Friday, September 23, 2022

Friday Patterns Saguaro Set and Merchant and Mills Bucket Hat


Aloha! I'm back from a glorious week on Kauai and have quite a few projects to catch up on and share with you. I'll quickly work through the following: Friday Pattern Saguaro Set, Friday Pattern Sport Short, Merchant and Mills Bucket Hat, and True Bias Ogden Cami resize. 

But first, here's a link from an old 2014 post--also written after a return from Hawaii. I had made a poorly- fitted version of the Papercut Saiph in a really pretty Hawaiian print. Eight years ago I was just learning and utterly obsessed with sewing, wanting to make absolutely everything. I still love sewing and can think of many ways in which it's enriched my life (body image, pride in ownership and accomplishment, learning new skills, an appreciation for well-made things, rejection of fast fashion ) but after eight years of thinking about and making my own clothes,  I've figured out what I like and want to make and wear ...and that's mostly easy-to-wear loose linen garments. I'm not necessarily looking for sewing challenges these days. I really just want to wear clothes that help me to feel good about myself--confident and comfortable. 

Looking at this old post from 8 years ago also reminds me of how much has changed in the sewing world. The size inclusivity and variety are SO much better now. And to me, Friday Pattern Company seems like they picked up on a lot of the changes that home sewists wanted to see. They offer an extensive size range (up to a 60" bust), gender-inclusive styles, both paper and digital pattern options, and video tutorials on youtube for visual learners. So yay for progress!

I did find that I had to middle-age-ify the pattern a bit with some simple adjustments. I totally don't believe in any of the body or age "rules" about dressing, but I did want to make some adjustments to avoid too much of a crop and a plunging neckline for my own comfort level.  Lengthening the top and raising the neckline were both straightforward adjustments, covered on their website. 

  • Size XXL for both bottom and top
  • Fabric: This GORGEOUS Merchant and Mills Linen. It was a bit pricey but totally worth it as it feels wonderful. (I made a wearable muslin of the top with scraps to work out the fitting first.)
  • Much like the Zadie jumpsuit, this pattern positively affects how I feel about my body. I don't know if it's as simple as the long line of continuous color or making an X shape by highlighting the waist...but I feel super sassy and confident when I wear it.

Friday Pattern Company also has a cute and free (or pay what you like) shorts pattern if you would like to give them a try. I made a pair, along with an Ogden cami, for a matching sleep set.  

  • Size XXL for the shorts. Cute and comfy pattern and a great scrap buster since you can use contrasting bias. 
  • I used a stretchy gauze for the white bias trim, which was a mistake. Next time, I'll make sure to use a stable woven. Also, I don't like bias sewing instructions where you sew in one pass, catching all three layers. I'm going to try a different method on the next go. 
  • The Ogden cami is too large. I sewed up a size 20 in the new curvy block. I'll size down next time to a 16 and do an FBA. As is, though, it's totally fine to sleep in.
Last project: I made a couple of sunhats, using the Free Merchant and Mills bucket hat pattern.

Another free pattern that's also a great scrapbuster--particularly if you have canvas or denim scraps.
  • Size Medium. 
  • The striped version (right side) is made with the wide brim that M&M added later. I found it to be a bit too broad (felt like I was giving Blossom vibes). 
  • The solid-colored version is the regular bucket, BUT I added 1 inch to the brim because I wanted a bit more sun protection. 
  • Constructing the hats was fun--especially sewing in a continuous round for the brim. 

So that's all my pre-vacation sewing projects. Thanks for reading!  Hope you have fun projects planned and you're staying healthy and happy. Aloha!

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Free Pattern Review: Valley Jumpsuit


Hello! I'm on the blog today to share my experience with the Valley Jumpsuit by Peppermint Magazine. I love free patterns, and sharing information about them seems like a nice way to pay it forward. Also, I didn't see a lot of posts about it when I was looking around, particularly by curvy bloggers.  

While I love wearing my Zadie jumpsuits (blogged here), I had started feeling like I was in a bit of a rut and just relying on the same shape which, of course, gets a little boring when you like to make your own clothes. 

So this was my first time sewing a Peppermint Magazine, but now I might just have to try some others. There are some seriously cute ones in the archive. I know there is always the caveat to free patterns, "Be careful. You get what you pay for." But I think that because Peppermint Mag only releases them quarterly AND they hire well-known pattern designers who are putting their name/reputation on the product, the quality is higher.  

