Friday, 28 June 2013

Refashion Friday Inspiration: Lace Back Denim Shirt/Blouse

Happy Friday, Refashioners!!! So, if it's Summer and warm where you are here's a little garment refashioning idea that might be up your street. This refashion is something I came up with last year, but is not an idea I claim to have invented! I can't remember if it came from my brain, or translated from something I'd seen online or elsewhere, but I definitely know I've seen other lace-backed blouses, shirts and dresses out there. Although this one is particularly ace because it is made from an unwanted shirt that might otherwise have found itself in a landfill (boo!!!). 

Quite simply, it's made by cutting up the original denim/chambray shirt and harvesting the back, collar and sleeves for other projects. I used a very basic shell top pattern and recut the front of the blouse incorporating the shirt's original buttons, button-stand and hem (as with many of my men's to women's shirt refashions). The back was cut from a piece of off-white lace. 

I wanted to bring more of the lace detailing into this creation, so I drafted a simple collar that would finish either side of the button stand. The top collar is cut from the same lace, and the under collar cut from more of the denim shirt that was harvested from the back panel or sleeves. 

If you wanted to make a version of this project for colder days, or for those who don't want their bra strap on show, you could always make the back panel with a lace overlay instead of as a single layer. Oh, and if it's Winter, you may want sleeves!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Little Dress Kits Giveaway!!!!


When reading or listening to why people started sewing or knitting, or got back into sewing or knitting after years of non-crafting activity, the arrival of children to make for is a commonly cited cause. Whether it be your own child, grandchild, niece or nephew, a friend's progeny or anyone else's, there is something about a tiny person that frequently seems to inspire the desire to make something. Maybe it's the relative freedom of a project for someone with no set sartorial preferences, or the irresistible draw to make something so small and cute. Or maybe it's something deeper: a desire to provide warmth, comfort and/or fun for the child using your own two hands rather than simply your debit card. If at some point I'd started a tally, by now I would have lost count of the number of participants in the Me-Made/Self-Stitched challenges that left a comment to the effect of 'I got into sewing/knitting for my kids, and now I want to focus on making some things for myself so I'm signing up to this challenge to help me do that'.

But sometimes the desire to create for yours or someone else's kids is there, but it can be difficult to know where to start. That's where Little Dress Kits come in. They design, make and sell project packs containing everything that you'll need to make a super cute, great quality garment for a baby or toddler (excluding the equipment: you'll need scissors, a sewing machine, hand-sewing needle and pins). When I say everything, I'm talking the pattern, full instructions, all fabric, thread, trims, buttons etc. plus a little garment label to give a polished finish. All the hunting down of materials and figuring out how much to buy of each has been done for you, leaving you to focus on the fun bit: making!!! I can't help but feel this is a perfect solution for someone who hasn't got the time or desire to spend half a weekend trawling fabric and haberdashery shops. Plus if you tot up how much a new commercial sewing pattern plus good quality fabric plus thread, notions etc. would be to buy individually, these all-inclusive kits probably work out quite a bit cheaper. The kits are also graded by difficulty to help you select the most appropriate product so you can avoid starting something a bit too advanced and the frustration of getting stuck!

If you are already a keen sewer (and if you are a regular reader of this blog, it's more than possible that you are), but have someone in your life who is always giving you the old 'Oh, I wish I could sew', routine, a gift of one of these Little Dress Kits could start them off on their own sewing journey (without you needing to hold their hand through the process!!). Katie at Little Dress Kits was kind enough to let me choose a kit to have a go at myself. I picked the Sweet Heart Dungarees kit as I didn't know the gender of my baby when she emailed me and it looked like a fairly gender-neutral option (my version is pictured below). Therefore I can say for sure that these kits are very well designed and the instructions are thorough without being overly complicated. Frustratingly, I've got at least a year to wait until my dungarees will actually get worn!!!

I would also say that one fantastic feature of the kits is this: if you retain the pattern pieces and instructions, what's stopping you from making lots more versions? If instead of giving a friend a shop-bought child's garment you gave them one of these kits, it's kind of like 'give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him how to fish...'. If you see what I mean!

However, I'm not writing this post just to show-off my good fortune at being given a kit for nowt, Katie from Little Dress Kits's generosity extends further still and is offering one of my blog readers a kit of their choice FOR FREE!!! 

