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Alteration: Princess Cut Jacket

WandaJ | Posted in Fitting on

On today, I purchased a ‘beautiful’ red & grey John Meyer jacket at a resale shop at a really…….good price. The problem is that the jacket is a bit large through the front side, at the bust- going into the underarm, and in the same location across the back. The back too could stand to be taken in a bit from the waist up to the area of the armscye about the same place as the area in the front.

Before jumping into altering this jacket and perhaps ruining it, I like to have input about a few areas of concern.

First, in the front: The princess seam (visualize please, from the bottom up) crosses a welt pocket. The width at the bottom of the jacket, below the welt is fine, almost perfect. Should I start taking the jacket in above the welt, i.e., high enough above so that the seamline does not interfere with the welt?

The second question is for both the front and back in the area of the armscye. Once the jacket is altered to fit in the above described areas what do I do with the sleeve cap to make it fit as smooth as it is now?

Perhaps this is my ‘test’ alteration jacket, but as stated earlier it is very, very nice and I’d like to wear it this winter. And, as a sidenote my sister and youngest son will be pleased if I’d wear it to our family’s Thanksgiving Day gathering at her house as they are avid Ohio State University (red & grey) fans. As for me? I attended both OSU and the University of Michigan :-}, and am not a football fan. Suppose I should wear a yellow and gold scarf in the lapel pocket :->)?

On a more serious note, I’d appreciate the input from more experienced sewers such as those who are members of Gatherings. And, I look forward for your input, and will be very appreciative of the responses.



  1. mygaley | | #1

    My 5'2" friend took me rtw shopping with her yesterday and after seeing things on her I'm wondering how tall you are and what size you are compared to your height. See, she tried on jackets with the same over-fullness just as you described, and the problem was that even though they were the right size around, the waistlength, especially in back, was 2-3 inches longer than hers. I had my pins with me and in nearly every case when we pinned the side seam and the back seam/added darts to make the smallest width of the jacket agree with her waistline, the jacket settled in such a way as to fit smoothly. The hipline and bustline were left unchanged. I hope I've explained this well enough for you to try it and if you are 6 feet tall, well I tried :). Galey

    1. WandaJ | | #2


      I am 5' 1". I loved the length of the jacket.  I don't do well with jackets that are cut short, or mid-hip, or above hip - waistline.

      It's near the front where the curve of the princess seam goes into the armscye, and near the same area in the back; starting about waistline  that is too full for me.

      1. mem | | #4

        ah now I understand what you mean . I would unpick those curves and also around the sleeve and gently take it in  (probably from the bust point up and into the arm hole)  along the curve and the n possibley take it in around the bottom arm hole sleeve seam as well. If you need to to you will need to run an ease stitching line around the sleeve and then ease it in using lots of steam to accomplish it. It depends on the fabric make up but if it is wool you should be able to steam itand get the shrinkage which gives that smooth line . . I would perhaps get a book on tailoring out of you library and read about what should happen if you were making it from scratch. I wouldnt touch that welt pocket though!!

        1. WandaJ | | #6

          Thanks. You too answered my question about the welt pocket, and of course, the sleeve head through the steaming process.

          1. mem | | #7

            I hope i helps . You know maybe you could create a side seam . This might be easier than fiddleing about with those curves and that welt pocket Then youcould just take in the usleeve seam as well and it would all be so much easier than doing what I described before . As the hip fits so well you could just take out a pin tuck amount over the hips and then more in the upper side seam.

          2. WandaJ | | #8

            Not an unlikely option. Thanks.

  2. mem | | #3

    Hello Wanda, I would take in the side seam and only alter the princess seams if you really have to .Maybe it is a side panel with no side seam ??

    1. WandaJ | | #5

      It is a side panel and no side seam. The same alterations need to be made for both the front and the back. What are your suggestions regarding the front panel intersecting with the welt pocket? How far above the pocket should I start to take the jacket in so it will not interfere with this detail of the jacket?

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