Posted on

Miss Haversham

 

Miss Haversham is looking rather spectacular in her Burns attire. Draping a couple of metres of tartan as a shash will add elegance and authenticity to any evening dress you are sporting for the occasion.

Miss Havershams outfit is inspired by Simplicity pattern number 8285.

 

 

 

We also love pattern 2172 and this video shows you how to make this magnificent coat.  There is also a fabulous skirt that can be worn with it.  Follow the link for more information on making these patterns.  We stock the whole range of Simplicity patterns at our shops and you can select some stunning damasks and velvets from our soft furnishing cloths.  We have an entire room dedicated to fancy dress fabrics, ranging from dreamy two tone organzas to bi stretch copper lurex so you can create a totally individual look.  Follow our pinterest board for more ideas.

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Sofa Refill

We’ve all done a fair bit of sofa surfing over the Christmas period and you may not have been entirely happy with the comfort afforded you.  Some of you may have even bought a new settee in time for Christmas but may discover that the bounce in your cushions isn’t really all that great.

Foam has a shelf life and although it will last many years, eventually it will start to deteriorate and crumble and you will need to think about replacement cushions.

Many manufacturers of synthetic sofa cushions now also use only a thick wadding in the covers.  A sofa with foam inserts will not be bought at a discount sofa sale because they cost a lot more to produce.  Your wadding cushions will seem fine for a few weeks but very quickly you will notice that they sag and squash into nothing because the polyester will not bounce back to its original shape.  To rectify this we offer a bespoke service that will make your old or new settee bounce back in to life. We cut foam exactly to the size and shape of the cushion cover and then wrap it in thick wadding.  In this way you get all of the bounce and shape retention from the foam with the addition of softness and comfort from the wadding.  To finish up we wrap the whole squashy sandwich in stockinette for easing your cushions back into the covers – without a hot sweaty battle.

Is your foam still ok but your covers are looking a little tired?  Pop in and talk to us about renewing your existing sofa, especially if it is an inherited or memorable piece. We offer a full and bespoke upholstery and re-cover service from our workshops in The Long Room at Livingstone Textiles,Bridport Dorset.

If you would like information on sofa cushions please contact us and we will be happy to give advise or a quote.

Posted on

What happens on Burns Night?

 

 

Burns Night is annualy celebrated in Scotland on the 25th of January and celebrates the works of the great poet Robert Burns.  It is also now frequently observed in other parts of the United Kingdom by native Scots and those who appreciate the heritage of Scotland.   Robert Burns was born on January 25th 1759 which is why Burns night is celebrated on this day.  He died in 1796 and his best known work is probably “Auld Lang Syne” which is traditionally sung at midnight on New Years Eve or Hogmanny. He is known in Scotland as “The Bard”

Many families and friends enjoy getting together on Burns Night to share a supper of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with Whisky as the preferred tipple.  You can find out more about Haggis here.  During the evening poetry written by Robert Burns is recited, sometimes Scottish songs are sung and then the Haggis is traditionally ‘piped in’ by a Bagpipe player in full Scottish dress where it is toasted on arrival at the table.  At Burns night events many men choose to wear kilts and women might wear a shawl, skirt, sash or dress made from their family tartan.  A tartan is a cloth made of wool woven in a distinctive check pattern using different colours across the warp and the weft and clans have their own distinct patterns that have been replicated over centuries, often nowadays in more modern blends of viscose and polyester as well as in wool.

If you are attending a Burns Night event you can choose from the range of bright new tartans at Livingstone Textiles to create a sash or shawl over your evening attire, we don’t have much online but their are lots to choose from in house.  We also stock some colourful tartan ribbons to dress your hair or add interest to a plain dress, pop in to either of our shops to browse our collections.  We also think that it’s a great idea to host a kids Burns Night event where you can get them involved with the reading of poetry and maybe using a recorder to pipe in a haggis that they’ve helped to prepare.  They could make a Scottish flag to hang up or could colour in place settings using some of the words in the poems of Burns.  For more inspiration and ideas for a special childrens event visit https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/burns-night

 

 

Posted on

We Are Haberdashers

 

Here at Livingstone Textiles we like to supply you with the best quality products at the most competitive prices we can find.  We know that many of you love the Prym range and there are hundreds of haberdashery products available from this company, all beautifully packaged and presented.

We also stock an excellent range of products by a UK based company called Whitecroft.  The Whitecroft Essentials range is a collection of products that we stock for knitting and sewing.  We concentrate on basic stock lines such as sewing needles, pins, machine needles, poppers, fur fasteners and hook & eyes.  We also keep embroidery hoops, knitting pins and crochet hooks in stock having seen a great revival in wool based crafts over the past decade.

Whitecroft have been supplying wholesalers for over a century and as a retailer working in the textiles trade for over 47 years in the same premises, we know that we can rely on the quality, the supply and the price of Whitecroft Essentials to all be consistant.   Many of our customers are now coming in with third generation sewers and knitters which is a wonderful thing.  We also have customers who tell us that they remember coming into the shop with a parent or aunt and they love how we haven’t changed very much over the years.  Like Whitecroft, we focus on the basics, good quality products at affordable prices and above all else, in an increasingly competitive online environment we pride ourselves on customer care and satisfaction.

The New Year and cold winter evenings are an ideal time for sitting down and sorting out your sewing tin or box.  Pop in and top up on your basics the next time you’re in Yeovil or Bridport, we’d love to see you and help you re-stock.

 

Posted on

Job Vacancy

Job Opportunity

Self Employed Handy Person

Livingstone Textiles are looking for a part-time self-employed handy person to work at clients’ homes/businesses fitting curtain poles and tracks.  This position will suit someone who can work accurately on their own initiative.  Area covered is mostly South Somerset, you will need your own transport.

Call Nicky Cooke on 01935 422631 for more information.

 

Posted on

Sewing machine repairs

Maybe you’re thinking about joining one of our sewing workshops in Yeovil and haven’t used your machine in a while, or maybe your trusty workhorse is struggling with your latest sewing project? If so, don’t get mad, get a service!

All makes of machine are serviced or repaired by our talented repairs man Mark. He travels over from Bristol once a month or so, to tend to your ailing machines, and in most cases will fix them on site and on the day. He will repair overlockers too.

For an initial deposit of £10 (non-refundable) Mark will initially check that the machine is serviceable. The charge for a service is  an additional £49.90 and if any parts are needed, Mark will give you a ring before spending any more of your money.

Mark services the machines at our Bridport store, but you can drop off and collect your sewing machine at Bridport or Yeovil.

If your machine is unfortunately deemed unrepairable, you have the option to donate it to Tools for Self Reliance – we also accept donations of working, unwanted machines for this fantastic charity at both of our stores.

Posted on

Sewing workshops

We’re really excited about our new programme of sewing workshops, starting this month at our Yeovil store, so if you’re ready to blow away the Christmas cobwebs and learn something different, or improve your sewing techniques, get booking! All our courses give you the chance to learn new skills on your own sewing machine, so that you don’t have to waste time on the day learning how a different machine works, so please make sure you have a working sewing machine available to bring with you on the day.

The workshops are taught by the talented Lynn Horniblow, and cover a range of useful sewing skills; you can learn to get to grips with your sewing machine and use it to its full potential,  master the more fiddly details of sewing, or learn a whole new skill like crochet, or machine patchwork. All our workshops run from 10am to 4pm and cost £45 for the day. tea and coffee are provided, you just need to bring your lunch.

Places are limited, so please pop into our Yeovil store, or phone up to book your place 0n 01935 422631. Payment is needed upon booking.

 

 

Posted on

Vintage Patchwork Quilt

This beautiful patchwork was constructed in Wales and gifted to a friend in the 1970’s.
The hexagons are very clearly Laura Ashley cotton dress fabrics from that period and have been beautifully hand pieced together using a technique known as English Paper Piecing or EPP, to create a double bedspread.  One of our makers was asked to remove the nylon bedsheet that had been used as a backing and to replace it with something more suitable.

She decided that a plain white cotton sheeting would look the most fitting as a backing fabric as it compliments the blue and white design of the patchwork top.  She also created a thicker quilt by adding a layer of batting between the top and the sheeting.  The batting used is our Warm & Natural needle punched cotton and it is a completely natural product that does not seperate or bunch up.  It can be machine washed and because the fibres are pure cotton, the needle can pass through the layers quickly and easily when quilting by hand or machine.

The batting can be purchased from either of our shops or you can order it by ringing us and we will ship it out to you the same day.  This product is not currently available to buy on our webshop but we are happy to send out free samples on request.  We stock both cotton and polycotton sheeting in plain black, white and royal blue and can also mail out samples and whole pieces.  We have a few more colours to choose from in the poly cotton.  The quilt was made using an unconventional method where the layers were placed right sides together along with the cotton batting and then bagged out through a gap left in the top.  The gap was carefully top stitched together then the centre of the quilt was marked.  The Hexagon that fell in the centre of the patchwork was then hand quilted followed by random other hexagons.  In this way the quilt could be enjoyed very quickly as a coverlet but added to at any time our seamstress wanted to do a little hand sewing.  And of course January is the perfect time for disappearing under a mountain of fabric layers to quilt on a winters evening.

If you would like to learn more about patchwork and quilting, or just take some basic sewing lessons then have a look at the classes we will be running over the next few weeks.

 

 

Posted on

Fabric Manipulation

We’ve got a great new book in stock.  It shows you how to create some great forms with fabric that appear across textile art pieces.  The techniques are all carefully explained and illustrated with some really original ideas that you can put into practice straight away.

 

Using basic geometric shapes and folds as a starting point, you can learn variations on the basic method and develop different decorative effects.  Many of the techniques have been resourced from historical garments and museum pieces as well as more modern books and resources.  The author explains that most of her knowledge of smocking came from books published in the 1970’s!

 

All of the illustrations clearly show the patterns you can make with cuts and folds, pleats and ruffles and the guide at the beginning of the book lists suitable fabrics, tools, measuring techniques, hand sewing methods, pinning, cutting and pressing methods to help you achieve good results.  Some brilliant designs can be created by folding, stitching and cutting layered fabrics in different ways and the complimentary colours can create some rather explosive effects when they are cut into and folded back.

These pictures show how to achieve the stunning textures that are often used to create arty scarves and interior design projects.  The velvet cushion looks particularly striking and the enclosed stuffing balls give a fabulous bobble effect over the surface so it becomes more like a piece of tactile art.

The instructions for this are very straight forward and the fabric calculations are a lot simpler that you would think.  This is such an exciting book and this is definitely one of the projects that we will be trying ourselves.

Posted on

10 % Discount on Christmas Fabrics!

We’re very excited to offer our customers a 10% discount across all of our Christmas fabrics until the end of January 2019.

We still have some beautiful timeless designs in stock that you can now pick up at a great price and squirrel away ready for next autumns projects.  Now is also the time to come and browse our extensive collection of craft books too.  You can spend a little time with yourself and get acquainted with a new project for the cold months ahead.

Posted on

Happy New Year!

Whether you’re just starting out on your sewing journey, have just moved to the Bridport area and are hunting down new soft furnishings or need some advice on a current project we are looking forward to seeing old and new faces in 2019.  Our normal shop opening hours are now resumed: Mon-Sat 9-5. Closed Sundays.

You can also browse and shop a good selection of our vast fabric stock online here and we have even more in our two shops at Manor Stables Yeovil and St Michaels Lane, Bridport.

See you all soon 🙂

Posted on

Fancy Dress Fabrics – New Years Eve

It’s neary the end of 2018 and time to think about those New Years Eve parties…and your outfit!

What better way to celebrate the end of this year and to welcome in the start of 2019 than all dressed up in fancy dress. We have a huge range of fancy dress fabrics and the limit to your costume possibilities is only your imagination!

If you’re struggling to think of an outfit idea then we have our New Look and Simplicity pattern books with pleanty of costume patterns to choose from. With fabrics ranging from crazy colured fux fur to glitzy sequins and sparkly metalic look fabrics even pirate like stripes you can transform yourself into anything or anyone.

There are of course more glamorous party outfits that can be made if costumes aren’t your thing.

We are open between Christmas and New Year for those last minute ideas if you don’t manage to make it in before Christmas, to see our opening times over the festive period please click here.

 

Posted on

Norman the Nordic Gnome

We’ve been making some cute decorations to hang up in the shop and we thought we’d share them with you, along with some simple step by step instructions on how we did them.

All you need is a square of red felt, a giant white pom pom and two little pompoms.  We used a pink 1/2 inch one for the nose and a white 1 inch one for the top of his hat.  From the sewing box you’ll need scissors, a needle, some pins and some red thread.

 

Posted on

7 Simple Eco friendly makes

With the climate change, burning of fossil fuels and the mountains of plastic we are using and discarding daily, sometimes without knowing (it’s in everything even tea bags!) the planet is really suffering and is in desperate need of a helping hand from us! With changes from everyone needed now more than ever here are a few simple makes that are easy to do and will go towards helping out planet earth. Most of these makes will also save you money as you wont need to keep buying new items just to throw them away after use.

Single-use has recently been named the word of the year by Collins dictionary, which indicates how relevant this has become this year.

via GIPHY

1 – Waxed cotton food wraps

No more need for cling film or plastic bags , these are easy to make at home and can be made out of most cotton fabrics. We have a huge range of dress and craft weight cottons which are perfect for making these with so you can choose from almost any design or style you can think of!

We have even helped out Damers first school in making these back in July, for more details on these wraps and how to use them check out their great work here!

2 – Sandwich keeper

Cut out the need for single use plastic sandwich bags and plastic packaging (if you cheat and get a shop bought sandwich), instead take your lunch with you in style! What’s even better about this is that it doubles up as a place mat when opened so you can eat your lunch anywhere out and about and know you’ve got a clean surface to eat from and also a handy crumb catcher! It is machine washable for when the outside gets grubby but for day to day use you can wipe clean the inside with soapy damp cloth, then rinse.

I made this one earlier in the year and I haven’t needed to buy sandwich bags since, saving money and cutting out a little more plastic.

3 – Shopping bags

We have nearly all got used to the idea of carrying around a shopping bag with us to avoid using plastic bags. I find that you can almost never have enough of these as they always come in handy for something. Simple tote bags that fold up to nearly nothing so that they fit neatly into your pocket or handbag or even just to live in the boot of your car or around the house for that time when you need them.

We have a huge range of sturdy fabrics in stock with lots of colours and designs to choose from to make these handy bags. The best thing about making these bags yourself is that you can make these bags big or small, simple and straight forward or you can add pockets and compartments to keep things separate, decorate the outside with embroidery or motifs to jazz it up a bit, the possibilities are endless! Also, in stock we have cotton, polyester or acrylic webbing available which is perfect for making the handles of these bags and makes it super simple.

4 – Fruit and veg bags

These can be simple draw string bags to keep your fruit and veg separate from other shopping, muslin or net fabrics are great for these. These can also help keep your fruit and veg good for longer as they don’t sweat and stay damp like they do in plastic.

5 – Using string/ twine or ribbon instead of sticky-tape for wrapping Christmas presents

Why not use decorative ribbon or even some hessian twine to secure your presents this year. These will give your presents a whole different look and add something special, while at the same time reducing the amount of single use plastic being used this Christmas as you won’t need to use sticky-tape.

6 – Baby/wet wipe alternatives- terry towelling, fluffy fleece, cotton

Baby wipes get used in their hundreds of thousands each day and the majority of these are, again, plastic based which means they just stay like they are for years and years after their single use. There are loads of reusable alternatives that you can try making, including using fluffy fleece, terry towelling or just simple cottons as the base for the wipes these are used along with your chosen cleaning mix, which is usually a simple mix of skin friendly liquids not harsh chemicals (e.g. baby oil, tea tree oil etc) but there are lots of others to choose from. This might take a little research to perfect the best ones but will reduce the amount of single-use wipes used and so will be more friendly to the environment and your baby’s bum.

7 – Sanitary towel alternatives

Sanitary pads can be replaced with reusable cotton pads, with no nasty plastics in sight. We are happy to supply Cosy pads with the fabric to create their own version of reusable sanitary towels click here to check them out. Or you can come in and see us to choose your own fabrics and give making your own a go.

 

 

 

Posted on

Sewing Workshops in Yeovil

In the New Year we will be running more sewing workshops in our Yeovil shop, for those of you who would like to improve your sewing skills or for the complete beginner. These would make a great last-minute Christmas gift for someone or would be a great to consider if you’re lucky enough to receive a sewing machine for Christmas and need some pointers!

The workshops will be run by the lovely Lynn Horniblow. You will need to bring along your own machine, giving you a chance to become more familiar with it and allowing you to focus on the sewing rather than learning all about a new machine. Each class is £45, this is non-refundable so please make sure that you are able to bring a machine and that you are able to attend on the date of the class. There are limited places so please book soon to ensure you have a place.

Tea and coffee will be provided; however, you will need to bring along your own lunch.

January 2019

  • Saturday 12th 10am – 4pm Learn to love your sewing machine
  • Tuesday 22nd 10am -4pm Beginners crochet

February 2019

  • Saturday 23rd 10am – 4pm Beginners machine patchwork

March 2019

  • Friday 15th 10am – 4pm How to zips and fastenings
  • Saturday 23rd 10am – 4pm How to seams, hems and pockets

April 2019

  • Tuesday 16th April 10am – 4pm Zipped and piped cushions

If you would like to book in for any of the above workshops then or have any questions then please contact our Yeovil shop on 01935 422631, or pop in and see them. Please note payment is needed upon booking.

We hope to see you in the new year!

 

Posted on

Felt With Love

We have a few copies of this fabulous, bright and colourful new felt project book in stock at Livingstone Textiles and we thought we’d create one of the flowers in the book as a hanging christmas decoration for the shop.
This book is a delight to look at with its bright colours and inspiring designs and there are so many projects that we want to try. The book would make an ideal gift or you can make a whole load of presents from its pages.

