Back to School with Bella Sunshine Designs

Oh my goodness- I made it! Made it through the end of the summer. Well not really, our schools don’t start for another 3 weeks but boy has this been the longest summer by far! Here we are winding down from all the camps and most people are looking at supply lists. I always loved back to school when I was a child because it meant that I got new pencils and folders and I just love new supplies. For us in Vermont, our school system pays for everything, even down to providing breakfast, lunch and a snack for our children- so my only joy for back to school is creating something fairly epic for my kids to wear.
This year in honor of the Back to School Blog tour being hosted by Bella Sunshine Designs, I decided I was going to tackle the beautiful Gabriella’s Winter Coat because in Vermont back to school means we need to winter gear since snow can hit as early as September and as late as May!
As you have read on my blog before, Sweet Pea has a very definite style aesthetic and often for outerwear will make requests and this year is no different. She had to have a dragon coat. So off I went to modify a really beautiful pattern to make my dragon child happy!
First things first I chose beautiful silk jacquards from my stash (well ok Sweet Pea dictated which colors) because I wanted the coat to be a statement piece and make use of some of the gorgeous fabric that had been given to me. I knew that a coat out of these materials would be lush and rich while being functional for Vermont’s long frigid winters. I went with the size 3 because Sweet Pea, while measuring a 2, will want to wear this coat over her winter gear and over multiple layers.
Next I scoured several different online tutorials, plus used a combination of other patterns to figure out the dragon wings, spike and tail. I did a mash of 5 different styles to get the shape for these wings and opted for spikes that were 2 inches wide and 3 inches in height. For the tail, I used a Dino Tail Tutorial and measured how long I wanted it to hang and began trimming it down from there. I used regular interfacing for the spikes and foam interfacing for the wings. On the tail, I created a placket to attach the tail rather than the circle and straps that the tutorial uses.
Initially I thought I would directly attach the tail and wings however one of the requirements for children here at school is that clothing cannot be distracting AND since Sweet Pea is still in a car seat, additional modifications had to be made. Enter KAM Snaps ( I purchase mine from Kimmy Snabric), I made the wings and tail able to come off so that they do not impede her sitting completely flat in the car seat.

So much snap placement, checking and rechecking the modifications. I opted for 2 snaps on each wing, checking the placement between the spikes so they would be consistent. I went with 4 snaps on the tail to allow for the width of the tail I created. For the actual coat, since the back pieces are cut on the fold, I added 1/4 inch seam allowance and cut out 1 pattern piece into 2 pieces. On the skirt I also cut that pattern piece in half and added seam allowance so the shape of the coat stayed 100%.
You can see here she is in a dragon frame of mind. While I know Sweet Pea wont go very long without the wings and tail off, I love that I can keep her car seat safe but she gets the coat she loves.
The coat pattern is spectacular. It is very easy to follow (I have never made a fully lined coat before and only got hung up in one place.) Make sure to take your time with putting in that lining is all I can say! The structure of the coat has a vintage vibe with the swing shape and double breast closure. We opted for snaps there instead of beautiful vintage buttons because this coat is all about Sweet Pea and she struggles with button closures. I feel like while the snaps are small, they still look great and work well for accomodating kiddos that need to have snaps instead of buttons. The standing collar is going to work perfectly with a winter hat that will snap under the chin (I am off to find the perfect pattern to make for this coat – if you have a suggestion for one, pop it in the comments for me and I’ll definitely credit you if you find me the perfect winter hat.)
The results are gorgeous and this was the perfect back to school make for her!

PS There is a current Back to School Special (girls patterns are $6, ladies are $7, and bundles are reduced to $12) running until Sunday. Run and get your Gabriella’s Winter Coat while you can. And while you are there check out those Sansa Flare Pants if you need a quick pair of pants with excellent fit while your at it!
If you are joining us for the last day of the tour and missed out on the other posts, catch up on them below.

****this post contains affiliate links

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Week 29: Sew Something Stretchy AND WWD Poolside Blog Tour!

Here we are in the dog days of summer.

That period of time here in Vermont where we spend lots of time at the bowling alley or the pool to cool off since most homes here don’t have AC. It is hot and sticky and the kids are starting to get bored and actually looking forward to school even though there is still a whole month left of the summer break (who’s brilliant idea was it to give my kids soo many weeks off during the summer?)

