Easy Frozen Stem Ginger Yogurt – recipe

Hello,

I have a very easy recipe for frozen Stem Ginger yogurt, using just 3 ingredients.

Ingredients:

Method:

Place both the yogurt and the ginger into a freezer proof tub or old ice-cream container which has a sealable lid. Stir thoroughly, secure the lid and place in the freezer for about an hour before serving.

I serve the frozen yogurt with fresh fruit as a quick, elegant dessert. It’s a lovely served in small glasses and makes for an impressive yet elegant after dinner course.  You could also serve with chocolate curls or thins if you want to add a little more indulgence.

Frozen stem ginger yogurt recipe | champagne twist

Let me know if you try this recipe.

Thanks for reading.

Herb growing – Wildlife Gardening Workshop: Holland Park Ecology Centre

Hello,

Last Saturday, I popped over to Holland Park Ecology Centre, in the rather fashionable part of London town, to listen to Julie Henley-Wilkinson’s talk about herb growing.

As part of the talk, the audience was treated to visits to 2 different allotments tin the Kensington area, and well as a demonstration and hand-on workshop on herb propagation. Below is a video I put together of the demonstration, followed by a few pictures to clarify anything that wasn’t clearly covered in the footage.

I’m in the process of editing a couple more videos relating to the trip, which I will publish soon.  For now, if you’re interested in growing your own herbs, I hope you will find the following useful.

 

leaf node

leaves stem

Herb cutting propagation
Rosemary cutting

By the way, I have a recipe for focaccia bread using rosemary, as well as a post about regrowing your own food here. Check them out!

Please subscribe for more information and to ensure you don’t miss future posts.

Thanks for reading.

=========

Edit:

The visit to Holland Park took place several hours before the horrific events at Borough Market, Vauxhall and London Bridge. Please, if you can, donate to the British Red Cross to help the victims and their families. http://www.redcross.co.uk/love. Thank you.

Blogtacular – (5) What to wear

Going-to-Blogtacular-200

Yesterday’s topic centred on equipment essentials, so naturally today’s topic focuses on what to wear to Blogtacular!

OK, on the face of it, clothing doesn’t break the top 10 most important things … or does it?

Fringe event: Photowalk

I have just found out that I won a place on the photowalk. I’m super stoked about this, especially as the photowalk leader is none other than Kristabel Plummer of I want you to know fame. The photography on her website are a sight to behold, so if I can gain any morsel of expertise from her, I will consider the entire photowalk a success.

The location is a secret and will remain so up to the last minute. So, what on earth to wear, and how to plan wen we have so little information to hand? Considering we will be out and about in the elements for up to 2 hours, that automatically rules out my 12 inch heels.  So, my thoughts are to start with the footwear and work my way up.

  • Trainers – I’m guessing that the majority day will be spent walking on hard concrete or tarmac, with the possibility of a park or along a waterway. So that means trainers, as they should cope with most if not all London terrain. If the walk becomes muddy, that rules out my ‘fancy’ trainers, so it’s back to plain black.
  • Trousers – As much as I would like to wear one of my newly hand made dresses, practically it would be best to wear comfy trousers. That, and dresses rarely go well with dresses.  Plus Kristabel is a fashion guru – I doubt she would give a tuppence, but I think I should try to make a fashionable effort.
  • Top – That is currently a work in progress, and is subject to another post – watch this space!
  • Other items: Naturally I will keep an eye out for the weather forecast, but I will consider taking either a mac or some sort of knitwear in case it gets cold or rains. Also a spare water proof bag and a brolly, just in case.

Fringe event: Party

I might wear a frock and my 12 inch heels! Well I’m going to make more of an effort, that said, its nice to know that if I wear a jeans and t-shirt combo, I won’t be out of place. But, any excuse to dress up is more than enough for me.

Blogtacular

For the main event, I’m going to keep things simple, with comfort as a priority. I imagine there will be a lot of sitting, so I will be steering away from any restrictive clothing. I’m actually making an outfit specially, thus pictures will posted in due course.

I will review my clothing choices and post the results after Blogtacular.

What are you planning on wearing to the events? Are you keeping things practical or dressing up to the nines? Share your ideas in the comments box below.

Tomorrow’s topic will be, “Last minute checks”. Hope to see you then.

 

 

Blogtacular – (4) Equipment essentials

Going-to-Blogtacular-200

Sadly, I write this post after yesterday’s double terrorist attacks in London. Yet again, I find the motivation to blog difficult as my thoughts are understandably elsewhere.

I suggested that at the event we could spare a moment to pay our respects to the victims of terrorist attacks around the world. I also suggested that we could have a 1 day fundraiser in support of the victims of the 3 recent attacks in London and Manchester.

The ideas were thought of as ‘nice’, but not the ‘focus’ of the event.

I’m a little disappointed by the response. I feel that if we don’t show our support either in a symbolic or practical way, then what is the point of the whole thing? This has thrown some shade, and I’m now questioning the purpose of the event and if I will personally get anything positive from it. Here’s hoping things improve nearer the time.

If you have any ideas on what we could do to show our support to the victims of these recent attacks, both here and abroad, please let me know.

Some attendees have expressed their worries about security and safety coming into London. Yes, it is a worrying time, but none of us know what is around the corner, so for me, it is best to carry on, be aware of the situation and try my best to do my best in all things. If we continue to love and respect each other, then these cruel events will diminish.  If we allow fear to triumph, then we have all lost.

I am more determined today than yesterday to achieve my goals, and if I don’t reach them, well at least I tried my best, and caused no harm. Personally, rather than worrying about something that probably won’t happen, I would rather do something practical like a take part in a one minute silence to think about the victims, or to help raise funds for the victims and their families and/ or encourage participation in something nurturing, positive and creative. Something that promotes love and diminishes fear and hate.

Now back to the purpose of this post – yesterday  I wrote about my 4 urgent social media revamp tasks. Today, I’m writing about the equipment I’m considering taking to Blogtacular.

With so many people due to attend, the thought of carrying around a huge bag of tricks doesn’t appeal. I know by lunch time I will be tired, sore and perhaps even a little hangry. So I plan to take the absolute minimum essentials, these are:

  1. Pen and notepaper.  I understand some stationery will be provided, but having my own means I will have enough for my copious notes. I am the world’s worse at short hand, and tend to write verbatim for fear of missing something. Actually, it’s better to listen, especially as all the talks are recorded. But, we all have our little quirks, and if it makes me feel better, then so be it. I can also hide in a corner and write my thesis, just in case I feel a little overwhelmed.
  2. Bottle of water. Yes, food and drinks are provided, but as the weather is heating up, it’s always a good idea to travel with water. The Tube can be very hot at this time of year, and we don’t what anyone suffering from heat exhaustion. Plus, I imagine at peak times there will be a long queue for the refreshments, so maybe it could save time.
  3. Phone. Great for Insta stories, swapping new contact details, photography, note taking, voice memos etc.  Am I the only person who doesn’t use their phone to actually call people? I have a spare battery and card and that’s it.
  4. Paper clips. This may seem an odd one, but when you have loads of information, potentially tons of business cards and of course masses of notes, paper clips might help to keep everything in order. Just 2 or 3 could make all the difference.
  5. Plastic / water proof or water resistant A4 document wallet. I get nervous, and then I spill something, usually over my precious documents or note book. Or it rains cats and dogs and everything gets soaking wet. But this time I’m prepared – I’m taking a plastic wallet, which will help keep all my papers safe from my cup of tea. That and remembering that I’m not an octopus.
  6. Spare waterproof shopper. Only last week I was, for once, carrying my fashionable straw basket, when the heavens opened. Thank goodness I had my large waterproof shopper which covered my basket, saving both it and its contents from the downpour. Plus, I’m hoping that the stalls at the events will have a few goodies for me to bring home.
  7. Spare energy bar / snacks.  Again for the journey to and from the event.

