Whew! What a day we had yesterday at Universal, and oh! my poor aching legs. Sad, really, that a full day of walking does me in. I was wearing the brown ankle boots I bought for my Thanksgiving trip. Since they have man-made cushioned heels and soles, they were actually quite comfortable all day long as I knew they would be, and wearing them let me also wear a pair of my newer jeans without hemming or walking on the bottoms. It isn't the boots that I'm feeling today — just the constant use of out-of-shape leg muscles and creeping up on a certain age.
The crowds were ENORMOUS, so I ended up splurging on Express Passes that let us bypass the long lines. Expensive, yes, but probably worth it just in eliminating the irritation factor. The crowds were also enormously international and we felt our Americanism was quite the minority. But since it was Christmas Day, it was to be expected that the park would be filled with folks who don't celebrate it. Of course, there were a few rude peeps here and there as there always are, but by and large and especially with a swarm this huge, everyone else was pretty nice, friendly, and polite — even if we didn't understand a word they were saying to each other. I'm always impressed by international visitors' English skills when speaking to their hosts, even those Brits with the funny accents. ;-)
I haven't really been into the Harry Potter phenom (although I'm thinking I should really read the series via my library and Kindle) but Alex has and he was impressed with that new area of the park, and commented many times on how great the details were. The new Harry Potter ride was very well done too and impressed me, a theme park cynic and non-HP fan. The roller coaster in that section is still the "old" Dueling Dragons now renamed Dragon something-or-other, and it is still a screamer. I did all the coasters and other rides with Alex, except for the one where you end up dripping wet. It was quite warm yesterday (around 80), but I still wasn't up for walking around the park soaked to the skin. I have to say that every time I was strapped into a seat, I felt a little smug that I actually now fit into it comfortably. Or as comfortable as one can really feel when strapped into a seat right before plunging 400 feet. ;-)
My cell battery died way early in the day due to me leaving the screen on by mistake, so I didn't get many photos. Alex has some on his phone that he'll forward to me when he wakes up. Hopefully, they turned out OK and I'll be able to share a few.
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For the sewing part of today's entry, I wanted to document the changes I made to the Magic Pencil Skirt for you and for the review I'll write up later.
The pattern piece on the right, below, is what you get in the pattern. It's the only piece, which is part of what makes the Magic. It's cut on the fold once for the front and again for the back. In order to add a kick pleat, I needed to add a CB seam. Since it's only one piece to trace, I decided I would do that instead of hobbling on to the original envelope piece. So, I traced the pattern and added a 5/8" seam allowance at the CB. Onto that, I added a 2" wide kick pleat extension. I didn't use any magic formula to decide how high to place it. Just keep in mind that if you place it too high, you run the risk of showing your undies. Thankfully, my guess as to placement turned out just this side of safe in the undies department. I should probably lower it an inch for the future.
After cutting, you'll now have three pieces instead of two. Sew the darts. Next, since there is no zipper here, sew the CB seam from the waist edge down into 5/8" of the kick pleat extension and lock stitches. Then continue your sewing but now using basting stitches to sew the remainder of the kick pleat. Press the seam allowances open. Then clip the corner at the kick pleat on the *right* extension, flip it over onto the left and from the right side, sew the extensions in place with an angled line of stitching, as shown below.
Remove your basting stitches and press the under flap to remove the basting crease. (Since I used a stable knit, I didn't finish the raw edges of the seam allowances or pleat. No one will see. But if this bugs you or you're using a ravel-y fabric, finish your raw edges as your first step, before you sew the CB seam). Continue with the pattern instructions, and obviously, start your hem at one side of the kick pleat and end it at the other, so you don't sew it closed at the bottom.
Speaking of undies, I think that's what's on the sewing room agenda today. While I really want to sew about 20 more skirts, I do realize that my closet is getting pretty full of them so I'm forcing a mini break. I don't know how many undies I'll get through because assembly-line sewing kills the mojo for me, but I'm going to make a stab because in the end, I really do prefer my self-made undies. I have a few pairs cut out from before the weight loss that I'll need to recut smaller and I also have some knit scraps from recent projects to add to the production.
I also realized when getting dressed casually yesterday for warm temps, that I'm really, really lacking in the short-sleeved tee department. Which is ironic, since I used to have so many. Well, I still do, but they just don't fit anymore. So I need to alter some smaller/shorter, toss some, and add a few new ones to the wardrobe.
Anything good on YOUR sewing agenda today?