TWEED COAT DRESS | MCCALL'S 7997

TWEED COAT DRESS

I can’t believe we’re almost halfway through 2023. In January, I started on a beautiful life journey with a group of fellow entrepreneur women, and the internal changes that have taken place in such a short amount of time are mind blowing. This week, I get to go celebrate with these women and I’m so excited. But before I leave, I want to show you this cute Pink Tweed Coat Dress that I made for a Women’s Spring Tea that I spoke at over the weekend.

Disclaimer: This blog post is photo heavy.

PATTERN INFORMATION

I used McCall’s 7997. The fully lined coat dress pattern offers both a sleeveless and long sleeve options. View C has an asymmetrical hem on the right front. Only three buttons on the front are functional. Therefore, only three buttonholes are required. The dress has 18 darts included for shaping the garment. There are 10 on the dress, and 8 on the lining. That’s a lot of darts!

TWEED COAT DRESS

The pattern company rates the pattern as AVERAGE, and I agree. Average is an Intermediate sewing skill. You will be sewing a notched collar and inserting a full lining, and both require a decent amount of experience.

TWEED COAT DRESS

The sewing instructions are thorough enough for an Intermediate sewist to follow. There are lots of details, so taking your time to sew the dress is my best advice.

TWEED COAT DRESS

I sewed View B with the straight hem and long sleeves. It’s exactly what I envisioned when I received the invitation to speak at the Women’s Tea. But I also purchased fabric to make the sleeveless View A. I’m making it in red with a red lining. Oh, it’s going to be beautiful!

TWEED COAT DRESS

Inside the Garment

This dress was truly a labor of love. It took me about two weeks to complete the entire project, including alterations. I always like for the inside to look nice, so whenever there is a lining, it’s a win. Here’s a peek at the inside of the dress. I actually need to re-do the sleeve lining hem. I didn’t cut it short enough, but that’s an easy fix.

TWEED COAT DRESS

Fabric Options

The pattern suggests the following fabrics: Wool Blends, Gabardine, Crepes, and Suiting Fabric. I used this beautiful, pink Tweed that I had been watching from JoAnn Fabrics. This was actually my first time working with Tweed fabric and it was certainly an experience.

TWEED COAT DRESS

I thought everything was fine until after I completed the dress. It was then that I noticed the thread snags on the dress. I didn’t realize how easily this fabric snags. I’m not sure if it’s the quality of Tweed or if that’s just the nature of the fabric. I’ll find out soon, because I have fabric resource books to learn about these things. I’m thinking I may need to serge the raw edges of the fabric pieces to seal the threads before working with them. If you have worked with Tweed, did you have this experience?

TWEED COAT DRESS

The lining fabric is a 100% Polyester from JoAnn Fabrics. It’s lightweight and a good fit for the fabric.

Alterations Information

 I made several alterations to get the fit I desired. My dress is not oversized as the pattern is described. I wanted a closer fit, and it was work. I made three different muslins before I actually got the fit right. Below are two photos of my final muslin.

 

Note: Something I learned. Whenever you’re inserting a sleeve, it should curve toward the front. Your sleeve should never hang straight down because our arms don’t hang that way. Our arms curve to the front of our body, so our garments should be designed to do the same. See photo of sleeve below.

I usually cut and make alterations to my patterns on one day — or even for two days sometimes. Then I will sew a muslin (practice garment) if I feel it’s necessary. This dress definitely required a muslin. Following are all the adjustments I made to the pattern. I’ve also included images for you to see some of the changes.

  • Length: I lenghtened dress by 4 inches. I ended up removing half of that when I ran into a mistake that I’ll explain later. I wanted my dress to fall to the bottom of my knees. However, the finished length is perfect for my taste. I’m glad it worked out.
  • Side Seams: I merged from size 10 at the bust and waist to size 14 at the hip. Then I added an additional half inch at the hip.
  • Sleeve Cap: I merged from a size 10 on the sleeve cap to size 14 at the sides. The sleeve cap was too high and caused lots of gathering.
  • Full Bicep: I did a full bicep adjustment on the sleeve (adding 1″) because I needed more room in that area.
  • Swayback: I did two Swayback Adjustments. I used Nancy Zieman’s Slide & Pivot method to remove 1″ from the center back at the shoulder area. This took care of the lower back, but there were still wrinkles of extra fabric above the waist. So, I took out another 1″ by using the dart method. Making this last adjustment added a curve to the center back, so I wasn’t able to cut the back piece on the fold. Therefore, I added a 5/8″ seam allowance at center back and cut two pieces, instead of one on the fold.
  • Back Darts: I straightened the fisheye darts on the back because the original darts curved toward center back with the second Swayback Adjustment.
  • Back Facing: I adjusted the curves on the back facing to align with the changes in the shoulder slope, due to the first Swayback Adjustment.
  • Lining: I adjusted lining pieces accordingly to match dress pieces. However, I did something wrong because the bottom of the lining was terribly uneven after I sewed the pieces together. Therefore, I had to cut off 1 1/4″ from the bottom to even out the hem. This is where some of the extra length I added was removed.