The Prize:

One Little Dress Kit of your choice from their range (there are eight to choose from). So head over there and see which you'd like to win. If you are the lucky winner, the kit will be sent to you free of charge, no matter where in the world you live.

How to Enter: 

Once you have picked your favourite Little Dress Kit to either make yourself or give to a friend/loved one, leave a comment below this post including three things:
1) which dress kit you have picked
2) answer the following question: what would you like Little Dress Kits to add to their future range?
3) if I can't access your email address within two clicks of my mouse, leave your email address in the body of the comment. Email addresses will not be used for anything other than contacting you if you win this giveaway.

Not only is this giveaway a chance for you to win a cute children's clothing kit, but it is also an opportunity for us (the online sewing community) to help a new fledgling sewing business with some useful customer research, so please make sure you do complete parts 1) and 2) as outlined above. The closing date for this competition is midnight GMT Tuesday 2nd July. The winner will be picked by random number generator and I will contact them via email for their postal address which I will then pass on to Little Dress Kits so they can send out your prize. So, are you feeling lucky?!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Refashion Friday: The Refashioners Reviewed with Miss P...

For those of us interested in refashioning/upcycling/remaking garments, what a phenomenally fascinating couple of weeks we were recently treated to?! I am, of course, referring to the Refashioners project/challenge organised and hosted by Miss P in which 11 (yes, 11!) talented seamsters flexed their imaginations and sewing skills to transform some previously unloved charity-shop finds into wonderful, wearable garments. The results were posted over two weeks, and I thought it would be great to hear the thoughts of Miss P herself about aspects of the project.

(skirt refashion image care of Miss P)

Z: Your own refashioning project was a phenomenal success, but clearly a lot of work. Did it take you out of your comfort zone? 

P: Why thankyou Zoe! Yes, COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone. I would never in a million years have brought that dress home with me voluntarily, lol ;) But that's kinda one of the points of the challenge; and in the end, it was nowhere near as tricky as I'd anticipated! I had visions of making one small cut and every single bead on that dress hitting the floor, lol! (Funny how we build things up in our head!) In terms of how I arrived at the final garment; I was totally winging that one as I went along. I knew I wanted to do the panelling thing, but no firm idea when I started, how I would incorporate it into a garment. The pencil skirt incarnation was a last minute U turn. Originally it was going to be a black top or shift dress with all the panels down the back, (or even a bag at one point). But once I'd assembled all the panels it became apparent that they were just too substantial for what I'd originally planned, and they naturally lent themselves to a structured skirt. With some refashions, I know immediately what I want to do with them. This one stumped me a bit at first (because of those beads), but in the end, I just took the first few steps, then let it kind of grow organically from there. Draping, pinning, and trying different ideas out as I went.

Z: Out of the other Refashioner's projects, are there any of them, or elements of them that you're itching to try for yourself now? 

P: HELL, yes!! I'll probably use elements from all of them at some point. I love Dixie's cross over back (pictured above), and the effect the bias armhole finish had on the stripe direction in your make, Zoe. Tasha's use of the existing armhole shape to create pockets was inspired. I'm liking the idea of a little denim or leather bolero (thanks Karen!), and I really want to try out Marie's cut out technique. Liz's tutorial would work on any pair of trousers (pictured below), so that's a good one to have in my refashioning arsenal! Sally's refashion has motivated me to try a coat refashion; when you break it down like she did in her tutorial, it's nowhere near as hard as you think. I like Elisalex's use of contrasting panels in one make which is kinda chiming with my interest in colour and texture blocking right now. I'm AMAZED what Joanne managed to squeeze out of a pair of pillowcases AND I'm really liking the shape of the Kelly skirt so will probably check that pattern out at some point. Did I forget anyone? Ah, yes...Lauren! Lauren's is the only make I can categorically say I won't be replicating. Her "hot hot booty shorts" kick some serious ass! But my ass? In those shorts....I wish! ;)

Z: What effect do you hope the Refashioners challenge will have? 

