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Pretty Black Dress Styles

This week, we’re celebrating dresses. I for one can’t ever have too many dresses, and I love styling them up. Today, instead of the usual I Made This! -post, I wanted to show you a few black dress styles to inspire everyday outfits.

… along with something I made.

Sun Is Still Out There

Although nights are getting colder and days cloudier, we have quite a few sunny days left to enjoy this summer. Getting an accidental autumn tan is not on my to-do list, so I’m not done wearing my sunhat. It’s both witchy, and perfect for blocking out lethal rays. Long sleeves are also a good way to hide from the sun, so I paired both of these elements up in the first outfit.

The Wrap-Cut Dress is both comfy and easy to sew. I made mine with light cotton jersey, which makes it perfect for warm days. The long hem an sleeves shield me from the sun, and the low cut neckline adds some allure to the long dress. I like to wear this dress with corsets mainly to add detail to it. A long, black garment can appear nun-like despite a daring neckline, so it’s nice to add accessories here and there.

I really like this outfit, and have worn similar ones throughout the summer. The best part about this style is that it will work in colder weather as well: lose the hat, wear a mesh top and tights under the dress, and you’re good to go.

Lace Wrap Up

This second of these black dress styles is my favorite of the bunch.

I haven’t been on very good terms with our Sleeveless Wrap Dress. There are many little things about it that clash with my personal taste and preferences. The biggest issue is that I like sleeves. The belts also bother me a bit since I haven’t gotten around to figuring out the cutest way to tie them.

With this outfit, I sorted out two major conflicts I had with the dress, and it happened by accident.

I have this lace blouse that has a large collar and ruffled cuffs. I wanted to wear it, and pulled it one. The blouse, being lacey, is see-through. I didn’t want to wear a top over it or under it, because it’s the obvious way to deal with lace.

Frustrated, I pulled out the Wrap Dress, put it on, and on a whim, tied the belts around my back.

And after a bit of tugging, I was perfectly happy!

I love this outfit, not only because it feels good and looks awesome, but because it made peace possible between me and The Wrap Dress.

Super Short Puff Ball

A few years ago, I made a Skater Dress with very light viscose jersey. The dress was perfect for a while, and then Something Happened to it. I honestly don’t know why, but the hem stretched to an uneven shape. Usually, I don’t mind ragged hems, but I wanted this dress to be nice and tidy.

I tossed it around for a bit, and decided to turn it into a puff ball dress. It turned out very short, but modding it gave it a new life. Despite it being micro-length, I really like the dress now. It’s comfortable, it’s cute, it loves cropped cardigans, and the super-short hem stays securely in place.

I accessorized the dress with my trusted elastic belt, and black jewelry. I didn’t want to go overboard, so I stuck to a simple choker and a wide bracelet.

Along with cardigans, this style can be topped with a shawl.

… such as the wild-colored vortex shawl I finally got photographed!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my black dress styles!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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New Dress Patterns Preview

As you may have noted, I really like dresses. I wear them nearly daily, and constantly make more dress patterns. Today, instead of the usual Featured Product -post, I wanted to show you sneak peaks of upcoming dress patterns. Both of these styles are designed for viscose jersey, and are versatile, comfy, and flattering. I really like both of these designs. Both of them have become an essential part of my wardrobe, and I can’t wait to do more outfit posts with them!

WrapDress

Wrap dresses look nice, and are comfy to wear. They’re also a pain to accessorize. All you can really do with them is to tie them on, pop on jewelry, and go. I want more versatility from a dress, so I turned the classic design around a bit. Instead of being tied to place with belts, this one is sewn closed. The dress has an open hem and revealing neckline, but the fuzz of tying it on is completely removed. This way, the dress can be worn with belts and corsets, and it even likes cardigans more than the common wrap dress.

For this outfit, I paired the dress with my Bloodstain Corselet, and my Tropical Breeze shawl. I love both of these accessories dearly, and wear them with everything. This dress is perfect for with them, and I wear this outfit on a regular basis. It’s super-comfy, the fabrics are cool and soft, and the long hem balances the low-cut neckline beautifully.

