Sloane Tour: All Sloane All the Time

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Sneaky peeky!

I am so excited for this blog tour, friends. Like legitimately ecstatic. I had eyed the Love Notions Sloane (affil link) for a long time, but never made it. I don’t know why. Recently, Tami gave the pattern an update and I tested it. Ho. Lee. Cow. People. I love this pattern. I love, love, love it. I want to marry it. I want a closet full of Sloanes. I want to wear one everyday.  If you have made some in a large, please send them to me. 😉

Today I want to share two magnificent Sloanes with you to show you the versatility of the pattern. I have more! But, alas, I hurt my back and am headed out of town for a conference, so I don’t have them blog ready yet. Check back next week! I’ll have a fun little hack, a mommy/son Doctor Who set, and my spirit animal Sloane. Now, on to the pretties for this week!

The Sloane comes with lots of options: kangaroo pocket, hood or regular neckband, two body options (view A & B), two hem finishing options (curved hem (A) or banded (B)), and it even includes full bust pieces for those of you who need a FBA! Woot! Both of the Sloanes I am sharing with you today are view B. I made no modifications, except to shorten the sleeve slightly of the grey one. I have short arms. haha!

The first Sloane I made is as simple as they come. I made this one in testing. Just a simple, bang around, perfect for Fall sweatshirt. Made of a french terry/sweatshirt combo fabric. It’s soft. It has amazing drape. I want to cocoon myself in it and hibernate there until winter is over.  Look at my “I’m so happy I made this” face in the first picture. It’s true. I am so happy I made it. Even my husband is jealous of this awesome Sloane. (I told Tami we need a men’s version! haha!)

The next one I made for this tour. It’s the fancy, sassy cousin of my bang around sweatshirt. And I won’t lie to you, it is completely impractical for my life. But I don’t care. It’s glorious. I loves it.

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Those sleeves are gonna get dunked in mac and cheese in about 5 minutes. Still love it.

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Sassy and see-through. Because I have so many places to wear that. You know what? I don’t have anywhere to wear the tiara either. Doesn’t stop me.

I made this version out of a gorgeous open weave sweater knit from Simply by Ti.* It was my first time working with this type of knit and I’ll be honest, I was intimidated. But I had a vision and I was going to make it happen!

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Vision achieved.

This look was pretty simple to achieve. It wasn’t simple to sew, but it was darn simple to create. I just added this fancy trim I found at JoAnn Fabrics to the sleeve hem and the shirt hem. I used black CL for the neckband. Done and done!

I’m going to admit something now. I didn’t intend to make the sleeves fancy. But the serger tried to give one sleeve a thumbhole. That was not helpful. So I had to do something. Mistake crafting (that’s my special name for most-of-Caroline’s-creations-are-the-product-of-fixing-some-error) to the rescue! Fancy trim cuff. Boom.

This sweater knit is so gorgeous and SO SOFT. It’s like wearing a cloud made of bunnies. I won’t lie to you. I’ve gotta be gentle with this top. It’s a little delicate. Not because it’s poor quality – not at all! It’s just the nature of this kind of weave. You don’t want to wear it near a rose bush. haha! But it is absolutely delicious, and really was not as scary to sew with as I anticipated. I do suggest reinforcing the seams and sewing with patience. Play your meditation music. 😉 I’m delighted with how the top came out. And I can’t wait to show you the other Sloanes I am working on! They all make me so happy.

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I’m teaching my son to sew. (He’s doing really well. I’m so impressed!) He wanted to help me with this blog, so he took all the pictures of the sweater knit Sloane. Didn’t he do a great job??? 🙂 I’m a proud mama! But he did insist that I do one picture with a “silly pose”. He told me to be a weeping angel (link for the non-Doctor Who fans out there). I think Tyra Banks would give me the thumbs up on my interpretation. 😉

Make sure you check out the awesome creations coming at you for the rest of the blog tour! And check back here next week for the other Sloanes I have to show you! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
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*I am a fabric ambassador for Simply by Ti and received this fabric at a discount. The opinions expressed about the fabric are honest and are my own.
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Dress Up This Town Blog tour: Things don’t always work

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Welcome to the last stop of the Dress up this Town Blog tour! I intended to come to you today with my review of the new Love Notions Cadence Dress & Top. I was lucky enough to test the pattern, but alas, I had some sewing mishaps and as a result, I have no pictures for you. Sad face. You can see some awesome tester pics when you click on the link though! 🙂 So, I’ll fill you in on my experience, sans visuals. Just use your imagination! Haha!

