Saturday, December 29, 2012

60s Dress- or I Wish I had A Holiday Dress

I made this dress out of pure sewing boredom.
Do you ever buy fabric just because it's cheap? This is my polish demeanor coming out - it's cheap, why not get it even though it's itchy and polyester?
Ok I'm exaggerating it's not that bad, but to be honest, if I saw this now, as a more experianced sewer I wouldn't have bought this fabric. Oh well, at least I got a dress out of it.

I've mentioned this on Pinterest (ahem ahem), I really don't know what to do about winter dresses. I mean, how often does one wear a long sleeved dress? I don't know if this is an Israeli thing, but I don't see many long sleeved dressed around that I like. (Also, long sleeved dresses always make me think of religious clothing (this is definitely an Israeli thing) because religious women have to cover their elbows in public so they always wear long sleeved dresses and I can't seem to shake this image out of my head)

Anyway, I decided to try a long sleeved version for this dress and surprise, surprise! I think I quite like it! It's just a basic shift dress (or maybe it doesn't count as a shift because it has a waist seam?) with welt pockets and three quarter sleeves.

60's dress, welt pockets, dress with welt pockets, long sleeved dress

I promise it looks less like PJs and more like a dress in real life.

I opted for simple side-bust-darts (I'm sure there's a simpler name for this) because I didn't want to ruin the striped fabric. I always have issues with this when sewing with plaids and stripes. I never really know what kind shape will distort the pattern the least, for this, dress side-bust-darts seemed the way to go. Don't ask me why I created a waist seam rather than made it a continuous dress, it was kind of difficult to match the stripes and they're kind of in an obvious area so it was really important they match. I guess in the end the waist seam does create a more fitted silhouette which I think is more flattering so it was worth it!

60's dress, welt pockets, dress with welt pockets, long sleeved dress
See the side-bust-dart? And no, I didn't bother matching the stripes on the side seams, bad sewer! bad!
I didn't have enough fabric to make a circle skirt of some sort so I decided to go for a flared A line skirt and see if the idea works for me (I'm always a little daunted by A line skirts, they seems kind of shapeless to me) but I think it came out nicely!  I used my own tutorial to draft the skirt, (taken from the Mystery Pocket Skirt) only I spread out the three rectangles to a measurement a little wider than my hip measuremant as I wanted the dress to be more flared than the Mystery Pocket Skirt (if you want to do this yourself and have questions - let me know!)

60's dress, welt pockets, dress with welt pockets, long sleeved dress

I have to say I'm incredibly happy with my pockets!! This was my first time making welt pockets and I love how they turned out. Welt pockets are one of those touches that remind me how much I've improved with my sewing, it's such a cute detail and it's easier to sew than it looks!
I used the pocket template from Colette's Anise Pattern (I've also made the Anise Jacket - with my own little twist, I'll show you guys soon!) and used Sarai's tutorial to make them (sorry, for some reason the Collettrie site isn't working so I can't attach the link, I'll be sure to check back soon and try again). It was pretty easy, Sarai's tutorials are so helpful!
I tried to find a tutorial on how to draft welt pockets for you guys but I can't seem to find one.. Maybe I'll make one myself - is that something you would find interesting?

60's dress, welt pockets, dress with welt pockets, long sleeved dress

I used my Cat Cotton from my Cat Blouse to make the lining for the pockets and I'm always so happy to reach into the pocket and see a little kitty peek up at me. I haven't actually used the pockets, only once when I had to use the bathroom at work and had my cellphone with me so I just stuck it in my pocket. To be honest it's not the most flattering place for pockets because the moment I put something in them, it weighs the fabric down and it clings to my hips which isn't a good thing, trust me. Oh well!

60's dress, welt pockets, dress with welt pockets, long sleeved dress

I added little buttons at the edge of the sleeves to give the dress a little pop of color (or a pop of black.. is black a color?), it was either this of little bows made up from the fashion fabric.. After much contemplation (I kid you not) I decided to add the buttons because I felt the dress was kind of... muted. What do you think?

