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My Favourite Things

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So the theme this month on the Sewing With Ti Blog Tour is “My Favourite Things”! This category is so hard for someone like me that just loves EVERYTHING! So I decided to make myself one of my favourite patterns and get my bum moving on my kids favourites, for their summer sewing too!

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This is the Little Kiwis Closet Women’s Cuffed Dolman! It is a great relaxed dolman tee in a longer tunic length with a curved hem. It also comes in a dress length option which I chose to make here. I was sent this gorgeous Pink Aztec Rayon Spandex by Orinoco Designs to showcase for a current fabric pre-order and I knew it would be a perfect match!
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The drape is perfect for this pattern and it is a great print for young and old. My girls loved it, but I had to (very unselfishly) show you all how great it was made up as a grown up piece!
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I wasn’t a complete monster though… I saved the girls a few scraps and I used some straight away to run up this cute top! It’s the Little Kiwis Closet Choose Your Adventure Tee & Dress. I created this cute cap sleeve and pocket and added it to this royal blue cotton lycra I had in my stash. I think this is perfect for the theme – as one of my favourite things to do is mash and tweak patterns!
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I used the flutter sleeve pattern piece from the Poppet Peplum pattern and added an inch or 2 to the centre so that it would fit the armscye perfectly. I lined the “flutter/cap” with some white cotton lycra to give it some body before attaching it. I absolutely love how this turned out and it just covers the shoulders nicely to protect them from our harsh summer sun!
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Then we of course had to have some pics together, because – matching!
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It was so cold! You have to remember it’s winter here at the moment and it was 7:30am before school! We are so lucky to have such mild winters, but boy was it fresh and frosty this morning!
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I have a few more scraps left, so I used a tiny bit to jazz up this plain tank as well, but I will not waste a bit – it’s too cute!
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Next up I want to show you a sneak peek of the girls version of the Cuffed Dolman! It’s in testing right now and is looking just as awesome as the women’s version!!!
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This one I upcycled from a women’s large tshirt we found (stripes are her favourite) and I made the regular cuffed sleeves.
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There is a long sleeve version too that I’ll share with you soon and you can also opt to leave the cuffs off altogether and just hem!
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You can see from my upcycle that the back of the shirt has a centre seam. I hope this means that the manufacturer is being frugal with fabric! I love to upcycle as a way to reduce landfill and to get awesome cheap fabric.
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This length is perfect with tights and I will make her some dolman dresses for summer as well. I know I live in them, so I am betting my girls will too!
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Here’s an essential shot of my stripe matching – I’m sorry but if you are sewing stripes, they just have to match 😉 ! It also shows the cool curved hem.

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Next up are some more great basics! I love to make pretty dresses, but my girls just want to wear shorts and tees! So while I never thought I’d make basics when you can get them cheap from Kmart, I love that they get something amazing and unique from me, with great quality fabrics and no exploited labour. Except for me of course… They fully exploit me!
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This is the Pearlie Peplum and Scuttle Shorts from One Thimble Issue 16! This issue has only recently released and I am sewing my way through it! These patterns will be on high rotation! I used another Orinoco Designs print from a previous round for the bodice and the front panel of a tshirt I upcycled did the peplum skirt front and back.

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The Pearlie Dress & Peplum is by Peach Patterns and I have lengthened the bodice here by 2 inches to bring the peplum down closer to her natural waist. This is just a personal preference. When I made the dress previously I used the size 7 length skirt, but because I added length to the bodice here, I used the size 5 peplum skirt length.
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I teamed it with the Scuttle Shorts by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns. I made the basic version here without any pockets or colour blocking and they were soooo fast! This girl looooves her knit shorts so I am going to make a full rainbow of these! This was a knit my Mum grabbed from Spotlight for me. As a bonus, they don’t take very much fabric at all!
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Check ’em out – they’re adorable!

 

Ok so let’s recap a few of my favourite things…

  • The LKC Cuffed Dolman
  • Awesome custom print fabric
  • Pattern hacking
  • Matching my minis
  • Upcycling
  • Stripe matching
  • Little Kiwis Closet
  • One Thimble
  • Sewing things my kids will actually wear

Did I miss anything? I’m sure my girls have their own list to add!

 

If you’d like to see what everyone else on board has chosen to share this month, you can view their posts here! Each post will go live on it’s date in August.

