Decades Everyday Chore Skirt

I’m extremely pleased to announce that Decades of Style has expanded their size range for their Decades Everyday patterns! The Chore Skirt just released today and goes up to a size 26 or a 46″ waist. This means no more grading up for me! When Janet asked me to test the skirt, I jumped on the chance. I’ve been a big DOS fan for a while. The instructions and drafting are great. The vintage style is right up my alley.

The Chore Skirt is not your regular pleated skirt. It has a narrow waistband, side seam pockets with a side seam zipper, and beautifully placed pleats in the front and the back. In the front, there are less pleats than the back for a clean look. The back pleats really give the skirt a lovely look. There are also side pleats that make the pockets and zipper disappear. There is a bottom panel in the skirt that is perfect for contrasting fabric or for using bias tape or lace. The hem is weighted so that the skirt always draped beautifully. The skirt works beautifully in mid to lightweight fabrics that can handle the multiple pleats at the back.

I made my skirt in a hot pink cotton poplin with bias trim above the bottom panel. The skirt went together really quickly except that I originally forgot the side pleats and frantically messaged Janet saying the waistband didn’t fit. She was very wonderful about it, but my cheeks sure were red! With the side pleats, it of course fit perfectly into the waistband. D’oh.

I will need to wear this version with a belt, but that is okay. My gold belt looks fabulous with it. 😉 I made a size 24, but likely should have made a size 22 instead. I was trying to be extra cautious because my waist can fluctuate due to inflammation. Next time, I will choose a size 22. I have visions of making this in chambray fabric or some lovely linen. Or copying this vintage version posted on the Decades of Style IG page:

Isn’t it beautiful? ❤

Here is my gorgeous version! Don’t I match my blog theme perfectly? ❤

Just a note, the belt is styled under the waistband here since I haven’t added carriers yet for the belt.

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Look at that swish!

Needless to say I am totally biased because I was already a fan girl of DOS and I got the pattern for free. But in spite of that bias, I really love this skirt and I think it’s a great pattern.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Decades Everyday Chore Skirt
  • Pros: Well-drafted pattern and a great size range! The strategically placed pleats are really going to look awesome on a lot of people.
  • Cons: I’m not sure I have any cons!
  • Make again?: Already dreaming of the next one!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars
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Swoon Patterns Scarf Neck Cardigan

I love a good flowy cardigan with a scarf neck. I’m a layering person and love having tons of options. I still love my Jenna Cardigans and wear them tons, but I was looking for a scarf neck cardigan for a different option. The big bonus: this pattern is free! The Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan wasn’t on my radar for a while and then someone (terrible memory…) made it on Instagram (EDIT: It was this post on the CSC that brought it on my radar. Boy do I have a bad memory!) and I realized it actually has a larger size range than I thought. It goes up to a 50 inch bust, but has a generous scarf front so it could likely fit higher than that. I can be as much as a 53 inch bust on a day where I am swelling and it fits great. If you are a bit larger than 50 bust, you could probably fit into it nicely.

Word of warning, the instructions are bare bones and similar to Style Arc with only a couple of pictures for guidance. It took me a couple of beats to understand how the scarf neck was installed, but overall it wasn’t difficult to put it together.

As per my usual methods, I didn’t hem the knit. I just serged the edges.

I made no alterations for my green and white rib knit version. For my second version, I used a sheer white knit of “mixed fibres” (all clearance fabrics in fabricland are marked with “mixed fibres” for some reason…). My guess is a rayon/polyester blend, but who knows? For the second one, I did a full bicep adjustment on the sleeve. It’s meant to have a bit of a dropped shoulder so I didn’t narrow the shoulder, but I found the bicep a bit tight to wear with sleeves underneath. My third version is using a sheer fluorescent orange striped knit. I have no idea what I will actually wear this over and regret not picking up a pink flourescent eyelet fabric that would have made a perfect dress for underneath (Andrea said I would regret not getting that fabric and she was right…lol).

I thought about shortening the sleeve length, but my hands get really cold in AC or in the winter so it is often nice to have the sleeves to cover them as needed. I can roll them up if they get in the way. I love how the cardigans work with pants/shorts or with a dress/skirt. My cropped Jenna cardigans are great for wearing with dresses and skirts, but do not work with shorts or pants. I wear 80% skirts and dresses, but it is nice to have options.

