kali.makes X marsha.style

Recently Marsha Style paired up with Kali Makes to bring you a colorful array of styling options for Cortney Top. If you are not familiar with Kali on IG I encourage you to check her out. Her makes will be sure to put a smile on your dial.

Kali made the pleated sleeve Cortney option in a Crepe Calcita from Banco de Tecido that is a beautiful shade of Sunshine. This softer fabric choice allows for a relaxed full sleeve. It calms down the big sleeve energy of this pattern.

In true Kali style she has styled her Cortney Top using other colorful handmade items from her wardrobe.

Cortney Top + Laetita Wrap Skirt

The Laetita Wrap Skirt is the latest addition from Just Patterns. It’s such a fun skirt that can be tied in three different ways. The emerald green hue of the skirt works beautifully with Kali’s Cortney. And those blue strap heels and earrings…. 💙

Cortney Top + Jumpy Pants

The Cortney Sleeve is in full view here and is perfectly paired with the Jumpy Pants by Ready to Sew. This pant pattern includes an option for a pant and short.

Cortney Top + Persephone Pants

Ahh… The Persephone Pants. These pants need no introduction as one of the most made indie pant patterns by Anna Allen. Kali has chosen an incredible two tone print for her pants and they look so fun paired with the Cortney Top and sneakers.

Cortney Top + Peppermint Wrap Skirt

The Wrap Skirt by In The Folds is a free pattern that was made in collaboration with Peppermint Magazine issue 41. Kali has restricted the color palette for this look to the three colors of the fabrications. So clever.

Cortney Top + Lauren Trousers

And last but not least, such a classic look of bellowing blouse with tailored pants. The Lauren Trouser is by Lore Piar and makes the perfect companion to the Cortney Top.

All of the looks wrapped up in a reel.

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 begins….. 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. I’m always happy to assist.


In this block post we will explore hacking the Cortney PDF Dress Pattern into a wrap dress. The billowy sleeves of the Cortney PDF Pattern are perfect for a stylized wrap dress. You can find a full video tutorial for this hack on my Instagram Stories highlight.

The Cortney Wrap Dress

The idea for this hack came from a ready to wear wrap dress in my wardrobe. I used this dress as a tool to figure out how to adjust the Cortney PDF Pattern. You can see this process in detail on my Instagram Stories highlight. I was gifted this luscious HOY cotton lawn from Storrs London to create this piece.

If this blog post inspires you to create your own Cortney Wrap Dress I am offering 20% off the Cortney PDF pattern until midnight Sunday 22nd May 2022 Australian Eastern Standard Time using the code CORTNEYWRAP. The coupon is only valid through the Marsha Style website.

Creating the pattern pieces!

The first step is to remove the gathers from the front neckline of the Cortney PDF Pattern. To do this:

  • Trace your front bodice piece to a clean piece of paper and mark on the seam allowance all the way around the neck, shoulder, armhole and side seam.
  • Use the gather notches on the front neckline as a guide and draw on additional notches 3cm down from the notch closest to the shoulder and 3cm in from the notch closest to the front neck. It is important to draw this and below adjustment notches on the seam allowance line and not on the pattern edge to achieve an accurate adjustment.
  • Add a notch along the armhole 10cm down from the shoulder and draw a dart from this point to the notches on the neckline closest to the shoulder.
  • Add a notch along the side seam 26.5cm down from the under arm point and draw a dart from this point to the notches on the neckline closest to the center front.
  • Cut out the pattern piece.
  • Cut along 1 side of the both dart arms stopping at the seam allowance line. Snip back from the outside edge to the seam allowance line to create a little pivot point.
  • Close dart in the neckline by joining the cut edge to the uncut dart line. Tape or glue to create your new front pattern piece.
  • Glue new front pattern to a clean sheet of paper.
  • Fold in half along the center front line and trace to create a full front instead of a half front.
  • Mark a point along center front 25.5cm down from the center front neck. This will be the crossover point at center front.
  • Draw on your front neckline with a slight curve from the shoulder point to center front crossover point. Then draw a straight line from this point to the hem about 5cm in from the side seam.
  • Mark a point 8cm up from the hem along the front crossover and shape point back to the dress hem line. I didn’t do mine far enough up from the hem first time around and adjusted this point on the pattern before making my final version. You can see my comments regarding this on my Cortney Wrap Dress Story highlight on Instagram.
  • Add 8mm seam allowance to the front neckline before cutting out.
  • Your front pattern piece is now complete.
  • To create the neckband measure the front neck from neck point to hem. Mine was 95.5cm.
  • Grab your collar pattern piece and measure from the center back neck to the shoulder notch on your size. Mine back neck was 13cm.
  • Add this measurement to the front neck measurement and create a rectangle pattern piece that long by 10cm wide. Mine was 109.5cm (95.5cm + 13cm + 1cm SA) long by 10cm wide. This will create a neckband that is a little over 4cm wide finished. You will cut 2 of this pattern piece. Mark a shoulder notch on this pattern piece around from the CB neck. This is shown in detail on my Instagram Stories highlight for the Cortney Wrap Dress.
  • I am finishing my sleeves with a tie bind. To do this cut 2 strips of bind that are 4cm wide by 75cm long (I cut mine at 50cm long and they are to short)
Sleeves are finished with a little tie.