 

Tuesday, August 1st: Intro ***You are here. 😀, Tenille’s Thread

2nd: Stitching At Night

3rd: Sewing By Ti

4th: Needles To Say

5th: Very Blissful

Sunday, August 6th: The Fairy Dust Bin

7th: Anne-Mari Sews

8th: Sewing With Sarah

9th: Thats Sew Lily

10th: Stitching at Night

11th: EYMM

12th: Sew Sew Ilse

Sunday, August 13th: Lulu & Celeste

14th: Seams Sew Lo

15th: Tales From a Southern Stitching Mom

16th: Stitching and Making

17th: Creative Counselor

18th: Ma Moose

19th: Kainara Stitches

Sunday, August 20th: Embrace Everyday

21st: She Who Sews

22nd: Idle Sunshine

23rd: My Heart Will Sew On

24th: Lovely For Life

25th: Margarita On the Ross

26th: Anne-Mari Sews

Sunday, August 27th: Made By Melli

28th: Adventures with Bubba and Bug

29th: Auschick Sews

30th: Me Made

31st: Living in Twinado Alley

 

Warmest Wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

 

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One Thimble Issue 16 – Under The Sea

Oh my gosh! Where do I even start? One thimble Issue 16 is here and it is bigger, brighter and more beautiful than ever!

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Included in this issue are 11 awesome PDF patterns for the ridiculous price of AUS$25:

High Tide Trousers (NB-12)

Triton Tank (1-12)

Scuttle Shorts (3-12)

Hally Dress (1-12)

Miss Olivia Dress (Ladies AU 6-20)

Pearlie Dress (1-12)

Makana Mermaid Skirt (2-4, 5-7, 8-10)

Melody Mermaid Tail (3-8)

Mermaid Pocket Doll & Shell (handsewn)

Murray is a Merman (Free Motion Applique)

Meg is a Mermaid (Free Motion Applique)

What a steal! It’s a gorgeous collection that will fill your wardrobes full of practical warmer weather staples! The Under The Sea theme is designed with comfort and fun in mind for our upcoming Australian Spring. Don’t think that if you are headed into Fall that this magazine is not for you though, One Thimble is very versatile and has something for everyone.

I have absolutely jumped on the One Thimble Fan-wagon this year and with each Issue I have sewn more and more! So far in testing this issue I have made 2 Triton tanks, 2 pairs of Scuttle shorts, 2 Hally dresses, a Pearlie dress and 2 Makana Mermaid skirts! I am proud to say that I have contributed another article to this issue as well, looking at mashing sizes in PDF patterns for the right fit! So grab your coffee and vanilla slice, we could be here for a while with all the pics I have taken!

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First let’s take a look at the Hally Casual Dress! These dresses were such a fun project! They were designed by Jen of Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns in sizes 1-12, who also happens to be the Editor and Creator of One Thimble.

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I love the loose comfortable fit and the combinations are endless with fabric mixing here!

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Magic Method 1

I made one using the magical first binding method and then we also decided to try a traditional bias method, so you can see both versions here.

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Traditional Method 2

It has a simple elastic back with no buttons and zips!

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If I’d had enough 1 inch gingham, that would have been my pick for this dress, so don’t be suprised if you see that version pop up soon!

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I’m putting a little grid of pics in here, because you’ll be scrolling for days if I add all our pictures individually 😉

Next up is the Pearlie Dress & Peplum in sizes 1-12 by Peach Patterns.

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It is a dolman style tshirt dress with a gathered skirt. There are 2 fit options to choose from and we chose the slim fit. It includes 3 pocket styles, but we chose to leave the pocket off for this version.

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It is a super comfortable dress and a nice fast sew. This is my girls’ favourite style, they are into simple design and it lets you mix fabrics to change up the look. I can see a million combinations for this dress.

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I love the high-low hem which curves up to the side seams. I also love her styling, and she loves her new tie dye socks with a cause from Help Astrid!

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Every outfit needs matching bows, so I fussy cut these from the same gorgeous pastel rainbow leopard cotton lycra I used for the bodice!

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Next up is the Triton Tank! It’s a casual knit pattern also by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns. It works best with fabrics that have a fluid drape (which you can actually read all about in the article on page 64)!

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It can be made in sizes 1-12 and I love the roomy fit. This outfit made my kids so happy, they are all about the t-shirts and shorts! It doesn’t matter how many pretty dresses I make, they will always go straight for the basics! Can you blame them – look how comfortable they look!

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That is definitely my new mission… Sew all the basics!

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The Scuttle Shorts are also by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns and team perfectly with the tank. They can be made in sizes 3-12 in knit fabric. As you can see here, they are a unisex pattern in 2 lengths (Shorty & Jamaica lengths). I made both of mine with the panels and pockets, because they are so cute for colour blocking, but there is a simple plain option too, that would be a super fast sew.

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My guy loves both this tank and shorts, I had to keep hiding them until we got a chance to take photos or he would have worn them out!

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I’m sure you can spot sand and bark all over them from their little adventures this afternoon! This spot on the bay is just gorgeous and full of old trees to climb on.

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We happened to hit this spot right on low tide on the most beautiful winters day! It was 4:30pm and it was so warm (25C)!

