introducing the fairy tale dress sewing pattern

One of the things I like best about the new Fairy Tale Dress pattern is that you can  take it in so, so many directions.

If you’re going to sew this dress for a special little girl, chances are that you’re going to want to start by doing what we’ve done with our samples–take  it to full-on, fancy party mode. We figured we had to do this because we called it the Fairy Tale Dress and every little girl I know wants to be a fairy tale princess. But you can also simplify this dress and make it for everyday wear. It could even take on a vintage look if you use printed cottons. I’m thinking 1930’s feedsacks, or 1950’s retro prints, yes?

But before we head in that direction, let’s have some fun by getting all fancy with it.


Fairy Tale Dress


This is our ultimate dress. We designed it specifically for special occasions with two different views included in the pattern. View A  is sleeveless and features a squared-off Peter Pan color and a big bow at the back.


Fairy Tale Dress


View B is a tulip-sleeve version with a classic Peter Pan collar and a dainty waist and bow detail.


Fairy Tale Dress


The tulip sleeve is one of our favorite details in this view.


Fairy Tale Dress


Both versions are fully lined, include an invisible zipper, and even have a crinoline skirt to give the skirt a little extra fullness. Of course, you can eliminate the crinoline if you’re making this dress for everyday use, but if you choose to include it we’ve slipped it in between the dress fabric and the lining so it won’t irritate or scratch the way crinolines sometimes do. Of course we’ll guide you through the invisible zipper and even show you exactly what to do at the top and bottom of the zipper so you get a really professional result. Sometimes it’s those little finishing details that make all the difference in the end, and it’s nice when you don’t have to guess at these steps, isn’t it?

This dress is designed for anything from basic quilting cottons to super-fancy fabrics like silks. You’ll want something very lightweight like voile or lawn for the lining, and if you’re making the crinoline you’ll also need a little tulle. For S’s version of the dress, we changed things up quite a bit, eliminating the collar and bow from View A to show off this spectacular eyelet I found in the garment district (and purchased with the intent of making something for myself, wouldn’t you know it).


Fairy Tale Dress


This pattern is rated three scissors in difficulty. It’s a more time-consuming pattern because of all the wonderful details, and we strongly recommend making a bodice muslin because the style is more fitted than our other styles. We want you to be happy with the end result, so take your time with this one and I think you’ll be amazed at the end result.

I’ve seen dresses like this in boutiques with some giant price tags attached. Find yourself a gorgeous fabric and have fun with this one! People won’t believe it when you tell them you made it yourself.




  1. Will this be coming out as a pdf as well?

    1. We’ll be talking about that later this week.

  2. I am ABSOLUTELY in love with this dress, Liesl. Your vision and foresight amaze me. I can not wait to try this pattern 🙂

  3. Tamara

    I absolutely adore the tulip sleeve! Such a classic style of dress.

  4. iheartsewing

    I LOVE the solid peach version…What kind of fabric was used? ( I want to be ready with fabric when the pattern is released) Thank you… I love, love, love all your patterns!

  5. Actually, my little girl (age 4) does not want to be a fairy tale princess. At all. She actively resists this stereotype! She refuses to wear dresses at all and does not like pink, or even purple. I realize she is in the minority in this respect. I do love your patterns (I’ve made two messenger bags from your book and I have plans for many more projects) and I appreciate that many of the dress patterns have a tunic/long shirt version for girls who don’t wear dresses or skirts!

  6. This dress was sold to me as soon as I saw the preview.
    It’s a perfect timeless and truly a classic style for girls.
    Of course, now I can’t wait to sew it. You manage to incorporate so many amazing details in both versions (and an additional informal version): tulip sleeves, peter pan colllar, waist bow and, my favorite, the most amazing back bow in pattern sewing history. It’s absolutely adorable and if everything else fails, I know I will be happy with that feature alone 🙂

  7. Jennifer McCann

    Ok, love the simplified eyelet version. Adore the perfect perfect perfect tulip sleeves.