Cut out all of your pattern pieces which include the below:

  • 1 pair Front Bodice (newly created pattern piece).
  • Cut 1 on the fold Back Bodice (the original Cortney PDF Dress pattern piece).
  • Cut 1 pair sleeve (the original Corntney PDF Dress sleeve with or without sleeve head pleats).
  • Cut 2 pair neckband (newly created pattern piece). 1 pair will be used as the neckband and 1 pair as the waist tie.
  • Cut 2 sleeve bind ties (newly created pattern piece).

I toiled my wrap dress before cutting in my final fabrication just to make sure everything fit and worked as I had envisaged.

My toile!

Time to sew!


  • Pin pleats in the sleeve head following the arrows on the pattern piece. Baste pleats in place.
  • Join 1 neckband pattern pieces together along 1 short edge. Fold long edge on both side in 1cm and press.
  • Create arm tie bind by folding in edges 6mm, press and then press in half.

Next up….

  • Overlock the undersleeve seams individually. Sew the undersleeve seam together leaving opening 7cm up from the hem. Press seam open.
  • Stitch around opening in sleeve to hold the seam allowance in place.
Sew sleeve underseam together leaving an opening at the hem.
  • Overlock front and back shoulder seams individually before sewing front and back bodice pieces together at the shoulders. Press seams open.
  • Add 2 rows of gather stitch to the back neck between the notches.
  • Pin the wrong side of the bodice to the right side of the neckband and pull gathers in so that the back neck fits into the neckband between the notches you made on the neckband. Pin in and stitch in place.
  • Press seam towards the neckband.
  • Fold neckband back down to the right side of the garment.
  • Pin and edge stitch the neckband in place.
  • Add 2 rows of gather stitch to the sleeve hem.
  • Measure the circumference of your wrist to work out how long to gather up your sleeve hem. I folded my sleeve hem bind pieces in half and made a notch at the half way point and then 10cm each side of the half way point.
  • Pin the wrong side of your sleeve hem to the right side of the sleeve bind lining up the notches on the sleeve bind with the slit in the sleeve. Pull gathers so the sleeve hem fits the bind.
  • Pin and stitch in place.
  • Press seam towards bind.
  • Fold bind to right side of the sleeve. Pin and edge stitch in place on the right side of the sleeve folding raw edges under at the end of ties to finish sleeve ties off.
  • With right sides together sew sleeve into the bodice matching all notches.
  • Overlock seams closed and press seams towards the sleeve.
  • Finish dress hem using an 8mm double turn hem.
  • Create waist tie by sewing other 2 neckband pieces together at the short edges. Fold in half right sides together and stitch short edges into the center leaving a 4cm hole to pull the tie right side out.
  • Stitch close the hole in the waist tie.

Press you garment one final time and you are DONE!

I hope you have enjoyed this Cortney Wrap dress hack. As mentioned there is a video tutorial saved on my Instagram Story highlights called Cortney Wrap Dress that shows the above steps in greater detail. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all. I am always happy to help.

I’m also loving the Cortney Wrap Dress styled as a short duster.

