I've been on the search for a good basic dress pattern that gives a basic structure and is flexible enough that I can play around with. I think I just found it.
Leslie, from Creative Chicks call this the 'The Perfect Dress' pattern (Simplicity 4927) and created 6 beautiful variations with it.
I love them all! And you can bet that I ordered Simplicity 4927 the same day I saw this post. The possibilities are endless - it really is the best basic pattern to start with. You could add ruffles, appliques, tulle underneath, or whatever you can dream up.
**For the first time, I elected to get this pattern in the downloadable version, where I just print it myself. Mistake! It's 26 pages long and takes quite a bit of work to pieces the pages together to form the patterns. I'll be sticking to traditional paper patterns for now on.