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TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Swoon Scarf Neck Cardigan
  • Pros: The lovely princess seams really sell this cardigan for me. They give the cardigan a nice shape. I also love the hem of the cardigan. The side panel has a pointed hem and with the scarf neck it makes for a lovely flowy hem. Major pro is that the pattern is free.
  • Cons: Decent size range, but I am at the top. Minimal instructions, but an easy pattern.
  • Make again?: Absolutely! You can see I already made three. I often come across nice fabric that would work well for this kind of cardigan and will probably make a few more in solid colours for the fall. Oh fall…. I don’t want to stop sewing for summer, but I feel fall creep closer and closer….. At some point, I guess should switch gears…
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Cashmerette Dartmouth Top

I’ve been wanting to sew up a Cashmerette Dartmouth top since it was released early this year. It’s a style of top that I always loved in RTW but could never wear for fear of bust exposure. The Dartmouth top is perfect, though. The cup sizes make it wearable for bigger busts without the danger of exposure.

While my bust is nicely contained in the shirt, the bridge of my bra peeks out. This problem is due to the bridge being too high on my handmade bras; the bridge comes up about 2 inches higher than I think it should and pulls away from my body causing discomfort under my bust. My bra cup does need more room but I have a pronounced breastbone so if the bridge goes too high, it will not sit correctly anyway.  It’s an issue that I am remedying soon with some bra pattern changes and cutting my wires a bit shorter at the front. These changes are for comfort and accessibility. I haven’t made a new bra in a year and a half because of the issues. But it is long overdue. I’m down to just 3 handmade bras and really need to get a move on the alterations. Once those are altered, there will be no issue with my Dartmouth top.

I made my usual size 22 G/H graded to a 24 at the hips. The fabric I used is a slinky bamboo jersey in a coral monkey print. It’s a great fabric for the gathers at the side seam. By the end of a day of wear, the fabric is a bit stretched out, but it snaps back into place with washing. Poor recovery does tend to be an issue with rayon and bamboo knits in my experience. The weight of them also tends to pull the hem a bit lower. I shortened this top by 3.5 inches. I just serged the bottom, because lazy. The two top layers are sewn together, which leads to a bit of drape from the top layer due to the fabric. In the future, I might go for less lazy to get it to sit right at the hem.

The pattern went together well. The only change I made was to add sleeve bands, because lazy and I prefer sleeve bands. I find that the sleeves sit better in a knit with the bands. It helps that I hate hemming knits. To be fair, it’s my sewing machine that hates hemming knits. Jane Eyre is such a diva.

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TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Dartmouth Top
  • Pros: I love everything and the size range and cup sizes are perfect.
  • Cons: My bras don’t work with it. Just something to keep in mind. It’s not too low cut for me, but may be for some people.
  • Make again?: Just need to find the fabric. Wouldn’t this look fabulous in a leopard print?! ❤ ❤
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Tropical Appleton Dress

Edit: I won a prize with the Dresses competition for the Monthly Stitch! Thank you to everyone who voted!

I’ve been wanting to make the Cashmerette Appleton for quite a while now and seeing Gillian’s lovely maxi version made me want to make it a maxi dress. I love Cashmerette patterns. As a curvy plus sized person, having cup options is a freaking miracle! I also really wanted to make a maxi dress. After making my first one using the Upton dress last year, I knew that I would definitely be using another Cashmerette dress. Back in December, the Toronto Sewcialists had a holiday party (hosted by the lovely Hil) and we did a fabric exchange in which I procured 4 yards of this beautiful tropical fabric:

Next up a maxi length #appletondress for the #maxisewalong2017 #sewing #sewcialists

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

I fell in love. All I was waiting for to make my Appleton maxi was the perfect fabric. I’m not sure of the content or type of fabric this is. It’s a 4 way stretch and has a lovely drape. It feels to me like crepe jersey or viscose.

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The Appleton pattern is really lovely to make. The instructions are easy to follow and everything goes together really quick. I added about 9.5 inches to the length of the dress. There are lengthen/shorten lines in the pattern so it was a really simple alteration.

I usually make a 22 G/H graded to a 24 at the waist for Cashmerette patterns. My measurements are 51-46-56. However, for more ease in the hips and more bust coverage, I chose to make a 24 G/H graded to 28 at the hips. It fits perfectly and the extra ease in the hips works really beautifully with the drape of the fabric. The only addition I made to the pattern was to add sleeve bands since I hate hemming sleeves. I serged the skirt hem since I may have been better adding a couple more inches to the hem and to get the maxi length the hem couldn’t lose any length. Works for my lazy seamstress ways! 😉

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The entire dress was made using my serger except for the hem of the skirt fronts and finishing the tie opening at the side.