The Cortney Wrap Dress as a duster.

The Alea Shirt & Dress PDF Pattern

The next installment of Marsha Style Patterns has now arrived. The Alea Shirt and Dress is a proud collaboration between Marsha Style and Sew Lala Patterns. It is the first Marsha Style Pattern to be available in both English and German. To celebrate the release of this pattern Anna and I are offering Blog readers & subscribers 20% off until 8.00pm Sunday 3rd April 2022, Australian Eastern Standard time using the coupon code YAYALEA20. The coupon can be redeemed on Marsha Style Website, Marsh Style Etsy Store & Sew Lala Patterns website.

View A with a little extra length.

Alea is a relaxed fit design that combines classic shirt styling with feminine and modern elements. The pattern comes in two lengths, a shirt or shirt dress with side seam splits. The dress has an option for a gathered waist. This dropped shoulder design includes several sleeve options. A classic cuffed sleeve, sleeveless and a gathered hem sleeve that can be varied in length and finish.

Alea offers two collar options, a classic shirt collar or a modern variation of the stand up collar. Both variations are designed to be worn open or closed. The pattern includes an optional slanted patch pocket with flap.

How will you wear your Alea? So many options packed into one pattern.

Square Neck Grace Dress Hack Instructions

At Marsha Style we love a good hack of our patterns. The talented designer of the Grace Dress, @abby_sews, created a square neck hack of the design that we had to share with you all. It was so adorable that we decided to add the additional pattern pieces to the Grace PDF Pattern and provide detailed sewing instructions below. If you previously purchased the Grace PDF Pattern you will receive an email with a code to access the updated pattern. If you have not received your updated code please contact me here. The additional pieces are in a separate A4/US Letter file so there is no need to reprint your patterns. If you are yet to purchase the Grace PDF Pattern we are offering 20% off the pattern for 1 week only using the code GRACESQUARE at checkout. Discount is available on the Marsha Style website, Marsha Style Etsy Store, Brooklyn Motif and The Fold Line. Promotion ends 12.00pm midnight 13th March 2022, Australian EST but the Grace Square Neck Hack is available forever.


The updated Grace PDF Pattern that includes the additional pattern pieces.

Size 2 to 16: 2.3mts of fabric – yield based on that is 1.4mts wide

Size 18 to 22: 2.7mts of fabric – yield based on that is 1.4mts wide

Size 24 to 30: 3.1mts of fabric – yield based on that is 1.4mts wide


  • Cut 2 x front bodice pieces on the fold
  • Cut 2 x back bodice pieces on the fold
  • Cut 2 x straps (see strap length guide below)
  • Cut 2 x skirt (View A skirt pattern piece with skirt template attached to top edge)
  • Cut 2 x patch pocket:(W) 24cm x (H) 28cm OR (W) 9 1/2″ x (H) 11″


  1. With right sides together, fold straps in half length wise and stitch using a 1.2cm (1/2″) SA.
  2. Turn straps right side out and press ensure to roll out seam to the edge.

3. Grab 1 x front & back bodice pieces. With right sides together join straps to the bodice 1cm away from the armhole.

4. With right sides together join both sets of front & back bodice pieces at the side seam.

5. Turn the bodice without the straps joined wrong side out and slip over the top of the other bodice. Tuck straps down and pin neck edge and armhole. Sew together using a 1.2cm (1/2″) SA. Trim seam back to 6mm (1/4″).

6. Edge stitch around the neck edge and armhole pushing the seam to the left. You won’t be able to get into all the corners and will have to do this is 4 stages. Press bodice. The side of the bodice that has the edge stitching will become the inside of the garment.

7. With right sides together, sew side seams of the skirt together using a 1.2cm (1/2″) SA. Finish seams using your preferred method. OR you can sew side seams together using the French Seam method in the Grace PDF Pattern.

8. Change your stitch length to 5mm and add 2 rows of gather stitch to the top of the skirt. Change your stitch length back to 2.5mm.

9. With right sides together pin the skirt to the bodice at the side seams. Pull gathers until the skirt fits the bodice. Stitch skirt to bodice using a 1.2cm (1/2″) SA. Iron seam up into the bodice.

