So many questions. I was hesitant to even cut into the fabric. This blog post will answer all of them, and let you decide if this pattern will work for you. This is McCall's pattern 7386, size XXL, and the fabric is a beautiful sturdy cotton/lycra knit that I found in my local thrift shop for $4. Yes, I am very grateful to live in an area with a lot of crafty seamstresses!
Step one was taping the pattern pieces to my dressform - handy thing about the duct tape is that regular clear tape peels right off it! As you can see, the pieces have a long thin gap, and it's due to my tummy bulge. The back piece fits well. When pinning the front piece, instead of placing it flush against the fold as directed, I put the top corner against the fold, and nudged the bottom corner a few inches further back. This put a long thin wedge into the front piece.
All the curling! This fabric was rolled and rolled tight around every edge. And the selvage edges curled the opposite of the cut edges! Google and a $1.19 can of spray starch saved my sanity. For good measure, I ironed and starched the entire piece of fabric before pinning/cutting.
The pattern is for an unlined skirt, yet I wanted a power mesh lining to help smooth (not eliminate!) the tummy bulge. Mimi G has a fantastic tutorial on how to do this. The tutorial recommends making the liner shorter than the skirt. I ended the lining at the "flare" of this skirt. The sturdy striped fabric is not at all see-through, so I wasn't worried about that. I used Joann's "performance stretch mesh" and was VERY disappointed in it. It doesn't provide compression or smoothing, and should only be used for opacity.
The lining process is simple, yet I made some notes for next time: