28 September 2022

Ten Design Ideas for Marnie

Tilly and the Buttons - Ten Design Ideas for Marnie

You've seen our Marnie sewing inspiration and fabric picks, you've learned all about how to get a great fit and you've even seen how to sew those striking tucks... well, now it's time to make Marnie your own!

Tilly and the Buttons Marnie Sewing Pattern cover

We love a pattern hack here at Tilly and the Buttons and our latest sewing pattern Marnie has had our heads buzzing with ideas for weeks! We quickly realised there are sooo many small tweaks you can make to your pattern that will make it even more unique, so we've compiled them into a blog post for you! 

Here's how to make Marnie your own…

Tilly and the Buttons - Ten Design Ideas for Marnie - Embellishments

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1. Attach a playful pompom trim or pretty crocheted lace trim to the ruffle edges. The hemmed edge of the ruffle is cut straight, so it’s easy to stitch on a trim – yay!

2. Hand-embroider a pretty design on the front yoke and/or sleeves. Need some inspiration? Don't miss Tilly's embroidered Indigo dress

Tilly and the Buttons - Ten Design Ideas for Marnie - tulle and tie neck

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3. Make it in tulle to create drama with the sheerness and volume! To keep your seams as neat as possible (as they will be visible through the sheer fabric), sew with French seams.

4. Move the opening from the back yoke to the front, replacing the button loop with narrow ties. To do this, take 1cm (3/8in) off the centre back of the back yoke and cut on this piece on the fold, and add 1cm (3/8in) to the centre front of the front yoke and cut this piece twice, not on the fold. Finish the front opening following the instructions for the back opening, and attach narrow ties at the top.

Tilly and the Buttons - Ten Design Ideas for Marnie - sleeve options
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5. Make a short sleeve version by simply leaving off the lower sleeves and hemming the upper sleeves to your preferred length. Or opt for a trendy puff sleeve using our Indigo add-on pattern.

6. Go sleeveless by, of course, leaving off the sleeves. You’ll also need to trim around 2cm (3/4in) off the top of the armholes at the shoulders to get them to sit in the right place, and finish the armholes with bias binding as you did for the neckline.

Sewing the Marnie tucks - hands at the sewing machine

7. Sew the tucks, but don’t undulate them – leave them as horizontal narrow tucks. If you want some extra help sewing the tucks, don't miss our helpful tutorial on how to sew tucks.

Tilly and the Buttons - Ten Design Ideas for Marnie - skirt tiers

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8. Make the dress extra swishy by playing with skirt tiers. If you're pro-ruffles, try adding a ruffle to the hem or in between skirt tiers - it's such a fun touch!

Tilly and the Buttons - Ten Design Ideas for Marnie

9. Play around with directional prints, cutting stripes (or floral vine-style designs such as this) on the crosswise grain for some of the pieces so some stripes run horizontally and others vertically. Or try cutting gingham on the bias for the yokes so the print runs diagonally like we did for one of our samples.

10. Use up fabric scraps to make a patchwork Marnie, with different colours, prints or shades of the same colour on the pattern pieces. Here's a peek at Tilly's mix-and-match Liberty Marnie blouse, using a selection of colourways of the same print - swoon!


With so many to choose from, which Marnie hack will you try first?