This week’s challenge fits in perfectly for Sew Something Stretchy because the littlest one needed a swimsuit for the pool, the tween needed some lightweight shorts to wear around the pool. Enter the Poolside Blog tour that allows me to meet all these goals! 

Previously in my  Week 22 Sew a Swimsuit post, I talked about creating a Doc McStuffins swimsuit for the Sweet Pea. If you click back you can read about how I made the adjustments. For the pattern I used the Princess Powersuit from Winter Wear Designs which has the cutest options for ruffles and skirted bottom.

What I really love about Suzanne’s patterns is that they are super easy to follow. I have made several swim suits for Sweet Pea and this pattern is one of the easiest I have ever made! Look how cute that bodice shaped up to be. This pattern has the option with and without ruffles, and with or without the skirt. The trickiest part for me was the binding around the neck, but don’t be scared. The instructions are clear and thorough to help with it. Sizing is 1-14 so I get to make Sweet Pea this suit a bunch in the coming years!

 

After a quick fit check it was time to hit the pool.

 

She loves it and gets comments about how cute it is every time we are at the pool.

Now it was on to my most difficult customer. My tween is attitude all the time. He’s a big boy so he often is too big for kids clothing because of his width but is way too short for mens stuff. And at almost 11, he appears to constantly outgrow stuff. So we opted for making the Aviator Pants into a beachcomber length shorts. This is a great pattern because it is gender neutral, so this pattern will get double duty in our house since it can be used for both the Bear and Pea. Sizing goes from 1-14, and the pattern itself is easy to follow and make adjustments. Baby Bear is at the top of the size range so while it makes me sad he loves them so much but with the style I think it will be very easy to adjust it to get a couple more years out of it for him.

He asked for fun food fabric and for his shorts to have them included but there was just a bit of fabric leftover after he demanded a tank top. Originally I thought I would use the triangle blocking that is included but he didn’t like it and asked for them to be stripes. Based on our muslin he felt they were a tad wider than he wanted for the beachcomber length so we narrowed them just a tad because it was his desire.close up side

My tween is picky about the waistband construction, if you have kiddos with sensory issues sometimes the typical waistband construction can be an issue because there is a bulkiness with sewing first then folding over. I’m going to share how I do my waistband construction since my tween said he thought I should share it.

It’s quite simple, you start with the waistband folded in half lengthwise. In most regular, construction you would sew here along the short side; with this method you will fold the band in half width wise (like my 2nd photos). Serge or sew along the raw edge, you now have the continuous circle of the waistband sewed in half but with only a one seam instead of a folded over bulk seam. Flip one side of your band over and continue with your normal method of attachment.

After making the requisite changes, he finally declared they were the perfect fit and now wants them for post pool and to sleep in. Now if he could just get rid of that attitude….

 

Look at that attitude, lol. Toddlers and Tweens- as the temperature rises so does the attitude. Thanks for joining me on this tour, see you next time!

Pull up a lounge chair and a cold drink, and don’t miss a single stop on the Poolside Blog Tour:

7/16
Jackie Burney for Winter Wear Designs
Meriel of Elli and Nels
7/17
7/18
7/19
Diane of Sewing With D
7/20
Livia of Liviality
Patricia of Sew Far North

 

***this post may contain affiliate links.

Week 22: Sew a Bathing Suit

Here we are one week past the halfway point and it’s time to start thinking about bathing suits since we will spend half the day several days a week enjoying our local public pool!

This post is part 1 of  2 parts that ends during the Poolside Blog Tour hosted by   Winter Wear Designs20180618_050949[1]

So Sweet Pea asked for a Doc McStuffins inspired suit and I knew the Princess Power Suit would make the cutest suit for her and would meet the additional requirement of a tutu on it. This post will focus on how I made the striped bodice insert for the Princess Power Suit to create the striped shirt effect of a Doc McStuffins suit.