10. Put the dress over the ironing board with the wrong side facing up. Fold, press and pin bodice lining to cover the skirt seam line preparing to ditch stitch the lining to the dress.

11. Turn dress right side out and transfer pins to the right side of the garment ensuring you have caught the lining on the underside of the garment. Ditch stitch lining in place. If ditch stitching is not your thing you can hand slip stitch the lining in place.

12. Fold the top of the pocket 2.5cm (1″) down to the right side. Stitch down on sides using a 1cm (3/8″) SA.

13. Turn top of pocket right side out and iron the remaining raw edges in 1cm (3/8″).

14. Decide on pocket position on your dress, pin and edge stitch in place.

15. Check the length of your dress and hem using a 3.5cm (1 3/8″) double turn hem. Give your dress one final press.

Congratulations! Your square neck Grace Dress is now complete. We would love to see your makes. Feel free to tag us on Instagram using #mssquaregrace and tag @marsha.style and @abby_sews.

Fabric: Cedar Green Linen from Fabrics Store.com


My best indie pattern makes for 2021

Music: She’s Crafty by Beastie Boys

We put a lot of time, effort and money into creating our home made wardrobes and in 2021 I really wanted to focus on making items of clothing that could be worn over and over again.

Below is an overview of my most worn and sewn Indie PDF Patterns for 2021.

Pomona Pant with Tie Back Top

First up is the Pomona Pant by Anna Allen Clothing. This elasticated pant and short pattern is the boom. It’s an easy sew that would be suitable for beginners. It is a wardrobe staple and can be easily updated to a paper bag waist or draw cord waist. Next time I sew this pattern I will be sizing up 1 to 2 sizes but keeping the cut elastic to my size. This pattern is amazing in linen!

Pomona Pant with TPC25 Top

One of my favorite tops for 2021 is the Tie Back Top by @thats.sew.sandy. This top is not going to be for everyone as it can’t be worn with a bra. It’s a go to piece for me on weekends in spring and summer. @thats.sew.sandy has created a tutorial that can be found in her highlights. I did have to fiddle with the elastic length around the body to get in comfortable. My version is made in a linen viscose gingham that I purchased whilst in Barcelona a few years ago. Every time I wear this top I always get compliments or people asking were I got it from. It is appropriately tagged with a KATM “you can’t buy this” tag.

Tie Back Top + Pomona Pant
Tie Back Top + Lander Shorts
The stunning back of the Tie Back Top
Tie Back Top + MN Dawn Jean. I wear this top ALL the time!

Disclosure…. I did release 3 sewing patterns in 2021 so quite a few of my makes revolve around theses patterns.

The Shameka as a Top & Skirt

Next up is the Shameka PDF Pattern hacked into a skirt and top. As a skirt and top there are so many opportunities for use. I can wear these as a set or individual pieces paired with other items in my wardrobe. The Shameka Top is a summer go to top for me. It’s easy to wear with a little design twist to elevate the everyday top.

The Shameka Top

This next dress is new to my wardrobe, only a little over 1 month old but has been worn numerous times already. It’s a super fun hack of the Cortney PDF and Leila PDF Patterns. You can read all out how to create this hack here.

Cortney X Leila babydoll dress

And then there’s the Grace Dress created in collaboration with @abby_sews. The Grace PDF comes with 2 views. My personal favorite is view B as pictured below with the waist ties. This dress has seen multiple outings from work to shopping adventures to lunches with the girls and dates with my man. The Grace PDF Pattern has surpassed even my expectations with its endless opportunities to hack and mix with other patterns to create new styles such as my recent Cortney X Grace maxi dress. PS there is a 20% discount coupon CORTXGRACE valid on both the Cortney and Grace PDF Patterns until midnight Tuesday 18th Jan 2022.

View B of the Grace Dress

The Tatjana Trouser by Just Patterns is another stand out make and PDF Pattern for me in 2021. I’m not really a slacks girl but love this style modified into a tailored jean. I have written a detailed blog post on this make which you can read here. You can also see how I do a little tuck and roll to change a wide leg pant into a fitted ankle pant.

Turning a wide leg pant into a narrow leg

And finally my favorite pattern for 2021. Maybe it’s because it consumed the later half of 2021 for me. It is the Cortney Top. I love the drama of the sleeve. I love that is can be worn with an open V neck or a more conservative round high neckline. I wear this gingham version all the time with jeans and shorts. The Cortney PDF Pattern has also formed the bases of my favorite 2 dress makes for 2021, my Cortney X Leila babydoll dress and my Cortney X Grace maxi dress.

Cortney Top + RTW Shorts
Cortney Top + RTW Jeans
Cortney X Grace Maxi Dress

So that’s my round up of my most worn and made PDF Patterns for 2021.

Cortney X Grace Dress by Marsha Style

The beautiful Solstice Print by Storrs London

Well hello 2022!

First things first… Sewing this Storrs of London cotton lawn gifted from Maaidesign was an absolute dream. And sorry to say but the Solstice print that I used for my dress has since sold out! The hand feel is creamy and velvety, the print is bold and beautiful and for all of my Aussie sewist you can now purchase a select few Storrs of London fabrications through Maaidesign in Australia.

I don’t know about you, but when I have a beautiful fabric to sew the pressure to sew something amazing is real. I want to make sure every detail of the design and make is perfect.

On my previous blog post you can see how I have combined the Cortney PDF Pattern with the Leila PDF pattern to create a fun babydoll dress with so many gathers and so much fullness. This make sparked an idea to calm down the gathers and fullness to create a maxi dress.

My Cortney X Leila hack with all it’s volume.

The Grace PDF Pattern also by myself in collaboration with talented Abby was the perfect companion to the Cortney PDF to achieve this look.

As a starting block for the bodice I used the bodice pattern pieces that I’d created for my Cortney X Leila hack. Please see that blog post for the details. I then placed the Grace bodice pieces over the top to work out the width that I needed to fit with the Grace View B skirt pattern pieces.

The Grace bodice compared to the Cortney bodice

I ended up reducing my bodice pieces by 2.5cm (1”) through the shoulder to the waist as folded in below. When cutting out I created a straight line from the neck point to the shoulder point.

Finished bodice pieces

I opted to use my short Cortney sleeve again as it is seasonally appropriate for my coastal location. The idea of a long sleeve Cortney X Grace hack is very appealing that I will probably make in Winter. I also omitted the collar and created a bind tie exactly the same as the Cortney X Leila hack.

The neck tie gives me the option to wear this style as a V neck or more conservative round neck. I will probably add a little hook and eye to close the front V slightly more when I’m feeling something in between.

For the skirt I used the Grace View B pattern pieces without any changes. I opted for an elasticated waist instead of the ties given the neck tie. It may have been tie overload with both. And the elastic waist is not firm. It’s a loose fit to pull the waist in but not hugging.

If you are thinking of creating this hack for yourself you can use the code CORTXGRACE to receive a 20% discount off both patterns from now until 12pm midnight on the 18th Jan 2022 Australian EST. Offer only available on the Marsha Style website.


It feels like a lifetime since I have written a blog post and I must say I’m excited to be back! I have been doing a ton of thinking around Marsha Style Patterns and how interchangeable they are to create new and fun designs. There is something very satisfying about mixing up patterns to create a unique design. This dress was inspired by a ready to wear design from Aussie fashion label Laboheme Lifestyle.

My inspiration….

I selected a beautiful Cornflower Blue Broderie Anglaise from A+R Fabrics for this make. If blue is not your colour, Trin also has a white Broderie Anglaise that would be stunning for this make. Trin also has perfectly colour matched cotton voile lining. I purchased 3mts of the main fabrication and 2mts of lining. I did have a little bit left over but not enough to buy less fabric.

Cornflower Blue Broderie Anglaise in all it’s glory!

The bodice and sleeve of the dress is based on my Cortney PDF Pattern. I sized down one full size to a size 4 bodice and sleeve for this hack. The bodice length and skirt tiers where inspired by a previous hack I had made using my Leila Dress x Leila Slip PDF Pattern. You could also use the Grace PDF Pattern to help determine the proportions and tier pattern pieces.

