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
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?
I also purchased 2 lining fabrics, one to go with the sequins. Both for an amazing £2 per m.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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:
I can only accept Paypal payments, as I think this is the easiest, quickest and safest way to do this.
Postage is not included in the price and will be added on to your invoice.
All measurements stated are approximate.
Any defects, marks or imperfections will be highlighted as clearly as possible.
To purchase an item, just fill in the form with your purchase requests. First come, first served.
I will then send you an invoice, payable immediately. Please note, dispatch can only occur after I have successfully received correct payment.
All sales once confirmed are final.
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.
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.
So off I went to Kensington Olympia, in fear. Financial fear. When it comes to fabrics and now increasingly knitting products, all reason temporarily escapes me and I end up with reams and reams and reams of fabrics, to add to my reams and reams and reams of fabrics in my stash, and enough wool to make each sheep in a huge flock a jumper and matching scarf! But I digress!
Tips and suggestions when you arrive
My suggestions if you attend the show – wear some comfy shoes. And for heavens sake, if you’re arriving by train, when you get out of Kensington Olympia Overground Station, turn right and follow the signs to the venue. Trust me, your legs will thank me later.
I attended 2 days, the first I went the long way round, and had to wait in a very long queue. That said, I didn’t have to wait too long, within 20 mins of arrival at the station, I was in the building. It was the first day, so I will let that slide. On the 2nd day I was in the building within 10 minutes. So please – turn right!
Is it worth buying the official show guide or bag?
The show guide is I think a rather pricy £4 and the show bag is £3, for which you get the bag and nothing else. Save yourself £7 and bring your own bags and note down any stalls, demos and exhibitions you would like to see from the website beforehand.
The demos in the Creative Living Theatre to my surprise were not as fully attended as I would have expected, a great pity as many of the high flyers of the sewing world were leading fantastic demos for free. I took full advantage of this, and strongly suggest you do to.
My favourite demos were lead by Laurie Guthrie, Chinelo Bally both former contestants of the Great British Sewing Bee and Tree Walsh from Stitchless TV. Chinelo Bally may be signing copies of her book tomorrow (Saturday) after her demo. The book costs £20 – bring cash if you would like to purchase. They don’t have debit or credit card machines at the Creative Living Theatre, the ATM is out of order at the show and the ATM in the foyer charges £1.99. But note most of the stalls I attended do accept debit and credit cards.
There is free WIFI, apparently, but I couldn’t for the life of me get connected, and sadly I was unable to report live from the event. There wasn’t an area dedicated for bloggers, which I think would have added to the excitement. It certainly would have been wonderful to meet fellow bloggers, some of whom I saw on Friday, but felt it wasn’t appropriate to introduce myself whilst they appeared to be working. (I know, I should be more forceful, I’m just too polite!)
You can purchase food and drink at the venue, and there is plenty of space to sit and enjoy your meal. I saw sandwiches sell for around the £4- £5 mark, so at London prices, not too bad. But if you can, bring a packed lunch and a flask of tea, you will save yourself a few pennies.
Bargains and Must Visit Stalls
Check out Bombay Stores – stand F2 and M Rosenberg and Son – stand L20 for bargain fabrics, Montreux Fabrics – stand D70 for Chanel type Linen Mix Tweeds. For yarns, you could do worse than visit stand 78, Neil the Knit.
The McCall Pattern Company – M2 stall sells McCall’s, Vogue and Butterick sewing patterns, and there are ‘buy 3 for £12’ deals.
Don’t forget to visit the various exhibitions, including the Textile Galleries and make sure you take plenty of breaks so that you don’t exhaust yourself.
As per usual I spent a small fortune on fabric and supplies, but I’m glad to say that I had enough change left for my bus fare home … just. I will post a haul video on my youtube channel. The prices of the products on sale suits all pockets, so you will find it difficult to leave empty handed.
I had a great time at the show, and would happily attend again. I’m looking forward to the next show in October at Ally Pally.
Have another one for you! I am pleased to introduce to you the Cherry Gingham Dress.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
This week’s theme on GBSB is ‘international’. So looking for an alternative challenge, following my far too quickly completed Birdie Cami, I have been eyeing up Sewing Bee’s contestant Rumana’s sewing pattern weights. At first I wasn’t sure what they were, but now I know, they have become a revelation and an instant must have!
I had been toying with the idea of purchasing some metal rings to use as weights, from the local builders merchants. But these I think are more environmentally friendly, economical and pretty.
I researched a couple of methods, eventually creating an amalgamation, adding my own little twist. Here are the links, if you would like to make your own pattern weights:
I had a bag of really old rice that I was about to throw onto the compost heap. I mixed the rice with some lavender flowers, to create the filling, doubling up the weights’ role as scented pouches.
So here’s the result, 2 sewing pattern weights, with more on the way. It is certainly a great stash buster, as well as a practical tool which didn’t cost me anything, as I already had the materials. And as this was an amalgamation of 2 construction methods from bloggers from other countries, plus a couple of ideas of my own, this fits in with the international theme.
In all, both the weights took about 45 mins from start to finish to make. I plan to make at least 8 more, as well as a patchwork storage bag, made from the left over scraps. This potentially means this project is one of my most economical ever. Makes up for burning the fabric for my Birdie Cami. That’s another successful challenge completed.
I will let you know how I progress with the other weights and the bag. Next week’s GBSB theme is 1960s. I feel it’s time to make a 60s style skirt, don’t you?
Thanks for reading, don’t forget to like, subscribe and comment.