Have you guys had a chance to check out Allie Olson‘s latest sewing pattern, the Coram Top & Dress?? It was just released in the Indiesew Fall/Winter Collection, and it is perfect for wearing with cardigans and coats all season long.
I had the opportunity to test the top version of this pattern, and I know Allie worked so hard on it. I’m so glad that it’s finally released! It’s a loose fitting raglan pattern made for wovens, and it is SO cool. I think my favorite part of the pattern is the fold-up sleeve detail.
The second thing I like is that Allie explains how to do flat felled seams in the instructions, and it makes the garment look so nice! When I was testing the top version of the pattern, I just serged the raw edges and the pattern came together really quickly. But if you want it to look really nice, try flat felling! I’ve never done French seams or flat felled seams before, but it was a good experience and I love the way it looks on this dress.
The next thing I love, that I didn’t love very much at first is the curved hem. Hemming is probably my least favorite thing, depending on the day, but curved hems are just tricky. I really like the basting method she explains in the instructions, but the first two times I tested the pattern I just kept missing part of the hem while top stitching. I can happily say now that it just takes a really good iron and some practice (and probably some luck). It was third time’s the charm for me! I was so happy when I was done hemming this dress because it was perfect and I hadn’t missed any of the hem!
Now, I know this pattern is for wovens with no stretch, but I found the most beautiful fabric at Califabrics that was dying to be made into a Coram Dress…with 25% stretch. Allie recommends using a fabric with no stretch (as do I), but this fabric had a calling. The stretch did affect the fit a little bit. It’s not quite as fitted it should be, but I kind of really like it!
Whether or not you are using a stretch fabric, I do agree with her in the instructions that basting the neckline in first is the smartest choice to make sure it will lay flat. I got a little overly excited and impatient when I got to the neckline of this dress and didn’t baste mine first, but I wish I would have (surprise, surprise). Since my fabric stretches, I could have made the neckband a bit shorter, but it still lays pretty well. Oh well, live and learn.
The only adjustments I made were to lengthen at the waist lengthen/shorten line by 2 inches, and at the bottom lengthen/shorten line by another 2 inches. It’s the perfect length on me and it’s SO comfortable to wear! I chose not to lower the bust darts and they hit in a really good spot, so I’m happy about that.
I love that Allie added the instructions on how to make a waist tie, because it really adds to the design and gives the dress more shape. I asked Dallas this morning before I tied the tie around my waist if the dress looked weird without it, and he said no, it just looked like a loose, flowy dress. So one of these I’ll probably switch things up occaisonally and wear it without the waist tie for a more relaxed look.
I’m really looking forward to making a few more Coram tops and dresses because they are so comfortable and perfect for my mom lifestyle.
Make sure to check out everyone else in the blog tour who has made the patterns released in the Indiesew F/W Collection! Happy Sewing!