|Boston Meetup at Grey's Fabrics||By Deepika on 7/28/14 3:46 PM
July 26th, A Glorious Saturday - we met at Grey's Fabrics for a day filled with sewing, friends and creativity. Not to mention good food.
We browsed, talked, mingled and examined each other's lovely outfits while enjoying mimosas and cookies. Thanks Sarah!
I am totally copying Carrie's dress! And Lisa, that Corset style top you were wearing was really inspiring. Sarah, (owner) has excellent taste and it shows in the whole store. Everything was so well laid out and labeled. It was a joy to be there. When asked, Sarah told us how she got started 7 years ago with the name and the store. When she was looking for a career change, her love of sewing and fabric led her to start Grey's fabrics. We're so glad you did Sarah.
All of us got 15% discount on everything in the store. We kept Katy and Ashley busy :)
And then of course it was time for Pattern Swap!
After Grey's some of us went for brunch at Cinquecento (delicious!) And since group selfies are a thing since Oscars this year, why not us? And yes, that's Maria of MariaDenmark in the photo. She came all the way from Denmark for this meetup! Just kidding. This was part of her US tour. I hope you had fun maria!
We couldn't resist walking in to Bead and Fiber when the sign said "Creativity is Contagious". Inside there were beads, chains, knitting yarn and all kinds of sparkly and yummy goodies!
With a stroll to Winmil Fabrics in chinatown, we concluded PR Day Boston. Thanks to all of you for attending. It was such a pleasure meeting so many of you and reconnecting with some old friends. I've already washed all my fabric and even sewed a dress yesterday!
Who attended? I thought you'd never ask
Carrie( carrie18584 ) [Blog]
Maria (MariaDenmark) [Blog]
Jenny ( Jenny80) [Blog]
Barbara ( TrueBarbara)
Jennifer ( weiswomen )
Sharon ( Sharon1952)
Marilyn ( MarilynB ) [Blog]
Norma ( nloehr) [Blog]
Beth (bethvanduzer ) [Blog]
Betsy ( BetsyV )
Ellen ( Daylily )
Diane ( diart )
Lori ( LoriKayMA )
Lisa ( lpoblenz) [Blog]
Kristina ( Kristina C )
Ebi ( makingtheflame ) [Blog
Ping ( peneloping ) [Blog
Carolyn (AllspiceAbounds) [Blog
If I've missed anyone, please let me know and I'll add it here.
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|Sewing Machines - Review Highlights||By AlexisW on 7/22/14 2:50 PM
Searching for a sewing machine store near you? See recent reviews about the customer experience and competitive pricing for local sewing shops.
Janome Horizon MC8900 QCP
Fliggie on the Janome Horizon MC8900 QCP Sewing Machine
Fliggie says, “I was impressed by how solid this machine felt in comparison to my Babylock Espire, which I had used to trade in. It sounded smooth when it sewed and I was and still am impressed by the wide harp space. The extra 2" of space does make things much easier.”
“It is a lot of machine, but I think its a good solid machine. I am a little discouraged when I piece with this machine. Seems fussy about hopping over thicker seams, as noted above. I haven't had it long enough to really say, 'Yes, buy it!' or 'No, its a lemon'. Actually, I think once I learn to use it better and make adjustments (and if I can ever get in for some lessons), I will probably really love it.”
Read fliggie's full review.
Baby Lock BLE1AT Imagine
EastwoodFan on the Baby Lock BLE1AT Imagine Serger
EastwoodFan says, “Extremely impressed. Especially after having a Brother 1034D that didn't work out during a very short run. Good manual and workbook and a cheat sheet (large card). Came with a DVD too. It sews great through denim, plastic colored screening, fleece, cottons and knits.”
“As above, no problems at all ever. I love that fact, because I wasn't a 'serger' person. Like I said I had tried the Brother one and took it back to Walmart in a week. It was hard for me to thread and gave me nothing but problems. The Babylock has a been a dream. My only complaint is that the on/off switch is in an awkward position, and sometimes I wish this serger had a free arm. But not really a big deal. I've definitely gotten my money's worth on this machine.”
