I've got a case of Costume ADD! My squirrely brain has landed on this "quick and easy" 1912 daytime tea dress. I thought I would just throw it together...ha...haha...HAHAHA.
I started with draping a pattern, which looked pretty darn good:
I was so confident, I went for it with the dress, only to discover that my pattern sucked (of course!) all around the sleeves and armscyes. I perpetually have problems with this - when will I finally figure it out!?
Feeling rather lame, I fell back to safety, and altered a modern Simplicity blouse pattern, which has actually worked out just fine. All I did was slash-n-spread a few inches at the waist (keeping the shoulder the same), raised the waist by a couple inches, for that high-waisted Edwardian look, and scooped the stitching line down in front, to gather it up and make that puffy blousy 1912 front. The collar is simply matched to the neckline edge in front and back, and drawn into a shape I liked, with a seam at the shoulder. For the sleeves, I just shortened them, and added a cuff.
I should stick to altering existing, working patterns, because nothing is more discouraging that having cut your fashion fabric and then having an issue with your pattern. :-( Good thing I had a lot of this fabric!