Late 80′s/Early 90′s suit recraft

by Kyle Baker on January 24, 2012 · 13 comments

in 1950s,Coats,Introduction,Jackets,Mens,Modern Patterns,Pants / Trousers

Hey everyone! I just wanted to introduce myself and share this suit recraft-project. I’ve only recently gotten into sewing/alterations and decided to dive in head first. This was my first real sewing project, but I think it came out great.

I inherited the suit from my great-uncle and decided that it would make an awesome Christmas present for my twin brother. The only problem was that the suit was cut for a much larger waist (I think it would have fit a 36-38″ waist rather comfortably) and the lapel styling was very late-80′s. I decided that a late 50′s mod fit was much more appealing and would lend a more modern look to the jacket.

In the end I completely reshaped the lapels, raised the notches, recut the collar (a little), shortened the sleeves, removed about 4″ from the jacket waist and 6″ from the trouser waist, repositioned the buttons/holes on the suit front, and slimed down the legs on the trousers. I also hemmed them a bit short (to a half-break) to cover a hole in the bottom of one leg.

I have a full write up on my blog including a step by step of what I did. Not bad for $3 worth of thread and a $25 thrift store sewing machine, is it?

This post was written by...

– who has written 1 posts on

My name is Kyle Baker and I am a 28 year old father-to-be of twins. I live in South Texas with my wife, Lynette, and her dog, Angel. I'm new to sewing and have been at it now for about 4 months. I started off doing alterations to suit-jackets and trousers, and am now getting into full-on sewing. I also garden, write short fiction, brew, rock climb, and try to find a professional job (Hire me, I'm a very versatile and have a B.S. in English). For more about me, check out my blog.

Kyle Baker's posts / Kyle Baker's website

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Katherine January 25, 2012 at 12:50 am

The lapel looks 1000 times better, I think. Nice work! :D

I was reading about you living in a man-pattern-desert on your blog. I’d wager quite a few of us here have some vintage men’s patterns floating around that we’re never going to use. Readers, if you’ve picked up any decent men’s patterns you don’t need, consider hooking Kyle up – he’s got babies on the way.


paloverde January 25, 2012 at 1:01 am

Oooh. Cool redo. I took a look at your blog and I can see you’re really zooming along. Keep at it and you’ll be tailoring a jacket from scratch before you know it.


Catholic Bibliophagist January 25, 2012 at 1:47 am




Jusi January 25, 2012 at 2:53 am

I love what you did with this suit, great job!! Nice to see a male sewist for a change!


Gordita January 25, 2012 at 9:18 am

Wow! That is so impressive. I’ve been sewing for years and I wouldn’t even know where to start with such a project. Great job!


Jade January 25, 2012 at 11:02 am

A truly top notch job. I cringe in fear of menswear (even though I wouldn’t think twice about a fully boned corset or bias cut gown). And yes, it is refreshing to see some guys showing off their skills!


Evie January 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm

An ambitious project. Very well done!


puu January 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm

super cool, both the suit and having a new male blogger in the midst. welcome!


Kyle Baker January 25, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone! I figure that I’m going to make a few shirts, a few pairs of trousers, and then try to make a jacket from scratch. I’ll be sure to post up how it all goes.


Lizzy January 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Great job and welcome to the sew retro community! it’s the 2nd time I see a man posting, cool! I like the result ! :)


thedaisyepoch January 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Very nice! Kudos! I agree with the comment that it’s great to see a man sewing and posting here! : )


imogens January 26, 2012 at 2:13 am

HOTTTTT! Seriously, great job, lucky brother.


Tracy January 26, 2012 at 4:24 am

What an amazing job – you would never recognise it as the same suit.


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