These were the dresses I saw in the store:
For both dresses I used a simple A-line pinafore style pattern, in this case it was the Winter Plaid dress from Ottobre 6/11. I hadn't made this dress before but it looked like a good starting point that I could customise pretty much any way I wished.
I loved how the red dress was such a simple design but with the interesting effect acheived by cutting fabric on the bias. For this one I cut the pattern across just under the armholes, and then down the front of the skirt, to make a bodice and two skirt sections at the front. I cut the skirt sections on the bias and I also cut an extra skirt panel about 3 inches wide for the inside of the pleat. The back of the dress I also split down the middle, and cut those pieces on the bias too.
The dress was supposed to be fully lined and have a zip in the back. I only gave it a half lining and I used a simple single button/tab closure at the back, as I really couldn't have been bothered with a zip!
I decided to make some little hair clips to match the dress as well. They were a big hit!
The navy blue dress inspired me to try something I'd been thinking of for a while. For this dress I kept the pattern pieces as they originally were, but I added a couple of little panels on the front to give the dress a bit of a nautical/military feel to it. I made this one out of some winter-weight navy blue jersey knit and again gave it a half-lining and finished it at the back with a button/tab closure.
I thought about lining it completely, but didn't want it to be too heavy, as I figured Katherine could wear it in the Summer if it still fits her then. For Winter we will just layer it with a little skivvy and tights underneath.
I'm very happy with how these turned out. I can see this Ottobre pattern becoming my go-to pattern for A-line dresses.