Advice please…

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I’m going to state from the outset: I did not make this jacket! Much though I’d love to give jacket-making a go (and I have not just one, but several suitable patterns lined up), time always seems to be against me…

This was a RTW jacket I bought in the sales very cheaply about six months ago, but have never actually never worn. I’m really annoyed about this, as I’ve been trying to buy far less RTW, and if I do succumb I’ve been trying really hard to ensure that said item will get LOTS of wear. Hmmmm, failed miserably on this one! It’s far too boxy on me, hence I’ve never worn it. What I want it to do is more like this…

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The problem is I’m really not sure how to achieve a more fitted look. It has a lining, so I can see that I need to unpick that to start with, but I’m not sure where to go from there… Anyone more knowledgable than me out there know how I could go about this? Or should I attempt to construct an actual jacket from scratch for myself first? Would this make the process easier? All advice, as always would be greatly appreciated 🙂

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34 thoughts on “Advice please…

  1. Its a really stunning jacket Theresa! I can see why you bought it. I have no experiance of resizing but I have seen a lot of tutorials online. Theres an Angrla Wolf craftsy class on tailoring RTW jackets. Might be worth looking at that. I think Craftsy is having a sale right now. If I had to do it I would add fisheye darts either side of center back and take in side seams as needed. Wish I could be more help. Hila. X.

  2. Good for you for wanting to make better use of this RTW jacket. Am with you on not sewing up jackets because tailoring isn’t my thing. However!
    If you want to decrease bulk & add some shape, could you add some darts in back & front? Then do the same with that lining (leaving a tad extra in the lining for movement)? Is it possible to do some pinning before you even remove the bottom of the lining? Might get you what you want . . .

  3. Very pretty jacket! I think I can see what you’re after, probably need darts, but certainly wouldn’t know how to advise you. I think with assistance from the sewists here, and tutorials, you will come up with just what you want! And I look forward to seeing how you rework it.

  4. I agree, unpick at the hem just enough to get to the inside fashion fabric. Use safety pins to put in vertical skinny diamond shaped darts in the front sides and two in the back, then try it on. Try starting the dart at your bust. See how it looks. Adjust the pins until it feels better. Then if it’s fine sew in the darts and sew the lining back on at the hem. I wouldn’t worry about darts in the lining if your darts are not wide.

  5. One more bit of tuppence worth won’t hurt will it?!!
    Put on the jacket and tie a skinny piece of elastic around your waist. Lift it over your jacket, bend sideways a few times to make sure the elastic is on your true waist, cos thats the skinniest bit of your torso.
    Great shaping can be achieved at the side seam. Its the underarm bit that makes garments look huge. My advice would be to slim it down from the underarm to the waist, (which you marked at the elastic or just under it BTW!). You’re looking for a nice smooth line from underarm to waistline on the side seam, then smooth it out over the hips. If you grab the total ‘too bigness’, you can measure and divide by the number of darts to get the max. you’ll take out, but I wouldn’t take all that out of the side seam, it will skew the fabric too much.
    You shouldn’t need to touch the sleeve itself, it looks quite a slender sleeve.
    I’d unpick the lining at the side seam – just one, or the centre back lining seam – access both jacket side seams from there. Its easy to sew up again because it should be on the straight grain and no one is looking at your lining side/back seam. Look for a tutorial for a slip stitch or doll makers stitch for sewing the lining back up again. Baste the adjustment at the garment side seams, turn right side out and try it on zipped up. Your maximum dart intake should be at your waistline, tapering to your high hip.
    You don’t look hugely busty, but if you’d like more underbust shaping…
    Measure between your apices (2 x apex) and divide by 2, its usually 10-11cm, you look petite so it may be less. Thats the line your front dart should fall on or just a touch to the outside. Again, max dart intake should be at the waistline as marked.Where does your dart usually stop? 2-3cm from your apex? Then taper your dart to there at the top end and the bottom end should stop about 13cm south of your waist, less if you’re petite. Keep the dart parallel to CF and smooth the dart so it has no sharp edges when you sew, its a soft diamond shape. Baste and try on again. You can do the same to the back also, using approx the same measurements from CB.
    By knowing the total you grabbed out earlier, you’ll know if you’ve taken in too much.
    Or you can belt the jacket!!!
    Do hope that helps. Feel free to contact me if you need more tuppences worth!!

    • Thank you so much for the detailed advice. Am away at moment and now wishing I’d posted whilst at home so I could try all these great tips out straightaway 🙂 Looking forward to getting started on this project once I’m home…

  6. Why not have a look at the pattern pieces from patterns in your collection which, presumably, are the shape you’re looking for? You may be able to copy the shaping instructions from one of those. That should be less hit and miss:)

  7. If (like me 😉 ) you wanted to go really quick and dirty you could simple stitch a tunnel around your waistline and insert a piece of elastic to cinch in the jacket as you need. Obvioulsy that wouldn’t be as smooth as darts, but a lot faster 🙂

    • Thank you! All ideas welcome and I think the boxy look must have worked with whatever I originally tried it on with in the changing room, hence I ended up buying it. But I think practically speaking, even just a little more fitted would work with a whole lot more of my wardrobe 🙂

  8. I’ve been away and missed everything but I hope you will soon share your success of nipping it in… (positively thinking that you will successfully do it!)

  9. Pingback: With a Little Help from my Friends… | navybluethreads

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