60's dress, welt pockets, dress with welt pockets, long sleeved dress

I finished the neckline with bias tape, hemmed the sleeves by serging the fabric and turning it in. That's about it!
In closing, even though this isn't the dress of my dreams and it definitely exceeded my expectations (which were incredibly low in the first place)
I will leave you with a few questions:
What are you thoughts on winter dresses?
What is your favorite pattern for sewing with stripes and plaids?
Why am I making the same exact face in all the pictures?

Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Un - Wishes

I wasn't going to make a holiday post as I'm Jewish and don't celebrate Christmas. (and frankly, I'm so freaking jealous that you get to celebrate this holiday I can't muster the strength to be selfless and be happy for the rest of you).

Anyway, since I'm being bitter, Merry Christmas:

I hope the Grinch steals all your presents and gives them to me.

jk. I truly wish you all a Merry Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chiffon Bow Blouse

I'm having a rough sewing day. I'm trying to sew my own version of the Anise jacket and to be honest I'm not having the greatest time with it. I'll write a more in depth post about the pattern and my jacket, but I just had to let it out there. TODAY, SEWING IS NOT MY FRIEND.

Lately, I've only been sewing during the weekends, as during the week I don't live at home and I work a full time job. Because of this, I sometimes resort to sewing little projects rather than new and more time consuming projects. I already have a few basic patterns ready so I can just change the neckline or sleeves and I have a new shirt.
This is kind of what I did with this shirt, only it evolved while I sewed it. It did not evolve because I'm creative or because I kept getting new brilliant idea. It evolved because I kept making mistakes. Antibiotics was invented by mistake, no?  Well, this is my Antibiotics, it's just as brilliant too, I tell ya, going to save plenty of lives this shirt is.

chiffon shirt, bow shirt, chiffon bow, tie collar, how to make a tie collar

Yup, it's just chiffon shirt. I'm pretty sure all you sewers out there are saying - why is she even showing this to us? It's true, it really isn't that exciting, but I feel like it's better if us bloggers show our mistakes and mundane projects because whats better than shouting out "I'm just a mediocre sewers sometimes" in public? That's what I'm doing. I hope you don't unfollow my blog now.

chiffon shirt, bow shirt, chiffon bow, tie collar, how to make a tie collar

It's kind of difficult to see the details of this shirt because of the busy fabric (it's little leaves!) so I'll give you a recap. I transferred the darts to gathers in the shoulder seam and gave the shirt a baggy look by widening the side seams by about an inch. The sleeves are basically the same width the whole way down (rather than tapering towards the wrist) which I gathered at the wrists and finished with bias binding. The sleeve caps are also gathered which took a little longer to sew with chiffon and IT'S SO FREAKING SLIPPERY but worth the effort (but maybe not.. can you ever tell they're gathered? This pattern is so confusing)

chiffon shirt, bow shirt, chiffon bow, tie collar, how to make a tie collar

The collar is one of the most dominant of the Antibiotics Effect in this shirt. I intended this to be a tie collar shirt (kind of vintage style that ties at the side of the neckline) but ended up measuring wrongly and having only tiny little tips left rather than long strips to tie a knot (don't ask me how this happened). After putting a little thought into it (also, I may or may not have had enough fabric to make a new collar) I decided to make a little bow and sew a fabric covered button to it. Can't see what the heck I'm talking about?

chiffon shirt, bow shirt, chiffon bow, tie collar, how to make a tie collar

How about now?

chiffon shirt, bow shirt, chiffon bow, tie collar, how to make a tie collar

Ok, now that you saw a close up lets talk a little more about the construction. I NEVER know how to construct a tie collar in a clever way, I sit and think about it often (it's kind of embarrassing to admit how much time I spend thinking about how things work in sewing) but I can really never figure out. I'll tell you about my stupid way and then, if any of you guys know the RIGHT way to do it, I'd love to know.
1) I made bias tape from the fashion fabric to attach the collar to the shirt.
2) I cut the long strip of fabric that's going to act as my collar.
3) I sewed the short ends shut so create the square ends.

At this point I'll stop and say that my biggest issue is the point where the collar strip disconnect from the neckline and becomes the tie. Does the make sense? What bothers me is that the strips have to be finished in order to look nice (as in the raw edges of the strip need to be finished somehow) but the rest of the the neckline strip that's laying against the neckline doesn't have to be finished because it's connected to the neckline with a bias strip.
Now, I know that a lot sewers souldn't use a bias strip but encase the neckline with the collar strip, but I still don't understand how to deal with the point where the collar disconncets from the neckline, it seems like such an unclean finish!

4) I measured the neckline length and marked the length in the middle of the strip. I finished ( sewed the long ends right sides together) both ends of the tubes (as they are going to be hanging freely) and trespassed a little into the "neckline territory". That way most of the collar laying against the neckline isn't finished so there isn't that much bulk, but the ends that are nging out are finished.

AHHH does that even make sense???

5) Anyway, I then proceed to attach the collar with a bias strip.

6) the way I created the little bow was sewing the bottom part of the strip to the point where it connects to the neckline (I did this so both strips) and sewed a little button in the middle.

I'm sorry if this was incoherent, let me know if you want me to clarify anything. I kind of wish I had taken pictures!

chiffon shirt, bow shirt, chiffon bow, tie collar, how to make a tie collar

A few confessions about this blouse:
1) Apparently I didn't sew the sleeve correctly and one of the gathers escaped the bias strip. I only realized this after wearing is a few times and I now have to rip the seams and resew the bias strip. I REALLY hope I'll get this done and it's won't become a UFO.
2) I didn't really like this shirt when I finished it. I didn't feel that it was very creative or interesting in any way.
3) This blouse has gotten SO many compliments. It's so weird how the things that I don't put that much effort into get more compliments then the ones that I do. Does this happen to you too? I made a dress with an embroidered panel and fabric covered buttons and god knows what else and it got just a few compliments but this shirt that I consider kind of a "blah" sewed garment was complimented constantly. WHATS UP WITH THAT?
4) I didn't bother with a baby hem. I just serged the bottom and hemmed it. Does that make me a bad sewer? I HATE baby hems.

chiffon shirt, bow shirt, chiffon bow, tie collar, how to make a tie collar

Back shot. Again, I opted for a curved hem, I have a thing for them.


Ok, so these are questions to you, readers:

1) What do you do when you have a bad a sewing day?
2)  How the heck does one make a tie collar?
3) Why do non sewers always like the projects that I put the least amount of effort in?
4) Why do I not like the projects that I put the least amount of effort in?

I do like this blouse, even though I'm complaining constantly, I've worn it quite a few times and it fits well in my wardrobe.
But whats the point of having a blog if not to complain?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mrs. Pettigrew Blouse

I mentioned in a post a while back that I was planning on copying Amy Adam's Blouse from "Mrs. Pettigrew Lives For A Day". First, it's an excellent movie, it's incredibly lighthearted yet touches your heart at the same time. It's staged right before World War II, the stars of the movie being Amy Adams as a frivolous actress who is trying to forge herself a career by sleeping with the right men and at the same time trying to find love, and Frances McDormand who ends up being her house keeper by trickery who is just trying to earn a living but gets so much more! The movie is silly but touches very serious subjects at the surface

 The clothing is absolutely inspiring! It's incredibly glamorous yet I do feel that it has a little bit of a modern touch to it.. It's difficult to explain, but even the older ladies in this movie are dressed beautifully!

 The blouse that inspired me the most is part of this ensemble that Amy Adams wears in her final scene:

 I just love the neckline! I've never seen this detail on a modern button up shirt and I think it's such a feminine and unique touch. The minute I saw it I knew I had to make it for myself, (evidence to this is this pin in which I promised to make it the next day). I really did! I just didn't photograph it until a few days ago. 
Well, here is the big reveal:
mrs pettigrew blouse, 40s blouse, vintage blouse
I decided to make it into a normal button up shirt, as I didn't feel that I'd wear is as much as a dress (and I proved this theory right by wearing this shirt like 5 times since I made it). I used this plaid fabric that I got for 2.5$ a meter in a bazaar in Israel, I had a lot of trouble matching the plaid as we know, but I think it came out pretty well! I matched them only width wise, so they don't match at the shoulder seams and for some reason I didn't think to match them in the sleeves either. You think I'd have thought of that after spend so much time matching the rest of the stupid shirt!

mrs pettigrew blouse, 40s blouse, vintage blouse

 I kind of feel like a librarian in this blouse, so I thought I'd act it out for you guys and wear my glasses (that I never actually wear). What do you think? Do you feel like rushing to do your homework? 

