After languishing 99% finished in the cupboard for a few weeks, my Beignet skirt is finally finished.
I'm absolutely in love with this skirt. It's by far the best and most comfortable, wearable thing I've ever made.
The fabric is a wool crepe I picked up on clearance in the summer. Locals might recognize it - there were still bolts of it available at the Boxing Day sale! Either they had stocked way too much of it, or I'm just the only person in Vancouver who actually wanted to buy bright fuchsia wool. In any case, it was the best of all worlds because it was a fabric I actually wanted to work with at a price that let me justify approaching this as a "wearable muslin."
I'm very glad I approached it that way, because this project felt so much more straightforward and fun. I fall between a size 8 and 10, but closer to the 10, so I followed Colette's advice and cut that size. In the end, it was too large and I had to take in two inches all over (I simply took in the side seams). Otherwise, the fit is perfect. The proportions are correct and I absolutely love the straight silhouette - not pencil, not a-line. I love it so much, I plan to turn it into a TNT pattern with a solid front and a side zip. I also want to make another true-to-pattern version in a more neutral colour.
I lined it with bemberg rayon and actually really enjoyed working with it - perhaps I'd just heard too many horror stories so my expectations were low. The only real mistake I made was picking too dark a colour. In person you can see where the lining meets the facing although, happily, the belt distracts enough that it's not really an issue. I had already hemmed this once, before realizing it definitely needed taking in, and I did the machine "invisible" hem. It was a little too visible, so this time I did it by hand. I chose to omit the twill tape in the waist, which I may regret, but I didn't have it on hand and wasn't willing to make another trip!
My next project is a dress (Lonsdale), and I'm trying to decide how to approach it. After this experience, I'm really keen to continue forgoing the muslin altogether. It really does drain a lot of the fun out of sewing for me. I suppose ultimately it depends on the complexity of the pattern and the cost of materials. Since the Lonsdale is relatively simple and the fabric was on sale, I think I'm going to go straight to fashion fabric. Wish me luck!