Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Sew in love

After weeks of chucking out, I'm finally getting round to thinking about sorting out those items of clothing that need a tweak to make them wearable. 

Altering those pesky £1 Jane Norman turn up jeans the other week has given me my sewing mojo back and I set to on a pair of Levi 501's bought on ebay for the OH.

He virtually refuses to wear any other jeans, and as you know, they are anything from £55 to £70 brand new.  We (well, just me actually) trawl ebay periodically, searching for the elusive button fly red labels to keep him stocked up, usually at around £20 for a lightly worn pair, if you are lucky.  It appears to be worth the cost as Levi's last for eons, and the pocket linings are the strongest I've come across.

Anyway, a recent purchase provided a conundrum, they were too long. Way too long!  OH has a 34 inch inside leg and these were at least 36 inches.  Label said they should have been 34 but...

After a quick trawl of the internet, I came across several tutorials showing how to keep the original hem whilst removing length, and chose to follow this one from Snapguide 


Bit more detail for you

I had to cut the excess off as it was longer than the hem and quite bulky.

Another project I'm just mulling over is this pretty home made dress that mum came back with when she went to help the local village hall clear their loft out.  It appears they had a sewing club there many years ago and they left an awful lot of half finished projects, fabric and shop bought clothing to cut up, in the loft when they disbanded.

We donated the other items she rescued to the local chazza, but I was rather taken with this dress.  The fabric is a little vintage looking, it reminds me of the Magic Roundabout!

It is a lovely thick glazed cotton, I can't find a selvedge to find a printer's mark though, so am in blissful ignorance of its origin.

I'm not into pink, but love this print, and am hoping to get a summer maxi skirt and maybe squeeze a fitted top out of it too.  I dropped the hand stitched hem and found a further three inches of fabric and the dress was already too long on me so fingers crossed!

Only one purchase this week, since the epic Ercol find the other Friday I'm not sure anything will live up to that.  I bought this pretty wool cardi from ebay, at a cost of £7.94.  A trifle more expensive than I like to pay but I can never find nice cardigans in the charity shops, and they are so expensive brand new.

Pity the seller didn't notice the oversized top buttonhole that the button wouldn't stay in, or the stain on the front, something I didn't notice either until after I had given it a quick wash.

The buttonhole was hand stitched with a matching thread to tighten it up and is now good as new.

I'm still on the lookout for another cardi though.

This past week we had a flying visit from OH's dad, who now lives across the water in his native Ireland.  We decided to take him out for the day and popped over to Witley Court via the Dog Inn at Dunley

We visited the Dog on my birthday, and it was quite empty then.  I was really surprised to see hardly anyone in the place again, as the food is beautiful and very reasonably priced, and the French Maitre d' is attentive (and a rugby fan!)

We arrived at about 12.30 and were the only ones there for quite a while.  I had the ranch burger and OH and his dad had the Cumberland sausage with mustard mash, which looked amazing.  With drinks, the bill was £36 and we were very full. (apologies, totally forgot to take a photo of the food!).

Onwards to Witley, to walk it all off.

A trio of trouble!

Wearing: new-to-me Seasalt raincoat £29 ebay, Grey leather Fat face boots (possibly £35 on ebay but can't remember) and H&M teenage jeans, £2 chazza find.  One of my more expensive outfits.

I love all the moss on the fountain, bet English Heritage don't though

Witley is huge, you can only imagine how amazing it was when lived in

The fire damage is most evident in the ballroom

The building is still beautiful though

The front porch is bigger than our cottage

The back portico is probably the largest in England on a country house

Plaster still on the walls

Beautiful window surrounds 

Walls without floors

Witley Court is maintained by English Heritage, and well worth a visit if you are in the area.  It is very atmospheric and was featured in the video for A Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procol Harum, in the late sixties.

OH has kindly offered my limited sewing services to a friend who has wrecked the zip on his expensive rugby stadium coat, I've been sitting looking at if for a fortnight now and haven't plucked up the courage to attack it.  Good job I googled around as I've found a super quick way of replacing the zip and the friend is happy to let me do it, so much less faff, will update next time! 


  1. Aaaa, that place is beautiful!!!!!
    What luck over the Levis and well done for doing it yourself!! The magic roundabout dress is gorgeous!!x

  2. The places you visit and photograph are beyond my imagination. What a porch and portico! I can't wait to see what you get out of the fabric and how the fitted shirt might look.

  3. Looking forward to seeing what you make from the magic roundabout dress. Some lovely pgotos x

  4. I love the fabric of that dress! Witley Court is beautiful! Although we were holidaying in the neighbourhood a couple of years ago, somehow we never went, but seeing your photos I now think we should have. I'm admiring your sewing skills, I couldn't have done any of it. xxx

  5. Witley Court looks lovely, the mossy fountain is fabulous, it reminds me of one in Valetta, over the top and magnificent.
    The print on the maxi is very pretty. I think you should make a tunic to wear with your signature jeans and boots, it would look great! xxx


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