When Taree, the brains behind Marsha Style, said that she had another dress pattern in the making I instantly volunteered myself to join the testing group. Not only did the dress itself look fab, but I have really come to love the laid back style of the Marsha Style dresses and I know they fit my curves well.
I was also instantly hooked on the idea of turning my make into a cool 70’s style with a bit of a hippy feel. And those sleeves…. enough said!
Although I was a part of the testing team, I am under no obligation to write this post, or say nice things. I honestly think all the things that are written below. Enough of the disclaimers! Let’s talk about this dress!
The Cortney pattern has 3 different views out of the ‘packet’. 2 dress versions, with a sleeve variation and a top that could be sew with either sleeve.
The dress style is an easy, relaxed shift shape, with a mandarin collar and buttons to the front. It cinches with a self tie belt.
The sleeves are in my opinion the best bit about this pattern. These sleeves are BIG! The first sleeve has a beautiful pleated puff and a sleeve pillow to puff up even more. The second sleeve has all the volume but no gathers at the sleeve head.
There will be no mystery in working out which sleeve I went for!
This is graded as an intermediate pattern and I would agree it’s not for a beginner. The front placket construction and mandarin collar were new elements for me, and although I sailed through them with the great step by step instructions, I wouldn’t have wanted to sew this as one of my first projects.
Another great element about this dress is that I feel it is hugely hackable. I have already thought about making the top but with a full front of buttons, or my best idea yet (IMO) which I am yet to sew is a tiered version of this dress mashing up the Marsha Style Leila dress.
Pattern & Instructions
I used my pattern on my projector, and even though Marsha Style’s patterns don’t come with a projector view, I had no trouble with the projector view using the A0 Version.
Although, saying I had no trouble is a bit of a fib as I almost gave Taree a headache with sizing. When I made my muslin, I set up my projector, calibrated and got ready to cut. Just before I did, I stepped away from the table for 5 minutes, in which time my boys thought it would be funny to play a joke on mummy and changed my settings. My muslin was too small and odd fitting so my first round of feedback was a puzzling array of fit issues.
Luckily, I noticed quickly enough, and eventually saw the funny side.
When it comes to the other Marsha Style dresses I have made, and I generally cut a 16. The dress I made is a 14 which shows that there is a good amount of ease in it. I think a 16 would have swamped me.
Another thing to note, is that due to the relaxed shape of the dress, I didn’t need to FBA. I am a G Cup bra size and this is plenty roomy.
Last thing on sizing.. This is a short dress. The pattern is drafted for a height of 5’7″. I am 5’5″ and you can see its still short. The length is one thing I would recommend be checked before you cut fabric 🙂
Ok, so I know this is a pattern review, but I love this fabric so much, I just wanted to call it out.
I’m a bit of a sucker for a retro print floral and this one had my name all over it. Yellow is my favourite colour, but one that generally doesn’t look good on me, but with a high mix of white tones, I think I can just about pull this off.
And even if I don’t, I love it anyway and couldn’t imagine my poufy hippy dress any other way.
The fabric is a linen – cotton mix, bought from Spotlight Stores in NZ. The buttons I used are vintage glass buttons in a creamy colour just to complete the vibe
My Summer Dress of dreams
I really enjoyed sewing up the Cortney Dress. I like patterns that challenge me and help me to learn new things and this pattern had a few new things for me.
I had not sewn a placket like this one before, and for that reason I am glad I tested it out when I made my muslin. If I’d have just gone straight into the dress I would have mashed it up, so I am grateful I gave myself a practise round.
The collar was very straightforward to sew, as were the pleated sleeves with their sleeve pillows (although I did have a little chuckle about their name)
Overall I am so chuffed with my dress. I love the shape and the length, which feels just right for my frame.
I am going to be getting a lot of wear out of this one!
Looking for more on the Cortney Dress?