Tag Archives: patterns

Attack of the Vogues

Latest pattern binge

Value Village (Your Thrift Department Store!)’s pattern section was absolutely stuffed this week (double the size it was last week) and what it was stuffed with was Vogue patterns.

Unfortunately, it was stuffed with 80s Professional Woman Power Dressing Office And Evening Chic Vogue patterns. Even for $0.49/apiece, I couldn’t justify more than a couple. And, some more kids’ patterns. It’s an addiction, I tell you, because I know that my kids won’t wear most of these.

Because I’ve been trying to clean up my basement (rather than sewing) in the evenings this week, and thus have nothing to write about, I’m going to witter on about the patterns a bit more. They’re not really deserving of it, but I fee like it.

 (Not to mention Tyo’s stomach bug hi-jacked me and I was up every hour last night and let’s just say that was the single most disgusting night of my life so far, including childbirth and the one involving dead dogs and formaldehyde. AND the Centipede Incident. So today I’m just drinking electrolytes and trying not to wish I were dead and wondering if I dare inflict ibuprofen on my stomach.)

Mccall’s 6159

I’m developing a soft-spot for these McCall’s “Carefree” patterns almost as big as my 70s Simplicity weakness. Although I think in this case it’s mostly for the charming illustration. I like versions A and B, though I never actually wear vests so it’s probably not a really smart purchase.

McCall’s6521

Speaking of McCall’s Carefree. This one is a Young Junior/Teen pattern, size 7-8, which is for someone with a 29″ bust and 32″ hips. Another pattern smack in between Tyo’s size and mine. What is it about those 70s athletic shorts with the contrast binding that absolutely undoes me?

70s athletic shorts

Oh, yeah. This probably explains it. The photo is from about 1983, but the clothes were probably pure 70s hand-me-downs. Obviously my love for short shorts, kneehigh socks, and the colour red was established early.

Vogue 7214

I don’t know that I like any of the individual elements in this pattern especially, but something about the whole look just evokes early 20s to me—skirt length, boxy jacket, cloche hat. 80s style is so hideously distinctive, it’s often easy to overlook how much it drew on past eras…

Vogue 7605

Yuck on the jacket and the pleated skirt (although note the boxy 20s silhouette again), but I really love the tucked cami. Of ocurse, it’s basically some lightly-shaped rectangles, but y’know. Fifty cents. Vogue.

Vogue 7829

This is probably the crowning glory of the “score”—great full-skirted, princess seamed coat. Wait, where have we seen that before?

Yeah, yeah, bite me.

On the upside, the Burda Magazine issue I won on Alexandra Mason’s blog a few weeks back finally arrived! It’s the October 2010 issue, which has at least two patterns that jabbed me in the eye saying “make me make me makeme” when they showed up on Burdastyle.

This cool swing-jacket type thing

and this fitted-bodice, gathered skirted dress.

Oh, and Tasia just released the new Sewaholic Pattern, Cambie, a gorgeous, sweetheart-neckline, fitted-bodice, full-skirted dress.

Which brings the tally of patterns in this style I want to make up to, like, five. Or is it seven? And you can read up here on my difficulties with pulling off this style in the first place…

Usually I’m pretty good about sewing up cake rather than frosting, but right now the frosting part of my brain seems to be jonesing hard. Ah, well, I guess that’s what Fantasy Sewing is for…

I’m trying to read blogs  but even that is almost too much work, never mind commenting. Argh.

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Kachow!

My package from ElleC, won courtesy of her first giveaway, arrived today! Woot, woot!

Score!

Three gorgeous vintage patterns, in more-or-less my size.

And, because she is awesome and doesn’t hate me nearly as much as she claims, she threw in a mess of new & vintage zippers just for fun. Just when I was thinking I needed to hit the fabric store and pick up zippers. My hero! 🙂

Also, see that pattern on the left? Simplicity 3965? Not only is it Simplicity (so I might actually know my alterations already), it’s the very same pattern the Sewaholic has made up into so many awesome versions!

Of course, from what I can tell she started with a junior petite version. I should be so lucky…

I love that the Butterick pattern comes with the opera-coat pattern, as well.

In other news, after my big score of vintage patterns the other week, I’ve been stalking the pattern section even more religiously than usual. Sadly, that lode of vintage awesome seems to have played out… I’ve picked up a few patterns since, but they’re all of the slightly-dated-but-still-potentially-usable variety.

Thrift store patterns

Including a couple of Burdas. My ongoing weakness for jacket & coat patterns is in evidence (OK, the sleeves of that Butterick jacket on the right are crazy, but I’ve been wanting a basic raglan-sleeve coat pattern for a while…). Also my weakness for romantic sundressy things. And the cape pattern? Well, I’m bound to want to sew a cape at some point, right?

McCall's 7532

Of (perhaps) slightly more interest is this 1981 pants pattern. Holy High Waists, Batman. No, I haven’t completely lost my marbles (well, maybe)—it’s a Palmer & Pletsch pattern complete with loads of fitting tips & instructions. The view on the left, I gather, is meant to represent the gingham muslin they recommend you make. Will I use it? No promises. But it was the right size and too interesting to pass up. Those ladies definitely make high-waisted look good… just not convinced that I could do the same.

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ZOMG Score!

Or, possibly, just a serious failure of judgment.

This is a first. Apparently this past weekend’s taunting envelope was actually a harbinger of things to come, rather than a cruel jest of the universe. Good things. I forgot the kids have no dance classes this week, so since we were already in the car we just had to stop by our friendly neighbourhood thrift store.

&*(&#&$&#!!!

Holy vintage patterns, Batman!

The only question is whether this means I need to go back every day this week and stalk the pattern shelf…

Yes, you saw it. There on the right, there.

Simplicity 2681. The very same pattern that taunted me with its empty envelope condition on the weekend.

Simplicity 2681 from 1958

I feel the need to emphasize, this is *not* the same pattern envelope with pattern magically restored. It is a size 14 (34″ bust), not a size 12 like the envelope-only teaser was. Not to mention the envelope’s considerably more beat-up. I’m going to suggest a new scenario: Mme X, circa 1958 (the year the pattern came out according to Vintage Pattern Wiki), picked up a pattern in her old size, 12. However, due to a slight weight gain, the pattern didn’t fit. In a desperate attempt to alter the pattern, she managed only to butcher it completely (you know we’ve all done it 😉 ) and finally, in defeat, goes out and buys the same pattern in a larger size.

I’m not sure why she held onto the original envelope, but, well, I’d be happy to hear your theories. 🙂

I like this

My fave is this Butterick sundress, though. Aside from the age old blousy-top issue. I really need to come up with a simple, fitted midriff-band-thingy I can add to patterns like these to make them wearable for me.

Simplicity 3400, from 1950

I’m also really loving the neat detail on this 1950 Simplicity blouse.

Lapse in judgment, you’re saying? What on earth are you talking about, you’re saying?

Well, look what else I got:

Oops...

I will point out, my youngest child will be nine in a few months. The largest of these patterns is a size 6 (and she’s tiny but she’s not that tiny. And, they’re so not her style). In my defense I do have littler nieces and my peers are finally moving into their reproductive phase (I’ve only been waiting for them to catch up for a decade or so), so there are likely to be plenty of other opportunities to sew for small people…

Hmm, yeah, sounds kind of hollow to me, too. But they’re soooo cute!

And, well, Strawberry Shortcake. I couldn’t resist. Be happy I didn’t bring home any of the Cabbage Patch doll clothing patterns. I know my mom still has my Cabbage Patch Kid in the basement somewhere…

Of course, then there’s the one, seriously unforgiveable splurge that I would have to agonize over if it had cost more than 49 cents.:

McCall's 4778

Now, that’s a dress that makes me want to forgive the 80s (even though it came out in 1990). It’s got a lot of features I like—princess seaming, sweetheart neckline, dropped-waist with the full skirt. It wouldn’t even be so unforgiveable a purchase, except, if you look, it’s a size-freakin-8. And I’m pretty sure it’s not drafted with typical 80s ease ;). My only hope is that Tyo will want something like it for her gr. 8 grad or something.

Yeah, not so likely.

Oh, and there were books.

Books!!

I could’ve bought at least three or four more, but I was trying to be restrained. And maybe find things that aren’t just a rehash of information I have elsewhere. And if you buy four you get the fifth one free.