What essentials are you planning to take with you to Blogtacular? Please share in the comment box below.

Tomorrow’s topic will be, “What to wear”. Hope to see you then.

 

 

New episode of the CT show, now live on YouTube

Hello,

During a rather annoying computer malfunction, which prevented me from posting videos, I spent an hour in the garden taking random pictures. During editing, I noticed that I had enough images to create a rainbow effect.  As a symbol of hope, the rainbow is very important to me, and I thought during these strange times, it may bring some hope to others, So here are the results, enjoy.

Blogtacular – (3) Revamping my social media – 4 urgent tasks

Hello,

Yesterday, I wrote about my fears and concerns about attending Blogtacular, and how I hope to overcome them. Today, after a very busy day planting marigolds, as you do, my post concerns how I’m going to revamp my online presence. Following is a list of 5 tasks I wish to complete before Blogtacular.

  1. Social Media Links. I’m double checking all my social media links over the next few days. I know how annoying it is to get excited about a new website, only to find that half it’s links don’t work.  Hopefully I won’t find any broken links, but if I do, now is the time to fix them.
  2. Website. Does your website need a late spring clean? Does your side bar need a bit of a tidy up?  I’ve updated my side bar, removing any non-current series links and any pictures which I’m not 100% happy about.  Blogtacular is an opportunity to find out what works and doesn’t work about my website, and time shouldn’t be wasted after the event on things which I could attend to now.
  3. Update social media welcome/front pages.  I will also update my ‘about page’, so that new comers will get to know me and what I’m all about.
  4. Write a press pack. I’m finally going to write my press pack and publish it.  If I can, I will also seek advice about it on the day, in case I need to make adjustments.  But, if I at least try, it will show prospective collaborators that I mean business.

What are you planning to do with your online social network before Blogtacular? Please share in the comment box below.

Tomorrow, the topic is about preparing equipment for Blogtacular. It would be great if you could join me then. Bye for now.

 

 

3 things I learnt during Me Made May 2017

Hello folks,

The Cunning Plan Skirt | Champagne Twist
The Cunning Plan Skirt | Champagne Twist

So here we are in June and the #MMMay17 challenge is over for another year. This is the first time I had fully embraced the challenge and these are the 3 main things I learnt.

  1. Wearing and/or making something everyday is hard. On some days, especially the sunny ones, I just wanted to go out in the sunshine and enjoy it. Living in the UK you quickly learn that warm sunny days are few and far between so we have to make the most of them. Sadly that becomes difficult if you have to drag a head sewing machine along.

On some days, such as the Manchester bombing, sewing became unimportant. Thankfully most of the time, sewing is a fun and creative outlet. I learnt that there is little point forcing yourself when you don’t feel like picking up a needle. Sometimes it’s best to walk away for a couple of hours and then return when the time is right.

2. I’m pleased my handmade wardrobe is building up nicely. I have made and worn a lot of skirts, a few dresses but oddly no trousers! I could do with a few more tops too.  The gaps in my handmade wardrobe have certainly been highlighted, and I wouldn’t have noticed had it not been for the MMMay17 challenge. I shall spend the rest of the year addressing these wardrobe gaps, when my current projects are completed.

3. I have a lot of sewing ideas and plans in my head, but few on paper.  I discovered the best way to resolve this was to start a sewing sketchbook.  It has been fun going through magazines and Pinterest, and adding them to my sketchbook. It is also a helpful tool for designing new clothes and addressing gaps in my wardrobe. I shall be writing a post soon about how to create a sewing sketchbook.

mmm plain

Next year, I’m going to change my tactics and vlog MMMay18 weekly, rather than a daily basis. The extra pressure I had placed on myself to blog, vlog and make, especially with a computer which was acting up, was too much.

However I did enjoy this challenge and hopefully this time next year my wardrobe will be nearly 100% complete.

Did you take part in MMMay17? What did you learn from the process? Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

 

Champagne Twist Destash Page – now live!

Hello,

Last Saturday I hosted my very first Instagram Destash. Today, I’m pleased to announce that I’m hosting another Destash, this time on the Champagne Twist blog.

cham-t-destash.jpg

Head over to the Destash page, to seek out craft related bargains, including cards, fabrics, haberdashery, books and so much more.  The Destash page is permanent, and updated every Friday, so subscribe and check out the bargains before you miss out.

Terms and Conditions:

  1. I can only accept Paypal payments, as I think this is the easiest, quickest and safest way to do this.
  2. Postage is not included in the price and will be added on to your invoice.
  3. All measurements stated are approximate.
  4. Any defects, marks or imperfections will be highlighted as clearly as possible.
  5. To purchase an item, just fill in the form with your purchase requests.  First come, first served.
  6. I will then send you an invoice, payable immediately. Please note, dispatch can only occur after I have successfully received correct payment.
  7. All sales once confirmed are final.
  8. Packaging is free of charge – as I believe in recycling as much as possible, please be aware that the packaging will not be brand new – EXCEPT FOR BABY CLOTHING and BUTTON PURCHASES, where the inside packaging will be new.  Any recycled packaging will be of good quality and more than adequate to ensure the safe arrival of your purchases.  Postage will be charged at the lowest possible rate.
  9. I will obtain a proof of postage certificate for each parcel sent. Please allow up to 5 working days for domestic delivery after confirmed despatch and 15 working days for overseas delivery after confirmed dispatch.

If you would like to send me pictures of what you have done with the items, that would be great. No obligation, I’m just nosy and would love to see how the items will be used. 🙂

Thanks for reading, any questions, please either comment below or send me a message.

Blogtacular 2017 – (2) Fears and Concerns

Hello,

Going-to-Blogtacular-200

Yesterday, I wrote about my hopes for Blogtacular 2017. Today the topic relates to my fears, concerns and how I will attempt to tackle them.

I admit, the initial outlay for me is a huge spur, in that I need to make this event cost effective for me and my future plans.  But like many people, the thought of meeting potentially 100s of people all at once, fills me with a mix of excitement and dread.  What if I say the wrong thing, what if wear something inappropriate?

I am definitely one of those people who would rather find the nearest, shaded corner and stick to it like glue. I want to focus on the learning opportunities, without worrying about how I look or if I say something silly.

Solution? – Chill out, stop eating cow and most importantly stop worrying about these things.  Easier said than done of course, but these are 3 things I need to remember:

  1. One of the goals of this event is to have as much fun as possible. Most of the people going to Blogtacular were either in the same boat or are in the same boat.  We are all going to be a bit nervous, even probably the hosts! But it’s important to remember, this is an event in London, in June, which celebrates all things blogging, vlogging, creative, shopping, crafts … heck is it June 10th yet?
  2. Another goal I have is to meet more people. Blogging is great fun, but can suddenly become a very solitary career if not kept in check. I have noticed how hard it is to discuss blogging matters to non-bloggers.  As much as I love the movie “The Net”, I don’t relish a future as the Sandra Bullock character.
  3. The main goal for me during this event is to learn how to take this blog, my youtube channel, Pinterest and Instagram feeds further. Whirling ideas around in my own head is only going to get me so far. It is also a chance to share and even impart some of my own wisdom to others. The opportunity to share and exchange ideas is a positive thing and will always lead to growth .

