Despite the fact that I've now done three fitted dress patterns (thanks kids!) I still feel like it's a good idea to read up and plan before I dive into the task. My first stop has always been Mathilde Bourrette's fitting and construction documentation. When I perused her pictorial patterning guide this time around, I was delighted to see that she'd made some revisions that make total sense. I go to her first because, besides being extremely informative, she has a similar shoulder/bust/waist ratio as me and her advice on how to fit it is invaluable to me.
The second place I go is Tasha Kelly's La Cotte Simple website and her fitted dress instructions. From everything I've been able to gather over the years, I believe Tasha's method is the first generation of instructions after Robin Netherton's offline instructions hit the recreation community. For some reason the straight-forward simplicity of her step-by-step relieves my anxiety over going through the dress patterning process, and though it hasn't been updated recently, it still seems valid and is easy to follow.
Finally I do three separate Google searches. The search terms I use for the three are "Gothic fitted dress", "15th century fitted kirtle" and "15th century supportive gown". I do this primarily to see if any new instructions or recreations have popped up that may offer further insight into the patterning process. I first look at the web search results (typically only the first three pages of results), then I switch over to the image search results. This time around I found instructions I had not seen before from The Medieval Tailor. She suggests skipping the draping phase and starting from rectangular construction and measurements. I am intrigued by this idea, as it seems feasible as a period method (since everyone was familiar with rectangular construction already). I don't think this is something I will do this time around, but I like the idea, and will try it next time.
After these little reassurances, I'm ready to tackle the pattern again. I'll be using a thin corderoy (since it was on hand) for the initial patterning, then I'll transfer it over to the green linen I have to line my dark colored wool to finish up.
Wish me luck!