For years I have drooled over books like The Edwardian Modiste, the Voice of Fashion, and 59 Authentic Turn-of-the-Century Fashion Patterns.
I have never been good with math, and could not grasp how one turned those doll sized patterns into something that would fit a person.
This summer I found a video tutorial by Jen of the blog http://www.festiveattyre.com/ in which she both explains and demonstrates the apportioning rulers in the Edwardian Modiste. While watching it, the little light in my brain turned on and suddenly it all made sense. Whoever developed that system was a mathematical genius.
Now I am happily drafting patterns.
I am currently working on a show set in 1905, and being able not only to use these patterns but to draft them to the size of the intended wearer is fantastic. They are short on directions, though, which you might find a bit daunting if you are not a confident sewer. The first pattern I drafted is a simple corset cover, and it turned out quite well.
I have also drafted this one, and hope to get it cut out this week. I am really looking forward to making it up.