Polka Dot Panel Jean JacketNovember 4, 2013
It is a fairly easy task to take in a garment that is too big, so that it will fit a smaller body frame. A little more creativity is required when you want to alter a garment that is too small. I had originally taken in this handed down jean jacket for a more snug fit. Then I got pregnant twice, and after having a couple babies, my rib cage and back widened just enough so all my previously well fitting clothes were no longer serviceable. Some things were not worth the effort to fix, some designs did not easily lend themselves to alterations, and some were too nice for me to risk ruining with experimentation. This unusable jacket was sitting around for a long time before I came up with an appropriate solution. I love working with, and wearing denim. It’s such a utilitarian textile, but its easy care, durability, and structure are advantageous for many fashionable tailored styles.
So the problem I had with this ill fitting jacket was just across the bust, where the one button wouldn’t do up anymore. I considered a few options, trying to find an appropriate place to add a stretchy contrast fabric. I finally decided to open up the existing back seams to minimize my design footprint. The stretchy polka dot fabric I chose to go with the denim is fairly thick and structured itself, so that hopefully it will match the denim’s lifespan and strength. Once I ripped the seams open, I tried the jacket on and did up the buttons to see how much extra room was needed in the back. At this point I also decided to raise the back hemline so it sits at my waist.
After cutting the polka dot fabric as wide and as long as I needed, in the general shape of the openings when I tried the jacket on, I sewed them inside each ripped seam. Then I sewed the waistband back on, angling downwards towards the front. So the design is almost unchanged, with subtle details enough to make this jacket my own.
And voila! My denim jacket still fits snug as a bug, but now I can do up all my buttons!