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Drapey Summer Skirt

Hello Everyone, 

This is my first blog on Minerva. So let me first introduce myself. I am Martine, 28 years old (almost 29) and living with my boyfriend and dog in the south of The Netherlands. I started sewing two and a half years ago and I still love it! Now I sew for some more before I felt confident enough to apply for the Minerva crafts blogger network. So here is my first blog.

First of all, I am not a native English speaker. So I am sorry if I made some grammatical mistakes in writing. At work I have to communicate sometimes in English but there the most important thing is that we understand each other. So this is a good practise to level up my English writing skills. I chose this beautiful drapy Viscose Fabric with a dark blue background and pink flowers. I always thought I was a stripe kind of girl. But when I look in my closet it turns out I am definetly a flower girl. I have sewn once with stripes and a lot of other things with flowers. And this one is also with flowers again.  I directly knew I would love to make the Arlette skirt out of the Fibre Mood Magazine. I have the Dutch version but the magazine is also available in English, French and German. These skirts you see a lot in the shops and why buy it as you can make it.

When I received the fabric I was really happy because I could stick to my plan. The Arlette skirt is not difficult to make and the fabric was a perfect match with the pattern. 

It took me quite some time to make the skirt because I had some health issues lately. In the pictures you can also see I look a bit tired. It is nothing to worry about, I only should take enough rest. It motivated me to sew at the times I felt good enough. And just in time I could finish the skirt. I am really happy how the skirt turned out. I am lucky that I have a standard size, so I haven’t done any alterations. I love the print and fabric and I think I will wear this one enough this summer. I only have to find out how to combine it the best. But reason enough to make a matching top :). 

For the pictures I combined it with a white shirt and pink top I already own. I bought these tops a few years ago. I think this is also a good combination. 

This skirt asks for a sunny day. So on the best sunny day my boyfriend and I walked to this beautiful place in our neighbourhood to take some pictures. Our dog was with us and he loves running after a stick. Only bringing it back is a bit difficult.

Anyway I hope the sun keeps shining for a while. So I can wear this skirt a lot!  

Do you like to wear skirts in summer?

Martine @sewing_tina

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Adventures in Trouser Making

Hello from Manitoba!  Its great to be back here on the blog once again!  Today I'm here to share my latest make, which happens to be my first go at the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers!  

When the Stretch Cotton Fabric popped up at Minerva I knew it wanted to be a pair of trousers and I figured it would be a match made in heaven with the Ultimate Trouser pattern.

I will admit to having quite a bit of hesitation when it came to the actual sewing up of my trousers. Trousers are scary. There's just so many potential fit pitfalls. So I had to work up my courage to make them. My other problem was the time needed for a project that would require quite a bit of fitting. These pants felt like they did take me quite a while to make.  

Life is, as it always seems to be, quite hectic, which doesn't always leave a whole lot of free time for sewing.  But instead of getting discouraged about the lack of time, I opted to take a new approach and take advantage of those few moments of time I could snatch here and there. Even if it was only a dart sewn at 6:30am before I got the boys up to get ready for school or a seam edge overlocked while supper finished simmering on the stove it was satisfying and felt like I was accomplishing something in those bite sized sewing sessions.  In fact, I went from sewing once or twice a week at most and feeling cranky the rest of the days that I wasn't being creatively productive to sewing or doing something sewing related every day. 

When I finally dove into my adventure in trouser making, I started out with just some cheap old ugly fabric I'd had in my stash for years that had about the same weight and stretch as my good fabric and cut out my first pair - just shorts because I didn't have enough to do pants and figured my major areas of fit concern would not be the legs. I may have been wrong there...  I'm actually still mulling over the wrinkles at my knees on my good pair.  Any suggestions will be happily welcomed! 

With my shorts muslin I went with my waist size then blended down in the hips by one size.  They were quite large when sewn up, the crotch seams were a nightmare and they will never see the light of day because, oh my word, they were horrendous.  

