Here's an updated and somewhat-more-purple-than-in-real-life shot of my duster.
I only have two more repeats of THE 8 rows to go (woot woot!) I think there's a small chance (fingers crossed) that I'll have this bad boy blocking this weekend.
Some of you have asked how setting the sleeves before seaming up the side seams and picking up the stitches for the skirt worked out. I think it worked out fine. The whole piece is a little larger and heavier than if I had decided to hold off on the seaming. It's not great for say knitting and walking (although I do manage with the top half of the sweater in a tote bag that I carry on my shoulder while I knit away on the skirt on the commute home from work) but overall it was the best decision for me. The first few rows of the skirt were a bit of a pain since I would have to pick up the whole sweater and turn it at the end of each row, now that I've made some progress on it, the extra bulk doesn't hinder my knitting at all.
Another thing that I did with my duster was alternate right and left-leaning M1s to have a more polished increase line (M1 left when you start the stockinette "slice" and M1 right at the end of said "slice"). There's a very good instructional video here on how to execute the M1 right vs. M1 left if you want to refresh your memory.
Hopefully I'll have some FO pictures for you all early next week! Thanks to everyone who has been posting updates on their dusters, it's really helping me stay motivated.