To create the bodice pattern pieces I shortened the Cortney Front and Back pattern pieces so that the side seam was 14cm. To work out how long I wanted the bodice piece to be, I put on a previous hack I had made of the Leila Dress x Leila Slip. You could use any babydoll dress in your wardrobe to figure out the best length for your bodice. Or simply measure from your high point shoulder to a position you would be comfortable with on your body. If you are using a see through fabric like mine cut out the front and back pattern pieces in the main and lining fabrication. On my design, I removed the front placket and created a front opening that was 15cm long which is finished using the bodice lining.

The shortened front & back pattern pieces.

I used the Cortney pleated sleeve pattern and shortened it so that the undersleeve length on the pattern was 21cm. This style would also look super cute with the original longer sleeve of the Cortney Dress but it’s Summer here now in Australia so I was all for the short puffy sleeve.

The short puffy sleeve!

Now for the gathered tier pattern pieces… I used the 3rd Tier pattern piece from the Leila PDF Pattern as a guide. The top tier is the exact height of this pattern piece (25.5cm) but cut the full width of the fabric. You will need to cut 2 of these. The 2nd tier is 6cm longer than the 1st (31.5cm) and cut the full width of the fabric. You will need to cut 3 of these. If you need lining, it was cut 50cm long and the full width of the lining fabric. You will need to cut 2 of these.

All that gathered volume in the skirt.

The final pattern piece to cut is the neck bind / tie. To work out the length of the tie I measured the collar from the Cortney pattern and added on 25cm for the tie. This piece must be cut on the bias, will be 3.5cm wide and you will need 2.

The neck finish and tie.

Now time to sew…..

  • Sew the front and back main pieces together at the shoulders and side seams. Press open.
  • Sew the front and back lining pieces together at the shoulders and side seams. Press open.
  • Create the front opening by placing the front main and front lining pieces right side together. Stitch from the neck edge down and around the front opening and back up to the neck edge. Snip into the lower corners so they turn out nicely. Press.
  • Stay stitch the main and lining neck edge together. Gather neck edge between the notches to fit the neck bind. Make sure you note on the neck bind where the collar would have ended and gather the neck edge to fit this.
  • To sew on the neck bind, firstly stitch the right side of the bind to the wrong side of the neck edge using an 8mm seam allowance. Fold and iron the bind over to the right side before stitching it down using a little edge stitch.
  • Continue stitching to finish of the neck ties. Simply fold the ends of the bind in to finish them off.
The bodice….

Prepare your sleeves…

  • Fold and stay stitch the pleats into the sleeve head as per the pattern instructions.
  • Sew the undersleeve seam of the sleeve. I did this using a french seam as I could not find a good overlocking thread match and wanted the finish of this dress to be beautiful.
  • Create the channel at the sleeve hem for the elastic ensuring you leave a gap to insert the elastic.
  • Cut 2 pieces of elastic a good length to fit on your arm where you would like the sleeve to sit.
  • Insert the elastic into the sleeve hem, stitch the ends of the elastic together being careful not to twist and close off the gap in the sleeve hem.

Insert your sleeve…

My sleeve is not lined but has been bagged out using the bodice main and bodice lining. Again as I didn’t want to have any visible overlocking on this garment. You can insert your sleeve with the lining and bodice pieces together and overlock to finish. If you are going to bag out the sleeve please see below.

  • With right sides together, sew the sleeve to the main bodice.
  • Next attached the lining. This is tricky and you have to do one side at a time from the underarm up to the shoulder and then pull if back through before doing the second side. I always pin a small section on how I want it to look finished, so the right side of the lining to the wrong side of the sleeve.
  • Snip into the underarm circle as the sleeve seam will have to sit into the bodice if it is lined.
The finished sleeve.

The skirt…

Again, I have done my skirt using all french seams so there is no visible overlocking. You can make your life so much easier using a normal seaming method.

  • Sew the top tier skirt panels together at the side seam.
  • Add 2 rows of gather stitch to the top edge of the first tier (I did this in 2 sections). Pull gathers to fit the outer main bodice. Pin and stitch in place.
  • Sew the 2nd tier skirt panels together. There will be 3 seams in total.
  • Add 2 rows of gather stitch to the top edge of the 2nd tier (I did this in 3 sections). Divide the top tier into 3 with CB being one of the points. Line up the seams of the 3rd tier with these points and pull gathers to fit the 1st tier. Pin and stitch in place.
  • Sew the side seam of the skirt lining together.
  • Add 2 rows of gather stitch to the top edge of the skirt lining (I did this in 2 sections). Pull gathers to fit the lining bodice. Pin and stitch in place.
  • Pull out all gather stitching.

