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Old 05-11-2010, 01:01 PM   #1
JMcDonald
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Default Can a textile jacket be altered?

I am 6' tall, and weigh about 145lbs. Needless to say, I'm a bean pole. I just bought a size-small jacket, and it feels too big. Not only does it look much bigger on me than I'm expecting (almost looks like Im wearing football pads), but because of its looseness, I worry that the pads would simply move out of the way in a crash. I thought about returning it, but ultimately realized I'd never find a (budget) jacket with a narrow enough torso, without getting into women's sizes that would make the sleeves like 8" too short, though the torso length shouldn't be a huge deal since I have long legs for my height (I wear a 30x34 pants).

Anyways, my main point is that I really actually like this jacket, its built quality, and its features (for the money, at least), but I need to make it smaller. Can a good tailor shrink it down (probably around the torso, and perhaps being in the shoulders some) some?

Or, could I wash and dry it to get it to shrink down, or would that damage the material?

And it is this jacket, BTW:
Fieldsheer Congo Air Mesh Jacket - Street Bike - Motorcycle Superstore
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:17 PM   #2
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I'd imagine any outfit that can sew sails or canvas could easily handle the jacket.

First, I'd take it to a real tailor to get it marked and pinned.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:25 PM   #3
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What pushrod says - but be aware that alterations might cost substantially-more than any value of the jacket.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:35 PM   #4
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Leather Jackets- Motorcyclists Welcome! Designer leather suits, leather jackets, and more leather apparel at wholesale prices

Time for tailored gear, sir.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:48 PM   #5
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Yeah, I was worried about it being too expensive.

I was thinking about stitching in some elastic or velcro straps also to help keep it snug. How does that sound?

Oh and I looked at that link. I might have to go ahead and go that route! I didn't get much browsing done on my phone, but it looks promising at a glance!

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Old 05-11-2010, 02:55 PM   #6
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Duct Tape!

Seriously, check into having one altered. You're not going to find one off-the-shelf that'll fit you anyhow, so spring for the fit!

It might cost you $50 or so. Buy the freshly obsolete version of the jacket (i.e., v4.0 instead of v5.0) and save that amount!
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:47 PM   #7
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Yeah I will check on having it altered (I already have it). If they can get it really how I want it for maybe $80 I will probably just have this tailored because I really like this jacket's look and construction!

But yeah either way id end up spending like 70 more, plus weeks of waiting, to return my jacket and custom order a newone.

*edit*

Actually, looking more at the site now that I'm home, it looks like a custom jacket would be $200 (and I don't know if the sewn-in pads are extra). Not that this wouldn't be worth it, but I am getting the bike in three weeks and would like to have all the gear before then. Not to mention an extra $100 would really be stretching my "getting started" gear budget. However, later on I think I would definitely buy one of these. Thanks for that link!

*edit*

And does anyone know if washing and lightly drying the jacket in the washing machine would be a bad idea or if it would even cause the jacket to shrink at all?

Last edited by JMcDonald : 05-11-2010 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:21 PM   #8
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I would not wash it, unless the care instructions say you can & only do it per the instructions.
I have a touring suit and it has "slack adjusters" sewn into the outside of the garmet, maybe something like that can be sewn onto the sides at the waist and a few inches under the arms, allowing you to gather the slack there similar to how a leather coat or vest has the laces.
I don't think tailoring the coat will be cost effective.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:27 PM   #9
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Tomorrow I am going to take the riding jacket to the tailors, along with one of my normal well-fitting jackets (that I actually tailored myself**).

**Having such an odd body shape I have found it easier to just buy the closest size I can, and finish it up myself. It is really hard to find (cheap :P ) 30x34 pants and jeans, but lengthening some 30x32 pants by a bit, or cinching up some 32x34 pants (both of which are much more common) isn't too difficult. Same goes with jackets; buying a jacket with a good length, shoulder, and sleeve fit, and then tighting up the torso / hip area, has worked out quite well for me. I think like 6 out of the 8 pairs of pants I own, and both of my jackets, all of my vests, and a few of my hoodies have all been self-altered.

But, this riding jacket has much thicker fabric and much more complex seams than a standard article of clothing. Plus, it is the most expensive article of clothing I've ever purchased myself (what can I say, I'm thrifty :P ), AND I want the best fit and most durable stitching possible. If I try to do it myself (even if I manage to make them look decent), but all the seams pop in a crash, I am no better off than how I started.

So, I'll see how much it is and how much she thinks she can take in. If I go there and it is $80 with the guarantee it will look like my other custom-fitted jacket but with shoulder pads, I will most likely do it. If she doesn't think she can take much in, I probably won't unless she will only ask like $20. But otherwise I might just go ahead and send it back and go the custom route now.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:57 AM   #10
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Maybe posting this too late, but make sure she understands the way the jacket is worn. As in, your arms are normally extended forward. And, what you normally wear underneath.

The jacket is probably already set up that way, so make sure she doesn't change the geometries.
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