So what do you think? Do I need to go back tomorrow?

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Am I cool enough for R2D2?

A Fabric Confession.

As Stashoholic Confessionals go, this is not a super big one. But it’s been preying on my mind since I bought the fabric a couple of weeks ago—so bear with me. And the patterns. They were not bought at the same time, but I might as well get it all of my chest in one post, right?

First and best, is the Star Wars sheet.

Star Wars Bedsheet of Intense Awesomeness

I don’t feel a huge amount of guilt for this one, frankly. I have been looking for awesome 80s bedsheet material for ages, even before Cation Designs came out with her amazing superhero dresses. And most of what presents itself is either a) all worn out, or b) a modern re-issue in insanely gross poly UGH that I wouldn’t want to make any kid sleep on, never mind actually wear. But finally, after long and patient stalking, I hit upon this most precious of beasts: an original, largely unworn, Star Wars (copyright 1977) fitted single bedsheet. I had to have it.

(C) 1977

The only problem is what to do with it. Let Syo sleep on it as is? Make it into a shirt for my husband? Or be selfish (not to mention completely rip of Cation) and create a Star Wars dress for myself?

However, because I was going to have to wait in line to buy the sheet, it pushed me over the edge on another possibility, two metres of textured, seafoam, probably-polyester coating.

Aqua Coating of Questionable Wisdom

I couldn’t resist. I tried, I really did. I walked away and walked back several times.

See, half of me loves this fabric. It’s the same delicate aqua/blue/seafoam colour range that I quite enjoy (see blog theme).

Texture closeup---Aqua coating

And I love the texture, because while prints don’t usually suck me in, texture does.

But I’m also utterly convinced that made up, it is going to look like a 1970s granny suit.

And I’m not sure quite what there is to be done about it. Because I think done right, it could be great—sweet and formal and old-fashioned without looking like something my grandmother would’ve worn to my parents’ wedding. But I’m not quite sure what that is.

Boxy 60s swing jacket?

Fitted classic jacket?

Add black (or red?) accents to cut the sweetness?

Simplicity 5291

Okay, now I’m picturing it with Simplicity 5291, with black piping, the sleeved jacket and maybe the flippy skirt to match if there’s enough fabric…

… all keeping in mind that I’m on a coat restriction until I finish Osiris’s frock coat, which is cut (except for the lining) and languishing on my ironing board pending a bit more interfacing.

Perplexing burn test

Incidentally, a burn test on the green fabric proved (as usual, at least for me) confusing: The fire sustained itself, but barely; it melted into a hard, black bead and left a yellowish-brown ash. The smell was like wood or paper burning—almost pleasant. I’m guessing maybe a poly-rayon blend, because I’m quite sure it’s not any of the other plant-based fibres, but really I don’t know.

And then there were patterns.

Nothing obscenely amazing, but the pattern-collection creep continues:

Simplicity 3751

Simplicity 3751—a cute, loose blouse pattern. AKA not anything like what I usually wear. And yet—cute. And different enough from most of my other patterns that I thought I could justify it. Also, look at the cool new price! I’m happy to report they appear to have abandoned their bagged-pattern tactic, too.

New Look 6789

New Look 6789—A cute sundress/wardrobe pattern. I am kinda obsessed with summery dresses right now, I fear.

Butterick 5165

Butterick 5165—I know! A housecoat pattern. It’s almost… unjustifiable. In my defense, though, it’s a cute 70s pattern (you know my weakness for those) and it’s not actually a straight rectangle, unlike every housecoat pattern I’ve seen from the last thirty years. And, well, I can fantasize that I might somehow, mysteriously, look good in a housecoat like this. (I don’t. Waist-tie, blousing, etc. are all big Tanit-Isis no-nos.)

Simplicity 8510

Simplicity 8510—Yes, it’s 80s men’s, but it’s a simple tee/pullover with some interesting options in the details, which is always key with men’s patterns. And I figure if I go down a size or two, (which I should be able to as this is an S/M), it would reduce the excessive 80s ease.

Whew! There, I feel a weigh lifted. I have confessed my fabric- and pattern-buying sins.

