My friend Kay wanted to make a dress. She has not sewn in many years and so i offered to help her. The catch was she had to come to my house and use my machine and learn to cut with a rota cutter. She settled on a skirt pattern from Simplicity that was for beginners with excellent print instructions http://www.simplicity.com/p-5383-misses-skirts.aspx. We are almost finished. It was so much fun and a wonderful chance for me to review how it should be done, especially that zipper. I always use elastic for the waist. Kay happens to fit the pattern perfectly so no alterations. Here it is with just the hem to be finished.