So, while no doubt I will be spending some time hiding in my strategically selected corner, gathering up courage to speak to some poor, unsuspecting soul, – for which I apologise now in case I do say something stupid – I will also, after a suitable amount of time has elapsed, venue out onto the ‘dance floor’.

Another ways to break the ice is to attend one of the fringe events. There are 2 photowalks and a videowalk scheduled for Friday 9th, as well as a pre-conference party, also held on Friday. These are opportunities to meet people before the conference in a more manageable group size, as well as gain some more skills so vital to the blogging arena. So if you can, sign up for these fringe events and hopefully it will help ease any fears you may have.

What are your tips and suggestions to cope with anxiety or dealing with unusual situations? Are you shy or worried about meeting new people? How do you overcome these situations? Please comment below and share your ideas.

Tomorrow, I will write about how I’m planning to revamp my social network in time for Blogtacular. Please subscribe so you don’t miss the next instalment in this series.

Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow.

May Favourites on Champagne Twist

Hello,

The May favourites video went live this morning on YouTube. If you would like to watch, please click the screen below. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading and watching 🙂

Countdown to Blogtacular!

Hello,

Can you believe it? This is day 1 of month 6 of 2017! A lot has happened so far this year, and not all of it good. But I hope that the remainder of the year will prove to be more peaceful, productive and perhaps  dare I say more lucrative. For me a reboot kicks off on June 10, with the long awaited spectacular that is Blogtacular.

Going-to-Blogtacular-200

This will be my first Blogtacular, and it is for me, a risky financial investment. I say investment, in that I hope that I will be able to recoup my outlay, gaining quality information and guidance to improve my social media network. I hope to solidify my  skillset in order to become more productive in terms of my media content production. I also hope to meet loads of bloggers, vloggers, crafters, artists and creators to be inspired and hopefully inspire others. (Oooh that sounds good, I should put that on my press pack! – hmm maybe not.)

It’s a lot to ask of a 1 day conference. There’s also much to do to prepare for the event, and so I’m taking time out now to ensure that I am able to get the very most out of the experience.

In the run up to Blogtacular I will blog daily my hints and tips up to the day, as well as report on the day itself. I will say if I managed to achieve everything I hoped for.  I will also review the event, and ascertain if it was value for money.

So no pressure then.

Today, I have discussed my hopes and aims for the conference, tomorrow I shall detail my fears and concerns, and how I will try to tackle them.  Please subscribe to find out how I prepare for Blogtacular and please share your thoughts about the event in the comments box below.

Thanks for reading.

#makelikeaboss: The Village Haberdashery and A L’aise event – My Take-A-Ways

Today, I visited The Village Haberdashery in North West London, to a) not buy any fabric (didn’t work!) and b) listen to a talk by a remarkable business owner, Suzie Dicker.

For the 2nd of the Make like a boss series, Suzie Dicker of A L’aise (which happens to be French for ‘at ease’ or ‘comfort’), explained to a keen audience how she started her amazing business with practically nothing. Yet within 18 months, her stationery and small leather goods company can easily sit amongst such brand names as Smythson, Orla Kiely and Cath Kidston.

My 3 take-a-ways from the talk were:

  1. Don’t try and do everything yourself – if you’re not good with numbers, get an accountant. Outsourcing isn’t a dirty word, or something to be ashamed of, rather it should be embraced, as it will allow you to focus on the areas of the business you excel at.
  2. Good product photography is key.  Suzie attended 2 trade shows in her first year of business, which created a buzz for her products. She made the point however, if those potential customers then refer back to a website which doesn’t match the high quality of the products, it doesn’t create the best impression.
  3. You can start a business with no money.  This is a huge one for me, as I’m in the process of building my own business on a limited budget. Have a business plan – if you need help writing a business plan, ask an accountant or business advisor. Make sure you have the paperwork to back up your dreams before you head towards your bank manager. Start off with a professional business plan and make it impossible for the bank manager to say no.

Actually, there was another personal take-a-way  I finally managed to source the fabric for my top to match my Henley Skirt. It has only taken me the best part of a year, and yes I did promise not to buy any more fabric. But then again, if recent events have taught us anything, seizing the day seems rather apt.

The next in the make like a boss series features Tilly Walnes from Tilly and the Buttons. Visit the Village Haberdashery website for more details, check out the facebook page here.

Thanks to Suzie for an inspiring talk and  all at Village Haberdashery for hosting such a fantastic event.

The Great Champagne Twist Destash: Q&As, T&Cs and Sale Schedule

 

destash-2

Hello,

I thought it might be a good idea to post about the up coming destash I’m hosting on Instagram this Saturday 27th May, 2017.  I hope you will join me and grab a few bargains.

Questions and Answers

Where is the sale?

On Instagram – please follow Champagne_Twist_Destash

What time does the destash sale start?

12 noon GMT

Why host a sale?

I have accumulated so much stuff over the years, I have simply run out of room to work effectively. The choice is to either move to a new house the size of Buckingham Palace (I did ask, but the Queen said no) or to sell these things to a someone who can make use of them.

This will mean that I will have more time and space to make more videos and post more on my blog.

What type of things are you selling?

Items for Sale

You’re selling baby clothes? How come?

In regards to the baby clothes, they are all brand new and unused. They were purchased for research purposes (I was thinking about designing and selling baby clothes) and rather than throw them away, I thought it best to sell them on. There is a bit of a pink theme, but heck at that age babies don’t know, or care.

Buttons?

All buttons (and any relevant small items) sold will be sorted and presented in a brand new organza bag – who wants an envelope of loose buttons?

What’s for sale? How much?

Prices start from as little as 50p (excluding postage). All the items range from bargain basement finds to high end, including products from local London markets, Laura Ashley, Cath Kidston, John Lewis and Liberty.

I hope you will find this sale fun and you bag a few bargains for yourself and loved ones. Tell your friends, sit down with a cuppa and lets do this 🙂

Terms and Conditions

I know T&Cs are not the most interesting of things, but please do read before you purchase – and let me know if you have any questions.

The sale on Instagram starts at 12 noon GMT Saturday 27th May 2017.

Please visit Champagne_Twist_Destash to purchase items for sale.

