If you have the dress form that is your measurements and shape, then I would suggest draping. I would not normally suggest draping, but it takes atleast 3 fits and changes with flat pattern unless you are draping for a standard form like the measurements in the book.
and click download image on the right.
Once you have your basic, trace it onto paper and learn how to manipulate the darts. There is a 1/4 scale basic pattern in the back that you can copy and play with the darts before messing with your basic.
Trace your basic onto oaktag or posterboard so that you can easily trace around it when creating new styles. I like doing the new styles on paper about the weight of printer paper. They don't rip, but you can still trace through it and fold in the darts. You can also roll it up and keep your projects in cardboard postal mail tubes or plastic art tubes. I got my paper at hobby lobby and my oaktag from southstar supply, but the oaktag is an investment. Do NOT get paper that is slick. You will want to be drawing with pencil and pencil doesn't work well on slick paper. Also, pick up a roll of matte clear tape while you're at it for the same reason.
The main reason there are darts on the front of the skirt are because it is supposed to go up to your waist, your true waist. You are also supposed to have the posture of the dress form. Do you have any back pain? I found out that I was unconsciously arching my lower back too much. I looked like #4 in this picture.
which is from Dr. Bookspan
Once I did the stretches that took the pressure off my back my clothes fit better.
You don't have to have deep darts, but you will want to draw in where they are supposed to be because this is your princess line and you will be manipulating the darts to make different skirt shapes.