Online Sewing Class: Sew a Designer Unlined Jacket
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Vogue 8815

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Forum > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > altering ready made jacket at the shoulder

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altering ready made jacket at the shoulder
I n eed to make it maller
Elaine Dougan
Elaine Dougan  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
British Columbia CANADA
Member since 1/24/07
Posts: 529
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Date: 11/12/09 4:22 PM

I bought a jacket and the shoulders are too wide. What is the best way to make the shoulders about an inch narrower? It is made of a medium weight cotton/poly and is unlined. There are no shoulder pads.


Advanced Beginner
California USA
Member since 5/11/05
Posts: 1131
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In reply to Elaine Dougan

Date: 11/12/09 5:18 PM

Depending on the style, there are a couple different things you can try. One is to open the shoulder seams and add both front and back darts. Another is to open the seam where the sleeve cap is and make it a wider seam (pulling the sleeve up); however, this will effectively shorten the sleeve so may or may not work for you.

sewsally  Friend of PR
Washington USA
Member since 8/18/02
Posts: 1355
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Date: 11/12/09 10:04 PM

Unsew the sleeves except at the bottom of the armhole. Pin the sleeves in place farther into the shoulder and see how it looks. Mark and trim the armhole and sew the sleeve back in.

Kayseri  Friend of PR
Member since 4/21/09
Posts: 269
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In reply to Elaine Dougan

Date: 11/14/09 4:06 AM

I've used both these methods over the years. Due to the amount you are narrowing I'd use Glenda's dart method, and make them as long as you can get away with. The back darts could go all the way to the waist but you will need to baste and fit. The front darts should end just outside your BP (same as the other bust darts).

The trap with Sewsally's method is that it lengthens the armscye, so you need to undo sleeve cap ease. This method works great if the sleeve cap has gathers, but not so good if there is only a little ease. Removing a an inch from the shoulder adds something like an inch to the armsyce (on size 18 andyway).

Another method I've used is to put in pleats along the shoulders (without pulling anything apart). This works well on very fine or drapey fabric, but wouldn't suit this time.

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