Learn more about the Baby Lock Imagine.
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|Emma One Sock Fabrics for Colette Patterns Myrtle Dress||By AlexisW on 7/18/14 12:37 PM
Colette Patterns new Myrtle dress joins the Mabel and Moneta in their new line of knit patterns. The Myrtle is a breezy summer dress with an elasticized waist that defines the figure for a flattering silhouette. With plenty of shape and ease of wear, the Myrtle offers a comfortable fit with a draped neckline and gathered skirt. Great for beginners and available in sizes XS-3XL, this dress is a versatile go-to piece for this summer. Did you know that you can also sew the Myrtle with woven fabrics? Read more about Sarai’s step-by-step instructions for this alternative version on the Coletterie.
With so many fabric options available for the Myrtle dress, it’s difficult to choose! To help us decide, Emma One Sock has suggested some beautiful new fabrics.
Yarn-dye novelty knit - black/cream - This great-looking novelty knit has a wavy, textured yarn dye design with a 2.25" repeat, in black and creamy white. 15% stretch in the width only, with a wonderfully soft drape and dry hand. Lightweight yet fairly opaque. It has a wonderful design with gathered-looking diamonds in a geometric arrangement. Not a print--the design is knitted in, and the reverse very pretty also!
French digital amber/mauve floral scrapbook knit - From a brand new shipment just in from French mills, this is a beautiful rayon/lycra 2-way stretch knit, lightweight, with lovely drape, and the print is a digital floral scrapbook design with a 28.25" repeat in soft shades of mauve, amber, plum, raspberry, tinted black, sage, etc. 15% stretch in the width (about 5% in the length) with perfect recovery. Beautiful quality.
St. John stylized croc print knit - espresso/cream - From a new lot just in from St. John Knits, this is a fabulous stylized crocodile design with an 11" repeat, a beautiful quality 4-way stretch knit with 20% horizontal, 10% vertical stretch. Colors include espresso, taupey gray and creamy ivory. Soft and lightweight jersey.
Oatmeal heather 14 oz. rayon jersey 4-way - Back by popular demand! A beautiful 14 oz. rayon/lycra single knit jersey in an oatmeal heather. 14 oz jersey is a bit beefier and more substantial than the 11 oz, but still works for all the same types of patterns. Rayon/lycra is cool, comfortable, incredibly soft and drapey, has great recovery.
Mini daisy graphic drapey viscose woven - This is a beautiful quality drapey viscose-rayon woven, lightweight but semi-opaque, with a flowing, soft drape. The print has little daisies floating on a black background, in white, light silvery gray, kelly green, orange and yellow. Delightful!
Floral poly crepe de chine - butter/cobalt/spearmint - This is another wonderful new technology polyester woven that mimics the qualities of silk, and this one is very much like a crepe de chine but with a more matte finish and a distinctively soft hand. It's a drapey blouse/dress weight, almost opaque, and a beautiful quality alternative to silk. The print is SO lovely, a smaller scale stylized floral in tones of cobalt, spearmint, coral, red and black on a buttery ivory background.
Browse all Emma One Sock fashion fabrics.
Have you sewn the Myrtle? Share your thoughts by posting a new review!
Shop Colette Patterns.
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|Sewing Machines - Review Highlights||By AlexisW on 7/16/14 1:55 PM
Have a question or comment about your sewing machine features? Browse through our Sewing Machine Forum for practical opinions and recommendations from our experienced members!
Pfaff Performance 5.0
knit techie on the Pfaff Performance 5.0 Sewing Machine
knit techie says, “I decided to buy this machine after a two-year search for the right new machine for me to replace or augment my Bernina 435 Anniversary Edition (450), which had replaced my Pfaff 1475. I was never completely happy with the Bernina. I missed the Pfaff IDT dual feed terribly, and I wanted pivot and automatic thread cutting and excellent lighting, but didn't need embroidery. I almost bought the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4, but I read here about the problems with that machine."
