1. First cut your pattern pieces. You’ll need a BODICE FRONT (cut on the folded edge), 2 BODICE BACK pieces, NECKLINE LINING (cut 2), 2 SLEEVES (cut along the folded edge), and a big rectangular piece for the skirt (the measurements for the skirt are so individual since it depends on how big you want your pleats as well as your size. So measure and cut accordingly).
2. Sew darts into your BODICE FRONT piece.
3. Sew the BODICE FRONT and two BODICE BACK pieces together at the shoulder seams (with right sides together).
4. Now it’s time to attach the sleeves. Line up the top of the sleeve with the bodice shoulder seam (as shown) with right sides together. Pin in place.
5. Continue pinning the sleeve to the bodice, and then sew along the arm hole with a straight stitch. Repeat for the second sleeve.
6. With right sides together, sew the sides of the bodice up with a straight stitch.
7. Sew the two neckline pieces together to form an “O,” and then attach the NECKLINE LINING to the BODICE neckline with a straight stitch (there’s a more detailed illustration and instruction for this step over here).
8. Tuck the LINING inside the dress, pin in place, and then sew around the entire neckline with a straight stitch to secure the lining in place. Then cut the back of the BODICE open with a nice straight cut.
9. Pleat your skirt to your desired width. My pleats were about 2 1/2 inches wide. Use a basting stitch to hold the pleats in place.
10. Take your pleated skirt (which should just be a big rectangle of fabric that is pleated) and pin it to the bodice with right sides together, as shown. Sew across the entire waistline, attaching the skirt to the bodice.
11. Insert your zipper following the instructions on the package, and then sew up the remaining opening of the dress. Finally, hem the bottom of the dress and the sleeves to your desired length, press all your seams, and you’re done!