I've purchased many patterns over the past few years and sewn zero. Not that I haven't wanted to or didn't intend to. It's that whole "too much to do in too little time". In addition to the purchased patterns, I have clipped pictures of many skirts and dresses I'd like to try to make without a pattern. I've even purchased some fabric - I'm good at the purchasing part! (My husband would agree with that last statement.)
Tonight started on a skirt that is part pattern and part idea from a catalog. It's a skirt that can also be a dress. I intend to wear it as a long skirt while in Africa, and wear it as a dress while in London. I'm big on minimalist packing, so an article of clothing that can double as 2 is a good choice. (I'm currently trying to decide on one, or at the most two, pairs of shoes that will be allowed to trek across the world with me.)
I know a dress/skirt combo sounds strange, but bear with me - it's is actually cuter than you'd think (if I can make it work without a pattern). And it isn't strapless - I'm not really willing to go there, even in London. Tonight I laid out the pattern part of the skirt on a yard of Moda fabric I bought a year ago from a little fabric store in our neighboring town. It was somewhat of a splurge. I like to get good fabric, but I don't like to spend a lot (translated: I buy on sale, with coupons, and out of town). I paid over $10 for this yard of fabric, so for me that was a spurge. Unfortunately this pattern called for 2.5 yards of fabric. I knew I wasn't going to cut out the top of the skirt (that's the part I'm modifying - a different fabric will be used). Even so, getting the few pieces laid out on that one yard of fabric was a challenge. After about 5 tries, I found the right layout. Here it is all ready to cut (I had to cut duplicates of the pattern pieces to make sure they would all fit on the fabric).
And look here for an example of a skirt/dress combo: T9's switch skirt.