Well, I did it!
Christmas party cocktail dress:
So, its the bodice for Style 1157, with a pleated skirt instead of flared. I pleated the midriff section (I ironed it into pleats onto fusible interfacing and then cut out the piece. Worked really well, and added some extra form to the midriff, which had a habit of sagging.
I also added ruffles around the neck and pleats on the arms. I liked the way the different textures worked with the fabric, which was a kind of shot taffeta, with hot pink warp and black weft, ending up this lovely festive dark pink. It was lovely to sew with, but creased up really easily!
I sewed the bodice halves to the skirt front and back panels, then sewed the side seams. Most of my dresses have side zips, but I think I'm converted- this made any last minute fitting adjustments a breeze!
I think the only thing I would change is to make the "straps" slightly narrower at the back, and lower the back further ( and maybe see if that centre seam is really wonky or if its just how I'm stood?!)
The invisible zipper worked pretty well for my second attempt at one, though I need to get they stitching closer to the teeth without going through the teeth! (which may or may not have happened with this one)
Pattern: $5 (third time used but fanciest dress)
Fabric: $25 (on sale but still fairly expensive)
$32.50? I'll take that.