Vest Alterations

Aug 16, 2021 | Theatrical Costumes

Cover Photo by christian erra on Unsplash

Vest alterations are easy if a vest is too large. They can be altered in two ways, depending on how much too large the vest is.

Alter using the existing belt

Many men’s vests, especially those that were originally produced for rental formalwear, come with an adjustable belt on the back. Ready-to-wear vests are made in standard sizes, and the belt is intended to make make easy work of adjusting the fit. If you only need to make the vest a couple of inches smaller, you should be able to adjust the belt by that amount. 

Alter through the seams

Chest size alterations – If the inside of the vest will be visible (say, the actor will remove the vest on-stage)

  1. Take the lining apart from the main fabric around the bottom
  2. Alter through the side and/or back seams (alter both the lining and the main fabric)
  3. Steam press the new seams
  4. Sew the fabric and lining back together by hand.

Shoulder seam alterations – If the inside of the vest will be visible

  1. Take the lining apart from the main fabric around the armhole and neck edges for the amount you need to alter +1”
  2. Alter both the lining and main fabric
  3. Steam press the new seams
  4. Sew the lining and main fabric back together

Chest size and shoulder alterations – If the inside of the vest will not be visible

  1. Fold the fabric to the inside of the vest, to fit the actor
  2. Sew along the fold
  3. Steam press the new seams