Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist

My Great Big Sewing Resolution – Cherry Gingham Dress


Have another one for you! I am pleased to introduce to you the Cherry Gingham Dress.

Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist
Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist

Like the daisy meadow dress, I used the bodice from Simplicity pattern 2444, and self drafted the skirt. Pockets were added in the side seams, and the dress has an invisible zip installed at the back. I have added a red ribbon belt, and finished the arm hole facings with gingham bias binding.

Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist
Cherry Gingham Dress, by Champagne Twist

I’m pretty pleased with this dress, the only slight snag, and I’m only saying this because I’m honest, I didn’t match the back skirt seams as well as I should.  I didn’t even notice until I gave it’s final pressing. However, the nature of the pattern means that you have to have pretty sharp eyesight, and be purposely looking for it to notice.  If you can see it, and your name isn’t Bradley Cooper from the A-Team, you’re too darn close!


  • Fabric: 100% cotton
  • Fabric name: Fruit Basket
  • Print Pattern: Red cherries with green foliage on a black, grey and white, small gingham check background
  • Fabric designer/brand: Robert Kaufman
  • Finishing: Armholes competed with black, grey and white mini gingham check bias binding (purchased)

Currently watching NCIS … again … I know I said I wouldn’t, but it’s either that or another back-to-back rewatch of all the Sherlock episodes … again.  I have to pace my Sherlock rewatches, otherwise I will be climbing the walls by Autumn.

Also, as much as I adore the Simplicity 2444 pattern, I think it’s time for a change.  I fancy making either a pair of trousers, or my first Vogue pattern. Details are on my Instagram account or you can subscribe to my blog to find out more.

What are your sewing plans for the rest of the month?  I would love to hear them, please comment below.

Thanks as ever for reading, see you soon 🙂


Zebra Skirt black and white wide stripe pleated skirt by Champagne Twist

My Great Big Sewing Resolution – The Zebra Skirt


mgbsr logo

I have wanted to make a wide, horizontal striped skirt for a very long time. I’ve searched on the internet, in fabric shops both here and abroad, but it took a recent trip to IKEA to finally source the wide striped heavy weight cotton fabric I required for my Zebra skirt.

Zebra Skirt black and white wide stripe pleated skirt by Champagne Twist
Zebra Skirt: black & white wide stripe, pleated skirt by Champagne Twist

OK so it’s really a wide striped skirt, but that doesn’t sound as exciting! Besides, I had a few minor problems with this little number – where do I begin?…

  1. I pre treated the fabric, following the laundry instructions to the letter, and an hour later I pulled out the material from the drum, only to find a powder like substance all over it.  Turned out, the washing machine needed fixing. ARGH!
  2. After getting said machine fixed and the 2nd pre wash, negotiating the UK weather to dry the fabric, various political shenanigans and terrorist attacks, my heart wasn’t really into sewing, so the project was left for a few days.
  3. Got my sewing mojo back, the cutting went well, the pleating worked out first time, and the zip went in perfectly.  I worked on the skirt for 4 hours straight, without a break, and raised my head only to see the hour hand approaching 1 o’clock … AM! Made the sensible decision to go to bed, a decision that I regretted at 10.03am.
  4. 10am, after a refreshing shower, delicious breakfast and an essential cup of tea, I was ready to tackle the skirt. Only, I had forgotten that I didn’t finish the zip ends, then I closed the zip. At 10.03 am a very loud scream was heard far and wide.  Fortunately, I was able to reuse an old zip from another project. But the whole thing put me back an hour, unpicking the old zip and having to manoeuvre a large amount of fabric to machine sew in the new zip.
  5. The waistband was hand finished, and skirt tried on. Oh heck, I’ve lost weight!  But quite frankly I couldn’t be bothered to redo the waistband, so will add a couple of hidden pleats and make a it decorative feature … eventually.

So why the zebra name tag?  Well, the skirt is black and white, Zebra’s make me smile, and after recent world events, anything that raises a smile can’t be a bad thing. But the most important thing to note is … I’ve lost weight!

Self drafted black and white wide strip pleated skirt by
The Zebra Skirt by Champagne Twist


Fabric: 100% heavy weight cotton

Brand: IKEA

Pattern: Wide black and white horizontal stripes

Design: Self-designed skirt

Garment: Pleated, knee length skirt, with in-seam pockets and invisible back zip closure

Unusually, I machined finished the hem, because the fabric is very difficult to hand sew, as I discovered when I hand finished the waistband. I’m pleased to say that you really can’t see the machine stitching, so I don’t feel so guilty.

I’m now on a mission to complete my UFOs and wear them before the sunshine disappears. On one dress, I just need to complete Hong Kong seams and hem, so that will be up next.

What do you think of my new skirt? Was have you been sewing recently? If you like this, please click the like button, and subscribe for more news from Champagne Twist.