mrs pettigrew blouse, 40s blouse, vintage blouse

The collar didn't come out as great as I planned. I couldn't figure out how to make it lie completely flat in the part where it overlaps as it did in the original shirt. I ended up making a long strip on the bias to create the collar, I only stitched the front parts closed and then I sandwiched the neckline in the rest of it. I thought it was enough to do that and have the overlap lie flat, BUT NO. Anyway, it's not bad, but I kind of get self conscious about it.

mrs pettigrew blouse, 40s blouse, vintage blouse

 I opted for princess seams and I'm happy I did, I thought they would be easier to match than dior seams and I wasn't sure that just sewing darts with the plaid would look good. Also, I think I like style-lines better than darts, they kind of shape the whole garment rather than only the place where the dart is.. do you feel this too? 

I decided to forgo the button clusters out of sheer laziness, I don't know why but it felt like more work than just spacing out the buttons equally. I think I will try this on a shirt soon because I like this look, I was just so frustrated with matching the fabric I wanted the rest of the construction to go faster. I know it's silly BUT I ALSO KNOW YOU DO THIS TOO, SO STOP JUDGING.

mrs pettigrew blouse, 40s blouse, vintage blouse
 This is what the collar looks like open, I hand sewed snaps to the overlapping collar. 
This is was also my first time shaping a piece of fabric with an iron. I cut the collar on the bias and I stretched the part that would be sewn to the shirt neckline with LOTS of steam so that it'll lay flat rather than stick out like a mandarin collar. It really works! can you tell it's a little tighter at the top of the collar? don't tell me if it doesn't.

mrs pettigrew blouse, 40s blouse, vintage blouse

I look like a midget in this picture, my dad is so tall it's like he's taking a picture of me from a top of a building! We later figure out how to avoid this issue but you'll only see an improvement in the next few garments.

I had the silly thought of making a matching jacket like in Amy Adam's ensemble. I still can't decide if I want to do this or not! I've made my first successful jacket a few weeks ago so I feel that my motivation is greater.. but will I wear it as an ensemble?? I can't decide!

For the sake of being honest, I've never worn this shirt with this outfit, I always wore it with jeans, but I thought I'd glamour off for you guys!

What do you think? Is it as similar as I think it is? Have you ever tried to copy a garment from a movie? Also, I don't know if you caught the subtle clue, but I have a pinterest accound AND YOU SHOULD FOLLOW IT.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Velvety Blouse

Hi everyone!
I had such an exhausting week and weekend. Let me tell you, mini wars are hard on the soul. As you probably know, a cease fire was announced a few days ago, I still don't know what I think about the whole situation, it's confusing as I'm extremely happy it's quiet again and that all my soldier friends weren't sent into the Gaza Strip, but it feels like we didn't accomplish anything. Though I'm sure we accomplished much more than I know when it comes to a military point of view (quite a few Hamas activists were killed) it feels like in six months we'll be showered with rockets again. The only thing I can say confidently is that I'm so glad I don't have to lead a country! So many difficult decisions to make and people that rely on you. I much prefer sewing, mind you.

Speaking of which, since this is sewing blog, I'll proceed to the subject which I'm really supposed to talk about, which is not Israeli politics.
This is another installment of my Fall Look Book. In all honesty this is one of my favorite blouses I've EVER made. I've never seen anything like it (people don't wear much velvet in general, do they?) and I just love the cut out detail and the color and everything about it!

cut out shirt, velvet shirt, heart cut out, steam a seam, curved hem, fall look, green velvet, hunter green blouse

  I used a stretchy hunter green velvet (or maybe it was velveteen? whats the difference anyway?) I got for like 4$ a yard. I was kind of afraid at first of sewing velvet (and at this point was kind of angry with myself for being stingy and not buying Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide - I've heard it's worth it weight in gold!) so I did some research, and all I could find was scary warning about ironing velvet the wrong way and not top stitching velvet and so on. In the end I decide to do a few test runs on fabric scraps and see how it goes.
I checked if I could:
1) iron the fabric with and without steam (check!)
2) top stitch without it looking ugly (semi- check, I decided that it was ok but better if I can avoid it)
3) be serged. (also semi check, I had to play around A LOT with the stitch width and length before finding the best outcome. (small stitch length and small stitch width + keeping the fabric very tout))

cut out shirt, velvet shirt, heart cut out, steam a seam, curved hem, fall look, green velvet, hunter green blouse
sorry for everything being lopsided!

