Monday, January 14, 2013

The Perfect Wallet: DIY Fabric Wallet

Just a quick note, if you make this wallet for yourself, or someone else, I'd love to see it! I'm going to add a collection of all other wallets made with this tutorial at the bottom of the post! If you don't have a blog, just send me a picture, link to contact me in left sidebar <---

I've been on a quest to find the perfect wallet for quite some time now, and I think I might have found it!! Of course, I had to make it myself, but that just makes it all that more special ;)

DIY fabric wallet 6 card slots, coin pocket, bill slot, receipt slot


I've only tried a few wallets in my lifetime, and they've all come with their faults. The one I had for the longest time was one I got from my parents from their trip to Italy. It was very nice and sturdy, made of orange leather, but the configuration was very problematic. I could not access both my bills and my coins at the same time.

DIY fabric wallet

Here in Canada we have the looney and twoney which are coins, unlike the 1 and 2 dollar bills in the US, so there's a lot more coins to handle. I had to close the flaps of the wallet, flip it around, and unzip the coin compartment every time I wanted coins, and then had to put my coins in, zip up the pocket, flip the wallet open to put the bills in their place. Let's just say sometimes I was trying to go too fast and the coins fell on the ground cuz I didn't zip it up.

What I wanted was a wallet that I would have easy access to both the compartments at once, side by side. Those are not that easy to find, and much less at an affordable price! The ones I did find had other useless to me compartments.

DIY fabric wallet 6 card slots, coin pocket, bill slot, receipt slot

So I set out to make my own. I looked at many wallets in the store, and searched for some nice tutorials online. I found this tutorial at All Wrapped Up (CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL TUTORIAL) and thought it was pretty nice, but I wasn't completely sure it would be the best wallet. But since I am a beginner sewer, I thought it would be wisest of me to follow a pattern/tutorial for my first wallet, instead of winging it. So that's what I did.

DIY fabric wallet 6 card slots, coin pocket, bill slot, receipt slot

Here are the supplies I used, and the cost breakdown:
~ 3 fat quarters, 2$ each at Wal-Mart; you'll only need all of the one for the card slots, the other 2 FQ will have half leftover so you could use 1/8ths if you have some
~ 7" zipper, 1.35$, FabricVille
~ Button, 2.50$ for 2 so 1 for 1.25$, FabricVille
~ Interface, 1$ for 1m, Fabricland
~ Coordinating thread, 3.50$, FabricVille
~ Hair elastic, 1$ for a pack of 20, dollar store (Note: Do not buy cheap hair elastics!! I really regret this decision as it's kinda disintegrating now. I highly recommend Goody brand hair elastics, they hold their shape and elasticness very well, unlike the cheapo ones, which I did try to use in my hair and they just broke within a couple of uses)
Total: ~12$




All in all it took me 6 hours to make: cutting the fabric, pinning in place, folding the slots, repinning better, basting interface, sewing pieces together, figuring out how to put the zipper foot on, ripping the zipper cuz it was too much to one side, resewing the elastic cuz I sewed it on wrong, trying to get the interface to not bubble, trying to figure out how exactly you sew the last edge closed, etc. Basically, I lost a lot of time figure it all out. A more experienced sewer, with a rotary cutter, might whip this out in 3-4 hours I'd say.

DIY fabric wallet

I did do a few modifications, though, to better suit my needs. The first was to change the snap closure for a button/elastic closure, and adding a little flap. I didn't like the idea of the open end, nor did I want to figure out the snap closure.

For the flap, I added 5cm to the wallet (so the pieces would be 27cm x 20cm instead of 22x20). I would recommend going to 30-32cm even (so 32cm x 20cm), and I'll show you why later. The added part is the exposed pink on the right. I then measured 2cm from the edge, found the center of the width (or length of the wallet) and drew a line from the edge to the middle to have a triangular flap and not a square one. The picture shows it better.


