November 3, 2014

how-to // tailor a sleeve (blazer edition)

Heather & I have a wedding to attend this month. Like, a fancy wedding. Like the kind of wedding you can't wear jeans to (much to my dismay). Heather's been looking for a nice blazer to wear, but she kept running into the same issue - the sleeves were too long! Luckily for Heather, taking in the sleeves of a blazer is pretty simple. Plus it's done by hand, so no sewing machine needed!

If you are in the market for a blazer or jacket but can't find the right fit, here's a tip: If it fits in the shoulders, you can tailor the rest. Shoulders are the hardest part to readjust, but a blazer can easily be tightened on the sides or shortened in the sleeves. This blazer fit well in the shoulders & chest, so we only had to adjust the sleeves. Sleeves are more easily tailored when they have a "fake" cuff (as in, the sleeve does not actually unbutton). If you're shortening a "real" cuff, you will have to stitch the opening shut, turning it into a "fake" cuff. 

Step 1 // Remove the buttons on the cuff with a seam-ripper. 
Step 2 // Fold the cuff inside of the sleeve so that it sits at the desired length (keep in mind if you are tailoring a men's blazer the sleeve will sit higher than on typical jackets. The sleeve should sit 1/4 inch higher than the cuff of a long-sleeved dress shirt). Pin in place.
Step 3 // Do the same for the other sleeve, making sure that the lengths are even. 

Step 4 // Carefully turn your sleeves inside out. With a whip stitch, sew the old edge of the cuff in place. ONLY SEW INTO THE LINING. Do not sew all the way through to the right side of the fabric. 
Step 5 // Remove the pins & check the length. If the length is even on both sides, iron the cuff flat. 
Step 6 // Reattach the decorative buttons. 

I'll try & remember to take a picture the day of the wedding, because Heather's outfit looks sharp. Seriously, that girl has a way with style that I am admittedly envious of. 


Related // Replace a zipper on a jacket.