allie olson coram dress pattern review

Coram Dress in Rayon

Who knew a woven dress could be so comfortable?! My new Coram Dress, designed by Allie Olson, is a complete joy to wear. Of course, it helps when the design has ease for days, and when you sew it up in buttery-soft rayon.

coram top and dress line drawings

Per the pattern description, Coram is “a boxy woven top or dress with cuffed raglan sleeves and shoulder and bust darts for shaping.” I’ve never sewn a woven dress with raglan sleeves, so I was thrilled to give this pattern a spin to help celebrate #CoramWeek and the launch of the paper Coram pattern!

Let’s dive in.

coram dress pattern review

The Details

  • Pattern: Coram Top and Dress by Allie Olson.
  • Size: 6. My measurements are 36-29-38, so I fall between sizes 6 and 8. Allie mentioned that this pattern is designed with a ton of ease, so I decided to size down to a 6.
  • Fabric: Art Gallery 100% rayon from the IndieFolk collection, purchased at Oak Fabrics in Chicago.
  • Pattern alterations: Added 2″ of length total, 1″ at each lengthen/shorten line. I’m 6’0″ tall with a long torso, so this is a pretty standard addition for me. For reference, the pattern is designed for someone who’s 5’6″.

allie olson coram dress

coram dress close

Construction

  • I used my regular sewing machine for all construction, except for finishing the seams of the shoulder darts. Those went for a very short trip through my serger.
  • I took the pattern instructions’ suggestion and flat-felled all the seams. If you have the time and energy, I highly encourage you to finish your seams this way. Pretty innards are so worth the time upfront!
  • I sewed the optional 1/2″ waist tie to add some shaping. I might also try this with a braided leather belt from my closet at some point.

coram dress binding

coram dress belt

Tips

  • Cut the neckband a little longer than the pattern piece, and for the love of god BASTE IT ON FIRST like the instructions suggest. I’m not sure if my final neckband ended up shorter or longer than the pattern piece, but when I first basted it on, it was gaping quite a bit at one of the shoulders and center back. I shortened it based on look and feel, and now it lies flat.
  • Double-check the placement of the bust darts before you sew them. Mine turned out a little low (but not so low that I could be bothered to rip them out and re-sew).
  • Spray starch and an iron are your friends when handling shifty fabric! (Thanks for the tip, By Hand London.) I made my own spray starch using this tutorial from Bren Did.

coram dress hem

allie olson coram dress review

My Favorite Design Elements

The shoulder darts add elegant shaping, and the sleeve cuffs are simple but surprisingly cute!

coram dress without belt

coram dress flat felled

The Verdict

Coram is a breezy dress that’s easy to wear and relatively pain-free to sew. Just take your time with the neckband and hem!

It’s a great pattern to showcase a large- or small-scale print. I’m even considering doing a kooky color-blocked shirt in the vein of this sweatshirt.

And that’s it, folks! What say you? Would you wear this style?


Indiesew provided the Coram Top and Dress pattern free of charge. All opinions are my own.

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This dress is not a workhorse. I made Nikko as a birthday present to myself so I’d have something to wear to my annual house party. And I love it. Sometimes, you’ve gotta make a dress that makes you feel like a badass, even if you know it’ll spend more time in your closet than on your body.

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The point? I cared less about quality and more about showing my makes to the world as soon as humanly possible. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I blog about a sewing project within a month or two of finishing. Sure, I give sneak peeks on Instagram, but something (freezing Chicago weather, work, social life, laziness) usually gets in the way.Read More »

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When it comes to sewing for myself, I’ve learned to let go. To not care if that topstitching isn’t 100% parallel or if the invisible zipper is slightly… visible. It takes a lot for a perfectionist to surrender to flaws! But that chill attitude flies out the window when it comes to gifts. That’s why I was so glad I had time to squeeze in a quick palate cleanser for myself before our holiday trip.Read More »

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I did manage to document, however poorly, at least one photo of each of the wedding guest outfits I’ve sewn—some of which I’ve worn multiple times! And because I like rankings and lists, I decided to rank them based on three criteria:

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Anyone who buys fabric knows this feeling all too well, which is why so many of us hoard some of our most beautiful textiles. If we never cut into it, we can hold on to that shopping high forever… right?!

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