The Sleeveless Cortney Top

The disappointment when you find a ready to wear top that you really want to buy and then see the price, $250. And then the joy when you realize you have the perfect pattern in your tool kit – The Cortney PDF Pattern – that will yield the same results at a fraction of the cost.

The sleeveless Cortney Top

The fabric search beginsโ€ฆ.. Winning again! Spotlight is having a 30% off sale and you find the perfect cotton double gauze fabrication for $10. Bingo! You have saved yourself $240 less a little of your time.

If you are coming on this maker journey with me you will need the following pieces from the Cortney PDF Pattern: Front Bodice, Back Bodice, Collar and both Placket pieces. The placket pieces and collar don’t require any adjustments and will be used exactly as they are.

Pattern Adjustments

Shorten your front bodice so that the side seam is 33cm or your desired length. The front hem is straight. Shorten the back bodice so that the side seam is 33cm or to match the length of the front side seam. The back hemline is a curve with the center back finishing 4cm lower than the front.

It is not noted on the pattern below but after wear testing my top today also bring the side seam in 2cm at the armhole to prevent the gapping as shown in the image below.

The gapping armhole!

The armhole and hem will be finished with a facing so that the edges can be left to fray. To create the facing draw a line around the edge of the armhole and hem facing that is 3.5cm wide as the video above. You can trace these pieces off or just use them as a guide when cutting your facings.

Planning the facings.

Cut out all of your pattern pieces according to the pattern cutting instructions. In addition cut out two front and back armhole facing pieces, one front hem facing and one back hem facing. Sew the front and back armhole facings together at the shoulder and side seam. Also sew the front and back hem facing together at the side seam.

Facing pieces sewn as instructed.

Fuse the placket pieces and collar pieces as instructed in the pattern. Follow the Cortney PDF pattern instructions from Step 1 to Step 12. Visit the Cortney PDF Pattern video tutorial for detailed visual instructions or watch the below speedy videos and images as a guide.

Pressing your placket pieces
Attach the left placket.
Attached the right placket – Part A
Attached the right placket – Part B.
The finished placket.
Sew side and shoulder seam. Gather the front and back neck edge between the notches.
Prepare the collar to be sewn onto the garment.
Collar attached.

I really wanted the edge of the armhole and hem to fray but not a never ending fray. Overlock the edges of the armhole facings that will be to the inside (not the armhole edge). To finish off the armholes, place wrong side of the armhole facing to the wrong side of the armhole with the facing stepped back 3mm from the edge of the armhole. Pin and stitch in place 6mm in from the edge of the facing. This stitch line will contain the fraying of the armhole edge. It won’t fray past this line. Next pin the outer edge of the facing to the armhole and stitch in place through the overlocking.

How the facing is stepped back 3mm to the inside of the armhole. The overlocked edge is to the outer edge of the facing.

Follow the same process to finish the hem edge which is place the wrong side of the hem facing to the wrong side of the hem and step the facing back 3mm from the edge. Pin and stitch in place running the edge of the foot along the edge of the facing. Once secured, pin the outer edge of the facing to the garment and stitch in place through the overlocking. To begin the fraying process rub and pull thread along the edges. Fraying will improve with washing and time but will not fray past the facing stitch line.

The finished armhole and hem

I’m so happy I was able to recreate a staple wardrobe item for a fraction of the price. The versatility of this top is perfect for the Queensland climate and warmer months where ever you live in the world.

The scooped back hemline.
It looks great with pants as well.

Reach out if you have any questions regard the sleeveless Cortney hack. Iโ€™m always happy to assist.

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