Simple Alteration: Big Change for a Denim Coat


Pretty sure I’m not alone in this.

Getting things big enough for my hips usually means too big in the waist. What to do? Sometimes too big not only means too wide but it also means too long.

I love the look of a long denim coat and when I found this one at Goodwill, I thought it would be perfect. I kept putting it on in the morning to wear that day, but something just wasn’t right. It wasn’t huge, it just felt awkward. So back in the closet it would go. No wonder someone donated it. The fit was fine in the hips, and the front but not in the back. So finally one Saturday morning, I grabbed my scissors and decided it was time to get rid of the bulk.

With just a few simple alterations I had the denim coat of my dreams.


To see the entire step by step process, click here.

You guys really are the best subscribers in the world. Not only are your comments food for my soul, but you caused the editors at eHow to really stand up and take notice of my tutorials. When they first contacted me to create content for their site, I was asked to publish once a month for them. But now, thanks to you and your nice comments, they have given me the privilege of creating content for them once a week.

YAY! Thanks to you, miracles really do happen!

For more refashion inspiration:

Easy DIY Refashion Tutorials

About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
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28 Responses to Simple Alteration: Big Change for a Denim Coat

  1. Anny says:

    You look great in that coat. If the original owner saw it, they would surely want it back. 🙂

  2. What a beautiful coat! And CONGRATULATIONS on your continued success as a writer, Beth! Hugs, Katherine

    • Thank you, Katherine! I’m having so much fun creating content for eHow and they are all so nice to work with. Have I ever told you that my mom, sister and daughter are all Katharines? It obviously is a great name for great people!

  3. what a difference…and that you know what to do…a gift for sure!… Very nice!

    • Thanks, Marilyn! It took me awhile to realize that it wasn’t just too big in the width, but also the length. I tried darts at first, but that just moved the bulk to my upper back. So I had to change my plans. This happens quite frequently. I don’t always fix the problem on the first try. But I keep trying and usually the solution will reveal itself. Thank you for your nice comments!

  4. colormusing says:

    This is an alteration that I have to do all the time too, but so worth it to have that smooth fit. Your coat looks great!

  5. Melissa says:

    I love that!! None of us wants to look blockier – that’s for sure ;D

  6. Jo H. says:

    I have the same problem! All that material between the waist and upper back and nowhere for it to go 🙂 It has made me give up on wearing woven tops, yet woven fabric often looks more structured and dressier than stretch fabric. So, thank you so much for giving us this tutorial – as always, your directions are clear and easy to follow.

    So happy for your great success at something you love!

  7. This turned out great, the fit is perfect!! Thanks for the link to the step-by-step =)

  8. love how it turned out! I also have a huge problem finding any clothes that fit bust and hips and waist all at once. There is usually so much room around the waist and when the top or jacket fits the waist, the hip area it way too tight. Thanks for the tips!

    • Being short waisted myself, I understand your dilemma. This is one of the reasons I started refashioning, so I could have clothes that fit MY body. Hope this tutorial will come in handy for you someday. Have a wonderful week.

  9. bernieandi says:

    Great post! It’s amazing how little changes to the fit can transform a garment like that!

    • Yes, I really didn’t cut off too much, but just the little tweeks made a HUGE difference. I wouldn’t have worn it the way it was, but after altering it a bit, I want to wear it all the time. Enjoy your week!

  10. Pat says:

    This is fantastic!
    I need to try and fit my short jacket…I left a longer comment at the ‘ehow’ comments!

  11. Deborah Behr says:

    Great results. I am going to have to invest in a dress form.

  12. That worked out beautifully and I think its wonderful you get to create so often for eHow! Congratulations!

  13. Hi Caitlin,
    Thanks for signing up for the seminar. I’m pretty excited about it.
    I checked out the JCrew dress and I see what you mean, it really needs something doesn’t it. When I took in the waist of my denim coat, it only shortened it by one inch. If you could afford to lose an inch defining the waist like I did in this tutorial might be an option. Also, I plan on adding some fabric to the front and back yolk on my denim coat. Maybe that would liven up your dress as well. I let you know if I think of anything else.
    Enjoy your day!

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