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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: dinolady
Date: 06-16-2005, 12:39 AM (1 of 6)
Does anyone have te secret of shortening sleeves on fully lined jackets? I've recently started doing alterations at home but can't figure this one out.
User: dinolady
Member since: 06-16-2005
Total posts: 1
From: woodywoodpecker
Date: 06-16-2005, 01:24 AM (2 of 6)
You have to find where the last seam was sewn when they turned the jacket right side out, some times it is a side seam in the linning but sometimes it's in the sleeve. open the seam turn the jacket wrong side out and short the sleeves and then turn right side out and sew up the seam again. It's kind of a big pain.
User: woodywoodpecker
Member since: 11-07-2003
Total posts: 242
From: Sheri
Date: 06-16-2005, 10:38 AM (3 of 6)
It's kind of a big pain.

User: Sheri
Member since: 12-04-2000
Total posts: 126
From: HeyJudee
Date: 06-16-2005, 07:29 PM (4 of 6)
Well I am not a professional but I have always been short...short arms, short legs. So I have always had to shorten almost everything I buy.

So when I need to shorten my jacket sleeves, I use my seam ripper to undo the seam - where the lining is sewn to the jacket sleeve. I also note the distance the lining is sewn from the end of the sleeve. Then I shorten both the jacket sleeve and the lining the same amount, e.g. if the sleeve needs to be shortened 2" then I shorten 2" from the fold of the outside sleeve and from the fold of the lining. (Definitely need a sleeve board for that part) Then I trim off the excess material leaving a seam allowance. Sometimes there is interfacing in the sleeve. If so, I usually take it off before shortening and sew it back after I have trimmed off the excess length. Then I hand stitch the lining back to the sleeve using small stitches and ensure the lining is the same distance from the end of the sleeve as it was before I undid it.

Also before I rip out the original seam, I check the position of the lining arm seam and make sure that it is in the same location when I hand stitch - usually it matches the outside arm seam. Once I forgot to check and the lining sleeve was I always pin and try on the jacket to check before I actually start to sew.

Hope this gives you another idea to pursue.
TTFN from
User: HeyJudee
Member since: 01-25-2005
Total posts: 1366
From: June Harlow
Date: 06-16-2005, 07:41 PM (5 of 6)
The last time I did one of these I made the lining in the sleeves too short, and because of that the sleeves ended up looking bunched up. I got it fixed after a lot of seam ripping and hand sewing, but it's a lot of nuisance. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of lining, and I often leave it out of projects whenever I can :) And any way, isn't that why they invented the camisole and chemise ? LOL
June ~

"If only I could find that missing pattern piece!"

June sews on a Pfaff 1209 and a Babylock 5180 serger
User: June Harlow
Member since: 05-30-2005
Total posts: 100
From: BabsSewingRoom
Date: 06-30-2005, 12:24 PM (6 of 6)
I do a lot of suit jacket sleeves. I didn't say I like doing them but I get a lot of requests. My rate for doing them is high (or compared to what I charge for everything else anyway) because I absolutely hate doing them.

I turn the sleeve inside up and go up about 6-9 " from sleeve hemline in the sleeve lining and rip open the lining. If you are lucky and there is no placket just make new seam ever how much shorter they want the sleeve. Then cut off excess. I find it helps keep things aligned if I make new seam before cutting off old. If you shorten more than about 1" you will need to add new interfacing. I think the books say there should be about 1" interfacing below your new seam. Turn sleeve back to right side and stitch lining back. I do it on machine. If you look that's how they did it originally. I do as little handwork as possible. Plackets are done basically the same but a LOT more work.
User: BabsSewingRoom
Member since: 04-10-2004
Total posts: 80
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