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The verdict is that I adore the dress! It fits me so well and is such a great shape on me. I am not sure why I hesitated so long on making this dress! It just really needed the perfect fabric and I definitely found it. Now I need to go on a tropical cruise!

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

The dress fits perfectly into two different challenges:

Maxi dress sewalong

Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month Dresses week

Although dresses week is ending today, there is still tons more fun with many more weekly challenges at Monthly Stitch for Indie Pattern Month. Next week, it’s new to me!

And good news, the maxi dress sewalong runs until July 27th! So you have 20 days to make and post your maxi dresses. 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Appleton Dress
  • Pros: I love everything and the size range and cup sizes are perfect.
  • Cons: That I don’t have more fabric to make another right now! 😦
  • Make again?: Just need to find the fabric. 😀
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Cashmerette’s Concord T-Shirt

Disclaimer: I am a pattern tester for Cashmerette and received this pattern for free. All my opinions are my own. I’m also under no obligation as a tester to post a review to my blog.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I’ve been on the hunt for tops patterns that work well for me. I’m kind of picky about tops, it’s true. I want something loose-fitting at the hips, long enough to go over my booty so I don’t have to worry about pulling the shirt down at any point in the day, nicely fitted with negative ease over my bust, and not wonky at the armsyce.

Of course, I didn’t tell anyone that my hunt was over when I tested the Concord t-shirt a few months ago. I did keep to my plan of making the StyleArc tops and I do really love the Cate’s cousin top. My Eva top is growing on me… I wanted to say last time that for my next Cate’s Cousin top I will be using the curved hem from the Concord t-shirt, because I adore it. And for the Eva top, I wanted to say I had a much better v-neck top to make with the Concord. But I am a good pattern tester, because I was quiet and kept it a secret. *pats self on back* After I get back from the trip, I will probably sew a few more of the Concord t-shirts. It’s a great pattern for a quick project.

For the fuller figure, there is actually not a lot of options for t-shirts, especially when you enter my size range. I certainly haven’t found one that has cup sizing.

When Jenny sent off the information for the Concord t-shirt, I was pretty excited. The great thing about the Concord is all the options: hem length can be cropped, mid, or long curved, sleeve length can be short, 3/4 length, or long (plus the short or 3/4 length can have sleeve tabs and all lengths can either be hemmed or have sleeve bands), and, finally, the neckline can be high, scoop, or v-neck. You get one pattern with a ton of options in it and that is my dream t-shirt.

Another amazing thing about the Concord t-shirt is that it includes cup sizes C/D, E/F, G/H and can fit women from 40 inch bust / 32 inch waist / 42 inch hip to 58 inch bust / 48 inch waist / 58 inch hip. It’s meant to have negative ease across the bust and skim the hips with a bit of positive ease (an inch or less).

My measurements are 51 inch bust / 46 inch waist / 56 inch hips. I chose to make a size 22 C/D graded to a size 26 at the hips for my tester version and then for my others I used the G/H cup size due to some wrinkles at the arm above the bust at the armsyce. I could have just graded to a 24 or left it at a 22, but I like it pretty loose around the hips for my booty.

For my two tester versions, I used the scoop neck and 3/4 length sleeves. One version was mid-length and the other the long curved hem.

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I love my test versions. I even made my mom a Concord t-shirt for her birthday in March using the tester pattern:

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I made her a straight size 16 C/D with a scopped neck and a longer short sleeve since she likes to have her upper arms covered. I made it in her favourite colour. Like mother, like daughter! I wish I had saved some of this gorgeous pink fabric for myself, but I’m sure I will be able to get some more from Fabricland. I did make my Eva top with it. I just wish I had made a Concord t-shirt with it. 😉

Once Jenny sent me the final version, I knew I was going to make up several more tops. I had a bunch of fabric set aside for them. I chose to make the larger G/H cup size to get an even better fit and still grade up at the hips.

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I made two with the long curved hem and a v-neck. On the left, is the 3/4 length sleeve with tabs. On the right is a long sleeve with a band. Of note, the printed fabric is a mid-weight rayon jersey and is quite weighed down. It was difficult to sew with and resulted in some waviness in the hem as well as a lower hem than the shirt on the right. I might resew the hem using stay tape at a future date, but for now I am leaving it. My sewing machine seems to hate mid-weight rayon jersey for some reason. To be honest, I think I am probably going to be needing a new sewing machine in the next year, because the problems keep multiplying with it… The rest of the fabric I used is a lightweight poly rayon spandex jersey and is my preferred material for tops. It’s a dream to sew with and presses so nicely.

