Adding Ruffles to Princess Seams


The “Natalie” dress with an added 1-inch ruffle on the princess seams.

We’re experiencing some fabulous weather here in Alabama this week – sunshine and highs in the 60s – and it has me longing for spring/summer designs and bright/colorful prints. This lovely little sundress, which was originally featured in issue #149 of Sew Beautiful, was designed by Connie Palmer and was made using our popular “Natalie” Sew Beautiful Collection pattern by Janet Gilbert. Connie chose a cheery Liberty of London print (Liberty Classic Tana Lawn Mauvey) for the design and tweaked the pattern to add a 1-inch ruffle on the princess seams. Follow Connie’s instructions below to learn how to add ruffles to princess seams:

What You’ll Need:

  • “Natalie,” a Sew Beautiful Collection Pattern from Martha Pullen Company
  • Fabric (See pattern for yardage plus add extra 1/2 yard for ruffle)
  • Piping
  • Five 1/2-inch buttons for back closure

How to Construct It:

1. Following pattern directions, cut out all pattern pieces.

2. Cut two 1-1/2-inch-wide bias fabric strips. To determine length, double princess seam measurement. These will be used for ruffles down two front seams.

3. With wrong sides together, fold and press strips lengthwise.

4. Sew three rows of basting stitches near raw edges, 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch. Three rows will help keep gathers together.

5. Pull bobbin threads to achieve gathers.

6. Place ruffle on top of bodice/skirt panel and baste into garment.

7. Sew piping onto ruffle.

8. Complete dress following pattern instructions.


The “Natalie” pattern is available in sizes 2-6 and 8-14 in our online store. We also have a great selection of pretty, cheerful fabrics in stock that are perfect for recreating the look of this design, including the new “Wildflower” collection from Riley Blake and the “Stiles Collection” of Liberty Lifestyle Art Fabrics.

Happy Sewing,



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