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**New Fabrics**

Navy

Double Gauze is a dyed thin cotton of two layers finely sewn together to create a light and airy summer weight fabric that has a number of different uses in dressmaking and crafts. We have three colours in stock at the moment, available to buy in store or in our online shop and we are happy to send you samples, just send email us. We’ve ordered two other colours as well that should hopefully be available next week so follow us on social media for all our news.

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New Seaside Fabric

This is a brand new arrival in our Bridport store this week, a new addition to our tapestry fabric range. This is a heavy weight cloth which could be used for curtains or upholstery projects. We think it would particularly lend itself to making cushions or covers for window seats, but would also make a great beach bag or a wall hanging! This fabric can be purchased through our Bridport store or brought up to Yeovil for you to collect. It is also available by mail order using the link below.

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Curtain Fabric Calculator

Calculating fabric for your curtains can be a complicated process. We published a helpful guide to how to measure for curtains and calculate fabric requirements, but now we have gone a step further and developed a calculation for you. Simply enter the details of each curtain in the form below, using either inches or centimetres for all your measurements, enter the fabric width and any pattern repeat in the same measurement unit (inches or centimetres) and the calculation will be done for you. Please note that as this is an automated process it cannot take account of any savings that can be made by having less fullness or reducing hems. This calculator is in a testing phase, so please do let us know if you encounter any problems or need further help with calculating requirements in one of our fabrics. Please see below for a selection of our current curtain fabrics, details including width and pattern repeat can be found by clicking on the fabric. All fabrics can be ordered from our website in multiples of 1 metre. The calculator will give a result to the nearest 0.1 metre which can be rounded up to purchase from the website. Please note for half drop repeat curtain fabrics we suggest you add an extra half pattern repeat to the calculated figure before rounding up.

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Green Ideas – Sample Hangers

As part of Bridports Fashion Revolution we are bringing you some handy tips to help you re-use, recycle, mend or transform your clothing and accessories.

Every year some of our fabrics are discontinued by the suppliers and this means that the hangers we hold for them are no longer of any use to order from. Some of you will probably know that we sell off these hangers when this happens for anywhere between five and ten pounds. They are a real bargain because as well as all of the smaller samples on the hanger, you will also get a large piece of fabric at the back as well, usually a metre or more squared.

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The Bridport Fashion Revolution

Bridport Fashion Revolution

Bridport normally runs a Green Fortnight at this time of year but 2020 brings us something different. This year sees the town hosting Bridport’s Fashion Revolution from the 13th of February onwards and here at Livingstone Textiles we are going to be sharing helpful tips to get you going with Green Fashion.

Fashion is a massive and a dirty industry but we can all change our habits and living in or near Bridport gives us a distinct advantage. This is because there have always been abundant independent businesses that we can choose to shop at. Most items of clothing are bought new and worn on average ten times before they are discarded but there is hope that if we choose to shop differently, we can all reduce the contributing factors to our warming planet.

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Winter Sunshine

A little bit of sunshine in February is definitely lifting everyones spirits after so much rain. With clearing skies come cooler evenings and we love this new gorgeous pumpkin coloured fleece for snuggling up in and for lifting a fashionable grey colour scheme. Priced at just £7.05 a metre it’s worth poppping in to Livingstone Textiles for a couple of metres to make an instant no sew throw. It also goes perfectly with the new paint colour charts from Farrow & Ball, available at Bridport Timber & Flooring. The Natural History Museum has been working with the Colour By Nature Collection to create a stunning new range and the Dutch Orange colour is featured on the front of their new sample card. So whether you go for the fabric or the paint to freshen up your living space this spring, this is definitely the colour to go for.

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Lets keep in touch!

We love hearing from you, whether it’s a question for us, something sewing-related that you need help with, or something you’d like to buy from us, in person, or by post! We also love to see things you’ve made with our fabric, or pictures of our bespoke soft furnishings making your house look gorgeous.

We love to share our news, exciting new arrivals, and picture of things we love on our social media channels – come and follow us!

