How to make a suit jacket

Updated November 21, 2016

The suit jacket is a symbol of dapper style and smart formal or semiformal wear. The jacket is traditionally part of a suit; with trousers and occasionally a vest of the same material in the same pattern. A suit jacket can be single-breasted, with the sides meeting at the front with a single row of buttons, or double-breasted, with a large overlap of the left and right sides with two vertical rows of buttons. Although suit jackets require precise construction, they can be made by closely adhering to sewing instructions.

Buy a pattern and cut out the pattern pieces. Or take body measurements with a measuring tape and draw up pattern pieces on pattern paper. There should be eight pieces: the front, back, neck, sleeve, lapel, and three hem pieces.

Place the fabric on a flat surface. Place pattern pieces on the fabric and pin. Cut out around each pattern piece to yield the six pattern pieces.

Pin the right sides of the front and back pieces together. Sew together at the shoulders. Finish seam allowances and press them towards the back with an iron.

Sew the sleeve pieces into the armholes on both sides. Finish the seam allowances and use an iron to press them inward.

Sew up the side seams and the sleeves simultaneously by sewing from the edge of the end of the sleeves to the bottom of the seam of the jacket. Press the seam allowances towards the back.

Make cuffs by folding up the edge of the sleeves 6 mm (1/4 inch). Press. Fold up another edge around 3 mm (1/8 inch), press, and stitch.

Add the lapel by pressing the wrong sides of the lapel together and use pins to mark the center back and shoulder seams.

Pin the lapel to the neck and the front of the jacket with the right sides together. Press down. Sew the lapel from the neck down to the front sides of the jacket.

Take the three hem pieces, two for the front, one for the back, with the right sides facing each other, and pin to the edge of the bottom of the jacket. Press and sew to the bottom edge of the jacket.

Make two button holes on the right side of the jacket: one at the bottom of the collar lapels to join the two sides together, and another about 10 cm (4 inches) down. Sew buttons onto the outside of the left side of the jacket to line up with the button holes.

Things You'll Need

  • Pattern or pattern paper
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Pins
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Buttons
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