First, a quick rundown of my thoughts on the pattern:

  • It’s well put together and I find the directions easy to follow.
  • Tank version utilizes the burrito roll technique. I love a good burrito! Both in sewing and in my belly! I had a little trouble pulling my fabric through the tank strap, but that may have been due to the thickness of my fabric. Or user error.
  • Nice summertime garment piece. Whether you sew the top or the dress, it’s just one of those easy, simple styles you can throw on and look good wearing.
  • Options! I love that Tami offers multiple options in her patterns. This one comes with a variety of sleeve and hem length (including top and dress) options.
  • Tutorials! I also love that Tami so frequently includes a little education in her patterns. I always learn something when I’m sewing Love Notions. I enjoy that.
  • As usual, pattern has layers, is no trim, and can be printed in large format.

My experience:

Welp, I sewed up my quick fit dress with no adjustments. The dart point was a touch high, but it was workable. I haven’t worked with woven in a long time. It’s so funny to think that a couple years ago I was TERRIFIED of working with knits. Now I sew with them so often I feel like I have no idea what to do when I’m handling woven. I think to myself, “Oh I can just ease that in a bit.” NO, NO YOU CAN’T! IT DOESN’T STRETCH. Dummy.

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The testing period extended because Tami wanted to perfect the fit.* Then I suddenly had to go out of town to visit family. So I brought the dress with me. And a sewing machine. (Yes, I am that kind of crazy.) I took out my basting stitches and sewed the final version for pics.

NOPE. Nopity, nope, nope. The darts were all wrong on this one. And I mean ALL WRONG. It ended about 2 inches above my bust point. I am not sure exactly what happened between my basted version and final version that the dart got so far off. My working theory is gnomes. Little troublemakers.

I haven’t done many darts, so I couldn’t troubleshoot to fix it fast enough for pics. So, I put my Cadence in timeout. Because it was hurting my baby brain. I will take it out in a few days and attempt to make the appropriate adjustments (Tami did include a tutorial for that!). Hopefully, I’ll have pics to share with you all soon! In the meantime, learn from my mistakes. Vertical adjustments are your friend! In my case, I think my bust point is lower than the pattern’s (because I have a super long torso, this is an adjustment I’ve had to make before). Stay tuned for my future victory post on darts and the Cadence dress and top! Until then…womp, womp. (I mean, this is a blog about my sewing (mis)adventures…) Now go forth and Rafflecopter!

*Let me just take a moment to appreciate Tami’s testing process. Because it is spectacular. I’ve tested for her for about a year. I’ve also tested for several other pattern designers. Tami is one of the best; she really considers the feedback she’s given and she extends the testing period if needed. She does not rush out a pattern for the sake of getting it out there. I really appreciate that about her.

Big thanks to this week’s sponsors!

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Week 1: July 1st-8th

1- Sewing By Ti (Intro) ***You are here. 😀 and Stitching At Night
2- Me Made
3- Tenille’s Thread
4- Sewing By Ti
5- Seams Sew Lo
6- Anne Mari Sews
7- Sea of Estrogen
8- Lulu and Celeste

Week 2: July 9th-15th
9- Living in Twinado Valley
10- Ma Moose
11- My Heart Will Sew On
12- Seams Sew Lo
13- Kate Will Knit
14- Creative Counselor
15- Sewing With Sarah

