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Altering waist in 4 oz HH jacket?

Arnold

One of the Regulars
Messages
144
Location
Europe
Those who have had heavy leather jackets altered, what would you advise for this jacket's waist hem?

This is a Short size (which I bought used but would cost 25 % extra when ordered new from Lost Worlds). Because their D-pocket is the same size for all jacket sizes, there's a physical limit for how short the torso can be before certain choices need to be made. To retain room for the left side belt loop in a Short torso that's based on a size 40 or smaller, either the chest pocket and D-pocket would have to be moved upwards (which means the opening of the chest pocket would end up partially covered by the lapel), or the belt loop would need to be placed to the side of the D-pocket's lowest point instead of below it, or the belt loop's button snap would have to go through the D-pocket.

To me, all three choices would be valid. I've seen at least one vintage Buco using option 3.

In this case however, Stuart went for a fourth and in my view insensible option: he shortened the left waist hem by almost an inch less than the right side, as you can see when looking at the belt loops in the photo. The result is that the belt will sit somewhat skewed. It seems a strange contradiction to Stuart's general attention to detail.

Given the heft of the horsehide and the shortage of material that's available when aiming for just 2 cm of shortening, I'm concerned it might result in something similarly untidy as the current state. Am I worrying too much? Any ideas/ warnings/ advice?

Since this jacket is a rather boxy pattern, I'm also considering to have the waist slightly taken in at the sides to avoid a muffin top look when using the belt, but that would entail even more complex reassembly so I wouldn't do it if the shortening was already not recommended.

IMG_20230803_035241~4.jpg
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,169
I'd imagine Aero could do the fix for you, both because of their jacket expertise and because they are used to working with heavy hides and unskived seams.

That said, 2 cm feels like it's well within margin of error for such a heavy hide and it doesn't look imbalanced to me.

There might also be the chance that this was deliberate due to something like the customer having one slightly lower shoulder (I do for instance).
 

Arnold

One of the Regulars
Messages
144
Location
Europe
I used a dark photo that was meant to just highlight the rivets on the belt loops. Here's a perhaps better suited one.

The overall fit is quite good, this is just about symmetry when wearing a belt.

The original customer hadn't intentionally ordered it like this.

Thanks for your suggestions. I recall a thread here where someone said that Aero intentionally used less perfectionist stitching methods than e. g. LW because they wanted their jackets to be as servicable as possible. That topic interests me in general.
From my experience with Aero, Bates, Schott and LW I'd say that 2 cm to 1 inch are within usual tolerance for some areas but not really for belt loops nowadays. This one would have been easily avoidable if the snap had been affixed on the D-pocket instead of dogmatically below it. Maybe I'll have only the loop changed and leave the hem alone.

IMG_20230724_173033_fx~4.jpg
 

AeroFan_07

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,296
Location
Iowa
^^ This does not look too bad to me, like you say maybe just the loop itself, but start messing with the hem of that J24 and you may be asking for more problems that you want to deal with.

Guess I'm a little confused - were the original alterations done by Stuart, and did you ask for this work to be done? I see you are not the original owner, so I doubt Stuart would have any interest in re-working this jacket now. However if you had paid him to do the work and the results were not to your expectation, you might be able to ask him to re-work again. Although being in Europe that's a lot of expensive shipping entailed.
 

Arnold

One of the Regulars
Messages
144
Location
Europe
^^ This does not look too bad to me, like you say maybe just the loop itself, but start messing with the hem of that J24 and you may be asking for more problems that you want to deal with.

Guess I'm a little confused - were the original alterations done by Stuart, and did you ask for this work to be done? I see you are not the original owner, so I doubt Stuart would have any interest in re-working this jacket now. However if you had paid him to do the work and the results were not to your expectation, you might be able to ask him to re-work again. Although being in Europe that's a lot of expensive shipping entailed.
The original customer ordered a Short size when buying the jacket new. Stuart does Short and Long sizes for a 25 % upcharge. To my knowledge nothing was altered after the initial manufacturing. I don't know why the first owner resold it after hardly ever wearing it for years (I'm the third owner).

I own a textile J-23 from Stuart that's perfect in terms of workmanship so I'm a bit surprised here. Even taking into account the thickness of the horsehide, if I had bought a new jacket for (back then) USD 2500 + 25 % upcharge + importing fees & taxes, I'd be miffed about this non-solution of the size vs. D-pocket question, simply because as I outlined more elegant solutions are possible.

Thanks for your warning regarding the hem.

Just in case this thread possibly comes across as picky, I'd like to say that it's otherwise a fantastic jacket and Lost Worlds is still my favorite brand in terms of overall character. I just think Stuart has become a little too stubborn in certain regards since he gave up his Japan business and concentrated on the ultra-expensive heavy leather stuff.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,676
IMG_6570.jpeg


IMG_6571.jpeg


I guess I'm the outlier here but this would bug me to no end.

I can't tell from your pics but those loops might be the same length with the right one having more material on the inside.

If there's indeed enough material on the inside you (or a repair service) could drill out that snap and place a new snap on top of the d pocket, undo the stitching and make the loop 'longer', redo the stitching.

