Gertie’s New Pattern for Better Pants

I’ve had my eye on this pattern since it was released back in February and was expecting to see a multitude of blog posts about it shortly after it became available. …but I haven’t seen any. Sallie just wrote about another particularly unpopular sewing pattern that she happens to love, and it made me wonder. What makes a potentially popular sewing pattern so unpopular? Butterick 5895 looks super cute on the pattern cover, does it not? I think so! So why is no one sewing it?

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I will admit the “Big Four” sewing companies always make me hesitate, especially with fitted styles, because they’re notorious for adding absurd amounts of ease into their patterns. Sadly, the B5895 pattern is no exception. If I followed the size chart on the back of the pattern I would have cut out a size between 8 and 10. Here’s a lesson for you right now: don’t ever directly follow the (explicit deleted) size charts on Big Four sewing patterns!! Why? Because after consulting the finished measurements and wearing ease printed on the actual pattern tissue, I ended up cutting out a size 4 and they’re still roomy!! That’s nearly FOUR sizes down! (I’m shaking my head at you right now, Butterick!)

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My suspicion is people attempt to sew patterns like this, end up swimming inside all the extra ease, think they need to do a million complicated fitting adjustments because they swear they cut the right size, and end up just chucking the pants in the corner hoping they’ll spontaneously combust and disappear. I bet that’s why no one has blogged about these pants yet.

I was fully expecting my experience with these pants to be similar to what I just described, but much to my surprise, they turned out SUPER cute!!

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Since I attempted these pants as more of a muslin than anything else, I didn’t spend a lot of time finishing the inside seams as well as I could have. Now I wish I did because I really like the way they turned out! That’s the problem with muslins, I think. Sometimes they just end up being really awesome on the outside, but left really unfortunately un-awesome on the inside. I did add a print fabric for the pocket lining which I rather like.

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These pants would look better if I washed them before taking photos to tighten them up a bit more, but they’re so comfortable I couldn’t help but wear them all day yesterday and today! (Stretch cotton sateen is where it’s at!) They don’t look half bad from the back though, even after wearing them all day long.

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I’m definitely going to try to make another pair (with a few small adjustments) one of these days, especially after seeing this episode of Call The Midwife. I’m kind of obsessed with Nurse Franklin’s look here. Can you tell? ;)

trixiefranklin

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Have you made these pants before? I’d love to see your version!

 

xo
Rochelle

 

 

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73 Responses to Gertie’s New Pattern for Better Pants

  1. Lola November 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    ohh… i think i hit submit and then left before the comment posted.. anyways a trick that my teacher taught me was to go to the big 4′s ease chart page and subtract the ease number to the measurements of what should be your size, which is like a size or two and go with that. so far it hasn’t failed me

  2. Lola November 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    i came across this post via a google search, so im late to the party. a trick a teacher taught me was to go to the Big 4′s ease chart on their website, then subtract that number from the measurement, which turns out to be a few sizes smaller, and cut that size. So far it’s worked like a charm for me

  3. Candice July 11, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    And can I add, I LOVE the Penny Loafers! Go Bass Weejuns! Perfect with the outfit! Great post, Thank you!

  4. Abbi Jane June 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Oh, those look swell on you! I would like to make these before the summer gets away from me, but I’m not too keen on how I look in pants.

  5. The Amazing Taracat June 26, 2013 at 6:05 am #

    Ooh! I’ve been dying for someone to make these up so I can decide whether to get this pattern or not. After seeing yours I am definitely going to buy it, they’re gorgeous. Still scared of fitting but I just need to bite the bullet and give it a go.

  6. Sachiko June 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Wow, I have been waiting for your blog post for months. These look great. Thanks for the tip about sizing. I’m usually between a 10-12 (but closer to 10) so I will probably go with a six. Thanks!

  7. amynxdx June 25, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    I bought the pattern and have it in my “to-do” stack but something keeps me from making them – kinda glad I waited so I know about the sizing! They are super cute on you :) I freaking LOVE stretch sateen, I’d say it’s my favorite. It’s super easy to work with and usually looks more expensive than it is AND it stretches :)

  8. sallie June 24, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    You are SO right! Where are the floods of pics of these pants?? They totally look like winners to me! And that sort of slim, cigarette pant just NEVER goes out of style! Love your red version. I bet we’ll start to see more pop up after your post! I also never follow the sizes on big 4 patterns – they are just utterly ridiculous!! Totally measure the pattern pieces or go by the finished garment measurements!