P: I hope that people will think twice about throwing valuable fabric away. After all, old clothes really are just fabric in disguise! I hope that people who might have never tried garment sewing before will see refashioning and tweaking an existing garment as less daunting than starting with a bolt of fabric, give it a go, and fall in love with sewing as a result. For seasoned garment sewers, I hope they can see the wealth of creative potential (and the quick creative fix to be had) in refashioning existing garments. For anyone who has clothes that don't fit them or their personality, I hope we've shown that you can take something really "meh" and put your own personal stamp on it and REALLY use your clothes to express your personality. I hope the charity shops get well and truly plundered! If all of the responses left on The Refashioners posts are anything to go by, we've gone some way to achieving a little of all of those things; and I couldn't be more chuffed about it!

Z: Many people walk into a charity shop and feel a bit blinded by choice and find it difficult to select one item as a basis for a refashioning project. As a veteran refashioner, do you still feel like that at times? What advice can you give to a novice Refashioner who's feeling lost when they go in to a charity shop?

P: Hmmmm.....I guess SOMEtimes I will walk into a badly organised charity shop, and if I'm in a crap mood, I'll turn around and walk straight back out again! But that's rare! I live for a good 'ole rummage. It's the treasure seeker in me I guess! I tend to have a system though, to keep me sane when faced with particularly crammed rails. I tend to do tops, knitwear, trousers, linens, homewares. In that order. No particular reason for that order, it just helps me to focus on one section at a time. I will look at the sections on each rail that carry my size or bigger, but not at anything that is smaller. So anything from a size 10 right up to plus size is fair game. Anything under a size 10 I rule out without even looking (You can size something down alot easier than up and let's face it, the teeniest sizes don't give you much fabric to work with!) I'll then zone in on the colours that appeal to me and fit in with my general wardrobe palette. For me that's any and all neutrals, plus earthy tones.

Then I'll employ the "fondle" test to see if I like the feel of the fabric. (You learn to quickly identify stuff like silk and cashmere over time just by touching it.) Only once a garment has passed the size, colour AND fondle test, do I pull it off the rail to see what it is. If it hasn't passed those 3 tests, I don't want to know what it is. At that point I'll decide if I like it as it is, and if so it goes on my "pile". (I always start a little pile on the shop counter of stuff that I want to buy. Saves me carrying armfuls of stuff around and keeps my hands free to carry on hunting). If I don't like it as it is, I look at it's refashioning possibilities (or in some cases repairs). If those are good (and my refashioning queue isn't ridiculous already!), it goes in the pile. If not, back on the rail. Simple as that. Of course if the shop is a real "jumble sale" some of these will not apply. If things are not sorted by size or garment type for instance. But you can still zone in on colours and employ the fondle test before you dig anything out!

Thanks so much Miss P for your organisational ninja skills in bringing about all the inspiration The Refashioners has provided us. Here's hoping we won't have to wait too long for The Refashioners: Round 3!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Podcast / Audio Post #2: Discussing Self-Employment 10 months in...

After the lovely response my first podcast/audio post received last month, we decided to make another (with added seagulls and aeroplanes for authenticity!). This time Pat and my discussion expands on the theme of self-employment, including an update of 'the story so far' plus thoughts of the future...

Once again, your thought on this/these audio posts are most welcome, including anything you'd like to hear me chat on about in the near future!

Oh WAIT!!! An added extra in this audio post is that I let slip the gender of our baby-to-be! Please no spoilers in the comments peops!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Nautical Jersey Dress

Yes, I admit it. I have run out of names for my nautical inspired creations. However I have not run out of inspiration for more nautical garments, so that's fine. I made this dress a few weeks ago, before a weekend away in Madrid. Madrid can get HOT and I realised I had nowt to wear during such temperatures that was pregnancy-friendly so a quick project sewing project was required. (Check out the pic above, that's a portrait of my grandmother painted by my grandfather in the 60's. She doesn't look that into my creation does she?!) 

So first we need to talk about the epic fabric. I'm insanely lucky to be able to say that it was a gift from the phenomenally lovely Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time. She is such a sweetie. It's a really lovely drapey jersey with a large elastane content, making it super comfy to wear. I still have sufficient fabric left to make an adult's top or a couple of toddler/child garments, whichever I get round to first. 

