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.
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.
- 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″.
- 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.
- 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.
My Favorite Design Elements
The shoulder darts add elegant shaping, and the sleeve cuffs are simple but surprisingly cute!
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?