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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

So it’s been a little over a year since I’ve become more insistent on being well dressed and well fitted. Thank you forum!!

After taking jackets, shirts, jeans, chinos and dress pants to my tailor, I’ve begun the process of “minor” alterations. I am a physician and do a lot of procedural work on patients (requires a lot of accuracy and precision).

So first of all I had my wife show me how to use her sewing machine. Then I went to YouTube and learned how to hem a pair of chinos and dress pants. I finally moved up to shortening/ lengthening sleeves on my jackets. Today I shortened the length of a blazer by 3/4 of an inch. I must say it’s pretty comparable to my tailor’s work and sometimes even better.

I was curious if anybody else on this forum has attempted alterations and if so.......their experiences/ recommendations/ thoughts, etc...

Thanks
 

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At the age of 13 I borrowed my mother's sewing machine, in secret, to alter two pairs of jeans she had bought me. They had flares, which were no longer in vouge and could therefore not be worn without inviting ridicule. Removing them went surprisingly well and I cannot recall being hounded by bullies as a result.

Since then it's been button swaps and the very occasional leg length adjustment only.
 

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Back in the far off halcyon days of my youth I altered/customised much of my clothing to permit appeal within the teenage faction to which I subscribed. All of which was handwork for there was no sewing machine around the place.

Latterly repairs are more my metier. Though I say it myself, I am something of a dab hand with a needle and thread. Rather foolshly I neglected to take a 'before' pic of a Donegal tweed that I reweaved recently in order that I might have shared the reults with the membership.
 

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My wife has done a number of my alterations and frankly, in most cases she has done at least as well as the professionals. She takes her time, works out all the details and voila, I taking her out to another fine restaurant for an evening out. Everyone is a winner! ;)
 

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As a hobbyist leatherworker I have done quite a few of my own alterations. Outside of leather items I've re-lined quite a few jackets which is either very easy, or very difficult depending on the bonding method. Generally with vintage leather jackets the lining is the first thing to bite the dust. Bought an armani jacket recently that needs to be re-lined, might post some before and after shots when I get around to doing it.
 

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I do my own buttons whether replacement or moving a cuff button to get the exact fit I want. I've done trouser hems on casual trousers but leave the nice stuff to professionals. I've done a few hand-rolled edges for pocket squares but boy was that tedious. I can sew a little, I've made pillow cases on the wife's sewing machine and I would love to get into more advanced work but classes for that kind of thing are few and far between around here.

The dealer where I bought the sewing machine expanded into the next storefront where his wife does sewing classes and she's a master at making clothes, but most of the classes are beginner type. I have no idea where I would go to learn advanced things. Also my hand needlework is not the best and I'm not sure I have the hours in the day available to get good at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You did this with a machine? How did you recreate the curvature, the cut-away, at the jacket's opening? Did you make a template for this before cropping, or did you just balls it free-hand?[/QUOTE]

Hi

I folded the jacket in half lengthwise and used the Right side of the jacket and laid it over the left side as a template. I outlined the curvature all the way to the hem with tailors chalk ( raised the jacket about 1 inch over the side I was working on as I was shortening the jacket by 1 inch ). I then placed pins along the tailors chalk markings, opened up the jacket with the seem ripper, folded the bottom curvature out and used my tailor's chalk once again this time on the inside along where I had placed the pins. I removed the pins and sewed along the markings of the tailor chalk( inside of the jacket folded inside out ) carefully reproducing the curvature.

I hope that made sense!!!!
 

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I have done the following -

1. sewed back on buttons that fell off
2. shorted my own pant legs. What this really meant is, the stitching came apart from a tailoring job, 100% failure and a re hand stitched across the fold line 360 degrees around.
3. got a hole in a pocket from years of wear. ironed on a patch, back to normal.

do any of that crap count?
 

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I was curious if anybody else on this forum has attempted alterations and if so.......their experiences/ recommendations/ thoughts, etc...
Sorry, about a month late to the game.

I would suggest you to go to a library that carries the tailoring books and browse through some of the tasks that you want to do yourself. Threads magazine (https://www.threadsmagazine.com/) has lots of good info and books that you can determine if you want to purchase to learn more about sewing and alteration. May I suggest this following book: Simple Tailoring and Alterations by J. Francois-Campbell (ISBN 9781861089595). It lists out many alteration tasks, including tapering trouser legs and shirts taken in, that you can do yourself. I find it very useful if you want to learn to alter your own clothes.

Hope that helps.
 
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