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Old 05-12-2010, 09:34 AM   #11
JMcDonald
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No go. She said they get asked all the time about riding jackets (especially in this season), but they don't have the equipment to sew the heavier materials.

So, I will probably have to go with one of those custom jackets shown above. I won't actually be riding for about 3.5-4 weeks (class in June 5-6, then license after that) so hopefully I'll be ready in time.

But maybe I am too worried about the size? I have done some more searching and I keep reading about guys barely bigger than me wearing Large jackets and reporting "perfect fitment." So maybe I just don't know how a motorcycle jacket is supposed to fit. But in my dirtbike experience, I've had too-loose pads slide out of the way on impacts and that has never been any fun, and that was just on dirt! On the street, I definitely want the pads to stay where they are!

*edit*

I'd say it fits about like this, maybe a little tighter:



But I was expecting it to fit more like this:

Last edited by JMcDonald : 05-12-2010 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:14 AM   #12
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Ok, I'll stop beating around the bush and just post pics of my jacket:
Here is me standing like normal. Seems kinda poofy, no?


Here is me standing facing the camera. My left arm is holding the left breast of the jacket in the center, while my right arm is pulling the right breast to my left shoulder. That seems a bit loose, right?


And here is what I am perceiving as the worst part; there is lots of room for the shoulder pads to move around. Here I am pulling the shoulder armor (not just the heavier black fabric, but the plastic under-pad itself) over in front of my shoulder pocket. It seems like this is exactly what the pad would do if I were to land on it...
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:34 AM   #13
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It looks like you need to go from whatever size you have to one size down, maybe in a "Tall," if FS has such.

edit: I just re-read the thread. You say that jacket is a "Small"?

You're going to need to wear a thick shirt! Maybe two!

If that doesn't work, consider buying a Bohn (or other) armor system, and then you can wear whatever jacket you want over it.
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Last edited by pushrod : 05-12-2010 at 10:50 AM. Reason: re-read OP
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:11 AM   #14
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Yeah, that's way too loose.

Don't take this the wrong way, but MY GOD MAN - You're a regular Walking Skeleton!

Thick shirt nothin', he's gonna need a flippin' Life Vest under that thing to fill it out.......

Independant Armour is probably the most-viable choice for you, it appears. Or you're gonna hafta ante-up for Custom jacket.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:06 PM   #15
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Haha, when I said I was a "bean pole," I wasn't kidding :P .


Yeah I will almost surely need to get something smaller. I have a 34" chest and saw that the size "Small" in this brand is for a 38-40" chest... I guess I should have paid closer attention. But, so far all the sizes that are smaller in the chest are like 3-4" too short in the sleeve (I have a 36" coat sleeve).

In fact, doing some research it seems this jacket is too short in the arms, about right height-wise, but way too big around the chest and shoulders.

Gah, you big guys have it so easy :P .

*edit*

But apparently some manufacturers even still use very different measurements. I've seen some sizes where the small has a 49" chest (wtf?), or a 20" sleeve... My GF is 5'0" and has a 26" sleeve, at least when using the standard of measuring from the back of the neck, around the Chicken-Winged elbow and back to the wrist propped up on the hip. Measuring from the same starting position, but with my arm strait down, I end up with about a 33" sleeve.


Arg this is getting frustrating...

Last edited by JMcDonald : 05-12-2010 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:33 PM   #16
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And BTW, I called that custom leather jacket maker, and he said he has shut down the business and is shutting down the website soon.


So yeah I guess my only remaining options are to find a tailor who will shrink my jacket, or do it myself. I'll let you guys know what I find.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:34 PM   #17
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Again, see if there is a sailmaker or other outfit (like an upholstery shop) that has a motorcyclist working there.

Determine if he/she would be willing to sew the jacket together.

If so, go back to your seamstress, and have her take the jacket down, and then pin it back together where it'd fit you.

Maybe with her in tow, go back to the Big Needle, and have them put the thing back together.

All this being said, has she actually seen the jacket? The material is not that thick. If she can handle denim jeans, she should be able to work the mesh fabric without a lot of trouble.

FWIW, the jacket won't shrink much. If anywhere, you'd probably find that the sleeves were the only parts affected. And it looks like yours are already on the 'shortish' side.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:46 PM   #18
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Ah yeah I was planning on calling around tomorrow morning to see if I can't find something like that.

I agree that I didn't think this material was that tough. She didn't even feel it. And, she tailored my wool peacoat, and I've sewn nylon belts and holsters with my $70 walmart sewing machine with no problem as long as I have sturdy thread that won't break. But maybe it is an issue of them not wanting to take any liability if the seams happen to tear in a crash, which in this days of constant litigation I can understand.

Though, I am still tempted to try some more basic stitch patterns myself. I wouldn't remove any material and would probably start with a course stitch just for fitment. That way if I don't like it I can easily cut the stitch out and it would be like new. Plus I could take baby steps to figure out exactly how much I need to cinch in, and where.

This is such a pain...
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:32 AM   #19
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Gah, sewing this thing is a pain in the butt, heh. It is not too thick for my machine to actually get through once it's going, but the fabric's rigidity and the complex shapes makes it difficult to guide it accurately through the needle.

But, I'm making progress. So far I have taken in the sides on either side of each breast (about ~1-1.5" on each side-it tapers), pulled the external shoulder-pad material down about 1", and pulled the external shoulder material toward the chest about 1", on each side. I also took about 1-1.5" out of each side of the back, again tapering. So, in total I probably shrunk the chest about 6" and the waist about 4".

Looks a little rough in some areas, but if I walked by somebody I don't think they would be able to see anything I did except where I took down the shoulder pads, because I had to do that by hand and there are visible external threads. However, I will probably re-do those with a weaving stitch (in / out) rather than a suture-style stitch (in / around), so it isn't so obvious, and so there aren't external threads to be ground off in a slide.

I am also using nylon upholstery thread, so I am not too worried about any seams pulling out in a crash.

Overall, I am more satisfied with it now than when I got it. It doesn't look as clean, but it does fit MUCH better (both aesthetically and from a safety perspective).

I am still working on taking in areas here and there that ended up bunched up from the shrink, but it seems to be coming together decently.

However, my next jacket will be chosen much more carefully, if not still custom-made. I'd probably pay $300 for a custom-made riding jacket, if I could find someone to do it.

Will post pics in a bit.
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:02 AM   #20
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This may not help but shoe repair shops can sew through leather boot soles, I'm sure they can stitch it but not sure if they would know what to take out. External teathers may be the cheapest option.
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