With only three pattern pieces (not including a bias strip you will also have to measure and cut),  the Valley Jumpsuit is a fun sew with very little fitting needed.  I already want to make another--this time with snaps. We'll see if it actually happens.

Here are my mods and sizing, etc. 
  • There are two different size ranges: one drafted with a B-cup and one with a D-cup. Obviously, I opted for the second size range. I used my full bust measurement to choose size 51 on top and my hip measurement for a 49 on the bottom.  This resulted in my jumpsuit being too large on top/shoulders. Total rookie mistake.  Next time I'll size down to a 49 for the top. There are almost 12" of ease on the bodice, so plenty of room.
  • I'm not a huge fan of patch pockets, but since there is no side seam I didn't have a choice. I did, however, angle the pockets and moved them up a couple of inches so that I could put my hands in my pockets more naturally. I also added this fun detail--pic below. Instead of top stitching the pocket edge, I interfaced and then hem stitched it with a decorative stitch.  I think it also makes the pocket edge a bit stronger too. 

  • I only had three of the large wooden buttons, so I sewed in a snap halfway between the waistband and the end of the buttons. I was considering smaller buttons, but then my mind flashed to all those times I've rushed home to get to the bathroom. Bathrooms and jumpsuits require a little pre-planning and consideration. 
  • Straightened the leg a bit so it didn't taper in too much. For some reason, that gave me more of a pajama feel. 
  • Shortened legs 2" at mid leg and another 3" at the bottom. Shortened the sleeve 1". 
  • Substituted 2" elastic since it's all I had on hand, which shortened the bodice but not enough.  It's still a little too blousey compared to the model's finished version, but I dont' mind since I tend to like my clothes loose and a bit oversized. 
  • Fabric is Robert Kaufman Brussels linen blended with rayon. I chose this mainly because I was trying a new pattern/shape and didn't want to break the bank. But it's actually a good choice for this pattern, I think, because of the drape. 
  • This was such an easy, quick pattern. It probably took more time to assemble the pdf pattern than to cut and sew it together. 

So that's all I can think of to say about this pattern. I think it's cute and just might make it again. Thanks for reading and have a good week!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Ice Dyed Agnes PJs: My French Garden


Well, hello! I wonder if anyone will read this...

Like most folks, I tend to spend more time on Instagram these days, but I do miss the old sewing/blogging days sometimes. It provided a connection/interaction that I don't really find that Instagram encourages, and it was less about being marketed/sold to all the time. Also, maybe because with a blog post I'm not checking for "likes" the way one does with a post, I think it sort of negatively affects the way I feel. Like not in a huge way, but it's something internal that I've noted and try to be mindful of--something that I never noticed with blogging. Anyway, hope that all makes sense. On to the project!

Tara of Paper Theory always designs so thoughtfully, and the Agnes PJs are no exception. Because of the grown-on/bat wing style sleeve and the single seam pajama legs, you're dealing with just a few large pattern pieces. I think this encourages surface design play--dying like I've done here, but you could also silk screen or stamp with a carved potato or foam, try a resist technique like batik, or make something personalized digitally and have printed via Spoonflower or something similar. I also like how you have as few seams as possible for maximum comfort, but it also makes for a quick and easy sew which is perfect for pjs! Just a very clever pattern all around. 

If you can't tell already, I loved everything about this project. It's always so great when the thing you've been imagining turns out even better than expected. :) While I was making my first set--an adorable tiger R. Kaufman print for 2022: Year of the Tiger (pic below)--I already knew I wanted to try ice dying for the second set

So, yeah, I was already planning my second pair while finishing up my first pair, a sign of a good pattern! But pjs require a lot of fabric. I didn't want to buy five yards of new fabric and had already been eyeing an old pale green set of sheets that had a couple of stains on the fitted part for some possible surface design play. 

I don't necessarily do this consciously, but there is a rhythm to my sewing where I alternate between projects with new fabric and some kind of scrap busting or patchwork. It just seems to provide some balance for me while also keeping my scrap bins from overflowing. 