While sewing the triangular flap, I inserted the elastic right at the tip, half on the inside, half on the outside, and back-stitched over it a few times, making sure the needle went through the elastic.



I snipped the elastic that would be on the inside while turning it inside out.



You'll want to sew the button on right before the very last step, which is to sew the last edge close. Make sure you sew it on real nice because it would be a pain to have to go back inside to sew it back in place if it ever falls off.

I think the button and elastic add a little flair to the wallet, don't you?



The second change, very minor, was to add an extra layer to the zipper pocket so that when you looked inside you wouldn't see the interface there (the pink side of the inner pocket below; cut 2 pieces of the pocket piece instead of 1). I just sewed an other pink layer on top of the interface before sewing the zipper.


I can't remember exactly how I managed for that seam at the bottom of the pocket to be inside out, but I did... So just think ahead when you sew this thing together!

Which btw was the first time I sewed a zipper! Sure it took me 15 minutes to figure out how to change the zipper foot (which takes all of 5 seconds when you know it!), but once that was done sewing a zipper is super easy! In hindsight, I should've sewed on the extra layer like you would sew a lining, but I didn't know better this time, so you see the raw edge.





The rest I followed the instructions from the original tutorial. I love my wallet! I am so glad I decided to finally tackle this project!



Oh, and instead of the patchwork strip, I just added a solid strip on the back. The main fabric of the wallet was busy enough, but I did want to add an extra little touch.



All in all, I think this wallet is pretty awesome.





There's plenty of space for all your cards: 6 slots that can fit 3 cards each (not that I have that many). I don't know if you'd be able to put 3 cards in every slot, though I wonder if anyone really has that many cards (6x3=18 cards, that's a whole lot of cards!).


3 cards in one slot isn't even that snug!

There's 2 big slots, one I use for bills and the other for receipts.



The bill slot I got right next to the coin pocket.



Now, the actual coin pocket is very roomy, maybe too much so, cuz my coins get lost in the corners which are a little harder to access, as you can see in the picture below. If I would've known this I would've done a seam across the corners, so the pocket would be kinda funnel like and wouldn't get anything stuck in the corners.



The one big(ish) problem I do have with the wallet is with its construction. As I mentioned, I'm a beginner sewer, though I do think I did very well thank you very much. And the problem mostly lies with the supplies I had, more specifically the interfacing. I could not find iron on interface (though I did not look super hard, but I didn't have much options anyway...) so I used sew in interface. Again, my first time using interface. The interface and the fabric did not become one and made a sort of bubble (right in the crease when it's folded open).

ETA: I would recommend going with a heavy to heavy-medium interfacing. I believe I only used medium, or maybe even light, with cotton fabric, and the wallet does not hold it's shape that well. Usually wallets are made with heavy/thick fabric anyway, which I realize now really helps with keeping the shape and being able to unzip the zipper easily. Just make sure to get a needle that is able to pierce through all the layers. And also change for a new needle!



I didn't think it would cause problems, but I think that's why the end product is a little wonky and bubbly. Not a huge deal, but does not look professionally made. It's just for myself, so it doesn't matter so much, but just so you are aware if you attempt to make it.

It's a pretty big wallet, to be honest, but it packs a lot of features, too. It gets pretty bulky once it's all sewed together and filled up. If I could've foreseen this, I could've made the flap a bit longer, as mentioned previously, because the corners of the flap flip up, if you can see from the picture below. But I'm still happy with the triangular shape I made instead of a simple square.



I've been using it for 3-4 months now and can say I really like it. I realize now that no matter which wallet I have, I will always hold the line at the cash register as I put things back in their spot and grab my bags. At least my coins never fall on the ground anymore, even if I forget to zip the pouch, and it's easy to take out my receipts while leaving the bills inside since they have their own compartment.