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If you happen to visit us in the near future, you may find us back at that spot, with some deck chairs and drinks next time I think!

I have to show you our Makana Mermaid Skirts from testing too! They totally deserved their own blog post, because I  took so many cute pics of them in testing! This particular weekend we happened to experience some horrendous weather associated with an event known as an East Coast Low. Think Winter on steroids – RAIN, WIND, COLD! I also happened to be sick as a dog to match the weather! I dragged myself out to get the pics and we jagged a tiny bit of sunshine! My husband couldn’t believe we were going to the beach, but I knew we would sneak them in.

 

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Now I know you’ve seen a lot, but every Issue I have said that Free Motion Applique is on my to-do list, so if we roll around to the Issue 17 tour and it hasn’t happened, give me a virtual tap on the shoulder and maybe a bit of a glare or something… I’m saying it – I will be FMA-ing that damn gorgeous Meg the Mermaid come hell or high water! So keep me honest and make sure it happens!

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We are very lucky (and SUPER EXCITED as you can see below…) to be giving away a copy of Issue 16! So click the Raffle copter link below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I hope you like the fun things I’ve made to celebrate this issue!

Make sure to stop by the other bloggers to see what they have made!

Striped Swallow Designs – Highlander Dolman and Rhapsody Joggers

Hi everyone! It’s been a little quiet around here while I settle back into working and studying hasn’t it?

I’ve been keeping very busy behind the scenes in my spare time. Alright, let’s be honest, I’ve been sewing instead of doing my house work, because there is no longer any such thing as “spare time”!

I’ve been busy putting together my first reviews as part of my new role on the Pattern Revolution team (you will hear more about that soon!!) and I’ve also been doing some pattern testing too!

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Speaking of pattern testing… I have been bursting to show you this new outfit from Striped Swallow Designs! They recently released the Mainland Collection which includes the Highlander Dolman and Rhapsody Joggers for Women and now the girls bundle and patterns are ready in their store too!

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I absolutely love this outfit! The Highlander Dolman has a t-bar back option as well as ties but as you can see in my version I chose a single back strap.

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I used a grey marle and a red and off-white stripe tshirt jersey for the front and back (both sourced from Spotlight). These fabrics don’t have a lot of stretch, which is fine for a dolman, but I made sure to use my floral rayon spandex as the binding, as it has the stretch and recovery needed for the job.

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I made my daughter the size 5 width and used the size 6 length per her measurements and the fit and shape are both great. You can choose from sizes 2-14 and I really love how the colour blocking worked in this outfit.

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Ok let’s tuck the top in so we can see these pants!

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For the Rhapsody Joggers, I used this awesome rayon spandex I had in my stash from Lincraft. It feels sooooo beautiful and I am very jealous that I dont have enough to make myself a pair!

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I decided to use the same stripe from the back of the Dolman as contrast pockets, which along with the floral binding on the dolman, really helps link the outfit together without it being too matchy matchy!

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I made the size 6 width with the 6x length per her measurements. WHAAAAAAAT??? My girl must be growing finally! The fit and length are perfect and with sizes 2-14 to choose from, and size blending instructions included in the pattern, you’ll get the perfect fit too.

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I really don’t have much else to say about this outfit, other than – I love it, she loves it,  it’s ridiculously comfy and it looks ridiculously awesome!! I’d love to hear what you think of my crazy fabric combinations though! Knits are really expensive in Australia and we don’t have anything like the range my friends in the USA have! I often fill online carts with fabric from US stores because they are so cheap and beautiful. Then you click checkout, you add your address and then you just about faint from the postage cost! So if someone can find me a fabric sponsor I’d be super grateful 😉

Make sure you keep in touch on instagram and facebook!
Warmest wishes,

Brooke xx

idlesunshine

Sew Pony – Tic Tac Toe Dress

Hello everyone, It’s my turn to share a Tic Tac Toe Dress by Sew Pony! I was heartbroken that I wasn’t able to squeeze testing into my schedule for this pattern, but I was thrilled when Suz asked me to join the blog tour!

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I was a lucky tester of another Sew Pony pattern earlier this year – the gorgeous Miss Polly! I adored these dresses I made and I knew that the Tic Tac Toe would be the same!

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The Tic Tac Toe has a similar gorgeous vintage feel to it. I absolutely love the Sew Pony design aesthetic! It’s classic, timeless and European inspired 💘. Suz has a great european following and offers some of her patterns translated in Dutch! You can grab the Dutch version here.

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I originally had a beautiful navy blue fabric with clouds picked for my version, but I began to see a lot of blue and white popping up and so I decided to get a little crazy instead!

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I had this amazing multicolour floral in my stash that I had picked up from Spotlight. It’s a quilting cotton by American Traditions. With so many colours in there, I then just had to decide on an accent colour and piping.