  1. I can only accept Paypal payments, as I think this is the easiest, quickest and safest way to do this.
  2. All measurements stated are approximate.
  3. Any defects, marks or imperfections will be highlighted as clearly as possible.
  4. The Sale Schedule (please see below) is for guidance purposes only, and may be subject to change.
  5. To purchase an item, just reply back with your First name. The first person or people to reply with their First name, wins.
  6. I will then reply with the message, “Sold to [your First Name and Instagram handle]”. After that, please DM me with your Paypal address and the country you live, so I can work out the correct postage for you. This will take a couple of days for me to sort out, so please bear with me, I will keep you informed and email you when I have dispatched the item. Please note dispatch can only occur after I have successfully received correct payment.
  7. All sales once confirmed are final. If you win an item and change your mind, please reply again as soon as possible so the item can be sold to someone else.
  8. Packaging is free of charge – as I believe in recycling as much as possible, please be aware that the packaging will not be brand new – EXCEPT FOR BABY CLOTHING and BUTTON PURCHASES, where the inside packaging will be new.  Any recycled packaging will be of good quality and will be more than adequate to ensure the safe arrival of your purchases.  Postage will be charged at the lowest possible rate.
  9. I will obtain a proof of postage certificate. Please allow up to 5 working days for domestic delivery after confirmed despatch and 15 working days for overseas delivery after confirmed dispatch.

If you would like to post me pictures of what you have done with the items, that would be great. No obligation, I’m just nosy and would love to see how the items will be used.

 

Sale Schedule (subject to change)

Time Zone –  GMT

12 noon – Fabric – part 1

1pm – Knitting items, buttons and sewing collectables

2pm – Fabric – part 2 and buttons

3pm – BREAK TIME (approx 1 hour)

4pm – Baby clothes

5pm – Paper craft items/ Stationery

6pm – Books and paper sewing patterns

7pm – Misc

8pm – Sale ends (If there are a lot of unsold items left, I may host another sale the following Saturday).

I hope this post is clear and easy to understand, but if I have missed something out, you have any questions, or seek clarification, please contact me either here or on Instagram Champagne_Twist_Destash.

Hope to see you on Instagram on Saturday! Enjoy and thanks for reading.

 

Lulu Guinness Benefit Cosmetics Event

Today, I was lucky enough to attend the Culture Cloud, Benefit Cosmetics brow make up demo, hosted by Lulu Guinness at their Covent Garden in central London. It was fun and informative session, where the audience learned how to properly apply brow makeup, and were introduced to the Benefits make-up range.

We are also given the opportunity to browse the new Lulu Guinness Spring/Summer Collection, here’s a highlight video –

For the event I wore my “Round Things” skirt, together with a striped top and a “Marcie” bag from Lulu Guinness.  Unfortunately, the predicted 20 degree weather turned out to be a mini monsoon in reality. So as I write this, I’m loading up with hot cups of tea and any fruit which contains high levels of vitamin C.  To think it’s June in a couple of weeks!

Lulu Guinness Marcie bag in mist with round things skirt

Thanks for reading.

Clothkits Big Birdie Skirt – Completed

 

Hello,

A quick note about how I completed the Clothkits Big Birdie skirt –

CKits cover

Planned adjustments:

  1. I added a lining to the skirt, the fabric came from a stall in Walthamstow market.  It is 100% viscose, polka dot, for £2.50 per meter.
  2. To add a little length, I finished the hem with bias binding.
  3. I will add hanger tapes, made from the measuring tape ribbon provided.

Adjustments made:

I finished all the cut edges with an overlock stitch. This not completely necessary, but there is plenty of sewing thread provided should you wish to do the same.

Below is a short video featuring the skirt, enjoy!

Thanks for reading and watching.

The Great Champagne Twist Destash – Sale Update

Two weeks today, the Great Champagne Twist Destash Sale will start.

Don’t miss out!

destash-2

There will be all sorts of haberdashery and craft materials for sale, all at bargain prices.

Items for Sale

Register your interest by following on Instagram – champagne_twist_destash

Tell your crafting family and friends!

Me Made May – Day 9 | Champagne Twist

Today, I wore for the first time my new Big Birdie skirt, which I renamed the Birdie Skirt.  Yes it is May, and corduroy season is well and truly over, but it has ben so cold recent. So instead of saving the skirt for Autumn, I gave it a test run.  I must say I really like it, it very comfortable, and thanks to my bias binding hem, it’s not too short. I will be looking out for more designs from Clothkits.

Here’s a review of the skirt I made: review.

The video below is also an update on the lining I added to the kit –

 Me Made Wear – The Birdie Skirt

May Day: Beyond the Movement

https://www.womensmarch.com

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 19.56.13

Can you believe that in 2017 we still have to protest this? Argh!

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 20.31.25

Anyway, to everyone taking part in all the marches across the globe today, have a fun, safe and wonderful day.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 20.34.51

The CT Show New episode – Easter Week Look Book | Champagne Twist

Hello,

As promised, here is a short video Look Book of the items of clothing I wore over Easter Week.

Details of each outfit will be posted soon.

Please comment and add any suggestions you may have in the comment box below.

Don’t forget to subscribe and also remember that I am hosting a destash sale in May.  Please sign up on Instagram champagne_twist_destash.

destash-2

Thanks for reading.

Stationery Week 2017 – Top 5

Well I never knew there was a national stationery week. So in celebration of all things stationery, here’s my top 5.

My top 5 stationery items

1. Pen pots – Various sources, Free 🙂

tin can pen holders

As I like to reuse and recycle items where possible, any pretty tin, container or cylinder  will be reused as pen, brush or pencil holders. I have also redecorated old tins with cut out pictures from garden catalogues and wallpaper samples.

 

2. 5 pack Fineliner pens – Wilkos, £1.25

fineliner

I particularly like these fineliner pens for writing and sketching. Working out at only 25p each, there are nice and cheap too.

 

3. 72 Inktense pencils – Derwent, around £70

inktense 72

My all time favourite colouring pencils, the Inktense pencils can create numerous effects from subtle watercolour to vivid strong paint effects.  They are my favourite colouring pencils, even if they cost an arm and a leg.

 

4. A5 Wiro Notebook, ruled 80 sheets – Wilkos, £1.50

notebooks

My go-to store for affordable and good quality gardening and stationery supplies, Wilkos has taken over where Woolworths left off. The fact that the cover colour matches my logo may or may not have some bearing on my decision to buy them. (It totally did.)

 

5. A4 Sketchbook – Rymans, £7.99

sketchbooks

Expensive, but great quality. As a student I bulk purchased loads of these sketchbooks, to take advantage of my uni discount, and I’m so glad I did. Trends will come and go, but somehow a plain covered black sketchbook adds an air of class and sophistication. So what if they are filled with pictures of puppies and kittens, on the outside it looks cool! I like the useful ribbon page marker and the elastic holder which keeps everything together.

Tip; if you have a student card, you can save loads by stockpiling during the half price sales.

Wish List

Journal book square paper – Wilkos, £3.75

I really keen about getting into journalling, and would like to start with an A5 sized journal.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 18.57.34

Picture source : http://www.wilko.com/notebooks+pads/wilko-a5-pu-journal-square-paper/invt/0416975

 

Large personal planner – Kikki. K, £42

I fear this one will remain on the wish list, as it’s out of my price range.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 18.53.21

Picture source : http://www.kikki-k.com/personal-planner-large-mint

 

Don’t forget I will be selling a few stationery items during my Instagram destash sale, so please subscribe for more information.

Items for Sale

What are your favourite items of stationery? How are you celebrating stationery week? Please comment below.

Thanks for reading.

The CT Show: Easter Spring Dresses Videos | Champagne Twist

Hello,

I recently posted 3 makes for the recent Easter Spring Dress Sew Along challenge on my YouTube Channel.  Please check out episodes 16, 17 and 18 of the CT Show below.

