To make this I attached the center front and back ten inches or so to a waistband, completely flat. The original had some pleats, but I couldn't get that to look right. For the draw string sections I folded over the seam allowanced to make a casing and stitched the linen tapes down at one end. In the middle there is a slit where I can pull the strings tighter. I can make them tighter or loser and spread the pleats out as needed, while keeping the front fairly flat. I'm really happy with this style!
Soon I'll start draping the bodice!