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The Lagenlook Style

I could hardly wait for this Fabric to arrive and I was delighted! I chose the Navy which is a wonderfully rich colour with a lovely soft drape in a beautiful shade of Navy with a subtle shadow stripe. 

I felt this would lend itself well to the Lagenlook style. I decided to make a pair of trousers and a Jacket in a loose informal style that was still smart enough due to the lovely fabric to carry through any occasion. But could equally be worn with a T shirt as casual separates.

I decided to use Merchant and Mills 101 Trouser Pattern the wide legged version and the Pilvi coat from the Lotte Jansdotter Every day Book, both of these are loose fitting but smart items.

I like to trace around my patter pieces transferring markings rather than pinning, this keeps my pattern pieces in a good condition, I use pattern weights to keep the pattern pieces flat, then I use the Chaco Chalk Marker as it gives a nice crisp clear marking.

I cut my jacket slightly A line from the underarm to the hem extending from a gradual increase to about two inches wider at the hem to give a nice swing. After applying the interfacing to the necessary facings, I overlocked all pattern pieces for my jacket.

The jacket pieces all went together wonderfully, the instructions for the facing’s are very clear. I hung my jacket up overnight before hemming, this lets the fabric drop naturally and gives a much nicer finish to your hem. I also hand stitched with an invisible stitch the facings around the neck and the front of the jacket. This gives a professional finish.

For the trousers I followed the instructions carefully as some pieces the instructions advise finishing off the seams once you have joined, particularly the pockets, rather than finishing off all the edges in advance. These are really lovely trousers, with a fake fly. 

The slight inset of the pockets rather than just enclosing the pocket within the side seam makes the trousers lie flat across the tummy despite being a drawstring waist. The pattern suggested using cotton tape for the drawstring as I didn’t have any I made mine from a 2 inch strip of navy cotton using the Prym Fabric Turner Tool. The trousers hang well from the waist and are very comfortable and flattering to wear.

I found both these patterns well laid out with clear, concise instructions, the fabric was an absolute dream to sew and made up into a beautiful loose fitting jacket and trousers both could work separately and a few well chosen accessories would dress them up without being overly formal.

Thanks for reading,

Norma @nrb308

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Cotton and Steel Brushed Twill Sofia Dress

When this brushed cotton twill Cotton + Steel Fabric arrived and I felt how soft it was, I knew my daughter would love me to sew her anything from it. It has a flannel feel to it, but structure of a twill so could easily be sewn into a variety of garments. I chose a classic shirt dress for her, but know the key to getting her to wear anything is to whip up a matching doll version as well.

I prewashed the fabric as I usually do and did not have any trouble with shrinking or pilling. I love fabrics that do not require too much extra care, especially when sewing for little ones.

The doll was not even as necessary to make as I imagined because as soon as she tried on the dress and felt how lush it was, she was sold.

I love multi-directional prints as it makes it easier for puzzling in pattern pieces. No worrying about matching stripes or things, or stressing that I cut a piece upside down. There are plenty of colors in this print to pull in as well. I went with polka dot bias tape in red for the belt and cuff slits, as well as some aqua colored buttons. She can easily pair this with many different colored leggings as well. It is fun and festive without being too crazy. The navy background tones the bright colors down just enough.

This would be lovely made into some classic pyjamas as well, or a classic shirt, or perfect to line a coat. It would be fun as a stuffed toy as well! I plan to use scraps I have left to line some pants for her baby sister to stay warm this winter.

The dress pattern I used is the Sofia from Rebecca Page Patterns. It comes in adult, child and doll sizing with sleeveless, ¾ and long sleeve options as well as knee, midi and maxi length skirt. With little features like a back dart at the yoke, french seam finishing, and button cuffs it is very classic and wearable. With leggings she is comfortable enough to roam and play while staying cozy warm and looking quite polished. It has the perfect amount of twirl in the skirt also. The pattern was easy to follow for an intermediate seamstress comfortable with techniques such as button holes and collars.

For the doll, I prepped all the pieces for her and had my daughter help sew as much of it as she could. She was able to do the bulk of the work for as this fabric is so easy to work with. No shifting, nor special care to take. Perfect for a budding seamstress.

