Mind, Health & Wellbeing

Mind, Health and Wellbeing Month on Champagne Twist

Hello,

As we rapidly approach Winter and end of year indulgences, it’s time to take stock before the stresses of the party season take hold.

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog suggesting ways to save extra money for Christmas – 3 real ways to save money for Christmas | Champagne Twist Hopefully your financials are in robust health, but are you?

This November, I will be sharing ideas to ensure your mind, health and wellbeing are at optimum levels, so that you’ll be ready to face anything that comes your way.

Welcome to Mind, Health and Wellbeing month, on ChampagneTwist.com

Mind, Health & Wellbeing
Mind, Health and Wellbeing month, on ChampagneTwist.com

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday Thinking: Are the Big 4 sewing pattern companies​ off trend? // Champagne Twist

WED THINK

Wednesday Thinking: Are the Big 4 sewing pattern companies off trend?

As many of you know, I love sewing, I adore sewing. I’m not a fan of clothes shopping per se because I find it difficult to find clothes in styles that fit and suit me. Hence, one of the many reasons why I love sewing.

But there is one hurdle when it comes to creating my own fashions. While the indie pattern industry is growing, the big four, long established and market dominating sewing pattern brands are slowly dying a death. It may seem a good thing at first, but in the long run, if these major pattern companies – McCalls, Butterick, Vogue and Simplicity – don’t change soon, it could spell the end of the sewing pattern industry as we know it.

 

When I heard about the possibility of making a cocktail party dress, showcasing my outfit at the Knitting and Stitching Show and following my favourite home seamstresses creating their unique versions, I was so excited, until I saw the patterns.

With a heavy heart I say this – but there simply wasn’t anything I felt passionate enough to make from the selection of patterns available for the challenge.  Some of the styles seemed born out of 1980 – and not in a good way.  Only one pair of trousers, a jacket with a pointed back hem and dresses that my grandmother said she wouldn’t wear, let alone spend time money and effort creating.

I felt all the more guilty because the idea behind the event is to raise money for the Eve Charity (click here for details). But, I couldn’t justify making a dress just for the event, that I knew I wouldn’t enjoy making or wearing, and would never wear again. This hardly encourages new-to-sewing folks to pick up a needle and thread.

Another major issue I had with the collection of patterns, was the non-existence of patterns for men. Last time I checked a) men wear clothes and b) men attend cocktail parties. This was a golden opportunity missed, to encourage the growing number of males who are taking up the hobby. It was as if there was a huge sign saying, “Boys Not Allowed”.

I also got the impression that these patterns were chosen in an attempt to boost sales, rather than to welcome newbies to a new skill set, or encourage more established sewists to stretch their skills. Some of the styles were 20-30 years behind the times and lacked modernity. When I look at the fashion magazines and Pinterest boards, I don’t see my style favourite reflected in patterns offered by the Big 4.

The most popular styles seem to be the classics created during the 1940s through to the 1960s. Thanks to films and television shows such as Down With Love, Ad Men, etc.  Shirt dress patterns, the Walk Away dress, the Mondrian dress are just 3 examples of styles that have sold successfully in recent years.

There is also still a severe lack of patterns for wheelchair users or those with physical disabilities.  All the patterns, in fact, were styled towards slim, average height, able-bodied women.

I normally buy PDF patterns from indie pattern designers because they are usually up to date trend-wise, and are easily adaptable to my height and shape. My last pattern purchase from the big 4 was actually a classic style shirt dress.  Even when there are 50% savings, I find it impossible to buy more than 2 patterns. The dated designs just are not that appealing to me, and to spend upwards of £15 for a single pattern that I would spend more money, time and effort to adjust, just takes away the joy of sewing.

(GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED) – The Knitting and Stitching Show Tickets, Alexandra Palace // CHAMPAGNE TWIST

***** Giveaway Now Closed *****

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday.

I have hinted about a special announcement for a little while, and I finally received confirmation yesterday afternoon, so now I’m able to share with you that I have 3 pairs of free tickets to giveaway for the forthcoming Knitting and Stitching Show.

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All you have to do to be in with a chance to win 1 of 3 pairs of tickets –

  1. Follow me on this website (champagnetwist.com) and
  2. Subscribe to my YouTube channel or follow my Instagram account.

Then, to let me know you want a chance to win a pair of tickets, leave the following message in the comment box below:

“Dear Champagne Twist – I would like to go to the #knitnstitchshow @ Ally Pally”

There isn’t long, you only have until 6pm tonight.

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Available Dates

  • Wednesday 11th October  – 10am – 5.30pm
  • Thursday 12th October (evening only) 3pm – 7pm
  • Friday 13th October  – 10am – 5.30pm
  • Sunday 14th October  – 10am – 5pm

 

Terms and Conditions

  • The contest is open from Sunday 8th October 2017, 13.00hrs GMT, until Sunday 8th October 2017, 18.00hrs GMT.
  • Once the contest is closed, 3 separate winners will be randomly chosen.
  • I will contact the winners, requesting names and addresses.
  • The winners’ details will be passed to the show organisers, and arrangements made for the winners to collect their tickets from the box office, at Alexandra Palace.
  • Sorry, this giveaway is only open to UK residents. However, there will be other giveaways soon.

BEST OF LUCK!

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For more information about The Knitting and Stitching Show, please check out the following links:

The Knitting and Stitching Show, Official Website

Spring Knitting and Stitching Show – review 

The CT Show: Spring Knitting and Stitching Show, Olympia, London

 

 

 

Great British Sewing Bee Live - Vogue Patterns Fashion Show

Great British Sewing Bee Live – Vogue Patterns Fashion Show, video now on YouTube | Champagne Twist

Hello,

I’ve just uploaded a new video, the Great British Sewing Bee Live – Vogue Patterns Fashion Show.

