Monday, 20 January 2014

Merrily Mending Away: Sleeves

It is a good thing that I have joined Sarah's RTW Fast because I'm not fond of mending sleeves. That is one of the benefits of making your own clothes, you can adjust the pattern before it is cut and sewn to avoid all the hassle of altering a RTW item (which happens to be a real big pain in my opinion). 

You can tell by the wrinkles in this first item that this wool jacket has been in the mending pile for quite some time.  

I cut two and a half inches off the length, used the same technique that I use for hemming pants, and then hand stitched the remaining length up one and a quarter inches.   

That was easy. The others were not.

Did you notice the bad hem job?

Oh yeah I did [holding head in shame]. In my defence I've always been forthcoming with my intense dislike of alteration and mending projects.

But the guilt has been too much to bear. I basted and seam ripped. And then scratched my head trying to figure out how I would work around that mitered corner. Luckily, I have short arms and was able to cut if off and move on from there.

And now what to do with this?

When in doubt, cut it off! Now it is read to hem it up.

Have you noticed that ready-to-wear lined garments rarely have finished inner seams? What's up with that? Another good reason to join Sarah's RTW Fast--quality control. All that is left to do is take some length off the lining turn up the sleeve and slipstitch this baby up!

Next one is a real challenge. How do you shorten a sleeve with functioning buttonholes? That is what I have here.

This was the best advice on this design feature,
[w]hat is a [wo]man to do when [s]he needs the sleeves altered on a jacket that has functioning sleeve buttonholes? I suggest targeting the root of the problem. For ready-to-wear jackets; don't buy them if they have functioning buttonholes and the sleeves are not the right length. 
That doesn't help me out now. And I don't want to get rid of the jacket, I adore the colours in the fabric and other than the sleeve length it does fit well. What would you do? Tack it up onto the lining? Or leave it down and wear it rolled up?


But that advice above did help a little, come to think about it. What is a gal to do if their heart desires functioning buttonholes on a tailored jacket other than sew it herself. Mending previously purchased ready-to-wear while on a ready-to-wear fast is a real eye opener on the benefits of sewing from scratch. Come to think about it Vogue 1325 has a nice jacket with functioning buttonholes. Allowing myself to day dream a bit, I will have to shorten the pattern before I cut it out and I'm sure it will be more fun than mending these sleeves.

Happy Mending Sewing Day-dreaming!


  1. I finally bought 1325 after coveting all of your pants :)

    I do not like altering/mending RTW. A friend commented that I could alter an item I was complaining about. Pfft. I would rather sew something from scratch.

    1. I'm preshrinking fabric this evening for another pair of pants. I do like that pattern. I think this will be pair number four. I hope you enjoy the pattern as much as I have been.

  2. Hi :) I alter clothing to make a living :) You can shorten your sleeves the 'official' way or you might see if RUCHING them up with some elastic along one of the seams will help :) Depends on the style of your jacket. Sometimes pulling up a couple of inches with the elastic adds a VERY nice design element :) You can also pay a professional to shorten your sleeves :) I charge $30-$40 to do that job, I live in Southeastern Ohio :) I am sure some charges are higher, some lower :) Good luck :) I am new to your blog :) It's lovely :) Best wishes from Cheryl :)

    1. What a clever idea with the elastic! You're too far to do this alteration job! I should take it in to a professional and see if they want to help me out of it. I'm afraid I'm over my head with altering function buttoned sleeves.


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