She cannot wait to wear her new dress to as many parties as she can coming up!

Thanks for reading,

Amanda @derivingmommyhood

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Velvet Velour Victorian Top

Velvet velour is in fashion again. Yay! Just like when I was young. Me and my sisters all had velour sweaters. My brother too come to think of it. Well it was the seventies. We were a sort of living in those. Mine was bright red! I remember it quite vividly.

On the Minervacrafts website you’ll find a lot of beautiful Velvet Velour Fabrics in many colours. This time I chose a bottle green one so I could make the outfit I had envisioned myself wearing. Inspired again by Pinterest.

So it had to be a sweater. Not just a simple one, a Victorian inspired one! Love that style. The fabric is soft and has stretch. Just perfect for a sweater or dress. And I can even imagine making a bomber jacket out of it.

The pattern I used is similar to McCalls Sewing Pattern 7660. Mine has the shoulder seams a bit more to the front. You can easily add this to the McCalls pattern too by taping the seams first and then cutting new ones more to the front before cutting the fabric.

For the gathered shoulders and neckline you can simply cut your pattern piece like shown above. Make your shoulders 3 cm and front neckline 4-5 cm bigger by stretching the pattern on pinning it onto the fabric. Before stitching the seams you’ll gather this excess fabric.

I used my sewing machine to do this. I stitched  with the biggest straight stitch on my machine and the pressure feet pressure on zero about 3 mm aside from the pattern line. I did this on both sides. Then by gently pulling the thread little irregular folds exists.

To make it a Victorian styled piece I added some ruffles at the collar. I simply cut a strip of fabric fold it wrong side on wrong side and ruffled it the same way I just described.

I also made a change to my sleeves to make them more poofy. I cut of the sleeves at three-quarter, widening them like I did before on my Kielo Wrap Dress Blog and added a bigger cuff.

When the sweater was finished I decided to add a bow. To make it even more Victorian. It’s detachable, simply by using a decorative safety pin!

Such a beautiful fabric to work with. The ruffle making went very well. And the way the light is reflected by the velvet velour is just fabulous!

Thanks for reading!

You’ll find more of my makes on Instagram.

Love,

Marlies @madebyliesl

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So Let's Talk Canvas

The Fabric

So, let’s talk Canvas Fabric.

You probably think of it as a material strictly for non-garment materials like bags, upholstery, or other heavy duty projects. But when I saw this gorgeous emerald green canvas from Minerva Crafts, I knew that this fabric would be lovely stitched up into a skirt, so I jumped at the opportunity to make it.

Shipping from the UK to the US

I’m always SO impressed with Minerva Crafts’ shipping times. They get things to my door faster than many US companies! I’m based in Texas, and love that I can order something from Minvera’s huge selection and know that I’ll get it soon — and this includes getting through US customs!

The Pattern

I used the Seamwork Leonora Skirt, a button front skirt designed for denim, but no matter how trendy it gets, I just can’t bring myself to make denim skirts. But I love the silhouette of this skirt, so when I saw this fabric, I knew it was a perfect fit!

The pattern didn’t require any adjustments for the material, but I did decide to keep things simple and leave off the pockets and belt loops. And the pattern called for flat felled seams, but who has time for that (especially on a skirt, where you really don’t need them)? So I just faux-felled my seams and kept on going. This project was a quick one, even with all the button holes, and is one one of my favorites for looking polished while still feeling totally comfortable.

While I love the look of a pencil skirt, I just can’t ever get too excited about squeezing my tum and bum into a tight fitting skirt all day. So this pattern & fabric combo gave me just the right fit and look for a skirt that’s fitted & professional and still leaves me able to eat.

Sewing with Canvas

This fabric is just so stable, and I love how it didn’t shift or move. I love to work with tricky fabrics like silk and velvet, but sometimes a good stable cotton-based material is just such a nice palate cleanser. It stayed put while cutting, thanks to the weight and texture, and it didn’t fray much at all. Canvas is a surprisingly beginner-friendly garment fabric!

The only adjustment I made was to use a slightly heavier needle — that’s it! No other adjustments needed on either my sewing machine or serger.

