You guys, I found it! After looking really hard and dabbling with different ones, I finally found the perfect dress pattern for little girls!!! The Louisa dress is perfect for so many reasons, not least because it has multiple cute versions (with different back, sleeve and side options), can be fully or partially lined, and covers ages 1 to 10. You could literally make 10 dresses for the same little girl throughout the years and they'd all look so different!
For my version of Louisa I used some chambray and lightweight cotton from my stash, and I also decided to give piping a go for the first time ever. I might be biased, but I think the end result is super cute. In fact, I'd love an identical one in my size!
I think I traced out the wrong sleeve size though, as I ended up having to put a pleat in each one. It's no biggie though as the pleats look pretty sweet. What I would say though is that I found setting in and hemming the sleeves tricky on such a small scale. Next time I think I'll try hemming and setting the sleeves in flat.
My Louisa will mostly be worn during the summer, so I opted for partial bodice lining, but the excellent instructions take you through fully lining the dress for colder weather.
The Compagnie M. pattern is drafted beautifully and it fits the 3-year old madam I made it for perfectly. My one piece of advice would be against getting the PDF version, simply because you'll spend an eternity tracing. The pattern has quite a lot of pieces and if you plan on making different versions for different ages, you'll regret it. I know I'll be using this pattern a lot, so I'm definitely going to invest in the paper pattern asap, and while I'm at it I think I'll snap up the gorgeous Lotta dress too!
Edit: The paper pattern is also overlapped sadly...so there's no getting away from tracing!
I'm so pleased I discovered Compagnie M. patterns, they seem to be a class above other kids' patterns and I'm a huge fan of their modern take on vintage styles. What do you think?