    Maybe this isn’t too dressy, as I first feared. 🙂

  8. Caroline

    Liesl, you’ve done it again! this is BEAUTIFUL and I have to find some time to make this for my daughter! Hope you come teach another class at Cloth & Bobbin soon.

  9. Elinor Dashwood

    What is the price? My little girl is too old for this now, but I have goddaughters who would like it.

    1. Elinor, the price will be our standard $15.95.

  10. I love it. However, until I can buy it as a pdf pattern I won’t purchase. I just have no more room for patterns, but my computer loves them. I love the fabric too.

    1. Jeannine, stay tuned for an announcement on that later this week.

  11. Jodie Hickman

    I can not wait to get my hands on this pattern. It is such a classic with extra! Is the yellow/peachy dress a linen blend?

  12. I used to sew a lot of dresses for our girls when they were little. They would have loved these dresses!

  13. tsia


  14. I love love love this. I see a special Christmas dress in my girlie’s future…

  15. darci

    When will yardage requirements be available?

  16. Virginia

    I love this dress especially the tulip sleeves. I can’t wait to make it for my daughter. Fingers crossed for a PDF pattern so I don’t have to wait to come to aus from America.

  17. Asmita

    This is what we need! Thank you!

  18. Vanessa

    Wow!! Squeeeee!!! I can’t wait to purchase this. And my little girl is only 11 months, so I hope there will be a size for her! Ooh, can’t wait! Please put an update on the blog as soon as it is for sale. Loving the boys pattern too, my little guy is getting some cool pants for certain!

  19. Alice

    beautiful! may i ask what is the age of this pattern? thx!

  20. I can seriously see this one as my girls’ Christmas dress this year! Might stick different sleeves on it, though… do a bit of frankenpatterning to get long sleeves with cuffs and do some ******ting on the cuffs and collar. Maybe pop a pinafore over the top for pictures out of white eyelet with galloon embroidery on it.

  21. Gina

    My own little Liesl (now 2) will be wearing one of these as soon as possible! So sweet!

  22. I could not love this dress more….it is so perfect in so many ways. Can’t wait to own the pattern!

  23. Like the previous comment says, I could not love this dress more! I know instantly that it is going to be the dress I make for my daughter for Christmas. Now to decide which version…Hmm… Maybe she needs one of each! Thank you for creating a timeless and gorgeous ‘dressy’ dress!

  24. Is there no end to the ridiculously cuteness! I cannot wait to get my hands on this one. Very. well. done. And thanks!

  25. mel

    Mike, I have to say, I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with this for your ridiculously cute daughter!

  26. Nicole

    Todd, can you provide us with a bow tying tutorial?

    1. Sure, first you make a loop, the you go around, then you make another loop. Then pull tight. Easy, right? If you want more detail, with visuals, search You Tube for “Bow Tutorial by anyone other than Todd.” That should get you some real good advice.

  27. I think we should have Todd do a Creative Bug bow-tying video, don’t you? He describes it so clearly!

  28. What a lovely dress! I am ready to purchase that pattern (not pdf), but before I do, I am wondering if this pattern is available in a book, or just on its own. If it exists in a book, I’d love to purchase that. But if its only sold alone, I’ll get that. I need a size 7 and 5. Thanks for your help!

  29. I really like the sleeveless version of this dress with the squared off collar. It’s nice to see such a versatile pattern. Although you call it a special occasion pattern, I think many people would get a lot of use out of it! Now to decide if I get the larger size and pinch the collar for my own dresses or get the smaller size to make gifts for friends. I love O&S patterns, but haven’t been this excited about one since playdate and puppet show.

  30. Tracey

    Is there a way to “clean finish” the sleeves? I’ve made this twice and want to make another version (the beauty of multi-size patterns) as my granddaughter grows but I would like to have the seam allowance for the sleeves inside the lining somehow. Is there a way to do this? Thanks very much!

Post a comment