Pretty Basic T-Dress

T-shirts, both long and short sleeved, are a wardrobe basic. They go with anything and everything, and can be worn to any everyday function. I wanted a dress that can do the exact same thing. A dress that can be made long or short, with long or short sleeves, and worn with any accessories. The Pretty Basic T-Dress is a perfect solution to any clothing dilemma. It has a narrow hem, a seam at the waistline, and a basic O-neckline. It’s tidy, it’s comfy, it’s easy to mix and match.

And the best part is that it’s really simple to create.

I wear this dress exactly the way I would wear a T-shirt. For this outfit, I wore the dress over a petrol blue mesh top. The long sleeved blue top gives a bit of color to the outfit, and offers extra warmth on a cooler day. An elastic belt serves both to conceal the seam, and to add a detail to the otherwise simple outfit.

Both of these dresses can be styled for work, shopping, or even clubbing. I’m working on getting the patterns out as soon as possible, but in the mean time, I’d like to remind you of our other dress patterns. We offer various styles for everyday, and all of them will be on special offer for all VIPs until Aug 21st. Now’s a good time to join our mailing list, and take advantage of the offer!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Ruffle Dress

Every now and again, I decide I no longer like a dress. Lately, since autumn is drawing closer, my wardrobe seems to be in need of me hitting F5. New trends are rolling in, and instead of going on a mad shopping spree, I like to weed out the dresses that no longer feel just right, and change them. It’s fun, it’s affordable, and the environment likes it, too.

Last week, a dress I made for New Year suddenly had an existential crisis. It was a long spaghetti strap mermaid dress made with black viscose jersey. I don’t think I’ve worn it more than twice, and for that reason, I have no pictures of it.

As I heard the dress wailing, I took it out, and inquired whether it would enjoy drastic surgery.

The reply was “oh god yes”, so I set to work.

I had purple viscose jersey stashed. It’s a bit too purple to work as an entire garment, but paired up with black, it’s perfect. I took some of the purple fabric, and cut out a very short bodice. I wanted the updated dress to have an empire waist, but a fitted one.

I really like simple styles, the kind of dresses you can just pull on, and not have to worry about since. This one seemed to need something extra. A detail, maybe.

Something ruffly.

I have this little bit of an obsession with ruffled button lists. I’ve added this detail to one garment so far, and wanted to make another one. The black and purple dress was the perfect victim.

I took strips of purple jersey and a bit of black lace, and sewed them onto the front piece. The process is actually really easy: pleat or gather strips of fabric, arrange them so that they please your eye, and sew to place.

I cut the black mermaid dress just below the bust, and above the knee. After serging the bodice together, I joined the two at the waistline.

To keep the ruffle dress from going over the top, I bound the neckline and the sleeves in a very basic way. I was kinda thinking about double-binding the neckline with black lace, but that would have maybe been too much.

The ruffle dress turned out really nice. I love the way it looks and feels. It’s super-comfy, and since it has a bit of detail, it doesn’t really need a bunch of accessories. It really is one of those dresses you can just pull on and forget.

And the best part is, the left-over hem of the mermaid dress is long enough to be made into a skirt!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Ruffle Dress.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Basic Styles for Stepping Out

Last week, we launched two new additions to The Pretty Basics. The Pretty Basic Lace Top and Jersey Skirt are this week’s featured products, and on sale for all VIPs until Monday. Today, I wanted to share a few outfit ideas based on the two new patterns.

The Pretty Basics are designed to go with everything. The Basics are easy to make jersey skirts, tops, and dresses that easily pair up with each other. The Basics also like other designs. For today’s post, I created outfits with the two new Basics and our other designs.

Mermaid Skirt with Black Lace

Sometimes, a skirt comes with loads of details. Garments with a lot going on can be challenging to wear. Our Mermaid Skirt is made with D-rings, embellished pockets, and decorative lacings. The skirt has a figure-hugging fit, and it’s best made with elastic materials.