You won't be able to see the hole from the old snap because it's covered by the loop.

Probably a ten minute repair job for someone who knows what he's doing.

IMG_6572.jpeg


CA8088F6-32E7-4915-8025-5D59D3E9A0C5.jpeg
 

Arnold

One of the Regulars
Messages
144
Location
Europe
^^ Thanks for your feedback. I thought about this as well. It's a 50/50 situation; there is a little bit of ease in that lower loop but not enough to do what you describe without creating a crease in the hem (see photo). However, the other side already has a slight crease that's normal as a result of using belts, so maybe once the jacket is fully broken in the new crease would eventually blend in and look inconspicuous. If that worked out well it would be a rough but acceptable solution to the length difference.

I'll take some time to decide and also talk to a local leather tailor.

PHOTO_20230805_093528_fx.jpg
 

jacketjunkie

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,196
Location
Germany
I have tried to aftermarket fix a few jackets in my wilder consumption days and I advice you to either live with the jacket as it is or sell it. You will end up investing another 200 USD into a jacket you are unhappy with, it won‘t turn out as you wish, will continue to bug you and eventually you sell it at considerably higher loss than you will now.
 

Arnold

One of the Regulars
Messages
144
Location
Europe
I have tried to aftermarket fix a few jackets in my wilder consumption days and I advice you to either live with the jacket as it is or sell it. You will end up investing another 200 USD into a jacket you are unhappy with, it won‘t turn out as you wish, will continue to bug you and eventually you sell it at considerably higher loss than you will now.

Thanks for your view. Years ago I've had my textile J-23 taken in at the sides of the waist because the drape of cotton makes the generally boxy cut really flabby, and I've been happy with the job since. If I keep getting advised against a hem modification, I'll just do what Marc described and be content. I certainly can't afford a new one from LW considering it might come with the same unnecessary error and Stuart would just file it under "manliness" ^^
 
Messages
16,350
Don't touch the hem. It'll cost too much and it's a completely needless & very extensive modification since only the misplaced snap is the issue here, nothing more. @Marc mndt's solution is the best and also the cheapest and it is percisely what should've been done in the first place because what LW did on your jacket is demented.

What Stu doesn't seem to understand is that Buco often had to deal with the exact same issue, especially on smaller sizes so what they did was just punch a snap right through the bottom of the D-pocket as it was the only logical thing to do to keep the belt sitting straight.

image_af0a7c3d-abd7-4fa9-8d4b-fcd5246e3b8a_2048x2048.jpg
 
Messages
10,100
My 23 also is a short. The difference in snap location is so negligible that I never noticed it until I pulled a Marc and broke out a ruler. I wouldn’t mess with it. I put on a belt and it all falls into place— my belt isn’t slanted. But I’ve worn the jacket a bit in an upright riding position. Plus the difference is negligible. Thanks Marc, for a wonderful Saturday morning adventure in TX lol.
 

AeroFan_07

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,296
Location
Iowa
It makes a lot more sense to me now! I appreciate Marc bringing this to light as he did!

Hope you can do his suggested repair.

I can also see the frustration. To me the 25% upcharge for "short or long" and then having this issue (if I were the first owner) would be pretty disturbing. Those J24's are now sitting at a cool $2850.
 

VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
194
I'm also in the "don't mess with it" camp. I would much rather have the hem off a little bit than an extra hole from repunching the snap. (To me) It's a small variance.
It IS getting accentuated by the studs on the belt loops, I think that’s as much of the issue as anything else.
807252D6-E838-4823-BE30-DFF6A6AD1B90.jpeg

I think it’s a small variance that’s unfortunately getting accentuated by the decoration. Way less noticeable with the extra studs blacked out.

If it were mine I’d wear on a week long bike trip, make sure to sleep in it and get caught in the rain a couple times and call it good. It just needs to get beat into submission.
 
Last edited:

AeroFan_07

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,296
Location
Iowa
^^ Exactly what he said! What this jacket needs as much as anything is to be worn. Even given some "rough usage" for a while. Go backpacking with it on, etc.
 

Aloysius

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,169
I used a dark photo that was meant to just highlight the rivets on the belt loops. Here's a perhaps better suited one.

The overall fit is quite good, this is just about symmetry when wearing a belt.

The original customer hadn't intentionally ordered it like this.

Thanks for your suggestions. I recall a thread here where someone said that Aero intentionally used less perfectionist stitching methods than e. g. LW because they wanted their jackets to be as servicable as possible. That topic interests me in general.
From my experience with Aero, Bates, Schott and LW I'd say that 2 cm to 1 inch are within usual tolerance for some areas but not really for belt loops nowadays. This one would have been easily avoidable if the snap had been affixed on the D-pocket instead of dogmatically below it. Maybe I'll have only the loop changed and leave the hem alone.

View attachment 537483

After this picture I definitely do see what you mean a lot better and it's quite frustrating.

I'd skimmed through your OP so I hadn't realized you meant the loop. This is very jarring (and less excusable than margin of error on leather panels, imo.)
 

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