Unless you get extremely lucky when you go shopping for a jacket, it’s hard to get one that fits you perfectly as they aren’t made to measure. Unless you get a custom-made jacket instead, the likelihood that you’re going to need to make some alterations are pretty high. The good news is that you can easily make quite a number of alterations on your jacket to make it a perfect fit.
Making a Jacket Bigger
A jacket that is too tight may be made bigger by letting out some of the fabric from the seams. Most jackets have double side seams allowing for alterations. There are other jackets that also have a seam on their back.
If you need to make a jacket bigger, here’s what you’ll need:
- A seam ripper
- A tape measure
- Chalk or marker
- Matching thread
- Sewing machine or needle
- An iron box
Steps to follow:
Start by removing the stitches from the seams using the seam reaper. You shouldn’t substitute the seam ripper with a knife or a pair of scissors. Be very careful not to make any tears on the jacket’s fabric. Make sure that all the loose and untidy threads are removed – do this using your bare hands.
You can open the back seam, the side seams, or the arm seams depending on where you want to expand.
Mark the jacket from the inside. This will guide you on where you should sew to make a new seam. Use a tape measure to make the marking so that you’re sure that they’re straight.
As you mark the location of the new seam, leave at least a millimeter of fabric along the edges. This prevents the new seam from ripping apart when you wear the jacket or showing through.
Now it’s time to make the actual stitching. It very important that you follow the markings you had made earlier on. Use a thread in the same color as the fabric of the jacket. If the thread is in a different color it’ll be very conspicuous and won’t look neat.
You’ll achieve a smooth seam if you use a sewing machine as opposed to using a thread and needle. If you must do the latter, take your sweet time and focus so that the stitching is as straight as possible. Otherwise, it’s better if you just take your jacket to a professional tailor although this can be quite pricey.
Iron along the newly stitched seams to get rid of the creases where the old seams were. This needs a little patience because the creases created by the old seams are rigid.
If the jacket doesn’t have any seams, you will need to introduce a new fabric between the seams to make your jacket bigger. This is your chance to get creative with the jacket’s design. Find a piece of fabric in a similar texture – it doesn’t have to be in the same color considering that it may be hard finding a color that matches perfectly.
Another way of making the jacket bigger especially if it doesn’t have seams is by moving the buttons. Remove all the buttons and fix them closer to the jacket’s opening. Be careful when removing the buttons to that they don’t leave any holes on the jacket.
What are some of the most alterations that people make on smaller jackets?
Some of the most common alterations that you might need to make for a smaller jacket include:
- The jacket length
Altering a jacket’s height is a tricky affair. This is because it has to be done in such a way that the spacing of the pockets and buttons doesn’t seem off. There’s the risk of compromising the balance of the jacket while you’re altering the length. So make sure that the length increase on the jacket is only minor.
As usual, when you’re done you should iron the crease where the old fold seam had been made.
- The sleeves
There are two ways you can alter the jacket’s sleeves to make them bigger:
Adjust the length of the sleeves so that it’s as long as you want it to be. The limiting factor is the amount of fabric under the cuff or over the top of the sleeve. The ideal length should be up to your wrist or whatever length is comfortable for you.
If the sleeve is slim and feels too tight around your arm, you can alter the width to one that allows a comfortable range of motion.
- Chest and stomach
This is a very common alteration on jackets that are too small. It’s quite easy to adjust the chest and stomach area; all you need to do is take out about half an inch from each side. Don’t let out too many inches off the seams as the jackets could easily rip apart when you’re wearing it if you leave a very thin allowance.
- Shoulders and collar
This type of alteration is quite complex and so we wouldn’t advise you to take it up as a DIY project. Making such alterations can be compared to performing a delicate head surgery and to be honest, if you are having a hard time fitting into the shoulders of your jacket, you most likely got the wrong jacket. There is absolutely no guarantee that the alterations will be successful or that the integrity of the jacket will be maintained afterwards after extending the shoulders or collar.
You’re already there!
After you’ve made the necessary adjustments, it’s now time to try it on to see how well it fits you. If it’s still a little too tight you can adjust it until it becomes loose enough to fit you.
Once it fits you perfectly hang it back in your closet along with the other jackets that you wear regularly.
Jackets are a timeless fashion statement that can be paired with almost any kind of outfit. They also give you years of service if you maintain them well. The good thing about jackets is that if they’re smaller you can use a few easy techniques to make them bigger for a perfect fit.