I like to learn new skills, especially those with a learning curve that demands practice and patience to master. I also like thrift shopping for my clothes. Learning how to alter my thrifted menswear purchases is the perfect way to save maximum dollars when buying suits, sport jackets, slacks, and shirts while acquiring a very useful skill.
This silk/wool sportcoat was purchased second-hand on eBay for only $12.00 (including shipping). It had a single rear vent, and the overall proportions were better suited for a man that is a bit more rotund than I. It fit me like a potato sack. Not good. Since the shoulders and length of this sports coat fit well, I decided to try making two key alterations to slim the proportions and give it a bit more of an Italian silhouette.
This project allowed me to tackle a new type of alteration. I’ve become fairly good at altering side seams to take in a jacket. Removing a center vent from the jacket was new to me. Because this jacket was so cheap, it would make a good test subject for this type of alteration.
As you can see, it turned out quite well! My modest Brother JX2517 sewing machine ($75 Walmart) was up to the task. The center vent is gone, giving the jacket a more European ventless silhouette, and the overall body of the jacket has been slimmed down for much better fit.
If I had taken this jacket to a professional tailor for these alterations, they would have charged more than I paid for my sewing machine to alter this jacket! That sewing machine and my modest alteration skills are saving me a ton of money. That’s what you call extreme thrifting!