Week 3: July 16th-22nd
16- Stitching and Making
17- That’s Sew Lily
18- Sprouting Jube Jube
19- Auschick Sews
20- Anne Mari Sews
21- Lulu and Celeste
22- On Wednesdays We Sew

Week 4: July 23rd-31st
23- Stitching At Night
24- Sewing Curves
25- My Heart Will Sew On
26- Indulging Mum
27- That’s Sew Lily
28- Adventures With Bubba and Bug
29- Capture, Craft Cook
30- Sewing By Ti
31- Sew Like a Sloth

Week 4 Rafflecopter Giveaway. July 23-31st.
Go here for week 4 rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZDljMDU5MTExOWM4OTM2ZTgxODhlMmQ5NTU0Nzc3OjI2/?

Back in the sewing saddle: Love Notions Allegro

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Loving my new Allegro skirt and this beautiful day!

Long time no talk, interwebs! You may notice I look a little different. That giant pumpkin I was carrying in my belly is now my little pumpkin out in the world! 🙂 She is 8 weeks old and will surely be featured in a forthcoming post, or like all of them. haha! But for now, let’s talk about the Allegro (affil link), which I was lucky enough to test, and I’ll tell you a little bit about my sewing journey along the way.

Here’s a thing. Sewing is hard with a new baby. Life is hard with a new baby. No, that’s not exactly true. It’s not life that is hard, it’s accomplishing anything that is hard. It’s a successful day if I change out of my pajamas. If I manage to wash my hair, we might as well drop balloons and confetti from the ceiling. I realize I should have known this. I have had a baby before. In my defense, he just turned 8, and likely as some sort of biological protection to ensure that reproduction continues, a kind of memory wipe occurs as the years pass by after having a baby. You remember, but you also forget. The memory of the sleep deprivation, the inability to think of anything beyond the immediate need of a diaper change, a feeding, a baby who needs to be comforted, gets smoothed over. You look at pictures and tear up because of how stinking beautiful that baby was and wonder how the time went by so fast. So, here I am now, being acutely reminded of the sleep deprivation and inability to think, and trying to appreciate it all because I know this is the last time. And once my brain smooths this chaos over into something nostalgic, it will be gone forever because I will never experience it again.

Having these emotions, this revisitation of new parenthood, and a baby who is struggling

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Hard not to feel amazing in a skirt this awesome

(tummy issues), made sewing harder than I expected. Suddenly, I couldn’t wrap my head around simple things that I do all the time, like grading. My brain went “I’m supposed to go from one size to another, what is this madness?!?!?!” Thankfully, the Allegro pattern is kind to beginners and overly exhausted moms/graduate students/new business owners. And Tami (owner/designer of Love Notions) and Kelly (her assistant) were kind and wonderful (as usual), too. While I struggled, they were kind and understanding. And, in the end, even though I couldn’t make my brain work, the pattern still went together beautifully. The instructions are clear and the tutorials that Tami so often includes in her patterns are so wonderful. Really, her patterns are like mini-fit classes. I love them so much. I can think of no higher praise for this pattern than to say that I was able to sew it up, and end up with a wearable result in my current new-baby-brain state.

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Check out these awesome pockets!

Simply put, I love this skirt. I can’t wait to make more. The pattern is intended for woven fabric, but the skirt can be done in woven or knit. Mine is done in french terry. I skipped the drawstring because, frankly, I kind of hate them. I also skipped the optional patch pockets because I didn’t want to interrupt the pattern on the skirt and I didn’t want to waste the fabric for that much pattern matching. But, speaking of pockets, let’s talk about the front slash pockets. They are REAL pockets. None of that whimpy-I-can-fit-3-finger-tips-in-here-why-did-you-even-waste-the-time-to-sew-this-in pockets for the Allegro. Oh no! These pockets are deep and can easily and securely hold whatever you are toting around with you.

The fit of the skirt is great, even on my strangely shaped, kangaroo pouch belly, postpartum body. I like the skirt so darn much, I don’t even hate the fact that you can see my hippo knees when I’m wearing it!