Thanks for reading, and keep sewing 🙂



seasoning recipe - celery salt

Celery Salt – recipe

Hello everyone,

This is a quick recipe, because a) I like quick recipes, and b) it’s the recipe is a useful seasoning, which may help to reduce sodium intake.

I often use celery salt where recipes ask for ordinary salt, as I believe it gives an added flavour dimension in savoury dishes.  When you think about it, if a recipe asks for a teaspoon of salt, by using celery salt, you’re actually only using 1/3 of a teaspoon of salt, with the remainder made up of a herb. That’s got to be a good thing, right?

seasoning recipe - celery salt
Celery Salt – recipe by Champagne Twist

Celery Salt – recipe


  • 1/2 cup celery seed
  • 1/4 cup sea salt


Now pay attention, this is where it gets complicated …

Mix the 2 ingredients in a bowl, until well combined. Pour the celery salt into a clean, sealable container. Done.


Do you use flavoured salts as an alternative to the traditional salt and pepper? Let me know in the comments below.

Please also check out my YouTube channel (link) and subscribe to receive even more from Champagne Twist.

Thanks for reading, see you soon 🙂

daisy meadow dress, michael miller fabric pattern simplicity 2444

Great British Sewing Bee 1 hour challenge – week 6


Well, it’s been an interesting week in London. I’ve been glued to the news 1 minute and distracting myself from the news with my sewing machine the next. I decided to keep calm and carry on sewing.

As a result, I have created the Daisy Meadow dress.  As a person who rarely wears dresses (I’m more of a t-shirt and comfy trousers person), I’m so happy with this dress.

daisy meadow dress, michael miller fabric pattern simplicity 2444
Daisy Meadow Dress by Champagne Twist


Pattern: Simplicity 2444 bodice, self designed skirt, with in-seam pockets

Fabric: Daisy Meadow by Michael Miller

Fabric Composition: 100% Cotton

Comments:  This is my first green dress.  From afar, I will probably look like a walking meadow, but I honestly don’t care, I’m so happy with my new frock. This dress was on the to-do list for months, using a pattern that I purchased years ago.  I finally managed to make the famous Simplicity 2444 dress, and I’m pretty chuffed with it.

The dress came together very quickly, it was stitched up within an hour, however I had to order a green zip, hence the delay in completion.  I didn’t have to make any adjustments to the bodice, but I did have to draft a new skirt as the fabric wasn’t wide enough.

dress made with michael miller fabric daisy meadow, made by
Daisy Meadow Dress by Champagne Twist

I also didn’t bother with the arm hole facing pattern, as would like to use the left over fabric for something else.  So I used some pre-made bias binding I had in my stash. Yes it’s not green, but the trend this year is to use a surprise lining, and facings are sort of like surprise linings, right?

Bias binding facing, in a contrasting print.

Anyway, I aim to post some more pictures over the next few days, but over all I really like this pattern – expect to see more soon.

What do you think?  Thanks for reading, please don’t forget to subscribe and comment below.

Champagne Twist now on Polyvore


I’ve recently joined Polyvore, which I have found to be really useful for planning my  sewing projects.  I have made physical mood boards in the past, but they involve a lot of time and effort sourcing pictures, and also includes a lot of paper wastage.

I would prefer to save a tree, and while using electronic devices isn’t always the ideal solution, this method does use less paper.

Here’s the first of my mood boards, a gingham based number, with a fabulous bag.
Sunny day city trip outfit

I am going to purchase some gingham fabric and make a similar dress for the summer.  I already have suitable sunnies, and a bag I can make over, so just the shoes and hat to source and I will have this outfit.

If you would like to purchase any of the actual items, there are further details on this link – Sunny day city trip.

I hope you like the mood boards I have created so far, please comment and add your suggestions. Add you can subscribe to this website, to make sure you don’t miss out on news from Champagne Twist.

Thanks for reading.

Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie GBSB 1 hour sewing challenge

GBSB 1 hour sewing challenge – week 2

GBSB 1 hourWell, my favourite contestant is out. Saying that, sadly it was the right decision, but I’m still upset for Ghislaine.

Anyway, yesterday I received a shipment of fabric (don’t worry, I have sewn enough to allow me to buy more fabric – and it was on sale – and you can’t make me send it back!) and as part of the extras, there was a beautiful strip of floral fabric included in the bundle.

I will post about my new fabric purchases later this week.  I have a few plans, so I promise they will not be kept in the stash for long.

I had planned to make a skirt this week, but as the Chelsea Flower Show is on, I couldn’t resist using this lovely piece of floral fabric to make a head tie.

Floral fabric
Floral fabric

It was a simple task, I quickly laundered the fabric and ironed it as soon as it was dry – ish. I folded the strip in half, lengthways with right sides together, and ironed the fold.

Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie
Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie

I then folded the strip in half again, this time short ways, and traced a curve shape at the ends.  I cut out the curved ends, evened out the sides and stitched around the edges, leaving a small opening so I could turn the tie right side out.

Another quick press, followed by top stitching around the entire edge of the hair tie, making sure the opening was stitched closed and voila, a hair tie. From ironing the laundered fabric to the final stitch, it took me less than 50 mins to complete, just in time for me to see my favourite contestant booted out.

So today is Tuesday, it’s sunny, and I’m looking forward to an afternoon’s television viewing of the Chelsea Flower show, whilst wearing my new hair tie.  Thank you Ghislaine for the inspiration, and keep sewing, I expect a book from you within the next 18 months 🙂

Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie GBSB 1 hour sewing challenge
Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie 1 hour sewing challenge Great British Sewing Bee

I don’t like Monday’s. I’ll tell you why.

I don't like Mondays
I don’t like Mondays!

Oh good grief! It can’t be Monday again? Didn’t we just have a Monday 2 days ago? Ugh! One minute I’m writing my ‘Exciting things to do at the weekend’ list, then the next minute, it’s game over, time to do the Monday thing.

And to make things worse, it’s nice and sunny outside.  A day when you want so desperately for it to be any day, but a Monday.

As you may have gathered from my sporadic posts of late (I’ve come to realise during this stage of my blogging journey, that most bloggers always have a variety of excuses ready for not blogging every spare moment they can, together with an apology. I’m not apologising, my blogging rate is just the way I roll!) that I have been rather busy. I’m assisting with planning several events, including one that is coming very soon, fingers crossed.

To be honest, I’m exhausted, a combination of nervous energy, lack of sleep, nervous energy, bad eating habits, temperamental technology, nervous energy … did I mention nervous energy? This combined with not being able to enjoy my fun packed weekends, makes the Champers in my glass a little flat.

One thing I have learnt recently is, it’s good to be perfect, but it’s even better when the job’s done.  I’m a perfectionist at heart.  I’m the type of person that would happily spend 10 hours deciding on a 5 min music play list. Normally that would be a good character trait to have.  However, being a perfectionist leads to  worry, which leads to stress, which leads to ill health and a task which would and should be fun, turns into a Monday.

friday quote
There are always flowers for those who want to see them. Henri Matisse

So it’s important when you find yourself still up at 3am, trying to figure out what shade of purple to use (yes that was me last week!) to ask yourself, ‘will this help achieve the end goal?’.  Yes, the shade might be important, but I doubt if it’s vital for the successful completion of a project. I also doubt that anyone else will notice or even care – they are the ones at 3am fast asleep, as you should be.

I know, there are people with far bigger problems, and I do not take these serious issues lightly.  It is my hope that my future projects will in some way help others, even if it’s token escapism for a few moments.

And in the great scheme of things, if Monday being your least favourite day of the week is your only problem, then you can pretty much say life isn’t bad.

But I still don’t like Mondays. I can’t stand them. Unless it’s a Bank Holiday Monday, in which case, all is forgiven. Well, until the next Monday.

What’s your favourite day of the week and why? And what’s your least favourite? Are you lucky and love all the days of the week?  Let us know!

Thanks for reading, and happy Monday, wherever you are 🙂

henley skirt, champagne twist

The Henley Skirt

henley skirt, champagne twist
The Henley Skirt

I have been rather busy of late with a project which is (fingers crossed) due at the end of the month.  But, never fear, my sewing machine was always near.

I completed this skirt a couple of weeks ago. It’s a self drafted, box pleated number, with in-seam pockets and a side zip opening.  Now the tricky part was the zip.  I had to figure out how to attach both the pocket and the zip to the side seam, whilst ensuring that the stripes matched.  I managed it, but it must admit to a little hair tearing out.

I intend to make a top with the least over scraps of fabric, which I can wear with the skirt to make a ‘dress’ or as a summer top to wear with jeans.

All in all, this was a fun, if challenging make, and I’m very pleased with the outcome.  The only slight problem, it took me so long to make the skirt, I managed to loose some of my Christmas weight (yes I know!) and now the waist is too big.  But I can fix that with some belt loops and a sash.

I’m looking forward to wearing this number now that the sun has paid a visit. Maybe in time for ‘Me Made May’.

Details:  Henley Skirt

Item: Mid length, box pleat skirt with side opening and in-seam pockets

Fabric: Regatta by Michael Miller

Construction: 100% cotton fabric

Pattern: Self drafted

sewing challenge 2016 homemade clothing , accessories and soft furnishings

My next sewing projects include the aforementioned top, 2 Susie blouses, a pattern by Sew Over It, a dress, which is currently waiting for me to finish it, and at some point some trousers – if I can find the right pattern.  Looks like I’m going to have to draft that too 🙂

Thanks for reading.