When I took my measurements I made two waist measurements, one at my true waist (the smallest part of my waist) and one at my low waist (where I want garments to sit). I determined that a spot just below my belly button was the right spot for my low waist. This spot is personal preference and may change depending on the garment. It may even change during the project, but more on that later.
I followed Cal's directions very carefully. I drew lines and moved seams. I turned curves and trued up edges. Within an hour I nearly had the first pattern piece made up. Before things my brain went on the fritz I went to bed. The next day I finished both pattern pieces and prepped my fabric. I wanted to get sewing right away, but the fabric demanded (demanded, I tell you!) that I get a bright pink zipper to go with it, so the project sat for a day or two. Even though this was the muslin I wanted to give it a chance to be a wearable garment. Now wearable is in the eye of the beholder. The fabric itself was a $2 piece of lightweight canvas or linen with a very. loud. neon. print. I figured that if it worked out it could be an exciting skirt for a dreary day or even a sunny day.
At this point I had spent somewhere around three hours on this project. It might have been less, but I made an error in judgement when drafting the pattern pieces. Recently, I bought a Seam Allowance guide to aid me in adding seam allowance to Japanese patterns, so instead of adding the seam allowance to my pattern I thought I would just use this to cut it out. As it turns out I couldn't quite get the hang of it. Instead of fiddling with it even longer than I had been I laid out the pattern pieces and traced the shape adding the seam allowance as I went along. This also meant I had to work on the darts a little. Lesson learned, I will add the seam allowance next time!
I got my pink zipper and immediately got to work following the advice I read about muslins: baste! I basted the darts, got the zipper in and basted the seams. Voila! My muslin was ready to try on! The first thing I noticed was that I wasn't crazy about the waist both in terms of location and fit. The location was off by an inch or so. I actually like the skirt to cover my navel--ending right at the top edge of my belly button--which is much smaller and higher than where I had originally placed it. Cal has you work in some ease, but even if I had the skirt sit below my navel there was too much ease for me.
I could add the changes to the existing pattern, but I think it will be a useful exercise for me to redraft the pattern using the new waist measurements.
Helpful reminders for next time:
(1) Take the time to add the seam allowance!
(2) I noticed a funny little bump in the center front of the finished skirt. I don't think I did a great job truing up and checking for 90 degree angles. This was also evident at the hem.
(3) Since I know what I want my finished measurement to be I will not be adding in ease.