Other Uses for Canvas Fabric

I still have at least a metre of this fabric left, and I’m saving it for just the right project. I could see it being a darling modern bum bag, a toiletries kit, or with a bit more yardage, a weekender bag, a la Grainline Studio’s Portside Travel Bag. For other garments using this canvas, I think this would make a lovely structured trench coat, shorts, or crisp pair of trousers.

What would you make with this fabric?  

Thans for reading,

Rachael @rachaelannesews

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Cobra Corsage Crop Top

You may have seen the print of this Fabric doing the rounds on the sewing scene for a while now, and I can see why it's super popular. I'm not normally one for a floral print. They're a bit too...delicate for me. But add some snakes and beetles into the mix and I am sold! So when I was given the opportunity to review this fabric, I gladly accepted.

This jersey is super soft. Like, the softest jersey of all time. It's listed as a crepe jersey, however it's not as crepe-y as I expected.That' not a bad thing though. It has a slight textured affect on the face, but other than that it's very much just a good quality jersey with a wicked print and a delicious drape.

I opted for the black colourway because I find black easier to wear (there is a very real hazard that comes with wearing white or any other light colour and having two wild children) and I liked how the colours in the print popped against the dark background.

If you remember a while ago, I used Sewing Pattern 7745 by McCall's to make some awesome green needlecord wide-leg trousers, and since then I've been waiting patiently for the perfect opportunity to make the top that's included in the pattern.

It's described as a 'semi-fitted pullover top with a V neckline', and it has a great cropped length which is exactly what I'm needing in my me-made wardrobe. I have a new found love for high waisted trousers and jeans, and so I need to level up my crop top game. Plus the fluted sleeves were giving me all those 70's vibes that I am so diggin' right now.

The pattern itself is really simple, with only 3 main pattern pieces (front, back, sleeves) and then a front and back neckline facing which is interfaced. Simple! The fabric was a dream to pin and cut. It also took to the interfacing being ironed on really well.

This top does feature bust darts and to be completely honest, I was a little dubious with how such a drapey stretchy jersey would handle them. But much to my surprise, the darts look perfect!

Now I need to let you in on a little secret, and tell you that I had managed to misplace the sewing instructions for this pattern, so I totally winged it. Luckily it was a pretty straight forward sew! I under stitched the neckline facing, and top stitched it too once it was pressed, just to make sure the facing didn't keep turning out. I'm not sure if that was called for in the pattern or not, but I'm happy with the results and it sits really nice against my chest without any facings popping out.

When the majority of the top was constructed, I gave it a quick try on to see how it was sitting. Although I hadn't hemmed it yet, the top was sitting more or less where I wanted it to sit when it was finished, so I did a small hand turned double hem rather than a deeper, turned up hem. The sleeves were also falling way below my fingertips so I chopped off two inches and again, did a hand turned double hem. I like how it adds some curve and motion to the light fabric.

I used a regular needle and regular straight stitches to construct this top, even though it's a jersey fabric, and it sewed up perfectly with no issues. I used my overlocker to finish the seams and edges, and turned up the differential feed a little to stop the fabric being stretched out, which worked a treat.

When it was finished and I tried it on, I loved it. The fit of the bodice and the length were spot on. However, I really wasn't loving the sleeves on me. They still seemed a little long and I could sense that they would end up falling half way up my arms whenever I was moving around which would probably annoy me. So to rectify this, I used a 3-step zig-zag stitch to add a piece of elastic on the inside of each sleeve, about 1 inch from the bottom of the sleeve. I much prefer them like this! I love the balloon shape it gives, and the frill at the end of the sleeve looks really cute.

I've already worn my new top a few times and I am in love with it - the print, the fit, the feel - everything is perfect!

Thanks for reading,

Carly @ Lucky Sew and Sew

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Cherry Viscose Challis Florence Dress

This month I wanted to make something that would brighten up some of these dreary days we are having lately, raiding my pattern stash I found the Sew Over It Florence Dress which fit the bill perfectly. I have had this pattern a while but have not made it before, waiting for the right fabric to come along,  I chose this beautiful floral Viscose Fabric from Minerva which is such a stunning fabric in real life, the pictures just don’t do it justice.