"But glad I waited, because this Pfaff Performance 5.0 has all of the features I wanted within my budget and they work very well. Overall I am very happy with my new machine! So far I've made heavy cotton curtains with ball fringe trim, pieced a wall quilt top, mended, added binding to pot holders, and tested free motion work. Most of my sewing is quilting, home dec, bags and accessories, crafts, dog costumes, and occasional garments.”
Learn more about the Pfaff Performance 5.0.
Elna 664 Pro
brandywine on the Elna 664 Pro Overlock
brandywine says, “I named my machine 'Brunhilda' and I am delighted with her. This is my first ever overlocker, my mother had a Globe, so I don't have much to compare it to. I picked the Elna because I have an Elna sewing machine that I love, and I wanted to stick to the same brand. Also, she is pretty. Pathetic I know, but I really liked the design, no knobs everywhere, and the COLOUR CODING. I love colour coding."
"Also, the instruction panel that tells you exactly what setting to have everything for a given stitch is handy, especially for a complete dummy like me. I would lose a reference book. Having the tools attached behind the cuttings tray is handy as well. She runs really well! I have yet to try and sew through something and it hasn't worked. My clothes all look so much nicer on the insides now, and it's so satisfying.”
Read brandywine's complete review.
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|Fall McCall's Fabrics with Elliott Berman Textiles||By AlexisW on 7/15/14 2:43 PM
McCall’s Patterns recently released Early Fall Collection is an eclectic mix of comfortable knits, Halloween costumes, and vintage pieces. To help us pair McCall’s new patterns with the appropriate fabric, Elliott Berman Textiles gave us some fabulous fabric suggestions!
Have a flair for vintage? McCall’s 6996 Misses’ Skirts and Belt by The Archive Collection features two styles of skirts with raised waists. Create a semi-fitted skirt with front pleat underlay, or a loose-fitting skirt with self belt.
Denim Look Wool Suiting - This is a very interesting and beautiful suiting with denim look. It has a pants weight and is ideal for a skirt, jacket, skirt. Heather combination between Ebony and Nightshadow Blue. Fiber content: wool. Width: 60’’. Imported from Italy.
Ponte Poly Knit in Solid Colors - Yolk Yellow with Mustard Hue; Honey Mustard; Medium Green; Teal Green. Fiber content: polyester. Width: 56". Imported from France.
Available in four unique styles, McCall’s fashion-forward 6991 Misses’ Top is a pullover, mock-wrap top with multiple sleeve variations that can be easily glammed up for a night out on the town.
Silk Crepe Stretch - Deep sand dune. Fiber content: 100% silk. Imported from Italy.
Printed Poly Crepe de Chine - This poly crepe de chine is very fluid and has amazing drape. It is simply ideal for a blouse, skirt, dress, or wide bottom pants. Irish green, deep periwinkle, sea blue, dull sea foam, soft black. Fiber content: polyester. Width: 59''. Imported from France.
DKNY Designer Silk Crepe Chiffon Satin Finish - Placid blue, white, light grey, black. Fiber content: silk. Width: 55".
Hugo Boss Designer Silk Georgette Zebra Print - It has beautiful drape, semi-sheer, it will be ideal for a blouse, dress, tunic. Black, midnight blue. Fiber content: silk. Width: 56''. Imported from Italy.
Images clockwise: Silk Crepe Stretch, Printed Poly Crepe de Chine, DKNY Silk Crepe Chiffon Satin Finish, Hugo Boss Silk Georgette Zebra Print.
With options for long-sleeves, the versatile McCall’s 6986 Misses’ Dress is perfect for autumn weddings and formal events. This semi-fitted wrap dress also includes front shoulder pleats and shaped hemline details.
Tropical Stretch Wool Suiting - Soft hand, lightweight, ideal for Spring/Fall or chill Summer days. It will make a nice dress, skirt, pants. Sharp Green but softer. Fiber content: wool, lycra. Width: 60’’. Imported from Italy.
Visit Elliott Berman Textiles for more fabric choices and inspiration.
Now's a great time to pick up the new McCall's Early Fall Collection for only $2.99! Shop for your favorite McCall's by Wednesday, July 16th to take advantage of our surprise sale!
