Tag Archives: muslin

The Vogue Coat: Muslin #2

15 Nov

Well well, 3 posts in one week! That doesn’t happen too often, huh? Hopefully y’all aren’t tooooo sick of hearing from me, because I have lots to say apparently!

Starting with yet ANOTHER muslin post. Forreal, tho, y’all were so helpful in my last muslin post, that I’m sticking my hand back in the cookie jar again. A little help, yes yes?

Coat Muslin, part 2

First things first, you probably noticed that this coat looks entirely different – that’s because it’s a different pattern altogether! I ended up scrapping the original Vogue pattern plan – a shame, because I really wanted to use it (it was a gift from a reader, and I like to make use of awesome things, see), but there’s no point in trying to make something work that needs, well, that much work. Especially considering all the modifications I’d have to make beyond just sizing – including drafting a new lining, facing, and undercollar. No, no thank you.

So I dug around in my stash and pulled out Vogue 7666, which happens to actually be in my size. And to make things extra exciting, this pattern has all sorts of fun goodies in the instructions for creating a beautiful hand-tailored coat – things like separate lining pieces, instructions for padstitching, a marked roll line, etc. Fun!

Coat Muslin, part 2

I made up a quickie muslin and here are the pictures! Based on everyone’s suggestions, I am wearing this muslin with a sweater underneath, and I slipped some shoulder pads in the muslin as well. The shoulder pads may be on the large size, I dunno, they were in my stash.

Coat Muslin, part 2

I think it fits much better than the first, off the bat. Look, the arm holes are normal!

Coat Muslin, part 2

I can’t tell if the shoulders need to be narrowed a little, though?

Coat Muslin, part 2
Coat Muslin, part 2

Back and sides look ok.

Coat Muslin, part 2

I know the back looks a little loose, but I honestly can’t go much smaller without making the coat difficult to move around in.
Also, ignore that weird shit going on at the bottom half – there will be a back vent there, but I didn’t bother sewing it in the muslin, ha.

Coat Muslin, part 2

I know the collar and lapels are kind of weird and pointy, but I like them! Keep in mind that they will be a little bit smaller – the 5/8″ seam allowance is there, and once I get the facing installed there will be notches and topstitching and all that.

I also need button help! What would you choose? I really love these black glass buttons from Mood Fabrics – one, two, three or four?

Or do you have a better suggestion? My only requirements are that they are black (sorry, but I think anything other than black is just going to look off with my fabric choice), 1″ with shank, and they reeeeally need to be $3.50 or less because I need 8! Again, you can see my fabric and pattern in this Instagram picture.

Coat Muslin, part 2

Sooo, to sum up: coat muslin #2, y/n? See any fitting changes I need to address before I start slicing in to my beautiful coating?

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Vogue 2765, The Muslin

4 Nov

I’m afraid I don’t have a finished object to show y’all today. For exactly one week now, I’ve been dealing with a kidney stone that will NOT leave my body. Seriously, I’ve had these before and they generally pass within a day or two, but these little shits have made a home inside me, I guess, and no amount of water (or other weird home remedy, yes, I drank the olive oil and lemon juice, eww) will expel them. I hate peeing into a screen, I hate taking painkillers, and I hate this little segment of my life right now. I missed half a week of work last week, and get up to go to the bathroom about every twenty minutes on average. Shit blows.

Anyway, enough about me and my TMI, let’s talk more about… me! While I didn’t make anything finished, I did finish the muslin for my Vogue coat! Let’s have a look see.

V2765 Muslin

To be honest, I’m a little underwhelmed. It’s just so… meh. But then again, it’s a coat muslin made with a patchwork of different muslin fabrics, two different sleeves, and I’m not wearing a sweater under it. I was, but I took it off for the pictures because I don’t know why. I guess I wanted to make sure that it still looked good when it was loose. It’s not like I always wear a sweater 24/7, this is Tennessee we are talking about here.

I can’t tell if it really looks ok or if I’m just delusional. Help me.

V2765 Muslin

My pattern was a size too big to start, so I sewed most seams with a 3/4″ seam allowance and I think that really helped with pulling in the fit. It still looks a little loose, but this is also lightweight muslin and not a heavy coating.

V2765 Muslin

The underarms, though. Yikes. Need to raise that quite a bit.