I am all about mandarin collars recently and this is the third pattern I have made in a row with one, Sew Over It patterns usually fit me well with minimal adjustments, the only adjustment I made to this pattern was to lengthen the bodice by 1 inch which is a standard adjustment for me. Having sewn this dress, I do still feel the waistline sits a little high so will lengthen by another ½” next time.

I decided to make the full length maxi version and despite being 5’10” tall, didn’t need to lengthen the skirt at all, something to bear in mind if you are shorter, you may not need as much fabric as the pattern states.

I made a straight size 12 but sized up for the sleeves having read reviews that the sleeves came up a little snug.

I found the instructions straightforward but made sure to staystitch the neckline before attaching the collar to stop the viscose stretching out of shape, this viscose is so buttery soft I did consider using spray starch to stabilise it but found it easy to handle without it and it sewed up beautifully.

The Florence dress has an elastic waist and I love sew Over It’s instructions for creating a casing to insert elastic, it is one of the easiest ways I have worked with to create an elastic casing and gives such a neat finish on the inside and the outside.

The instructions guide you to ensure your buttonhole placement takes into consideration your bust point and waist to alleviate any gaping issues and I used 7 red buttons from my stash for this project.

The sleeves are ¾ length but you could easily lengthen these and add an elastic cuff to complete the boho theme if you wanted fuller arm coverage. I’m a huge fan of ¾ sleeves so stuck to the pattern.

All my seams were overlocked but this fabric would also take French seams easily if you wanted a cleaner finish on the inside.

I adore this dress, it is the ultimate in comfort and the flowy fabric feels so soft and warm. I can see this paired with a faux fur gilet to complete the autumn look, but it would work well for early spring too. The floral design of the fabric is shown off to it’s best on the uninterrupted lines of the Florence, but you may need to be careful of pattern placement on the bodice, I think I just got away with it!

Thanks for reading,

Rachel @ Stitched Up!

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McCalls 7577 and 7465 Mash Up

As a new sewer, I’m always looking to test myself, and so I jumped at the chance to work with this super-slinky bottle green Jersey Fabric from Minerva.

I had in mind the idea that I’d make something Christmassy and I decided to sew up a jumpsuit that would look dressy yet be comfy enough to hide large quantities of turkey and mince pies!

I decided to do a mash up of these two McCalls patterns using the legs and sleeves of M7577 but instead of the wrap-front I used the cowl neck bodice from M7465.

This fabric is heavy and has a lovely drape so I knew it would work well with the cowl neck.

Because I’d heard that this type of jersey could be hard to work with, I did my research online. The most helpful resource I found was this video from the Stitch Sisters, which focuses specifically on ways to handle slinky jersey.

Armed with lots of pins and my trusty rotary cutter I set about my mission.  

As with most things in life, the fear is worse than the reality, and I didn’t have any problems cutting out my fabric, although it does take time and patience to ensure it’s straight.

I rolled up my rug and placed my cutting mat on the floor to ensure that my entire piece of fabric (not just the part on the mat) stayed flat and there was no dragging or pulling. This fabric is pretty heavy so it really helps to use plenty of pattern weights.

There are quite a few pieces to cut out for this garment as each sleeve has a flounce. After some umming and aahing I decided to cut the cowl bodice on the bias to increase the drape but do bear in mind that cutting on the bias tends to use more fabric.

Once the pieces were all cut out, sewing them up was quick and easy. “Hang on!” I hear you say, “I thought slinky jerseys were hellish to work with?!” Well my friend, on doing my research I looked at lots of ways of stabilising this type of jersey, and eventually I came across what I now refer to as my secret weapon – Wash-Away Quilters Tape. This is a thin double sided tape which dissolves on the first wash so it perfect for dressmaking. Not only does it hold seams together, it also adds a little body to the fabric, stabilising it as its stitched through the machine. I did use plenty of pins too, to prevent the surrounding fabric from dragging the seam.

With the help of my magical tape, construction was a whizz and I sewed up the jumpsuit on my overlocker in no time.