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|Member in Focus: Twinset||By AlexisW on 7/11/14 4:53 PM
Member Since: 2007
PR Name: Twinset
Birthday: March 23rd
How did you learn to sew?
“I started sewing at age 11 in Home Economics class with a simple blouse (still remember that Simplicity pattern). From there, I was hooked! That taught me the basics, and after that I pretty much experimented on my own through a lot of trials and errors. As a teenager I wasn't very patient and I had no idea of what was a muslin, so I often came up with wadders. For some unknown reason I've always been interested in textiles and I worked in a high end fabric store later when I was a student. This is where I acquired an eye for quality and observed the dramatic impact quality fabric has on a sewing project. I also had the chance to work with two professional seamstresses/designers later in life, who made clothes for me or helped me with fitting the clothes I was making. Just observing them helped me with my fitting skills. I think PR also helped me tremendously in my sewing, in various ways. It's pretty much that!”
What aspect of sewing do you find most challenging?
“Fit, fit, fit. To me it's the never ending quest. By discussing fitting problems with professionals, I realized that there is not just one way to do things and solve problems, and you have to find the way to do it that works for you. I'm always very satisfied when I come up with a good fitting garment, I find it very rewarding. I've learned a couple of things over the years but I'm far from being a fitting goddess! At least I can recognize what's the main thing I must be aware of when fitting myself (square shoulders), and what kind of fit I'm after (generally I lean towards a close to the body fit).”
What are your sewing goals for this year?
“My goals this year are to make more different patterns, sew more from my sewing magazines and sew at least one of the beautiful vintage patterns I own. I'm the kind of girl who makes multiples of the same pattern; that's a good thing 'cause I can perfect the pattern, but I would like to have more variety in my sewing this year. What slows me is usually the muslin process, sometimes just the thought of it makes me abandon the project! I've also built a solid collection of Burda, La Mia Boutique and Patrones magazines and there are many patterns I'd like to sew from those. And as for my vintage patterns, I definitely want to make a gown for an upcoming event, or maybe try that iconic Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress (Vogue 1549).”
What do you like/dislike about your current sewing machine?
“I work currently with my Juki HZL-F600 as my Singer 201 needs a maintenance job. What I like the most about it is the tremendous feeding ability - it can handles any fabric from thin to thick with equal power and precision. It also makes great buttonholes. The only minor dislike I have about it is that I wish it would come with a narrow straight stitch foot, it would make sewing shirt collars easier.”
What’s your favorite pattern?
“Oooh, that's a tough one, like having to choose between your children! But since I have to answer something, I'll say that one pattern I come to repeatedly is a draped knit top copied from RTW. It has interesting details, it's fun to construct and it always makes me feel good when I'm wearing it. I love having it in my pattern collection.”
What are you sewing right now?
“I'm making a summer dress, an OOP Michael Kors pattern (Vogue 2740).”
Which sewing book do you refer to most often?
“My main concern is usually fit problems, so the first book I will refer to is 'Fitting & Pattern Alteration' by Liechty, Rasband and Pottberg-Steineckert. It's a multi method approach and covers fit problems quite extensively. I also like to read about sewing techniques and pattern alterations.”
What you love most about PatternReview?
“I love that it's a place where you can find so much information on any sewing subject, whether it's from a review or from the forums; my sewing has improved a lot since I became a PR member (2007). What I also appreciate is the motivation I find by seeing what others are doing, not to mention the sewing ideas. How many times would I have overlooked a pattern but put it on my sewing list after seeing a wonderful rendition of it on PR?”
Any other favorite hobbies?
“I've always been interested in foreign languages - I'm learning Portuguese when I have time to take classes. I love pretty much any kind of movie from any era as long as it's well made and well played; these days I've watched a lot of Danish cinema through my favorite actor, Mads Mikkelsen. I also like to travel and I just love meeting with people from different cultures.”
Tell us a little more about you - profession, where you live, etc.
“I live in the beautiful Quebec City, Canada. I'm a professional singer (mainly jazz), and also a voice teacher. I lead different musical projects and sing in various contexts, here and outside Quebec.”
