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.

Shameka top & dress review by deidre johnson.

Welcome to a guest blog review of the Shameka Top & Dress by Deidre Johnson, @sewhotmommi, www.sewhotmommi.com. I have been a massive fan of Deidre’s makes and style since finding the online maker community a few years ago. Deidre has been on the testing team for each pattern I’ve created to date. Full disclosure, this is a paid review and my way of giving a little something back to Deidre for the support of my patterns to date while I further navigate my way towards paid pattern testing.

So without further ado, here is the Shameka Top & Dress review by Deidre.

So honored to be a guest blogger and share about Taree’s latest pattern, the Shameka Top & Dress.

I had the opportunity to test both the Leila Dress and the Sia Dress and both were stellar patterns. Each was well drafted so I expected no less with this latest pattern group. Yep, a group because there are 5 options; a top, a short above-knee dress and a longer length, with a gathered waist option and pockets.

The highlight of the pattern is the unique drop-sleeve treatment. With the fullness generated at the sleeve, I wanted to highlight this feature while keeping it loose and flowy.  I chose this fantastic smokey colored tie-dyed chambray which has a nice drape for a “softer silhouette” that hangs closer to the body.

But you’re not limited to wovens with this pattern because it can be sewn with a knit too!

There are only 5 pattern pieces which means it comes together easily. I cut the pieces in one day and sewed it the next in one evening. It also means that with its simplicity, it is a great opportunity to choose a great print. I don’t wear much tie-dye, but the top lets the fabric shine.

I originally sewed the dress, pockets and all, but out of curiosity, threw it on with a pair of jeans. It was instant love. I’ve pivoted and it’s going to get a ton of wear this summer as a quick and easy style.

Thanks to Taree for inviting me to share my thoughts. She’s one of the sweetest pattern designers in the indie pattern community and exceptionally talented as well!