Jacket in pieces, needing help.
Roman needed help completing the jacket she was making for her significant other.

Thumbtack notified via e-mail that I had a new prospective student.

Roman messaged:

I’m making a jacket right now. It’s my first project of its kind. I’ve hit a snag that is beyond my skill level to fix. The measurements got wonky and so now the arm hole and sleeve do not remotely match up so I can’t attach them. I’m not sure how to fix it or adjust it. I need help finishing the project, specifically this part. The neck hole is also perhaps too small in relation to the collar so I would like help attaching that too.

Roman was making a jacket like one she and her significant other had seen on line and liked very much. Roman had decided to make the jacket for her significant other. Lacking pattern making experience, she had contracted with a pattern maker, sending the pattern maker measurements from which the pattern had been drafted.

Women's sleeve caps are not drafted in men's sleeve patterns
The sleeve pattern had been drafted with a blouse sleeve cap. The sleeve cap was too narrow for a man’s upper arm muscles.
A shirt’s armhole is lower than the blouse armhole, allowing for the looser garments that men find comfortable.

Roman wanted to finish the jacket so she could give it to her significant other that weekend, but she had run up against considerable frustrations.
There were a number of problems with the pattern, which Roman had tried to correct.


  1. Roman had sewn the buttonholes, buttons, shoulders, and pockets. She had sewn the corduroy pieces together. She had sewn the collar, but had not attached it to the jacket, as the neckline was to small and needed correcting.
  2. The pockets, sewn to the jacket’s front, needed to be removed, lined, and resewn to the jacket front with edge stitching.
  3. The pattern lacked seam allowances. Roman had added seam allowances, plus extra, as fortunately she had realized the pattern was too small.
  4. The original drafted collar, did not sew into the neckline.
  5. The sleeve cap was a blouse sleeve cap. The sleeve’s width was too narrow. The sleeve cap had been drafted with a blouse sleeve cap.

Removing stitches
Roman did a lot of stitch removal. Patient, resourceful, artistic, and determined, I suspect she will do a lot of sewing in her life-time. This jacket, an extreme project, is probably just the beginning of years of sewing ahead.

Correcting the Jacket

Shirt sleeve cap, armhole relationship
Lowering a sleeve cap means widening the sleeve at the biceps line, if the length of the cap’s sewing line needs to be retained.

There was no point in working with the original patterns. The better solution was to trace off the jacket pieces to obtain their patterns, correct their patterns, then use the traced, corrected patterns to correct the jacket pieces.

We began by removing the shoulder stitching and the pockets. I cut linings from scraps left from shirts I had made for my husband and son, lined the pockets, and sewed them back on the jacket front with edge stitching.

The just traced patterns’ sewing lines were checked to make sure they were the same length as their companion seams.

The back and front shoulder seams were corrected so as to give a little more ease in the back shoulder. The neckline was increased to allow the collar to sew to the neck.

The sleeve’s cap was corrected. Fortunately the sleeves were too long, allowing the sleeve’s cap to be cut lower.

A bottom collar was drafted from the original collar pattern. The sewn collar’s stitches were removed and the bottom collar corrected. Collar drafting solutions are shown in our most recent video. Our next video, still in progress, will show how to sew a convertible collar to the neckline.

All patterns’ sewing lines were walked around their companion seams to make sure they sewed, before trimming any of the cut jacket pieces. With the exception of the sleeve cap, minimal trimming was needed.

Back of jacket
Back of jacket
Front of the finished jacket.
Front of the finished jacket.
Finished jacket sleeve
Finished jacket sleeve

Once the pattern work was done, the shoulders were sewn, the collar sewn into the neck, one sleeve sewn into the armhole and the side seam sewn up – with the sewing continuing up the sleeve’s seam.

All of this was completed in one day. Roman went home with the bottom collar still needing to be hand stitched in place and the second sleeve, side seam and sleeve seam to be sewn.

The jacket was finished just in time for her to give to her significant other that weekend.

This was a rush job, and not recommended. More time is needed to make a muslin, correct the pattern, and make sure it fits, before cutting and sewing a jacket.

Lrl on motorcycle
I don’t ride them, I just have my picture taken on them – Laurel.

Our books and videos enable you to learn the techniques industry uses to draft and sew high-end garments.
Minimal equipment is required. All can be done in the home.


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215 884 7065
© Laurel Hoffmann, 2021

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