There is another video coming up, showcasing the outfits I put together for the entire Easter week festival.  Stay tuned for that by subscribing!

Don’t forget I have a destash sale next month and I shall be releasing more details soon. Subscribe to Instagram champagne_twist_destash for more info.

destash-2

Thanks for reading 🙂

The Late Spring Destash Sale – News Update

Hello,

A quick word about some of the items for sale …

Items for Sale

Please subscribe to keep up to date – more details nearer the time. Please also register your interest via Instagram – champagne_twist_destash.

Thanks for reading.

The Great Late Spring Destash Sale – Save The Date | Champagne Twist

Hello,

This is an early heads up for the forth coming Late Spring Sale.

destash-2

I’m currently in the process of organising this mammoth task, so please click the subscribe button to keep posted.  Thanks for reading and don’t forget …

Saturday 27th May 2017.

National Tea Day – top 3 teas of the year so far | Champagne Twist

Today is National Tea Day, so you can guess the theme of today’s post.

Here are my top 3 teas, of the year so far.

Teapigs Matcha Green Tea Drink - Elderflower - Champagne Twist ChampagneTwist.wordpress.com
Teapigs Matcha Green Tea Drink, with Elderflower – Champagne Twist

3rd – TeaPigs Matcha Elderflower 

teapigs-liqourice-peppermint

2nd – Teapigs Liquorice and Peppermint

Niche Tea, Champagne Twist

1st – Niche co. ‘Skin’

What’s your favourite cuppa? How are you celebrating National Tea Day? Let me know in the comments section.

Thanks for reading.

EasterSpringDress2017 Reveal: Part 2 Palm Sunday

Hello,

Today I will show case the outfit I wore on Palm Sunday.

Original plans:

To make a simple top made with especially purchased palm tree or palm leaf print, to co-ordinate with items already in my wardrobe.

Issues:

Could I find a suitable palm print fabric? Could I heck! I searched the internet, visited Walthamstow fabric market – twice!, went to every fabric shop in Goldhawk Road, and found … nothing.  I’m pretty shocked by this as Greenery is the Pantone colour of 2017, and palm prints are all over the place in high street and home decor shops.

I won’t give up on this and will try other fabric haberdashery districts, but due to running out of time, I adapted my plans and came up with this:-

Palm Sunday Inspired outfit

_DSC6181.jpg

The skirt is purchased, but I made the top from some fabric I had in my stash. The fabric is a olive green polyester and made from a self drafted tank top pattern. The combined neck and arm holes facing is made with the same fabric.

What I would change or do differently

As I mentioned, I wanted to make a top with an element of palm tree or palm leaf print to represent Palm Sunday.  When I do find a suitable fabric, I will buy some for a tank top, and maybe some more to line a simple plain cream jacket to co-ordinate.  If you have any ideas as to where I can locate this fabric, please let me know.

That said, I have a top, which was quick to make and comfortable to wear. I have only recently embraced green as a colour to wear and so far, apart from the palm fabric hiccup, it has been fun.

Tomorrow, I will showcase my outfit for Easter Monday, please subscribe to Champagne Twist so you don’t miss it.

Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow.

#EasterSpringDress2017 – The Reveal : part 1

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 12.20.42.png

Hello,

The Easter Spring Dress 2017 Sew a long has been a great opportunity for me to tackle my fabric fabric stash and review my Spring Wardrobe. So much so, that I decided I didn’t want to limit myself to making 1 dress for Easter. Oh no, I’m not one to make life easy for myself. I decided to put together outfits for everyday of the Easter festival.  This meant either creating items or completing UFOs to wear everyday from Palm Sunday right through to Easter Bank holiday Monday. 9 outfits with at least 1 element I have made.

Yes, this is a completely mad, totally unrealistic and impossible task but, when has a little thing like that ever stopped me?

Easter for me is a time for renewal. I like to celebrate the long awaited arrival of Spring and new beginnings, whilst remembering the true meaning behind Easter. Whist the focus is Easter Sunday, Easter is actually a week long festival. Quite frankly in these strange times any excuse for a week long festival involving creativity, love, inclusion, chocolate and fun, is a festival I’m signing up for.

So over the next few days on Champagne Twist, I will showcase my outfits, some which have been made especially, some are adapted and some were UFOs, all completed for the Easter festival.  I hope you will join me on my journey.

Thanks for reading, please sign up for updates, and subscribe of more from Champagne Twist. Spread the word.

#EasterSpringDress2017

Hello and Happy Easter!

 

First day of Spring, equinox

I’ve finally posted a short video of one of the outfits (yes one – ahem!) I made for the #EasterSpringDress2017 sew along. I posted some information here – Easter Spring Dress.

I have spent so much time planning, designing and thinking about this project. I crazily decided that I couldn’t settle on just one outfit, so I designed outfits for every day of Easter Week.  Yes, the entire 9 day Easter festival. That’s how I roll. Here is the outfit for yesterday – Easter Saturday, otherwise known as the “Apple Blossom Outfit”.

It would be great to read your comments about the outfits, if you have any suggestions please let me know. There will be more detailed information tomorrow about the other outfits, shortly followed by a YouTube video all being well. Please subscribe so you don’t miss out.

Thanks for reading, and again have a very happy Easter 🙂

April Resolutions | Champagne Twist

We’re already half way through April, so far I have managed, to a certain extent, to keep up with 2 online sewing challenges, (#EasterSpringDress Sew Along and #SewApril2017) completed a number of UFOs and even started making a Chanel style outfit.

None of the above have anything to do with this month’s resolution, as it happens to be Gardening. But never fear, I have planed for April a number of indoor and outdoor creative ideas to share with you.

gardening april

Over the next few days, watch out for loads of creative makes all with a garden theme, including haberdashery tools, home decor and even an outfit!

Make sure you subscribe to this blog for more information. Like and share as well to help spread the word,

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday Thinking – Is there enough diversity in the world of arts and crafts?

Wednesday Thinking The Mid-week Editorialv

When I heard there was going to be a new shopping TV channel dedicated to all things sewing and quilting, it almost made my year.

Then I started watching.

Here are some of the main cast of presenters and designers on the new shopping channel, Sewing Quarter.

Group1Edited.jpg

Picture credit/source: Sewing Quarter/https://www.sewingquarter.com/the-sewing-quarter/about-us/

Only 1 male presenter, no male designers, as for ethnic diversity – well here’s the picture, need I say more?

A while ago, I published a piece about the lack of diversity in the music industry, referencing the issues regarding the dominance of a single artist in the UK charts.  Sadly those same themes appear to dominate the world of art and crafts as well.

As much as I enjoyed the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show, I was saddened that the range of crafts displayed didn’t reflect the wide diversity of the cratfters, producers and makers in the UK. During my 2 days at the show, I only saw 2 crafter/bloggers of colour at the event – Megan of Pigeon Wishes and Chinelo Bally. There also seemed to be very few male crafters live demonstrating at the show.

When I visit areas such as Goldhawk Road in West London, Walthamstow Fabric Market in East London and areas in-between such as Berwick Street and Portobello Road,  I see a united nations of crafters – beginner hobbyists to professionals, shoppers, shop owners, artists, young and the young at heart. So why is this not reflected in the main stream crafting media, fairs and TV shows?