I had to regroup.  I went down a size in the waist, and another two sizes in the hips (I am definitely in the apple shaped category).  The re-worked version of my muslin was considerably better but the wrinkles in the front and back were rather alarming. That crotch seam was going to need a whole lot of adjusting. I scooped here and flattened there and finally got to where I deemed it reasonable. Then I moved onto a swayback adjustment, raising the height of the pants and adding a waistband and belt loops. In the end I was quite pleased with my pants. Except the knees. I can't decide what to do with them. And the back could use a bit of an adjustment in the legs still too.   

The fabric is fun, soft and comfy with its touch of stretch as well as being easy to work with. My machine sewed through it easily (which is saying something because my machine, which was a dream for the first 11 months I owned it, has suddenly become a temperamental beast that doesn’t like to sew any fabric with any weight to it nicely!).

They aren't as slim fitting as I'd like, they still need some fine tuning in the adjustments but you know what? They are a huge improvement over any ready to wear pants I own, so I'm calling it a big success.   I'm pretty pleased with myself that I found the courage to try pants making and even more pleased that I have a cute pair of trousers for work!  What's even better was this project gave me a new perspective on making use of the time I have instead of grumbling and grousing about the time I don't have. So all in all a very worthwhile endeavor if I do say so myself!

So until we meet again, I wish you all happy crafting!

Sarah @ Prairie Girl Knits

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Blog of the Vintage Dress

In a second I was totally in love with this vintage style Satin Fabric! I like vintage and I just found a pattern that I wanted to make so I think it’s was meant to be. But the pattern requested a thicker fabric so the skirt would fall out wide. This fabric was a satin, non stretch. I hesitated for a moment but I took the gamble, I thought that if I wanted a wide skirt I would where a petticoat underneath.

I once made a dress out of a satin fabric but didn’t have  great experience then, that fabric was static and hard to work with. This fabric from Minerva was the opposite, it was a beautiful fabric to work which. It was thin, smooth and easy to process, NOT static. So I loved it!

The fabric isn´t sticking to my body. The skirt is dancing when I´m turning around, just like they do in movies. I love it, I feel like a little girl when I´m doing this.

The pattern that I used was not an easy one but I challenged myself to make it because I like to learn new things. I´m not avoiding it in any way, like some people do. For example the folds under the breasts, an easy way is to wrinkle. But I spend hours to make the right folds, in the right direction. Because I love the wrinkles, they make the dress, the vintage touch.

In the upperpart (the breasts pieces) I needed to cut a little fabric off because it was designed for a thicker and stiffer fabric, so I had some fabric left.

The collar was something I never made like this because it did not stand up in the neck, it had darts. What I totally love! Because my back is a little bit round, my shoulders are standing a little bit forward and because of that some dresses have a gap in back of the neckline. So I learned how I could resolve that problem next time.

The front and back panel had three pieces, upper part, waistband and bottom panel. The waistband had to continue on the side but also in the front. Especially the front was hard to continue all the way true, because of the buttons.

To finish off the sleeves I had to use a technique that I didn't know so I took it to sewing school. The teacher helped me which it. And I’m glad with the result.

In my previous blog I said that I like being different. I like to wear spontaneous clothing with a tough look. And I think I showed it here. The boots that I wear are sturdy and the dress speaks for itself. I think it's great.

In the end I think the fabric was perfect for this dress, it did not need a thicker fabric for the skirt, so it would fall out wide. I like it the way it is, I don´t need to wear a petticoat underneath.  

Thanks for reading,

Nienke @nie_nie_sewing

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Wild Flowers, Blooming in the City!

Hi there, its Carol here! aka Chatterstitch and I’m back on the Minerva Crafts blog to tell you all about this fabulous Crepe Fabric by Lisa Comfort!

Well that name alone should tell you oodles about this fabric, great design and great quality.

I couldn’t believe my luck, when Vicki from Minerva offered to let me  make something from this and then write my review. I’m dreaming right??

So here we go, this maybe the easiest review ever written by anyone!!

The fabric is 60” wide and comes in three fabulous colour ways.

This black one, which is my personal favourite. Silver, which has a creamy background with pale blue and cream flowers and Burgundy which is equally as lovely, it has a dark red background and has turquoise flowers. Honestly, they are all gorgeous.

When the fabric arrived I had a few things in mind which I could make from it.