Pairing the skirt up with corsets can work, but I think it likes simple tops better. The Pretty Basic Lace Top goes beautifully with The Mermaid Skirt. The fitted top repeats the snug lines of the skirt without taking away from its intricate look.

I really like this style, and would totally wear it out. The simplistic feel of it appeals to me, and I like it that though the outfit is basically made of two pieces, it still has a lot of details. The lacings and D-rings diminish the need for jewelry, and the lace combined to pinstripes create an interesting mixture of patterns.

Black Tulle Peasant Skirt

Peasant skirts can be made with all kinds of materials. Cotton is the safest, most popular choice. Light, printed cottons make the perfect skirts for summer, but the classic style can work with less conventional fabrics, too.

I made mine with black tulle.

Tulle skirts can’t be worn on their own. Tulle is see-through, and requires a lining or another skirt under it. I made my tulle skirt without a lining. This way, I can pair it with more kids of skirts. I usually wear this with a wide, black cotton skirt to gain a look resembling Scarlett O’Hara’s mourning dresses. The tulle skirt works also with a lighter skirt beneath. For this look, I wore it over The Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt. The tulle falls over The Jersey Skirt in soft, delicate folds creating a narrower silhouette. I paired the skirts with a combo of tops. I wore a basic spaghetti strap top over a long sleeved mesh top.

Both skirts have a basic elastic waist. To give the outfit a polished look, I covered the waistbands with a wide belt. A few necklaces tie the look together.

Puffs and Pearls and Lace, oh my

Sometimes, a new top reminds you of a skirt you’ve completely forgotten. That happened to me when I finished The Lace Top. I went over my collection of skirts in my mind, and suddenly remembered my Puff-Ball Skirt.

I was pretty small in the eighties, but I still remember when puffball skirts came back into fashion. I had one, and I loved it to bits. They went out of style pretty soon. After growing up and deciding I get to wear whatever I want, I made a few more. I still love puff-balls, and I’m super-happy for re-discovering this one.

I made the skirt with a light poly-blend, and gathered the hem to shape with buttons. The skirt is made with out Puff-Ball Skirt Sewing Pattern. The only difference is that I made this version with an elastic waist.

For this look, I paired The Puff-Ball Skirt with The Lace Top, and used an elastic belt to cover the not-so-pretty waist.

I really like the silhouette of The Puff-Ball Skirt, and can’t wait to wear it out!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my outfit ideas for Pretty Basics.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Red Cotton Cardigan

Knitting has always been my way of relaxing. I hardly ever go without having at least two UFOs close by, and never watch TV without knitting. Right now, though, I am at a very strange place with knitting: I have nothing on the needles. The last project I finished was my “I’ll just work on this while I think about what to make next” -project, and… well, I cast off two nights ago. Today, I wanted to show you what I made!

I had a bit of yarn left after I finished my Tropical Breeze Shawl. I was quite uncertain as to what to do with it. There didn’t seem to be that much left, but a knitter’s instinct claimed it was enough for a cropped cotton cardigan. Bravely, I cast on. I chose a simple V-neck raglan style. I needed a basic cardigan that goes with everything.

I worked the collar, button lists and hem in seed stitch, and the rest of the cardigan in stockinette. I hadn’t made one with this particular technique before, and knitting felt like an adventure. I wondered whether it would fit, or whether it would look nice, or feel like me.

The cardigan turned out really nice. I had enough yarn for ¾ sleeves, and a cropped hem. It’s actually the exact shape I was aiming for! My red cotton cardigan has a really nice fit and the perfect length for my taste. I’m used to sleeves being overly long, so this ¾ length is strange to me. It feels nice and practical, so I’m guessing I’ll get used to it pretty soon.

For the photos, I wanted to create an outfit I actually plan on wearing. This will be perfect for going to our weekly pub quiz next winter. The pub is really chilly, and even though I don’t usually stay beyond an hour, I get frozen to the core. The cotton cardigan is light enough to wear under a coat, and will keep me warm inside.

