I bought this pattern on a whim. The NewLook patterns are always on display racks at Joann's for just a few bucks. This one caught my eye because of the fun floral styling. I couldn't resist and had to make a version of my own.
This is NewLook 0180. It is a very simple dress without darts or princess seams, just pleats around the neckline for shaping. I made the version with the lower pleated neckline and straight skirt. The dress is unlined and closes in the back with a lapped zipper. My first lapped zipper, actually. I got a little confused with the top and bottom of the zipper, but overall I think it turned out pretty well.
Despite its simple shape and construction, I did have some fitting issues with this dress. I made a straight size 8 and ended up with a gaping back neckline. Fortunately, I have been reading sewing blogs for a while now and had read how others have fixed this problem. I took a large triangle out of the center back seam (about an inch and a half on each side going about halfway down the back bodice) and re-inserted the zipper. That seems to have done the trick.
The fabric is a slightly stretchy cotton, also from Joann's, that I love. If they made it in different colors, I would already own it. I bought two yards and have a decent amount of fabric left over. I'm hoping it's enough to make a pencil skirt.
The dress is super comfortable, even after a long day of sitting at my desk. I like the versatility of this dress, and the pattern in general. It is appropriate for work, parties, and maybe even a more casual wedding.
Pattern: NewLook 0180 (the link lists a different pattern number, but the pictures are identical)
Fabric: Floral cotton from Joann's
Cost: 2 yards of fabric @ $10/yard = $20 + $2.50 zipper = $22.50 ($26.50 if you count the cost of the pattern)
Time: Approximately 8 hours