It’s definitely heavy enough to use for dresses, skirts or tops so I really was spoilt for choice!

However, I decided to make a top with it, as I could see me getting so much wear out of this lovely fabric this way. Either dressed up with smart trousers or a skirt, or down with jeans I could see me getting loads of wear from it.

I finally settled on the Josie top from Experimental space, they are a relatively new company and the Josie top has the best sleeves I think I have ever seen!

The unusual thing about this blouse is that it has fabulous triple pleats which run from the neckline across the shoulder seam and down the arm to mid bicep. Then the pleats billow out into a bishop sleeve until they are drawn into an elongated cuff which closes with three buttons. I just had to see these sleeves made from this crepe.

After pre-washing the fabric, I cut out with my rotary blade, and the fabric didn’t slip around at all. It certainly wasn’t one of those irritating fabrics which refused to be cut on the fold. Although it did fray a little bit (as you would expect) but using a fine needle, my sewing machine had no trouble sewing it at all.

One of the benefits of a crepe like this is its ability to not crease too much. Which on one hand is a good thing. But then I suddenly thought oh my goodness, what if I can’t get those creases to stay in on the pleats? The fabric is actually quite bouncy and I did worry a bit at this stage.

However, I really didn’t need to be concerned as the pleats are fabulous!

After completing this make, I was really lucky to be spending the following weekend in one of my favourite cities in the world. So I just had to get some pictures of my lovely new top while sightseeing in London!!

As you can see the fabric worked perfectly and I can honestly say it came straight out of my suitcase and onto my body without even seeing an iron!

This fabric didn’t crease at all, I hate it if you have to press before wearing when you are away. I just want to get dressed and go, not spend ages trying to remove the creases my packing has caused!

If I hadn’t made this Wild Flowers fabric for my Josie top, I think it would be amazing as a pussy bow blouse or indeed a dress, such as the Sew Over It Betty Dress.The fabric is beautifully fluid and drapey. I would love to make this into a circle skirt next!

That’s all for now, thanks for reading and I hope you love my make as much as I do, the question is what will you make? 

Carol @chatterstitch x

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Sewing with Crinkle Chiffon Fabric

Hello fellow makers, I'm thrilled to be invited by Minerva to share my experiences of my most recent make with you on their blog today.

When I was sent some of their lovely patterned Crinkle Chiffon Fabric in the grey colour way, I knew straight away that I wanted to make something I could wear in the upcoming warmer months... cue my over ambitious and insane amount of pattern tweaking to make myself a two piece summer outfit from the 2 metres I kindly received.

First on the cutting table was my 'hack' of the Tessuti fabrics' Evie Bias skirt pattern, due to the crinkled nature of the fabric cutting it on the bias wasn't really a possibility so instead I used the pattern template and instructions to make myself a non-bias cut, partly lined, subtly gathered, midi length skirt – very similar to a lot of skirts currently on the high street.

The first step to make my skirt was to make the lining. I used some nude lining fabric, which was from my stash and to cut this using the pattern running with the grainline rather than the bias to the correct size I used their size 8 but shortening the length so it finished just at my knee once hemmed to create the stepped lining look. I then cut my main fabric, again with grain rather than bias, following their largest template piece so I could gather it at the waist and create a floaty appearance and try to highlight the crinkled texture of the fabric.

Once evenly gathered at the waist to match the same measurement of the lining fabric I basted the two pieces together to form 'one' pattern piece for the front and one for the back as the pattern needs  you to finish the sides with an overlocker or edge stitch before sewing the seams together.

I then pretty much followed the instructions from this point onwards for the Evie skirt pattern without much deviation apart from using a pre-made hot pink bias trim rather than making one from the crepe. I'm sure most will agree – pretty insides always make us sewists happy even if we are the only ones who know about it!!

This is my second pattern from Tessuti and they are super easy to follow with really easy to follow instructions and very helpful photos. They are the only pattern company I've used thus far whom advise the use of tear away vilene to help stabilise areas where invisible zips are to be inserted and to prevent bagging out around waistbands or necklines, quite confusing on my first use but actually I've come to really like this technique especially when using very lightweight, sheer or slippy fabrics. It gives the stability to the fabric without permanently changing the nature or look of the it.

