Apparel alterations-can you do it?

I often get asked about apparel alterations, especially those having to do with jackets. It’s not a secret to find that as we get older our bodies “shift”, whether you get thinner or larger the bottom line is that your jacket may not fit from one season to the next.

So the question of “can you take my jacket in” or “can you let my jacket out” becomes a complicated one. Often times people will gain or loose weight in their mid section or in their shoulders thus causing things to no longer fit right and maybe even become uncomfortable. There are also folks who been given or have bought jackets with sleeves that are too long.

To explain why it is very difficult to alter a motorcycle jacket, I’d be best tell you about how the patterns are made. A quick version is this: the pattern is gauged per size. One pattern can be made bigger or smaller for each size needed. HOWEVER, they are not just widened at the side seams, each pattern piece is made gradually larger thus creating a larger well fitting pattern for each size. (Or smaller, which ever the case may be.)

Being that jackets are complicated pieces you have to picture the shell being created and then the lining and then they are both sewn together. If this is well done, how they both come together should be somewhat of a mystery and the result being a smoothly crafted jacket.

So picture the alteration….Oh My God….you have to start dismantling the jacket alter the appropriate pieces and put it all back together at the cost of generally buying another one.

Still don’t want to part with your old friend? The solution then is to check your area for a tailor like at a men’s store then see if they can recommend a tailor who works in leather and as I always say, “make sure they KNOW how to work with leather”! They can take meausrements which always assures a great fit in the end.

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