The ice-dying part could not have been simpler. I found a book at the library called, Hand Dyed: A Modern Guide to Dyeing in Brilliant Color for You and Your Home, by Anna Joyce, and used that as my reference...but there's really not much to it. Soak your fabric in soda ash and then wring it out; twist, clump, fold, crease, clip (whatever you want to make a random or nonrandom pattern); top with ice and sprinkle with dye. That's it. I've also seen videos where dye is sprinkled before and after the ice which makes for a cool, layered effect. 

I was pretty heavy-handed with the dye, sprinkling generous tablespoons at a time. I used blue and green only, and the fabric was a very pale green. In some of the pics below, you may notice a lavender color. That's magenta released from the blue dye when it sits and pools.

I love lounging around in these with a cup of tea and think of them as my Sunday Morning French Garden PJs. :) Just a few notes:
  • Size 22, although next time I'll size down at least one, maybe two. Paper Theory is known for lots of ease, and my pre/during/post pandemic plus menopausal weight fluctuations puts me all over the map. But, overall, a bit too large which isn't so bad when you're lounging. 
  • Shortened legs 2.5" at the designated line
  • Shortened bodice and facing .75" at the designated line. 
  • Shortened sleeve 1" (no designated line).
Not much else to say. It's an awesome pattern, and it was a lot of fun to make. Be well. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

2021 Review: Top Nine


Hello! Is it too late to say Happy New Year? If it is, it's probably also too late for a year-end review but what the hell. I haven't felt much like blogging, so I might as well seize the moment while I'm in the mood. Besides, I like to keep a record of my makes to look back on, track progress, etc. It's nice to take some time to review projects that occupied so much of my time and thoughts instead of constantly looking to what's new on the horizon. 

So instead of following Gillian's Top Five this year for hits and misses (She did advise folks to make it their own. ;), I chose my favorite nine projects, which included pottery this year. Why not? I still love to sew my clothes, but my wardrobe is already where I want it to be. These days, I'm more interested in quilting up all the scraps from years of sewing and playing with clay. 

First up, is a quilted pillow I made from linen scraps. I LOVE how it turned out. The linen is Stonemountain's Nevada linen in a shade of brown called nutmeg. I modified a quilt pattern from the book Simple Geometric Quilting,  by Laura Preston, which is a book I've recommended on this blog before. It's not an affiliate link or anything--I just think it's a great basic quilting book that provides a lot of the building blocks to design your own quilts. 

I've made a few of these coil-built, carved bowls. There is something about the size and round shape that feels so nice in the hand. I experiment a lot with different surface designs on other pieces, but these carved bowls are just how I want them to be. They make great gifts, too. 

I never got around to blogging these Agnes PJs, by Paper Theory. It's a really lovely pattern, simple but thoughtfully designed. The pants are one piece so there's no outer side seam--i.e., maximum comfort if you're a sidesleeper. Similarly, the top has grown-on/batwing sleeves. I would love to get creative with an old set of sheets--shibori or ice dye, or maybe avocado pits--for my next set. The fabric is quilting cotton, Robert Kaufman I think, that I specifically bought to make these. 

I almost never like how my underglaze pieces turn out. This one completely surpassed my expectations.  I've been trying to recreate the moment ever since but haven't been successful. 

This is Ike; his job is to hold salt. One of my top 2021 experiences was a clay class that focused on making jars. I learned all about flanges and gallery lids.  See those two dots.  They're there so the user can quickly fit the lid on when a jar isn't perfectly symmetrical like this pinched pot. This is something that goes back to ancient pottery and was on some of the inspiration slides the instructor provided. I just love simple design features like that. 

Not a completed project...but a completed quilt top based on a really beautiful area near Point Reyes called Inverness. We had a short getaway for my birthday and stayed right on the water. The design is something I worked on over a few weekends, sketching, tweaking, changing my design based on what I had on hand fabric-wise. I hope to finish this year and describe the whole process. 

This is one of those projects where I was like, "That was this year?!" Not sure if that's because of how our sense of time has gotten weird due to the pandemic, or if it's because it's such a part of my daily life. I wear it ALL the time. For more details and pics, here's the post

Another coil-built bowl. I ended up giving this one to a good friend. 

Yay, last project! Again, that was 2021? I've really gotten into pattern mixing and patchwork these days. This one even made it to the blog

So those are my favorite projects for 2021. Thank you for following along! My hopes for 2022 are much the same as last year--peace and good health. Hopefully, more travel this year. I don't have any sewing goals--other than to finish all my quilt projects. Thanks again for letting me share and have a safe, happy, healthy 2022!