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I chose the yellow and initially had a solid yellow sitting along side it, but then I thought – come on Brooke, you said you were going to go a bit crazy?!!! The polka dots were perfect! I only had about a half a metre of them, but that was plenty for the version I chose.

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I have been trying to give my designs a slightly more grown up look to keep my “grown up” girls happy, so instead of predictable pink I chose black for the piping. I love the contrast and my girls loved it too.

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I made this version big enough for both girls to be able to wear, and also big enough to wear with a long sleeve shirt under it when the weather turns cold again next year.

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We took some pictures at the park and my girls were loving watching the Willy Wagtails flitting about nearby! While her back was turned watching the birds dance I got a shot of the back with the invisible zipper. I bought myself an invisible zipper foot for my birthday and it makes a big difference on using the regular zipper foot!

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There are so many different options in this dress to make it your own! The combinations are amazing! We chose the sleeveless version for summer here in Australia, with a pieced bodice, piping and pockets in the skirt, BUT there are 4 different sleeves you can pick from, 2 collars, epaulettes, a sash, more bodice piecing options,  along with the piping and pockets!

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Little Miss loves her pockets – can you tell?! There’s barely a picture without her hands in them haha! I cannot blame her, I am a big pocket fan too!

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Miss 5 has already decided this “special dress” will be her Christmas dress! I love that my girls love what I make for them, but did someone say Christmas? Eeeeek – I have not even started the shopping… HELP!

To see all the beautiful versions on the Tic Tac Toe Tour, please visit the bloggers below!

Thank you Suz for having me join, I am honoured to be included!

The pattern is 10% off on sale for the release (until the end of the blog tour) sale with the code TICTACTOE10 in the Sewpony web shop

Chalk & Notch – Waterfall Raglan

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I have another beautiful Chalk & Notch pattern to share with you today! The Waterfall Raglan is now available for purchase through the Upcraft Club and the Chalk & Notch Webstore! Make sure you stick around as there is a great prize giveaway in the rafflecopter link at the end!

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I have a serious love of raglans! I have made so many in the past few weeks. They come together so fast and easily and they look so cool! I especially love contrasting sleeves and bands, they give the look a little more edge, which really suits my grown up girl’s style!

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I chose to make a dress for my tester version as I wanted a complete outfit from this funky fabric. There are 3 sleeve lengths and I chose to make it short sleeved for our current spring weather! I don’t have as much time for sewing these days now that I am back studying at Uni, but I couldn’t say no to another Chalk & Notch pattern! You might remember my recent post for their last release – The Cascade Maxi.

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Chalk & Notch are actually today celebrating the 1 year anniversary of their first pattern release – The Fishtail Kimono. What a cool way to celebrate with another release and an awesome prize pack! I am yet to make a Fishtail for my girls but I have recently downloaded it ready to go! It is perfect for Spring and Autumn weather and is super cute.

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I made this dress for Miss 8 who is not a pink kind of girl. So I used this awesome green print fabric I got as a ladies maxi dress from an op shop (thrift store). It probably cost me $3 and I used some plain black cotton lycra as the sleeves, neckband, pocket and hem ruffle. I love that hem ruffle! It looks amazing on the top version too, I will definitely  be making some of them.

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She loved it, but in the end I gave up trying to coordinate her busy school and dance schedule with the poor weather we had that week! So Miss 8 was dumped and Miss 5 stepped in to model instead! Miss 8 certainly doesn’t think it’s so great, but it’s lucky for me they are the same size!

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This little ratbag is off to big school next year! Soon we won’t be able to drop the big kids off, go to the park for some photos and then head to a cafe for morning tea! This kid is obsessed with caramel tarts, so that will be pretty disappointing!

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Miss 5 is also definitely not a pink kind of girl. She is a rough and tumble, wild and crazy kid, with a devilish laugh!

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I can’t say anything about their lack of ‘girly-ness’ though… You wouldn’t have caught me dead in pink at their age either lol! I was an outside kid, always on my bike and rollerskates, on the trampoline, riding a horse or climbing a tree. I hated dolls and dresses and my bedroom was blue. Most things were blue – just anything except pink please!

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I love recycling clothes as fabric! Knit fabric is pretty expensive in Australia and hard to source the kinds of prints we like, so I love picking up clothes on sales racks and in op shops. I just check the fabric for quality and condition and check how many seams are in it to see if I will be able to get enough usable fabric. I also don’t throw out clothes of my own that can be used for fabric. It’s a really inexpensive way to sew and it makes me feel better knowing that so many clothes I have repurposed could just have easily ended up as landfill!

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You will love all the versions the other testers have made, so check out the tester round up post at Chalk and Notch here and see all the testers blog links below!