 

TWEED COAT DRESS
TWEED COAT DRESS
TWEED COAT DRESS
TWEED COAT DRESS
TWEED COAT DRESS
TWEED COAT DRESS

Notions Information

The pattern calls for seven 1″ buttons. I covered six 3/4″ metal buttons with the outer fabric. I didn’t use the seventh button. I absolutely love fabric covered buttons because they produce such a classy, tailored finish. View A needs 1 1/2 yard of half inch Single Fold Bias Tape for the armhole. Of course, you will need your matching thread. I used a size 12 Universal Needle to sew the main fabric, and size 10 Universal Needle for the lining.

TWEED COAT DRESS

Styling Options

I styled the dress with a basic pair of beige pumps, a beaded pink purse, my cluster of pearls necklace, and pearl bracelets for the photo shoot.

TWEED COAT DRESS
TWEED COAT DRESS

When you’re the Keynote Speaker for a Women’s Spring Tea, you must dress for the occasion. I styled the dress with my pink fascinator hat, which was the perfect color. I paired it with a pair of high heel sandals, a matching clutch purse, a triple strand pearl necklace, pearl bracelets, and earrings. It was the perfect outfit for a tea party.

TWEED COAT DRESS

Wearing the Dress in Public

Whenever I am invited to speak at an event, I’m grateful because I have a message to share based on the healing process that I’ve experienced over the last 5 years. But I’m not just sharing a story. I’m equipping my sisters with the same tools I’m using to not only overcome the trials of life. I’m equipping them to thrive again in life, so that they can STEP into their God-given purpose. As I continue on my journey, I want to bring as many sisters with me as possible. So, I just wanted to share some photos of me wearing the dress at my speaking engagement last weekend. There are captions under the photos. If you ever need a Speaker for your Women’s Events, reach out to me. I’d love to chat with you.

TWEED COAT DRESS
I felt very comfortable in the dress while delivering the talk.
These young ladies helped me set up my table. They were so graceful.
TWEED COAT DRESS
The theme of the event was Transformation. It fit right in with the message that I share and the journey I'm on right now.
I was blown away by the response of the women who came to my book table to share their hearts after my talk. It was truly impactful.
This lovely lady is the Event Coordinator who invited me to speak at the Women's Spring Tea. I love that our outfits matched.
Every woman who came to the table blessed my heart with words of gratitude.
When I see them holding my book, I'm still in awe of what God has done. It's the smile that does it for me every time. It melts my heart.
I loved her outfit. Then she shared about how much she appreciated me sharing my story.
Every time I signed and handed over a book, I told each woman to have tissues nearby while reading.
She was tea party ready. Such a beautiful woman.
I love her dress and shoes.

How would you wear the garment?

Would you sew this dress? Would you sew it with or without sleeves? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think about this pattern.

TWEED COAT DRESS

Thanks for stopping by,


Remember: When you live in your DESIGN, it is from there that God SHINES! 


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Don't Forget your Sewing Project Checklist

Did you know that I created a Sewing Project Checklist to help you stay organized while sewing your garments? If you missed the video where I shared 3 Steps to Time Saving Sewing for Beginners, check it out to learn how you can streamline your sewing process. Tap the link below to get a Free PDF copy of the Checklist.

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(DISCLAIMER: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission on qualifying purchases. All opinions in this post are my own.).)

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This Post Has 52 Comments

  1. Christina

    You did a beautiful job on this dress! It is absolutely perfect on you. Thank you for sharing how you solved your sewing challenges, too, so we can learn.