Monday, September 27, 2021

Papercut Pinnacle Sweatshirt: Curve Edition


Hello, Lovely People! For many of us, it's sweatshirt season. Woohoo! Actually, it was the foggiest of foggy summers for me, so really it's always been sweatshirt weather, but now we're venturing into pumpkin spice season and cozy days ahead. In case I haven't made it obvious, I absolutely love this time of year. The light is beautiful; the days become breezy and a little crisp. I always try to savor this time before the holiday craziness begins. 

Okay,  back to it. I'm here to post about the Papercut Pinnacle Top. They've recently released a separate Curve size range (Yay!) and it's available in PAPER, not just PDF.  Papercut Patterns remind me a bit of luxury makeup or perfume. Like, I feel like I sort of get taken in by the pretty packaging, but many of the patterns are pretty basic and the instructions are kind of sparse.  

Overall, though, I really like my sweatshirt but it's VERY oversized and the sleeve cuffs are weirdly wide. More on that in a bit. 

So let's start with the elephant in the room: that meeting point for the upper and lower triangles is difficult and I didn't execute it perfectly. I really tried--even used fusible bias on the edges so it didn't stretch out--but it still ended up puckering a bit. I kept picking and clipping and resewing but I finally had to leave it alone before I ended up making it worse. This is thick French terry, like a towel, so I readjusted my expectations. C'est la vie.

I actually don't mind how much it's oversized, but if you like your garments to be fit more closely, I would recommend sizing down. There are about 12 inches of ease here, which is a lot. Papercut patterns always seem to run big, IMO.  

The bigger problem is those crazy cuffs, (see below) and I have no idea what happened because I don't have inordinately small wrists. I think I could easily fix it by tapering in the underside/batwing a bit, followed by an additional adjustment to the cuff. 

Here are my adjustments and additional notes:
  • Size 9 from the Curve range, which is based on a D cup (sewing cup, not bra size). 
  • I am in LOVE with this fabric from Stonemountain in Berkeley: Organic Tencel Terry. Would love to buy some more either in black or again in olive for a pair of wide-legged cropped sweat pants. It has great drape but still has that wonderfully spongey sweatshirt feel with just the right amount of stretch--20% on the grain. 
  • I shortened the sleeves by 1.25", which is standard for me, but made sure to shorten it in the middle so it wouldn't affect the width of the sleeve hem. 
  • I shortened the width of the cuff by 1" b/c it seemed a little too long in the PPC model photos. 
  • The pattern is designed for both knits and wovens but I don't recall being instructed to size down for knits. Maybe that's the issue. ETA: I've had some time to think and to wear and wash my sweatshirt, and I think I know the issue. I think I steamed it too much during assembly. I just love my steam. That's why I love sewing with linen so much. :)  The good news is that it snapped back after a wash/dry and now it's the right amount of ease for me. I love wearing it so much. It's cozy to put on at the end of the day or after a bath.  And, yes, I've already spilled food on it.  :))
The more I look at these pics, the more I think I'll bring the sides in a little. The pattern doesn't have shoulder seams, so it's really just one seam on either side which hopefully makes a difference. Either way, it's super cozy and I'll wear it a lot--particularly since I'm still working from home. 

So that's all for me. I'm currently working on a quilt right now AND I've just joined a pottery studio. Lots of exciting making ahead. :) Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 10, 2021

Cris Wood Sews Parasol Top/ Sew House Seven Free Range Slacks


Hello! I hope this post finds you well wherever you might be in the world. I haven't done a lot of garment sewing lately--mainly quilting and pottery these days--but I wanted to be sure to log my experience with the Cris Wood Sews Parasol top. It's such an interesting pattern. I'll also leave my fitting notes for the Sew House Seven Freerange Slacks since I will most definitely be making them again. 

As I mentioned in my previous post about the CCP Elodie wrap dress, I'm not able to print pdf patterns at work any longer since I'm working from home. As a result, I'm only purchasing paper patterns these days. I've also decided to only purchase from pattern designers who include their extended size range within the paper pattern option (see my rant from my last post), which will sadly exclude CCP  from my future purchases. There are SO many other pattern designers out there who accommodate all size ranges and don't offer fewer options to one group. I'd rather give those folks my money. 

