When I was first training as a cutter, I used Dress Pattern Designing by Natalie Bray as a text, so since I am familiar with it, it seemed the best choice to use for this block.
Some of my colleagues use it or use it as a jumping off point. Just like the men's drafts, you cannot expect it to be 100% right off the page. With practice, of course, you begin to see the shapes being created on paper and can recognize areas that you can tweak or modify right away for a better fit, but a toile or mock-up is always a good idea.
One thing I did was to reduce the amount of ease in the basic block. There is usually 2 inches on the half in this draft, but I want a close fit, so I reduced it to 1 inch on the half. This should be close to what I need.
I didn't take all the ease out beacause I wanted some ease in order to be able to fit it properly.
Too tight is always more difficult to deal with. It is so much easier to be able to pin the excess out, and see that your alterations are not causing other problems. If your garment is too tight, it can be difficult to determine how best to fix it. Too tight at the waist for instance can cause bodices to ride up, distorting the position of darts as well as affecting the armholes and even neckline and shoulders. You can end up in a guessing game that entails multiple changes when really all you may have needed is more fitting ease.
I marked out the style lines on the basic pattern, front and back, then I traced them to a clean sheet of paper using a needle point tracing wheel. I will keep the original block intact so that I can go back and manipulate it as needed. For instance, even though I measured her myself, I think the bust point to bust point measurement seems narrow, so I could go back and easily make the front panel wider, and the side front panel narrower, without throwing anything off.
Once that was done, I trued up all the seam and style lines, and cut out my pattern.
Then I cut out a mock-up, leaving an inch of seam allowance both below the "waistline" as well as above the upper edge of the bodice. All the lines on this pattern are "nett" so I can choose how much seam allowance I want in specific areas.
Next will be the skirt and then a fitting.