Another of our most favorite patterns is the Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations. It is a great basic dress in itself that is perfect for beginners. The instructions and pictures are very clear and understandable and I really don't think you could fail. My students even sewed this dress and all of them installed their first zipper!
You can see on that last picture how I customized the pattern a bit for my daughter's Christmas dress. I used an overlay of mesh fabric and added some gathered sleeves into the cap sleeves.
Don't miss out on this great pattern!