A helpful commenter left a cryptic lead on the a few days ago. "There's a Folkways pattern that's a dead ringer for the Duro." Well, you don't need to hang around the alley getting your trenchcoat dirty with ME; I was off with the intel like a shot. To be immediately frustrated by the lovely, deco pattern illustrations that give ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA of the lines of the dress. Yes, yes, I understand that my life will become infinitely more beautiful and exotic and world-music-y in clothes made from these patterns, but, for the love of Vreeland, could you just give me a goddamn clue as to what the bodice looks like?
Anyway, applying my rationale of "when in doubt, apply Google, rinse, repeat" I found this, which is the Folkwear Afghani Nomad dress. Or, in this case, the Folkwear Provençal Nomad Dress, which is I suppose much the same thing. AND: there was a line drawing!
A line drawing that is the death of hope, but a line drawing nonetheless. This is not the Duro dress, although in the taxonomy of dresses it is surely related. (Which taxonomy I am slowly developing; so slowly, in fact, that one day I will be the subject of one of those newspaper features the gist of which is "Crazed and Crabbed Local Elderly Person Finishes Useless and Pointless Lifelong Project" and will include the line "Even though the omniscient quantum robots from Alpha Centauri gave us all possible knowledge in 2036, Ms. Dressaday (as she prefers to be called) refused to stop. "You can't tell me some clanking tub of bolts knows anything about dresses! And yes, I know quantum machinery has no moving parts. Sheesh. Did they bring any knowledge of rhetorical devices? Go away now, my stories are coming on.""
Anyway, close but no cigar, sadly. I am still thinking that the best course of action is to modify a blouse pattern to fit the skirt pattern I already like. The question is whether to start with one that is closer to the right neckline, or closer to the sleeve I want. I'm thinking sleeve, as sleeves are a bitch; I can find the sleeve and trace the neckline from something else. Or I could just keep whining here about it until Mr. Olowu takes pity on me and signs up with Vogue Patterns. Maybe if I mention his name enough he'll come across me while ego-surfing!