The Great British Sewing Bee – Sustainable Style – Book review | Champagne Twist


Here’s a short video of my review of the new Great British Sewing Bee’s Sustainable Style sewing book. ¬†Hope you find it informative, don’t forget to leave your comments below.

Keep safe and well everyone.

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The Great British Sewing Bee Live Event – videos // Champagne Twist

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If you are subscribed to my YouTube channel, you may have noticed a few new videos. Well, please stay tuned, as I upload more footage from the Great British Sewing Bee Live event, held at London’s ExCeL.

As a taster, here are 2 recently published videos.

There are more videos on the way, which will be published over the next couple of days, if my over worked computer can keep up!

Plus, I have a very special announcement to make over the next few days, so please subscribe, so that you don’t miss out on all the latest form Champagne Twist.

Thanks for reading and to all my new subscribers, a very warm welcome, hope you like it here in this little corner of the interweb ūüôā

What I brought at the Great British Sewing Bee Live event, ExCel London // Champagne Twist


This is a short post about the items I purchased at the Great British Sewing Bee Live event at London’s ExCeL.

Simply Fabrics / The Textile Centre – Stand G14
Fabric from Simply Fabrics / Textile Centre

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My first purchase was this amazing sequenced number Рjust over 1m for £10. I think I was influenced by the sparkly dresses showcased at the Vogue patterns fashion show, but hey, you can never have too many sequins, right?

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I also purchased 2 lining fabrics, one to go with the sequins. Both for an amazing £2 per m.


Guthrie and Ghani – Stand F10

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Next came the this rather frivolous purchase, a vintage piece from the bargain bucket for ¬£6. It’s about half a meter, so a little on the pricy side, but I’m thinking of making a head scarf or maybe a neck tie much like my Ghislaine Chelsea scarf a made a while back. If you have a better idea, please let me know ūüôā


John James Needles – Stand E20

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Now for the essentials, which I think were a real bargain – all this for just ¬£2. A metal thimble, to help protect my little digits while I hand sew, and a selection needles for various sewing tasks. Each bundle costs 50p! Even my bank manager couldn’t argue with that.


House of Tweed – Stand H27

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My last purchase wasn’t much sewing related, but will prove to be a rather useful and stylish tool – a tweed hand bag and matching purse combo. The bag fits an A4 folder, has a number of roomy pockets, both external and internal. The purse has plenty of space for credit cards, notes and separate zipped compartment for coins. Total cost ¬£30. ¬†The bag is sold online for ¬£39 and the purse for ¬£25. ¬†At the GBSB Live event, the purse was given free with purchase of the bag. ¬†They had a fairly wide selection, so if you’re in the market for a new bag or purse, you could do a lot worse than visit this stall.

Great British Sewing Bee Live – New YouTube video | Champagne Twist

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I’ve just published a new video on my YouTube channel, featuring footage of my trip to the inaugural Great British Sewing Bee Live event, at ExCel London.

Please take a look and comment either on my YouTube channel or here at

A review of the event is coming soon and a ‘What I brought at the show’ video will be posted shortly.



Great British Sewing Bee 1 hour challenge ‚Äď week 7

GBSB 1 hour

Yesterday the Great Britsh Sewing Bee ended, and if you didn’t know already, Charlotte won.

I’m still working on my final GBSB challenge, but I thought I should let you know about my week 7 challenge – the Red Cherry Outfit.

Yes, outfit! I set myself a hard challenge of making a self drafted, fully lined skirt, with in seam pockets, and a matching neck tie which doubles up as a hair tie. We don’t do things by halves here at Champers Towers!

Anyway, here it is …

Red Cherry Outfit
Red Cherry Outfit



  • Fabric: 100% cotton, red cherry and green leaves on a black background print, by¬†Robert Kaufman
  • Pattern: Self drafted design
  • Style: Pleated skirt, fully lined with solid red, light weight cotton fabric,¬†with 2 in-seam pockets.

Neck Tie:

  • Fabric: Same as above
  • Pattern: Same as above
  • Style: Straight tie with rounded corners, based on my Ghislaine Chelsea pattern.

The skirt is lined with red cotton (I know, I’m becoming very radical theses days!), and has an invisible zip closure at the back. ¬†There are 2 in-seam pockets. ¬†I did toy with adding slanted pockets, but I only had 2 metres of fabric and I wanted to make sure I had enough to make a couple of neck ties and a waistband just in case the waist didn’t work out.

Speaking about the waist, this is a very close fitting waist, and luckily the pleats were handled in such a way, I didn’t need to add a waist band, leaving a clean line.

