A sequinned Bella

Who buys rainbow reversible sequin fabric as a souvenir in Bordeaux? This one is a bit harder to explain than buying Japanese cotton in Spain!

I knew Felicity would love it.

I only just had enough to cut out a Tessuti Bella dress without sleeves.

My traced off pattern was a size M so I made it a bit smaller for Felicity by placing the centre front and back in from the fold and selvedge by about 1 cm in.

Sequinned fabric makes such a mess when you cut out!

I know you should remove the sequins from the seam allowance but I didn’t this time because it was invisible thread on a black background and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. My bad. This is not couture! I did stabilise the shoulder seams and then covered them with a strip of the mesh selvedge to stop any scratch Ines. So. Not totally bad sewing…

Wonder clips were so much better than pins for this fabric.

And my machine sewed through those sequins like it was easy. I did use a thicker needle than normal.

I bound the neck and armscyes with purchased poly satin bias binding. I sewed it on onto the wrong side a bit within the seam allowance then brought it over the sequins to the front. This meant the neck and the armscyes were finished with the seam allowance still included. Clear as mud? Sorry. The bottom line was that the neck was raised by 1 cm and the armscyes extended by 1 cm.

Remember how I said I could only just fit it on my fabric length? Once it was sewn up and tried on it was clear I had made it too long. And it needed to be shorter. I cut 8 cm off. And left the hem raw.

It has been worn. Apparently not scratchy despite the sub standard sewing techniques. And the bonus thing is that I can fit into it too.

A skirt of Japanese cats: BurdaStyle 05/2019 #112

Who buys Japanese fabric on holiday in Spain? Who wouldn’t when it’s as irresistible as this!

I mean. Look at that cheeky cat in the middle with the ball of wool. And the smiley yellow one. And the little black one. And the….

I turned this souvenir fabric purchased from Nunoya in Barcelona into a skirt for Felicity.

This is BurdaStyle 05/2019 #112 (or #112burda052019 in instaspeak)

( image source: the previous USA based Burda website that was so good. No point adding the link now. Not happy Burda!)

I added 7 cm to the length and cut the front skirt and yoke on the fold. This omitted the centre front seam and the decorative button tab.

I lined the yoke with a poly/cotton from an old shirt of her fathers.

I covered the end of the zip with a scrap from his shirt too.

It’s very satisfying to recycle like this 😊

The dress that’s IKEA inside and out: Butterick 6677

This fabric was another long term stash dweller but not of the too-good-too-sew variety. It’s cotton IKEA curtain fabric with a very simple bright print that Felicity loves and I don’t.

Our local fabric store had this pattern made up as a sample and that’s what inspired this make. First I thought I could find something similar to Butterick 6677 in my extensive Burda magazine collection. Then patterns were on sale. Why not give Butterick a go I said!

I made this as a size 14 at the shoulder then graded out to 16 through the armscye, and bust and down to the waist then back to a 14. A cheaters FBA. Sort of okay fit wise but next time I’ll do a real FBA.

It has pockets!

I lined the bodice and skirt with a preloved IKEA cotton sheet. Superbly soft. This makes the dress delightful to wear I’m told. I think we both also love the thought of IKEA curtains and sheets being used for a dress.

What better than a novelty button to close the back!

Such a cheerful dress. I like this fabric so much more in a dress than in my stash.

My Missoni ‘Tee’ jumper: BurdaStyle 06/2016 #101

Back in 2015, I was incredibly fortunate enough to acquire this Missoni summer weight wool/viscose knit from Liz of designerfabricsaustralia.

It’s been sewn into many imaginary garments over the last five years. But they never got past the planning stage and actually into my wardrobe. It was one of those too-good-to-sew fabrics. Until now.

This is style 101 from BurdaStyle 06/2016 or #101burda06/2016 in instragramspeak

A very simple pattern – just right to showcase my Missoni knit.

I cut out the patterns pieces so that the hem of the sleeves and the front and back were on the zigzag selvedge. This meant the upper bodice/ sleeve piece stretched across the complete width of my fabric from selvedge to selvedge.

I spent a lot of time working out how to cut this out of my slightly too small length of fabric and I’m pleased how well it tuned out with all the zigzag edges meeting and matching. What I didn’t do is pay enough attention to getting the flow of the zigzags going the same way on the front and back. If I’d done this the shoulder seams would have been patterned matched. Not mismatched like they are, as you can see above. Oh well. Live and learn.

I stabilised the neck and shoulder seams (about 13 cm down from the neck) with a strip of very lightweight interfacing. The neck was then finished with bias binding.

