It doesn't matter too much for an underdress, but I wanted this set of garb to be more true to the 12th-century silhouette with garments close-fitting through the whole torso and flaring only at the hips. I decided to figure the length of the gores by measuring from the fullest part of my hips to the floor instead of waist to the floor as directed in the handout here. That meant that with the reduction in length created by my bust and shoulders the gores actually sat right about at my natural waist, about 6 inches higher than the fullest part of my hips. I don't have a huge amount of experience with draping/drafting my own patterns, so I am learning a lot through this process.
I made the sleeves extra-long and scrunched at the wrist again, and because I am lazy (classy?) like that, I set up the sleeves so that each hem would be a selvedge edge so I didn't need to hem them. I actually really like the look.
1) Due to my extreme curves, 10" (5 extra inches on front and 5 extra on back) was not enough to make waist scrunches. In fact, it was just about what I needed to ensure the dress was floor-length and no more. I ended up really liking the way it looked, but I will need to fiddle with things some more to make the waist scrunching work.
2) For the sleeve drape I made rectangles 10" by 20" so I wound up with triangles that were 5" on the short (sewed to the sleeve hem) side and 20" on the long side. Honestly, I will probably make even drapier sleeves next time, but I likely will go for more of an oblong/rectangle shape instead of a triangle.
3) I made the skirt gores as wide as they were tall. This led to a deliciously full skirt with about 20 feet of bottom hem. This is more fullness than I've done before, but I loved the look, and I will do it again.
4) I used 1 inch seam allowances on all pieces. That was probably overkill for the sleeve seams. I plan to line the sleeves eventually, so it's not an issue, but still. I wanted the 1" allowances so I'd have plenty of room for flat-felling the seams (see top image on this page for info on how). In fact, what I would probably do on the sleeve cuff pieces next time is make them twice as wide, fold them in half, and stitch them on that way. One less seam to finish and it would give the sleeves a bit of weight and drape.
4) I decided to be brave, follow the pattern (despite my misgivings) and try a slit neck. I will say that I don't like the suggestion to hem the neck slit rather than use a facing (especially with linen, which has a tendency to rip and fray rather badly), and that I tried the slit neck on and it looked really odd and messed up the fit of the sleeves. At that point I had a bit of a freak out because I had just cut a major slit in my dress and I didn't like the results. I laid it flat and cut out a v-shaped neckline that worked for me, though I feel it's a bit longer than I would have liked. I then used a spare scrap of fabric to sew on an after-the-fact facing, which looked and felt much better, IMHO.
5) Instead of trying on the dress to determine lacing placement I laid it out on the floor. I had previously figured out bust, waist, and hip circumferences as directed in the pattern. At the point where the gores started the dress was already at hip width. Below the underarm gussets I marked the fabric so it was half of my bust measurement (centering on the torso). Halfway between that and the start of the gores I marked the fabric to be half my waist measurement. I didn't use seam allowances because I knew I wanted some negative ease in the torso. I then drew straight lines from bust to waist, and waist to hip, then cut out the sides of the fabric.
7) Despite planning for negative ease through the torso (no seam allowances, approx. 3/4 inches on each side of each piece for hem, eyelets set in another half inch or so) the torso was too lose. I think I lost some weight between starting and finishing the construction. At some point I will go back and re-hem one side of each piece and (sigh) sew new eyelets so that I can get the torso fit more snug.
8) I plan to line the sleeves with some of the extra yellow linen from my underdress. I think it will add a real bit of extra drape to the fabric, and it will certainly be prettier than looking at the seams inside. I will most likely lay a sleeve on a piece of paper and trace the shape from the flare down and use that to draft a pattern for lining pieces, then tack them in by hand with hemstitching.
I received lots of compliments and the dress was comfortable, but I still need to finish all the seams of both dresses, re-hem the red one, and line the sleeves. I also want to add some more embellishment to spice things up a little... not sure what that will be yet. Beads, embroidery, applique... we'll see!