The red cotton was recycled from the lining of a dress I made a couple of years ago, which¬†I never wore. ¬†So it’s good that the fabric didn’t go to waste.¬†I added a jumper, and there we have an entire outfit made with less than 2 metres of fabric.

Cherry scarf

I’m posting regular updates of my final GBSB challenge on Instagram. If you would like to see my updates, please follow and like.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for more information.

As ever, thanks for reading, see you soon ūüôā


My Great Big Sewing Resolution – Birdie cami


Sew over it silk cami top
Birdie Cami, by Champagne Twist

This little number was supposed to be my weekly GBSB 1 hour challenge for today – but I got carried away and finished it late last night!

It’s 100% polyester, a fact I found out whilst I was ironing¬†prior to cutting.¬† Note to self, do not iron polyester material on the cotton setting.

In my defence, it has been a good while since I had any dealings with 100% polyester fabric, as I normally use 100% cotton (hence the setting on the iron – rookie mistake!). Fortunately, it was near the end of the material, so I was still able to cut out the pieces for the cami. ¬†Sadly, due to my mishap, the planned for matching hair tie may have to be shelved, unless I can think of a creative way to patch together the left over scraps. Ugh! Still, for a remnant piece of fabric that I purchased for about ¬£2, I can’t complain.

I have previous made a camisole top  and yet again, this version came together easily and quickly.

Silk cami pattern by Sew Over It.
Birdie Cami

I’m very pleased¬†with the result, I have a versatile monochrome¬†print top, which can be worn with jeans for a casual summer look, or with a suit.

Now all I have to do, is find an alternative 1 hour GBSB challenge, by tonight – yikes!

Find out if I succeed by tuning in tomorrow.  Please subscribe, comment and like if you enjoyed this post.

Thanks for reading.

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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 Рish. 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 ūüôā

Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie GBSB 1 hour sewing challenge
Ghislaine Chelsea Hair Tie 1 hour sewing challenge Great British Sewing Bee
The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

Book Review: The Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner


The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner
The Great British Sewing Bee – From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

This is a fairly unusual post for me, as I normally wait a few weeks after a book publication, before I purchase and review. ¬†However, as I’m have been dragged back into the Great British Sewing Bee (GBSB) fold, I thought why not take advantage of the special deal currently being run by Amazon (yes I know, but I’m an impoverished blogger – please don’t hate me!)

The book accompanies the 4th series of the GBSB, and it’s a nice and weighty, robust, hard back book. I think it will take a great deal of wear and tear – a bonus for a publication designed to be used as a reference book.

So today, on the first day of publication, I’m lucky enough to have the book in my mits, and so far, I’m impressed. ¬†Starting off with a list of items for your basic sewing kit, the book continues with information regarding sewing machine basics, paper patterns, ¬†fit tips and includes that dreaded first bias cut top that many of the contestants struggled with in the first show. ¬†However, you will be pleased to know that the author clearly explains¬†how it should be done.

Over 200 pages long, the book is stuffed with information suitable for the beginner to the expert. There are clothes patterns for children, women and men – my slight gripe is that the models featured in the book¬†don’t cover the wide spectrum of people living in the UK,. It would have been nice for instance, to see a few more patterns for men, teenagers and babies. ¬†I would also have liked to see more models covering a wider range of body¬†shapes and sizes too.

A huge trick was also missed by not including non- clothing items, such as cushion covers and shopping or book bags. ¬†Now that we have to pay for plastic bags, this would have been a fantastic way to encourage everyone to make their own eco-friendly carriers. I’m very surprised they missed such an obvious way to encourage more people into sewing. ¬†Not everyone goes into this hobby to make clothes.

The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner
The Great British Sewing Bee – From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

The book is fully illustrated with instructions clear and concise, and unlike some sewing books, there are many patterns that I would like to have a  go at.  The 1960s dress below is of particular interest.

The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner
The Great British Sewing Bee – From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

There is a separate paper pattern pack included, which is nicely packaged and can be stored away for safe keeping.   I would strongly suggest that if you purchase this book, to also purchase some tracing or Swiss paper.

The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner
The Great British Sewing Bee – From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

The RRP is ¬£25, however Amazon are currently selling the book for ¬£9.99. ¬†At less than ¬£10, I think that the book is excellent value and a must buy especially if you’re a novice. ¬†It’s worth it for the patterns alone. ¬† At the RRP, it becomes¬†a more considered purchase, but still represents good value.

Despite my initial reluctance, I’m glad I purchased this book, and plan to make several of the items within. ¬†Stay tuned to see how I progress.

Rating 4 out of 5

Credits: Original book cover photography by Charlotte Medlicott
Original book photographers Jenni Hare and Charlotte Medlicott
Book published by Quadrille 2016
Photos © Champagne Twist