Great to hear from you, Twinset!
See more reviews by Twinset on PR.
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|Who won the Outerwear Contest? Find out here!||By AlexisW on 7/11/14 10:23 AM
From rain jackets to trench coats, the Outerwear Contest featured outstanding adult and children garments. And whether we like it or not, fall is on its way! Early autumn pattern collections are now being released, so it’s a great time to start planning ahead. With that in mind, the Outerwear Contest encouraged participants to sew a garment that is designed to be outerwear, such as parkas and ponchos, perfect for cool summer evenings or destination vacations. Special criteria members considered while voting included quality construction methods, lining techniques and seam finishes.
You voted! Let's meet the winners now...
First Prize Winner: ColeenS for Burda 7347 (COAT & JACKET)
ColeenS says, “I'm very happy with it. Actually looking forward to the fall so I can wear it.”
Second Prize Winner: Lynnelle for Indygo Junction 740 (Trench Topper)
Lynnelle says, “Having sewn this coat before, the second version of course did not take nearly as long. In fact, it took me around 5 days to complete. Oh the joys of having TNT patterns!”
Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Outerwear Contest!
Special thanks to the Contest Manager, Aroura.
PatternReview is the proud sponsor of the Outerwear Contest.
Browse the Contest Gallery to see all entries.
Read the behind-the-scenes Contestant Discussion.
Review the Contest Rules and Report.
Join a contest today! View all Currently Running Contests on PR.
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|Editorial Book Review - Little One-Yard Wonders ||By Deepika on 7/10/14 12:27 PM
As a mom of a very fashionable 3 year old, I was excited to receive this book for a review. If you know me at all, you know how much I love pattern books. Almost as much as I love to buy 1-yard cutsThat's precisely the reason, I don't need a stash inventory system. Because most of my fabric doesn't last for more than one projectMarry those two and you get this book.
Rebecca and Patricia have done it again! See our review of Fabric by Fabric One Yard Wonders book here.
This beautifully curated, edited and photographed book contains 101 projects you can make for your kids from babies to 12 years old. From Nursery to Bedtime to Outdoor Play, they've got you covered. The first thing you'll see when you open the book is, you guess it right - PATTERNS!
A handy pocket holds all of them right there in the book for easy organization.
Check out the variety of projects in the book! It'll keep you busy for a very long timeAnd you can finally use those 1 yard cuts. My favorite thing about buying one-yard cuts is that I can splurge on some special fabrics ((Nani Iro, Liberty Lawn etc ) without spending too much.
How cute is this Crib Mobile!
And they'll love you to the moon if you make them this I-Spy game.
But the real value for me are the gamernt patterns. Just the swing dress, board shorts and the western shirt alone are worth the price of this book.
There may be 101 projects in this book but no corners are cut in showing you how to sew each and every detail. The western shirt is like a mini-sewing lesson.
Flipping through the patterns I found something which is perfect for my first project. A sun hat with a keyhole for a ponytail!
My only regret? Why didn't this book come out 3 years ago when I started sewing for my little one :)
If you have little ones to sew or know anyone who sews for kids, this book should have a place on your bookshelf.
Tell us about your favorite one-yard or less project below and you'll be entered into a drawing to receive this book! Giveaway ends Sunday, July 13th. Thanks to Storey Publishing for sending us this book for a review and giveaway.
To qualify for this giveaway you must have an account with PatternReview and must have a photo as your avatar. If you don't have a photo, its super quick to add one by editing your profile.
Buy this Book
Don't want to wait for the giveaway? Buy it now from Amazon.com
UPDATE July 14th 2014
The Giveaway is now closed. The winner by Random selection is beanchor! Congratulations beanchor. I hope this book brings you hours of joy sewing for your little ones.