If you would like to see it, please click the link below –

There are more #GBSBLive videos on the way, so please stayed tuned, and subscribe to champagnetwist.com for further information. Thanks for reading and watching.

 

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

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 14.07.29

Hello,

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 🙂

ChampagneTwist.com

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

Hello,

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

ChampagneTwist.com
Fabric from Simply Fabrics / Textile Centre

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My first purchase was this amazing sequenced number – just 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

https://guthrie-ghani.co.uk/

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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 🙂

 

John James Needles – Stand E20

www.jjneedles.com

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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

http://house-of-tweed.co.uk

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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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Picture source: http://thegreatbritishsewingbeelive.com

Hello,

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 ChampagneTwist.com.

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

Enjoy!

 

Espace Gabrielle Chanel - Last name Chanel - champagne twist

Why you need to visit Espace Gabrielle Chanel // Champagne Twist

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/18970101/?claim=ajnqf3z2b73″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Logo Gabrielle Chanel - champagnetwist.com
Gabrielle Chanel – Espace Gabrielle Chanel – Lamé ribbon – champagnetwist.com

If you’re a fashionista, a perfume enthusiast or just love anything to do with Chanel, by now you would have heard about Espace Gabrielle Chanel on Old Bond Street, in London’s rather smart Mayfair.

Espace Gabrielle Chanel, London - champagnetwist.com
Espace Gabrielle Chanel – 27, Bond Street, Mayfair, London, England, UK

If you’re studying Marketing, Business, Branding, Photography, Design, Styling, Fashion or any realted fields, you should make the time and effort to attend before it closes on 24th of September.  I will publish all the tips I’ve learnt in a separate post later this week.

Chanel - logo - Espace Gabrielle Chanel - champagnetwist.com
Chanel logo at the Space Gabrielle Chanel pop up, 27 Old Bond Street, Mayfair, London, England

Espace Gabrielle Chanel, is a remarkable feat of marketing, and you are sure to pick up tips, not just olfactory tips – and yes I admit I had to google that word! – how a brand works. I have been fortunate enough to attend the space a few times, and eery time I’ve attended, I have learnt something new.  Read my review of my first trip to the Espace here.

I have been able to practice my limited light photography, improved my video skills, learnt about the basics of olfactory and even about Gabrielle Chanel herself. While the jury is still out about the new perfume, the marketing has been nothing short of spectacular and if you’re wise, and happen to be in London, you should check out the Old Bond Street venue and enjoy a couple of hours of free education and entertainment. Oh, by the way, did I mention that it’s all free? Opportunities like these, the chance to learn some of the tricks of the trade from a high end, global luxury brand only comes around a very few times, and rarely ever free – so make the most of it while you can.

flatlay - gabrielle chanel - espace gabrielle Chanel - London - champagnetwist.com
Gabrielle Chanel – Sensorial Discovery – Espace Gabrielle Chanel, Bond Street, Mayfair, London – champagnetwist.com

Try to book a place on the Sensorial Discovery experience, (again it’s free) here, to learn more about the craft of perfume making and the background of the founder of the house of Chanel.

But in case you can’t make it, here’s a couple of video montages I made to give you an idea of the experience.

 

 

Wednesday Thinking: Are collectable craft magazines worth the paper they are printed on?

Wednesday Thinking The Mid-week Editorialv
Wednesday Thinking The Mid-week Editorial

It’s September a new weekly craft collectable magazine has been launched. This time it’s called “Knit & Stitch Creative”, a series which promises the buyer to teach them to knit over  the course of 66 weeks.

The first issue costs 99p and I recommend if you are a beginner knitter, to buy a copy. In fact buy 2.  For the money you get a magazine with a fair number of tutorials, a pair of size 4mm knitting needles, a very useful yarn needle and 2 small balls of wool.  Let’s face it, you’re going to be hard pushed to get a better deal.

The next issue, due out in the middle of September, will cost £2.50 and promises a another pair of knitting needles, this time size 5mm and another 2 small balls of yarn.

The 3rd and all subsequent issues will cost £4.99.  Here’s the rub, if you buy all the issues the grand total will be nearly over £325. Granted the costs includes a set of knitting needles, wool, binders to store the issues, and yarn with eery issue, but having to wait over a year to complete the series, I wonder if this is worth it.

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Picture source – http://creacrafts.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwub7NBRDJARIsAP7wlT8IYNWHsCjv-r9jcCAB4HHZnHGP7Iw8R8NEgZ5GLN_sDJbgzihInCcaAjKqEALw_wcB

There are a number of cheap and free knitting classes available in London, wool can be as affordable as you wish, and needles can also be sourced for low prices. The added advantage of going to a class, you can meet new people and make friends, you can ask the tutor questions directly, and you will learn to knit in a matter of hours.

If the idea of attending a class doesn’t appeal, a beginners knitting book costs anything from £20-30. Of course, there are a huge number of free tutorials on YouTube. With a budget of £325, you can buy a lot of yarn, several knitting needles, and learn how to knit at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home.

I have written a review of the first issue, which will be published on this website in the next couple of days, so please watch out for that.  It would be great to read your thoughts about these collectable magazines. Do you think they are worth the money? Or do yo think they exploit people who wish to learn a new craft? Please share in the comments box below.

Thanks for reading,