Can this hoodie be altered?
January 3, 2017 4:25 PM   Subscribe

Is it realistic to ask a tailor to add side panels to this hoodie?

I have this hoodie in XXL, but it's just a tiny bit too small through the torso, more the stomach area than the bust. It's not very clear from the photos at that link, but the hoodie has princess seams and no band at the bottom. The seams run down the sides, from the bottom of the arm opening to the hem of the garment. The hem is just folded over and sewn like a t-shirt or pant leg; there's no elastic banding as in more traditional hoodies. What I'm imagining is that I could pick up some fabric of a similar weight (i.e., some sweatshirt fleece), and the tailor would cut and sew a narrow panel under each arm to give the garment a little more room in the torso. To my completely non-expert eye, it seems possible that I could take it to a tailor and have panels added to either side, and gusseting the sleeves so they fit the larger arm opening...but like I said, I'm not an expert. Is an alteration like this fairly straightforward, or would it involve basically rebuilding the entire piece from scratch?

(I can't believe I'm burning a question on this triviality)
posted by Janta to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total)
Nice hoodie, and I love that they have an average size model in the slideshow. I alter hoodies all the time, but usually to make them smaller. If I were to alter this hoodie, my concerns would be:

• Adding a side panel would indeed interfere with the arm hole. As you mentioned, the sleeve would need to be altered and compound curves can be quite involved.
• If the tailor removes the sleeves to re-cut them, and uses a serger, there is the matter of there not being enough seam allowance to re-sew the sleeves with the current fit.
• The pockets are kinda close to the side seam which could also make it tricky.

I think you should ask a tailor but I would expect the alteration to exceed the cost of the garment. If you end up finding someone, consider making the side panels unabashedly red/white, so they aren't trying to match the rather unique gray texture.
posted by oxisos at 4:46 PM on January 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

I think the least invasive option would be making the side panels wedges that don't go as far as the armpit. That should be pretty easy for a tailor to do.
posted by oxisos at 4:53 PM on January 3, 2017 [5 favorites]

Yeah, if you add side gussets that are wedge shaped and don't reach all the way to the armscye, then you will have better luck, more than likely. If the sleeves are fine then there is no reason to mess with them.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:02 PM on January 3, 2017

Agree with adding a wedge-shaped gusset to expand the torso without getting into deconstructing the sleeve. It will make the garment slightly trapeze-shaped but I imagine that adding 1" on each side in a stretchy material probably won't do too much to change the hang.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 6:15 PM on January 3, 2017

If I were hacking this myself, I would be tempted to add a strip of material along one side of the zipper.
posted by zennie at 9:49 PM on January 4, 2017

After dithering about this for over a week, I finally decided that between the expense of having it altered and the uncertainty that it would fit properly even after being altered (what if it shrinks? What if the alterations shrink in a different way than the original fabric? etc., etc.) I just couldn't justify it. Which is a shame because except for this one thing it's an awesome hoodie. I'll mark this resolved -- thanks, y'all, for your advice!
posted by Janta at 8:11 AM on January 11, 2017

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