Introduction: Tailoring Trick to Keep Jacket Gusset Flat

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Many jackets have gussets to allow for movement while still giving the appearance of a fitted profile.

An issue with leather jackets is that the gusset doesn't always lay flat, and can have a billowy effect.

By attaching an expansion panel to the seam edges of each gusset, you can force them to lay flat.

The picture shown is of the customer wearing his jacket after I have inserted the expansion panel.

I wrote this instructable as a DIY guide for anyone who would like to do this to their jacket, or have done by a tailor with a machine capable of sewing through leather.


Seam ripper

Cotton or cotton blend knit t-shirt

measuring tape


heavy duty sewing machine

Step 1: Find Gusset, Open Up Seam

This jacket has a gusset along the entire side-back seam(some just have one at the shoulder).

Turning jacket to view the inside, use your seam ripper to open up most of the side seam of the lining.Stop within 1.5" at each seam bottom and top.

Remove all loose threads.

What you see in the picture that has white along it is the side seam. Just to the right is the edge of the gusset seam.That is what we will sew the expansion panel onto.

Step 2: Take Measurements

1. With the outside back of jacket facing you, feel for the ridges underneath where the gusset seam edges are. Find the width from one to the other. For this jacket it is 13.5"

2. On the inside of the jacket, through the lining opening, measure the height of the gusset seam. This jacket's is 13.5" high.

3. Measure a decent quality t-shirt for the width that you will need. This particular t-shirt is a size small, so there is plenty there for the panel.

4. You want to subtract one inch from your width measurement between gussets. This will provide just enough pull, without tugging. Picture shows my cut at 12.5". Start from the bottom of the t-shirt's finished edge.

5. The height of the panel is 13.5", same as the height of the inside gusset seam.

Step 3: Sew

For knits, you should serge this seam for strength and flexibility.

1. Here I have sewn together the two raw edges.

2. Now orient the tube so that serged seam is in the center. Check width to make sure it is correct.

3. Serge along top of panel.

Step 4: Stitch Panel to Gusset Seam Edges

1. Lay and pin along edge of gusset seam, as shown/oriented.

2. Stitch through all thicknesses, reinforcing beginning and end.

3. Stitched seam shown. Now repeat with other side's gusset seam.

4. I pinned the ling for when the customer came for a fitting, just in case it needed an adjustment.

Step 5: Fits Like a Glove

But not too snug, just nicely hugging, and feels very comfortable as well.

If any adjustment needs to be made, now or down the road, all you need to do is decrease by that middle, serged seam, no need to undo the stitched seams on the gussets.

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