As my batiste came in the mail a few days ago, I felt that it would be procrastination to continue researching cotton's exact place in society instead of sewing. Most of the paper is written, apart from the details of my sewing (of course), so I dug out some lightweight linen and worked out a lining based on the dress I saw at the NYSM. The lining on that gown was mostly detached and unfitted, just something to hide the corset through the outer fabric and sew the pleats to, so it wasn't too hard to replicate. My dress form is a little smaller than me, kind of tilty and weird-shaped (it has a lot of moving pieces, and they're not all in exactly the right places), and is in a bit of a sway-backed pose, but it's close enough for government work.
The first time I tried draping, I didn't really try it - Mom draped muslin on me and I watched. So this was really my first try. I wouldn't be doing it if it weren't for the fact that the gown I examined has a simple cut: one piece for the back, one for the front, and the fitting is done with pleats and drawstrings. So to start, I made sure the dress form was at the right height, pinned the end of the batiste to the shoulder seam, and cut the fabric level with the floor. Then I pinned the new end to the back of the neckline, and let the fabric flow out to make a train about a foot long.
After a bit of faffing around, I managed to get three pleats on either side of the center back, angled in to form a triangle. It actually looks very good! I started to work on the side seams, but then I realized that I need to do the waist drawstring in the front first, since the channel is a little tuck. That meant I needed to cut the slit down the front to a few inches below the waist and hem it with running stitches. I've threaded the channels with tape drawstrings, and they look all right. Now that I've pinned the side seams in place, I'm kind of surprised at how ... right it looks. Good feelings, I have good feelings about this!