V2765 Muslin

So, more about those sleeves. The right side is the original pattern piece. It’s terrible. I actually left it on so we could laugh at it together. The left sleeve is a two piece sleeve from my Fabiani coat (whyyy can’t I just wear that this winter? Wish it still fit :'( ). I definitely like the two piece better, but it needs some tweaking as it’s a bit tight when I have on a bulky underlayer. I sewed it with the same 3/4″ seam allowance, so I think the normal 5/8″ will be fine.

V2765 Muslin
V2765 Muslin

Ahaha! See how bad the underarms are? Granted, that’s the shitty sleeve, where the problem was actually worse.. but still. It’s bad either way.

V2765 Muslin

Speaking of the original sleeve, this is why it’s so bad. It is a straight line from underarm to wrist – no tapering whatsoever. So the cuff, you can see straight to the elbow. Who thought that was a good idea?! God, it’s so terrible.

Anyway, I’m still on the fence about this, although I will say that leaving it alone overnight on my dressform (which, if you were wondering, is almost entirely what I use the dressform now these days. Putting shit on it so I can decide if I hate it the next day) gave me a ~fresh eye~. I guess I just want to make sure I’m not off my rocker here.

To recap, the fabric I’m using is this black and white checkered coating (which I’m almost having second thoughts about because, ughhh princess seams) and I haven’t settled on a lining, but I’m leaning heavily toward tango red. Also haven’t picked buttons (lolol I’m a hot mess), but I’m thinking toggles would be FUN.

Soo, what do you think? Vogue 2765, yea or nay? See any other fitting issues I failed to mention (beyond the underarms)? Want to sew a coat along with me (I’m going the “barely tailored” route)? Have any well-wishes you’d like to share with a lady who needs to exorcise this demonkidney stone? I’m all ears!

Completed: the Coppélia Cardy

2 Jan

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope the holidays left y’all with plenty of relaxation, time with friends, wonderful gifts, and of course… alcohol. Can’t forget the alcohol ;) So sad, January 2nd is now upon us so I guess it’s time to revisit the Real World, take down my Christmas tree, and dive back into my nine to five job. Wah!

I’m going to kick this year off with the very first thing I made in 2013- the Coppélia from Papercut Patterns
Coppélia Cardy
YUM. That’s my short-list review of this cardy, if you must know.

Santa (or maybe Jesus?) must have been following my wishlist something fierce, because Katie generously sent me this pattern (along with the La Sylphide and DON’T YOU WORRY, because I have words for that one too!!). My experience with Papercut Patterns is brand-spankin’ new – I’ve long admired the sweet styles that are offered, and the delightful packaging that the patterns are wrapped up in. And you know what? I was NOT disappointed with the actual pattern – or the finished garment. I could wax poetic about this wrap all day, but I’m going to stop because I don’t want to make anyone sick. Just know that when it comes to Papercut Patterns, the answer should always be yes.

Coppélia Cardy
I know my fabric choice here is a little… different. Haha! Honestly, I’ve actually had a hard time lately pulling myself away from the looks that I see outlined on the pattern envelopes. For some reason, this isn’t too much of an issue with Colette Patterns, but something about the photography with these particular patterns just makes me want to wrap myself in pastel chiffons and roll around in a field of wildflowers. Except it’s winter here (ooh 40* brr! DON’T JUDGE ME) and I look like shit in pastels. Anyway, every time I thought about my future lover Coppélia, I envisioned her in white. Realizing that I need to make a wearable muslin for this top (since I’m unfamiliar with how these patterns are drafted), and then realizing that I had a very large yardage of this god-awful zigzaggy sheer polyester monstrosity that’s been sitting my stash for at least 3 years… Coppélia The Disco Queen was born. And OMFG I KIND OF LIKE HER.

Coppélia Cardy
The fabric is kind of uncomfortable, though. What can I say? It’s a very heavy, very cheap polyester that I bought from $1/yard table at Walmart. And it’s totally sheer. But it works, somehow.