This brings me to the next hurtle in this project - the cut out. I was set on having a heart cut out in this shirt, I loved the way it turned out for me last time I made a heart cut out and I thought that this dainty detail would clash nicely with the green velvet. Since I didn't much like the look of the top stitching (though it wasn't terrible - I did opt for machine hemming the sleeves and hem) before, I decided that topstitching around the heart isn't a great idea. I thought of hand sewing the facing but immediately decided that there must be a better idea to do this (I HATE HAND SEWING). After doing some reaserch on the internet I found this product: Warm Company Steam-A-Seam . This is basically a fusible strip that you can use for hems or any kind of fabric fold that you seek to attach seamlessly (huh! pun!). I decided to try this on my heart cut out. Before I explain the whole process let me give you a spoiler - it worked beautifully!

cut out shirt, velvet shirt, heart cut out, steam a seam, curved hem, fall look, green velvet, hunter green blouse

I cut out the heart from the bodice and used the same heart pattern to cut out a matching facing. I then sewed the facing to the bodice right sides together along the edge of the heart and pushed the facing inside the heart shaped hole. Next I gave the heart a little press and then inserted the Steam A Seam strip between the bodice (wrong side) and the facing (wrong side) little by little (as the strips don't curve) I permanently bonded the facing to the bodice. It was that easy! I love this thing! I can't wait to try and use it on lace and other light fabric because it promises to disappear - we'll see about that! Have you ever used Steam A Seam?

cut out shirt, velvet shirt, heart cut out, steam a seam, curved hem, fall look, green velvet, hunter green blouse

cut out shirt, velvet shirt, heart cut out, steam a seam, curved hem, fall look, green velvet, hunter green blouse

I wore this shirt to work a few weeks ago and I still can't decide if this was a good idea. Why, you ask? well it's kind of.... gapey. (evidence in the photo above, so much boob and armpit showing from very little movement) Also, the heart tends to ride down a little and my bra peeks out occasionally. Now, I know you're probably freaking out about this (as I'm sure you have very strong feelings about what I wear to work) but I have a very low key, casual and um.. revealing work environment. A lot of the people working at the company are my age and some wear tank tops to work and even shorts, so it's not like everyone was staring at me! Anyway, it still made me slightly uncomfortable so I may have to restrict this shirt to going out only.

cut out shirt, velvet shirt, heart cut out, steam a seam, curved hem, fall look, green velvet, hunter green blouse

Finally let's finish with the hem. I have come to the conclusion that this is my favorite style hem, it just gives my butt such a butt lift I'm surprised it's mine when I look in the mirror. Something about the way it hugs it in a curve does wonders! What do you think? Am I imagining the improvement in my rear area?

I wore this shirt to a dinner out with friends and a friend liked it so much I made her a dress (it was basically the same, only longer) with this cranberry velvet. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL! I know I was talking earlier about how I like that the cutout clashed with the green but this silhouette was made to be sewed in cranberry!
Has this ever happened to you? Visioning a project in one color and then realizing that it would have looked perfect with a different fabric? Do tell!

That is it my friends!  Have a great rest of the week!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Um... Oops

I was just going over my pins looking for inspiration for this fabric I bought yesterday and saw that I pinned this shirt a while ago!

I didn't even remember I pinned it! Can you see how similar it looks to my recent shirt?

I can't believe I copied a shirt without even consciously doing it!
I guess we can call it subconscious copycatting!
I have no idea where my head is these days.

In other news, things aren't much better here. It's been quiet for the last few hours, but we haven't left the house that much in days. I had to drive out today for some errands and I was stressed out the whole time because if the sirens go off while you're driving you need to stop at the side of the road, lie on the ground and cover your head. And while you do that, you can see the rockets flying and being intercepted over your head (or at least this is what a friend told me happened to her). You can see why I wasn't keen on that happening. Not to mention I'd feel really silly lying on the ground with my face in the sand for ten minutes.

Well, I just saw the picture of the shirt and had to share!
Have you ever been subconsciously inspired?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In which I strip. Well, use a (bias) strip.