Now if only I could start sewing faster than buying…

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Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Blogiversary Dance

Yup, Tanit-Isis Sews is TWO! Oof. Two years ago today, I introduced myself to the blogging world. And I just chugged past my 400th post last week.

Now, it’s a common practice to commemorate a blogiversary with giveaways, but that would require actually, y’know, mailing stuff. Which gives me Issues. And I feel really, really bad about it because I LOVE winning giveaways and have gotten some really kick-ass stuff that way, and it’s horrifically selfish to receive and not reciprocate. In an attempt to assuage the guilt, allow me to attempt to reciprocate electronically: may I present, for your (I hope) enjoyment, another Tanit-Isis Pattern: the Ariadne Tunic!

Front view

Inspired by my favourite RTW top, it’s taken me quite a few tweaks to get this tunic to wearable. You can see my first attempt, last spring, which was too short, among other issues. My next version was way too long. Now, finally, I think I’ve (close to) nailed it. I’ve also made the flutter sleeves in the pattern a wee bit longer than in this version, as I thought they were a bit short.

(sizing table)

Back View

The pattern is available in five sizes, XS-XL, for busts 82-106 cm (that’s like 31″ to 42″), and is pretty easy-fitting. It’s designed for thin, drapey knits with 4-way stretch. Y’know, the kind that are really, really annoying to sew with? Yeah.

Click on image to see pattern page and download the pattern!

Please enjoy. And thank you all so much for reading. This has been (and will continue to be) a really hectic year in my life, and sewing is both a welcome distraction and a refuge. While I feel quite a bit lately like my head isn’t quite in the game—lots of low-thought projects—I still really enjoy the opportunity to blog, even if it’s not as frequently as I used to. And I really, really, really appreciate everyone who comments (and everyone else who just stops by for a peek). This wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without you. Thank you.

(erm, and please let me know if any of the links aren’t working or if you have any trouble downloading the pattern—I’m trying to organize things a bit differently this time, so hopefully everything works!)

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Those who can’t sew…

Buy.

Well, that’s part of the problem, anyway. I’d rather be sewing, but shopping is a quick fix.

So, in order from least guilty to most guilty:

Sewaholic Patterns:

Minoru Jacket & Renfrew top

Tasia is a sweetie at the best of times, and while I resisted all through the pre-sales of both these patterns, the deluge of awesome internet versions and her birthday sale totally put me over the edge. Plus, even though the shop was down when I tried to use it (overloaded by others drawn in by the sale), she replied to my plaintive email (delivered in obnoxious triplicate—OOPS! 😦 ) the very next day and was super-quick to put together an email invoice at the sale rate. And I had my patterns in only four days—hooray for in-Canada shipping! And supporting an independent small business, yadda yadda. So I am refusing to allow myself to feel guilty for this one.

Thrift store books

Circumstances conspired to have me at Value Village not one, not two, but three times this week, and different things appeared every time. I doubt you’re terribly interested in the shoes Tyo picked out for her Gr. 6 grad this spring, or the Pampered Chef stoneware, but two sewing books did throw themselves at me (I resisted another beginner-level one as I already have several of those and the only one you really need is Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing anyway 😉 )

Sandra Betzina's Fabric Savvy

Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina. I’ve heard good things about this one. And aside from a no-illustrations 70s paperback, I didn’t have any other books on different fabric types and how to work with them. So yeah, it was coming home. Although so much of what I sew with is bargain-store mystery (and even if it’s not, I’m abysmal at remembering what it is I’ve actually bought) I’m not sure how useful it’ll be. But it’s one of those resources you ought to have, right?

The page on denim.

I like the layout and illustrations—the front is a big alphabetical section on different fabric types and how to work with them, including laundering, needles, thread, sewing-machine feet, and seam-finishes. And it’s got the coil-binding so it lies flat open, which seems to be considered a bonus. I can’t say I’ve felt the need to have one of my reference books open on the table while sewing yet, but if I did, it would be great.

The techniques section

The back has quick overviews of the seam-finishes and other techniques referred to in the front. It’s a great idea and the drawings are lovely, although I’m not sure I’d be able to figure all the techniques out if I were a complete beginner.

