I bought this fabric last year for myself (for a dress? I don't remember now) and I thought it would make such a nice spring dress for the 8 year old. She's not so into florals and has kind of a junior Kate Spade style, which I adore. We were also inspired by these sweet retro-style dresses at Mini Boden. She had strong feelings about adding a red ribbon sash (grosgrain ribbon, specifically) and then she modeled it beautifully, despite it being freezing in the house. Then the heater went on and she had to race to get over the vent to create the Skirt Tent which is a frequent activity in our house.
The red grosgrain ribbon sash detail—big discovery!
For the girls' dresses I usually add sashes that tie. They last so much longer that way, because then I can make them a little loose, so there is room to grow, and they also can tie them tight. They like the look of fitted dresses. I prefer to sew the sashes on, because they get lost being only threaded through loops. However, when I sew sashes I'd get some buckling problems, especially if the ribbon was wide. I noticed on a purchased dress that the ribbon sash wasn't sewn down on the bottom, so there was some give and movement. I copied this detail and am so happy. It lays flat and doesn't pull funny at all. I only sewed it on the top edge of the ribbon until it reaches the side seams, leaving it completely free in the back.
For some extra volume, I lined the skirt in white muslin. Once again I can't say how glad I am I have an entire bolt of white muslin. Every year I wonder if I will use it all and I always do. It's so great to have for test muslins, aprons, linings, small projects, you name it. I buy a bolt at Joann's and use the 40% off coupon so it's crazy cheap. I actually didn't line the bodice for this dress, and I probably should have, but the serger does a pretty good job, so I get lazy sometimes.
I didn't use a pattern for this dress, because it's so basic and so similar to ones they have (I just trace them) but I think the Simplicity 5704 pattern would be similar, along with so many others out there.