmoo Member

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    Thanks for these!

    I actually have no problem with the roped shoulder, as it appears many suits are finished that way. I'm more concerned about how the shoulder appears like the "after" picture I posted following alteration, the rope is significantly more prominent than prior to alteration, which makes me think that the "rope" part was never moved in the first place and only the superficial layer of fabric was pulled towards the body, which really doesn't help with the shoulder situation much at all...
     
  5. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    For those of you dealing with sleeves that are either too long or too short on RTW jackets. This picture will help you understand why the less you have to shorten a jacket sleeve, the better off it'll be. This visualizes the problem of the sleeve vent and why you can't make it higher as you shorten a sleeve.
    [​IMG]
    Where it says "old pressing line" is where the original length of the sleeve would be. Those white lines are there because this sleeve was getting lengthened, and as you can see, you can only go so far.
    Let's say you needed them shortened by +1". The red line indicating "New pressing line/cuff length" is where it would be shortened to. That small extension of fabric is the vent. That sharp right angle at the "top of sleeve vent" is where the outside sleeve seam travels up the elbow. The only way you can raise a vent is if the maker has a really wide seam allowance on the outside sleeve seam or they just extend the vent way up the sleeve, but there's really no reason for them to do this because it's RTW. You just end up with a really short vent if you need sleeves shortened ALOT.
    This concept is identical in jacket vents in the back of the jacket. It's why you normally can't add double vents to a jacket that has no vents at all.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    It could be softened by pressing it better. It's a careful job, but the size can be reduced and the fullness can be pushed into the sleeve. Tricky endeavor.
     
  7. ryoneo

    ryoneo Senior member

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    Tailors,

    I have a questions about functional button holes. My friend recently bought a bepsoke suit. Everything looks good except the the button holes look extremely messy. Is un-stitching a working button hole and re-sewing a new one possible without damaging the fabric?

    Thanks
     
  8. RDiaz

    RDiaz Senior member

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    What if the sleeve is also very wide (as is the case with most RTW) and needs to be tapered quite a bit? If you take it in from the seam above the vent maybe it's possible to leave there some extra material to extend the vent, since it would have to be re-made anyways?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  9. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    a decent tailor can do this. I've had people bring me jackets wanting the lapel buttonhole thread color changed. It's usually a waste of time, in my personal opinion, but they pay so I do it.
     
  10. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    If you had to slim a sleeve down that much or shorten it that much in conjunction, the RTW jacket is too big. I've slimmed sleeves and have never taken more than 1 full inch out of the widest part of the sleeve. In general, shortening sleeves extensively is going to leave you with little or no vent.
     
  11. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes, that helps but you can also piece the vent from cloth taken from the hem of the trouser or somewhere else on the trouser or jacket.
     
  12. RDiaz

    RDiaz Senior member

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    Well, the jacket I recently shortened is sure weird - it fits great everywhere, but the sleeves were very long, as if the coat was made to be worn with sleeves rolled up. It's a regular, and other regulars I get do not have sleeves that long. The body of the jacket is not long at all but I had to shorten the sleeves by more than an inch. They are also really, really wide (more than any other RTW jacket I own, so I guess it's the style), but I didn't want take the risk to taper them. If I did it, I'm sure there would be more than enough cloth to remake a longer vent. I understand this is not common, though.

    Despos, maybe the same cloth that is taken from the hem of the sleeve could be used, since I had to shorten it quite a bit... might give it a try if I feel like I can. If I just had some more confidence in my n00b backstitching, or a sewing machine... [​IMG]
     
  13. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    This is how I learned...I had situations like yours where I just pulled things apart and experimented until I got what I was after. If you were going to piece it up the seam to extend the vent, you'd probably want to rip the seam up quite a bit to give yourself some working room. It's something you think about doing usually before you finish the sleeve[​IMG]

    Despos, I've pieced fabrics together to make certain parts of a suit fit me better...mostly in the waist, seat, and stride on a DB or where I'll never really take my jacket off. Most people don't have eyes trained that well anyway to notice. I have my own personal ideas on how I'd try to quickly piece fabric to extend a vent, but other than hand weaving, what would you suggest?

    Personally, since the top of a sleeve vent wouldn't really be that visible especially if the sleeve was slimmed, I'd use a dissolving fusable underneath the pieces to be pieced just to hold them together and I'd use fairly tight stitch going back and forth over the gap with the machine using matched thread. The upside is it's very fast, the downside is that area would be very stiff from the intense cluster of stitches. Any other ways other than a small pressed seam?
     
  14. jesPak

    jesPak Active Member

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    Good evening tailors, I am looking for some feedback on this, my first BB 1818 suit. Purchased it a couple weeks ago, had some alterations done, so this is post alterations. In examining it a bit closer now I notice

    - the shoulders look a tiny bit big (40S), but the smaller size (38S, there was no 39 available) was too small - how do you think they look, would any alteration help?
    - in looking at the pics, i didn't pull my shirt sleeves down well enough - but i think the suit sleeve length is basically ok, perhaps shorten a tiny bit?
    - main problem i noticed in the store today is the boxiness of the jacket - i asked the tailor to suppress the waist a bit - wondering if you agree with doing so?
    - lastly the bottom portion of the jacket looks a tiny bit too big in terms of width, but the tailor advised that taking it in would just cause the vent to flare too much?

    Comments on those areas or any other feedback much appreciated. It was difficult to get a good shot of the back, my apologies for suboptimal angles.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  15. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    Do you have a full chest and stomach? Prominent seat? A little hard to tell with these pictures.
    Depending on how your torso is shaped, you're at the limit of suppression before that jacket starts gaping at the vent or worse in the front...OR...the front balance might be a little long which isn't helped by further waist suppression. Alot of factors go into how far you can suppress the waist before the seams are overworked or things start to gape.
    In order to get a better idea, you need better pics i.e. have someone else take them.
     
  16. jesPak

    jesPak Active Member

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    Thank you OTCTailor. I do have a relatively full chest and seat, but not a full stomach. If I take it home, and then am able to take better pictures and get some more feedback, would I then take it back to the BB store or at that point would I be better off using another NYC tailor?
     
  17. katabatic

    katabatic Senior member

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    So, I just had a gentleman tell me that the bunching at the back of the sleeves on my MTM dinner jacket was "comfort creases", extra room which prevents the sleeve from pulling tight when you raise your arm towards to front.

    That sounds like...something that might emanate from the rear of a large male ruminant to me. Is this an obscure term that I'm as yet ignorant of, or does that sound fishy to anyone else?
     
  18. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It sounds like a rational explanation but it isn't so.
     
    2 people like this.
  19. jesPak

    jesPak Active Member

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    katabatic: Though I am not qualified to accurately answer your question with certainty, I applaud your eloquence and in my humble opinion, tend to agree with your suspicion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  20. OTCtailor

    OTCtailor Senior member

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    Not sure about BB's policy on that. I know BB doesn't even accept outside tailoring so you never know. But...it's your suit and you're in NYC..there's no shortage of tailors up there. I'd definitely get it home and take some better pics or just go to a competent tailor. When you have a prominent seat wearing a jacket with a single vent, you're limited in the amount you can suppress on the back part of the jacket's sideseams, primarily, because you'll get gaping in the vent. If the balance is correct, then you can move the forepart sideseam in to take care of the excess in the front. If the balance isn't correct, the front will gape no matter how you suppress. All of this is definitely extra work for a BB's tailor. Work that they may be restricted from doing due to in-house alterations policy. The bigger jobs don't pay as much per hour as the small ones do.
     

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