Bodice Modifications for Butterick 6019

27 Jul

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Hi, friends! I am here today with a quick “tutorial” post to address a question that came up about the fitting of my Butterick 6019 bombshell dress. During the muslin-making process, I realized that the bust cups of the dress were all wrong for me. The top of the dress was too low for comfortable decency and the cup seams created an awkward pointy shape over my bust (think bullet bra to the extreme). I also discovered that the under bust seam didn’t hit under my bust and the bodice was overall too long for my figure.

I will warn you in advance, I am going to share some less than attractive photos of myself in this post. But it’s all for the sake of science, right?

I started by pinching out the excess from bodice fabric in the front and back. This helped bring the under bust seam into the correct position. I then pinched and pinned out a little excess in the side seams.

 

 

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Once that had been taken care of, I pinned out the excess in the vertical and horizontal bust cup seams, creating a much more natural shape in this area. Then I checked the location of the horizontal bust cup seams and felt it was too low across my body and raised it across both lower cup pattern pieces (hence the reason it doesn’t look like I took any out in these areas). Hopefully you can see in the photos that the overall effect of these adjustments was to decrease the severity of the curve across the bust. At this point I made new muslin and tweaked all of the previous adjustments by a few more minor amounts.

 

 

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You can hopefully see in this photo how my final pattern pieces in white paper compare to the original pattern pieces.

 

Once all these adjustments had been made, I assessed the location of the top of the bodice all the way around and realized I wanted roughly 1/2″ added in the front and 1″ in the back. I added these amounts to my already modified pattern pieces and tapered the 1/2″ in front around to the 1″ in back.

 

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Since this layer wouldn’t show in the final dress, I sewed it with leftover bobbins in random colors.

 

I made my final muslin just to check the fit once more but to also use as the interlining if all my adjustments had been successful.

 

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You can see I added a lot more boning than suggested in the pattern.

 

During the earlier muslins, I duct taped cheap boning from Hancock Fabrics into place for fitting but on the final version, I went ahead and sewed my boning channels and added the spiral steel boning. Next time, I think I will lengthen this layer to my high hip (like a corselet) for added wearing comfort. As it is now, the boning ends right at my narrowest point, somewhat cutting into my body when I sit, and also making the skirt portion just below the waist seam blouse out a little bit.

 

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Here’s the finished dress just waiting on a hem. Please pardon the unattractive setting and the cute socks :)

Butterick 6019 — A Polka Dot Bombshell Dress

21 Jul

Howdy, friends! I hope this missive finds you well. I have been doing some sewing and knitting lately and finally have something finished to show you!

 

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This is Butterick 6019, a bombshell dress by Gretchen Hirsch of Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. I have been muslining a dress like this intermittently for the past 2 years — I finally bit the bullet and finished one!

 

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I chose this pattern because it has a lot of visual interest with the fitted bodice with sash accent, sarong-style skirt, and shirring on the back bodice. I think the shirring is what attracted me the most.

 

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Alright, now for some wordy business about the process of creating this dress!

I started with the 14 D-cup pattern and made a muslin of the bodice. I ended up taking it in at the top and letting it out a smidge in the waist. I did a swayback adjustment on the bodice (but should have done one on the skirt, too). I also added about an inch to the bodice height to make the neckline more decent.

I found the cups to be waaaay too pointy for my taste so I tamed that down quite a bit also. I ended up shortening the bodice about an inch under the bust — I am accepting the fact that I am very short-waisted or my boobs are saggy…

That was all pretty straightforward stuff. The project got complicated when I decided to fully line the dress (the pattern only calls for partially lining the bodice — and for good reason I discovered) and then underline the bodice.

 

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The bodice underlining was simple enough. I just used corset mesh cut a little bigger than the shirred pieces to stabilize that area but still allow for some stretch. I used muslin for the rest of the underlining and added way more boning channels than the pattern’s prescribed two. I sewed a waist stay to a few points on the bodice. Next time I make a dress like this, I will extend the underlining layer down to my high hip to keep it from cutting into my waist.

 

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I also used bra foam for the cups instead of the batting that was called for.

 

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For the shirring, I marked lines perpendicular to the grain at 3/8″ intervals. Sewing all the shirring was one of the most tedious parts of the project but also one of the most rewarding. Look how beautiful!

 

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My dress is made from a navy and white polka dot silk cotton blend. It has a nice crisp hand but shows lint like it’s going out of style!

 

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To line the bodice, I used a luscious 4 ply silk satin remnant for the non-stretch sections and a scrap from the Gertie slip kit (not finished yet) for the areas under the shirring. I left small openings in the back bodice lining seams to allow the waist stay to pull through.