  9. tors (girl, meets wolf) June 24, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    I’ve been wondering about these trousers, because you’re right, they look really cute on the envelope but I’ve not seen them anywhere! My sewing mojo has completely left me at the moment, but I think I may add these to the list for when it graces me with its presence again! Loving the red cotton-satine, they look absolutely lovely on you!

  10. Valerie June 22, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    I just ordered this pattern yesterday! But I’m a little terrified the pattern is going to be too big now. My measurements put me in a 14, and I ordered the larger pattern sizes. I’ve never actually sewn ‘Big 4′ patterns before, but finally took advantage of the online sale. The pattern was only $1.50, so it’s not a big loss, it’ll just be a bit disheartening.

    I think a big motivator for me in not buying patterns from these brands (this is my first time and they’re not even here yet!) is that I hear the sizing is sometimes (always?) kind of crazy and the fact that ALL sizes aren’t included. I’m usually just into the larger sizes, but I have super-narrow shoulders, and if the pattern includes way too much ease, I’m going to have to just guess at alterations instead of being able to cut a smaller size.

  11. Miss Crayola Creepy June 21, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    You have the fit down perfectly! I’m so jealous! I have this pattern, but what keeps me from sewing it is fear of fitting. It can be so discouraging making so many alterations and not have them work out :(

  12. Lynne June 21, 2013 at 3:12 am #

    Your trousers are gorgeous, and I love the colour.

  13. Jennifer Lauren June 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Wow, just wow! Those pants are just amazingly gorgeous on you! I so wish I suited cigarette pants! And I know what you mean about Trixie’s wardrobe in Call the Midwife, I love it too :)

  14. jen June 20, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    I swear nobody in blogland can rock a pair of high waisted cropped pants quite like you. I would look horrific in these, yet you have me wanting to make a pair. Pure magic!! Also, not sure if I mentioned this yet but I love your new hair cut/color. Major cutie!

  15. Relynn June 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Oh, Rochelle, those pants are perfect!! I’m not so sure that those pants would look good on me because I’m a bit shortwaisted and that’s why I haven’t bought that pattern. I have a vintage pattern that is very similar, also.

  16. Ami Lowden (@littletailoress) June 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    Yay this is such a handy post! I bought this pattern months ago and haven’t got around to making the trousers (pants!) yet. I have recently made Clovers and so I wanted to try these with non stretch fabric as it’s easier to come by here in the UK. Now I know that they are pretty roomy I have a better idea of where to begin so thanks!
    These look soooo good on you in the red!- I am sure Trixie would approve! ;) I love that programme!- the clothes, the sets and especially Trixie’s character!
    Thanks for sharing! :)

  17. Stephanie | Mabel Makes June 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Wow! These pants are great! I’m not sure they’d suit me but they look fab on you :)

  18. Ashley June 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    Loving these on you! I honestly didn’t really like the version on the envelope cover, either, but they are too cute on you!

  19. Lauren June 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    How are you liking the zip in the back? I changed mine to a side zip because I was worried it wouldn’t sit right on my rear.

    http://rosiewednesday.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-tale-of-two-patterns-butterick-5895.html

    • Rochelle June 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

      I actually thought of switching the zipper to the side as well, but figure I should stay true to the pattern the first time around. I did a lapped zipper instead of centered and I don’t find it to sit weird or look off kilter. I suppose it’s all personal preference.

      • Lauren June 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

        That’s good to hear. Thank you, Rochelle! Yours look fantastic!

  20. zibergirl June 19, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    I also have this pattern and I love both the pants and top. I think I’ll give it a go (muslin first) and see if they turn out as awesome as yours!

  21. Cindy June 19, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I made this pattern up recently but yours are much cuter. I’m happy with them overall. I ended up extending the length to make them full length and they had more of a flare than I expected. I love your red pants!

  22. Sean MacKenzie June 19, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    I am so happy that someone has finally blogged about this. And to the fact that despite what the package reads, this pattern is so roomy. I have issues with fitting items in my hip area, but this gives me hope. I don’t mind re-cutting to get the right fit. I was more worried I’d have to draft a little extra hip room.

    Thanks!!

    The Fictionista
    {sean-mackenzie.blogspot.com}

  23. ShanniLoves June 19, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    These pants are cute and I always wondered why I never seen them made up by anyone. I just gave away that pattern on my blog. They look like a fairly easy make too. I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen you in pants! Looking good!

  24. katlane12 June 19, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    I have this pattern and have been meaning to make it for ages. I’m not sure why I haven’t. I think the tops would be perfect with all my high waisted skirts. I think maybe it seems more like a summer pattern to me so it’s been pushed to the back of my sewing list. Once the weather warms up again I think I’ll give it a go.