…you can, of course also phone us, email us, or just pop in for a chat. We love a chat!

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Book Review – Crochet Workshop

Book: Crochet Workshop

Crochet Workshop, by Erika Knight, is a beautifully-presented book suitable for beginners and more experienced crocheters alike. The basics are covered with clear explantions and line drawings, giving you the skills to create both new and more traditional crochet items, all with a lovely, modern twist. It’s the perfect book if you would like to make something small and simple like a dishcloth, or a fabulous crochet dog bed, or all sorts of household items and accessories!

If you are a total beginner, you might also be interested in our ‘Learn to Crochet’ course, running at our Yeovil store on 30 May 2020. It’s only £45 for the day, and there’s free parking too. Ask in either of our shops, or phone 01935 422631 to book your place.

Crochet Workshop by Erika Knight is available from us for £14.99

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Box Cushions

picture of box cushions

Some of our makers have been busy recently producing these beautiful box cushions, designed and finished to customer requirements.

A box cushion has the top and bottom panels joined with a separate piece of fabric to create structured sides. These can be quite substantial, as for a sofa cushion, or slim, for something like a window seat. Box cushions can be finished piped or unpiped, depending on the look you want to go for.

We’ve recently made these luxurious piped velvet cushions, and also these hardwearing unpiped stripey cushions which are now giving a camper van a fresh new look. If you would like to reinvent any aspect of your soft furnishings – in your house, caravan, camper or cottage – ready for spring, then call in to one of our shops to be inspired by our huge stock of fabrics. We’re always happy to discuss your ideas and give a no-obligation quote.

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Conservatory Soft Furnishings Makeover

Sitting out in your conservatory during January is a rather chilly option and while it is out of use it’s a good idea to have a look and see if it might be in need of a bit of a facelift before the Spring. A local customer decided to pop in to Livingstone Textiles this week to see about getting all of his cushions re-covered so we set about giving them a new lease of life. The foam in the bottom cushions was still good so we were able to re-use them and save him a bit of money. However the back cushions had started to sag and needed a bit of help so we gave the inners an extra few handfulls of fibre filling to firm them up before Madeline set about making new covers for them. She added matching piping, which always looks smart and incorporated zips into each cushion, enabling the customer to be able to wash them when necessary and we think they look fabulous. Don’t forget that you can always email us pictures of your cushions or curtains and ask us to quote you for new soft furnishings, it’s a good idea to include measurements as well so we can get an idea of how much fabric you will need to buy.

Extra Stuffing
New & Old
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How to work a Cable Stitch

Knitting a hat is a great way to use up scraps of wool leftover from a bigger project and a textured hat always looks funky but a lot of people are put off by a cable pattern because it looks so difficult. The stitches appear to overlap each other and cross and a cable pattern can include bobbles and several cross overs that look really involved to do. In fact, they are really quite simple once you break the pattern down into small steps and all patterns will have an explanation of how they want you to work the cable.

The most important piece of equipment to get yourself is a cable needle, these special needles have a ‘V’ in the middle to stop the stitches from sliding off and are used to hold the stitches at the front and the the back of the knitting while you work other stitches on the needles. The Instructions for this pattern can be found in the book 20 To Knit Knitted Hats by Monica Russell and the cable abbreviation illustrated here is written as T3B (Take 3 Back). It has the same meaning as C3B (Cable 3 Back) but is slightly easier to interpret.


Below are step by step pictures on how to work with the third needle. The stitches are slipped on to the cable nedle and held either at the front or the back while a few stitches are worked from the needles. Then cable needle is then brought back in and the stitches worked from there, creating a twist as the knitting wraps around itself.

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Workshops 2020

We have a selection of needlework workshops running at our Yeovil store this year.

The cost per session is £45 (non-refundadable) and we have limited spaces so please book in advance on 01935 422631 or ask a member of staff when you are next in the shop.