The finishing touches…

  • Sew an 8mm double turn hem on the skirt lining.
  • Sew an 8mm double turn hem on the main skirt.
  • Join the bodice lining to the main bodice at the side seams by tacking the waist seam together on the inside. This will hold everything in place.

The finished inside of the garment.

I really love how this hack has come together. Some thoughts for next time… Maybe I will size down 2 full sizes on the bodice and sleeve to pull the waist in a little bit more but also making sure it will still go on over my head. Other than that I am so happy with my new dress. I love that I can tie the neck tie for a more modest look or leave it open for a casual summer look.

The End!

To celebrate the mixing of Marsha Style Patterns you can create your own pattern bundles. Buy 2 Marsha Style Patterns and get a 3rd pattern for free using 3FOR2. Promotion is available until the end of December 2021 and only available on the Marsha Style Website and not on Etsy or through 3rd party suppliers.


I am so excited to welcome Becky from @bespoke.blanche as a guest blogger to share her stunning Sia x Leila hack. Photo credits for images on Becky go to @nicoleashley. Credits for images on dress form go to Becky.

To create my Sia x Leila hack I used the Sia LINED Bodice and UNLINED Skirt along with the Leila Sleeve pattern.

MATERIALS (in addition to what is already required in the pattern)

  • For a size 6, I used a full 10 meters of fabric.  This will vary based on how full you want the gathered skirt to be, and how long you want the ruffle tier train to be
  • 4 cm wide elastic, about 6 cm length (if you want to replace the zipper)


Follow instructions as per the pattern for steps 1-12!  Easy! 🙂


Follow instructions as per the pattern for steps 13-15!

STEP 16: Instead of finishing the sleeve hem, here is where you will need the LEILA pattern.  Take Pattern piece 10 (SLEEVE FRILL) in the same size as the SIA dress you are working with and cut out 1 pair on the fold.  For a basic bell shape, consistent in diameter all the way around, cut out exactly as per the pattern piece.  In my hack, I opted for a more dramatic of a bell, so I extended the pattern piece as follows. This will create a bell shape with a longer edge on the back.

Updated Sleeve Pattern

Change your stitch length to 5 and stitch 2 rows of gather stitch at the top of the sleeve frill. Change your stitch length back to its normal setting. On my machine it is 2.3. Pull gathers evenly to the bottom of the sleeve. With right sides together, pin and stitch in place using a 1cm (3/8”) SA. Overlock or finish seam using your desired method. Press seam up toward the sleeve.

STEP 17:  With right sides together sew the under sleeve seam together using a 1cm (3/8”) SA. Overlock or finish seam with your desired method and press to the back.

STEP 18: Finish the sleeve hem with an 8mm double turn finish. Tip: To sew your double turn hem press your first turn at 8mm and then fold your second turn while sewing at the machine.


Since we are doing a gathered skirt, you will not need to make the darts.  Therefore, smooth over the indents/extrudes as you cut your fabric so you have a consistent line along the top of the skirt.  You can also cut the back skirt on the fold (instead of a pair) to reduce the number of seams. 

Gathered skirts require additional fabric.  How much is dependent on how full you want your skirt to be.  My version was extremely full, so in addition to the front skirt pair (which stay as is because of the pockets), and the back cut on fold, I cut an additional 3 back pieces on the fold. 

IMPORTANT!  Before you gather the skirt, take note of the total width of your skirt. You will need to DOUBLE this width for the ruffle tier.

Follow instructions as per the pattern for steps 1-2 (for pockets)

Skip Step 3 (no darts necessary)

Follow instructions as per the pattern for steps 4-5 (front skirt placket)

Follow instructions as per the pattern for step 6 (sew side seam edges together). 

Skip Step 7 (no side seam split in this version)

Before you attach the skirt to the bodice we will gather the skirt.  Remember to take note of the total width of your skirt.  In the next step, we will cut the ruffle tier and will need to DOUBLE the width of the skirt. 

