Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Altering Sleeve Length
Today I have been asked to talk about shortening a sleeve that is lined and has a vent. I hate to say it, but this is the most time consuming alteration I do, with the exception, of course, of that Carhartt jacket from the previous post.
I always start by examining the existing sleeve. I have a rule of thumb to put a garment back the way I found it. This is easier when it comes to sleeves, because you can alter one while the other one stays in tact. These sleeves have a mitered edge, which is toughest to do, but once you get the hang of it, it is still the toughest to do!
First, I removed the buttons and ripped the lining from the fabric.
I now rip both sides of the sleeve vent, to open up the whole hem. Then I can mark the hem, fold it up, then press it into place.
The bottom side is easy enough to seam at the end. Just fold the new hem allowance back on itself (right sides together) and stitch the edge. The top edge is mitered, so I have to create a new miter using the iron. Here are some pictures to illustrate. The first picture is the bottom side, the next two are the top edge.
And if this seems to difficult to do by hand, you can sew that diagonal seam by hand, as shown here:
Using the lines that are now pressed into the vent, sew a diagonal seam that will line up with the vent bottom. Turn this right side out and you have a finished miter.
It's actually better to do the underside last, so you can adjust it to match the new length of the mitered side.
Once the two edges of the vent are complete, you need to shorten the lining by pressing it up, then handstitch it into place.
Attach the buttons and you are finished.
Tomorrow's post will be an easier alteration, maybe one that many of you find yourself doing. Leave a message in the comments below or write to me on my Contact Me page if you have something specific you'd like me to write about.