Saturday, May 3, 2014

...and sometimes I do alterations

My husband has great faith in my sewing abilities (I suppose I should be flattered) and often calls on me to sew or alter various items of clothing. Mainly making his shorts and shortening the legs of jeans, pants etc. However this last little job has almost done me in.

He has a cream jacket and the sleeves are a bit too long. He has worn it a few times but decided the sleeves just had to be shortened before our next overseas trip. What!!!  The sleeves have a mitred vent and four buttons with false buttonholes. "It'll be easy" he says. "Just turn them up an inch." I don't think so!

Original sleeves

I remembered an article by  Judith Turner in Australian Stitches magazine. I looked up the index and found three articles (thanks Sharon). Hmmm. Fairly comprehensive step by step instructions. What does you tube have to offer? A wonderful array of videos. I settled on hem suit coat sleeves by Phyllis Smith and sewing mitre and bagging side on jacket sleeve  by Judith Turner.

One week later and after much whimpering, unpicking and tearing of hair the job was finished. It's not perfect and I sincerely hope no one ever inspects the work closely, but my husband professed himself satisfied. The biggest problem I had was with the mitre as the vertical and horizontal hems were of uneven width. Much folding and pressing and refolding and pressing was needed and eventually a lot of secret hand stitches were used to finish off the mitres.

The false buttonholes have been discarded as there is no way I could do them and my husband said two buttons were enough, although I may add the rest later. The stitching marks of the false buttonholes are proving difficult to remove. Any ideas anyone? I could try some white vinegar, perhaps.

The purpose of this post is to remind myself never, never, never to attempt this again. Also to issue the warning that while doable, it is not easy! But I must admit I'm rather proud of my effort.

The next job will be to choose a pattern for my May MAGAM. Something I can wear on our trip, I think.


  1. Hi Kathy! That's one nice cuff, lady! I love your blog and want to share it so I've nominated you for a Liebster! Run over to the blog if you choose to accept!

  2. Wow! You did a fantastic job and you should be proud!

  3. Goodness me, that is not an easy job at all! You deserve a medal!

  4. Good on you Kathy! Impressive 'secret' stitches. Some times it's easier to start from scratch then make an alteration!