Coram Dress and Top


Hi there! Did you know that it’s Coram Week on Indiesew? Allie Olson’s Coram Top and Dress pattern is now available in print and there’s been a blog tour happening to celebrate. I am really pleased to be the last stop of the tour and to show off my two new versions of the Coram pattern.

I was a pattern tester for this pattern and made two Coram tops during testing. At the end of last year I made another Coram top (that I’m excited to finally wear in warm weather!) This pattern is really fun to sew– I love the raglan sleeves and the sleeve cuffs are such a great detail. I love Allie’s method for attaching them and topstitching them in place. I’ve been wanting to try out the Coram dress so I was excited for this push to finally do it.

The Coram dress is cut pretty straight and I am much wider on my bottom half. I know I could have just graded out at the hips but I thought it might be fun to experiment with making a swingy Coram dress. It would be pretty easy to slash and spread the front and back pieces from the bust down to the hem… but I took an even easier way out and overlaid a different swingy dress pattern from just below the bust dart and used that as a cutting guide.

I went with a straight hem for my swing dress, instead of the Coram’s curved hem. The just-above-knee length is great for wearing as is or loosely belted. This fabric is a viscose twill that I got from La Mercerie. It’s such a pretty color and it’s a great weight for a dress. I took Allie’s suggestion in the instructions and basted on my neckband to check the length before sewing and topstitching. I found I was able to take a couple of inches out of the neckband length to avoid gaping.

I always love black and pink together so I threw on this black headband and my favorite black platform sandals. Do I look like a cupcake with a bow on my head and at my waist?? I may keep it to one bow at a time in the future.

This dress is so fun to wear and it got a good reaction from my husband, which is always nice! My cousin is getting married next weekend and it’s currently the front-runner for what I’ll wear to the wedding. It checks my boxes for style and comfort and it will be good for twirling around on the dance floor.

Since this was my fourth iteration of the Coram in rayon I thought it would be fun to try the pattern in cotton lawn. Allie suggests making a muslin of the pattern if you’re using a more stable fabric since the shoulder darts may need to be narrowed and shortened. I didn’t make a muslin but I played around with the darts a bit and found that for my shoulders keeping them pretty much true to the markings on the pattern worked best.

I went with an exposed bias binding at the neck instead of neck band. It’s hard to see in this busy print, but I like how it mirrors the sleeve cuffs. (I used the same method to attach the bias binding as the cuffs.)

I made this Coram with a slightly a-line shape and a little bit of a high-low hem. I wanted to try something shorter than the original pattern, but not quite a cropped length since most of my pants/shorts/skirts are mid-rise. Isn’t this fabric pretty? I don’t know why I kept it sitting in my stash for years!

There is quite a bit of ease in the Coram pattern so if you’re trying one in a fabric without a lot of drape, like this cotton lawn, you might be able to size down.  My measurements put me between the size 8 and 10 at the bust and I have made the size 8 at the bust for all of my Corams. I did a little baste fitting on this one and ended up using a deeper seam allowance from the underarm to hem to get the perfect fit.

I really like how this shorter Coram looks with my Ginger jeans and I think it will be great with the Lander shorts I’m hoping to make in June.  I know I’ll be wearing my new dress and top on repeat this Summer!


p.s. The Coram top and dress pattern was given to me by Indiesew. The opinions expressed are my own.


11 thoughts on “Coram Dress and Top

    1. Thank you, Abbey! I am sooooo glad I finally got that Poppy fabric out of my stash. I had some leftover from the top so I made a short kimono from it. I’m trying to decide if I can wear the Coram and kimono together like a modern twin set. If not they are great separately and I will love wearing them both!


    1. Thank yo so much! I was a little nervous since the fabric is almost the same color as my skin, but I think it ended up being perfect. I love the swingy shape!


  1. Teri, I love this dress! It looks so good on you. And like you, I love pink and black together, so the outfit is lovely. No, you do not look like a cupcake. You look like a fashionable and cool lady! It’s perfect for a summer wedding. I absolutely adore those sandals. Please tell me what they are. We share the same taste in shoes. I will have to check out this pattern, although I already have a pattern that is very similar. The top looks cool, and it’s perfect with your jeans. Two different versions, and both of them are wins.


    1. Thanks, Becky! I generally forget to accessorize at all so adding more than one accessory seems way over the top to me, haha. These shoes are so old and I am starting to get scared that they will fall apart soon. I got them at DSW about 10 years ago and they are Nine West. I have really wide feet so finding shoes that fit me is a challenge. If you have any recommendations let me know!


  2. I really love how flattering the dress is in you! Pls share what swing dress bottoms you used to marry the Coram top! The Coram is on my list of tops to sew this summer and yesterday I saw some ladies wearing comfy yet stylish knit swing dress. Then seeing your dress today sealed it, I can make one :). Thanks. Always enjoy seeing your makes


    1. Thanks, Shelley! I have a couple different swing top/dress patterns but the only one I had printed out at dress length was the Tessuti Ruby dress. That was the one I used and it worked great! I haven’t come across too many woven swing dresses that have sleeves so I had to invent my own. I would love the hear if you make this dress!


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