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Fitting ready made suit jackets

Blondfire | Posted in Fitting on

I purchased suit jackets, but the straight cut of the body makes me look larger. I need to taper the side seams at the waistline for a more fitted and professional look. What is the best way to do this without having a “pull” on the buttons? Should I create a new side seam? If so, what is the best way to measure for this? Would narrow elastic stretched and sewn horizontally at the waistline (on the inside) maybe 3-4″ long work for thinner fabrics?

Thank you, in advance, for your help! It is much appreciated! I know I can count on you! You help in the past was immeasurable!


  1. becksnyc | | #1

    Are the suit jackets boxy because they only have side seams?  If so, you might create moderate darts in the front and back.

    If not, what seams are there?  Front darts?  Sides?  Back/Side?  Center back? (I personally don't like the look of a curved center back seam unless a. there are no other options or b. you have a strong curve to your lower back.

    Do the jackets fit well at shoulder and hip, but just need to be shaped at the waist? 

    Becksnyc, full time alterationist

    1. Blondfire | | #2

      Thank you so much for responding so quickly! I really appreciate it. I also admire your profession - only wish that I was that good.

      Yes, I think the jackets look boxy because there is only a side seam. There are no darts in the jackets at all. Everything else fits fine. I don't like the idea of a center back dart either. I think your idea for putting two darts in the back would be ideal for the unlined jackets, but would I then need to put them in the front also so the jacket side seams appear more fitted from the front? Is there a rule used to measure where the darts should be placed and the length they should be?

      Is there any solution for lined jackets?

      Thanks again!


      1. Beth | | #3

        I added front and back darts to a rayon blouse and it really improved the look. It stays tucked in better now, too. I think I put it on, pinned darts in place, then basted, tried on again, before sewing on the machine.

        I began under my bust, tapered in to my waist, then out again to a point over my hips.

        Hope this makes sense.

        1. Blondfire | | #4

          Thank you so much for your suggestion and instructions! I'm sure that will work! I was trying to 'think outside the box', but didn't get any further than the side seams. Another person had the same idea. Thank you so much! I knew I could count on my friends at Gatherings. 


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