Then there was this one:

Sewing Tops & T-Shirts by Marcy Tilton

The Easy Guide to Sewing Tops & T-Shirts, by Marcy Tilton (which I did a bang-up job photographing :P). I bought this more because I really like the other couple of books I have in this series than because I was sucked in by the cover or even content. But I do like how these books are set up—to help you take a basic pattern and adjust it and construct it just that bit above and beyond the basic standard instructions.

Cheater Full-Bust Adjustment

It has some interesting tips, including favouring stitching seams with a regular straight stitch (I’m guessing Marcy wears her knits looser than I often do) and the “cheater knit FBA” that I’ve read about online but never seen endorsed in an actual sewing book.

Thrift store fabric

Oops?

I should’ve resisted, because the price, while low, was not great for the length available, which is less than half a metre. But It’s absolutely perfect to make a bunnyhug for Tyo. Except, of course, there wasn’t enough fleece, so I had to go back and hunt down an oversize men’s sweatshirt in black to fill in the other pieces. But I already have the pattern traced out (Jalie 2795), so assuming I get it sewn up with sufficient speed, I won’t feel too guilty for stash-building.

Expensive Book

Closet Monsters

And this would be the maximum-guilt item, because it didn’t come from the thrift store. Rather, we were at the book-store looking for a birthday present and I made the mistake of showing this book to Tyo. Tyo has a big black plastic bag of clothing sitting on her closet floor waiting to head to the thrift store, so she’s over the moon at the prospect of getting to turn it into monsters instead. And it’s a pretty cute book, with charming, wacky creatures. My only dislike is that there are no actual patterns—the book gives you detailed instructions for drawing out the pattern pieces (a lot of which are rectangles) on the clothes you’re de-constructing, but that’s not so helpful if you don’t have the exact same garment they’re deconstructing.

However, it shouldn’t be too hard to improvise—I’m just hoping Tyo can achieve some degree of independence on these projects, since my actual interest in making stuffed monsters is, um, fairly limited.

Ehm. So there it is, the whole shameful, consumeristic list. I did get a bit of pattern tracing done this week, so it’s conceivable that a finished item might make an appearance. I hope so. I’m getting tired of writing “look what I bought” posts, as I’m sure you’re getting bored of reading them.

And thanks, everyone, for your commiserating on my last post. Even if this one is basically an illustration of how I’m entirely my own problem. /sigh.

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Round and round and round she goes…

Brace yourself for a whiny post. I’m resisting, but I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to come out.

I spent a good three or four hours in the sewing room over the weekend, not sewing a single stitch (actually that’s a lie, but anyway).

I was trying to organize my patterns.

Emphasis on trying.

In the last few months my pattern collection has gotten a bit, um, bloated. Bernie’s gift really put it over the top, but seriously, I was in trouble well before that. In particular, I’ve reached the point where I can no longer keep a reasonable mental catalogue of the patterns I have.

Now, in theory I’m prepared for that. I even have a pricey (if somewhat defective) little app on my iPhone for tracking patterns, stash, projects, etc, and I’ve made a half-ass attempt to enter at least the most important patterns into it. I have photos of most of my patterns, somewhere on the computer and somewhere on the blog, so I could potentially make a spreadsheet or database or *something*

The problem is, handy as all that electronic organization might be (and I do much better with electronic organization than with real-life organization), when I’m considering a project, what I really want to do is sit there and dive—through the fabric, of course, but through the patterns, too. Little pictures on a screen (especially a phone-size screen) just aren’t tactile enough. And since I can no longer think “hmm, I’d like to make a dress,” and bring to mind a reasonable list of the dress patterns I have, that means I need to actually sort my physical patterns.

I had started this back in the summer. I got a tall plastic set of drawers for the sewing room, which holds notions in the three top drawers and patterns in the three big bottom drawers. I sorted out the stash of kids’ patterns, too, into a large shoe-box (boot-box, really) and that worked fairly well since when the kids wanted to plan the next project I should make them (eyeroll). But I never made any pretext of sorting the patterns in those three drawers—two held patterns I’d made up, which I generally give a big manilla envelope and, if I’m really organized, print out a photo of the finished project to stick to. This works well because it gives me somewhere to store printed-out patterns, patterns that don’t come with an envelope (like Jalie’s), and holds whatever excess tracings I have, which don’t always fit in the original envelope. But it does take up a lot of space.