  25. Jessica Cangiano June 19, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    Wow and double wow, honey, these pants are so fabulously awesome! The vibrant hue, the flattering cut, the perfect hem length, I can’t imagine why they’re not more popular either – perhaps its because they need to use some of these pics to help promote it. Who wouldn’t want to make a pair after seeing how amazing you look in yours?!

    ♥ Jessica

  26. Juliette June 19, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    I have this pattern too, but I admit I bought it on an impulse and have to squeeze it somewhere in my summer sewing schedule…which isn’t going to be easy!
    Your thoughts on the sizing in the “Big 4″ patterns remind me of the first dress I ever made (Simplicity 7275) which happened to be far too big for me (that was not for lack of muslining, but it was my first dress and I had no idea of what pattern tweaking was about at the time!)…I ended up angrily and hastily taking the sides seams in and got something that was kind of wearable in the end…
    But anyway, I’ll remember this whenever I tackle B5895!

  27. Ginny June 19, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    Actually, I’ve made this pattern twice now- I love it, and I’m wearing one pair right now, actually! I haven’t had any issues with excess ease at all, but I’m pear shaped and carry most of my weight around my hips and thighs. I think I cut to finished measurements too- I never bother reading the pattern sizes, there’s just no point. I had to take in the back a little for my sway back and and tweak the shape of the front crotch curve, but nothing major. I also have fabric lined up for the blouse which I’m hoping to make soon while the good weather lasts. My first version was a wearable muslin fromm stretch cotton sateen here

    http://buttons-and-bobbins.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/butterick-5895-pants-mmm-13-day-7.html

    My second pair, in denim, after some fitting tweaks:

    http://buttons-and-bobbins.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/perfect-fit-jeans-another-butterick-5895.html

    I’ve seriously lived in the denim ones since I made them. I think I need more! And a red pair is definitely on the list :D

  28. agirlinwinter June 19, 2013 at 4:04 am #

    Cute outfit! One of my biggest sewing revelations so far was the measure the pattern pieces before selecting my size. As you said, the Big 4 companies include a LOT of ease. The first pattern I attempted to make was a McCall’s skirt and I had to idea about ease. Yep, you can imagine the results.

  29. Kirsten June 19, 2013 at 3:57 am #

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for someone to make these! I made the tie shirt which is super cute, but was a bit worried about the pants, I admit. They look incredible on you, although that may be partly down to your lovely figure. Maybe I’ll brave some in a cheap fabric sometime…

  30. Rachael-Lynn munson June 19, 2013 at 3:38 am #

    Seriously….adorable!!! I just LOVE them! I might just have to go out and buy that pattern tomorrow!

  31. Cherise June 19, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    Great pants and great fit! I love the colour also :)

    Sadly I have similar experiences with modern home sewing patterns. I guess that’s what happens when the pattern is standardized to “fit” everyone – they end up fitting no one :D

  32. Jenny June 19, 2013 at 3:18 am #

    Yeah it’s funny how this happens with patterns. I think maybe it’s because there’s a bit of a ‘Big 4 snob’ in a lot of us indie pattern-loving bloggers. The style is pretty similar (although I have to say I prefer this pattern) to the Clovers and I guess a lot of people would rather support a small business. Maybe. Who knows?

    Anyway, you have got yourself an absolute knockout pair of pants there! I’m in the process of drafting my own pants block so hopefully I won’t ever need to by a pants pattern again…. but just in case I do, I’m storing these ones as a mental note :) So cute!!

  33. Katy June 19, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    Wow, these look AMAZING on you! I’ve been thinking about trying a pair of trousers and these have now shot to the top of the list. I hope my muslin is as successful :)

  34. Sassy T June 19, 2013 at 2:49 am #

    Love, and I mean LOVE these on you. https://www.facebook.com/SassySewingBees

    • Sassy T June 19, 2013 at 3:07 am #

      I haver just posted your creation to my page. Too damn cute.

  35. Lauren June 19, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    Gorgeous!!! I need some pants like this in my life. ;) I too am loving Trixie’s style. Thank you for posting the pictures of her. :)

  36. Kelly June 19, 2013 at 12:00 am #

    I thought the pattern was cute, but I couldn’t see myself actually making either piece. Your pants look great, though! I may have to rethink it… I’m kind of afraid of fitting non-Simplicity patterns though. I have sewn a number of Simplicity patterns and have never once had a problem with excess ease. Everyone seems to lump Simplicity with MBV, though, and it makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong!