I love it!

What I’ve been cooking this summer

This summer I’ve discovered a fabulous new salad, two great cakes and a new gluten free cookie recipe.

Carrot and edamame salad with soy ginger dressing

Salad:

  • 1  x 450g packet of frozen shelled edamame beans
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded or grated
  • 2 spring onions or half a red onion, finely sliced
  • a generous few handfuls of salad greens, some shredded
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the edamame for 2-3 minutes or until tender (they float to the surface). Drain well and run under cold water to stop them cooking further.

To make the dressing, put everything into  screw cap jar or small bowl and mix well to combine.

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Mix well then drizzle over the dressing. There will probably be more dressing than needed, but it is delicious with whatever salad you are making the next day, or over cooked rice or noodles.

This is a slight adaptation of a recipe by Emma Galloway published in Cuisine in issue 197, Nov/Dec 2019.

Chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake

Cake

  • 120 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 300 grams caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 390 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarb soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt

Filling and Topping

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 175°C.

Butter a by 23 x 33 cm baking pan and line the bottom with baking paper. This makes a big cake! I used a roasting pan because none of my cake tins are that large.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 300 grams sugar. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.

Whisk flour, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt together into a separate bowl.

Alternately mix in sour cream and then dry ingredients into butter mixture until both are used up and the batter is smooth and very thick.

In a medium bowl with clean beaters, beat eggs whites until stiff, then fold gently into batter.

In a small dish, combine the cinnamon and remaining 100 grams caster sugar for filling and topping.

Spread half the cake batter in the bottom of prepared pan and spread smooth. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon-sugar mixture and 1 cup of chocolate chips. Dollop remaining cake batter over filling in spoonfuls. Use a spatula to gently spread it over the filling and smooth the top. Sprinkle batter with remaining cinnamon-sugar and remaining chocolate chips.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan.

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, published online at https://smittenkitchen.com/2006/11/chocolate-chip-sour-cream-cake/

Lemon blackberry yoghurt loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) + 1 tablespoon (10 grams) plain flour (if you’re skipping the fruit, you can also skip the last tablespoon of flour)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230 grams) plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 255 grams) blackberries, frozen
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease a 22 by 11 by 7 cm loaf pan. Line the bottom with baking paper. Grease the sides of the pan.

Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Mix the berries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in (a pastry brush works great for this, as does using a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool.

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, published online at https://smittenkitchen.com/2008/04/lemon-yogurt-anything-cake/

 

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies (gluten free)

Makes 26 to 28 cookies with a 1 2/3 tablespoon scoop. I used a 1 1/4 tablespoon quenelle scoop loaded up generously and made 25 cookies

  • 1 3/4 cups (335 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups (450 grams) smooth peanut butter
  • Coarse-grained sea salt, to finish

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract, then the peanut butter until smoothie and completely incorporated. Yes, that’s all you need to do. So easy.

Scoop out mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.  I had an appointment to attend to I put the scooped out cookies on the baking tray into the freezer for over an hour before I baked them. This is recommended to get the tallest cookies and the striations across the top of the cookies, but I did it out of necessity and poor timing.

Sprinkle the cookies lightly with coarse-grained sea salt just before baking. Bake cookies for 14 to 15 minutes. When finished, cookies should be golden at edges.

They’ll need to set on the sheet for a minute or two before they can be lifted intact to a cooling sheet. Once they have cooled completely they are crisp outside and soft inside. Delicious!

This recipe is also from Smitten Kitchen, published online at https://smittenkitchen.com/2015/10/salted-peanut-butter-cookies/

Baby blue floral Wilder gown. Not like a nightie at all.

I have fallen hard for this pattern.

One minute I’m “why is it so popular? It looks like a nightie. Or little house on the prairie style. So not for me.”

The next, I’m totally smitten by the gorgeousness of the Wilder made by M of Nonsuch Sewing and so many other beautiful Wilders appearing in my feed.

Pattern duly purchased and plans made to make my own.

Yes it does look like a nightgown. But (I tell myself) a cool, swishy, loose and just gorgeous to wear nightgown.

The technical details

What size to make? My measurements put me into XL so that’s what I went with. Or so I thought. I hadn’t paid attention to the test square. I’d printed the pattern out at about 90%. My “XL” was closer to an M.

To attempt to compensate for this error I reduced the seam allowances through the bodice and sleeves from 5/8 to 3/8 inch (apart from the centre front which I took down to 1/2 inch).

