How to Alter a Boxy Jacket

Seamstress posing by mannequins

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Sometimes a boxy jacket is just the right thing. It’s comfortable and casual and it pairs well with jeans or slacks. But if you have a boxy jacket that you’ve grown a bit tired of or if you’d simply prefer a more feminine fit, a little tailoring can go a long way. Try adding some curves at the waistline to give your jacket a whole new look.

Try the jacket on in front of a full-length mirror. Turn all the way around and check the fit of the jacket from the front, back and sides.

Use a seam ripper to detach the lining from the jacket fabric. Remove the stitches only, taking care not to rip the lining or the jacket itself. Turn the jacket inside out.

Pin the side seams of the jacket in place, starting at the armhole and gradually taking in some of the fullness as you work your way toward the waist, then taper the seam as you near the bottom of the jacket. Try the jacket on again and move the pins if necessary.

Stitch new side seams with a sewing machine, using the pins as a guide. Trim the new seams and press them flat with a hot iron. Pin new side seams in the lining as well, taking out the same amount of fullness, then stitch the seams, trim and press flat.

Sew darts in the front and back of the jacket as an alternative to taking in the sides. Detach the lining from the jacket and pin the darts in place on both sides of the jacket front. Do the same with the jacket back. Baste the darts by hand and try the jacket on before stitching them by machine. Sew darts in the lining the same way.

Turn the jacket right side out and reattach the lining to the jacket fabric by hand, using a needle and thread and a whip stitch. Press the bottom of the jacket with a hot iron.