I know there’s always YouTube, but I also know there is a strong appetite for new challenges, materials and techniques. Chinese jacquards, Indian silks, Nigerian Cottons, Japanese Embroidery, Italian Wools are all highly popular at the moment, but there are few places on the web to inform you how to use these wonderful fabric and techniques. When they are showcased, it is usually by people who are so far removed from the historical and social context of these crafts, the results becomes diluted. An recent example was highlighted during a quilting demonstration on Sewing Quarter where the cultural heritage of quilting was only briefly mentioned.

 

While personally I’m not a huge fan of Colette patterns for various reasons, at least they are attempting to reflect their diverse clientele, featuring models who are diverse in both shape and skin colour. It’s at least a small step the the right direction. Sadly, of all the independant pattern designers, Colette patterns is the only one I know of, who actively do so. None of the top 5 UK independent sewing pattern designers do, as far as I’m aware, which sends out subtle messages of exclusion.

It seems a great pity 2 genres; music and arts & crafts, ideal mediums for bringing people together, appear to be doing the opposite.

What you think? Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Elizabeth D Bakes – Vegan Baking Masterclass

This time last week, I was enjoying a great masterclass, held by the owner of Elizabeth D Bakes, hosted by the Piccadilly branch of Whole Foods Market.  Elizabeth demonstrated no less than 3 different recipes – pistachio brownie, carrot cake and lime tart.

My absolute favourite was the carrot cake, with it’s wonderful spicy mix and delicious carrots.  The lime icing really brought out the flavour of the gluten-free cake, much better in my opinion than the traditional cream cheese frosting, and for far less calories.

The brownie while delicious, was my less favourite of the trio, partly because as much as I would love to, I still can’t really get my head around chia seeds.  To me they look too much like frog spawn when reconstituted and they don’t match the flavour and consistency of eggs.

In contrast, the lime pie was a lovely treat – delicious, moist, crumbly and full of delicious citrus flavour. It came a close second to the carrot cake, and it’s nice to know that the entire pie can be frozen at different stages, so that you will always have one ready on standby.

The masterclass was a great eye opener for me. Simply substituting just a few inexpensive ingredients can produce cakes and bakes which are just as delicious as the traditional version, if not more so. The added bonus, these recipes tend to be a whole lot healthier and less calorific, due to their free from, gluten free and/or vegan attributes.

We are all given goodie bags, which included 2 Elizabeth D Bakes banana breads. I shall review the banana bread at a later date. I will also try the recipes given at the event and report back.

5-starOne of the best masterclasses of the year so far – fun, informative and generous  yummy samples provided. Eating cake for Sunday brunch can’t be beaten.

Quick Vegan Flat Bread – recipe | Champagne Twist

A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for quick flat bread. This recipe is just as quick to make, and perhaps a tad healthier. I even managed to make an extra 2 flat breads with this recipe.

Quick Vegan Flat Bread – recipe by Champagne Twist

quick vegan flat bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 4 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup warm water

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food mixer, until a slightly sticky dough is formed.
  2. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the dough to rest.
  3. After resting, divide the dough into 14 equally sized balls.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a heavy bottomed saucepan or frying pan over a medium to medium high heat.
  5. Roll each dough ball on a well floured board, into a circle about the size of a tea saucer.
  6. Cook each flat bread in the pan, for a minute on each side.
  7. To keep the flat breads warm whilst cooking, cover a plate with a clean tea towel, and add the freshly cooked flat breads on top. Cover again with another clean tea towel to keep them warm.

Let me know if you try this recipe. Please don’t forget to subscribe for more recipes – Easter is coming up and I have a few treats in store 🙂

Thanks for reading.

#SewApril2017

Hello,

I’m taking part in the #sewapril2017 challenge over on Instagram. If you love anything to do with sewing and clothes design, please go and check it out.

Champagne Twist on Instagram (@ champagne_twist)

 

sq-neck-shirt-fabric

Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist
Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist
Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com
Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist – champagnetwist.wordpress.com

CT Show, episode 15 now live

Hello,

whole orange and fresh coco nut cake | Champagne Twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com

Episode 15 of the CT Show is now live on YouTube, featuring the Whole Orange & Fresh Coconut cake recipe I posted a few days ago.

More coming soon, so please don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.

Thanks for reading.

Clothkits Big Birdie Skirt Kit – review and construction progress

Clothkits Big Birdie Skirt Kit | Champagne Twist

As I mentioned in my previous Clothkits review, I am new to the company and was excited to try their Big Birdie Skirt and matching bag and purse set.  The kit was beautifully presented, wrapped with a measuring tape ribbon, which is actually accurate!

Clothkits inches measuring tape ribbon | Champagne Twist

The kit consists of a large piece of fabric, on which is printed 6 skirt pieces – skirt front, 2 skirt back pieces, 3 facings – a zip, a spool of matching thread and an instruction leaflet.

Clothkits Big Birdie Skirt Kit | Champagne Twist

Clothkits Big Birdie Skirt Kit | Champagne Twist

The kit includes more than enough thread for the project, I overlocked all the edges of each of the 6 cut outs and still had plenty of thread left on the spool. A good quality zip is also provided, but you could swap this out for an invisible zip if you prefer.

clothkits big birdie skirt kit - 6 pieces | champagne twist

Overlocked edges Clothkits Big Birdie Skirt Kit | Champagne Twist

Instructions – pros and cons

The instructions are printed on a sheet of A4 sized paper, with a few helpful diagrams. In the most part they are clear to follow, but as the instructions say, I would strongly advise that you take a few minutes to read and reread them. There are a couple of minor typos, and the facings instructions were duplicated, but nothing of much concern.

There was 1 issue, the instructions didn’t make clear which size I should cut, but I happened to find details on the Clothkits website, with bust, waist and hip measurements for each size from 8 to 20. All well and good if you have internet access, not so much of you don’t.

There are separate instructions for lining the skirt. You have to call Clothkits for the information, which are then emailed to you within minutes. Nice to have the option, and the extra service is quick and easy, however, for those without ready internet access this could be a problem.

Pattern/Kit

As the kit doesn’t include a separate paper pattern, and I wanted to make a skirt lining, I traced the cut out pieces onto Swiss paper. My tracing will enable me to use the pattern for future projects, thus making the kit very cost effective. I also drafted in-seam pockets, but you could easily add patch pockets from the fabric remnants, if you wanted to add your own touches.

On me for some reason, the A-line design fits more like a straight skirt, but I still like the shape.

Tip – Do not discard the remnants. Clothkits have been very generous with the fabric they provide, with many of the left over pieces featuring printed motifs, many of which I used to supplement my Clothkits bag and purse set.

Value for money

At nearly £40, initially the kit seems expensive, but bear in mind that the fabric is baby corduroy, which features a lovely printed design by Jane Foster. Everything to make the basic skirt is included in the kit and there is extra fabric with printed motifs, if you wish to embellish your skirt further.

Construction

In all, it took about 2 hours from start to finish (not including the planned extras) to make the skirt.  I took my time and overlocked the edges, otherwise this skirt can easily be made in under an hour. For beginners, I think this is a lovely, quick and simple skirt, which is very attractive and fun to make.  For more experienced sewists, there is plenty of scope to add your own embellishments, especially with the remnant pieces of fabric.

I especially like the fact that I am able to make use of the left over pieces, which adds to the value of this kit. The customer support is very good, as is the product itself.