Emi – Just Add Fabric | Melissa – Rebel & Malice | Brooke – Idle Sunshine | Nicky – Mix it Make it | Nelleke – gaafmachine | Sylvia – Lily & Woody | Sophie – Moineau & Petit Pois | Monica – Ma, me, mi… mo | Cassy – Pear Berry Lane | Thao – Little Cumquat | Toya – Made by Toya | Tami – Sew Sophie Lynn | Maria – Fairies, Bubbles & Co. | Indu – Kaleidothought | Julia – trendedero | Eveline – frölein till | Catherine – Mespetitstissus

Now for the fun part – Competition time!

Would you like to win:

A copy of all 4 Chalk and Notch Patterns

+ a $50 voucher to Raspberry Creek Fabrics

+ a $25 voucher to UpCraft Club?

Leave me a comment on this post and enter via the Rafflecopter link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome to Twig + Tale Blog Tour

So have you have seen the news? Our beloved Big Little Patterns has had a makeover! They are now known as Twig + Tale Patterns. I love the new name, it is a perfect representation of the beautiful whimsical designs Lisa creates.tt-blog-tour-graphic

To celebrate the new look we would all love you to join in the celebrations! Across the world, sewing bloggers are showing what the brand Twig + Tale means to them! With the generous support of Art Gallery Fabrics, we hope you love all our creations!

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We love Twig + Tale patterns in our house, there’s something for everyone! I first came across the designs when I applied for my very first PDF pattern tester call for the Wild Thing Hooded Scarf for my littlest Miss! What an adventure that began for me from there! I was wanting to sew more for my children, and I knew testing patterns would give me the motivation I needed! I also recently tested the Pathfinder Vest for my middle boy! So it seemed fair that this next outfit was made for my eldest 🙂 Thank you Lisa for starting me on this journey!

We have hit Spring here in Australia and the weather has been beautiful, but Spring can be unpredictable and stormy too! The wind was blowing and my girl was so happy to be cosy in her Crossroads Vest!

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This pattern is a free add-on variation to the Pathfinder Vest I showed you above (modelled by my boy)! If you already have the Pathfinder Vest pattern, you can subscribe to the Twig + Tale Newsletter here to download the additional instructions and pattern pieces for free.

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It is a unisex pattern with many options, such as the round hood I have added, the pixie style hood, flutter sleeves and a pleated back option. You can also create a Wild Things Vest! My eldest is 8 (that’s basically an adult isn’t it?), and really liked the simple design we chose here. She likes classic design with a bit of interest, so the gorgeous tulip shape front was a hit.

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I had THE HARDEST time choosing an Art Gallery Fabric to match in with the other fabrics I already had planned. Have you ever lost an evening, or maybe a whole day drooling over the collections on their website? I was up till the wee hours of the morning making that difficult decision, but I think it was worth the lack of sleep to see this combination come together!

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This fabric I chose for the lining is the stunning Wild Posy Luminous, from the Forest Floor collection by Bonnie Christine! These fabrics not only have the most beautiful prints, they feel like silk to touch. AGF quilting cottons aren’t like regular quilting cottons. They are lighter and smoother and are beautiful to use for clothing.

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But the best news is that by using snaps on the Crossroads Vest, it makes it completely reversible! Two outfits in one, just like that!!

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The outer fabric for the vest was given to me by my Mother In Law. She cleaned out her sewing supplies earlier this year and gave me most of her fabrics, which she had collected over time. Who knows where this gorgeous wool came from or how old it is, she doesn’t remember exactly, only that she most likely had plans to make it into a coat for herself…

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I’m so glad I got to make that happen for her granddaughter, it is so very pretty!

I whipped up a cute knotted headband (I didn’t use a pattern but I’ll get back to you soon with a tutorial). I accidentally made the headband large enough and with elastic at the back, so that it fits me too! Look, I didn’t mean to make it for me, but it’s so damn cute, I’m totally claiming it as mine now haha!

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I love the mix of old and new. Most of my projects have a hint of vintage to them or upcycling! I love that Twig + Tale shares the same ethos! Did you know that the average Australian buys around 27 kilograms of new textiles each year and then discards 23 kilograms into landfill? I’m sure the statistics are similar in most parts of the world, but this is a big reason why I love shopping in charity stores and upcycling. It’s another reason why I love Twig + Tale patterns, they have lovely fabric recycling guides included in their patterns, to show you ideas to reuse garments and up cycle blankets etc.

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Why would you let fabrics like these go to waste when they can become new works of art?

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The burgundy corduroy fabric came from my op shop travels (or thrift store adventures, depending on where in the world you come from). I am in love with this outfit all together!

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These Pixie shorts are so adorable! I love them with long socks or winter tights, but my girl will wear them though the warmer weather with sandals as well! I plan on making some chambray ones for summer too!