  37. JuliaBobbin (@JuliaBobbin) June 18, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Absolutely gorgeous! You look better in these pants than the picture of the model. :)

  38. Loran June 18, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    I made these as a muslin as well, at the end of Me Made May. I, too, had the same fitting issues. I think I cut out a 16/18 and ended up with a 10/12 !?@! I also had to take about an inch off the top of the waist, dip down the center back and bring up the crotch for the same “fitting issues” Ms. Zilredloh mentioned. I AM happy with them…now…and have plans to make at least one more pair for the summer despite what my ex husband said (‘they make you look short and dumpy’) but what does he know? I’m going to try the shirt as well, I remember Gertie mentioning that the model on the pattern envelope must be really tall because she did NOT mean for the waist area to show. And since gingham seems to be super hot right now I may do a blue or black version if and when Joann’s restocks ; ) Your version is GORGEOUS and yes, stretch sateen is the BEST. I’ve never seen “Call the Midwife” so I’ll check it out. That look is glorious.

  39. Ariana June 18, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    I just did a muslin of this top and cut the size 6 but I need to make adjustments for a larger bust. I am a 32D so I always end up resizing shirts that don’t stretch. I am getting ready to do the pants and I am planning for that super tight cigarette pant 50s look. Glad to know about the sizing on the pants, I figured I might need to cut way down. Your pants look amazing, love the color. I am love a stretch cotton sateen, such a great

  40. Jessica Quirk June 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    You’ve totally sold me on getting this pattern and making these pants – Pronto! You look tres adorable as well.

  41. Heather Lou June 18, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    We’re on the exact same page – I JUST bought the pattern today. I saw someone make them last week (I can’t remember who) and I was like, oh yeah! Those guys! I just scored 25 yards of vintage prints and one in particular was calling out to be made in high waist clamdiggers. And you all sassy in red just confirmed my good judgement! Thanks for the heads up on the sizes.

  42. Veronica lewis June 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    So you are a size 8 but cut for a size 4? just trying to get an idea of what size I am going to cut out…Thanks

    • Rochelle June 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      Based on the sizes on the back of the envelope I’m a size 8 waist and a size 10 hip. But ignore all that and look at the finished measurement sizes listed near the hip and waist on the actual pattern piece (it will be shown next to a circle with a cross through it). Since I used a stretchy fabric, I left myself very little “wearing ease” and just cut the size closest to my actual measurements, which turned out to be the size 4 with a finished garment measurement of 35 inches at the hip, leaving me about a half inch of wiggle room. If you’re using a non stretchy fabric, you’ll want to give yourself a bit more ease. Hope this helps! :)

      • Veronica lewis June 20, 2013 at 10:38 am #

        It does, thank you so much Rochelle, thank you for your time explaining. Have a great day, Happy Crafting!

        Veronica

  43. Veronica lewis June 18, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    WOW!!!!! STEAMING HOT GIRL!!! I have the pattern too and SOOOOO going to make them now, only hoping mine do for me as they have done for you…..awesome!!!!!! thanks for sharing, Happy Crafting….. Veronica

  44. alexandra massey (@alliemass) June 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    I haven’t made these yet, but I’m planning on it! I have the fabric and everything, and I hope to make a pair of these and a pair of clovers and seeing which fits better.

  45. Kacie June 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    These look incredible on you! I wish my muslins turned out that well :)

  46. spinneretta June 18, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

    I have the pattern. I have the fabric. I’m just behind on my makes (that and afraid it will make my tummy look too big LOL). Since yours are the second set I have seen that looked awesome in the last week, I have bumped them WAY up the list.
    And yes, I love Trixie’s look in CTM too :) (Unlike you though, I have neither her hair OR her figure so I’ll have to make do LOL)

  47. Lisa June 18, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    You look smokin! Gorgeous hair, lovely trousers.

  48. Roxy June 18, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    Gorgeous! These pants are really flattering on you. You might need to apply to be an extra on Call the Midwife.

  49. stgilbert June 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    You look so adorable, I can’t stand it! Trixie Franklin, be warned! Thank you for noting that they are huge and should be cut down. Jeez, I find that modern Big Four pants patterns are big (so is Eva Dress 3322), but vintage ones seem to be spot on.

  50. Esz (@kittysdrawings) June 18, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    Oh my gosh how CUTE do you look!! They are perfect for your figure :-) You’ve got a bit of a Jackie O vibe going on too.
    You know I avoid modern patterns for this reason – all that ease! I just can’t be bothered with crazy fit changes and sizing down 100 sizes in the hope the thing will fit – Better to just buy a vintage pattern in my size and know it will work straight out of the envelope. Well – that works for me!