Gather your supplies (for this part I am using the white and purple):

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There are a couple of different ways to do this next part. I am going to walk you through how I did it (there may be a better method) and I wish I took more photos so you can really see exactly what I did step by step, but I don’t think its all that confusing. If you have a question feel free to ask. I cut 2 pieces of fabric then cut each into 2 inch strips. Then sewed the 2  inch pieces together alternating the colors when sewing so you have a striped panel. From there you can continue the pattern construction from there.

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If you really want to see Sweet Pea’s suit, come back next week for the second half of this swimsuit!

 

*this post may contain affiliate links

Feature Designer: Winter Wear Designs Romp-along Tour

romp on image
It has been a stressful month or so and I decided to step back from sewing and having such an active presence in the testing community because of illness in the family, sometimes it feels like its a constant battle trying to keep everyone well and on task. And lets be honest, as we round out the end of the school year, I am just exhausted from running in 20 different directions. But I digress.
This post is all about the Romper Love. I must admit, I have not owned one as an adult but I love the look and ease of them for the summer time. I was super tickled to see that as I ended my sewing hiatus, Suzanne of Winter Wear Designs was hosting a blog tour focusing on just that! Lucky me. I typically tend to sew for Sweet Pea because its easier and I am not sure if I ever really, really love what I make for me. Wellllll I got so lucky because I not only love mine but I also love the one I made for Sweet Pea.

I first had to figure out which Romper I wanted to use and for simplicity and ease decided that perhaps we needed Mommy and Me semi-matching rompers for some fun when we are out and about, so I ended up selecting the Boho Breeze Romper bundle started out with sewing Sweet Pea’s first because I had some beautiful linen pants that no longer fit me plus had some wearing in the thighs.

 

I knew I wanted to use them because of the beautiful detailing on the sides of them. So that required me to carefully separate the seams so that I could get the most out of the pants that I can. I did have to modify the pattern just a bit to allow for me to make use of the detailing on the linen. I essentially removed my seam allowance from the front and back pieces by drawing a line then attached them so that instead of the 4 pieces, I only had 2.

Then I was off to figure out what to pair it with. I decided that classic stripes would look amazing with the khaki linen and I was not disappointed because as I was constructing this romper my excitement grew and grew.

 

I think one of my very favorite things about sewing is that I get to see my vision come to life and sometimes its the details of an outfit that truly make it fun and unique.
I did use a tubular knit for the neckband elastic rather than using the striped knit but that was because I was selfishly saving the rest of these stripes for my romper. I also did not use elastic in the sleeves so that the sleeve would have more of a flutter to it. Unfortunately due to rain I haven’t had a chance to get photos of the both of us together so my bathroom selfie will have to do until I can update this post (perhaps tomorrow since the rain is finally supposed to break when I have someone home that can take photos of me).
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I have to say this and I never say anything like this when it comes to clothing but I am in love. I love the off the shoulder fit (although because I am larger busted, I did end up adding the shoulder straps so that my bra could be covered and I am not forced into wearing a strapless). And I am extremely happy with the drape over the hips which seems to be the area I struggle with my happiness when it comes to a pattern. I cannot wait for the weather to clear up so I can have some nice photos for a fun mommy and me!
Even though its the last day of the tour, go check out the other great blog posts and run and get your 20%off discount while you can using the code ROMPON at checkout.
***this post and those in the tour may contain affiliate links.
Don’t miss any of the spectacular rompers
on the Romp On Tour!!!
5/28
5/29
5/30
5/31
6/1

Sewing Gifts!

Happy Birthday Ti! I am excited this month to take part in the Birthday Tour Week where we are sewing gifts. I thought long and hard about the gifts I wanted to sew (I have several random projects for each kiddo to surprise them with thinking of you or just because gifts). I thought animal storage bean bag chair, wallet for Baby Bear and in the end I opted for a Tooth Fairy Pillow for my tooth obscessed Sweet Pea.

For well over a year now, she has mentioned how much she wants to be a dentist when she grows up and wanted a pillow like her big brother has to use when he looses his teeth. So off to hunt down a pattern. The Rebecca Page Tooth Fairy Pillow fit the bill perfectly since it gave me a ballerina and monster option (making for lots of gifts for friends later) and its free!

I recently became enamoured with embroidery and was excited to see I would get a chance to work on my handstitching skills (which I will admit need lots of work😂).