  2. Agatha

    Ms. Anita, your outfit was a labor of love and it shows, it’s just gorgeous. You continue to inspire me and although I am just a beginner when I falter I will continue to use you as my inspiration. Thank you and keep up the good work.

  3. Janet Washington

    Ms. Anita: I love your beautiful spirit. May God continue to shower you with His blessings and favor. I also am loving everything about the coat dress including the fabric and color. There are many patterns that I have overlooked because I couldn’t envision what they could look like in a different color and fabric than what was shown on the pattern envelope. I have followed you for a number of years, and have found that your classy style is 100% in line with my own. I have purchased many of the patterns of the garments you have sewn simply because of how beautifully you brought the designer’s creation to life. I consider myself an advanced sewer, and will definitely be purchasing and making this garment. My next project before that though is McCalls 7970, the beautiful tiered maxi dress you made in a bold print rayon fabric. Absolutely gorgeous. Blessings to you and your family.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Janet!!!!! You have put a big smile on my face. Thank you so much for following along and allowing me to inspire you to try some of the patterns. It’s so much fun to play around with different fabrics. I love to see my SEW Sisters doing the same. Have fun making your maxi dress.

  4. Nancy

    Anita, your pink coat dress is spectacular. Pink is your color!!!!!!!!!, for sure, and the fascinator topped it off! You are such a gorgeous woman both inside and out. I like it with sleeves with the tweed fabric. Your construction details are really helpful too. Maybe if you sewed the dress with a lighter weight fabric it would look good sleeveless or I think. Just my thoughts. Blessings!!!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Nancy! Yes, I’m sewing the sleeveless version with a lighter weight fabric. I can’t wait! It’s gonna be beautiful.

  5. Bernice

    Anita, your outfit for the Tea Club speaking engagement was gorgeous!! I appreciated the photos you supplied to help us vision your journey in making the beautiful pink tweed garment. You are the first influencer that I have followed, and I am very pleased with your infectious personality and your presentations. I have been a sewist for over 30 years, but reading your blog has inspired me to continue my sewist adventures. Thank you.

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh my goodness, Bernice! Thank. you so much for your beautiful words. I’m so happy to hear that you are inspired to continue your sewing adventures. I’m really happy to have you here.

  6. Dara

    Anita you did a Beautiful job and your fitting is spot on. Thank you for sharing the process with us. God Bless You!

  7. Charisse

    Gorgeous! Thank you Anita for the construction details, the fit is perfect, looks very tailored, great job!

  8. Delores

    Excellent, as usual. I love how you demonstrate altering the pattern.

    1. Rosa otero

      Beautiful dress, you look amasing, you have a nice body, and good les, every thing you sew and wear looks great on you. Excuse my English, I moved to Puerto Rico 25 years ago and many people don’t speak English to practice.
      Anita God keeps blessing U every time.
      Keep up the good work honey, love every thing you do. GBU.

      1. Anita Morris

        Oh Rosa, thank you so much for your beautiful words. I appreciate you, sister. Yes, God is blessing me every day.

    2. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much. I’m happy to hear that you appreciate the alterations details.

  9. Jeanne

    Wow! I loved reading this! Thank you for sharing this dress and event! How can I purchase your book? I searched all over my Swan library app, can’t find it. Have you published a library version?

  10. Maria Farrell

    This pink tweed is fabulous! It reminds me of classic Chanel.
    I love both versions of yhe dress – sleeveless and with sleeves. Imagine the sleeveless version in a crisp royal blue linen with gold buttons for a cool summer look. If you had just the right chartreuse jewelry it would make it fun or use your beautiful pearls for a classic look.
    I love following your sewing!

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh my goodness, Maria! You just painted a beautiful vision of the sleeveless dress with linen. Whew! I may have to sew a third version. This dress would look FABULOUS in linen! OMGosh!! Thank you so much for your vision.

  11. Monica

    Yes, yes, yes I would make it and yes with sleeves. The whole outfit from hat to shoes was perfect for this event. I have never worked with this fabric. If you find out, please let us know what method is best to minimize snagging the fabric. Another great success!!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you Monica! I will definitely let you know when I learn more about working with this fabric.

  12. Dagmar

    Dear Anita, I hope you’re well. You look great in it 👍. I have had a dress like this for 30 years, my mother made it in 1995. Have a nice day 😊

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Dagmar!!!!! Wow! 30 years? Yep, it’s definitely a classic. You have a nice day too.

