October 29, 2014

An alteration

I've been doing useful stuff...
This weekend, my relatives who live in London will be visiting my parents and we will meet them there. Which means I felt kind of obliged to work on and finish the alterations on the coat belonging to my aunt H.
To be fair, she left it with me on their last visit, in January and mentioned that it was fine if it took me over a year to alter it. She must have heard how long I took to take in my grandmother's skirts.... (which also, was no disaster. Although my grandmother had lost a lot of weight and was happy for me to take in six skirts, she has a lot of other ones so she didn't miss them too much).

Anyway, H is the only relative, apart from my grandmothers, who occasionally asks me to alter things for her. Like most seamstresses, I hate doing alterations but I can be swayed to do them for my loved ones. And I know that H really can't sew, unlike my mother and other aunts. And she accepts my expertise in the matter, which is nice.

In this case, she had brought me a coat which was way too large for her. H caught the running bug a few years ago, and as those things go, has lost a lot of weight since. This coat was bought just before she started running and was now... about... eh, 4 to 6 cm in circumference is the difference for one dress size, so... 3 to 4 sizes too big...
It's a fairly straight , classic design but with the usual nice, tailored details. Which, unfortunately also means that the pocket welts go through the front darts, eliminating any opportunity to take out some excess width there. The front side seams were very close to those pocket welts as well, so no luck there either. As a result of the coat's anatomy, most of the difference had to be taken out at the side back seams. I would have like to distribute it more evenly but there really was no other option.
And it was so large that even the shoulders were too wide. The combination of that with the fact that I had to take in seams which ran up to the armhole ment that I had to alter and re-set the sleeves... 
I wish I could have raised the armscye a bit but of course, I can't add material where there was none.
All in all, it's quite a job.

On the up side, it's a nice coat. Beautiful thick stable wool coating, nice not-too-thin satin lining. The tailoring is nothing special, all fusibles, but it has been neatly done. And I like seeing how exactly they've treated the shoulder and sleeve head. Not that it's news to me but, that's how you get that nice rounded edge at the top of the sleeve. 

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a 'before' picture but I'll try to add one of the finished product tomorrow morning (it's too dark now). 

I'll be curious to see how the coat will fit her now. I don't think I gave any guarantees for this one and indeed, that's how it should be. This was a lot of alteration for a complex garment that doesn't really allow for much change.

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