 

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Now, lining the skirt was a whole different monster. Since the skirt has a wrap front, I couldn’t just duplicate it and stick it inside. I decided to have the lining attached at the front vertical edges of both wrap panels which meant that something had to be stitched by hand — yuck! But hand stitch I did and don’t judge my really sloppy work.

 

 

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I did a machine hem on the lining and a hand stitched hem on the shell. For my skirt lining, I used a cute ivory polka dot silk charmeuse.

 

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I used my Threads #171 for inserting the lapped zipper with lining by machine, but as usual, I handpicked the overlap for greater control. Just like the method I used on my Rosy Elisalex.

 

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I guess that’s about it on this dress. It was definitely a journey as I initially planned to wear it to a wedding a few weeks ago but ran out of time to complete it so let it sit for a few weeks before getting up the gumption to finish it. But finish it I did!

 

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These photos were taken in the front yard of our eventual new house. I love our huge oak tree!

Spring Sewing Swap 2014

13 Jul

Hi, everyone! I hope your weekend has been fun/relaxing/productive according to your wishes. I’m here with just a quick note to share my Spring Sewing Swap parcel with you. This year I was paired with Jinju over at Toile and Trouble. We were a great match because we have similar (read: expensive) taste in fabric. We chatted via email for a while before selecting and sending our gifts and I really enjoyed making a new sewing acquaintance. And I am very jealous of the Liberty lawn Jinju finds in the $4 bargain bin at her local quilt shop!

So without further ado, here is the wonderful package I received the mail.

 

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1. New measuring tape, which is great because the measuring tape I got in last year’s swap just broke :(

2. Vogue 1241

3. Three lengths of fabric: two of cotton lawn/voile and one of a beautiful silk cotton floral print

4. Vintage hand sewing needles

5. Zipper and notions for making included pattern

6. My favorite, homemade green and white polka dot bias tape

7. A sweet handwritten note

 

I am so grateful for this wonderful package of surprises which suits me perfectly! Thank you, Jinju! And thanks to Kerry for organizing the swap again!

 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake

26 Jun

As I was looking at my last several posts, I realized y’all must be starving! All we’ve been talking about is sewing and I have been a bad hostess by not offering you something to eat or drink :)

 

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I am going to remedy that today and then some with this decadent chocolate and peanut butter layer cake. I could probably stop with that and give you the recipe and we would be in good shape. However, I will tell you a little more about it so your resistance will be even further weakened.

I made this cake two weeks ago for an employee’s going away party. A little bird told me she liked the chocolate/peanut butter combination so I pulled out this recipe that I had made once or twice before several years ago. Everyone at the office really enjoyed the cake and we ate over half of it at the party (9 of us girls there).

The recipe comes from the cookbook Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes. It is a great cookbook to have in your collection because many of the recipes look like something you would want to try (I have made several so far and all have been delicious).

It starts with sour cream and chocolate cake layers that mix up easily in a single bowl and without an electric mixer if you don’t want to use one. You then fill and frost the layers with a cream cheese peanut butter frosting that reminds me of decadent peanut butter cheesecake — YUM! Finally, you top it with a thick layer of chocolate and peanut butter glaze.

This cake is great because you don’t have to be a professional cake decorator to make it look impressive. And if you keep a decently stocked pantry, you probably already have all the ingredients on hand. Cake for supper? Absolutely!

 

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Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze

  • Servings: one 8-in triple layer cake, serves 16-20 generous slices (the author states 12-16 but I think you can get more out of it because it is so rich)
  • Print

 Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare three 8″ round cake pans (I used Baker’s Joy spray, but the recipe suggests buttering the pans then lining with buttered parchment).

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixer bowl and whisk together to combine. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk by hand or blend with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in the water then blend in the vanilla and vinegar. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well-combined. Divide evenly among the three prepared pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes then turn the cakes out on the rack to finish cooling.

To finish the cake, spread 2/3 cup of the frosting between each layer and use the rest to frost the top and sides. You can also save a little to decorate the top after you apply the glaze. Next, spread the glaze over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides. Decorate with remaining frosting, if desired. Enjoy!

Frosting:

  • 10 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural type)

Combine cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually blend in the confectioners’ sugar, mixing thoroughly for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Glaze:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half

In the top of a double boiler (or in the microwave like I did), combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup and heat until melted and smooth, whisking frequently. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

 

Adapted from Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes.

 

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Me Made May 2014, Part 2

1 Jun

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Wednesday, May 14 — A “day off.” I spent the day running errands and doing house chores. I paired my workhorse McCall’s 6559 knit dress with new flip-flops and my trusty LOFT jean jacket. The necklace is from Kluster Shop.

