How to Add Ruffles to the Fable Dress

Would you like to fancy up your Fable dress a wee bit?  Ruffles are a sweet, simple addition to the Children's Fable Dress that take it from every day play to special occasion.  Here are step-by-step instructions for adding ruffles, as well as some beautiful, ruffly inspiration.  

When preparing your materials to sew the Ruffle Bodice Fable Dress, be sure to use the panelled front pattern pieces.  

Cut bodice pieces as follows:

  • Cut 2 mirrored Optional Centre Front Panel pieces
  • Cut 2 mirrored Optional Side Panel pieces

For the ruffles:

If making the Lined Version, you may choose to use either the regular front piece, or the panelled pieces for the lining - both will work.  


1. Ensure you have finished all four raw edges of each ruffle piece using an overlocker/serger or a zig-zag stitch.

 Adding Ruffles to Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

2. Press each ruffle in half, wrong sides together, with the long edges touching.

Sew two rows of gathering stitches within the 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance on the long doubled edges, as shown by the dotted lines in the photo. Use your longest machine stitch without backstitching, leaving long thread tails at each end.

Adding Ruffles to Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

3. Begin gathering the ruffle by holding the bobbin threads and pulling gently, pushing the fabric along the threads...

 Adding Ruffles to Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

4. ...until the gathers are the same length as the long straight edge of the bodice front piece.

 Adding Ruffles to Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

5. Lay the gathered edge of the ruffle against the longest edge of a bodice front piece, right sides together. Distributing the gathers evenly, pin the ruffle in place.

If you wish, baste 1/4” (6mm) from the edge and remove the pins.

 Adding Ruffles to Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

6. Place the corresponding side bodice piece right side down over the ruffled edge, aligning notches. The ruffles should be sandwiched between the two bodice pieces, which should be right sides together.

Pin in place, and sew all three layers together with a 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance, as shown by the dotted line in the photo.

 Adding Ruffles to Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

7. Press the seam allowance towards the neck edge. Repeat all the previous steps for the other side of the bodice.

 Adding Ruffles to Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

Continue on from the regular instructions at this point, assembling the bodice as described in the Fable tutorial.

Ruffle Inspiration

Our Fable Dress testers made such sweet ruffled dresses that we couldn't resist sharing a bit of inspiration! 

We love how this version uses a contrast floral fabric on the back of the ruffle - it's a sweet and subtle detail.  

When designing new patterns, we strive for versatility, so are pleased that the Fable works well for all seasons.  Here are some examples of long-sleeved ruffle Fables that would be perfect for cooler weather.  

Fable Dress Sewing Pattern by Twig + Tale

And here are some examples of cheerful summer dresses with colourful contrast ruffles:

We hope you have fun playing with the ruffle option for the Children's Fable Dress.  

Please feel free to join us at the Twig + Tale Facebook group where you can ask questions, look for inspiration, and of course share photos of your creations.  You can also find us on Instagram - be sure to tag your projects #TTfabledress or #twigandtale so that we can find you too!

Read more about the Fable Dress here:

~ Lovely Images by Estelle Idée, Bregje Spijkers-Jansen, Aaliyah Johnson, Tori Priest, Jacqueline Rowan, Jay Dubb, Sharon Aguilar, and Kwan Poh Teing ~