Bottom line: Run, do not walk, to get this pattern. You will use it and you will be happy you have it. It’s a staple and the end result is lovely. Plus, with the Allegro you can shorts (in TWO lengths), cropped pants, a short skirt, AND a maxi. This purchase is a no-brainer to me. A++ pattern; a home run. So go get it here (affil link)! 😉

And, P.S., this is a sewing blog, so my business is not my focus, but I did pair the skirt with a LuLaRoe Perfect T, which I also love. If you love them and want to check out the ones we have in stock, come visit us at LuLaRoe Frank & Caroline Gaddy. We’re fun people and we have a friendly, positive group. If you join us, say hello and let me know that you’re a fellow sewist! 🙂

Sewing Up Spring – Sewing All the Baby Things!…or not

Okay, well not as many of the baby things as I’d like. For my stop on the Sewing by Ti blog tour, Sewing Up Spring, I had such grand plans. An adorable, uterus grabbing capsule of baby goodies: sleep sacks, hats, onesies, booties, skirts, and leggings. Alas, pregnancy had other plans. The fact is, sometimes life throws us a curveball…or 70, and things don’t always go the way we hoped. I hate when that happens, but happens it does. Pregnancy has been no exception.

But oh, I had so many awesome things planned! I wanted to be one of those amazing women and sewists. You know, the ones who go into the hospital with a capsule of outfits sewn for newborn babe, and a mini breastfeeding friendly hospital capsule for themselves. These women also look gorgeous in birth photos. I, of course, look like a tired, pale hospital worker in mine (I had a c-section with my son, so I had a surgical cap on). Alas, I do not seem to be one of those amazing women. SPD (pelvis separation) and now abdominal separation are grounding me from sewing. I have TWO patterns cut that I was testing and physically could not finish. I cannot tell you how much that upsets me. (P.S. they’re awesome patterns: Love Notions Olympia Dress – which can totally be worn for maternity, by the way. I did actually get the bodice put together and tested out for that one. Just took a little bodice shortening to accommodate the giant belly. And Greenstyle Bomber Jacket, which is absolutely fantastic. Fit like a charm – also got the basic jacket sewn up of that one, but couldn’t get the bindings and zipper on. So versatile and fun! Mine is a FT version, like a structured sweatshirt. I can’t wait to be able to finish it!) But that’s how it goes, right? As long as we get a happy, healthy baby, we’ll just put another tally on the board for the miracle of life and keep on keeping on. For those keeping track, that would be Pregnancy: all points ever assigned, Caroline: -1,000. 🙂

So, I couldn’t do things exactly the way I’d hoped. Pregnancy complications, grad school grind, and starting a new business* took up all my time and at times flat out said, “NOPE. You can sit here and cry in pain and that’s it.” But I have still managed to squeeze out a couple of creations for baby girl. And I’m giddy about them. I mean, really, when is a tiny baby hat not adorable?! Make it a River Song hat and DOHMYGOODNESS. Dead.

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I’m bigger on the inside! This was around a 33-34 week belly. The current 36-37 week belly has somehow defied physics by tripling in size.

The great thing about this was that it was supremely simple to sew. It’s the Brindille & Twig hat. It was my first time sewing one of their patterns. I had a couple of complaints (no layers and the color key is not printed on the pattern), but overall, I found the pattern to be user friendly. And, as I said, this one was so quick. Even for sloth-sewing me. I would definitely recommend and happily sew again.

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The full outfit. B&T hat and P4P Sugar Pie. Doctor Who fabric from Moon Beam of Star Dust & Moon Beam. This baby is starting out right in life!

The dress was another quick sew: Patterns for Pirates Sugar Pie. Only alteration I made was to cut the 6 mo. neckband on the 3 mo. size. Big heads are a thing in my family. I just couldn’t imagine squeezing a baby’s head through an opening that small…clothing or otherwise. 😉

So, yeah, curveballs. But I still produced a cute little outfit and I can’t wait to see it on our little pumpkin. I’m honestly thrilled with it. One of my favorite things I’ve ever made. Even my husband loves it and he’s definitely not the Who fan that my son and I are. I will try to enjoy that feeling for now and try not to dwell on all the adorable creations I have in my head. They can always be sewn later. Now, if this pain would give me a brief reprieve, I could finish everything else and be the amazing sewing birthing mama I dream of being!