Thanks for reading,

Jay @ The Camden Stitch

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Ramie Cotton Slub Burnside Bibs

Sometimes, when fabric meets pattern it’s a match made in heaven – and it was like this with the Ramie Cotton Slub Fabric and the Sew House Seven Burnside Bibs. I’ve had this pattern stashed for a while but just hadn’t got round to choosing fabric for it and didn’t have enough of anything already in my stash. I liked the idea of using linen, but didn’t want to look like a crumpled mess after five minutes, so I was attracted to using a blend, and the resulting garment is great: I can wear it all day and don’t feel scruffy.

I decided to make Version 2, mainly because I didn’t want to take time to make a toile, and I thought the trousers were more likely to fit if I made the looser version! Just cutting this pattern out was a bit overwhelming as there are so many pieces – 12 for the version I chose, including the back pockets. Before I started sewing I was worried that the project was all a bit too much.

Thankfully, the instructions are amazing. Everything is explained simply, with clear diagrams which I find easier than photos. When to finish raw edges is even shown so you don’t end up struggling to get a neat finish. You get straight into doing a lot of topstitching with the front pocket assembly, which is the first construction step. I opted for doing two lines of topstitching as I like the look of this, and rather than using a twin needle which I find hard to get the tension right for, I just stitched twice using the edge of my presser foot to space the stitching evenly. It’s not easy to see the topstitching here, but it went so well that I might try using a contrast colour thread next time.

The fabric was a perfect choice for this pattern – it irons really well, so every seam looks crisp and it’s easy to get the topstitching really close to the edge. I chose the Anthracite colourway as I have a bit of a thing for grey, and I thought it would be easy to put with almost any colour top. It’s a nice mid-grey shade and I’m loving pairing it with mustard and berry colours.

The dungarees came together surprisingly quickly – even with all the topstitching! I managed to sew them in a couple of days in between looking after the kids and after they went to bed. The only time I had to unpick something was when I tried to turn the ties right side out after stitching along the length of them – the fabric was too thick for this, but the pattern had anticipated this and gave alternative directions for how to sew the ties without needing to turn them.

I think I was in love before I had even tried them on! An easy sew made me really excited to finish and wear them. Although there are a lot of pattern pieces to cut, and some techniques that beginners may not have tried I would recommend the pattern to anyone who has made even one or two garments before. The instructions are excellent and guide you through every process from the start to achieve a perfect finish. When a friend saw me wearing them, she said that if she hadn’t known I was sewing dungarees she would have assumed they were ready to wear.

I will definitely make these again – I’m thinking of making the more fitted version next time, and am toying with the idea of either a dark denim or a berry red baby cord… so many decisions, such limited sewing time!

And so, here’s the pretty pictures! Thanks for reading.

Thankd for reading,

Gaye @ Gaye Gets Crafty

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Chiffon Silk Cami

I was sent a black and white floral print Chiffon Fabric by Joan Kaldor.  The fabric had a lovely light feel but was also not too sheer.

The Silk Cami pattern by Sew Over It was a free gift with a recent issue of Simply Sewing magazine.  I chose this pattern for the warm weather we have been having and I like that the shoulder straps not too thin.  However, as it started to cool down while I was making the cami it will also wear well under a cardigan.

The pattern consisted of front & back pattern pieces cut on the fold, and their corresponding facings. The instructions are in the magazine itself and are very clear to follow with written details & photographs. As with all Sew Over It patterns the paper pieces and the attention to detail are exemplary.

With any lightweight fabric such as chiffon or silk, extra care is need to make sure it doesn’t move when cutting & sewing. Similarly, it can fray.  Weights would probably have been more appropriate for this fabric, but I used pins as usual.  The pattern couldn’t be simpler, just two main pieces and the facings, no darts or pleats.  Being a classic pear shape & carrying more weight on my hips my top is usually a size smaller than my bottom and this is partly why I make clothes, in particular dresses.  Consequently, I tapered the lower half up by two sizes.  With some types of fabric one size up is enough but chiffon needs to hang softly rather than fit too closely. I marked the pattern with a highlighter to remind me to make the adjustment when cutting. An alternative method is to trace the pattern on to new sewing paper and make any adjustments whilst tracing, cut out the new pattern and use this for the pattern pieces.  Having sewn for many years I tend to try the original pattern pieces against my shape and on the Taylor’s dummy and adjust directly onto the pattern.  However, I only use the patterns for myself and this method works for me, and being a bit impatient I just want to get on with making the garment.  Consequently, I always cut the original pattern rather than tracing it onto additional paper.  For anyone not familiar with making adjustments creating new pattern pieces is recommended.