 

Hold the 4 felt flowers together and sitch throught the centres to hold.

Place a button either side and stitch through the layers to secure the buttons.

 

Tie a piece of thread around the centre of the     

flowers and tie up like a pompom.

The poinsettia can now be hung up as a seasonal

decoration.

Posted on

Roman Blinds in Autumn

This beautiful new fabric from one of our regular suppliers is a celebration of autumn depicting leaves and berries in vibrant jewel colours.  Made up into a pair of Roman blinds they will compliment our client’s dining room windows and tell a story of the seasons swinging from an English summer into autumn.

This cotton fabric in the featured Rust colourway can be purchased in our shops for only £20.90 per metre, or see below to order online.  We also offer a full make up service with our skilled seamstresses.

 

Posted on

Concealed Needle Storage

We thought we would share this neat little idea for needle storage inside a Gutterman cotton reel.
Its so simple to twist the base and pull out the centre and it has little grooves to house a threaded needle. This works with all Gutermann threads, including the 100% cotton and our favourite eco-friendly recycled polyester thread.

Simply push your needle into the slits and pop the middle back into the cotton reel ready for next time.

 

Posted on

How to…….Make A Jacket

The challenging weather of autumn and winter days can leave you feeling a little less than smart as you bundle up in thicker clothing.

At Livingstones we love these easy to follow videos to sew along to.  The following Simplicity video will show you step by step, how to make a tailored jacket of any length that you choose and can wear to add a little class to your winter outfits.  It will look equally good dressed up with a skirt and heels or dressed down with jeans and trainers.  Having your own you tube tutor video will mean you are able to get the project done quickly as you won’t be trying to interpret the instructions while cutting or making.

The jacket is made from Simplicity pattern number 8749

Posted on

Digital Textile Printing

Digital Textile Printing is an exciting new way of designing and creating all kinds of fabrics.  It is the technology of printing designs onto fabric directly from a computer with no other steps involved in the process.

* A Design is Created

* Design is placed in Repeat

* Design is Printed directly onto fabric

The processes involved in digital printing are far cleaner, faster and more cost effective than conventional screen printing.  Cloth is normally pre-treated to hold the dye fast, to enable quality control and to achieve truer colours.  Some of the inks used may also need a post treatment such as steaming or heating to set the ink and keep it from fading or bleaching out in sunlight.

The concept of digital printing opens up many new opportunities for designers, artists, merchandisers and sales personnel because it is fast, efficient and cost effective.  Without the need to create a fresh screen for every new artwork, a designer can print:

* Small pieces or large rolls

* Garments & Apparell

* Flags & Banners

* Samples

* Interior Design Fabrics

To create a digital fabric, a designer will create sample tiles with a graphics tablet or another software programme such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.  They design by selecting available digital inks to create swatches in a digital library.  They will then use a drawing programme to sketch out a design and then infill colour using the selected swatches from their colour library.  The drawn and coloured design tile is then placed in repeat and saved as a pdf.  This resolution is then set to the designers preferred printers requirements using another programme, leaving the designer with a print ready file of their artwork that can be uploaded directly to their printing company, printed onto a fabric and then posted back in a matter of days.

We have some really beautiful digital prints at Livingstones, we all love this new technology because it can convey the delicate washes of watercolour as well as heavier art techniques like oils and acrylics.

The Poppy design featured above has proved very popular as has the Paintsplash velvet and the vibrant Hummingbird.  See below for more digital fabrics that are currently available to purchase on our website.

 

 

 

Posted on

Self-adhesive glitter patches

Here’s a fantastic fun new product we’ve just got in the shop, just in time for your Christmas crafting:

 

 

 

 

 

Sheets of coloured self-adhesive glitter fabric that can easily be cut into letters, numbers, shapes – whatever you want!

This versatile product is self-adhesive, so it will stick firmly to wood, metal, card or wherever you want, but because it is a fabric it can also be used to decorate fabric items or clothing  and ironed on – simply cut it to the shape you want, remove the backing and stick it down. For fabrics, cover with a light cloth and iron for 60 seconds. Leave it a few minutes to cool and set, and you’re done!

 

Posted on

Designer fabric ends

We’ve recently taken delivery of a consignment of designer fabric ends (short lengths of fabric around 2m) so pop down to our stores in Bridport or Yeovil to choose some of these lovely fabrics for yourself before it’s all gone!

These are high-end fabrics, perfect for small upholstery projects, cushions or even a roman blind. These luxury fabric pieces are individually priced and guaranteed to save you money on the RRP. Perfect if you want something a little different to adorn your home.