Having completed this skirt, I'm very happy with the results but have reflected that if I were to make it again I would baste the main fabric and lining together at the waist and zipper after finishing the side seams, basically making two separate skirts that share a waistband and fastener. My finished piece hangs lovely but I think perhaps doing the above technique may just give it that professional edge.

Now the skirt was done it was time to find a top that would compliment and complete my summer outfit and that obviously had to be the Nina Lee Bloomsbury blouse with a cap sleeve hack. (To do this you use her sleeve head pattern piece and draw a very subtly curved line across from one side to another 15mm into the arm side seams.)

The gathering of the ruffles required quite a bit of patience and meant my rolled hem foot was hard at work trying to get an even finish on what felt like metres of chiffon but once that was done the overall sew was a breeze. This is my second Bloomsbury blouse and its always a joy to make, the instructions are clear and thoughtfully laid out.

For my fastenings I used some black Prym snap fastenings which I always find much easier to use when garments close at the back compared with buttons, which can be a bit fiddly when you can't see what you doing.

Overall I'm super happy with my make and cannot wait to wear them together once the weather warms up but I'm pretty sure the skirt will see some outings very soon with a pair of tights underneath and an appropriate spring weather sweater.

Until next time,

Jane @tabbystitch

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Sophisticated Animal Print Wrap Dress

I am very excited to share my first make for the Minvera Craft Team! For my first project, I chose this silky, Lightweight Crepe Fabric, a mix of leopard and reptile motifs. The print is almost abstract, which makes it really interesting to look at. This fabric comes in five different colors: blue, green, purple, and rust.  I was drawn to the gorgeous blue, though the green was a close second! It is silky (not shiny) but I was super pleased that it is not too slippery to work with. It drapes and flows like a dream! You do need to take special care if you need to take out a seam as this fabric is a bit delicate. I used a Microtex 70/10 needle and it worked really well. If you are careful, you will have no problems!
Once I received my fabric, I knew right away it needed to be made into a shirt dress. I rifled through my pattern collection and decided that Butterick 5030 (View E) was perfect! This dress has a gorgeous pointed collar and three-quarter sleeves with turned up cuffs. The bodice has darts in the front and back for a beautiful fitted look. The wrap bodice is closed using two sets of hooks and eyes. The belt is made by turning the edges rather than sewing two pieces together and turning it inside out. For interfacing, I used Pellon Designer’s Lite lightweight fusible interfacing which was a great match for this fabric. I made the left front skirt panel and belt using a basic black polyester fabric as I didn’t have quite enough of the printed fabric — a happy accident! I love the interest and color block effect the black provides.  
The collar and cuffs add sophistication to this dress, making it perfect for the office. However, a camisole is necessary unless you alter the bodice or perhaps add a hook and eye to keep the opening more closed and modest. The dress is super comfortable to wear, thanks to the great fit and fabric. My geometric necklace really compliments the fabric, too
How pretty are these turned up cuffs? And I adore how the print on the fabric appears on the bodice. My collar really shows this off — leopard print on one side of the collar and reptile print on the other side. The picture of the bodice really shows off the beautiful colors in this fabric — denim blue, light blue and purple shades, all shifting through the fabric, adding even more depth and visual interest.
Thanks for reading,
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Tie Dye Suit!

Hi Minervacrafters!

It’s me again, Marlies (@madebyLIESL) with the best fabric for a Tie Dye suit!

I watched the video of this Fabric on the website and then read about the double gauzed fact so I immediately thought of making a suit. For the summer or fall. The fabric is light but not see through so that made it perfect for trousers.

When I received the fabric I doubted for a moment whether it should not be made into a dress. I asked this question online on my Instagram account…the majority voted for a dress….I still went for a suit. Sorry guys ;), but you helped. And I agree a dress in this fabric would be wonderful too!

I was a bit worried if the double layers would stay together when cutting the pattern pieces. Well, as often is, worrying was totally not necessary because the two layers are fixed very well together. So there was no need to serge the pieces before stitching, which was my original thought to do. Actually I would not recommend it because of the loose weaving of the fabric you might stretch it out when serging. So I serged after stitching. Another tip is to stitch all the pieces in the same direction. I know I should do that always…but with this fabric you definitely should, because of the loose weave of the back fabric.