21st March

10-4pm Machine Patchwork Part 1 (curved seams)

4th April

10-4pm Introduction to Overlockers (NB not suitable for Singers purchased at Lidl)

18th April

10-4pm Learn to Love your Sewing Machine

2nd May

10-4pm Patchwork Quilting Part 2

13th June

10-4pm Advanced Curtain Making

27th June

10-4pm Applique (needle turned etc)

All classes this year are being run by our experienced tutor, Lynn Horniblow and we offer free parking outside the door. Find us at BA20 1UN opposite the Octagon Theatre.

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Bengal Tigers In Bridport

We are still adoring this jungle velvet and so are our customers and we’ve had an order this week for an unusual project. You may remember that we published a story about a lady called Debbie who made a dress out of our silk furnishing fabric featuring a bee design. Well she’s creating another dress, this time using the Bengal Tiger velvet as her fabric which we think will look sensational! Because of the varying weights and modern digital printing techniques the fabrics that we have in our shop can be crossed over into all kinds of projects, some of the lighter furnishing fabrics can be used as dress materials and many of our heavier dress fabrics, like wool or Melton coat fabrics for example, can be used as a curtain fabric. This week we’ve made up these lovely eyelet curtains in a mustard Melton cloth, quite simply because the colour matched our customers room scheme perfectly and there was nothing quite right in our soft furnishings range.

We can order anything from our large collection of fabric books too , even just a sample if you want to double check colours before you make the jump.

These eyelet curtains have been made by us using Antique rings and we can also make up eyelets in other colours such as Nickel and Black. There are a few options available designed to suit the rail you currently have in place or ask us for details on our continuous metal poles with no awkward joins to try and drag the curtains over.

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Plastic Accountability

As a small family owned retail business we are acutely aware of our responsibility to the environment and have always been conscious of the impact of our waste. Right form the outset, when Tom and Megan took over Livingstone Textiles, recycling strategies were extremely important as part of the company ethic. It’s a way of life for the team not to throw anything away that might be re-used in some way, or re-cycled. So much so that when we stopped and thought about it, we realised that most of our customers are completely unaware of the little things we all do so we thought we’d share some of the ways that we tackle our waste output as a business. As you all know, we stock a terrific range of fabrics in our two shops. All of these fabrics have to be couriered to us so wherever we possibly can, we will combine orders for both shops to minimise transport but, of course all of the fabric needs to arrive clean and dry after its been slung around the distribution centres so it is always wrapped in plastic. Some of our suppliers have now started to wrap fabric in much thinner plastic than they did previously therby using fewer resources. This is great……but it’s still plastic and it still needs to be reconciled. All of our cardbard and paper gets re-used as scrap paper or recycled at the recycling centre in Bridport. We compost all of our staff food waste ( except biscuits of course because we eat all of those) and we take home and recycle all cans, bottles and cartons in our own household recycling systems as well as the plastic ribbon reels. Our cardboard tubes get recycled too and we are always happy to give them away to anyone who needs them for a project or local group. Some suppliers are now going back to old fashioned cardboard bobbins for there bias bindings and trims which makes us happy.

All of our plastic gets sorted and graded for recycling. Anything that we can’t yet recycle gets cut up and used in our packing area for sending out the fabric that you order from our online shop. We save all of the little scraps of fabric and bits of ribbon that are too small to sell, along with donated boxes of old buttons and threads from various old local stashes of ancient aunts and use them to make up little packs of co-ordinating things for art, craft and textile projects. At only £2 for a bag they are an absolute bargain and you can be confident that you’re doing your bit in the up-cycling chain.

Upcycling in Action

We are also beginning to travel the long road of sustainable fabrics and recycled textiles that we aim to make a prominent feature of our business moving forward. We already stock a few things as they are becoming available and you can buy fabric made from textile industry waste on our webshop, as well as recycled felt in a selection of rainbow colours.

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Tartan Sashes

It’s burns night tonight and it’s not too late to grab a bit of tartan. A couple of metres of these extra wide woven ribbons can be quickly made into a sash to wear over your outfit and the narrower ones can be used in your hair or around a hat.