This seems like a good segue to start talking about Cris Wood Sews because this is a no print/ no paper pattern. That's right, no paper pieces to cut out! Instead, you plug your measurements into a simple mathematical formula and cut out a series of rectangles based on this. 

So here I am posing in front of a mural like a good little sewing blogger. Honestly, I don't love it. I had a feeling that this pattern wouldn't work for me, but the idea was just so compelling. I had to try it! And I don't regret the effort. I needed a warm-weather top, and I love the fabric. It will be good for those rare beachy vacations as a cover-up--or it might find its way into one of my quilting projects. We'll see.

By the way, I've seen gorgeous versions of this pattern on plus-size/curvy sewists, so I don't think my size is the issue. I think there are a couple of factors: 1.)  I sewed the neckline too high when I was making adjustments because I was trying to avoid a plunging neckline. But I think this and other adjustments messed up the proportions of the design. Fortunately, though, the neckline is an easy fix. 2.) This style leans more billowy caftan-esqe, even as a top, and, as much as I love caftans on others,  I've never been able to pull off the look myself. 

So even though I'm not likely to make this again, here are my adjustments/details. Note: Since this is a no- pattern-pattern--more of a set of instructions--I'm going to try to be careful how I explain the adjustments so I respect the designer's intellectual property. 

  • Fabric Usage: It's hard to gauge how much fabric you will need. There are a couple of examples in the pattern, so that helps a bit. I used 2 yards of an Indian block print. I think it was pretty narrow--around 43 inches wide--so I did a lot of creative cutting and played with stripe direction. (BTW, the fabric is a wonderful, light, papery cotton voile from Stonemountain, ideal to wear on hot days and perfect for projects with pleats or gathers. )
  • Number 1 piece of advice: Do try it on BEFORE sewing down your neck facing. Save yourself some unpicking. 
  • Step 3: Instructions have you sew 3 inches which, without giving too much away, affects the neckline. I doubled that amount to 6 inches. Will decrease to four inches if I ever make this again. 
  • Straps: I moved the straps 1 inch towards the back in order to have a little more fabric in the front. This might have messed things up...
  • Step 5a:  Much of my bra was visible from the side when I held my arms straight out, so I increased the amount I sewed for the side seams by one inch.
  • I'm confused about...where the gathers are supposed to hit me at the bust. From other versions, it looks like the gathers should hit at the high bust, which is why they tip up a bit as an intentional design element. And maybe that's where I went wrong in my adjustments--i.e., working against part of the design to give myself more room in the bust. 
So that's my Parasol top. Not a winner but not the end of the world either. For the Freerange slacks, I know my above photo doesn't give you the best idea, but this is a fabulous pattern. Below is a poor-quality mirror selfie that at least shows the waistband.

Here are my notes:
  • Fabric: 2 yards of really wonderful Laundered Linen in Nutmeg from Stonemountain. I love this lightweight linen so much and the color is such a beautiful warm brown. I used leftover scraps (I had 2.5 yards to start) for quilting a pillow cover. 
  • Size: 20 based on waist size-- the largest of the original size range
  • Favorite Element: No fusible interfacing and a foldover waistband, like the Pietra pants, which makes for a long, fluid line.
  • Short person adjustments:  Shortened 2 inches at lower leg/1 inch at upper rise. Shortened pocket  piece 2 inches. This is important because otherwise, the tips of my fingers can't quite reach the bottom. Makes pulling small things like change or lipstick out of my pocket a real bitch. 
  • Hem: I didn't opt for a cuffed leg. Part of the thrill of sewing my own clothes is not having to roll up my pants any longer. Instead, I folded up a 1/2 inch, then one more half inch. 
I love the Freerange slacks so much and, from the looks of Instagram, so do a lot of other people. It's a deceptively simple pattern that looks like just another pair of elastic waist pants, but there's some Sew House Seven magic in the proportions and drafting. 

So that's it for my latest sewing deets. I hope to have more projects to share soon! Be well.  

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

CCP Elodie Hack


Hello! Hope you're well.  I'm dusting off the old blog to write a few words about my experience with the Elodie Wrap Dress by Closet Core Patterns. I had to make a number of changes along the way, so you may not recognize the pattern on my dress form as the popular Elodie. 