To gather the skirt, divide your skirt into quarters.  Turn your stitch length to 5 and sew two rows of gather stitching around each quarter of the skirt.  Pull gathers evenly and follow the instructions to attach the skirt to the LINED bodice (This is Step 8). Pull out gather stitching if they are visible. 

Hem the skirt using a double turn 6mm (1/4”) hem. TIP: Press and pin in place before sewing.


For the width, you will need to DOUBLE the width of your skirt.  (I cut 2 front skirts, and 4 back skirts on the fold) so I cut the equivalent of 4 front skirts (or 2 on the fold to reduce seams), and 8 back skirts on the fold for the ruffle tier. 

For the length, this will depend how long you want it to be (and how much fabric you have left). The ruffle tiers equivalent to the front skirt (2 on the fold) I cut at around 40cm.  This was the perfect length to hit right at the floor.  The longest tier was about 65cm so I cut 4 of the ruffle tiers at that length and the last 4 somewhere in between 40 and 65. 

Now it is time to sew them all together, except the two ends that will match with the front false placket.  Individually overlock or finish the side seam edges of the ruffle tier using your desired method. Finish the front false placket on the ruffle tier by turning and pressing the CF edge 1cm (3/8”) to the wrong side. Then 2cm (3/4”) again to the wrong side of the garment. Pin in place, change your stitch length to 3mm and then sew down 2mm from edge of fold.

Once it is all sewn together, fold your tier in half, and then half again, and then half again.  Take a ruler and make a line from the shortest ruffle to the longest ruffle and cut the ends to make the train gradual. 

Before you gather, hem the skirt on the top AND the bottom by using a double turn 6mm (1/4”) hem. TIP: Press and pin in place before sewing.

To gather the ruffle, divide into quarters.  Turn your stitch length to 5 and sew two rows of gather stitching around each quarter of the skirt.  Pull gathers evenly on the ruffle tier to match the width of the skirt.

Place the ruffle tier on the skirt, with the wrong side of the ruffle tier touching the right side of the skirt. Align the gathering stitches of the ruffle tier with the hem stitches on the skirt. You want the ruffle tier to overlap the skirt by 6mm (1/4”). Use a lot of pins to ensure the ruffle tier is evenly distributed on the dress. Sew to attach, using the gathering stitches as a guide, with a 1.3 cm (1/2”) seam allowance. Remove the basting stitches.


I opted for a back neck-tie instead of a zipper.  To accomplish this, I cut two strips of fabric about 4 cm wide by 35 cm long for the ties.  To make a simple thin tie, fold it in half lengthwise wrong sides together and press to create a crease. Unfold, and then fold in one of the short sides about 5mm to create a finished edge and then press the two sides to meet in the middle crease.  Fold again and sew as close to edge as you can.  Repeat for the other tie. 

Place the raw end of the tie on the top of the bodice, right sides together and sew close to the edge.  Repeat on the other side.

Where the back bodice meets the skirt, you may need to insert a length of elastic (I used about 6cm) to allow the dress to be pulled over your head/shoulders. You can create a casing from scrap material or use a piece of elastic that is designed to be exposed. I created a casing, attached it to the skirt/back bodice, slipped the elastic in and closed the casing.

Once the elastic is in, turn in the back raw edges 8mm all the way down to create a clean finish and topstitch.

Give your dress a press and your SIA hack is now complete!

To celebrate the cross use of Marsha Style Patterns you can create you own pattern bundles. Buy 2 PDF patterns and get a 3rd one for free using the code 3FOR2 at checkout.

The Cortney Dress Review by @ohsewfearless

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!

The Cortney Dress Pattern

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 🙂

My 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!

Marsha Style!

Looking for more on the Cortney Dress?

– Cortney Dress on Instagram

Buy the Cortney Dress

To celebrate the launch of the Cortney Top & Dress PDF pattern you can use the coupon code CORTNEY20 to get 20% of the Cortney Top & Dress PDF until midnight Sunday 7th November 2021 Australian EST. Coupon can only be used on the Marsha Style website & Etsy Store and not through 3rd party websites.