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For these two versions, I made short sleeves with bands. The blue one has sleeve tabs and the neckline is high. On the back, I made a scoop neck for fun and like it, but it does pull the shoulder forward a bit unfortunately. The blue shirt is a cropped length but hits me just above my full hip. I am 5’4″ and short-waisted. I can certainly shorten it to make it cropped but am okay with this length. The black has a long curved hem, no sleeve tabs, and the neckline is scooped. You probably guessed by now that is my favourite hem style in this shirt considering 4 out of 6 of mine have the curved hem. It’s long enough to fit over the bum and never have to worry about it riding up.

Construction was easy. The curved hem is done before the sleeves and side seams. The neckline is actually the second thing you do after the shoulder seams. It makes it a lot easier doing it in that order without all the rest of the bulk of the sleeves in the way. The sleeve tabs are sewn on to the sleeves before the sleeve is attached in the flat. Final steps are to sew a button through all the layers to permanently attach the tab. You could add a buttonhole to the sleeve tab, if you want.

Instructions are very easy to follow. The pattern is labeled as beginner and I think that fits. I mostly used my serger for constructing all the shirts, except for top stitching the curved hem or sewing the hems for sleeves or the bottom. The tabs are sewn on with a regular sewing machine and the v-neck is started with a regular sewing machine. I also topstitch all my neckbands down with a zig zag stitch, because I truly hate twin needles and so does my ornery machine. You can construct it entirely on a sewing machine if you don’t have a serger.

I love the fit of the shirt. I could maybe use a narrow shoulder adjustment like with any pattern, but I don’t mind where the shoulders sit on this top.

The pattern is already a TNT for me with six versions for myself. I absolutely adore it and have been waiting for a basic t-shirt with all of these options for a while in my size range. The size range is great and the cup sizing is a dream. You can see how the change in the cup sizes made the fit a lot better for me removing the wrinkling at the armsyce above the bust. A lot of people don’t want to bother with an FBA in a knit garment and, with the cup sizes, you are less likely to have to do one. I really love all the options in this t-shirt and think it offers a lot in a small package.

Concord t-shirts have been popping up a few places so far. Check out Tanya’s, Meg’s, and gMarie’s versions! Now I need a striped one, an orange one, and a fun patterned one. All the Concords!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Concord T-Shirt
  • Pros: Cup sizing, many options, goes up to a 58 inch hip. So much to love.
  • Cons: Um…. smaller sized people miss out? In other words, I can’t think of a con…
  • Make again?: Absolutely. It’s the t-shirt pattern I’ve always wanted.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Barrie Briefs

I know, I know….All I am sewing lately is lingerie. I swear I will get back to other kinds of sewing soon, but Lingerie Month at the Curvy Sewing Collective is consuming my life!

Shameless Plug: Check out my Cloning a bra post and my Bra Materials post.

Just an FYI, I hate the word “panties.” I have no idea why, but it makes me cringe like crazy. I feel like the mother in Dead Like Me with the word “moist.” I guess in Canada we say underwear or underpants or even just pants. I don’t hear many people saying panties… Feel free to tease me endlessly in the comments with the word panties! Hhahaha. I’m sure several of my friends will do this in person after they read this post. I love my friends.

I say knickers like I am British. Point of fact, my father was born in Leeds. I am half British. Therefore, I say  knickers.

I’ve made some knickers before in a few different ways:

  1. Cloned a pair of RTW knickers
  2. Sewed the So, Zo free knickers pattern
  3. Sewed the Cloth Habit free Rosy Ladyshorts

For whatever reason, none of these options worked well for me. Crotch length too short, crotch length too long, butt not big enough, knickers fell down, elastic wore out too fast, and fabric didn’t have good recovery. Those last two are more about fabric/notion choices than anything. Both the free patterns were great, but just didn’t work for me.

Things I learned from several failed knickers:

  1. I hate elastic on my knickers. It cut in. It was irritating. It got stretched out. I do, however, like stretch lace and find that to be comfortable and have good recovery.
  2. I needed a low rise front to accommodate my belly, but with a fuller bum. I knew I would have to make a full bum adjustment.
  3. I needed to choose better fabric.

Enter the Barrie Briefs. The positive part of this pattern is the bands on the legs and the top. The top band could easily be replaced by a band of lace. But the leg bands…. to die for. I knew they would be a winner! They are so comfortable.

I heard the pattern ran large. It is made for a 20% stretch knit. My knit was 100%. Some magic mushroom told me that I should cut a size 3 to start….. Um….. wtf, Andie?! Obviously too small.

