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Book Review – A Beginner’s Guide to Making Curtains, Shades, Pillows, Cushions and More

 

This book written by Vanessa Arbuthnott with Gail Abbot, sets out everything you need to know, to begin making your own soft furnishings for your home. As mentioned by Vanessa at the beginning of the book, the advantages of being able to make your own curtains and shades etc, are the freedom to create exactly what you want for your home, while saving you money on making costs, enabling this to be spent on more luxurious fabrics if you desire. All the fabrics featured in the book are designed by the author and are inspired by the natural things in her surroundings.

 

It is set out into the following chapters to allow you to easily browse through the different designs and styles of each category: 1- curtains, 2- shades, 3- pillows, 4- covers, 5-accessories, 6-basic techniques. Each item included in the book is set out clearly on the page with a stunning picture of the final make, set up in a room, to help visualise the most suitable designs for you. The instructions include a list of materials and tools you will need, a guide on how to work out how much fabric you will need for the project and top tips to help you before you begin. The step by step instructions are clearly illustrated throughout with coloured drawings for each step.

Overall the book has a very homely feel in the projects it has, and is simple to follow for the beginner, so it’s easy when reading this and refering to it, to imagine making these things and putting them in your home to add that personal touch. This book is available to by from our Bridport shop, why not come and have a look at it for yourself.

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Childrens Sun Hats

Love To Sew are a collection of books that contain quick little projects to make, with        small amounts of fabric.  Parents and Grandparents often have a hard time finding a hat that a child will keep on its head so let us introduce you to Childrens Sun Hats by Gill Stratton.  The childrens hats in this book are delightful and really easy to make, even if you only have the very basic sewing skills.  You could make them for your own little ones or as a gift for someone else.

Containing step by step instructions including the measuring of a childs head circumference right through to the top stitching hints for crisp and clean brims, this book is a great way into making hats for the first time.  The photographs showing each stage are clear and the instructions are written in laymans terms making them really easy to follow.  There are some clever cutting tips to limit the fabric waste and a full list of the sewing equipment and fabrics needed for each project.   The designer shows you how and where to use interfacings to give strength to different parts of the hat and shows you how to make some clever and co-ordinating trims and accessories.

 

 

 

 

 

At the back of the book you will find half size templates for all of the hats included with simple enlarging instructions and there are some clever tips on upcycling old clothing into hats and linings if you don’t fancy buying anything new.  This book can be browsed and purchased at Livingstone Textiles in Bridport, Dorset and we highly reccomend it.

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Sewing with knitted fabrics

 

– Reviewing ‘A beginner’s Guide to Sewing With Knitted Fabrics’, by Wendy Ward.

Sewing with jerseys and other knitted fabrics is a great way to make stylish clothing that is relaxed and comfortable to wear, plus of course, making the items yourself gives you full control over the fabrics and the fit. If,however you find the idea of getting to grips with sewing stretchy fabrics a little bit scary, especially if you haven’t done it before, then this new book could be the answer!

As well as well as all the easy-to-follow instructions and useful tips you’ll need to succeed with knitted fabrics, this book also contains beautifully clear instructions for making 20 fantastic designs of trousers, tops and dresses, as well as full-size patterns for all the garments in sizes UK8 to UK26 in an envelope in the book, which makes the price of £12.99  even more of a bargain!

…also, we sell dot and cross pattern-making paper off the roll in the shop for only £1 a metre, so you can very easily trace off the pattern pieces you need for your project, keeping all the sizes and options of the original patterns intact.

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Book Review – The Dressmaking Technique Bible

As Lorna Knight rightly points out in the introduction to her book, with cheap clothing so readily available, people no longer make their own clothes to save money; but if you want to get an individual look, use a certain fabric, or enjoy a perfect fit, Then dressmaking is still for you, and this lovely, useful reference book contains all the techniques and guidance you need to achieve perfect results every time.

This practical hardback is spiral-bound to lie open for quick and easy reference, and with chapters covering tools and materials, stitches and textiles, fabric manipulation and techniques, you will probably be referring to it a lot!

As you can see from the pictures, the uncluttered pages are generously illustrated with both drawings and photographs, to give the clearest possible instructions, covering subjects as diverse as how to chose and use a pattern, right through to all sorts of tailoring and finishing techniques to enable you to get the finish you want on the clothes you are making. Come and see this book for yourself in our Bridport store, and take it home and enjoy it!

 

 

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Book review – Fabric Manipulation

Fabric Manipulation – 150 Creative Sewing Techniques, by Ruth Singer

This beautiful hardback book generated a huge amount of excitement when in arrived in store at Bridport, and we all felt inspired by the projects! In the beautifully laid out pages, Ruth Singer looks at techniques to shape, embellish and, yes, manipulate fabric in astounding and creative ways, to create both traditional and strikingly modern effects.

Within the chapter headings of Pleat and Fold, Stitch and Gather and Apply and Layer, the author covers all kinds of fabric techniques, which can be used for both dressmaking and home furnishings. Although the finished projects are often spectacular, the uncluttered layout of the book and the clarity of the instructions, enhanced by the clear and beautifully photographed illustrations makes it all very achieveable – just come in and take a closer look at book to see.