Embrace your inner Celt, celebrate the poetry and read more about Burns Night here.

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Camper Van Cushions

All this rain makes us think longingly of summer sun and road trips.

Now is the perfect time to get your camper or caravan fixed up and ready for the road. We’re making a whole load of seat / bed cushions for a couple who are off on a big trip. They will be living in their camper and comfort is high on the list so we are covering 5″ deep foam with a thick, soft layer of wadding and then stockinette so they will be super soft and comfy. We’ve written about how you can do this yourself here.

As yet we don’t have foam listed on our website but we are happy to process telephone orders, you can contact us on 01308 456844 or 01935 422651 to place an order or discuss your requirements.

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Dress Fabric or Curtain Fabric?

How do you tell if a fabric is dress fabric or curtain fabric? Well sometimes it’s not so easy! Rules are made to be broken, so although in our stores we keep fabrics in different areas depending on whether their intended use is for furnishing or dressmaking, really it is down to a mixture of how the fabric will behave and your personal preference. We recently made up these lovely warm winter weight curtains in this gorgeous poly viscose melton fabric, which works perfectly even though it is traditionallly a dress fabric. These curtains are also interlined for even more warmth, and need the punched metal eyelets shown in order to hold the weight of the curtain. This fabric also looks the same from both sides, so could be used unlined to create a room divider curtain.

Sometimes you also want a lighter weight curtain, maybe to screen off an area or cover glass on a cupboard door, and then the dress weight cottons may be suitable, you would just need to be careful about the fabric width.

In contrast, we also have customers who make dresses, skirts and coats out of what is traditionally regarded as curtain fabric, like this amazing bee dress and the stunning hunting coat. We have heard a rumour there is also a Bengal Tiger dress on the way!

So the message is to know your fabrics, think outside the box and have a good look around the whole of the shop. You may just spot a bargain “curtain” fabric in the heavier weight dress fabrics, or create a showstopper garment from the furnishing section! We are always happy to talk to you about your project and will let you know if we think the fabric can be used in the way you are planning.

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Burns Night

In anticipation of Burns Night we have listed lots of lovely tartans and checked fabrics in our online shop. You can browse them here and make a purchase. We will send out your fabric the same day if we receive your order before three o’ clock or the next working day if you are a late night shopper and you can read all about Burns Night, its history and the ritual celebrations that surround it here. Here are some of the gorgeous fabrics to tempt you and don’t forget that we have even more in our high street stores at Yeovil and Bridport. We don’t however, sell whisky or Haggis but our Bridport shop is right next to Waitrose so you should’t find it too difficult to get everything you need in one outing.

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Book Review – Knitted Hats

This lovely little book has found its way home with more than one of our staff members this winter. Part of the 20 To Make series, it features a range of knitted hats for both men and women. One of our team found it an ideal way to use up a ball of chunky wool which was left over after knitting letters on some ‘Weasley’ christmas sweaters.

The result was this delightful cable edged beanie hat, we just love the gold colour and it’s very up to date. This hat was knitted with the cable band being completed first, then you pick up stitches along the edge of the band to knit the rest of the hat in double and single moss stitch. Less than a day to complete because of the chunky wool and large needles.

Other hats in the book include a ribbed pompom hat, a lacy beret and even a santa hat. With a few fair isle designs included this book is a great way to use up those odd ends of wool in your stash. The yarn weights vary from 4 ply all the way up to chunky. All the explanations and abbreviations are included along with stitch patterns for all the designs.

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Magic Unicorn Rainbow Fur

This is one of our most exciting new fabrics for the New Year and sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. This polyester faux fur has a long pile and is incredibly soft, we just want to cuddle it all day long! We are imagining all sorts of projects from unicorn manes to cushions, collar trims and whole jackets. One of our staff already has some at home to make a tube scarf, so we will be sharing a how to on that soon. In the meantime if you can’t wait to get your hands on this you can pop into our Bridport shop or buy online using the link below!