TWEED COAT DRESS | MCCALL'S 7997
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
The lining fabric is a 100% Polyester from JoAnn Fabrics. It’s lightweight and a good fit for the fabric.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for stopping by,
Remember: When you live in your DESIGN, it is from there that God SHINES!
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.
Links to Products, Posts & Tutorials
Here are links to products, blog posts, and tutorials mentioned in this post.
- Fabric Option
- Sewing Project Checklist
- Learn to SEW Course
- Baby Lock Soprano
- Baby Lock Vibrant
- Baby Lock Euphoria
(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.).)