The seams are finished with a French seam to give a beautiful finish. I don’t use this type of seam often enough & it is ideal for neatening chiffon, which can be hard to edge.  I usually finish seams by folding, ironing and stitching a small hem but this would have been very fiddly with this type of fabric.

The shoulder seams are joined by inserting one inside the other & it can be a bit confusing the first time, but the instructions are clear with good photo details.  I followed the instructions and hand tacked to check I had joined the right sides together, it would be easy to join a right side of fabric to a wrong side & then have the difficulty of unpicking machine stitches.

One thing on my to do list is to get to grips with my late Mom’s overlocker.  I used a basic zig-zag stitch to edge the facings and initially I wasn’t very happy with the result. After an iron and trimming the strands the edges were acceptable.  This would definitely have been more successful using an over locker, & in hindsight probably quicker.

I completed the bottom edge with a small hem and straight stitch & re pressed all the seams.

I love this simple cami top – a really effective pattern and all the more special for using this lovely fabric.  I will definitely not shy away from this type of fabric in the future & plan to make more tops from this pattern.

Thank you to Minerva Crafts for the beautiful fabric and to everyone for reading my review.

Helen @ justsewhelen

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#makenine2018 Pledge to Make a Coat

Part of my #makenine2018 pledge was to make a coat. I had struggled to find just the right pattern until Sew Over It released their Work to Weekend book - I knew instantly the Anna Coat was for me. I love a statement coat - my favourite is a ready to wear one in mustard yellow - so when this red check Wool Mix Fabric came up on Minerva, I knew I had another statement coat in the making.

So off I went. Looking at the size chart I was, as always, all over the place. My bust an 8, my waist a 10, and my hips a 16. As the coat has a wrap tie waist with no buttons, I decided to make a 10. It was a good call. Size wise it’s pretty perfect.

The wool mix is slightly heavier than the fabric the pattern suggests, but actually it worked really well. I added a lining as well for full winter warmth, and even then there wasn’t enough bulk to change the shape of the garment. However, I did break a few needles sewing through the thickness of the epaulettes and the collar!!

I set myself the challenge to pattern match the checks, and spent quite a lot of time over it as I knew if they were off, even slightly, it would annoy me beyond reason. I pinned each of the checks and basted them, bit by bit, before sewing For Real. I’m actually really pleased with the match - the back isn’t perfect because of the shape of the pieces but overall the match is pretty much dead on. I’m really pleased, as it makes the garment look more professional. I even trimmed the tie belt slightly to get it to match. Yep. I went there.

As I said above, I decided to line my Anna for for the full effect. I used the process Lisa describes in her October Makes Vlog. With pen and paper to make notes I actually found her descriptions enough - except for lining the sleeves, where she references the method for the Coco Jacket pattern, which I don’t have. I asked on the Sew Over It Makers Group, and someone pointed me in the direction of this Mimi G Sew Along which uses the same technique. Isn’t sewcial media great? For my lining fabric, I used this Duchess Satin Fabric in cream.

I put off sewing the lining for ages as I was really tired from work (it really gets in the way of sewing!) and wanted to fully concentrate on the task. When I finally set down to do uit, I remembered that attaching lining isn't as hard as you think. My coat very quickly came together, with just the hem and vent to hand sew. And, of course, the epaulettes buttons which were hand made by my lovely friend Karen Kenny.

And I. Am. In. Love. I’ve been wearing this coat all winter - it’s the perfect colour for Christmas, and the perfect warmth for a Boxing Day walk. My Pink Coat Club Me Made pin lives on the lapel - I made a coat, I want people to know :)

Thanks for reading,

Kelly @ sewandstylelou

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