So my ever so lovely suede coat gave me a bit of grief last year because the armholes are a titch too snug for my liking. I know there isn't any spare fabric hiding in the seams, so I was going to aim to rip it open along the bottom of the armpit on one of the seams, and then add an extra panel of fancy thick weight matching fabric. Do you think it can be done? I'm having trouble finding any instructions for it, and I'm not the finest at BSing this kind of thing. I don't want to have to pull the whole arms off (if possible), or potentially ruin the coat. Can anyone give some advice on where I should go with this? I'm even open to adding a panel along the top of the arm sleeve if that is a simpler thing to do.
For those that don't know, my coat looks like this:
And here is a not so clear pic of what the seams look like on the underside of the arm hole:
It's called adding gussets. Been done for millennia. Almost all of my historical garb has correct to time period construction, which includes not just inset gores but also gussets in the armpits.
This should show you enough to get an idea:
In your case, however there is no actual seam the way the coat appears to be constructed. You have the option of marking out and cutting a slit to inset the gusset or, you can go with an old idea for an arming jacket as would have been used in the early renaissance.
These sleeves were laced on. Various methods were used. In the case of this jacket I would cut the threads holding the sleeve on the body, hem the edge and the body and put in grommets. Now you have a vest and a coat, and if the armpits chafe you can let the lace out a little. If you want to go all fancy, it's an edge begging for fur . . .
I have discovered the ultimate question to life the universe and everything. "Does it burn?"
Fufa, this is much more complex than you might suspect. If you enlarge the armholes then you also have to enlarge the sleeve diameter.
The gusset idea suggested above may work if you can figure it out and use the gusset to transition the size between the sleeve hole and sleeve diameter. Personally I find making patterns on / from already sewn stuff beyond my skill.
However, traditional enlarging would involve dismantling a major chunk of that coat.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.
im not a tailor, but i do sew, and he's right, not the easiest to do and make it look and feel right, in this case, as much as I like to DIY, it might be worth the 15 bucks to get a professional tailor to pop one in...
i always try to give my local shoe repair man and tailor business, it's an art form and craft that we are losing to history...anyone remember typewriter repair men? how about Stipplers?
i like that you are using, modding, repairing what you got....We need to do so much more of this because we have so much that is perfectly usable and functional that gets tossed every day for one stupid reason or another.
the streets are paved with gold Lame if you simply open your eyes to the possibilities.
"bigger isnt better, better is better"™........Trilobyte 2013
Its not like its incredibly tight, just hard to life my arms up and limits my movement a bit. I thought I could make just add a little diamon shaped panel to give the tiniest bit more room, but I'm no seamstress. I do want to keep the coat, because I have some grand ideas for lighting it up.
I kinda wanted to avoid a tailor, because last time I went to one looking for a coat liner being let out (in the armpits as well, what a coincidence), they told me it would be an outrageous price of $80.
I'm shop around the tailors in my neighbourhood for a more reasonable price, but in the meantime I'm going to rip out the liner and see if it's maybe just the liner that is too tight. The suede might have more give.
It's likely that if the liner is tight then the coat will be tight as well. There's only a small amount of ease in heavy coats. Adding gussets are your best bet and they're pretty easy for any average skilled fashion student or tailor apprentice. There's no reason they're trying to charge you that much only because it's a heavy coat and they assume you want the liner gusseted along with the coat part itself which requires taking it entirely apart.
If you're not worried about having a liner, do it yourself or have someone with a moderate amount of skill to do it. If you love the coat, and want the liner done too - shop around and pay. If none of these sound good, well, buy another coat?
What a beautiful coat! It will get ruined on the playa, so don't worry about it, or don't bring it. OK. Now that you're not worried about it, just unpick the bottom half of the armhole/sleeve seam. You will have ventilated armpits. You can unpick some of the side seam leading up to the armhole/sleeve seam too, if that would make you more comfortable. I've done this with several dresses I love that are too small. It works well if you don't mind not having a perfect, finished garment.
Oh it went on playa last year, it was bought with the sole intention of taking it to the burn (a steal at $25), so I'm in no way worried about it. I just don't want to "ruin" it trying to modify it myself, now that I see how little qualified I am to do it myself. I think I'm going to just shop around the local tailor shops to see if its worth the money spending to have the arms let out.
The venting thing is simple enough, but this is my night coat so I want it warm. The holes in the armpits would kind of work against that.
Fufa wrote:The holes in the armpits would kind of work against that.
On the other hand, think of how useful it would be for a superhero with amazing smell powers. Lift the arm and the odor comes out to knock all those in range unconscious... Yes, I don't really have a very tamed imagination... Or a very commercial one...
Lose your legs--Become a merit badge.
Remember, you're just a make-believe soldier in an artificial army.
"So many people have so little clue and there's only a finite amount of patience in the world!" --International Incident.