The pattern is yet another interpretation of my own batwing top pattern. Following on the success of a T-shirt version of this originally long-sleeved design that made for my best mate, I then simply extended the pattern down into an A-line dress shape. The sleeve bands/cuffs are made from a contrast scrap of navy and white striped jersey of a similar weight left over from my maternity stripes top. This dress was constructed using an overlocker for all seams, plus my usual machine with a three-strep zigzag stitch to hem it. This dress actually took longer to cut out than to construct, got to love that ratio when you're tight on time. 

Look! It's me and my mate Anna (who lives in Madrid) with our bumps! Jersey-based success! This may be the most comfortable garment I have ever made, and certainly the most comfortable maternity garment I own. I wore it two days straight in Madrid and it even saw a bit of use back in UK before the sun decided to piss off again and Summer was replaced with clouds and rain. I managed to get ice cream down the front though, which I see as a victory. 

If I had to split hairs and find a flaw with this creation, I'd say that I made the sleeve bands/cuffs a little too loose. If I could be arsed to unpick, recut and reattach them then the gathered effect of the sleeves would be a bit more apparent, however I can't so it is what it is. As with all successful and speedy creations, I'm now tempted ti make a whole heap more using any pieces of similar weight jersey in my stash. However the UK weather has shown that, due to the fact that I have literally only worn this once since returning from Madrid, making a pile more of these dresses would probably be a waste of fabric. Still, I am confident that it'll see post-pregnancy use too, possibly with a bit of skimming in at the side seams at some point (although maybe not!).

Friday, 14 June 2013

Refashion Friday: Maternity Belly Band

Ok so I must confess this wasn't what I intended to share with you today. What I planned to blog about was a phenomenally successful jeggings-to-maternity-jeggings refashion (akin to this) where I took an old pair of jeggings, cut away a scoop at the front, inserted some thick jersey with elastic casing around the top and ended up with a comfortable and fabulous pair of maternity jeggings. Except that didn't happen. The jeggings I chose to refashion were so old and dead that when I cut away the front scoop (to just under where the zip had been) it became evident just how paper-thin the fabric had become and how little life there was left in them to salvage.

I had started the aforementioned jeggings refashion by creating a ring of thick jersey with elastic encased at the top that I intended to 'drop in' to the cut away section of the jeggings. So when the original plan had to be ditched, I hemmed the jersey section and ended up with was a belly band instead. Not exactly a refashion (although you could refashion one from an old, thick, jersey T-shirt cut up with elastic encased in the top as I have read some people suggest) but it does extend the life of my jeans a while longer, so I'd argue a belly band just about has a place in Refashion Friday! 

To anyone who has been pregnant before, I'm sure you'll be intimately aware of The Belly Band, and their jeans-life-extending properties. I didn't think I needed one before this point, because I planned to go from my 'bigger' jeggings straight to some refashioned ones with stretchy jersey inserted here and there. However when my refashion failed I didn't have any other pairs I wished to sacrifice, and had tickets to the theatre that evening with nothing to wear on my bottom half (how comes a garment, my black treggings for example fit fine one week, then be totally too small the following week?! The magic of pregnancy...). So the belly band came into play allowing me to wear these second-hand jeggings a bit longer. So, for those who haven't been pregnant or had close-up experience of a belly band, what does one conceal? Look away if you are of a sensitive disposition..... 

It conceals a hot mess of elastic, buttons, gapes and baby belly! You are then free to wear a top that might not quite cover this whole mess of exposure. Or a top that would cover it but you might still feel you'd like a belly band for an extra bit of security round the area. A belly band has to be fairly tight for it to fulfil its function, so you kind of have a feeling of being hugged round your middle all the time you're wearing it (well I did anyhow) which can be a bit weird. 

I'm tempted to try another jeggings/jeans to maternity bottoms refashion, using one of the many how-to methods that can be found on the internets or by experimenting on my own. However, I don't want to sacrifice any of my other pairs because I want those pairs for when I'm 'on the other side' of all this maternity stuff. I could go charity shopping to source another starting point, but a friend has just given me a few pairs of her old shop-bought maternity jeans (I think she bought them second-hand so they're aiding at least their third pregnancy!) for long-term loan, so I'll try and get by with those instead. If I ever get preggers again in the future, I will have a better stab at refashioning jeggings/jeans into maternity wear, as I'd love to feel entirely maternity wear-self-sufficient! F*ck the man!!!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Jennavive's Liberty Awesomeness

I wanted to write a little post as a follow up to a recent giveaway I hosted alongside to celebrate the start of MMM'13. I think it's kind of a shame that once a giveaway's closing date has passed, and if you weren't lucky enough to have been a winner, that's often the last you hear of it, so I thought a little update was in order. If you entered the giveaway in question, you'll remember that were generously offering up two prizes: 1) a sewing pattern of your choice and, 2) 1 metre of fabric of your choice from their range. The winners were selected by random and sent their prizes. I'm really pleased to report that the winner of her choice of fabric, Jennavive, was awesome enough to send me a picture of the garment she made with her prize (see below)!

