Before I start I feel I should just mention that the face in the majority of these pictures is not a reflection of the Child's feelings about this dress, more a reaction to being told to stop pulling funny faces so I could get a decent picture! Oops, next time I guess I just take a photo of the funny face, except that she feels that to pull an adequately funny face she must also be standing in an equally ridiculous pose!
So the dress is the Louisa Dress by Compagnie-M. I have recently made two other Compagnie-M dresses, the Mara Blouse and the Lotta Dress so this one completes the trilogy, and it was this pattern I really wanted when I bought the other two. There are a lot of amazing versions of this dress around and Zoe has recently made one in the same fabric for her beautiful little girl. I have to say though that I am not 100% happy with this dress but I think it is mostly down to me not reading the instructions properly when I was making it.
I chose not to line the dress, as suggested, but instead finished the neck with bias binding which I made from the plain fabric used in the dress. This was quite a stiff fabric and the binding does not lie completely flat and causes the neck to stick up a bit. This is actually where my main disappointment with the dress lies as I know I could do better. At some point I will take this off and add a lining. My reason for not doing so before was I hadn't read the instructions before making the dress so didn't realise I needed a lining and didn't have anything suitable in my stash. Lesson learnt!
My other issue with the dress is the pocket. As far as I can make out (I may have misread the instructions) this is just fastened using the buttons, which does not seem very secure to me. In fact, one of the buttons fell off on the dress' first outing at a birthday party. I had warned her not to walk around with her hands in the pocket but what are pockets for if not to put hands in?! I will put a line of stitching across the top of the pocket to secure it in future.
The fabric used for this dress is from the Small World line by Rae Hoekstra which I bought from The Village Haberdashery in May with this dress in mind. I should really start buying more than 1m pieces for the Child now because although you can get quite a lot out of 1m, it isn't really enough for a dress anymore! The contrast blue fabric came as a lovely present from Marilla and, as I said, is fairly stiff but works well with this a-line silhouette. The Husband, Child and I all had a discussion (I think I talked and they nodded!) about what colour piping to do and "we" decided on orange. There are so many colours in this beautiful fabric to choose from but I liked the orange and royal blue together. I used a yellow lapped zip in the back because that was what I had. The colour shows through a bit but I like it.
On the whole I like this dress. I made a size 5 for my smallish 5 and a half year old and it fits with room for growth. (I like to get 2 year's wear out of clothes so I can spend more time sewing for me!) I love the shape of the dress, the pocket and the piping and, like Zoe says, the possibilities for contrast fabrics. I am not so happy with my level of finish on the dress which is obviously something I can change. Having now sewn with all three of the Compagnie-M patterns that I bought I am surprised to find that this one is not my favourite and that the Lotta dress is. I will probably make this again at some point, maybe when the adult version comes out and we can have matching dresses!