I cut a size 8 next with a full bum adjustment and an inch on the front sides added and they fit perfectly.

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They took 30 min to make including cutting them out.

Edit: The fabric is a lightweight poly spandex stretch with a cotton jersey crotch inset.

Not much else to say except that I am happy to finally have a pattern to work from. Now comes making all the knickers in all the colours!

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Kitchy Koo’s Barrie Briefs
  • Pros: Bands for the legs and waist with the option to use lace.
  • Cons: Made for 20% stretch fabric, which is kind of odd and causes some complaints about the pattern running too large. Size way down if you are using a stretchier material.
  • Make again?: YES! ALL THE KNICKERS!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Waiting for my Hogwarts letter: Muse Patterns Sophi cardi and Tahi skirt

A while ago, I had plans of making a Muse Patterns outfit. Then Kat posted the Muse Loves Merino contest and I had to create an outfit for that! Check out the contest. There is still time to create something for it since it closes on November 30.

Eventually, my outfit evolved into a Gryffindor uniform. As soon as I picked the colours of the Sophi cardi, it was set: gold and red. I ordered my Gryffindor iron on patch from YourPatchStore on etsy and I decided to make a grey wool Tahi skirt to be reminiscent of a school uniform.

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I should do the disclaimer: Both of these patterns I received for free from Muse Patterns, but all the opinions and geekery are my own.

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I also had the perfect gold buttons in my stash for the cardigan.

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Both the skirt and the cardigan were extremely easy to make. The pdf pattern was a breeze to put together. I love that Kat added a feature to the pdfs where you can print just your size. The pdf is layered and you can choose what layers to print. It makes for a really clean pattern once it’s all put together. I never grade between sizes with Kat’s patterns. I’m pretty firmly at the top end of her sizing.

Both skirt and cardigan were easy to sew. The only issues I ran into were on the skirt with the paneling. My grey wool was very lightweight and prone to shifting around a little during construction. I had to sew one of the panels again to get it right. I loved the zipper construction for the skirt. It was so easy to follow and probably my best lapped zipper insertion yet! Of course I forgot to take a picture of it! I usually handpick my zippers, but I did this completely on the machine. Same with the waistband: I usually hand sew, but was able to do it on the machine really nicely. I always find I have a lot more control and a neater finish with hand sewing, but the instructions for the skirt really guide you and make sure the finish is great with the machine.

My only critique of the cardigan is that the neckband in the v-neck version could use shortening. It doesn’t seem to provide enough negative ease to make sure it doesn’t get loose at the neck and flip up. It might have been my mistake, though, as my fabric piece wasn’t big enough to make it all one piece and I have a seam at the center of the neckband.

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I’m a huge fan of Muse Patterns and often test for Kat. It didn’t work out to test for either of these patterns. One was released just before my wedding this summer and the other while my cat was ill. I am so glad I got to make them both, especially in such a nerdy way!

Here’s my photoshoot! Excuse the wrinkly skirt. I ironed it and sat down once to put my shoes on and well…. I decided not to iron again.

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In terms of fit, I think the skirt is slightly long for me, but I decided not to shorten it and lose the panel flares. I like the shape of the skirt, but I definitely prefer a circle skirt or a dirndl skirt shape to the a-line; I love fuller skirts and find they flatter my shape a lot more. I think the basic A-line would work really nicely in a suede with a shorter length, since suede holds it’s shape nicely. I might try this in the future since I have some suede. I love the cardigan. Although, I do think it would look better with pants instead of the high-waisted skirts or dresses that I normally wear. I also wear cardigans open more than closed like this so that tends to be a little better.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Tahi Skirt
  • Pros: Lovely construction and instructions for the zipper, panels, and waistband. Went together beautifully.
  • Cons: Nothing against the pattern, but if you are making in a slippery fabric use something like spray starch to stabilize the fabric for those corners in the panels.
  • Make again?: Absolutely. I think that suede one needs to happen!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars
  • Pattern: Sophi Cardi
  • Pros: I love the pockets. A cardigan with pockets is a hug bonus. The raglan sleeves went together really nicely and fit well unlike a lot of other patterns I have used with raglan sleeves.
  • Cons: The neckband was perhaps too long. I’m not 100% on whether this was my mistake or the pattern’s. I will make it again and decide whether I will give the half star back for that.
  • Make again?: Absolutely. My bestie commented on the picture on Instagram and went crazy. I will be making her one for her birthday this year.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdhalf-star-black-md4.5/5 stars