I finally feel like I’m getting into a good groove with choosing patterns that are versatile for me from work to weekend wear and it’s no different with the Coram Dress by Allie Olson of Indiesew. As with her other two patterns, Allie really nailed it with this top/dress pattern between the simple silhouettes and the opportunity to practice valuable sewing techniques.
For this dress, I made a size 4 graded to a size 6 in the hips. Based on the size chart I didn’t really need to grade out, but I wanted that extra inch. By grading out to the size 6, I also gained a little more length, so I only needed to add another 1/2″ so that the dress hit at my knees. This is my go-to adjustment to ensure that a garment is flexible between weekend – and office-wear.
I’ve typed and backspaced about five times because I don’t know where to begin on my favorite aspect of this dress! When I first saw people raving about the sleeve darts I honestly didn’t know what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t questioning Allie’s design, but I just didn’t understand the hype. Now? I get it. They add great shaping to the sleeve and it’s an unexpected feature. The hype was/is real and definitely worth it.
The raglan sleeves make inserting them a breeze and the bust darts add some nice shaping to bodice. Oh and you can never go wrong with a curved hem!
My favorite aspect of the dress is a completely optional technique to use when constructing it: flat-felled seams! The extra effort and work that goes into them is 1000% worth it because you end up with a dress that has as beautiful of a finish on the inside as the outside. Also, they’re incredibly sturdy seams, which means increased life of the garment! If you’re new to flat-felling seams, this would be the perfect pattern to try it on since there are only a couple of slightly curved seams to flat-fell as opposed to a full armscye like on a menswear shirt. Using techniques like that really increases my appreciation for my handmade garments.
If you want some more waist definition, you can easily make a waist tie (which Allie gives measurements for). I wore the tie for the pictures, but I’ve decided that I think I prefer the dress without the tie. It’s much more comfortable and casual.
The fabric I used for this dress is this tencel twill from Blackbird Fabrics. This was my first time sewing with tencel twill and I have no plans on stopping. It’s a glorious fabric to work with. I don’t think I’ve ever worn something this color so I was incredibly surprised by myself when I instantly fell in love with it. There was a split second of regret when I purchased it because I was afraid the color wasn’t going to work for me or that I was going to hate it in person, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. I think as I sew more and get out of my comfort zone pattern-wise, that’s trickling into my fabric purchasing as well and I can’t say I’m mad about it.
Overall, I’m thrilled with how this dress turned out. I have a dress that I can easily dress up or down and wear on the weekend or to work. The dress also pairs incredibly well with the Blackwood Cardigan that I made in December! It also convinced me I need a plain black Blackwood. To switch up the dress for work, I removed the hat and changed out the choker for a sparkly statement necklace. See? Versatile!
This post was written as part of the Indiesew Blogger Team, however, all opinions are my own.