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|Sewing Machines - Review Highlights||By AlexisW on 7/9/14 2:12 PM
If you’re stuck choosing between two different sewing machines and can't decide which model you'd prefer, browse through our members’ highly-rated machines or compare features for more advice!
mollycoomer says, “When I discovered the 750 I was elated. It had everything on both my lists, and more…I like being able to see how the stitches will form. I've had no problems putting in or taking my bobbin out after the first time. I read the instructions in the manual along with watching it on the screen tutorial. I find the online tutorials helpful and easy to navigate. As a quilter I love that the bobbins hold more thread, and how easy it is to wind a bobbin. Which you can do while still sewing because of the separate motor. I find both the instruction manual and online tutorials user-friendly. I love sewing on it as it runs so smooth. I just pieced a quilt in two days with every corner precisely matched up.”
Read mollycoomer's complete review.
Baby Lock Ovation
joycea says, “I used this machine at a presentation given by a Babylock Representative provided by the sewing machine store for one day. The other ladies had their own Evolves. The owner knew I was considering trading in my Enlighten for this machine. I liked the placement of the foot lever, the extra space to the right of the needles and as with my Enlighten, the ease with which stitches come out balanced without fussing. I also discovered that air threading could be bypassed if thicker thread was used from the sewing shop owner, but have not tried it yet. On my Enlighten wooly nylon at times would break or not thread without the wire to guide it through.”
Learn more about the Baby Lock Ovation.
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Have a new machine to share? Add yours here!
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|Vote Today in the Outerwear Contest!||By AlexisW on 7/3/14 3:16 PM
Voting for the Outerwear Contest has begun! For cool summer nights, rainy days, or the coming autumn season, this month-long contest encouraged participants to sew a well-constructed outerwear garment.
Open for both adult and child clothing entries, the Outerwear Contest featured many unique outfits. For those of us in New England, we know that you can never have enough jackets!
See all candidate entries and vote in the Contest Gallery page.
Special criteria to consider while voting in the Outerwear Contest includes eligible clothing types, such as raincoats, parkas, coats, jean jackets, ponchos, ect. Contestant reviews should also have photos demonstrating the front, back, and interior finish of the garment.
Review the Contest Rules for additional details about this contest.
Voting for the Outerwear Contest begins today and will close on Wednesday, July 9th. Vote now!
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|Sewing Machines - Review Highlights||By Deepika on 7/2/14 11:51 AM
On the hunt for a new sewing machine? See what our members have to say!
Bernina 550 QE
Whippet girl on the Bernina 550 QE Sewing Machine
Whippet girl says, "As a long time Bernina user my first impressions of the 550 were familiarity up to a point. Having traded in my 750 for her I had to get used to the more basic interface. That was not a problem, but I did keep trying to touch the screen! Slower learner alert! The machine is quiet, smooth and precise, as I would expect from Bernina."
"I would wholeheartedly recommend this machine to others. I have to say it has made me realize that I have gone for machine with more than I need on at times, and that has not always been the best course of action. I wanted the dual feed on the 750 and I thought I would really miss it, being a huge PFaff fan too. I have not missed it at all! Bearing in mind I have access to it on other machines. The feed on the 550 is excellent as it is and has coped with some seriously tiddly bits of starting points."
Read more about the Bernina 550 QE.
Baby Lock BLCS
Scottiechick on the Baby Lock BLCS Coverstitch
Scottiechick says, “I've read so many positive things about this machine here on pattern review. When I found one on my area craigslist for $500 I snapped it up! I sew primarily with knits, so this was a type of machine I was strongly considering for some time, and after reading peoples' struggles with the Janome coverstitch only machines, I was hoping for the BL, but the $1000+ retail price tag was more than I would spend; that's more than my sewing machine, and double the price of my serger!”
“The tension takes a bit more work than I was expecting from other reviews of this machine that were indicating it was more 'set it and forget it' for them. I've also been switching between Maxilock and Wooly Nylon in the looper, which is probably why I'm requiring more tension adjustments. I'm no stranger to adjusting tension, but it was more than I was expecting. Adjusting the tension also isn't that intuitive in terms of what you must loosen/tighten when seeing problems. Thankfully I've easily been able to troubleshoot by searching the message boards here on PR.”
“Overall, I'm very pleased. I can tell that it's taken my finishing up a notch, and I got the machine at a price I was happy with. Win-win in my book!”
See Scottiechick's full review here.
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View more machine highlights from this series
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