I didn't check every single entry link, but it seemed that all those who entered to win some fabric picked a Liberty print as their favourite. Liberty print seems to be like crack to sewers! Anyway, I have to say that, although not a huge fan of Liberty prints myself, I personally think Jennavive's choice was one of the nicest! 

Using a pattern that is close to my own heart (Newlook 6808), I think her blouse is so pretty and wearable, as well as being a fabulous use of a limited quantity of fabric. The solid coloured contrast collar is a touch of genius, and look at how neat the finish of this blouse is?! Phenom. Massive thanks to Jennavive for sending me the picture of her creation and for allowing me the pleasure of sharing it here on my blog, and of course to for providing the prizes.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

If Modcloth did Maternity...

.... I think their offerings would look something like my new smock top! In fact I don't think this top would look at all out of place in Modcloth's Nautical style selection. I look at that damn website often enough, it was only a matter of time before their inspiration filtered down so directly into my creations.

This smock top is my second attempt at the Made by Rae Washi dress/tunic pattern. I'm still totally I love with my first version of this pattern, my African Wax fabric Washi dress, but sadly it didn't see many wears before my chest/bust expanded to deem it unwearable (thanks pregnancy hormones and increased oxygen requirements!). I'm sure it'll see more action in the future, post-birth and breast feeding, but I'm still currently lamenting its loss so I thought I'd have another whirl at the pattern.

I went back to the drawing board, printed out another copy and this time cut out the Large rather than the Medium size. I wanted to use this lovely piece of pique cotton with zigzag border print that I got from Claire at the Walthamstow swap and meet-up earlier in the year, but its limited quantity restricted my style options a little. For example, I had to make the tunic rather than dress version (which I was happy with), however any kind of sleeves were pretty much out of the question. As cool as the border print was going to be, I wanted to add some more interest so created a faux-button stand/placket with navy ricrac stitched down along the edges and some awesome vintage navy and white buttons that have been languishing in my stash for far too long. The only purchase I made for this make (aside from the pattern itself, of course) was the ricrac as I didn't have any navy in my stash. 

I've already worn this top once on the last day of MMM'13 when I went to Madrid for the weekend. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our current spell of sunshine lets me get more use from this top as it was a real joy to make, but I doubt will see any use post-maternity as it really is very 'smocky'! 

Friday, 7 June 2013

Refashion Friday: The Refashioners are BACK! Plus Men's Shirt to Maternity Top

A couple of months ago I let you in on the exciting fact that Miss P's 'The Refashioners' challenge was coming back to a computer near you. Well, now the sewing bloggers who she invited to take part have finished their homework and their creations are being put on display to inspire and delight on Miss P's blog all this week and next. There are ten participants in total, with some seasoned refashioners in the mix, and some who are newer to making garments from existing garments, and I'd really recommend you head over to check out their awesome transformations. 

I was one of the lucky bloggers to have been asked by Miss P to participate. My starting point was this nice stripy cotton men's work shirt which I turned into the maternity-friendly smock top you see pictured below. This top style doesn't have to be for maternity, the proportions can be tweaked to make a 'normal' garment just as easily. Head over to today's post on Miss P's blog if you'd like a step-by-step run through of how to create your own version!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Pinterest Your Heart Out: Pin It Forward UK

Pin It Forward UK 2013 

Hi peops. So along with a whole bunch of other UK-based bloggers (300 in total), I've been invited to be part of Pinterest's 'Pin It Forward' campaign. Their aim is to get more peops in the UK using Pinterest and are getting UK bloggers from a variety of interests to help them do this. I admit that basically I'm in love with using Pinterest for gathering and sharing visual inspiration, but I'm not a selfish lover (!) and I'm up for helping others who have yet to discover its joys so I agreed to get involved.

