CORTNEY X LEILA HACK BY MARSHA STYLE

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.

MEET THE CORTNEY TOP & DRESS PDF PATTERN

I first started working on the Cortney Top & Dress PDF pattern late 2020. So this pattern has been in the works for a while. I am so excited to finally have it out into the big wide world! P.S. There is a little gift for my blog readers at the end of the post to celebrate the launch of this pattern.

Cortney in her Cortney Top

The Cortney Top and Dress has all that puff sleeve goodness that we are loving right now. This pattern is named after the gorgeous Cortney aka @s.is.for.sew. She is a sewer that I have always admired in the online sewing community. This is my way of saying a huge thank you to her for catapulting the reach of my brand during the launch of the Sia Dress. And her ongoing support since the launch of my first pattern. I am very grateful!

Lots of puffed sleeve goodness

The pattern comes with two sleeve options, one that has pleats at the sleeve head and the 2nd with no pleats or gathers at the sleeve head. The sleeve is designed to be off shoulder and may require an adjustment if you prefer your sleeve to sit on the shoulder. The sleeve opening is voluminous and finished with an elastic casing. The neck finish features a mandarin collar and a wide, long front placket that can be worn button closed or open to create a deep V.

Cortney Top with Slv A & unbuttoned placket

Both the top and dress are oversized and voluminous. It is recommended to check the finished measurement chart when deciding on what size to make incase you prefer a neater fit. The top can be worn out or tucked in. The dress can be cinched in at the waist with a waist tie if desired. And of course there are pockets.

See how it sits slightly off shoulder

The pattern has been drafted for a height of 170cm ( 5’7”). The top and dress can be shortened or lengthened at the hem according to your height. Given it’s easy fit this style can be comfortably worn by bust size A through to G.

This is an intermediate pattern with the following sewing skills used.

• front placket construction
• under stitching
• pleating
• double turn hem
• buttonhole

I have personally sewn about 9 alliterations of this design in fabrics including linen, cotton, viscose and cotton/linen blend. This top and dress is suitable for mid weight, woven fabrics like linen, cotton, tencil, viscose, rayon or poplin. Or you can create a softer shell using lightweight versions of the above.

This version is made using a cotton ikat

Below is the Marsha Style size chart with all sizes included in this pattern. This pattern also comes in the layers format so you can print only the sizes you need.

The fabric yield can be reduced if you cut the sleeve pattern on the cross grain for size 8 and above. The sleeve pattern is BIG!

There are many pattern hack options to be explored for this pattern. You could lengthen the dress and add side seam slips to create a midi dress. You could shorten the top and add a gathered tier to create a baby doll dress. Or you could shorten the top and add several tier to create a voluminous midi or maxi dress. The first hack I will be making is using the bodice and sleeve of the Cortney Pattern and adding several tiers to create a boho style dress.

We love pockets!

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 my website & Etsy Store and not through 3rd party websites.