ETA: I've now been using it for over a year, and I still love it. BUT I added some notes throughout for more changes I would make and recommend. If you missed them they are:
1) A good hair elastic! Cheapo dollar store ones will loose their elasticity very quickly and make breaks in the elastics that are just not pretty.
2) Use heavy or medium-heavy interface, it will keep the shape better and be easier to unzip.
3)When doing the card slots, do test with actual cards. Mine are quite loose, and the cards don't stay in their slot, I constantly have to push them back down to access the ones on top. While it is great that I can fit 3 cards in one slot, it's just good to know that too loose is not good either. I'm not afraid of losing any cards, though, as the flap I added ensures that none can slip out.




I just want to end with this. If there's a sewing project you'd like to do, but are intimidated because you're a beginner, give it a try anyway. This was my 4th ever sewing project. Two of the previous ones can be seen on this blog, and the 3rd is hemming pants (yes, I count that as a project, I did 5 in 2 days ;) ). Sure my wallet might not be perfect, but that's what learning is all about. Plus, no matter how wonky it is, you'll still love your finished project, because YOU made it! So just give it a try!

Are you also picky when it comes to choosing a wallet? Have you ever considered making your own?

Here are other who have been making this wallet:

Jen @ Lea and Lars




If you enjoyed this post, consider following: RSS Feed, Facebook, email, or Pinterest. There's also the Project Gallery, recently revamped, for your viewing pleasure :)

I party at these parties.

68 comments:

  1. You are AMAZING Gen!!!! WOW!!!!!!

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality!

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  3. What a beautiful wallet!! TFS!! Stopping by From Dream to Reality linky party and your newest follower.

    Here is what I shared this week: http://craftybrooklynarmywife.blogspot.ca/2013/01/fun-fur-boa-scarf.html

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  4. LOVE THIS! The colors are beautiful. Great job!

    Your newest follower,
    Danielle
    SewMuchCrafting.com

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  5. Fabulous! I can't wait to make one of my own. The fabric choices are brilliant. Fantastic job.

    New follower!
    www.huckleberrylove.com

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  6. I have never considered making my own wallet until I saw this. How perfect and it is the cutest fabric. I am inspired. I have pinned this to make in the upcoming week. Thank you.

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  7. I have been sewing for 20 years, of & on & I've made a lot of wallets. I think you did a beautiful job! I love the color combo too.

    Rachelle S.
    www.stitchesbyrachelle.blogspot.com

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  8. Fabulous work, Gen!!! Love all details of this perfect wallet! Thanks so much for sharing! Would love to have you visit me sometime.
    Have a fabulous day!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft
    www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

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  9. Your wallet is brilliant and I love the fabrics that you used. Well done!

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  10. For a beginner sewer, you did a really good job! Well done! It looks great, and I love the colours and patterns. As a fellow (albeit displaced) Canadian, I share your pain on the coin front--if they make the $5 into a coin, just imagine how heavy and awkward our wallets will be! :-)

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  11. This wallet is seriously amazing! I love it - it has all the necessary pockets and is made from a beautiful fabric to boot! Fabulous! I am off to check out the tutorial now! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Love the wallet and the colors. You've done a spectacular job!

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  13. Hi Gen,

    Thanks for the lovely comment on my blog. I'm glad you were able to follow the wallet tutorial as even I find it confusing, being one of the first I made I've had to go back and change a lot of things, it's probably time to redo the whole thing but you've done an amazing breakdown of the things I would fix and change. I love the fabric choices and I'm glad you were able to adapt the wallet to suit your needs, it's half the fun of making your own stuff. I'll be adding a link to your version of the tutorial soon! Very jealous of the gorgeous fabric it looks much better than mine. And I also hold up grocery queues lol.

    Happy crafting,
    Mel

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  14. This is great!! Thanks for sharing! I'm totally pinning this!

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  15. Well done, you would never know you are a beginner, it looks fab! Love the fabric choices too :-)

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  16. I think I have similar issues with wallets. I want lots of card pockets. I need a place to put receipts, and like you, I want to be able to get to coins and bills at the same time without flipping thing.

