Late 80’s/Early 90’s suit recraft


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?

• Meet the Author • Kyle Baker


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.


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13 comments… add one

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Wow!

    –C.B.

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

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  • 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!

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  • 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!

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  • An ambitious project. Very well done!

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

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  • 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.

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

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

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  • HOTTTTT! Seriously, great job, lucky brother.

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

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