I wore the cardigan over a mesh top and a basic spaghetti strap top, and The Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt. I added an elastic belt to the mix. The belt gives the outfit a more polished look, and serves as an eye-catcher. It’s always a smart idea to enhance the narrowest part of the body, especially when wearing long hems. The belt does just that, while hiding the basic elastic waist of the skirt.


The hems on the cardigan are of equal length, I just managed to pull it on wrong!

This outfit is also nice for stepping out on a cooler summer day. Lighter socks make the outfit less wintery, and the cotton cardigan is easy to remove if the weather grows warmer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my new cotton cardigan.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Pretty Basic Looks

On Tuesday, I showed you sneak peaks of two new patterns. The Pretty Basic Lace Top and Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt Patterns were launched earlier today. For today’s post I wanted to share a few looks based on the fresh patterns.

Skin Tight

The Pretty Basic Lace Top is designed to be a part of an everyday wardrobe. Lace is often seen as “too much” to wear on a daily basis, but I like the effect it gives. Lace is elegant and sexy at the same time, and I really enjoy that. For the first look, I paired The Lace Top with a pencil skirt I just made. I’m thinking about featuring it in next week’s I Made This! -post, but we’ll see. I will show the skirt at some point. It’s made from a pair of pants, and I really want to share the process!

Pencil skirts are a safe choice for any occasion. They work wonderfully as office attire, they’re excellent for dates, and you can even wear one to informal parties. This look is based entirely around The Lace Top. I wanted to really show off the top, and chose against accessorizing further.

I wore my hair down for this look. I don’t usually do this, since hair covers outfits’ details. I’m thinking about chopping it, so I kinda wanted to immortalize it.

I really like this outfit. It’s cute and comfy (although the skirt is quite narrow and forces me to take short steps) and I’m hoping I’ll get to wear it somewhere soon.

Wrapped Up

Lace is elegant, but it can turn the other way, too. For the second look, I wanted to bring a touch of Punk.

Our Wrap Skirt is a unisex pattern. It has a very androgynous feel, and is designed to fit both him and her. I’ve added buttons to one side of my skirt. They serve a decorational purpose only. The lining of my wrap skirt is brown, and I wanted to bring some of that to the outside of the skirt as well. The Lace Top brings a bit of femininity to the look along with my favorite – and most comfortable -heels.

The choker is brand new. I got it off eBay, so it’s not very high in quality. It’s made with cut-out velvet, so it’s soft and comfy. I chose to wear it for this look to bring in more punk-inspired elements. I didn’t want to overdo it, though, so I left the outfit pretty simple.

I wore my hair on a loose braid for this look. A more ambitious hairdo would have been too much.

This style is actually my favorite of this bunch. It’s cute, it’s comfortable, and I felt at home in it. I can totally see wearing this for a shopping spree!

All Basic

Our Pretty Basics are designed to love each other. The styles are simple and elegant which makes them easy to mix and match. The pieces of the collection all like accessories, and are easy to use as a basis of outfits. The Basics work alone as well. Pairing up The Jersey Skirt and Jersey Top makes a comfy outfit for hanging around the house. This is in fact the kind of outfit I wear when I’m at home working. It’s super-comfortable but still nice enough to step out in. It’s simple with nothing that can get caught in sewing machines or knitting needles, and it’s cute enough to make me feel pretty.

Feeling pretty is important for me. Creating beautiful things is a big part of my job. It’s much easier to do that when I beautiful. The Pretty Basics do just that. They’re casual, practical, and still lovely.

Warm and Snuggly

Summer’s still warm, but nights will soon start to turn cold. Coats are too much, so I like to turn to cardigans. For the last look, I paired The Jersey Skirt with a Pretty Basic Spaghetti Strap Top (yes, the pattern’s coming out soon!)  which you can’t really see in the photos. The Basics create a dark canvas for a snuggly cardigan that’s perfect for cooler summer nights. The Seed Stitch Shrug is knit with chunky yarn and large needles. It’s a quick, easy knit despite its size, and the pattern is beginner-friendly.

