Suit Coat Sleeve Hemming – Part 1

Suit Coat Sleeve Hemming – Part 1


this time around we’re going to shorten
this suit coat’s sleeves. Now I want to warn you this is a project not for the
faint of heart but I’m going to show you the rigors of what it takes to get
something like this done and then you’ll know what you’re up against should you
decide to take it on. So let’s get started. Suit coat sleeves whether women’s or men’s includes a placket and four
buttons for men three buttons generally for women. Most of the time there’s no
such thing as lengthening a sleeve like this. Typically I see a suit coat sleeve
needing to be shortened an inch to maybe an inch and a half, an inch and a quarter
is about standard. So that’s what we’re going to do today, we’re going to shorten
this suit coat sleeve one and a quarter inches, redo the placket, reset the lining
and reset the buttons. Okay here we go. So I’m first going to measure off my one
and a quarter inches Next we’ll pop off these buttons and
while I’m doing that I just want to advise you – this is my own preference – just do one sleeve fully at a time. In other words don’t do one step on one
sleeve and then move over to the other sleeve and do that same step then come
back do another step and repeat over on the other side. I advise you to do one
sleeve fully and then go over to the other side, and I think that will become
apparent why that might be your preference too as we go along. There we’ve
just about got these off. Next detach the lining. Next get the placket area apart at least
as much as the hem is and then we pick out all the old button stitching while
we’re at it. Now that the lining is released and the placket apart almost up
to its origination here, which is fine, we bend back the placket edges and see the
nature of how they’ve been sewn this one is simply a seam which we’ll replicate
at the new length, and this is the one that’s a little difficult,
it’s an angular seam, we’ll be doing it by hand because it requires making a
very nice sharp point. This is the overlay edge of the placket and it needs
to be as crisply sharp as we can manage. Also now that we’re in here and all is
being revealed we see that there is interfacing, fusible interfacing, that
pretty much covered the old hem. This part is all going to be cut off, you see,
and we’re going to need to put on new interfacing right along here. So
sometimes you get lucky and you make out that the manufacturer has extended the
interfacing quite a ways up so you don’t have to deal with that. Guess what, we do,
and so we shall. Rip out these two seams, and this is what that angular seam looks
like ripped out, great big hunk of material gets folded in like so to make
that nice crisp point and that’s what we’ll need to achieve too. All right, making
sure that the lining is well tucked back and out of the way while we do the next
part, extend everything out because it’s just about time to cut. It looks like the
old hem was 2 inches long. Let’s honor that and extend a two inch hem from the
new chalk line. Go ahead and do that on the other side.
Go ahead and cut all the way around on the new cutting line. Okay, all trimmed
and ready to press at the new hemline and I’m going to use a sleeve board for
ease in just a moment, but you may not have on,e so simply go ahead and
by constantly turning the sleeve press up at the new line. If you think
you’re going to be shortening sleeves quite a bit, get a sleeve (pressing) board you’ll be
much happier for the ease of it. When you get to placket edges just press
them and check them to see if they match up. Also I want to press out what remains
of the old hemline. Time to fuse the interfacing in this area, so I’ve cut a
two inch wide approximately 15 inch long piece because of course I’ve measured
the circumference of this cuff and I’m just going to be mindful of the sticky
side down, place it alongside up to the press line of the new fold line and I’ll
take the steam iron and press it down and I’ll keep moving the sleeve around
of course until I get it all on. But because I have a sleeve board,
I’d rather revert to using that, so I’ll be back with you in a minute. With the
sleeve board choose an end, any end, and keep going pressing that on. Fold it all back and give it a really
good solid press all the way around. After the solid press, back out it goes
again right sides together because we’re going to prepare to make the first point
of the placket, then we’ll gear up to do that angular point of the placket. This
may be the only seam we do on the machine. Turn it right side out and press
it crisp. Okay, we’re at the angular seam. I want you to notice where the two press
lines meet. This is what’s going to be the placket, this is the hem. Hold the
fabric so that the point points up, bend the fabric forward where these two
points meet. This will take some patience, you may
have to freeze the video and go back to where I showed you what this looks like
when I first ripped it apart and then just monkey with it,
fold it in, just monkey around with it like I say until you get a nice
45-degree angle fold and so that you have arrived at a crisp point. Once
you’ve done that, check again for a match that it all lines up. Then I just usually
sew this up neatly by hand, so I’ll be back with you after I’ve done that. That
accomplished, we can finally sew back up the seam that
we took apart in order to be able to access all of this tight quarters. Looks like we’ll be going right about
here, make a turn and go up here a ways, and we sewed that by machine. Now, remember
the lining? We haven’t done a thing with that yet. That has to be shortened, but
once it’s shortened, then we can attach it and we’ll be getting close to
completion. Once again, one and a quarter inches up from the old hem which was
turned back about one and a half inches, press under the lining. Time to attach the lining to the coat.
But where? This is when we’re really glad that we have the other sleeve to refer
to and it’s telling me an inch and a half up. Match up the lining all along
the chalk line. Pinch back a little bit to allow for the amount that’s going to
fall forward. Sew it all up. Lastly, refer to the unfinished sleeve
that still has the buttons on it for reference as to where to place the
buttons on this sleeve. We’ll sew the buttons on here and we will at last be
finished. So there we are, my friends, all finished and really good job. As you can
see, it takes a lot to accomplish shortening suit coat sleeves, but you can
do this. Good luck!

10 Replies to “Suit Coat Sleeve Hemming – Part 1”

  1. Great video. I just turned down a job to shorten suit sleeves because I hadn't seen this. It is a lot of work though.

  2. Thanks Phyllis…I've been doing alterations now for 30+ years. Your very thorough and easy to follow, the best video I've seen yet. I never did like suit jacket sleeves, but I do now. Thank you very much! "Reap What You Sew Alterations & Creations" by Valarie Gail Niessner -"MIss Val"

  3. I just did my first sleeve and it looks good. Will continue to practice. Thank you for your encouragement!!

  4. Phyllis, what do you do with the sleeve button hole? When you cut long enough, it will be on the edge of the sleep, doesnt it?

  5. Only 1 inch?
    Seems kinda minute unless they have long arms.
    I usually have mine done 3 inches so I can show some cuff.

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