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I made her a basic white long sleeved shirt to wear under her Twig + Tale ensemble, all fabrics again sourced from a local op-shop/thrift store!

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This girl is quite the performer and enjoyed a little song and dance as we took these pictures! She was laughing and enjoying twirling about in the wind!

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Twig & Tale is a place where imagination runs wild and is for everyone who shares a love of creativity and an adventurous spirit—beginner sewers especially! It’s a celebration of the innocence of childhood and the wonder of nature. It’s about comfy clothes and warm things like hugs and capes and coats. It’s about handmade, love, and imaginary play—featuring classic, simple patterns that inspire us all to tell a story.

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Thank you so much for stopping by my entry for the Twig + Tale Welcome Blog Tour!

Here’s the exciting part – DISCOUNTS AND GIVEAWAYS!!!

Twig + Tale is giving you 20% off the Wild Things range of patterns to get your Halloween sewing on track (or maybe just because they are super cute and you need no convincing or excuse to neeeeeeed them 😉 )! No code is needed, you will see the marked down prices on the patterns, and you have until Midnight Friday PST to grab the discount.

Thanks to Art Gallery Fabrics and Twig + Tale, you also have the opportunity to win this great prize!

What would a Blog Tour be without a giveaway!

Art Gallery Fabrics is kindly sponsoring 2 yards of Art Gallery fabric of your choice. To make the prize extra sweet, we are also adding a collection of 5 Twig + Tale patterns of your choice.

International entries are very welcome. Our bloggers come from every corner of the world to celebrate the global nature of Twig +Tale too.

Enter using the rafflecopter below.

(The winning entry will be checked to ensure all criteria are met).

**********a Rafflecopter giveaway**********

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Sofilantjes Down Under Blog Tour

I am so excited to be first up on the very first Sofilantjes Down Under Blog Tour!

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We are excited to showcase the summer patterns & also offer you a special discount code and a giveaway!!

Welcome to sunny Australia in Spring! In the interests of full disclosure, the whole of our beautiful country doesn’t look exactly like this, but the part I come from certainly does! I happen to be on holidays at the moment enjoying the gorgeous Port Macquarie area in NSW, which is right near where I lived as a child and where my parents grew up.

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Litore & Solis by Sofilantjes

My family have had an awesome few days away to celebrate my husband’s birthday and declared it even better than our big holiday to Fiji! Sheesh… I wish we’d known sooner that we could have saved all those $$$$$ on airfares, accommodation and passports haha! Why do we take overseas holidays when we have all this at home though? They could be on to something…

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I have been admiring the sweet Sofilantjes Dutch designs, for some time. The brand really hit my radar when I saw the Solis Tunic & Dress release. I bought the Solis straight away, but I had been waiting for warmer weather to sew it up. As you can see here, the warmer weather has well and truly hit! My other choice for the tour is the Litore Tunic & Dress and I think they look awesome together – without being too matchy matchy, which we all know would not be “cool” at all!

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We are pretty lucky in Australia to have the beautiful weather and landscapes that we have! The trip we took for my husband’s birthday was a last minute decision, so these dresses of course came with us. They are easy to pack and don’t need ironing as they are made from lovely comfortable, wrinkle-free knit (YAY)! The stripe I used is a ponte, lined with plain white cotton lycra, the skirts are silky, poly lycra florals and I think the green is an ITY (don’t hold me to it, I picked up a huge bundle of it from a charity shop for a few dollars, so it had no label).

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Each dress pattern has several skirt options. The Solis has a pleated skirt & circle skirt as well as tunic length options. The Litore has a high/low circle skirt, handkerchief and an A-line maxi. All the skirts are interchangeable between the two patterns which make them great companion patterns. I decided to use the straight circle skirt from the Solis for both dresses, for a cohesive look.

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Solis & Litore by Sofilantjes

I found these pattern’s fit together perfectly and the instructions very clear. I am absolutely loving sewing knits at the moment and I don’t know why it took me so long to become a convert. I also love the opportunity these dress patterns give you to pair together different fabric combinations. I think this stripe and floral combo looks awesome and so did my girls! I love that they coordinate so well without being an exact match. I can actually see these being worn for Christmas. They epitomise the kind of Aussie Christmas we enjoy – relaxed and comfortable with a bit of style!

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Inseam skirt pockets

I love that the skirt has pockets, I can’t believe I didn’t ask the girls to put their hands in them for a picture, I guess they were too busy clowning around for me to remember!

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You see, I have this one girl who is an absolute professional, doesn’t need any instructions… So sensible, mature beyond her years…

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Then I have this other gremlin, who we will call a free spirit! I’ll just include this angelic, full of life picture, not the ones where she wants to climb and balance on the edge of everything, scaring the life out of me! We were all dressed ready for dinner, so I wasn’t in the mood to jump in the river to fish her out haha!