*My husband and I have just become a LuLaRoe Retailer! I am a sewist who likes both LLR and sewing my own clothes. I know not everyone does, and that’s okay. But for me, sometimes I sew, sometimes I roe. And this pregnancy, especially, I’ve been grateful for my LLR clothes because I could keep wearing them through pregnancy when I couldn’t sew for myself. If you also love LLR, feel free to join our group. We’d love to have you.

Be sure to follow along to be inspired!

April 1st: Sewing By Ti

Monday, April 3rd Sewing By Ti

April 4th Crafty Like a Rox

April 5th The Socially Awkward Seamstress

April 6th The Socially Awkward Seamstress

April 7th Robynne and the Bobbin

Sunday April 9th Sew Like a Sloth

April 10th That’s Sew Lily

April 11th Hazelnut Handmade

April 12th Doodle Number 5

April 13th Crafty Like a Rox

April 14th Sewing By Ti, Ma Moose

Monday April 17th Anne Mari Sews, Robynne and the Bobbin

April 18th Rebel and Malice

April 19th Very Blissful

April 20th The Fairy Dust Bin

April 21st Sewing By Ti

Sunday April 23rd On Wednesdays We Sew

April 24th Tenille’s Thread

April 25th Ma Moose

April 26th Margarita on the Ross

April 27th The Socially Awkward Seamstress

April 28th Sewing By Ti

Love Notions Terra Tunic (Maternity Style)

It’s rare that I say this, but I’m pretty proud of my Terra tunic (affil link).

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Fit pic from testing. I haven’t been able to get a better one yet. Quality pics coming soon! 

I regularly test for Love Notions. It is a privilege that I feel very lucky to have. And I love it, truly. Because I test regularly, I knew this pattern test was coming up and I was so excited to try it. But I had a death in the family when the actual test occurred, so I didn’t think I’d be able to participate. All I wanted to do when I came home from the looooooooooonnnnnnnnngggggggg trek out of state for the funeral services, was to sew this tunic. I was longing for the dependability of the testing experience. Tami (designer for LN) was kind enough to let me jump in. I am so grateful. It was a positive way to work through my grief, and it kept my mind busy with creativity when I just wanted to curl up in a ball and hibernate. For that alone, I will always love this top.

I also love it because I’m proud I made the modifications successfully. No, they weren’t particularly hard, but they were a challenge for my pregnant, sad, grad school drained brain. I’m proud that I’ve learned enough in the last year to figure out how to make an alteration like this. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make the modifications happen, and it was touch and go there a couple times…but, lo and behold, I did! The sewing gods were with me! And, dear readers, you know I had some sweater knit in my hand to try for this tunic. It’s true. I told you I never remember. But then I thought to myself, “NO. I have told the internet of my sweater knit testing curse. Do not use sweater knit again.” And for once, I listened to myself.  I used a deliciously soft and drapey french terry from So Sew English instead (with a faux microsuede accent). It’s SSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOO soft. I to wrap myself in it like a cocoon and never come out.

The mods:

I can’t say these are what will work best for everybody, but it worked for me and my body. (I’m going to add some pics shortly.)

On the front piece, I graded out from my normal XL to XXXL. I started the grade out just under the bust, reaching the max size at the waist, and then graded back to XXL at the hip (I have no hips). I curved the line slightly, so it was kind of belly shaped.

On the back piece, I graded from my usual XL to XXL. I started the grade out almost immediately at the bottom of the armscye. I often need a swayback adjustment and figured grading up a size would help accommodate for that and for the watermelon sized baggage in my front that will pull the fabric.