Overall the fabric was really easy to work with, did great with ironing and didn’t fray at all.

I first made the pants because then I could decide which blazer jacket to make. I wasn’t sure about the length of the jacket. So making the pants first allowed me to try on some already made jackets in front of the mirror and then I decided which length it should be.

For the pants I used a pattern similar to Burda 6689. There were some changes that I made. First I left out the front pockets and just added some plackets to make it appear that it has pockets. I also left out the back pockets.  

As I mentioned before I did serge the edges after stitching and chose contrasting blue thread so when turning the pants at the bottom they will show.

For the blazer jacket I choose a pattern similar to Kwik Sew 3715. This is a longer jacket with welted pockets. As a placket I used some left over denim fabric which gave it a nice contrasting effect. I also made a welted button hole using the same denim fabric.

The button I made using only the top layer of the fabric. Here you see how the layers are attached to each other.

As lining I used two colours. Pink and dark blue. The latter I used on the bottom of the sleeves so when you fold the sleeve over you’ll see it. Such a nice effect.

I am so happy with this new addition to my wardrobe. It is exactly the way I envisioned it to be. The suit looks great and the jacket also goes very well with jeans!! I love them versatile pieces!!

Thanks again for reading!

Want to see more of makes? Take a look on my blog.

Marlies

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Terracotta Roses Wrap Dress

Hi there!

I’m Christine, otherwise known online as Alchymyst and you can find me at alchymyst.blogspot.com or on Instagram @the_alchymyst

I’ve been sewing for years but this is my first time posting for the Minerva Crafts Blog and I’m really excited to be here.

I chose this polyester Crepe Fabric because I loved the slightly retro, mid-century feel of the print, with its big blousy roses, interspersed with morning glories. The colours are absolutely glorious; some black fabrics can look a bit washed out, but this is just the richest, inkiest black which really sets off the terracotta and peach flowers and those little touches of turquoise and purple just make the whole thing sing.

I had originally planned to make quite a structured dress but when I received the fabric and felt how soft and light it was I decided something more fluid would be better to make the most of its wonderful drape. With this in mind I chose Simplicity 8137. This pattern includes maxi and knee length wrap dresses, a peplum top and a pair of trousers and I chose to make the short-sleeved, knee length dress.

If you are at all nervous about working with crepe fabrics then this would be an ideal fabric to start with as despite its floaty nature it isn’t slippery at all. It doesn’t seem excessively prone to fraying and sews up like a dream. It is also remarkably forgiving if you accidentally sew something up the wrong way round and have to unpick the whole seam. Apparently. I wouldn’t know…

The pattern came together easily with no particularly tricky parts. Though I’d definitely recommend using a light weight fabric such as this one as you are required to roll the skirt up between the bodice and bodice lining when stitching the lining to the waistline. I think this might prove more difficult with a bulky fabric.

I think the finished dress is very pretty and feminine.The skirt is lovely and swishy with a good degree of overlap so that it doesn’t tend to flap open every time you take a step and I love the draped effect on the bodice and the cute little bow fastening.

The only small problem that I found was that being a bit on the busty side the bodice of the finished dress tended to gape somewhat and show rather more cleavage than I felt comfortable with (big girl problems). I solved this by invisibly hand stitching a short length (about 10cm) of the overlap closed at the fullest part of the bust - this means I have to take the dress on and off over my head before fastening the waist rather than actually wrapping it around, but I don’t mind that.

Overall I’m delighted both with the fabric and the way the finished dress has come out and I anticipate getting lots of wear out of it over the spring and summer.