Coppélia Cardy
The size XS fit me *almost* perfectly straight out of the envelope. I had to pull a good 1″ chunk out of the center back – which, I’d already cut my pieces, so the back now has a seam – but I have a fairly small back/ribcage, so this does not surprise me. I also tapered the sleeves down to an XXS as they were a bit baggier than I prefer. In the future, I will shorten the sleeves as well – they’re a bit long (I folded the cuffs back so it’s not noticeable on this top). All in all, the fit is pretty nice, though!
Also, I have no idea what I’m doing in the above picture. Sniffing my armpit, I guess?

Coppélia Cardy
I love how cozy and snuggly this top turned out! I can only imagine how much I’ll love it in a nicer fabric – especially something with a bit more drape. This is an actual wrap top – which means when I untie the ties, the whole thing opens up in the front like a cardigan (i.e., not a mock wrap!). Surprisingly, the gape factor here is pretty much nonexistent. I spent all day in this shirt and never once worried about exposing more than I intended. Yay!

Coppélia Cardy
If you’re wondering how I already made a top this year and we’re only 2 days in – it was a SUPER fast make! I used my serger to sew most everything (except a small bit of topstitching along the bottom hem for the band), and I think my total sewing time came in around 45 minutes. I didn’t stay out late on NYE – I’m an old lady when it comes to my bedtime, I was out by 10:30PM! – so I was up by 10AM, had a leisurely breakfast and quickie sewing sesh, then made it to Gallatin to eat black-eyed peas and collard greens with my parents by 1PM :) Yay for New Years!

Coppélia Cardy
The pattern instructions are great – they are brief and to the point, without a lot of unnecessary hand-holding (although they are not so brief that a knit n00b would have no idea what is going on). Same with the pattern markings – there are notches to match the pieces, but not a metric shit-ton. This is perfectly fine and dandy with me. I don’t need a bunch of notches to match up a sleeve seam, you know? Just tell me how to get it on the bodice, I think I can figure it out from there!

Coppélia Cardy
I also really love the construction method for this top – it was very straightforward and intuitive, very very similar to how to like to sew my knits. So maybe I’m just a little biased haha ;)

Coppélia Cardy
Here’s a good look at the sheerness of the fabric – the zigzags are solid on top of a knit mesh (that’s my hand behind it). It’s not so noticeable on this top, especially since I am wearing a nude bra, but it would definitely show in something like a dress. Hence why I had so much yardage and never did anything with it – the fabric is heavy enough on it’s own, and adding an underlining just makes it even worse. So I’m glad I figured out a use for it :)

Coppélia Cardy
I definitely plan on making more of these – I actually skipped my lunch break today to take advantage of the semi-annual sale at Textile Fabrics (which, if you live in Nashville: GO. 40% off everything, yo!). I only let myself buy knits, but I got some awesome stuff – stripes, silky drapey rayon, and a lovely woolish sweater knit that is turning into Film Noir Coppélia STAT. Which I’m hoping will be easier to match with bottoms :) Haha!

Hopefully a first successful sewing project means all of 2013 will be successful sewing projects too! HAHA ok, maybe that’s a little optimistic – but optimism is good, yeah?

Happy 2013, y’all!

Thurlow Sew-Along: Muslin Party!

4 Oct


It’s time to get crackin’ on some muslins! Whoooohooo… who’s excited!? Anyone? Anyone?

I will admit – making a muslin isn’t exactly the most exciting way to spend your precious sewing time. However, it is pretty necessary to ensure that you get a good fit, especially with something like trousers or shorts where you can’t just sew a wider seam allowance to get rid of the problem. Lots of pattern alterations involve the flat pattern before the fabric is cut, and it is crucial that you figure this out before you cut into your real fabric & then despair that the crotch is too long. Long crotches are pretty tragic, imo. So let’s get muslinin’, y’all.

First, figure out what size you are going to be sewing up. Here is the back of the Thurlow envelope. These pants don’t have too much ease in them, but it IS there. If you like that, that’s totally fine – just cut the size recommended. If you want something a little more form-fitting, I recommend checking out the finished measurements & basing your size off of those. PROTIP: the finished waist measurement doesn’t actually hit your high waist, as in the smallest part of your torso. These actually hit right at the belly button, so that would be where you need to measure if you are going by the finished dimensions. My measurements put me between a 4 and a 6, but I cut a 0 (since right at my belly button is 29″) and added some room at the butt and I got a great fit. Trace your pattern if you are unsure what size to cut, you can always make another muslin!