  51. redambition June 18, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    I have this pattern but I’ve been too scared of making pants to make them yet! I am currently making a pair of Sewaholic Tofinos to ease myself back into the frame of pants construction. (My first ever garment, sewn when I was in high school was a pair of shorts).

    I have such issues with big 4 sizing as well so at the moment I’ve been sticking with indie patterns. I’ve made three garments from big 4 patterns and all have major fitting issues, the first two as a result of me cutting too big (even after measuring myself, then using the garments measurements and cutting a smaller size) and the third too small (after me using the garment measurments strictly and then discovering that the actual garment came out smaller than the measurments provided – ACK).

    I’m scarred, can you tell?

    • Rochelle June 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

      I feel your pain! I’ve been sewing almost exclusively vintage patterns lately because they always have just the right amount of ease and are true to size. What happened to patterns between now and then, huh? Oh well. PJ pants are a great way to get into the world of pant sewing. They’re really not that hard. You’ll see :)

  52. Elisha June 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    I saw one amazing version of these pants on We Sew Retro, and I know LauraMae (Lilacs & Lace) has made the top. Let me see if I can find the pants because they made me want to make them…

    Argh, not finding them. But they were amazing. I DID see the uber popular Mimi G made them, though.

  53. Red Point Tailor June 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    You look great in this pants. The pants turned out wonderful!
    Well… I always look at the finished garments measurements… this is always my guidance for patterns. The great 4 and others – follow just general ease rules… it is up to you, your preferences, how you cut the pattern.
    I drafted pants myself and still have to make some alterations – well, different fabric different ease …

  54. Fiona Parker June 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Wowzers! They are some great trousers! I think that pattern might just be added to my ‘to make’ list! I bet you see a whole lot more of this pattern popping up on blogs when people have seen yours!

  55. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! June 18, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    So so so cute, I love them!! They really look awesome on you. I wonder if some people have shied away because I know I’ve read some fitting horror stories with the Colette Clovers, and they look somewhat similar? Totally guessing though. :)

  56. Helen June 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    I agree with Jill, above. The pattern pics left me me cold – cute, but not for me – but yours have me re-thinking that. My main issue, really, is that I have never made pants, and am scared to do so (although I desperately want to do so) and I feel like I probably need an Indie pattern style hand-holding through the whole experience. I don’t quite think Butterick will provide that, though!

  57. Bea June 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Very very nice Rochelle! I think I have seen one or two versions of the pattern on the blogershpere before but can’t remember where. I am however surprised it hasn’t been more. Your capris are super cute. Red is a great choice of colour and I like the way you accessoriesed the whole outfit. I think I need to buy it now.

  58. the Garment Farmer June 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Ok, good to know! These look really cute on you. I do prefer a fly-front pant, but these look simpler to make for sure. I’m also contemplating using the Colette shorts pattern and just lengthening them since I’ve already used the pattern before.

  59. Ally June 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    I find my body looks out of proportion when I wear high-waisted pants, but wow! You look amazing in them! Love the colour too!

  60. Mary Elizabeth June 18, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    I love this pattern! The top and capris are favorites of mine, but I’ve lost my capris that I made! ARGH. That’s mainly why I haven’t blogged about them yet. I love your version!

  61. zilredloh June 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    heh Your post is sooo timely! I’m working on this pattern right now, even the cropped tie blouse to match.

    I knew that there would be too much ease in these capris so I did cut to the finished measurements not what’s on the envelope. But sadly, I have some mega fitting to do to make these work. I have *dare-I-say-it* crotch length issues to deal with and a second muslin to make before I can start on the real deal.

    Yours look so cute and perfect! I can’t wait to fit mine correctly, as they do look like the perfect wardrobe staple.

    Will you be making the cute little top to match?

    • Rochelle June 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Ohh I can’t wait to see yours! Hope you get your “dare I say it” depth worked out ;) I have a cute flamingo print fabric that I wanted to make a matching top out of, but I got too excited to blog about these on their own! The top will have to come later ;)

  62. Nessa June 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    Loving your hair! Very Nurse Franklin!

  63. Jill June 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    I’ll be honest: these pants did nothing for me when I saw the pics online. But I LOVE your version. I’m suddenly re-thinking Butterick 5895. I think I’ve found my 4th of July picnic outfit.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. Gertie’s capris and blouse - July 6, 2013

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