OK, back to latest acquisition. I generally don't check out the suits in op shops these days, because as opposed to someone obsessed, I probably have enough. This one was a little big (aren't they all?) but really nice fabric. Since the pants were just a bit big, I altered them. Alterations for my smaller frame included splitting the back seam (the pants' bum crack) and taking up the hem. These mods are very easy, which is probably why my friend Jenni (Jack's daughter) suggested it as a good starting point to learn the art. Have to say that after sewing several women's garments and a men's shirt, it was almost too easy. The jacket will be a lot harder, so I'm not going to tackle it for a while.
Here are the pants:
|photo of the pants|
And I started to alter here (this is an after shot - you can see my alignment wasn't the best):
|Misaligned but they fit. Taken down about 1 1/2 inches|
Undo everything from the inside, but take note of the order in which you undo it: This is really important if you're not an expert (and if you were you wouldn't be reading this) it's too easy to stuff it up when reconstructing. So, get your seam ripper and undo the pants down to just above the crutch. You'll see how the seam allowance has just been folded back. Press this flat after unpicking, and leave the thread in (so you can see where the seam was). Mark the new seam such that it's the old seam line plus half the reduction on each side (I used a white dressmaking pencil), and reduce (taper) this new seam so that the other end is at the same point as before you unpicked it (the bit just above the crutch). That is, say the pants are 34". You have a 31" waist. The bit at the back (above) bust be reduced to 31", so fold and press the seam 1 1/2" more than the previous stitch line. Line up the bottom to where it was before.
Pin (even better to baste) this, sew it, then press (iron) the seam flat. I didn't bother trimming anything from the seams. I wore the pants last week, and although not as great as the other Italian ones, they felt pretty fine.
|The back is where you start.|
So that's the $10 Italian suit. I'll let you know if I get around to the jacket. If I do, it'll be as good as having it tailor made for me (if all goes according to plan, that is). Wish me luck!