Thurlow Muslin - necessary pattern pieces
The Thurlow has a lot of pattern pieces, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves – we only need a few for a proper muslin! I have circled the ones you’ll need to cut out. The pocket lining pieces ARE necessary (since they fill the void where the pocket slash is on the front pieces), but don’t worry about the facings. If you are making trousers, you can go all out & muslin the full lengths, or you can be lazy like me & just make shorts ;)

It is a good idea to mark on your muslin where the welt pockets will sit – you don’t have to sew the actual pockets, unless you are just REALLY feeling it – in case you determine you need to move them. Don’t worry about the zipper, you can just pin the front closed.

I was going to compile a list of pants-fitting resources, but it looks like Tasia beat me to it. So, just to reiterate (and mostly because I don’t feel like I’m doing anything if I just direct you to her blog), here are some of my personal faves:
Pants fitting basics, via the Coletterie
Pants fitting cheat-sheet, via the Coletterie
Common pants alterations, via Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Crotch depth via Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Crotch length via Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Knee & hem adjustments via Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Fullness & waistlines via Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch
Special alterations for pants via Texas A&Ms Extension program
The Anatomy of a camel toe via the Fashion Incubator
Colette Clover pants via meeee. Haha! The comments in this post are actually quite great, lots of helpful info & resources.

Books:
The Perfect Fit (actually, I think all of y’all should buy this book – regardless of whether or not you are making pants)
Pants for Real People

WHEW that’s a lot of links! Don’t tell me you don’t suddenly feel armed & prepared!

So here’s the fun part… I’m going to show you *my* Thurlow muslin! This is actually the muslin I made in the ‘way beginning, and no, I have no idea why I still had it stashed (I even moved across town during this time!). But, whatever, I guess it came in handy :B Also, fair warning: these are pretty unflattering.

Thurlow Muslin
Here you can see I’ve got some weird excess fabric in the front of my shorts. This is the crotch depth, and it clearly needs to be shortened (I’m petite, so it makes sense that I have a short crotch, I guess haha).

Thurlow Muslin
Side view is ok, apart from that itty bitty FUPA the shorts give me.

Thurlow Muslin
Oh god, what is going ON in the back!?

Thurlow Muslin
As my ass appears to be eating directly into my shorts, it would seem I need to add some room back there.

Thurlow Muslin
To fix the crotch depth, I simply pinned out the excess fabric & tapered it to the sides. Doesn’t it look much better?

Thurlow Muslin
Here’s a side view

To fix my butt issue, I extended the back crotch length on my pattern piece to a size 4, tapering down the leg.

Thurlow Jeans
And here’s the finished result of that. No more perma-wedgie, yay!

Well, that turned into a super heavy post! Do let me know if you have any questions & I’ll do my best to answer. Feel free to post your muslins in the Flickr Group and let’s help each other!

Next week, we are gonna talk fabric. FUCK YES.

The Bombshell Dress – At Last, a Muslin that Fits!

16 Apr

I’m putting a temporary hold on the majority of my projects so I can concentrate on sewing up my birthday dress – I have a little over a month, so time should not be an issue here. I don’t even have plans for my birthday yet (it’s on a Monday lol) but I like to have a dress anyway!

I’m sewing up the Bombshell Dress, following the Craftsy course. I have this lovely floral cotton that I plan to make it up in… well, assuming I have enough fabric (don’t worry, I have a back-up plan!) :) I have stressed WAY too much about the fit of this pattern, but after countless muslins, I have the fit down & I’m ready to start constructing the actual dress. Yay!

A little word about working with this pattern – the cups of this bustier top are drafted for a B cup. Not only that, they are made to be a little on the revealing side. They are small. If you are anything larger than a B, you are going to want to redraft the cups – and it is going to be a giant pain in the ass, sry2say. But it’s totally doable and it’s totally worth it, promise.

For my pattern, I initially cut out the second smallest size (I think it’s a 6?), based on the waist measurement. For the record, I wear a 32DD so I have a fairly small ribcage in comparison to a rather prominent bust. I knew I was going to have to make some adjustments but I had no idea there were going to be so many!