The ‘fit’ seems to be fine. Although I’m not sure my shoulders would be okay if I gathered the neckline up to my neck. Lucky I prefer it looser and lower.

I made the gathered skirt layers wider and longer by about 10 cm in length and width to account for the pattern repeat of my fabric. This made the dress length floor grazing. I took off the extra 20 cm of length from the bottom layer.

I used a charming floral woven viscose from Spotlight for this first version.

I suspect I’m going to be seeing more of my garment labels on this pattern.

Festive Cielos

My love affair with the Cielo dress pattern continues.

What better fabric to use in late December than Jocelyn Proust Christmas themed fabrics?

The back yokes and sleeve bands are a brilliant place to use all those other cute Christmas remnants.

I didn’t consult with Felicity about her contrast fabric so the contrast sleeve bands are still unsewn.

Love this pattern!

You are my sunshine: #117burda04/2019

“This is my favourite thing ever that your mum has made for you”

I’ve got to agree with that!

The lovely fabric I used is a cotton and silk blend Tory Burch gauze from The Fabric Store.

I used a double layer of fabric for the bodice and skirt. The flounces are a single layer and you can see how delightfully light this fabric is.

I love this design with its asymmetrical twist and flounces.

This pattern is from the April 2019 issue of BurdaStyle

I traced off a size 40 with a 2.5 cm FBA. It ended up a little tight through the bust and hips so I took the side seams out in both these spots.

I didn’t trace a facing for the neck or arms yes but instead used premade bias binding in beige. Somewhat regretting this because the difference in fabric weight has resulted in some puckering. Clearly not enough regret to remove it! And no complaints from the recipient!

Kielo wrap dress

Why did this take so long? Both this pattern and this fabric have been waiting for years!

This is Named Patterns Kielo Wrap Dress, made in a ITY knit from Gorgeous fabrics with a lot of stretch but great recovery.

Such a cleaver design.

Hours of fun tying it different ways..

It is just as lovely in IRL as if is when posing for blog photos in my front garden.

The gorgeous M from Nonsuch  and I heading out to the fabulous Adelaide Sewists Christmas Function

This is such a great pattern. I already have several more versions (knee length, with sleeves, in a linen…) in my imaginary wardrobe.

Rome Collection in Spain

I want to add my love for Closet Case Patterns Rome collection.

I’ve made at least one of all the patterns in this collection. And tested them out on holiday in Spain.

Firstly, my least favourite, the Fiore skirt. This is nothing to do with the pattern, but is all to do with me – I’ve never been a fan of A-line skirts. But the asymmetric wrap style  of view C drew me in, and I succumbed.

Here it is in Madrid.

I’ve got to admit that this is a glorious skirt to wear. Love the pocket, love the easy breezy style. Just don’t think A-lines are the best style for me.

And now let me tell you about the Pietra pants. My first test version was the cropped straight leg view in a red cotton twill of dubious provenance. A long term stash dweller.

I lengthened the legs, and then chopped the extra length off again. They got taken on holiday too and they’ve seen quite a lot of wear! Pictured here in wonderful Salamanca.

I prefer to wear them without my top tucked in but the clever pattern design of a flat front means they look okay tucked too, in a retro-ish high waist sort of way.

The second version I made was the wide legged full length pants in linen.

These went to Spain too. Here they are in Seville. Glorious! Just what you need in hot weather.

Let’s move on to the Cielo top.

In front of Madrid’s palace glowing in the early morning light. Feeling smug about my top!

And back home. Still love it just as much. This first version was in an embroidered cotton linen blend. I added extra to the length but ended up hemming it only 3 cm longer. So a totally unnecessary modification!

The bust darts from the armscye are different but perfectly functional.

My second Cielo was made in a cotton with an embroidered border purchased in Barcelona.

I didn’t have enough fabric to include the bottom part of the lantern sleeve, nor did I have enough of the border for the sleeves. Red ric-rac to the rescue.

I very quickly moved onto the dress version. I so want to make several hundred more of these and a couple of millions other versions of the top.

I’ve had this glorious pink boucle in my stash for years. It was a souvenir from Paris and had a lot of expectation built into it. One of those “too good to use” fabrics. I’m so happy to be wearing it at last!

I used a very light weight interfacing on the pocket openings just in case they sagged. To reduce thickness in the pockets I used a lighter weight fabric for part of the pocket bag. I also interfaced the back yoke and facing. But nothing else. I’m hoping the loose weave of the boucle stands up to wear and tear.

Such a great shape. So comfortable to wear.