Sewing this pattern was quick, even with the hand stitching took less than 2 hours start to finish making for an excellent last minute gift for those that need them.

Because Sweet Pea loves ballet, I opted for a pretty pink ballerina tooth and figure she will want a matching monster one later too! I did opt to cut the tutu in half and used lace to decorate the tutu instead. I was supposed to gather the pocket but struggled a bit with it given the thickness of the pocket so next time, I will pleat it instead but I think it still looks cute.

After I hung it on her door knob and Sweet Pea got a peek at it, her response was thank you Momma, I love it so much.

And isn’t that the response we all want when giving a gift?

Go check out the rest of the gifting tour for more ideas on fun stuff to make!

Sunday, April 22nd: Sewing By Ti (intro), With Love In Every Stitch, Sewing With D

23rd: Stitched By Jennie, Tales from a Southern Mom, Aurora Design Fabrics

24th: Sewjourns, Big Fly Notions, Sewing Blue, JOT Designs USA

25th: Sewing By Ti, Auschick Sews, Hazelnut Handmade

26th: Sewing With D, EYMM, Middle River Studio, Aurora Design Fabrics

27th: Our Play Palace, My Sewing Roots, Make it Sew with the Bear and Pea, Seams Sew Lo

Week 17: Sew Something with a Pocket

I was thrilled a few weeks ago to be selected to be part of the Winter Wear Designs Just Jean Blog Tour. Which happily coincides with “Sew Something with a Pocket” week in the 52 week sewing challenge. I love being able to st stretch myself with completing a tour and making it work for the challenge and this blog tour is no different.

I was given the option to choose between Ladies Real Deal Jeans, Sk8 Skinny Jeans for Boys, or Phresh Jeggings for Girls and received the pattern from Suzanne for free to participate in the tour. I have to say it was a tough decision to which pattern I would pick because my tween boy loves skinny jeans and I, myself, need new jeans. In the end, I went with the Phresh jeggings though because Sweet Pea is in desperate need of separates to wear as we transition from winter to summer.

I found the instructions for the jeggings to be very clear to follow with lots of photos plus an introduction to sewing the jeggings that is quite charming. I love that Suzanne warns you that you will top stitch everything and she is 100% correct.

I love that these jeggings have more of regular pant feel to them and if I had any complaints it would be that there is a faux pocket rather than real pockets on the front but on the size 2 that I made for Sweet Pea, that makes for teeny tiny pockets that probably wouldn’t get used. But I do love the look of them.

I paired these super cute jeggings with All the Bells and Whistles tunic with the collar and pleating.

Normally, I would not make white pants for a pre-schooler but I am dreaming of spring and summer with our cold Vermont weather. But I think it pairs lovely with the black and white tunic I made.

I wish little miss was feeling up to better photos but with having been sick as long as she has, these are the best we could get since she insists on having her blanket lovie and a coat on at all times because she’s constantly freezing. But this little outfit is adorable and I cannot wait to make the riding pant version in the near future!

Don’t miss any stops on the Just Jeans Blog Tour

Monday 4/23

Tuesday 4/24
Wednesday 4/25
Thursday 4/26
Friday 4/27
Lisa Dawson for Winter Wear Design

Sew into Spring with Pickle Toes Patterns: GiGi’s Bowtiful Top with the Skirt add on

What a busy week it has been! This tour coincides with my children being out for spring break and my mother coming to visit. So fitting in time to sew around every one being home was complicated. To make matters worse, I had a sick Baby Cakes to deal with so modeled pictures were limited because she’s so sick still. But I ramble!

For the Sew into Spring Tour I wanted to make something I never made from Pickle Toes Patterns, so I made the newly released GiGi’s Bowtiful Top with the Circle Skirt Add On.

I used some lovely fabric from Firefliez Fabrics that I had been hording but when Sweet Pea asked for it in her sweet sick voice, I couldn’t resist.

I chose to go with the tunic length because even though we like dresses we have tons in our house currently and needed to add to the tops we have. I did use the slim cut and after sewing it while I like the fit for her, it is perfect-too perfect😂. I typically prefer more room in the top so we can get some more use out of the clothing. But the fit being spot on is wonderful so I look forward to seeing if the regular fit works as well on Livi too, since I tend to have width issues on fit for her.

