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Altering Jackets to Reduced Size

Rhinemaiden | Posted in Fitting on

I have lost over 125 lbs and would like to salvage some of my good clothes. Skirts are pretty easy but now I want to tackle jackets. Does anyone know of any books, classes (Danbury, CT area), etc?? I was thinking of getting a pattern  – making a muslin version and then using that as a pattern. Maybe a dressform to fit? Any and all ideas welcome!!!



  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    Congratulations, that's an amazing achievement!

    As for your plan, the difference in size is so great that it's probably easiest to completely dismantle a jacket and use the fabric with a correctly sized pattern in the same style.  It will still take considerable time, so you should seriously judging the fabric to make sure that it's worthwhile.  And, as with maternity clothes, you should consider whether you want reminders of your old shape while you are enjoying your new body!

  2. Ralphetta | | #2

    In addition to what the last writer said, I found that the clothes that had been favorite flattering styles for my heavier figure were not at all what I wanted when I altered them to fit my slimmer body. I didn't lose anything close to the weight you lost, but the styles I had worn camouflaged my body shape and even when they were reduced in size they made me look exactly like I had before losing weight. As the last writer said, if it's very good fabric then just put a pattern on it and make a new garment instead of trying to alter it.

    1. Rhinemaiden | | #3

      These are semi fitted Pendelton jackets. I never dressed "fat" - always in professional suits. The only reason I want to try this is that to replace the jackets to match the skirts that I have already done is about $250 + each. i love the clothes I have.

      1. starzoe | | #4

        Downsizing a jacket as much as you have to is rather "iffy". The main problem is the underarm. With your new body shape you will need higher underarm seams and the only way to get that is to recut the jacket by lifting it at the shoulders.I would suggest that you take the jacket apart completely and then try to see how a pattern would work on it. You might also consider making a vest where the low armscye would not be a problem.

      2. Ralphetta | | #5

        I understand what you're saying, but I still think you would be disappointed in the exact same style on your new body, it may just be a physiological thing. They should be large enough to make it pretty easy to open them up and just put a pattern on them. You would still have your matching fabric, but slightly different style jackets you might like better. You can utilize the collars, facings, etc., just assemble them in a slightly different way. It would be a mixture of alteration/new garment. Have fun fitting your new body!

  3. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #6

    I agree with the other posters that altering a jacket that much would not be feasible. You would basically have to remake the jacket, changing the shoulders and armscye, and probably removing fabric along where a princess seam would be if there isn't one already. You would be much further ahead to deconstruct the jacket and recut a new one from a fitted muslin from a pattern. A pattern in a similar style could probably use many of the existing constructed parts if it is a boxy style. I had to do this in college for my tailoring course and it was fun to do. I cut down an adult coat into a child's coat, but the principle was the same. Cathy

  4. BernaWeaves | | #7

    I agree that altering skirts is pretty easy, but but changing a jacket that much would be very difficult.

    I also agree that with your new body you deserve some new styles.

    May I recommend that you find a women's crisis shelter to donate your clothing to.  The women there often leave home on the spur of the moment to get away from abusive spouses and haven't packed clothing.  They need professional clothing in order to find jobs.  If your jackets are in good condition, then the shelter would be thrilled to have them, and you could have a tax writeoff.


  5. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #8

    Rhinemaiden, I have to agree with Berna's point. If money is not an issue, then please consider donating your jackets. I have done that myself. Plus size garments in good condition for working women are desperately needed. When I donated a bunch of working clothes I had been given that were not suitable for myself, I gave them to a local church group. I had phoned first to see if they were suitable, and when I could drop them off. When I arrived, they already had 2 women there anxiously waiting. They were going for job interviews, and the clothing made a big difference. They were able to go to interviews properly outfitted in suitjackets with skirts or pants that fit. These were quality clothes, that they could not afford otherwise. This can often make the difference on getting a good job or not. Cathy

  6. jonessamuel | | #9

    Regarding altering of Jackets

    Regarding patterns you will get the  idea  from monthly journals  relating to the subject or you may also get the best idea from professional tailor dealing with ladies stiching.

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