In conclusion. A fabulous set of patterns. Perfect for holidays and everyday life.

Highly recommended!

Sequined and bowed swing top: #108burda12/2017

A gala dinner ticket, 2 metres of sequined stretch velour in the stash and almost enough time to sew something to wear. How could I resist?

My collection of BurdaStyle magazines going back several years provided just the right pattern: Bow Back Blouse 12/2017 #108.

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Image source: Burdastyle

I have to say that I love my new pattern weights – a much appreciated gift. Thanks M!

Sequins went everywhere and my scissors now need sharpening.

Removing sequins was a very tedious part of this project.

Several needles were harmed during production of this garment. I took note of Burda’s advice and used fine size 70 needles in the sewing machine and overlocker. Six needles later I moved to size 90 needles. Much better outcome!

Sewing details

  • Traced out a straight size 44. Forgot to raise the bust darts by my normal 2 cm. At least it’s not noticeable in this fabric.
  • Fabric is a stretch velour with reversible sequins sewn on in a lovely pattern (not straight lines as is often the case and this makes sequin removal more difficult than normal). This fabric is from Gay Naffine and has been in my stash for five years.
  • I used wide cotton bias binding instead of a neck facing. I used the pattern pieces to cut the tapes to length and seamed them to make the V at the base of the front and back before sewing them onto the garment.
  • Only overlocked the armsyces as a consequence of needle breakage. I didn’t remove the sequins from the seams before sewing because it was way too tedious and I was time poor. I did reduce some bulk in the seams by snipping most of the sequins off after seaming, but still needed three overlocker needles to complete overlocking of the armsyces.
  • Hemmed with a wide blind hem stitch and was surprised how well this worked – the sequins made this stitch totally invisible.
  • Grosgrain ribbon hand sewn over the shoulder seams to prevent stretch out and to cover the scratchy sequins.

The back view on Eliza the dressmaking dummy. That bow is such a great feature.

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The back view on me

Black garments are difficult to photograph. At night and in poor light – almost impossible. Add sequins to increase the difficulty factor. And to make the challenge even greater, try to take blog photos in a rush just before you’re supposed to leave for the event. And then stand in front of a dark stained wood panel to make it really hard to see. Such amateurs! Nicely dressed though.

You’ll just have to trust me that the sleeves are awesome and this is really an excellent pattern.

It goes without saying that we had a great evening.

Classic fitted shirt: #114burda04/2010

More #daughtersewing.

A simple shirt elevated by excellent fabric and custom fit.

This is why we sew

 

The deets

Pattern: Burdastyle 04/2010 #114 (or, in instagram speak, thats #114burda04/2010)

Image result for Burdastyle 04/2010 #114

Size: 40 with 2.5 cm FBA

Changes: left off the breast pocket and back tab, interfaced with self fabric

Fabric: Jocelyn Proust printed cotton from Spotlight. Isn’t it glorious?

Buttons: from the stash.

And that snack she’s eating? Rory made them. Pork char siu in wonton wrappers.

No recipe. Just looked up the ingredients for the char siu spice and sauce mix and added it to pork mince. Then used this as the filling in wonton wrappers and deep fried the parcels.

They were delicious! He’s a star!

Corduroy trousers: BurdaStyle 03/2019 #102

Felicity and her seamstress (that would be me) are still taking inspiration from the seventies.

This time it is in the form of dark caramel coloured corduroy utility trousers. I know. It’s not the quintessential flares, but it is in orange/brown tones, and corduroy. That’s seventies enough to me.

The fabric is a mid wale cotton corduroy from Spotlight with just enough give in the fabric to be very comfortable to wear. How do I know that? They got worn for three days straight as soon as they were off the sewing machine. There are plenty of wrinkles because these photos were taken on day 3. I don’t think she slept in them, but I wouldn’t be surprised…

I used Burda’s utility trouser pattern from the March issue this year 03/2019 #102

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I made these in a straight size 40 and added 5 cm extra to the length. Plus a 4 cm hem allowance. Woefully inadequate. They needed 14 cm extra to the finished length, which we both agreed looked best as a band with the wales running horizontally.  For the record, Felicity is 178 cm tall, but is short waisted so her legs could be longer than standard for that height.

All my photos are barefoot, so she turned the band up like a cuff, but, trust me, it is the traditional trouser length with flat shoes on.

The belt loop is something fabulous from the stash that originally came from a designer fabric sale. Any Adelaide readers still remember Gay Naffines fabric sales fondly?

I lined the front pockets and belt loops with a leafy green charmeuse remnant.