Here are the size 6 pattern pieces, thread-traced all lovely:
Bombshell Muslin

And here are my pieces after I made a million adjustments:
Bombshell Muslin

I also had to adjust the rest of the bodice pieces:
Bombshell Muslin
My adjustments are the black marker lines – basically, completely different pattern pieces! ARGH.

I do have some fit tips for those large-bust-with-small-ribcage ladies, however!
First of all… if you have access to a dressform, make use of it! To get those proportions, you need to put on a well-fitting bra & pad it out. Use your favorite bra – you can always take it back when you’re finished fitting.

Style lines

Style lines are EXTREMELY helpful with fitting – they give you a nice roadmap for where your pieces need to hit & where your seamlines should be. I know they make tape for this purpose, but I didn’t have any on hand… I used some (neon yellow)twill tape I had in my stash, and just pinned it into place. I can’t even tell you how much easier it made fitting that muslin (this was muslin #3 at this point – first one was pinned to my body – a disaster -, second was pinned on the form without the style lines – also a disaster).

Bombshell Muslin
The twill tape pulled down a little on the left cup, but you get the idea.

My other major tip for fitting this muslin is to cut GIANT seam allowances. Depending on how much room you need to add to those lil cups, you are going to want a minimum of 2″ SA to play with (preferably closer to 3″ or even 4″ though). This will save you the effort of cutting out a zillion little bodice pieces (and thread tracing all of them, argh) when you realize you don’t have enough seam allowance to cover the bust.

I ended up making several muslins – I think 4 complete (bust & midriff), and 2 more of just the bust cups. And yes… all of them were thread-traced and had the grainlines marked and everything lol. Took forever! In addition to all the size changes, I raised the top of the pieces by about 5/8″ to get all the seam lines to match up. I think this is something that most larger-busted gals are going to have to do, so just a word of warning.

I don’t want to frighten anyone away from trying this pattern, however! I really learned a LOT fitting the bodice, and I feel really confident with the finished muslin. I absolutely recommend this course if this kind of fitting is something you want to explore more in-depth. I think the fitting sections alone are worth the price of the course :)

Ok, with all that blab… let’s see the finished muslin, yes?

Bombshell Muslin

Bombshell Muslin

Bombshell Muslin

I don’t plan on wearing this dress with a bra – and it fits great without, but I didn’t want to take bra-less pictures to post on the internet! I don’t think we’re that close, yet ;)

As a side note, my sweater is almost finished – I blocked it over the weekend!
Agatha - blocking!
Just need to stabilize the button bands & sew on the buttons :)

Agatha Sweater: FINAL COUNTDOWN

9 Apr

Ladies (and gentlemen?), we have two sleeves!

Yeah sleeves!
I am so pleased with myself, you have no idea.

Agatha sleeves

Agatha - Second sleeve!
I had to crop my head out of this one because I was making a total derp face, but check out those neat decreases at the bust!

Agatha sleeves
What do we think? Excited?

Agatha sleeves
Excited.

Now all that’s left is the ribbing around the neckline & the button bands. Also, I need to find some buttons… I want wooden buttons, but that would involve driving to the fabric store. We’ll see.

The second sleeves went in a LOT faster than the first one! I guess I had plenty of practice :) It is still a little tight, so my next sweater will probably need to go up a needle size with those DPNs. In the meantime, I plan to block this thing very aggressively & hopefully that’ll help!

In the meantime, I’ve been working on the muslin for my Bombshell/birthday dress… an experience which totally sucks, by the way.

Bombshell muslin
The cup on the right is the pattern with no modifications… the cup on the left is the size it should be – and that’s still a little skimpy, as it barely covers my bra. I don’t plan on wearing a bra with this dress but I wanted to at least get demi-bra-coverage, you know?
Anyway, the muslin totally sucks and I will need to work on it some more… the coverage is great, but as you can see the center bust line skews up & the top piece is way too high. Also, my grainlines are off. Oh, boobs. Anyone else have full bust modifications they have made to this pattern that they would like to share?

In other news, I seem to have lost my voice over the weekend. I am currently alternating between sounding like a man & just sounding straight-up pathetic. If anyone finds where I may have misplaced it, do let me know.