  13. Ramona

    I love it.

  14. Lauren Loughlin

    Your dress came out great! So many adjustments & darts! You’re very talented!

  15. Rosetta Pervan

    The dress is beautiful and you are beautiful in it. I’m amazed that you can make all the adjustments on your own. All your work was worth it. You inspire me.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Rosetta! Yes, the alterations are an ongoing learning process. You’re right, it’s worth the extra work.

  16. De

    I knew it! I just knew it!! I knew you would look like a million dollars and give a stimulating message at the tea!!! This dress is stunning and the accessories – pearls, fascinator, sandals, pumps, etc. – are ideal touches. The picture of cascading flowers at the tea was the perfect backdrop for this dress; it made such a beautiful photo. I purchased the pattern on the weekend but I think I need to wait for “aggressive” inspiration to try it. There is a beautiful navy piece in my stash but I must make sure it’s enough to make this dress. Like you, I love covered buttons so I will definitely use them; and I want long sleeves. This pattern is outside of my comfort zone so I plan to call one of my friends to help me if I need help adjusting my muslin. Thanks for sharing and for the standards you set in sewing. Not only does your dress fit exceptionally well, but the inside is beautifully done. I’m inspired to strive for this level. Anita, it’s another gorgeous sew.

    1. Anita Morris

      De!!!!!!! Thank you so much for always blessing my heart with your feedback. I laughed out loud for real when you said, “agressive inspiration.” Hahaha!!! I hear you, sister. I love that you have a friend you can call on to help you with sewing projects. What a blessing! Whenever you decide to give this a try, just make sure you take your time and enjoy the process. 💕💕💕

  17. Dorothy S Veal

    Absolutely stunning, I love the dress and as always it looks great on you. Working on the courage and nerves to attempt this one.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Dorothy! You can do it. Just take your time and make sure you sew a muslin first.

  18. Mary Jean Cunningham

    Wow – a lot of work, indeed, but a wonderful result! Probably similar to the healing process your book is about, I’m thinking…challenges, disappointments, but perseverance and God’s grace always to help.

    1. Anita Morris

      Mary Jean!!! You are ABSOLUTELY right!!! It’s exactly like the healing process. And just like with the dress, I am taking my time along this beautiful journey to rebuilding my life. It’s a lot of work, but so worth the effort to live on purpose. 💕

  19. Gwen Styles

    Anita, you are such a beautiful, blessed, talented woman may God continue to bless you!

  20. Sue

    The dress is stunning and fits you beautifully! I am inspired to try something like this!

    1. Anita Morris

      Yay, Sue! It’s so rewarding when you figure out the fit adjustments and get your desired results.

  21. Charlene

    You look gorgeous!! The dress fits you perfectly!! Could you make a dupioni silk sheath dress and wear theTweed dress as a coat in the spring??

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh my goodness! Charlene, yes, that would be beautiful! What a great idea. Thank you!!! This dress can certainly be worn as a coat. 🤗💕🤗

  22. Marta

    Another lovely dress, and as always you look so stylish. You wear the kind of clothes I like, but they don’t suit me.

  23. Anna

    This pattern seems to be very challenging. I consider myself an advanced beginner so it might be a while till attempt to make something like this. I’d probably go with the sleeveless view when I do. The look I liked the best was the picture of you with the open-toe shoes. The look was elegant and classy.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Anna! I get it. Yes, wait until you feel ready. I can’t wait to make the sleeveless version. Thank you for your compliment. 💕

  24. Linda

    Gorgeous! Well done. Looks wonderful on you. Thanks for the thorough details, and also for showing the inside. I literally took notes. Congrats on your speaking engagement. Looks very successful.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you, Linda. I’m glad you enjoyed all the details. I’m the same way. I love to see and read the details when it comes to sewing. 🤗

  25. DJ Hall

    You’re truly a master. You looked beautiful. You have found your mission.

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh, DJ, thank you so much. Yes, I’m definitely on a beautiful mission. 💕

  26. Delia Baldi

    Hi Anita: The dress is GOR.GEOUS and it suits you perfectly. Indeed a labor of love. I don’t think I could do something so well done or with so much work. If, and it’s a big IF, I would dare to do it, would be with sleeves. Love the color, the fit, in sum everything about the dress. Congratulations to you and best wishes!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Delia! I appreciate all your kind words. 💕💕💕