Saturday, December 31, 2011

DIY Alterations: Lined Coat Edition

Do you remember this camel coat from a few weeks ago? Well, I took it in to my tailor to see how much it would cost to have it taken in, since it is so loose at the waist. He looked at it and said, "Usually for a lined full-length coat, I would charge $75, but since you are so short, I will charge the same as for a suit coat - $40". It was a nice gesture, but I would rather put $40 toward a new coat than spend it on an old one that I hardly ever wear.

So then, I was left with two choices: give it away or alter it myself. What do you think I did?

First, I needed a strategy. I noticed that there was a seam going all the way down under each arm, which meant that I could simply slim the waist just like I have done to many, many blouses. But first, I needed to get at the inside of the seam underneath the lining. 

So, I pulled out my trusty seam-ripper (my most used sewing tool) and separated the lining from the coat along the bottom. I tried to rip out as little as possible, knowing that I would have to sew it back by hand in the end, which resulted in about a 10" hole at the bottom of each of the two seams that I needed to work with. 

Here is a view of the seam pulled through the hole between the lining and the coat bottom. 

I pinned it the way I thought I wanted it and then tried it on to make sure of the fit. 

Then, I sewed along the pins, making sure to join with the old seam as gradually as possible over the hip area.

After I was happy with the final fit, I cut off the excess fabric.

Finally, I sewed the lining back to the coat. I think the proper stitch is a slipstitch, but really, I just winged it, since it would be covered by the lining anyway. 

Drumroll, please! 

Ta da!

And from the back...

What do you think? 

In case you are wondering what I am wearing underneath the coat...

Coat: Ann Taylor (circa 5 years ago)
Sweater: Old Navy (recent)
Jeans: Ann Taylor (recent - Petite Modern Fit Bootcut)
Shoes: BCBGeneration (via TJ Maxx)


  1. my crafty daughter-in-law! The coat looks great, good job!

  2. I would never have tried it. Where did you get all this sewing skill- from Mert??? Not from Mom! I can hardly sew a straight seam. It looks wonderful.

  3. Oh my're so brave! The coat looks amazing after your alteration job. Bravo!

  4. Laura, I'm so impressed that you took this in yourself. The after looks great and thanks for these step by step pics. The step that is preventing me from altering my own coats and blazers is sewing the lining back onto the coat.

    PS - I'm a little late but LOVE your holiday part outfit. The black and plum look divine together.