I am not going to lie, even as an advanced sewist I tend to sew lots of woven over knits. AND a top with facings, colorblocking, add in that I was doing the add on skirt, felt a bit overwhelming. The pattern instructions are clear and easy to follow though and really didn’t take me as long as I thought with all the details. Sweet Pea loves the flow of the circle skirt. And I used sleeves that are also a bow which will be released soon!

I also made the cuffed version Pollywog leggings and to complete the look added a bow style cuff to it (the cuff is part of the Pollywog package but the bow will be added later too as I understand it).

This was a fun project and I love the look of the bow on the back and I look forward to making many more for Sweet Pea as time goes on.

Poor kiddo wasn’t able to be cooperative for photos, so I only got two of her wearing the top before she dissolved into a puddle of tears because of ear pain. So once I can get better photos, I’ll add them to this post!

I hope you enjoyed my contribution to the blog tour and that you will finish out the tour by reviewing the other lovely posts further down (all linked to make it easy for you to find) plus don’t forget to join in on the Rafflecopter giveaway at the very bottom of the page.

TL:DR

Patterns: GiGi Bowtiful Top, Add on Skirt Pollywog Leggings

Fabric: Firefliez Fabrics

Final thoughts: While the pattern looks confusing, it’s easy to follow and fits very well.

Welcome to Sew into Spring with Pickle Toes Patterns. Join us for 5 days of sewing our patterns as we prep for the transition from winter to spring. We were lucky enough to have 10 bloggers join us sewing up lovely creations and to have Evelyn at Seweird Fabric sponsor our bloggers and offer us a store credit for one of our lovely readers. You can find Evelyn on Facebook here. At the end of the tour join us for a rafflecopter giveaway featuring a $20 credit from Seweird and a $20 shop credit from us.

Monday

Welcome from Pickle Toes Patterns ****You are here

Liza Azman Miinomastudio, Night Night Gown

Tuesday

Brittni Harris PBJ* Boutique,Pickled Tink

Chelsea Newey Momma Newey’s Makes, Pickled Tink and All Seasons Top and Dress

Wednesday

Kathy Bruckman Kathy’s Kwilts and more, Capsule Wardrobe

Thursday

Kelly Keith Kelly’s Sewing Creations, Spring Mini Capsule

Jessica Cotriss Jot Designs, All Seasons Top and Dress

Nadine Feebricolo, Lazy Days Shorts

Friday

Laurie Roberts Make It Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier, GiGi’s Bowtiful Top with Skirt Add On

Becca Olsen, Turtle Trax Too, All Seasons Top and Dress

Tee Bee, Fairytale B&T, Safari Tank

As a thank you for joining us for our Sew into Spring with PTP, make sure to enter the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**this post contains affiliate links

Doris Skirt

Today is Feature Pattern Day and I feel like I have been waiting so long to share this amazing skirt with you.

First up was finding fun fabric. Sweet Pea went with fun stripes and dinosaur combination that came from the Doodles line at Joann Fabrics.

Next came working on the pattern. It was my first time testing and sewing a Misusu Pattern and the chance to sew up a Rowan Tee, which I have had taped together for forever!

Working with the designer, Elles Lanfer, is amazing. She’s very sweet but very organized and efficient. She took all the feedback from the testers and incorporated the changes that were suggested and provided clarification as needed. Additionally, during this test I had a very sick child that had surgery and she was so kind with the delay and lack of communication that I had during the end of testing.

The Doris Skirt features fun color blocking and piping options. It is a lovely fitted skirt so blending is super important. Fortunately, Sweet Pea fits 86 in width and 98 in height so blending was very easy for us.

I love the fit so much and since the pattern requirements state a more stable knit is preferred, it makes this skirt perfect to pair with boots and leggings!

As a matter of fact the day we took these photos it was 15° out😱. But Sweet Pea had the enegy to sing I’m a Little Tea Pot during photos.

So because I always 100% complete a test exactly the way a designer tells me to but have a love of hacking, I had to be a rebel and try a second skirt with a yoke and in a less than stable knit, bamboo lycra. Sweet Pea must be dreaming of summer and the pool because she picked fun fabric from Kimmy Snabric and asked for a top to show her bathing suit off so I thought why not lets play with the Rowan again and add some colorblocking to it.