Of Muslins & (Fabric) Musings

3 Jan

Welcome to 2012, everyone! Did you make any resolutions for the new year? I only made one, forreal-legit resolution, and I actually made it just now (as opposed to pre-2012): I have decided to enter the world of adulthood & start using proper capitalization on this blog. No real reason in particular except that it makes it easier to read. So there you go – my Christmas gift to y’all!

Another goal for 2012 started running through my mind last night while I was working on my coat muslin:
ughhh my fabric stash
Dear Lauren,
You are not allowed to buy anymore fabric this year until you cull that stash under control.
Love,
Lauren.

EXCEPTIONS (ah, but isn’t there always an exception?): January & July, my amazing local fabric store has a 40%-50% off sale on all fabrics. I generally use this opportunity to stock up for the upcoming season, and to pick up fabrics that I know I will use but are normally a bit cost-prohibitive (such as silk organza, and extra yardages of rayon lining to, er, hoard). So I’ll allow myself to buy stock-up fabric during these sales, and also a piece or two for funsies. Another exception is anything that involves my mega-cheap fabric scores – flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores, donations, etc. I mean, they’re practically paying me to take this stuff! I’d be a fool to not grab it and go, amirite?

Speak of the fabric sale, I already hit that shit up yesterday (first day!) and picked up a rather modest pile (considering my usual history of how much I tend to spend…):
the only fabric I bought in 2012 :)
The top two don’t count; they are shirting fabrics for Landon’s Negroni. More on that when I make a muslin!
That black under the plaid flannel is dark-wash denim with a slight stretch (for another pair of wide-legged trousers), the stripey is jersey knit with navy & white stripes, the white is boring old cotton batiste (for lining summer dresses), the shiny blue is silk shantung (actually from Mood fabrics), the green is Bemberg rayon lining for my coat (yes! I went with green!), and the big blob at the bottom is my coating fabric from Mood.

Speaking of my coat – have some muslin pictures!

coat muslin
This is actually my second muslin – the first muslin was almost workable, but needed a little bit of tweaking. This is what I ended up with:
– Remove 1/4″ from top & bottom sleeve side seams
– Reduce sleeve head ease (appx 7/8″ at peak)
– Taper lapel 1/2″
– Shift button position
– Shorten back belt 3/4″ on each end
– Remove 5/8″ from center back seam
– Remove 3/4″ from side back seam
– Raise underarm seam 1″
– Reduce shoulder width 5/8″
I think I’m pretty happy with the fit! Tell me what you think, fitting princesses & princes.

coat muslin
The underarm seam was the most confusing adjustment I made. Clearly there was something wrong with the first muslin, as I couldn’t move my arms at all without the entire coat joining the parade. I checked several fitting books, but none of them mentioned the actual armhole unless they were referring to a sleeveless top. I finally determined that the armhole was too low (which makes sense, as the pattern is a slight bit too large for me), and raising it 1″ pretty much eliminated the problem.

coat muslin
the lapels were also a little too wide around the neckline which resulted in some gaping. I pinched out the excess and re-smoothed the lines. There is still a small amount of gape but I want to be able to wad a scarf in there so I’m ok with it.

coat muslin
The back in cinched in via the belt, which is a design feature i loooove. Check out my mismatched sleeve caps – I put one in before I realized it needed to be reduced.

coat muslin
Side looks okay.

coat muslin
What do we think about the overall length? I folded back the sleeves the suggested 2″, but I think they are a smidge too long (like, no more than 1/2″). I like the coat length, although I realize now that I hemmed it 2″ and the pattern calls for 3″. So – current length or 1″ shorter? Eh?

Transferring the fitting adjustments was a PAIN IN THE REAR. This coat has separate pieces for everything – coat, lining, and interfacing! So every adjustment was transferred three times. And I will just (wo)man up and say right now that I did it all to the pattern tissue – no tracing. Whoever owned the pattern before me wrote all over it and made their own fitting adjustments, so I didn’t see much of a point in preservation. I will include my fitting notes should someone obtain this pattern after me, and they can re-add the stuff I cut off. Or something. Don’t be mad!

Anyway, I’m pretty happy with the overall fit of the coat! I think everything looks good & I’m ready to cut straight into the coating fabric. I have my (green!)lining & I picked up some giant covered buttons. Oh, and 3 yards of 72″ horsehair interfacing. Hopefully I won’t need to buy interfacing again until 2013 ;)

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