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Question for those who know about sewing

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Old 09-30-2013, 07:55 AM   #1
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Default Question for those who know about sewing

What I know about sewing could fill a thimble, but I'm sure others on this Forum know a lot more than I do. I have quite a few business suits (ladies pants and jackets) that I'm going to want altering, but I understand there's a limit to how many sizes one can reduce by. For example, I don't think you can alter a size 16 down to a size 4, since that would just be too much altering (although correct me if Iím wrong in assuming that).

I suspect by the time I get to my final weight, most of my pants/jackets will need to come down 2 sizes (let's say from a 10 to a 6), although some will need to come down 3 sizes (say from a 12 to a 6). Is that too much of a reduction? Or do you think a decent tailor should be able to handle that? Perhaps I might be ok with the 10's but out of luck on the 12's? Or perhaps both the 10ís and the 12ís could be altered, except it will simply cost more to do the 12ís than it will for the 10ís?

Any thoughts you might have would be helpful!
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:16 AM   #2
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A good tailor can and will be able to do it. Be prepared though, the cost of alterations is pretty high! I just bought a gown for a formal event and I really scored a good price $100 for a beautiful dress. It's about a foot too long though with delicate lace trim on the bottom. My alterations just to hem the dress cost $120. From what I understand, tailoring suits is just about the hardest thing to alter, so be prepared to pay for it.
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:17 PM   #3
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Thanks, Wannabeskinny! I'm pleased to hear that it will be possible. In each case, I'll need to compare the cost of alterations to the cost to replace the suit/jacket/etc....although I suspect it will often be worth it to alter, and all of the clothes are in excellent shape. Plus, many of these suits simply can't be replaced.
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:23 PM   #4
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In my experience suits can't be worn off the rack, new or old it still needs tailoring.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:53 PM   #5
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From someone who does sew, the alterations are possible. However, in the long run, might not be worth it.

The labor involved in altering a 16 to a 4, that actually fits properly is a ton of work.

You have to measure everything from A to Z, waist, inseam, bust, shoulders, are you a high waist or a low waist. Are you right handed or left handed, it does make a difference in sleeves. Is one leg a bit longer or shorter? Now that your body has changed, what has changed?

Since I do sew, I'd most likely keep one or two faves, as a point of reference, but would look for pieces in your current size, and have those tailored.

Or, learn to sew! It's amazing the things you can do with a bit of fabric, a pattern and an idea.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:07 PM   #6
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I don't sew - at all, but my mom is a professional tailor and has run her own business for over 20 years altering everything from $10,000+ gowns down to cheap walmart slacks, and anything and everything in between. She has taken in a lot of my pants as I've been losing. Most clothes can come down a maximum of 2-3 sizes depending on the style (slim fit vs casual fit, pleats, darts, pockets, etc). Anything more than that and you're basically remaking the entire garment, which is definitely cost prohibitive - think 2-3 times the original cost of the garment.

Edited to add: recently I had my mom take in all of my shorts. I've gone from a size 24 to 18 (3 sizes). She was able to take almost all of my shorts down to a size 18, but there were 2 styles, that because of pocket placement (rear and front/side), couldn't be taken down as small as I needed. I was bummed - I'd only worn one of the pair once.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for the additional responses!

shcirerf: Fortunately, I don't need to go from a 16 to a 4. I was wearing size 14's and 16's before I started losing weight...but those aren't the clothes I need to be altered. I also kept a bunch of clothes from a few years back, when I was a size 10 or 12, and those are the ones that need to be altered, down to likely a size 6. So, I need to move down about 2 or 3 sizes. As for me learning to sew...LOL. I don't see that happening anytime soon, but thanks for the vote of confidence!

SuperHeroTeacher: You make a good point when you speak about the style and placement of darts, pockets, etc. I'll have to watch for those things in the items I want altered...it might be that those issues will make alterations more difficult, if not impossible, for some items.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shcirerf View Post
Or, learn to sew! It's amazing the things you can do with a bit of fabric, a pattern and an idea.
Sewing is one thing, tailoring a suit is a whole other can of worms. It's really difficult to tailor a suit!! It takes years of skill training and specifically learning how to tailor suits before you can make one! In fact, a lot of tailors and seamstresses specialize specifically in suits, I know my seamstress won't do major alterations on suits unless it's to hem a pant, I take my husband's suits to a tailor who only does suits.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny View Post
Sewing is one thing, tailoring a suit is a whole other can of worms. It's really difficult to tailor a suit!! It takes years of skill training and specifically learning how to tailor suits before you can make one! In fact, a lot of tailors and seamstresses specialize specifically in suits, I know my seamstress won't do major alterations on suits unless it's to hem a pant, I take my husband's suits to a tailor who only does suits.
Yes, I can understand why that would be, especially considering all these suits are lined. I imagine things like adjusting the shoulders would be difficult, although my arms are a bit out of proportion to the rest of my body. As a result, many of my suits used to be a tad tight around the shoulder/arms. Those same suits now fit perfectly around the shoulders/arms, and they only need taking in throughout the torso...which I suspect will be a bit easier.
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