In marked contrast to the bag and purse kit, I really enjoyed making this skirt. I plan to add a few more embellishments, but for now here is the almost finished item.

Jane Foster Big Birdie Print A-Line skirt Clothkits | Champagne Twist
Back skirt view – Jane Foster Big Birdie Print A-Line skirt by Clothkits

CKits cover

4-star

 

 

 

 

 

Clothkits bag and purse kit review | Champagne Twist

Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com
Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist – champagnetwist.wordpress.com

 

I am new to the Clothkits phenomena, which I’m reliably informed was a huge thing back in the 70s and 80s. Clothkits were as the name suggests kits made up of everything you need to make a dress, skirt or doll, all in a kit, including fabric with the printed pattern ready to cut out, doing away with the need of a paper pattern. The system appealed to newbie crafters as well as sewing people who were time short.  After a hiatus, Clothkits were relaunched about 10 years ago, and this year seem to be making a strong impact for people who would like to start crafting.

Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com
Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist – champagnetwist.wordpress.com

I came across Clothkits after watching the Sewing Quarter, where the demoed a wonderful skirt kit.  Sadly by the time I got around to ordering, they has sold out.  Fortunately, a few days later the kit came back in stock together with a matching bag, which I immediately snapped up.

Yesterday, a week after ordering, both the kits arrived, and I immediately set to work, thinking the bag and purse kit would be the easiest and quickest, before embarking onto the skirt.

Upon opening the well presented package, I was surprised to see how small the printed sections were.  Where I was hoping for a large tote, the final piece was barely large enough to enclose a computer tablet. I add at this point that in my haste to order the bag before it sold out, I didn’t make a note of the size of the bag, and assumed it was the size of a shopper tote, but as you can see below, the Clothkits bag is considerably smaller.  The only picture on display on both the Clothkits website and the Sewing Quarter website show the kit all wrapped up, so you can’t gauge how big the finished bag will be, until you purchase the kit.

Source: sewing quarter.com

So already disappointed, I ventured on with the project, to discover that the rest of the contents where equally ungenerous when compared with the skirt kit. The thread reel was smaller than the one included with the skirt kit, the lining fabric was barely adequate for both the bag and purse, leaving little room for error.  I had the use the striped lining horizontally for the purse and vertically for the bag in order for it to fit, which is a pity as the 2 items won’t exactly match.

There was also little scope for pattern matching, but as this kit is aimed at beginners, and it was lining fabric hitch no one else would see, I could let that slide. I like the striped fabric, but for this kit, maybe a plain lining would have been more suitable.

Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com
Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist – champagnetwist.wordpress.com

From the instructions, depending on pot luck apparently, the kit includes either webbing, printed straps, or as in my case, extra cord fabric which you cut out yourself. For a supposedly pre printed kit, I thought it was rather odd I had to work out how to cut out the bag straps, while the main body of the bag and purse was printed with cut out lines.  As an introduction to Clothkits, I found this more than a little disappointing.

Most of the instructions were easy to follow, although I’m not sure if that would have been the case if I was an absolute beginner.

Adjustments:

  • From the leftover material from the skirt kit, I made inner pockets for both the bag and purse.

    Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com
    Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist
  • I will purchase some webbing to make a longer crossover body strap, as the handles I was supposed to make from the ‘left over’ fabric as instructed, were far too small.
  • I added a piece of the ribbon used to tie up the kit, to the zip pull to create a pull tag.

Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist - zip pull

  • I attached the inner lining of the purse, by sewing it by hand. I used a natural coloured thread, which matched the lining fabric for a better finish. I didn’t like how the red thread showed up on the inner white and black striped lining fabric.
  • I will make a button closure for the bag, using the leftover scraps from the skirt kit. Details will be posted as soon as the webbing arrives and I have completed the bag.

In short, had I not purchased the skirt kit, I wouldn’t be able to make the bag work for me at all. For £19.95 plus £2.95 p&p, I don’t think this is good value for money, as the bag is far too small to be useful for an adult, unless you have the skills and knowledge to make it your own. I still have to purchase webbing, as cord fabric handles I don’t think will give a nice finish to a bag of this type. This should have been a quick project, but it will take me a couple of days waiting for extra supplies, for a kit that I think should have included webbing in the first place.

Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com
Clothkits bag and purse set | Champagne Twist – champagnetwist.wordpress.com

The purse is the one saving grace for this kit, but it’s not enough to save this product. If I was a starter, this kit would have discouraged me from buying any more Clothkits. In short, very disappointing, and in marked contrast the to skirt kit, I regret purchasing this bag and purse set.

1-star

Yes, the rating is harsh, but when compared with similar products, including other kits from the Clothkits range, this particular one just doesn’t make the grade. I’m glad to say that I’ve started the Clothkits skirt kit, and so far I’m very impressed with the product and can’t wait to finish it, and start wearing it.

I will post my full review of the Clothkits skirt kit on Thursday, so please stay tuned for that. Don’t forget to subscribe to keep updated on all things new on Champagne Twist.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

How to make a mini travel sewing kit

spring clean - march

As part of this month’s Spring Clean theme, I am posting related articles to help with every day tasks and organisation. Today’s post is about creating a mini travel sewing kit for sartorial emergencies.

Whether you sew or not, it’s a good idea to carry a sewing kit in case you lose a button or a hem unravels. Here’s how I made my mine:

  1. 3 needles, 2 ready threaded
  2. small scissors or snips
  3. spare shirt buttons
  4. thread bobbin, with about 5 different coloured threads
  5. safety pins, in various sizes

Plus, a small container to hold the above items, such as an old sweet tin.

mini travel sewing kit | champagne twist

Needles –

sewing needles | champagne twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com

Place 3 needles on a small fabric scrap. Thread 2 with white and black threads, leaving one spare. This will help save time in case you’re in a hurry.

 

Small scissors –

scissors | champagne twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com

If you have one from last year’s Christmas cracker, this is where it becomes useful. If not, raid your sewing kit or consider purchasing a pair.

Spare buttons –

white shirt buttons | champagne twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com

You could make a small paper envelope to store spare buttons, but I just usually keep 2 or 3 loose in the tin.

Thread bobbin –

thread bobbin card | champagne twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com

Wrap different coloured threads around a small piece of cardboard. The colours I use reflect the colour of the clothes I usually wear. Adapt the thread colours according to your daily wardrobe.  Add extra black and white thread, as these tend to be the most useful.

Safety pins –

safety pins | champagne twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com

These are quick to use, if you don’t have time to do a temporary repair. I used a piece of ribbon to store my pins together, but you could use a small envelope, pin them on a fabric scrap or simply pin them together.

 

 

mini travel sewing kit | champagne twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com

Add the above 5 items in a box or tin, place in your every day travel bag*, and you will never be caught with a lost button or unraveled hem again.

*Note, if you’re travelling by air, chances are you will not be permitted to fly with sharp objects such as scissors. Check with your carrier before you add your sewing kit to your hand luggage.

mini travel sewing kit | champagne twist - champagnetwist.wordpress.com

I hope you found this article useful, please comment below and add your suggestions. Do you carry a sewing kit? What’s in yours?

Don’t forget to subscribe for more tips and tricks. Thanks for reading.

This is London

Tower Bridge

 

What is London?

Multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-sane.

A city of grafters,

fighting daily, just to get from Alperton to Brixton.

London, where mighty oak leaves stop trains in their tracks,

and imaginary daily rain stops play,

but bombs from wars ago are instantly overcome.

A city of villages and villagers,

of nomads, of dwellers.

High rise flats, and occupants with higher dreams.

Where fisherfolk fish alongside skyscrapers,

and farmers plough fields next to palaces.

Computer techies and hand crafters,

city suits and planning drafters.

Bespoke tailoring in greasy spoons,

eating fish and chips like it’s going out of fashion.

Paddington Bear, Wimbledon Wombles,

Big Ben, Little Venice.

John and Sherlock, Naomi and Mary,

Super heroes, armed with courage, intelligence, grace and magical flying umbrellas.

Of disappearing red phone boxes,

And an omnipresent blue police call box.

Double hearted souls, who run hot and cold,

towards both adventure and danger in equal measure.

The ever expanding city, that never stands still,

living in the the past, present and future.

Taxi drivers who rule the metropolis,

chauffeuring MPs to their duck ponds.

Laptops in coffee shops,

connecting lives to the world outside.

Streets paved not with gold, but from the stolen toil

of kidnapped lions and Kings.

A city of many bridges, with more to come.

People from every country cross

with people from every country,

hoping to reach a destination full of wonder.

A city that trumps hate,

voted for inclusion,

demanded equality,

marched for the planet,

hosted the greatest games.

Of art, and science, and music and

laughter, and tears, and dance, and sound, and

colours, all the colours.

Where everyone is different, which makes us family.

Extraordinary in it’s ordinariness,

perfect in its imperfections,

the world in one city, the city of the world,

and more, so much more.

This is London.

Flowers from Columbia Market,

to celebrate a birthday, a wedding, a birth,

to remember the fallen.

In sympathy with a brew,

for that’s what we do.

This is London.

We make tea.

We carry on.

 

Top 7 Dressmaking Trends for Spring Summer 2017

These are the top 7 sewing Fashion trends for Spring/Summer 2017, and my personal interpretation;

1. Greenery –greenery-colour-of-2017

Pantone’s colour of the year is so apt for Spring/Summer 2017. If you haven’t already, expect to see lots of green fabric and notions in the coming months. Check out my Greenery Pinterest board for further inspiration and ideas.

2. Gingham –

Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist

The ever popular, evergreen print is still dominating the fashion catwalks and sewing community network, including mine! So if, like me, you didn’t get round to finishing your gingham UFOs in 2016, you still have time.

 

 

 

 

3. Cold shoulder –

image from New Look.com

I’m not keen on this trend. It was made popular last year, and as resurfaced again this season.  We only get 10 days of sunshine with warm weather in the UK, cold shoulders are not warm enough! Try making with chambrays and finish with lace, in case we get a heatwave.

Picture Source: http://www.newlook.com/shop/womens/tops/blue-crochet-lace-trim-cold-shoulder-top-_513352849

 

4. Ruffles –http://www.instyle.com/fashion/clothing/shop-spring-2016-trend-ruffles

A throw back to the romantic 80s era, again another trend I’m not fond of. Done in a subtle way, it can be very effective, but it’s a waste of good fabric if you ask me.

Picture Source: http://www.instyle.com/fashion/clothing/shop-spring-2016-trend-ruffles

5. Embroidery –https://www.zara.com/uk/en/trf/tops/top-with-embroidered-dasies-c358032p4276074.html

Something I adore. I’ve plans to embroidery anything that makes the mistake of staying still for more than 2 seconds.  You have been warned.  Expect ideas for updating your wardrobe with simple and more advanced embroidery techniques. Check out my embroidery ideas collection on my Pinterest board.

Picture Source: https://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/tops/shirts/floral-embroidered-shirt-c401033p4310643.html

6. Sleeves –

https://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/tops/view-all/striped-top-with-scalloped-hem-c719021p4253051.html

Now I like a sleeve. I like short sleeves, long sleeves, no sleeves even.  I’m still figuring out how to successfully avoid the ‘mega long sleeve in soup’ scenario, but it’s definitely a trend I can get on board.

Picture Source: https://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/tops/view-all/striped-top-with-scalloped-hem-c719021p4253051.htmlv

 

7. Slogans T-shirts – http://www.dior.com/couture/en_gb/womens-fashion/the-spring-summer-2017-collection?gclid=CjwKEAjw5M3GBRCTvpK4osqj4X4SJAABRJNCkXLLrOAr9qP0H5AD11vUwoH2TogZ5NuvZ6plB4cCTRoCWi_w_wcBhttp://www.dior.com/couture/en_gb/womens-fashion/the-spring-summer-2017-collection?gclid=CjwKEAjw5M3GBRCTvpK4osqj4X4SJAABRJNCkXLLrOAr9qP0H5AD11vUwoH2TogZ5NuvZ6plB4cCTRoCWi_w_wcB

Yet another 80s throw back, with limited success. I like a good campaign slogan or a famous, inspirational quote, but if we start displaying designer names on our chests, then I’m out.

Picture Source: http://www.dior.com/couture/en_gb/womens-fashion/the-spring-summer-2017-collection?gclid=CjwKEAjw5M3GBRCTvpK4osqj4X4SJAABRJNCkXLLrOAr9qP0H5AD11vUwoH2TogZ5NuvZ6plB4cCTRoCWi_w_wcB

What are the sewing trends you’re following from ss17? Comment below and subscribe for more from Champagne Twist.

Thanks for reading.

Spring clean your wardrobe in 1 weekend – day 3 (Final day)

Spring clean theme for March - Champagne Twist

To recap, on Friday, you separated your Autumn/Winter clothes from your Spring/Summer clothes.

Yesterday you will have:

  • Completed your laundry,
  • Taken your clothes to the repair shop, dry cleaners,
  • Taken your unwanted clothes to the charity shop,
  • Set aside any clothes you wish to sell,
  • Prepared your clothes for ironing and/or mending.

Now for today’s tasks:

Spring Clean Your Wardrobe in 1 Weekend –

final day

spring summer wardrobe 2017

Sunday afternoon

You deserve a lie in, it is Sunday after all. Unless you absolutely have to, don’t get out of bed before noon.

1pm; Let’s make a start on those repairs, get them all out of the way.  Next, complete the ironing and put away your clothes. Prep your work clothes as well while you’re at it.

2pm; Give your wardrobe a quick wipe with a dampened cloth. There is no point organising your lovely clothes, only to place them in a dusty wardrobe. If you wish, you can line your drawers with scented paper, and add lavender bags to your hangers.  This may help keep your clothes freshly scented, and the moths away.

After all that, spend the rest of the day online shopping. Yes, shopping. You can browse your favourite online shops, order those pieces missing from your wardrobe, and look forward to receiving them in a few days. If like me you like sewing, you can purchase haberdashery according to your wardrobe tastes. You will find the notes you made on Friday and yesterday useful.

Your evening should be free for rest and relaxation, safe in the knowledge that your spring wardrobe is up to date. It’s nice to know another task that we so often put off, is done and you helped a charity in the process.

spring clean your wardrobe in 1 weekend

I hope you found this mini series useful, please leave your comments and suggestions in the comments box below. Don’t forget to subscribe for more. Thanks for reading.