So on Saturday, I went through patterns, photographing and adding a whole bunch to my phone app, and beginning the rudiments of sorting. I’m most concerned to sort by type. But I don’t want to lose all my special independent patterns in with the regular ones (currently this is Colette, Sewaholic, and Folkwear. Not sure why I don’t include Jalie in this group…). And then there’s the really old vintage ones (fifties mostly) that I don’t want to get wrecked with too much pawing through. So they need their own place. And I’d really like to keep the jackets and sweaters separate from the other tops. And…

Well, you can see what’s happening. No way are all those categories happening in three drawers (even with dividers), nevermind that the patterns were already overflowing the drawers.

So I co-opted all the shoeboxes I could find, but now I have five shoeboxes kicking around the sewing room floor, which is considerably less than ideal. I can label them, which will help, but they’re still… floating. And in danger of getting stepped on, or buried by fabric.

Which brings me to another issue. The stash is out of control. Or at least, overflowing. I want to sew it down. But the projects in my head keep failing to line up with the fabrics on hand. What is necessary is letting the fabric lead. But how do I pick which fabric? There’s so many luscious and awesome ones to go with. Not to mention all the little bits that I’d like to use up—kids clothes, *something*. I made some of the last remnant of  the Where’s Waldo fabric into another bralette, which was going to be for Tyo but the elastic straps weren’t long enough, so it’s gone to Syo (who’s super happy about it even though I can’t figure out why she would even *want* a bralette), but Tyo still wants one of her own.

And at the crux of it, everything is too messy.

I’m not one of nature’s tidy people. I can generally work just fine surrounded by a complete disaster (and tend to generate such a disaster if one wasn’t present to start with). It’s a constant trial to my husband, whose neat-freak tendencies border on the obsessive. But right now, there isn’t even room to work. Or at least, to work on anything big—hence the bralettes and other mini-projects I’ve been coming out with lately. Add to that the general lack of mental energy to contribute and, well, the situation isn’t quite paralysis, but it’s not far off, either. Can’t clean, too much stuff, it just doesn’t fit in the space. Need to sew it up. Can’t decide what to sew—too much to choose from. Can’t sew anything large—not enough room. Need more room—got to clean up. And round and round I go…

One partial solution would be to buy more organizational stuff—another set of shelves for fabric or drawers for patterns. But with a move on the horizon, I really, really don’t want to add to the furniture in the house, either.

And, just to illustrate the extent of my problem, here’s last week’s thrift store aquisitions (the fabrics and patterns at the local Value Village have recently been reinvigorated after several stagnant months, and I’m relieved to report that the attempt to sell the patterns bagged seems to have lapsed—this last batch were even quite cheap!)

Sweater fabric.

Fabric. I’ve been trying to be good about the thrift store fabrics, only biting when it’s a fabric/colour/quality on “the list”. Both these pieces were. On the left is a very thick sweater-knit with an almost Persian-lamb type texture, in a rich red colour that would be AWESOME… whenever I figure out what kind of a style would work for it.  There’s 2m, so plenty to play with. On the right is a dull purple/grey fleece, also extra-thick. I suspect it will become a housecoat for Syo, although it’s so thick I’m tempted to just get some binding for the edges and call it a blanket.

Patterns

The patterns are rather more whimsical. I couldn’t resist the Kwik Sew men’s dance wear on the left, even though my husband would probably disown me if I actually made him one (I don’t have a plain men’s tee pattern, though, and this one looks fine if you just lengthen it). I also don’t have any little boys to sew suits for, but cmon—a Vogue little boy’s suit, with single and double breasted options? For less than fifty cents—how could I resist?

The 70s tracksuit in the middle falls into that awkward sizing in between Syo and myself. I currently have sweaters, bunnyhugs, and hoodies on the brain, which may explain why I couldn’t just leave it. The late-70s vibe reminds me so much of things I wore as a small child (I was born in 1980, but grew up in hand-me-downs)… which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but, I dunno. I’m feeling nostalgic, I suppose.

Two-toned printing

It’s also uncut and comes in two sizes, each printed in a different colour. Nifty!

Yup, that was whiny. Sorry. Have a great week!

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