Thanks for reading,

Christine @the_alchymyst

alchymyst

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Bandage Rib Boat Neck Top Tutorial

Hi everyone! I’m Anita, from DIY with Manneken and I’m back with a new fabric review. This time I chose a Bandage Rib Jersey Fabric. I loved it instantly. I had a few ideas in my head, so I decided to order the plum color. 
This gorgeous knitted jersey fabric has a beautiful rib texture. The color is awesome, and I think it’s perfect to sew tops, pants, jumpsuits, dresses and skirts. I really love it. There’s a wide range of colours available.
I finally decided to make a long sleeve top, with a boat neck, and a gathered center back.
Step 1. For making this top you need a your knit block pattern. The one with no darts, as you do not need them for knit garments.
Step 2. Start making the neckline a bit wider. It all depends on each person’s likes and dislikes. You can see an example in the drawing. 
Step 3. The front remains as it is. Draw some horizontal lines on the back (taking advantage of the wasitline), and cut from these lines until near the side of the pattern. 
Step 4. Open the cuts from as you see in the drawing. You can open them as much as you want, depending on the amount of gathering you want. 
Step 5. Add the seam allowance. At the center back and hemlines add 2cm seam allowance, 1cm for the rest of the t-shirt. Cut a rectangle for the neckline that measures 3,5cm tall, and as long as the length of the total neckline.
Step 6. Draw the sleeve, taking into account the armhole measurement of the front and the back which is the same in this case, as we are sewing a knit fabric. Add a 1cm seam allowance around the sleeve, and 2cm at the hemline.
Step 7. Start sewing the back to the front from the shoulder line, right sides together. 
Step 8. Sew the hemlines.
Step 9. Sew the center back, folding the 2cm seam allowance.
Step 10. Topstitch the backline seam allowance. 
Step 11. Face right sides of the sleeves to the right side of the front and back of the tee, and sew the sleeve to the bodice around the armhole.
Step 12. This is how it will look after sewing both sleeves.
Step 13. Fold the t-shirt from the sleeves, facing front and back right sides together. And sew sides, from sleeve to bottom hemline. 
Step 14.  Turn the t-shirt to the right side. Fold the rectangle we cut earlier in half and go on sewing on neckline. 
Step 15. Insert a cord in the center back hole we created and gather the back. We can tie up the cord at the bottom. 
And here you have some pictures of the tee. Hope you like it!
XOXO
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Ogden Cami Summer Dress Hack

Hi everyone,

This is Josephine from @itisjosie and this is my very first blog for Minerva.

When I selected this Stretch Crepe Fabric I was not sure of what to expect until it arrived in the post. Upon opening it I realised that it was a lightweight translucent fabric quite similar to chiffon and georgette which would be best suited for a flowy item.

My first thought was to make an Ogden Cami by True Bias with the fabric as it was a perfect pattern for such fabric. And what could be better than an Ogden Cami top?..... You guessed right an Ogden Cami dress.

I have previously sewn up two Ogden Camis which I really love wearing in the warmer months. I can confidently say it is a tried and true pattern which I knew would not be that hard to hack.  I sketched an Ogden cami midi dress which had an elasticated waist and a flounce at the bottom.

I never fancied a midi dress as I always preferred dresses which either stopped at the knee or at the ankle. I was never convinced about a midi until I noticed quite a few on the high street. And then I added a flounce to jazz it up more as the flounce is also popular this season.

I traced off my size of the Ogden cami pattern and measured the height from the underarm to my natural waist which gave me an idea of how much I needed to cut off from the original pattern.  I went on to cut out the pattern pieces from both the fabric and the lining. 

For the skirt, I cut out rectangles from the main fabric and the lining and the remaining fabric was used to make a flounce.

I followed the Ogden cami instructions to sew up the bodice of the dress. And for the skirt piece, I gathered the flounce which I attached to the rectangle before sewing it up. I sewed up the skirt lining piece which I later attached to the main fabric piece and I treated the two as a single piece. The skirt was gathered and attached to the bodice and it is at this stage that I created the elastic casing. I went on to insert the elastic and the dress was complete.

I have loved working with this stretch crepe and it has such a beautiful print. It also has a little stretch against the grain. It is quite stable fabric to work with, however I would recommend you finish your raw edges as you go as it had a tendency of fraying on me as I sewed it up. Lastly, if you intend to sew up a dress in it, I would recommend that you line it as the fabric is quite see-through. 

Thank you very much, Minerva, for this beautiful fabric and thank you, everyone, for reading.

For more about me and my makes find me on Instagram @itisjosie and on my blog It Is Josie.

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