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shortening suit jacket sleeves with plac

Lita | Posted in Fitting on

Where can I find directions to shorten suit jacket sleeves that have plackets?


  1. tmorris1 | | #1

    Depending on how much you need to shorten the sleeve, you may be able to get away with not moving the placket. Most of the time, however, you need to move the placket further up on the sleeve to keep the lines of the suit the same. You also need to check if the suit has an elbow dart if you are shortening the sleeves, sometimes these require moving as well or the sleeve will not hang correctly.

    1. Lita | | #2

      Thank you so much for taking the time to e-mail me.  I understood what you told me: I do have to take up the sleeve past the placket........however, I'm mystified on the order of stitching those vertical and horizontal lines in creating that new placket.....I'm thinking to myself....maybe I can buy a pattern that would have directions of how to make a placket

      Edited 5/23/2007 7:50 pm ET by Lita

      1. tmorris1 | | #3

        Here is a step by step that might help you out. If you are still confused, please let me know.http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/C-222.htmlT.

        1. Lita | | #5

          Thank you tmorris1: the placket is  on a suit jacket: much different than on a shirt...I really appreciate you taking the time in try ing and help me. Lita

          1. tmorris1 | | #12

            I had actually enclosed this step by step, because it has several placket styles: Faced, Mock, Continuous Lap, and a traditional sleeve cuff. It is very hard to explain to someone how to repair a placket when it is not clear what type of placket you are working with.

  2. SewingWriter | | #4

    Shortening a jacket sleeve well into a placket came up a lot when I did alterations.  Because jacket plackets are not all cut alike, having a set of directions may not apply in your situation. For instance, plackets that are mitered at the corner often lack sufficient fabric to duplicate the miter. Also, there usually isn't enough seam allowance above the original placket to generate new placket length above it. 

    One solution is to dismantle one sleeve to see if there is sufficient seam allowance and hem depth to duplicate the stitching order.  If so, you'll end up with a placket that's shorter than the original. If not, or if the resulting placket is less than depth of the hem, simply close up the lengthwise seam and sew the buttons on just for decoration.

    Some experts will recommend shortening the sleeve at the top in order to preserve the placket.  Makes me cringe to even think about it!! Really, is a placket worth all that?


    1. Lita | | #6

      Thank you Stephanie for taking the time to write......wow what a job to take a suit jacket sleeve out......it would have to be very special for me to want to do that.  Lita

  3. Teaf5 | | #7

    Good suggestions so far...I'd like to add two cautions about shortening sleeves with or without a placket: Will the finished sleeve look in proportion with the rest of the jacket? How much taper is on the sleeve; when you shorten it, will it be too wide?If you are shortening an inch or two, neither of these will be a problem, but if you are trying to shorten three or more inches, you may end up with a very strange-looking jacket.When I lengthen suit sleeves, I carefully take one placket apart and write down the steps, even drawing waxed paper patterns for areas of stitching, buttonhole placement, etc. Then I take out the other side, press carefully, reposition, and work the written steps in the reverse order. I imagine you could do the same with shortening sleeves, as long as you're not going too far up the sleeve.

    1. SewFit | | #8

      I recently shortened  the sleeves on a very expensive man's suit jacket by 2".  The placket had machine made buttonholes which were uncut.   I removed them completely and did not re-stitch.    I carefully measured the width of the bottom of the sleeve and altered the seam lines slightly to adjust the taper.    There was sufficient fabric to miter the new placket seam... However the placket was about an inch shorter than the original which really didn't matter as the overall look and effect was the same once the 4 buttons were sewn back on.

      1. JanF | | #9

        I have done this in the past , but decided a while ago I wasn't going to do these anymore - too time consuming for the money you could charge and so fiddly trying to avoid opening too much of the seam.
        Thankfully my husband's arms are actually long in proportion to his torso - so its one job I have avoided having to do for love!!

        1. SewFit | | #11

          I do alterations for only a few people.   I found that here in my area, alterations shops charge from $25-$35 for this type of sleeve alteration.

    2. Lita | | #10

      I love the idea of using wax paper and writing the steps down as I rip each seam...thanks

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