    Iron on interfacing is actually not hard to find. It, like the sew in kind, comes in various weights. If you will be doing a lot of craft sewing it would be worth it to buy the right weighs when you find them in one and two yard cuts until you decide what you like. Then you buy 5 yard cuts so you don't have to go to the store every time you make something.

    You did a very good job, by the way. You will do a better job the next time, but that is the way everything works out.

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  17. You are a brilliant young lady. I have been sewing for 42 years. (I'm 52 years old) sewing has always served me well. You are gonna do amazing things. You have great attention to detail and sew very precisely. Best wishes to you!!

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  18. Nice job! It turned out very cute. I love this idea and your pattern because I travel internationally, and many countries (a) do not have bills the same size as ours in the US, and (b) you end up carrying A LOT more bills at a time (paying a grocery bill in stacks of bills that probably equalled 40 or 50 total). Anyway, thanks again.

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  19. I love your wallet. it looks great!!

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  20. Sweet wallet! The colors your chose are so fun! I'd love to pin this for inspiration on my Sewing Board!

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  21. Oh well done, great job, I will check out her tutorial. We have $1 &$2 coins here as well. End up looking like you have no money and there is $20 sitting in your wallet :)

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  22. Hi Gen,I'm your newest follower and would love for you to follow mine too! :)
    Have a nice day!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft
    www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

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  23. I think I found my next 'for me' project! My pleather wallet was the exact layout as this but is Fallin apart so I am in need of an upgrade! Was thinking I'd resort to just a zippered clutch with no inside pockets but this just made it onto the list instead! :) great job! I'll link back when I get around to doing it! :)

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  24. Congrats!!
    You have been featured at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality!! Come on over and grab your featured button, you deserve it :)
    http://thediydreamer.com/from-dream-to-reality/from-dream-to-reality-linky-party-51/

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  25. Great tutorial with great pictures! Your wallet turned out gorgeous! I just started a brand new link party, and I'd love for you to share this project with my readers!! The party's at http://snappeeturtle.com/show-off-your-shell-link-party-1/

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  26. I think you did an awesome job. I can't believe you are a beginner ;)
    I know how to sew, but I don't enjoy it. I'm a paper kind of gal.

    Glad to follow you!

    Roxana

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  27. So cute! Love it, I will be checking out the original tutorial and keeping yours to refer to!

    http://christinadesignsart.wordpress.com/

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  28. You have some mad sewing skills. I am impressed. Your wallet is so adorable and custom so it fits all your needs. Really great job.

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  29. I think you did an amazing job for a beginner sewer!! I love the idea of the hair elastic loop. They come in so many colours to go with any fabric you choose. I also think the idea of sewing the corners of the coin area is an excellent idea. GREAT JOB and good luck with your future projects. If you ever need help I'd be more than happy to lend my expertise. I've been sewing for over 40 years now and I'm still not tired of it. : ))

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  30. You did a great job sewing this wallet!! I love your modifications also. Your sewing lines are so perfectly straight!! Nice!!! I've been sewing for many years and still cannot sew a straight line :(

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  31. I just made one:)Not exactly the same but i used Yours as a guideline. Great:) Thanks:)

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  32. Love the colour you pick to make wallet, you have amazing skill. I wish I can sew.

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  33. Your 4th sewing project? WOW, it's amazing. I have been sewing for a while but was a bit scared to attempt this. I HAVE to now.

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  34. I LOVE this wallet. I would like to make one for myself. Where would I find the instructions for this project?

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  35. Thanks for posting about your modifications! I used them when making my wallet!
    http://www.leaandlars.blogspot.com/2013/03/my-sidekick-tote-and-accessories.html

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  36. I just love your wallet. I can't believe that you are a beginning sewer. I have made wallets before and they are not easy.