I haven’t worn my Seed Stitch Shrug much. I’m pretty used to just throwing on my Granny Square Cardigan, but this one is warmer and softer. It also goes really well with all The Basics. I do believe I should make this shrug a part of The Basics when I get a chance to rearrange the store!

 I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s outfit post, and will add The Lace Top and Jersey Skirt to your own wardrobes.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Pretty Basic Sneak Peaks

As you may remember, I came down with a bug last week. I thought I’d be over it by now, but nope. This thing must really like me! So instead of an I Made This! -post, I’m giving you a sneak peak on two patterns which will be published on Friday. Both patterns are pretty much done, and will be on sale for all VIPs starting launch day.

I really like The Pretty Basics. They’re comfy to wear, and easy to mix and match. The materials are soft and flowing, and the styles femine and cute. These are the kind of clothes that make getting dressed easy. They pretty much eliminate the whole “omg I have to be somewhere and I have nothing to wear” -problem. There’s no need to stress when you can just pull out a Pretty Basic Dress and have fun with it.

The newest addition to collection is The Pretty Basic Lace Top. It’s made with super-elastic lace and a bit of viscose jersey.

I really like lace. Working with it can be difficult, though. Hemming lace fabric is a pain. I decided to make things easier by adding cuffs to The Lace Top. This detail gives the top a polished look, and make the sleeves comfy to wear.

The Lace Top is very low cut. I wanted to keep it from looking, well, too cheap, and decided to remove some of the lace’s see-through effect.

The front piece is lined with skin toned mesh. This makes the top translucent, but not in a noticeable way.

The Lace Top goes perfectly with another soon-to-come pattern.

Most Pretty Basics are born when I look into my closet and think “now why don’t I have a X?” The thing I miss is always something very basic that can be paired with anything. In the latest case, the thing I was missing was – and I kid you not – a long jersey skirt.

I know I had a few at some point, but now – no. So I made a new one, and added the pattern to The Pretty Basic Collection.

As said, both patterns will come out this Friday, so stay tuned for The Pretty Basic Lace Top and The Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Granny Square with Pretty Basic Jersey Dress

Sometimes, even the best laid plans fail. I planned to finish the pattern for The Pretty Basic Lace Top by today. A very sudden and quite high fever messed up my schedule, so the launch of the new pattern has been delayed. Today, I’m going to show you an outfit I wore out a while back instead. The Lace Top Pattern will come out just as soon as I can get it finished, and I’ll try to do outfit posts with it. As a part of The Pretty Basics, the top is easy to pair with almost anything.

I like simple, comfortable styles. Jersey dresses are my favorites, and I wear them almost daily. For this look, I chose the red version of our Pretty Basic Jersey Dress, and filet crochet cardigan.

Soft, flowing lines are easy to wear, and flatter almost any body type. This cardigan is my safety-blanket, and I wear it quite often. It keeps me warm, and since it is so soft and square, it can be arranged into many shapes.

This cardigan is pretty much just a big, filet crochet square with sleeves. It has a huge collar that can double as a hood, and wide front pieces that can be closed with removable buttons. I like to wear mine open, but closing the cardigan can be a smart idea especially on colder days. The day I wore this outfit was a bit on the cold side. Had I gone further than to the post office to pick up a package (of fabric, naturally) I would have regretted not adding another layer.

The outfit was super-comfortable. The cardigan’s soft, flowing lines always cheer me up, and The Pretty Basic Jersey Dress is pretty perfect for running errands. It’s long enough to be comfy, and wide enough not to ride up.

The Granny Square Cardigan Crochet Pattern is available as a free download. I do hope you’ll take advantage of the pattern, and showcase your creations!

Next week, I’m hoping to release The Pretty Basic Lace Top, and to share outfits based on it.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather 

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Vectors

As you may remember, it was my Birthday a while back. I wasn’t really expecting presents, but I got something beautiful anyway. I have a few friends who knit. One of them also dyes yarn. She has a small Etsy-shop called Petrichor Yarns, and she brought me a lovely skein of merino-bamboo-blend. The shade is called Witch Hunt, and I thoroughly love it! This particular shade of red goes perfectly with a coat I just made. I already have plans for this yarn, but there’s something else I need to finish first.