 

 

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Thursday, May 15 — Work all day. I wore my new Simplicity 1810 dress again, this time styling it with a RTW cropped lace cardigan that picks up the deepest red color in the silk fabric. The shoes look more fun in person — they are a nude color with some shine in the leather. I definitely liked this outfit.

 

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Friday, May 16 — TGIF! I wore my new Lolita Olive blouse to get more photos for the blog tour. I paired it with my new white jeans (J Brand), and my pewter flats.

 

 

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Saturday, May 17 — Mr. Homemaker and I spent all day working around the house, getting it ready to go on the market. I am wearing my striped Renfrew and some Athleta capris I picked up in Philly. Love these pants!

 

 

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Sunday, May 18 — Off to church in an unblogged dress that is a miss-mash of a TNT princess seam bodice and the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt. I paired it with a cropped white lace cardigan and some white strappy sandals. The necklace is from Kluster Shop. Like my newly made-over dining room?

 

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Monday, May 19  — Back to the office for a busy day. I wore unblogged Simplicity 2365 that I made as a swimsuit coverup for our cruise back in February. I love the pintuck detail on this tunic but it is really blousy in the back and would benefit from some tailoring and a swayback adjustment in its next version. I made it from some J. Crew cotton voile from a recent Fabric Mart Fabrics sale. I paired it with my Citizens of Humanity skinny jeans, my gold flats, and a “vintage” turquoise necklace.

 

 

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Tuesday, May 20 — Another normal day at the office. For dinner we went out to celebrate my stepson’s end of the school year. This is McCall’s 6654 knit skirt is great to wear but is a bit cumbersome in the office because long things get tangled up in my rolling stool. I paired it with a white lace-trimmed cami and black lace cropped cardigan (both from Nordstrom). My shoes are open-toe low heeled Cole Haans.

 

 

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Wednesday, May 21 — A day off spend running errands again. This is one of my favorite me-mades of all time — McCall’s 6559. I paired it with my jean jacket and some flower-adorned flip-flops. The necklace is from Premier.

 

 

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Thursday, May 22 — Back to work and a professional conference in the evening (where I was able to get some knitting done, too!). I wore my Belle Bow Blouse with my white skinny jeans and some pointy-toe flats.

 

 

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Friday, May 23 — Normal office day and my stepson’s award day at school. Isn’t he a handsome young man? I wore my unblogged Kirsten Kimono Tee (see a blogged version here), and some red skinny jeans from David Kahn. Gold flats.

 

 

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Saturday, May 24 — I whipped up this Nettie bodysuit before heading to Mobile for the trunk show and pattern fitting with Sandra Betzina. It was really easy to make and I love the idea of a bodysuit. My only complaints are the very narrow shoulders and the fact that the coverage in the back isn’t enough to cover my big booty. I will definitely be tweaking this pattern and making it again, though! I paired the top with my Citizens jeans and red patent flats.

 

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Sunday, May 25 — I spent all day sewing with Sandra and other seamstresses. I dressed for comfort in this McCall’s 6559 and gold sparkle flip-flops. I also took a batch of Mimosa Punch to share with my classmates.

 

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Monday, May 26 — Memorial Day started out with hospital rounds in the nursery followed by housework and a cookout at home. I paired my Sewaholic Lonsdale with some new yellow sandals.

 

 

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Tuesday, May 27 — This was a normal day at the office. I paired my unblogged McCall’s 6898 with my white skinny jeans and some old pale pink kitten heels. While seeing patients at the office, I slipped on one of my heels and landed on my knee on the concrete floor, resulting in an ugly bruise. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time these shoes made me fall so I put them straight into the Goodwill pile when I got home.

 

 

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Wednesday, May 28 — My first real day off in weeks it seemed. I spent all day working around the house, knitting, and sewing. I made this hot pink stretch lace slip with my trusty McCall’s 6559 pattern, cutting the length off about mid-thigh. I used a contrasting lavender knit for the neck and armscye bands. Sorry, no photos of me lounging in this one :)

 

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Thursday, May 29 — Back to the office where I wore my first pair of me-made panties. As you can tell, I made them to match my slip from the day before. You may also notice I used leftover fabric from my Nettie bodysuit for the lining.

To make these, I traced a favorite pair of RTW panties then stitched them up and added a little lavender elastic at the waist. I finished the leg openings with a simple serged hem.

I also wore a blouse made from Vogue 1386, a Sandra Betzina pattern. This top was made by Sandra herself and gifted to me after our class over the holiday weekend. Thanks so much, Sandra, for a great class and this beautiful blouse! I paired the blouse with some slim jeans and animal skin slingbacks.