Hey everyone,
I don't know if you guys know of this, or are following the news about the middle east, but the IDF killed a top Hamas commander today. We've been under rocket fire for a very long time now (I live in the south of Israel) but I feel like this is going to make it much worse. The news is talking of Israeli forces being gathered in the Gaza Strip border (which may mean war) and the Hamas are threatening with strong retaliation. I just heard on the news that at least 70 rockets have fallen in the last 4 hours, some of them very close to my home town. It feels pretty terrible waking up in the middle of the night to sirens and being afraid for the life of your friends and family all the time. It's surreal that we've lived in this situation for so long and that it's getting even worse, and we're still managing to live our lives. I've lived through quite a few wars here in Israel and I keep being overwhelmed with the idea that this is my reality.
I don't mean this to be a political statement, I don't think this is the right platform to talk of these things, I just thought of sharing my private feelings and how it feels to be just a normal citizen in an extraordinary situation like this.

Anyway, moving on to lighter and more blog appropriate things -
I've made a new shirt! I actually wore this shirt to my first day of work! It was really exciting!

bias strip shirt, bias strip sleeve, satin fabric, satin shirt, satin bias strips.

I took my own advice (and Modcloth's) and used bias binding as an embellishment. I quite like the effect! Making the bias tape wasn't as tedious as I thought it would be as the bias pieces are pretty short. A tip from me to you while making bias strips from a slippery fabric - LOAD UP ON THE STARCH! I starched the bejeezuz out of the bias strips, it was the only way to make them stable enough to actually iron them. I made the starch myself by mixing a glass of hot water and three table spoons of starch and letting is cool to room temperature.

bias strip shirt, bias strip sleeve, satin fabric, satin shirt, satin bias strips.

I made this with the remnants of the Cinderella Dress. Can you believe I had this much left?? I had enough to make another half of a shirt, which I did and will show you soon!
It's really slinky and feels great to wear, the only thing is that every little drop of water CREATES A HUGE WATER STAIN. After five minutes at work I managed to spray myself with water from the sink in the bathroom and almost cried. I hate hard to manage fabrics, I don't know why I'm so attracted to them and I never think of how problamatic they are when I do my fabric shopping, it's like I'm a child, I can't think ahead.

(How impressive is my Jesus picture? Let us all imagine this is what I looked like when I figured out how to make these sleeves: (with a bunch of white cloak clad angels singing "Ahhhhhhh" in the background))

bias strip shirt, bias strip sleeve, satin fabric, satin shirt, satin bias strips.

After thinking about it for a few minutes I  managed to figure out how to attach everything to everything without leaving raw edges. I just LOVE figuring stuff out! The bias strips are still a little stiff from the STARCH which makes the sleeve look a little wonky but other than that I LOVE the way it turned out!

bias strip shirt, bias strip sleeve, satin fabric, satin shirt, satin bias strips.

While trying this shirt on in one of my many fit-checks (do you guys to this too? I feel like a third of the time I spend sewing I'm trying on stuff) I decided the shirt looks too blank, after much thought I decided to make a little bow and attach it to the front of the neckline. As you can tell I changed me mind since then (apparently even if I do a lot of thinking I can never make up my mind) and opted to attach it on the left side... I think it's cuter this way! I managed to make the cutest little bow in the world, it perfectly proportioned (have you noticed how difficult it is to achieve the perfect proportion between the bow and the band in the middle?). see?

bias strip shirt, bias strip sleeve, satin fabric, satin shirt, satin bias strips.


bias strip shirt, bias strip sleeve, satin fabric, satin shirt, satin bias strips.

I created a curved hem for both the front and the back - I think it's such a flattering silhouette! Especially in the back, it gives your but a but-lift! who doesn't want that?
I finished the sleeves and the neckline and sleeves with bias strips and serged the bottom of the shirt and hemmed it without bothering too much with it.

What do you guys think? Let me know if you have any question about making the sleeves or anything about the blouse!
Also, I'd be happy to answer question about my first paragraph, but please express yourself in a respectful way, I'm sure you don't all agree with whatever is going on, but this isn't the place to express your thought if you don't, unless you really want to ask honest questions, which I'd be happy to answer.

Thanks for reading! I hope you're having a good week!
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