Kwik Sew 3531

So I made a long list of sewing I could do during pregnancy that I could do without having a waistline (like accessories, small fixes to existing dresses, actually making something for my husband).

Do you think any of this happened?

But I did have to make a jacket as the final project for my Intermediate Clothing Construction class at Cañada College, so I spent the last 4 weeks doing that. I chose Kwik Sew 3531 for two main reasons:

  1. It doesn’t close all the way in front, giving me a much better chance of having this fit after pregnancy.
  2. The teacher had a few copies of it for students, so I could just make a copy and not have to buy the pattern.

Why do pattern pictures always choose unfortunate styling? Nothing screams matronly like shiny polyester floral jacquard.

I used the literally oldest fabric in my stash – a fuschia wool I bought from the $5/yard discount table from the Joann in Santa Monica when I was in *high school*, officially making this wool at least 12 years old!

When choosing a pattern size you are supposed to go by high bust measurement (if bigger than a B cup) and do a full bust adjustment. I go an extra size down to account for my super narrow shoulders. So ,I cut an XS, did a 1″ full bust adjustment, and still had to trim another 5/8″ off the shoulders to get the seam to lie in the correct place. No wonder most commercial jackets make me look like a linebacker…

For the additional (almost) complete set of pattern adjustments I did between the tissue fitting and 2 muslins, check out the full album here:

This pattern doesn’t call for a lining. I decided I wanted to do welt pockets and a bound buttonhole (to practice the skills I learned in Tailoring class last semester, for which I still haven’t shown the jacket I made because I need to fix the button positioning…) which immediately made this jacket less casual. Welt pockets leave too many raw edges on the pocket backing to not cover them up with a lining.

The biggest chance I made was deciding to wear this jacket with the lapels open, instead of closed and overlapped like the pattern picture. I have a very short neck (sigh, high lacey Edwardian collars will never work for me), and having the jacket overlap super close to my neck was not at all flattering. It would have looked ok if I had redrafted the fronts and collar to overlap several inches lower, but I really didn’t have time for that.

This is the second jacket in a row where I’ve used this rainbow silk lining fabric! I bought the silk years ago intending for it to be a dress, but I have no idea what I was thinking.

It’s way too thin, and way too rainbow. It’s actually shot with white along the weft thread, so it’s a muted rainbow silk. Way too much everything for a dress. But perfect for a lining!

The finished jacket:



Do me a favor, and don’t look at this welt pocket too closely. This is why I wanted to practice them. It’s definitely a several-feet-away sort of detail. (As I show you a closeup photo…)


But look at this bound buttonhole all you like! I’m much better at making these.


See, pretty buttonhole!


Pink jacket plus rainbow lining is definitely A Lot. But it was also all stash fabric which trumps everything when I wasn’t sure how this wouldn’t turn out.



I’m honestly not sure I’m in love with this – I don’t really like where the fronts fall when I wear it open (I should have interfaced a bit less of the front pieces) and the back doesn’t have any shaping. I think I’ll need to put this on after pregnancy to see how it falls when closed (because it strains now) to see if I’m going to keep it or not. But everything in it was from the stash, making it good practice for pattern altering and tailoring skills!

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4 Responses to Kwik Sew 3531

  1. Linda says:

    I’m with you on the narrow shoulders! Really, it’s just that we are smaller than the pattern ideal. You have more bosom (not WOT reference) however. 🙂

    I agree that the stripped silk would not make good dress fabric. Maybe a blouse or top. It’s so bold.

    The jacket turned out very well! Your welt pockets are pretty good. And definitely the buttonhole is swoon worthy.

    As for the overall jacket style, I think you do need to take out more to compensate for it not being double-breasted any more. I did something similar to a bought double breasted jacket in thick knit fabric, because being short-waisted I don’t have much room between waist and shoulder line, and the result was almost, but not quite, a success. I took out some fabric at the shoulder, but think some should disappear from the sides as well. So I agree with you.

    I also agree about the interfacing, if you want to wear it open it could be a bit more drapey/floppy.

    • avantgarbe says:

      I think you are definitely right! I should have left the welt pocket idea behind, because I think all the iffy decisions stemmed from doing that. A drapier fabric with less interfacing and no lining would have made this look less boxy (given that there is no waist shaping at all). Once I have a waist again I’ll see if it’s worth it to open it up and take a bit in at the side seams or not.

      I swear this pink wool fabric is just cursed! A few years ago I tried to make this skirt out of it ( but I half-assed the yoke fitting and it ended up a few sizes too big and sitting at my hips instead of my waist. I’ve never wanted to go back and rip out the zipper and top stitching in order to fix it so it’s been sitting in the corner ever since…

  2. superbsandra says:

    Just FYI that this thing looks hella pro in person. I did not know it was Molly-made until I saw her post this entry to Facebook!

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