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But this is her all over – her poor big sister is saying “Whoah, hold on!”, while she is just going for it! Nothing stops this girl haha! She can do anything (even with her eyes shut lol)!!

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Please don’t fall in kiddo! The sensible sister always has a hold of her wild little sibling!

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I know my pictures all seem to be of their backs, but with these patterns it’s all about the funky back features!! The Litore has these gorgeous double cross straps. I added regular elastic to the straps to help them retain their recovery and not get overly stretched out. The pattern suggests clear elastic, but I didn’t have any in my stash and regular braided elastic works perfectly.

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The straps connect to the front with the shoulder tabs (shown in my version in the floral fabric). I like the simple front shape with good coverage.

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The Solis has this funky t-bar back design. This works really well on my narrow framed 8 year old. As I said – I am a sucker for a cool back design ❤

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The front is again a smooth and simple shape design, with great comfortable coverage.

I actually made both dresses in a size 4 width with 6 length as per the pattern and their measurements. Both my girls are a similar size (at age 8 and 5 – ridiculous I know 😉 so they can swap and wear either dress as they feel like it! The patterns both include sizes 12m – 14 years, so you have a great range to work with!

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Follow along on the Sofilantjes tour and catch the other bloggers from Down Under! You might be from our hemisphere, excited to see a tour that relates to our season.

Maybe you are from another part of the world and are excited to see how we interpret the Sofilantjes brand and what our part of the world looks like?

Later this week you will see posts from other Australian and New Zealand bloggers. Make sure you follow along for more chances to win!

Monday Idle sunshine

Tuesday Horris And Deedle

Wednesday Little Cumquat, Bartacks and Singletrack

Thursday Tea, Dust and Stitches, Brave Fabrics

Friday While she was sleeping, Mend and Make New

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Thanks for visiting and let me know where you are from, and whether you have heard of Sofilantjes before. If you have sewn any of their patterns, which are your favourites?!

So here’s the exciting part for you guys! I have a giveaway for you and a discount code!

Enter below to win a copy of the sweet Litore Tunic & Dress Pattern

**********a Rafflecopter giveaway**********

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Sofilantjes is also offering you 15% off for all of their summer patterns (including the Domis and Semper). They have bundles including the Aura.

The code to use is DOWNUNDER. This discount expires on October 16th & is valid on summer patterns only.

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

Chalk & Notch – Cascade Maxi Dress

Today is a good day! We get to take a look at the brand new Cascade Maxi dress by Chalk & Notch Patterns AND I have so generously been given a copy to give away to one of my readers! My very first giveaway!

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Wow! I could pretty much leave it at that, add a few pictures and this blog post is done right? This pattern is so gorgeous, that I don’t really have to say much at all!

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I was thrilled to be able to test this pattern. Gabriela’s sneak peek had me obsessed with this dress! Despite its ridiculous good looks, it is quite a simple sewing project that is suitable for advanced beginners. It is cut on the bias, has a simple elastic back and a gorgeous high-low maxi length hem (which is my favourite feature).

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The picture above is my absolute favourite! I tested View B, which has a feature border hem, and I absolutely love how this dress turned out with the contrasting blue I chose! If you are not so confident, or are after a super fast project, then View A creates a dress with the same finished length without the border hem.

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This dress is best made with a light weight woven fabric or one with good drape, such as this amazing printed voile I had picked up a little while ago from Spotlight. It is an absolute stunner! The border is also a voile, and I had the full rainbow of solids to choose from in my stash, but this blue is definitely my colour.

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There is a sweet pleat in the centre front which helps give the dress a great fit and style. If you look closely, you might notice that I exercised a little OCD and added my straps so that the yellow met the pink on the dress & the pink met the yellow. Anyone else do crazy little things like that, or do you just wing it?

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One of the other clever testers made an all white version which looked so beautiful. I can imagine it as a flower girl or special occasion dress! My little Miss has already decided it is SO special, it must be worn for her next birthday (which is not until January)!! I love when my kids love what I make for them.

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I love the cross over back and that the hem just skims the ground, its so elegant and grown up. The volume of fabric is such a gorgeous feature and my little Miss enjoyed swishing about in the afternoon breeze!

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So you should definitely go grab a copy of the pattern while it is on sale (until Sunday 25/9), BUT I bet you would really like to win a copy!

All you have to do is leave me a blog comment and I will use random.org to select a winner.

Of course I would also love it if you would follow me on Instagram and Facebook too! Leave me your instagram handle in your comment so I can follow you back! ❤

Competition closes Sunday 10pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is Sunday 5am in California for those of you on the other side of the world!

