Questions about taking in a coat

oohisayJanuary 29, 2008

Hi all,

I have a long dress jacket (made of a heavy cotton) that I would like to shorten and take in. Each front panel is composed of two pieces of fabric with a seam running down the front halfway between the button placket and the side seam (I hope that makes sense--I'm only an intermediate sewer and don't know the right terminology). This seam is curved so as to fit the body nicely, but as the coat is at least 2 sizes too big for me, it's not particularly fitted!

My question, however, is about where to take in the coat. Should I take it in only at the side seams, or should I also try to take the coat in at these front seams? In other words, will taking in the sides alone make for a more fitted coat, or do I have to take the coat in at all 4 seams in order to maintain the proportion?

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Sounds like your jacket has princess seams, so, yes, you have to take in all the seams equally. The back of the jacket probably also has princess seams, and may or may not have a center back seam. You should have six or seven seams to rip out and take in. If you do all that, you may also have to adjust the shoulders. Two sizes is a lot to take in.

Alterations are a big pain, in my opinion, so it would have to be one gorgeous jacket to justify all that work. It's often harder to alter a garment than it is to start from scratch. I sure hope it isn't also lined!

There! Was I discouraging enough? Sorry to be such a downer. If I were you, I'd take it to a shop and ask what they'd charge for the job, and perhaps even their opinion on how the finished project will look, then decide if it's worth it. This sounds like a big deal to me.

I wish you well.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 9:40PM
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Princess seams! That's what they're called. Now I'll never forget.

And I take your point that this would be a lot of work. I was originally just going to take the coat apart to salvage the fabric (there's lots of it!), but I thought trying to take it in would be would be a good challenge project to work away at over the year. Your point about the shoulders, however, is worrying, as I have no idea how to fix those, but they would definitely need fixing. I will think about this...

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 3:50PM
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Another idea is to find a similar design coat pattern, with princess seams, that you like. Take apart the coat you have then cut the new coat out of the disassembled pieces.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 1:20AM
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