I’m thrilled with how it came out. I DID NOT lengthen the pattern (except for lengthening slightly at the bust line, according to my measurements). I really should have, but honestly, I was just tired and pregnant and didn’t feel like it.

Love Notions Terra Tunic (affil link)

Features/options:

  • multiple sleeve lengths (short, elbow, 3/4, long)
  • multiple neckline options (v-neck, boat neck, funnel neck, asymmetrical (which is what I did), scoop, and v-neck hood)
  • optional elbow patches
  • optional welt pockets (pockets!!!!!)
  • layers
  • trimless pages
  • AO included
  • This pattern is for knit fabric at least 25% stretch. French terry, brushed poly, cotton lycra, and sweater knit all worked well for testers.

Pros:

  • Construction is great.
  • This is a pretty simple, easy pattern to sew with a polished looking end result.
  • Love the length – great with leggings or skinny jeans and easily shortened or lengthened.
  • LOVE the fit.

Cons:

  • I don’t know…I can’t honestly think of any.

Overall, I give the Terra Tunic (affil link) two happy, enthusiastic thumbs up. I highly suggest it! I’m not going to make more right now because of aforementioned watermelon belly, but I will DEFINITELY make more in the future. It’s simple and elegant, but it’s a basic, everyday pattern that you can get so much use out of. I plan to take this one in a bit at the side seams and probably cut and band or re-hem at the bottom post-partum. Go get yours!

Watcha Wearin’? Pregnant lady stuff

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Welcome to the closing of the Watcha Wearin’ January blog tour! Almost time for the rafflecopter giveaway (more on that below)! Today, I’m talking maternity makes. But first, a few words from Ti at Sewing by Ti about the tour:

So many people start the New Year with great big resolutions. If one of your resolutions for the year was to sew more this year, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve got an amazing group of bloggers that are going to share with you what they and their families are wearing this month. All day, everyday.

We’re going to talk about fabrics, patterns, and styles. We’re going to show you how to take Ready To Wear inspirations and turn them into reality. But most importantly, we’re going to show you how we REALLY use our handmades in our regular lives. Whether that’s lounging around the house, going to school, work, family photos even formal events, we’re going to show you how to make them work for how you live.

Alright, so sewing maternity gear. I have mixed feelings, I admit it. One the one hand, I want to wear the same custom fit me-made clothes I like to wear when I’m not sporting the semi-beached whale look (give me a month, then full beached whale will be achieved). On the other hand, I am exhausted and having some painful pregnancy side effects, and, as mentioned above, am getting quite large, and I don’t want to take all the time and effort to sew something that I can only wear while gestating. It’s a pickle. Here is my solution. I’m going to make a mini maternity capsule! (And then a baby capsule, but that’s another post.)

Requirements:

  • Maternity friendly, not strictly maternity wear – things I can wear while pregnant, but also postpartum. My goal is for these items either to work as is, or to require minimal mods to be belly friendly.
  • Semi-professional. Gotta be able to look reasonably put together for working with clients in my non-sewing life.
  • Not overly taxing on the noodle. Grad school + regular life + mommy hood + pregnancy brain = not a lot of brain power left for solving complex sewing problems.
  • Nursing friendly is a bonus, but not a requirement.

I’ll be working on these over the next month or two (see note about exhaustion and pain and being large and in charge above), depending on how fast I can go. Remember, I do sew like a sloth. 😉

My planned makes:

You’ll notice a lack of pants in this list. Refer to the first requirement. Pants for pregnancy are maternity pants. When you wear them after pregnancy, they are still maternity pants (but they are ridiculously comfortable, so why should they just be for maternity?!?!?!). I may make some leggings because I can kind of fudge those. IF I do make a pair of maternity pants, I’d probably do P4P palazzos or something like that.

So, what do you think of the list? Am I missing something? Feel free to share your ideas!

Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter giveaway! Look at these amazing sponsors!!! Some of my favorites are in here! 🙂

And, for anther chance to win a second prize pack with more awesome prizes, join the linky party! (Need help with the linky party? Ti’s got your back! Check out her handy guide.)

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