You can see some of the other talented testers’ Cascade Maxis here in the links below AND the great news is that some of these posts may also contain a pattern giveaway! So please make a cup of tea and enjoy…

Gabriela – Pattern Designer – Chalk & Notch

Natasha from Ellie’s Handmade

Anita from My Own Aria

Indu from Kaleidothought

Emi from Just Add Fabric

Nelleke from Gaafmachine

Leslie from Threadbear Garments

Mieke from Mie Made Memories

Thao from Little Cumquat

Good Luck and warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

Striped Swallow Designs Anniversary

Striped Swallow Designs 2nd Anniversary Flash Sale!

 

Did you hear it’s Striped Swallow Designs 2nd birthday? Yes two years has passed since the iconic Girls Coachella Shorts Pattern was released! I am only a relatively new customer, but I wish I’d found them a long time ago. Their style aesthetic is super cool boho, and completely on-trend!!

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I have a tiny 8 year old who is a very happy customer! She has always wanted the cool clothes that her friends (her age) wear, but she is still stuck in the little kids section in about a size 4-5 in all the stores. Now I can make her just what she wants!

We recently tested 2 new patterns for Mandalynn. The Girls Midsummer Dream & The Girls Emerie Romper which are now both available for sale on the website. Let me tell you a little about these new patterns and then I’ll tell you about some awesome sales you won’t want to miss!

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The Midsummer Dream PDF Pattern is a gorgeous boho inspired off the shoulder dress, or crop top and skirt. This pattern can be made in sizes 2 – 14 and in either knit or woven fabrics! How versatile is that? I was allocated the knit dress option in testing, so I cut into this amazing vintage style knit I found at Spotlight. I bought this fabric for myself, but after I cut out my planned skirt, I luckily had just enough left for this gorgeous dress!

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The knit and woven versions have different pattern pieces to ensure the perfect fit. This means no guessing whether to upsize for woven or downsize for knit, all the hard work has already been done for you.

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I dragged my little girl out for pictures before school one morning, as after school seems to be completely full of sports & ballet lessons these days! This was 8am, but the fog just refused to lift that week! This family is not a big fan of winter, and testing summer style patterns can be a little challenging when it comes time to get great pictures! She was a little trooper though, and I only had to promise her $5 for her hard work haha!

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We styled the dress with tights and boots for a winter look, which she definitely appreciated!

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I couldn’t resist making up another version and woven fabrics are my comfort zone so I whipped up this cute little spotty crop from a muslin/gauze I had found some time ago in the remnant bin.

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The skirt was a shirred tunic top of mine that I had put away to upcycle. It was perfect as a skirt for this outfit!

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My girl absolutely loves the crop option, it’s grown up without flashing too much flesh and she cannot wait till summer to be able to wear it!

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Next up: The Emerie Romper for Girls is the latest pattern release from Striped Swallow Designs. It was a much anticipated older sister to the Baby Emerie Pattern that was already super popular!

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It can be made in either a tank option, flounce romper (as I made for my girls) or as a crop top and separate shorts! There are 2 shorts lengths and I chose the longer length as I wasn’t adding trim to the legs.

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My girls absolutely love their rompers! They couldn’t believe I made them, because they look just like something you’d buy from the shops! I don’t know whether to be offended or not… I think I’m going to take this as a win though, because they want me to make them more haha!

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If I’m being completely honest, I look at these and wonder how I made them too! They look so damn awesome, but the pattern was so easy to follow! I can see my girls wearing these every day in summer! They are the perfect combination of comfort and cute in soft stretchy knit.

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We soaked up some gorgeous afternoon winter sun with a quick skate (before ballet and soccer training cut us short)!! I wish every afternoon was like this!

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I love the cross over flounce detail on this version and with some cute pom pom trim you are “The Best Mum in the World!” in no time at all!

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If you are interested in both the Girls and Baby Emerie Patterns, they are also available for purchase in a discounted bundle.

So while I love bombarding you with cute pictures of my kids in cute outfits I make them, there are some sale details I know you will be excited about!

The Girl’s Coachella Shorts Pattern, The Women’s Coachella Shorts Pattern and the Women’s Cloud Chaser top Pattern are all currently on sale in the 2nd Anniversary Flash Sale for only $5 each! You can bet I went shopping as soon as I got the email! So if those patterns are on your wishlist, don’t waste any time, because you only have about 24 hours left to pick them up at that price!

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The other good news is that I’ve heard a little rumour that if you have your eye on any of the other fabulous Striped Swallow Designs patterns you might want to check back on Tuesday for a little surprise… If you want to be first in the know, you can sign up to the mailing list on the website and join the Striped Swallow Designs Facebook Group!

 

Warmest Wishes!

Brooke Smith

Idlesunshine

 

 

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