The Coram (Jail Bird) Dress - Allie Olsen

A little palette cleanser project today!

I know I said I shouldn't be making simple t-shirts all year again, but there was something about this Coram Dress that just called to me and I wanted to make it immediately. So I did. 

This was my first attempt at getting out of my leggings rut. Comfy dress and comfy tights good for winter, and I'm sure it would be a good hot weather option too (ahhh the sun, a long distant memory). 

The pattern is the Coram Dress and Top by Allie Olsen. It's not one that had been on my radar before and only found it a few weeks ago during the 'crimbo limbo' as someone described it. 

The pattern is a 'boxy woven top or dress with cuffed raglan sleeves and shoulder and bust darts for shaping' according to the description. For me the hem shaping, belt and cuffed sleeves were the attraction as it looked a good contender for comfy chic.

And I was right.....

Awesome boots from Joules in sale

I cut a size 14/16 out of some printed jersey from my stash (woo!). I believe the fabric was originally from Girl Charlee - I've had it years and it very nearly went in the donate pile but it's moment of glory arrived and was the perfect amount for this project.

It reminds me of the arrows on prison uniforms...(Fun(ish) fact: Broad arrows on prison uniforms in UK were to denote government property in 19th century)

For a relatively simple make I did have quite a few fitting issues. The sleeve pattern pieces have shoulder darts, which I thought I had done according to the instructions. Something must have gone wrong, although I can't figure out how, as the neckline came out huuuuuuuggggeeee. Unfortunately I didn't really notice until I put the neck band on. Therefore this dress now has an epic boat neck.

I only actually picked up on this when the neckband really had to stretch to fit, and I cut another slightly longer. Its not unusual (try reading that without singing it in your head) that I sometimes do this for other knit tops so didn't think much of it at the time. I had to do a quick fix by pinning the dress in at the shoulders and creating new, larger shoulder darts and shaping them down to the cuff. Not ideal but it worked.

I love the fact that this has bust darts to give a semi-fitted appearance although the top could still do with being a size or 2 smaller to avoid so much blousing when worn. It's so causal though that it doesn't really matter. Still wearable :)

The pattern suggests top-stitching all the seams which was a nice touch. I'd like to make another version of this in black as a bit of a classic go-to piece.

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