Have you recently seen how the clothing and fashion industry has been hit by a wave of chevron pattern and stripes. The patterns are very simple, absolutely bold and gorgeous wouldn’t you agree? Imagine, how simple designs like these set themselves apart in crowd of designs even after years. Its impossible, not to notice someone wearing a chevron or stripe. It sure is an attention grabber.

So when I was in one of the stores recently, I could not help but indulge in the stripes!  It was a striped jacket which turns out is not overly formal and not very casual. It is perfect for the light cold weather we are still experiencing even in the middle of May! It was a size larger, but I decided to try and challenge myself to resize it. Below is the my well-fitting black jacket size versus the striped jacket.

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Here is a set of easy steps to resize the jacket: The jacket was a kind of stretchy cotton without a lining, which made it quite easy to sew. I first measured, how much bigger the jacket is from my regular. It came out to be 3 inches bigger on each side, which means I had to remove about 6 inches from its overall size to fit me.
Now here is something important I learnt while watching a resizing video. A jacket which has 5 stitch lines/seams: one in back center, one on each side and one stitch line on each side between back seam and side seam as seen in figure below, fits very well to the body after resizing. So if you do have a jacket to resize make sure you have 5 stitch lines rather than 3 and the material is not very difficult to sew for starters.

In all I had to reduce the size of jacket by 6 inches. so ideally i needed to take (6 inches/5lines ) = 1.2 inches in on each stitch line, to get a snug jacket. Which means I needed to mark (6/5)/2 = 0.6 inches around each stitch line.

This is how it was done.

First: To start fold the jacket in half, wrong side facing you, such that you are holding it along the back center seam (shown in orange below). Mark a 0.6 inch line across the centre line of the jacket as in figure below. This would mean shrinking it by double 0.6+0.6=1.2 inches around the back center. Since this is a striped jacket, pay attention to stripes aligning with each other while sewing. You can pin the jacket along the marked 1 inch line, such that the stripes align correctly. Now lets sew a straight line or two with machine onto marked line. This will be your new center line.

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Second: Go to the side seam  as shown in fig. below and fold the jacket along it. The jacket is still turned inside out at this point. Mark 0.6 inch line along each side seam and 0.25 inch across the arms to have the arms fit more snugly but not too tight. (you can go tighter on arm if that is the fit you are going for).

Again use pins to arrange the stripes correctly and sew a straight line along the marking. Do this on each side and this will take off of 1.2+1.2=2.4 inches from the 2 sides, bringing the jacket 3.6 inches in.

Third: Now lastly lets fold along the stitch line between center seam and side seam. Its the seam you can see next to side seam in figure below. (Do one seam/stitch line at a time).  Mark a 0.6 inch line across this seam. This will bring each seam in by 1.2 inch, taking the total to 1.2+2.4+2.4=6 inches in.

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Now compare it with the jacket you measured to start with. See how it looks pretty much the same size as the well fitting jacket.

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This technique will work for any size of jacket. The only thing is with my jacket size and actual size being only one size different, I did not have to redo the complete shoulder and arms. If the jacket is more than 2 sizes big, it might not fall well on your shoulder. In that case, you will have to do an additional step of separating arms of jacket using seam ripper. Cutting off part of shoulder which is extra. Cutting arm length to match your arm length and sew it back up in the jacket.

Also once you take in all these seams there might be a lot of bulk in the jacket. To reduce the bulk, you can cut off the the extra taken-in margin in small triangles rather than in straight line.

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Happy resizing!

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