You see, I got some more yarn, too. Two skeins of some seriously wild merino silk.

Yarn speaks to me sometimes, and these two announced their desire the moment I saw them. They claimed to want to be together forever, and become a vortex scarf.

I said OK, that’s all well and good, but you’ll have to wait until I finish my cardigan.

The yarns would have none of that, and I had to cast on three days later.

The two skeins have a matching shade of pink. I don’t usually go for crazy color-combos, but I had to make an exception with these two. The colors go together beautifully, though I was a bit hesitant about it.

I’ve been wanting to knit a vortex scarf for quite a while now. I haven’t gotten around to it, since I’ve been working on multiple projects at once, and haven’t found The Perfect Yarn for a vortex scarf. Until I saw these two, that is. As I cast on, I thought I’d get a little neck warmer out of these. There was only 800 meters of yarn with the two skeins combined. I started knitting, and the scarf grew and grew and grew. At one point, I thought I’d never run out of yarn!

Of course I finally found an end to both yarns. By then, the scarf had grown to a shawlette. It has a wing span of over 160 cm, but it is quite narrow. It’s pretty perfect to wear around the neck in this size. Since it’s worked in a vortex-shape, it’s easy to continue knitting until it reaches a full-shawl width.

As a finishing touch, I decided to work a simple crochet edge to the scarf.

I was kind of hoping to show you the fully finished scarf today, but I ran out of time. I’ll write the scarf out as a pattern soon. At this point, I call it The Pretty Basic Vortex Scarf, but the name will hopefully change into something nicer.

After finishing this one, I’ll get to start working on the Witch Hunt, and another shawl pattern!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this week’s I (almost) Made This! -post.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Pretty Basic Party Dress

On Tuesday, I showed you the dress I wore on my Birthday. It’s based on our brand new sewing pattern called The Pretty Basic Party Dress. Today, I get to share the first post featuring this dress!

I originally made The Pretty Basic Party Dress during the winter. Publishing it took a bit longer than usual due to a surprising amount of technical difficulties. I’m happy to say that it seems like I won’t have to spend so much time with technical details with our site, and can start focusing on creating patterns again. There are a few coming soon, but I’ll tell you more about them later.

Today, we’re focusing on the new dress.

The Pretty Basic Party Dress continues the line of pretty basics. These styles are designed to be easy to sew and comfy to wear. They can also be mixed and matched. The Pretty Basic Party Dress is the latest addition. It goes with The Pretty Basic Cardigan and The Garter Petticoat. I’m currently working on a Pretty Basic Vortex Shawl, and that will also pair up nicely with this dress.

The Pretty Basic Party Dress is made with viscose jersey and mesh. The dress has a seamless yoke and flared sleeves. The yoke and lower sleeves are designed to be made with see-through material. You can naturally choose any kind of fabric for the dress: no part of it needs to be translucent if you don’t like that.

The Pretty Basic Party Dress has an A-lined hem. The dress is fitted at the waist, and widens toward the hem. The model dresses are both quite short, but you can easily lengthen the hem if you so choose.

The dress is designed to be super-easy to make. It’s best made with elastic fabrics, but the techniques used are beginner-friendly. I’d say that the most challenging part is binding the neckline.

I’ve made three versions of the dress now, and will probably make more. The style is really cute, and the dress is unbelievable comfortable. I made the second version with lighter viscose jersey and elastic lace. I made the sleeves in elbow-length simply by leaving out the lower sleeve and lengthening the pattern a bit. I bound the cuffs with strips of fabric to match the neckline.

The Pretty Basic Party dress is on flash sale this week, but only for VIPs. If you wish to gain access to the offer, hurry up and sign up to our mailing list. Newsletters go out at 7:30PM GMT+3, so there’s still a few hours to join!

I hope you’ll enjoy The Pretty Basic Party Dress.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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