My little mini Mee has a lot of influence over my sewing – from selecting patterns, choosing fabrics and frankly, dictating when and how much I get to sew. I generally try and “steer” her in specific directions, but once in a while she surprises me by picking something well outside of my normal sewing realm. This Larkin Dress by Create Kids Couture was one of those adventures.
It has been a long time since I’ve made a pattern by Create Kids Couture (CKC). When Mee was little they were a staple in her wardrobe. I used to love dressing her up in over-the-top ruffles and fluff. It was before my love affair with knit fabrics and most of my sewing revolved around quilting cottons. Over time I stopped being enamoured with their patterns and migrated onto a much wider range of independent designers. However, when the Larkin popped into my feed one day, I bought it on a whim, along with a few other CKC patterns while taking advantage of a sale.
I was…surprised when Mee chose this pattern, along with the very girly unicorn fabric from my stash, as part of her back-to-school clothes. But, there it was in the pile she’d selected along with a couple of cardigans, some jeggings and the usual hoodies. I asked her where she would wear such a fancy dress and she merely shrugged “I’ll figure something out”.
The Larkin has several options ranging from a fairly simple version minus the tiered ruffle skirt and the overskirt right through to this version – the party dress – with multiple skirt layers, extra ruffles on the bodice and ALL the trimmings. This is truly a dress for a little girl’s fancy dress party.
The Larkin is what I (not so affectionately) call a “squares and rectangles” pattern. There is only one pattern piece in the PDF – the bodice front. Every other piece in this dress is a rectangle of fabric defined by it’s measurements. I’m not a huge fan of this kind of pattern – mostly because I don’t like measuring all those rectangles (and there are endless rectangles in this version) – but also because I sometimes find that fitting them together is a bit like putting a square peg in a round hole.
There are no closures on this dress – instead fit relies on a series of elastic channels in the back which come together like a shirred top. Despite my misgivings the dress came together well and it is a beautiful, twirling, whirling blur of ruffles when she spins. The final attachment of the underskirt, overskirt and bodice at the waist gave my serger a complete workout but it persevered to deliver.
It fits her well though there is a tiny bit of gape in the front bodice under the straps. I think this dress would pair well with a t-shirt underneath in colder weather.
Most importantly, she loves it and is plotting occasions on which it will be appropriate to wear it. Personally, I think this would be lovely for a piano recital or any event which requires something a little “extra special”.
With this success, I will likely venture into a few more of the CKC patterns lurking in my ever growing pattern collection – perhaps I will try one of their knit patterns next!