Let’s Celebrate National Tweed Day April 3rd

Designer Joi’s Top Tweed Easy Sew Tips

TWEED: is a general term used to refer to wool or wool-like fabrics made of flock or flake novelty yarns of different color than the body of the fabric. Tweeds are most often made in plain, twill or twill-variation weaves and can be made of any fiber or mixture of fibers. (Textiles by Kadolph, Langford, Hollen and Saddler)


I am so happy that April 3rd is National Tweed Day. I love wool fabrics and I really love wool tweeds. There are so many colors, designs and styles that this traditional fabric is very modern and hip.  You can sew beautiful traditional tailored jackets from tweeds, skirts, and dresses if you like, or add a creative twist by combining trims and contrasting fabrics for a modern fresh look to update your wardrobe.


Tweeds are actually really easy to sew. Here are the basic tips and tricks I use in my studio to sew these yummy fabrics for great results.


1.) Stabilize: Tweeds are more of an open weave so the yarns can shift around. They can also unravel or pull from seams. To eliminate this problem you must stabilize the back of each piece before you sew.


I sew and recommend stabilizing with fuse- knit fusible interfacing.  Skip the cheap crafty interfacings and use real garment fuse-knit interfacing (resource below). They run around $3-$12.00 a yard which is very affordable. Fuse-knit is actually a knit so it is stretchy and lightweight. This is my go to tailoring supply as you can use it on most fabrics. The stretch allows it to be flexible and does not change the drape of the fashion fabric. I LOVE this stuff.


I like to cut smaller squares of my fabric and then fuse it with my digital press or with my heavy iron.  Since it is light weight it fuses quickly and easily. Treating individual pieces rather than a large piece of fabric makes it more manageable too.


2.) Cutting: If you have not stabilized your fabric and are ready to cut I like to either chalk around the pattern or hand baste around the outer edge of the pattern. I then cut about 1 inch out past the edge. Then if the edges fray or unravel it is not distorting the actual garment edge.  Using a rotary cutter carefully helps keep the fabric nice and flat while cutting too.


3.) Lining: I line any tweed garment. It helps hide my fusible interfacing, and eliminates needing bulky seam finishes like bindings or edge finished, plus a lining is just so much nicer.


4.) Assembly: Sew your tweed like any other garment, but apply a twill tape to shoulder seams, zipper closures and other key areas. If you have used a fuse-knit than you may be able to omit this.


5.) Press:  A lot of Tweed is wool, and nothing tailors and presses better than a wool garment. Use pressing tools like a tailor’s ham and a Designer Joi Chubby Board to really shape and place a final finish on your garment.


6.) Care: Tweeds can be dry cleaned if 100% wool or hand washed.  Just check and test your fabric prior to washing. (Joi’s NERDY fact: 100% wool fibers have a double helix shape (looks like DNA) which is why it shrinks in heat. That shape kind of bunches up together.

I used beautiful tweed in my latest McCall Pattern M7280 and made it fresh and modern with a self fabric fringe edging backed with a band of pleated silk organza in a complimentary color. I created a fun trendy dress that is easy to fit and my favorite part of all is the beautiful cropped jacket.


This jacket was inspired by a DIOR design that I saw with the model wearing a long sleeve silk blouse under a cropped suit jacket. I feel in love with the ultra hip yet not over the top application of using tweed with a modified approach to a traditional cut. This jacket is super easy to make in any fabric.

Designer Joi - Patterns - M7280

Click photo to enlarge.

Click photos to enlarge.

I challenge you to create something beautiful out of tweed. Here is a class from Crafty that I thought was fitting for National Tweed Day!  Check out some of the student projects!!

Win an autographed copy of Designer Joi’s McCall 7280 pattern and a swatch of Real Chanel Tweed used in the design featured on the pattern cover.


We want to know what you have sewn in tweed or what you would like to sew in tweed. Simply reply to this post and share. Winner will be selected next week.

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  • Christianne McCall

    02.04.2016 at 20:45

    Have never sewn tweed, but have seen wool. I’d love to make the skirt shown with that amazing hem!

    • joi

      03.04.2016 at 01:15

      I encourage you to try creating something you might be surprised! Let me know if you do!

  • Monika

    04.04.2016 at 00:28

    I have the iconic tweed jacket craftsy class and I’m looking forward to sewing that in tweed. Right now I’m working through your Fast Track Fitting classes so I know it will fit well when I do! :)

    • joi

      04.04.2016 at 19:13

      Wonderful! Yes learning the fit is priority. I would tell anyone to take my fit class before sewing any garment.Thanks for posting

  • Sydnie McConnell

    04.04.2016 at 19:09

    I’ve never worked with tweed either! I’d love to make one of those iconic tweed jackets, or maybe a cute little pencil skirt…

    • joi

      04.04.2016 at 19:12

      Ok I am challenging you to make something Tweed!

    • joi

      07.04.2016 at 19:33

      Hi Sydnie, You are the winner of my McCall 7280 Pattern. Please email the studio joi@dressformsdesign.com and we will send that right out!

  • AmyInNH

    12.12.2016 at 14:45

    Wow, nostalgia flashback. Miss seeing tweed jackets in the store. Not even seeing the fabric in the far flung fabric stores. I guess it’s one reason I’m going back to sewing. Thanks for feeding my sew mojo!

    • joi

      13.12.2016 at 18:13

      I love tweed fabric and there are really some modern ones. Post a photo if you make something.

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