You can’t really see it ( I worked hard on that!). It has been reported as feeling great. And this is more what the colour is like in real life. The outdoor light with the autumn leaves seems to dull it a bit.

I also added an extra patch pocket to the back.

with one of Kylie and the Machine‘s great tags.

Slow fashion. That’s me.

 

Dressing like a librarian: BurdaStyle 08/2018 #109

Felicity’s love of 70’s style continues.  She requested this ‘waistcoat bodice dress’ for her Mothers’ Day outfit*

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We went fabric shopping at Spotlight. I was uninspired by their offerings for the waistcoat bodice dress but we did come home with a lovely dark floral rayon that was destined to be a tie neck blouse.

And become one using this very appropriately name ‘Seventies style blouse’ Burdastyle 01/2016 #114

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… modified to include the neck tie of the dress version:

I don’t yet have a good photo of the blouse because it didn’t make the Mothers’ Day outfit cut. I’m confident Felicity loves it, though, because it has been worn already several times. Here it is in a poorly lit and blurry photo and with her green velvet 70s coat and cross body bag covering most of it up, but still looking fabulous! Even if I do say so myself.

The next step was to make the pinafore dress. A lovely deep green crepe was ordered from EOS. Deemed unsuitable by Felicity (secretly very happy because now I get to use it for me!).

Plan B. We went to The Fabric Store in search of a suitable fabric. (Yes we now have The Fabric Store in Adelaide. So happy about that!)

And we found a beautiful cotton boucle with sparkle. We are both in love with this fabric.

Lets talk about the waistcoat bodice dress pattern. This is BurdaStyle 08/2018 #109.

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I did a bit of pattern manipulation to a straight sized 40 to make it work for a D Cup, and this added a bit to the depth and alignment of the buttons above the waistband.

It was supposed to have the buttons in a vertical line, but I didn’t get the redrafting perfect and bringing the overlap over further gave a better line through the bust, so that’s what we went with.

I lined both the bodice and the skirt, and used lining  on the inside of the waistband and under the flaps to reduce bulk.

I was seduced by sparkly silver bias binding I had in my stash and used that for the hem.

I like how it looks, but it is a bit stiff and really not at all in keeping with the style or the fancy fabric. Will I go back and change it? Hmm. So many other more interesting sewing tasks to do…

Dressing like a librarian. She could not resist with a sign like this!

*Our church group schedules an event (“special meetings”) on the second Sunday in May every year. Yes that’s Mother’s Day in Australia. And yes, a new outfit is traditional.

Here’s three of them…

My dress is a modified sheath dress from Burda (it’s become my TNT) made from a polyester jacquard purchased from The Fabric Store. Our dear friend M of Nonsuch Sewing is in Victory Patterns Hazel made up in a silk twill.

I’ll finish up with this delightful photo of my ‘adult’ children. If you take a zillion photos on your mum’s phone you’ve got to expect at least one of them to turn up on the blog!

Love these crazy kids!

Seventies coat: BurdaStyle 02/2010 #126

I’ve never liked seventies fashion. I blame it on seventies hand-me-downs from my older cousins that didn’t fit me until the eighties. By which time they were just so uncool.

Felicity, however, has no such bad associations.

We came across a coated denim in the newest store of The Fabric Store in Adelaide. It’s coated in a velvety forest green faux suede sort of layer. Almost upholstery like. Reduced to $12 per metre because it was a bit marked from transport. As you can see above. I just saw a lovely distressed look that would make a great casual coat. So did Felicity!

I used a simple classic coat pattern: BurdaStyle 02/2010 #126. And made it unlined, with flap patch pockets instead of welt pockets, the buttons spread out a lot more and swapped the contrast to the collar instead of the lapels. You know, almost exactly the same.

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I normally do an FBA for Felicity but I did a lazy grading instead: a size 40 at the shoulders then out to a 42 elsewhere. It’s not perfect (those drag lines!) and the stiff of the fabric meant easing the sleeve cap in was a challenge (those puckers!), but it’ll do.

I used another The Fabric Store purchase (a mid to heavy weight denim) for the collar and pocket flaps. It’s really a lot darker in colour than these photos would lead you to believe.

It has a bit of stretch so I interfaced these pieces. I didn’t interface anything else –  my coated denim already had lots of structure.

And this coat was completed with vintage buttons might even have come from a coat from the seventies – they were part of a sewing notions collection gifted to me from an elderly sewing friend.

Pretty happy with how this turned out. And so is Felicity. I’m still not attracted to seventies styles for me though…