So for those who haven't figure it out yet, basically Pinterest is a website that you sign up to for free on which you can create pin-boards of things that interest you. You can gather 'pins' to put on your board from Pinterest itself (either by following other members whos's taste you appreciate or by using their search tool), from other places on the internet, or by uploading your own pictures.

I find it is really helpful to collate all my visual inspiration together on various Pinterest boards, rather than having all those images scattered in various image files, bookmarked links and so forth. It's helped me in obvious ways (like being more organised and able to trace the source of an image quickly, for example), and in more unexpected ones too (for example, like pinning lots of images of outfits I like then seeing them collated together and being able to analyse what trends come through).

One of my most beloved boards I've been carefully curating is my imaginatively-titled 'Refashioning Project Ideas' (there's a snippet of it pictured above). It's full of what I consider to be the coolest, loveliest, prettiest, quirkiest and most wearable refashioning/upcycling/remaking clothing and accessories projects I've come across.

If you haven't got involved yet and fancy a piece of the Pinterest-action, a quick and easy way for you to join up can be found here.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

MMM'13: Days 28, 29, 30 & 31: THE END!!!

So here we go, the final instalment of MMM'13 challenge documentation plus my thoughts on this year's challenge. Normal service will be resumed shortly, you may be saddened or relieved to hear!

Day 28:
Also worn: second-hand cardi

Probs the last day I'll wear the Mariner T-shirt until after my pregnancy. I'm at risk of stretching it out and I love it too much to let that happen. 

Day 29:
Captain jacket (not in this pic)
Also worn: second-hand cardi

Day 30:
Captain jacket (not in this pic)
Also worn: second-hand hoodie

Day 31:
New smock top! (Will blog about tho next week)

Later on I'll probably wear my Captain jacket and a second-hand cardi

Wowzers! It's the final day. It feels pretty momentous. It's nice to have something new to wear for the final day of the challenge, plus I'm going through some mental pregnancy-related hot flush today so I'm actually not covering it up with a million extra layers like usual! 

Ah what can I say?! Another me-made month of challenge is over. As I mentioned in my pledging post, my life circumstances made this a special one without me needing to try and think up ways to amp my personal pledge myself. This was a really interesting month, clothing-wise. I started prepping for the month by removing all the garments that I could no longer wear to make getting dressed each quicker than it would have been if I had to sift through all my clothing. I also added a couple of extra pieces hot off the sewing machine as the month evolved, but far more pieces had to get removed by 31st May. Even my beloved treggings are getting close to the end of their useful life (until after the birth at least, when hopefully I can do the opposite of what I'm doing now: gradually tightening up the elastic rather than gradually letting it out!).

I've found it interesting, if a little alarming, to look back on my documentation pictures from this month and see all the garments and outfits I wore a matter of weeks ago that I can't wear now I'm at the end of it! I'd imagine if I were to do a Me-Made-June or July this year (which I'm not, although I will be wearing A LOT of me-made clothes in those months and beyond), my outfits would have to consist of almost entirely different items than those I wore in May.

But aside from the strange and magical expanding trick my body is pulling, I've been really pleased with this month. Personally, I think I've created a pleasing amount of variety within my outfits despite having less me-made items to work with than previous challenges. I'm also happy to report that, thanks to the advent of my me-made black and blue treggings, I only resorted to wearing mass-produced (though second-hand) jeggings once throughout the whole month, despite my pledge 'permitting' me to wear them up to three times a week. Guess I am more clothing-self-sufficient than I had anticipated!

And on a wider, community level, I couldn't be more excited about how many people got involved and challenged themselves this year! A truly stellar flickr group of about 6000 images of me-made awesomeness has been created from this year's challenge, and of course not everyone challenging themselves is part of that, so even more days-worth of me-made outfits occurred this month than you can see over there. Hopefully most of the participants have got something from this challenge, be that feeling more confident in their making skills or appearance, or maybe having learnt about what they prefer to wear so they can tailor (nice pun!) their future makes to filling the gaps that came to the surface this month. Hopefully next year's will see many of this year's participants coming back to amp things up, and fingers crossed we'll be joined by more new-comers up for seeing what it can do for them!

Til next time....
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