First, I should quickly say that my pictures are utter crap--even worse than my usual toilet selfies. I almost didn't blog because they're so terrible, but I have SO much to say, and some of it may even be useful. I anticipate wearing this dress over the summer, so maybe I can follow up with better pictures at some point. 

I'm not much of a dress person--more into separates. But I bought the Elodie pattern because I had a wedding (finally!) to attend, and it seemed like a  good wedding/occasion-type dress. I wanted to try the extended sizing that is drafted with a D cup block (sewing D cup, not bra size). 

To begin, a short rant: The extended size is pdf-only, which is super annoying now that I work from home and don't have access to a high-speed printer. It feels a bit like being penalized for wearing a larger size. Yes, I know larger sizes mean printing more paper/larger pieces, but I can't believe the extra cost couldn't be absorbed some other way. I ended up using a printing service called PDF Plotting which is a really great service (fast, easy, copies arrive rolled up in sturdy cardboard packaging), but between the minimum order and shipping it cost an extra $25! At this point, I should add that Cashmerette came out with a woven wrap dress pattern about a week after my printed pattern arrived. The whole thing felt like such a money pit that I didn't want to spend any more on patterns.

So let's talk about pattern hacks. The Elodie dress, particularly the midi-version is a really lovely, feminine, flowy pattern. It's also a total fabric hog. I can usually squeeze a garment out of much less than what the pattern calls for (being short helps) but the skirt has a very wide almost bell shape that makes it tough. I had 3 yards of the lovely rayon fabric pictured below earmarked for a dress but had second thoughts at the last minute. Because of the drape, I could only see this in the long sleeve midi version which requires at least five yards. And with the directional pattern, I knew I couldn't cut in different directions like I can for a solid color. 

So I ended up using 3 yards of navy blue Elizabeth Susann linen from my stash. I made the short sleeve version and changed the skirt ENTIRELY. Since I couldn't fit the large skirt pieces, I changed direction by making a gathered dirndle skirt. I lucked out and found an absolutely stunning Paper Theory Zadie dress hack on the blog Belle Citadel. I think you could apply this hack to just about any pattern. Here's what I did: Cut four rectangles by measuring each bodice panel, subtracting the pleats, and adding 75% to the width. You end up with just the right amount of gathers!

At the end of the day, I could have saved myself some money and stuck with the Zadie hack to start. Except....I think the Elodie bodice fits better. More to follow on that. 

 I know, I know. The above pic is absolute crap. Not even focused, and the angle makes it look a little longer than it really is. I zoned out when cutting the rectangles and ended cutting them 3 inches too short. The length was perfect for me--barely below my knee--so I used my final bit of fabric to piece together a 3.5-inch wide strip of fabric to make a nice deep hem facing that ended up giving the skirt some structure and a little extra swish. I love it. 

I've covered most everything, but here are some final details before I forget:

  • Size 24. I muslined the size 20 bodice, removing 3/4 inch from the bodice length and found it too small, so I went up 2 sizes without shortening the length. I probably could have just gone up one size, but I was comfortable with the extra ease. It ended up hitting me right at the very top of the center front of my bra, so I made sure to wear a pretty bra. :) 
  • There was a very minimal amount of gaping, which I didn't worry about too much. Like I said, wear a pretty bra.  
  • With the angled wrap front, his is not the time to skip staystitching or understitching. It's a fun, easy sew--best to enjoy the process of making a quality garment that you'll enjoy wearing.
  • I like the bust pleats underneath for an extra bit of shaping.  Wasn't sure if I would.
  • I cut regular thin waist ties to conserve fabric. The pattern has ties that widen at the ends to make a pretty bow.
  • The front wraps overlap enough that there's no danger of feeling exposed. 
So that's all I can think of. Overall, I think I like this hacked version better with the gathered skirt balancing the top and bottom of my proportions. And in navy linen, it will weather beautifully and make a nice casual dress for warm days. 

Finally, just want to say how WONDERFUL it was to see my dear friend finally be able to celebrate the way she intended--surrounded by friends and family, with hours of dancing, laughing, and hugging. It was so good to see old friends and share a moment of joy after the past year and a half. Here's to more days spent with loved ones. and much more hugging! Cheers!