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  37. I'm rather impressed by your finished wallet Gen! You have also given a very good, and constructive critique to your end product. I'm not a beginner, but by no means advanced either - but I found many of our suggestions (like tapering the inside of the coin pocket)to be pretty downright brilliant! I'd not have thought of that, and I think it's a very valid point. Nice end product, very good review and a lot of good tips! Thanks for the blog post!
    The Very Fat Quarter

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  38. Love it, I will totally try this! I am also very picky not just with wallets but with my purses too.

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  39. Do you have a purse tutorial or pattern you would recommend?

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  40. I love this! I'm going to have a go at making my own wallet and your tutorial is the best place to start :) Thank you so much for sharing!

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  41. My quest for the perfect wallet has ended...thank you so much for sharing this.

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  42. This tutorial is exactly what I have been looking for. I have linked to you on my blog because when I pinned this on pinterest I have 274 repins in a day - so I am not alone in thinking it is a great pattern!
    http://alittlebirdmademe.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/list-of-30-free-bag-tutorials-and-patterns/

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  43. I love your version of the wallet with the flap! I had been looking for the perfect wallet and am so glad I found yours on Pinterest. Using inspiration from your version and the original tutorial I created my own! http://stitchafterstitch88.blogspot.com/2013/06/remnant-tri-fold-wallet.html

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  44. Thank you so much for sharing these modifications, I love your wallet. I've just finished mine: http://creativechaosart.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/camper-van-wallet.html
    Thanks! Helen x

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  45. eek! I am absolutely in love :) buuuut... I am one lady with ALOT of cards! Being a beginner sewist also I am weary of creating from scratch so I am adding some features and alterations while still using you as inspiration, and learning from your experience. Thank you for sharing and I hope to report back with my finished project soon! :)

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  46. Es genial, it's graet.
    como puedo conseguir uno. How can I buy one??
    thansks

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  47. This is very clever, amazing considering your so new to sewing! I have been sewing wedding dresses and dance costumes for years so you have given me the confidence to have a go. I love your colours too.
    And thank you for sharing :-)
    http://astronomygirldesigns.weebly.com/

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  48. awww que dibina me hare una claro que si espero que me quede igual de linda :)

    Awesome, I'll try to make one and, I hope have the amazing result :) greetings and thanks for share ☺♥

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  49. What kind of interfacing should I use?

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  50. This is great! I hope you will add it to our Bag Brag Tuesday linking party! :)
    http://blog.chriswdesigns.com/linking-parties/

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  51. Very creative...I love the colors
    http://pursesandmore.net/

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  52. A wonderful wallet. Think I will have a go at one myself. Thank you for sharing.

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  53. You have the best choice in color, Gen. I love this colorful voguish DIY wallet. I will be grateful if you share complete tutorial with your readers. Thanks!
    tory burch wallet

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  54. You did a beautiful job! If you are looking for a good stiff interfacing, I have used an iron-on for making bags, called Fuse a shade which is 48" wide. I bought an entire bolt of it to make shades in my home, but found lots of other uses for it. Just a yard or 2 will make lots of wallets considering the width.

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  55. I think that you did a great job for a beginner. I am a beginner sewer as well so I am going to try this out and see. If it doesn't work then I always have my mom who can sew it for me.

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  56. Awesome tutorial! To stiffen a too soft fabric, some spray starch works wonders, plus keep it from staining.

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  57. I have a question, would it be possible to do this all my hand and still have it look the same? I'm a okay sewer, but just wanna know if anyone has done with successfully my hand before I start and mess up.

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  58. Wow, what a beautiful wallet you had created. Thank you for sharing a very valuable information to us. You have a great artist in yourself. I'll make sure to calculate this kind of stuff in my collection soon so you can even earn money for your creativity.

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  59. i really love it!!!! i 'd like to realize one for me but i don't know if i be able to do it! if i'll try i'll tell you.
    hugs. Anna

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  60. Wowww!!! Colourful wallets!! Loved all of them! Very creative :) Superb..and I have no words for this creation!
    buy wallets online

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  62. Lovely!!!!! I feel sad because I´ve just bought one and yours is perfect. Congrats!

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