She loved how it turned out and now its off to make a bathing suit that matches😂.

So if you’ve made it this far, then thanks so much! Come follow my IG The Bear and Pea Atelier to see if there is a special suprise on Sunday!

Week 11: Breaking Ground with Something with Green

This week in the 52 Week Sewing Challenge Group we are tasked with sewing something green. I also signed up for a blog tour called the Breaking Ground Tour which is tour about working with something ground breaking for you. I opted to combine these two challenges in sewing not only something completely out of the wheel house for me but also making something for my husband and daughter to share. Stick with the entire post for a contest at the very end!

Photo Editor_xm1F92

Flosstyle Patterns was amazing enough to offer patterns to bloggers for free and I chose the Kanga Carrier because I have never made a Flosstyle pattern or an actual baby carrier before (I have however made soft structured carriers for dollies).

I love babywearing, it has strengthened the bond I have with my child plus allowed me to have freedom while shopping, provide a safe space for my child when she is overwhelmed and made it so much easier in high-paced, crowded spaces. I personally have never been much of an actual soft structured carrier fan, preferring to use woven wraps and staying away from waistbands because I have an incredibly short waist, however my Sweet Pea had far outgrown the Ergo carrier that my husband uses on the rare occasion that he wears her. So rather than buying a new carrier, I figured this was the opportunity to really stretch myself and break new ground with both a new designer and pattern style (see what I did there).

Photo Editor_TkWS2B

So off to find supplies for the carrier I went. First, I allowed my daughter to pick out her fabrics and she chose a vintage inspired science themed fabric that had been in my stash for quite some time and green duck fabric since green is her favorite color. Finding webbing and buckles was a bit more challenging (as is finding foam for the structured part of the carrier). I opted for using a yoga mat because they are readily available and super easy to find then ordered my webbing and buckles from Allielane in Abbyville which has kits that have all the supplies you need for making your carrier.

Once I got into the actual project sewing, as intimidated as I was, I found it to be very smooth with the instructions from Flosstyle. It took me roughly 5 hours start to finish and found the most complicated and frustrating part of sewing the carrier to be getting the padding into the straps. Incidentally, I found the tip of using pantyhose to help with making the padding slide in easier incredibly helpful. I feel like if anyone wants to make the leap to making carriers for themselves this is a great pattern to start with that is very easy to follow and confident beginner friendly.

Now you ask how do I like the carrier? Surprisingly for not being a fan of soft structured carriers I find it very comfortable. I feel like using the yoga mat was huge in helping with my personal comfort level as it is flexible and mold-able without feeling stiff. It also meant that I had thinner straps which I found infinitely more comfortable. Unfortunately, my husband wasn’t able to try it out prior to this post going live but I think he is going to love it (and I’ll get pics of him and Sweet Pea in it and add them to this post once I can)!

I loved the experience of making the carrier and look forward to when the day arrives that I need the preschool sized one, I will be confident in my sewing ability to make one then!

 

***this post includes affliate links and the Kanga pattern was provided for free becauseI participated in this tour.

Welcome to the Breaking Ground Blog Tour 2018. This week over 20 bloggers are joining together to break new ground by trying a pattern designer that is new to them, try new techniques, new styles, or whatever way they want to push themselves.

The Full Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:

Monday March 12- mahlicadesigns, Sewing Vortex, Sewing A La Carte, Little Heart Threads, The Sewing Scientist

Tuesday March 13- Musings of A Seamstress, A Custom Clothier, Octaves of Color, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sew Altered Style

Wednesday March 14- Flaxfield Sewing, Chook n Duck, Tales of a Tester, Sewing By Ti, Sewing Vortex, Kathy’s Kwilts and More

Thursday March 15- Very Blissful, Manning the Machine, Sew and Tell Project, Musings of a Seamstress, Stitches by Laura

Friday March 16- Lulu & Celeste, Tenille’s Thread, Sewing A La Carte, The Bear and Pea Atelier, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sprouting Jube Jube, Kathy’s Kwilts and More

To make the tour even more fun, our Breaking Ground blog team member, Gail is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop Flosstyle to one lucky winner.

Enter Here!

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