 

 

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Friday, May 30 — Another Friday at the office. I wore my Vogue 8747 white blouse with some slim jeans and new camel T-strap sandals.

 

 

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Saturday, May 31 — Woo hoo! The last day and I made it!! I wore my Kirsten Kimono Tee again with some jeans and my red patent flats. My sis took this photo at a small gathering at her house where she announced that I am having another niece! Yay for girls!!! ;)

So if you’re still there, why don’t we talk briefly about what I learned from Me Made May ’14? I learned that a few things I made last year don’t fit (that’s the motivation I’ve been needing for that pesky 5 pounds!). I’ve also learned that I’ve made a lot of things suitable for days away from the office but I haven’t made many work-appropriate items. This is something that I hope to address this summer. Finally, I learned that I am terrible about remembering to take daily photos as most of mine were taken at the end of the day when everything was looking a little wilted.

Overall, May was a great month for me — very productive and satisfying — and I am looking forward to my upcoming sewing and knitting projects. I hope y’all have a great week and we’ll chat again soon!

Lolita Olive — Pattern Testing

22 May

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Howdy, friends! I hope your week is going well. I’m sure many of you have seen Amity‘s newest pattern by now — the Olive blouse. I was one of the lucky pattern testers and I’ve had to work hard to keep this top a secret since then!

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This blouse pattern comes with two variations — option A with a sheer panel draped across the front and option B without. As you can see, I made version B.

 

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Lolita patterns offers a nice range of sizes for this top — 2 through 24 to be exact — and I made a 10 with a 1″ FBA. I made some alterations as I went as well and I think some of them may have resulted from an error in my FBA. I somehow ended up with a bodice that was waaaay too long so I cut it off about 1.5″. Next time I will start from scratch with my FBA to see if the bodice ends up as long.

 

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Before I shortened the bodice, I also took the sides in by 1″ per seam as I had tons of extra fabric pooling above the waistband. However, once I shortened the bodice, I think I could have left a little more ease at the waist as it is a bit tight now after lunch :)-

 

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For fabric, I went with a silk crepe de chine I picked up in NYC the first time. I used a white Bemberg for the facings. My contrast waistband is made from some unidentified scrap of fabric from Hancock’s. I used a navy satin piping from G Street Fabrics for my trim.

 

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My only modifications to the pattern, other than those for fit, were to use my serger rolled hem to finish the edges. I did this to mimic the appearance of the piping. I also added a waistband facing as I didn’t want my interfacing rubbing on my skin.

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I like the style of this top more than I thought I would based on the line drawings. I am even considering making another version that isn’t so snug in the waist :)-

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Thanks again, Amity, for inviting me to test drive your cute blouse! Make sure you pick up your copy from the Lolita Patterns shop and visit the other pattern testers on the blog tour to see some other great versions:

Leila 13th
Carolyn 14th
Maria 15th
Ping 16th and 24th
Hannah 19th
Laurie 21st
Katrina 22nd
T 23rd
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Simplicity 1810 | Paint Splattered Silk Dress

21 May

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Hi, y’all! Do you remember me showing you this dress in my Me Made May roundup? I promised to tell you more about it so here goes:

 

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The pattern is Simplicity 1810, a wardrobe pattern with pieces for a dress, top, and pants. I made the knee-length dress.

I was attracted to this pattern first of all because it looked really easy but also because of the cute yoke and pleat details at the shoulder. I also like the way the waist ties originate from the back darts, ensuring the back of the dress lays smoothly without a bunch of awkward gathers.

 

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I didn’t make a muslin of this pattern but I did do a really shoddy tissue fitting on my dressform. I cut a size medium and shortened the bodice by 1/2″, took in 1/2″ swayback adjustment, then added 3/4″ back over the hip to account for my booty. It ends up, I probably should’ve only added 1/4″ here but oh well.

 

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I followed the directions exactly as written with the addition of French seams for the side seams and topstitching on the waist ties.

 

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My fabric is a luscious silk crepe de chine with a paint splattered print. I picked it up from Sawyer Brook with a simple dress like this in mind.

 

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As I also mentioned in my MMM post, I rushed to finish this dress to wear to see the Molly Ringwalds. I thought the fabric fit the 80s music theme pretty well. There was some serious Project Runway-style stress going on in my house that evening, and we were *only* 1.5 hours late because of my dress :)

If you have been holding this pattern in your stash like I was, pull it out and whip up a dress or top — it only took me about 4-5 hours total.

 

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Thanks for reading and I’ll be back tomorrow with an exciting new make for you!

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