She also covers choosing and using fabrics, equipment and materials, and although the techniques are often based on the author’s love of vintage costumes, she shares her secrets for using these techniques with a modern twist, and positively encourages your experimentation. Treat yourself to this gorgeous book, and be inspired!

 

 

 

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Hearts to make for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s day coming up fast, why not treat yourself to a book full of ideas for some lovely heart-themed projects and quick makes? these projects will also be good for craft fairs, Christmas, or just for making life more pretty all the year round!

For the smaller makes, choose from our huge range of fabrics on the roll, or browse through our fat quarters to get  a smaller piece of something lovely. To finish it off, indulge yourself by choosing some pretty things from our selection of ribbons and buttons – you’re bound to find something you like!

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Fabric Dolls

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There are some beautiful books in the fabric shop at Livingstone Textiles, Bridport.  These are some of our favourite doll making books because they are fanciful and appealing to all age groups.

 

 

 

We also stock a helpful bit of kit for dollmakers called a doll needle.  This very long needle is great for attaching limbs, hair and facial features as you can pass the fine needle throught the fabrics without distortion.  Pop in to the shop and browse our books if you’d like some inspiration for a new project.  We stock kapok stuffing, calico, organzas and beautiful buttons for you to style your dream doll.

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Books make great gifts!

 

Take a look at our range of books next time you are in the shop; you’ll find something for all the stitchers in your life, perfect for presents at Christmas or for yourself at any time!

You’ll find we’ve got books on sewing techniques aimed at every skill level, from total beginner, to expert in search of a new challenge or skill set. We’ve also got plenty of books full of ideas to get children into sewing.

If you’d like to explore a new craft using our gorgeous fabrics, and want information and inspiration, then we have a fantastic range of books – come and browse!

 

Whether it’s ideas for a simple project like bunting or christmas decorations, or something more advanced like quilting or upholstery,we’ve got the books to take you, or your nearest and dearest, further!

Don’t forget that Livingstones also do gift vouchers that can be bought (and spent) in either of our two shops; these are in several denominations, are valid for a whole year – and are the perfect accompaniment for that book you’ve just bought!

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Summer Holiday Fun

Yay the summer holidays are here, most schools will have broken up for the summer by now, you might have had your children at home with you for a few days already or maybe even a week? Are they getting bored yet? Have they already been watching too much TV or they haven’t moved from the computer?

DSC_5631Have you thought about getting them into sewing? We sell a range of books for sewers at every level and for the younger sewer. This is a great way to get them having a productive summer and they can learn a very valuable skill.

This book is aimed at a younger child maybe 7 or 8, it has a DSC_5632range of sewing games to give the child sewing machine skill but alongside, it also teaches the child safety skills that they will need to know to sew safely.

 

Texola sewing packs

If your child is not quite ready for the sewing machine but you want to get them into sewing, why not have a look at our sewing packs. Livingstone Textiles has a range of pre- packed sewing sets to help any eager sewer on their way. These packs range from cushion packs with in-depth instruction and everything they will need to make their cushions. We also have lovely craft packs which come with felt, ribbon and buttons and great way to get your little ones sewing this summer.  We also have a wide range of craft fabrics, ribbons and buttons in both our shops in Bridport Dorset and Yeovil Somerset which would be ideal for any craft projects you might want to undergo with your little ones this summer.

We also have a range of craft cottons on our webshop Buy online via our Webshop

 

 

If you would like any further information on what either of our stores have to offer please contact us and we will be happy to help.

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What is…….an Overlocker?

Owning your first Overlocker is incredibly exciting but it can also be rather daunting.Overlocker technique manual Just learning how to thread the machine can be enough to frighten some owners into leaving it in a cupboard, never to see the light of day, but it doesn’t have to be scary.  This easy to understand book sets out each step of using an overlocker with clear diagrams and plain English.  An overlocker is simply a machine that gives you beautiful and professionally finished seams and edges.  It can be used for hemming, trimming and enclosing seams at the same time and rolled hems.  It can also produce decorative stitches.  An overlocker is a machine for finishing seams and it cuts off excess fabric with a blade that comes up from under the machine.  When threaded with coloured threads to match your project, the seams can be transformed into a decoration and you can even add beads to edges with an attachment.  This book explains everything you need to know and can be bought from Livingstone Textiles, Bridport.

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NEW SIMPLICITY PATTERN BOOK AND A SALE!!

simplicity-004simplicity-001 What great news!  They sent us a delicious new catalogue and now they’ve made all the patterns half price for a whole month!  It’s definitely time to make something new for Autumn and we all love this unusual draped tunic with its feature neckline.  The cowl is attached to the top of the tunic and can be worn a number of ways, Simplicity shows you how.  How about using this stunning new teal velour that’s just arrived at Livingstone Textiles?  Just Gorgeous and super soft.teal-crushed-velour-001

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Prestigious Fabrics- Play Time

Children’s bedrooms and play rooms are always fun rooms to decorate, and they are rooms where you can have more than one colour and even more than one theme.

If you’re thinking of treating your little one to a new themed room, or are just after a new blind or curtains, have a look at this beautiful fabric book called Playtime. This book contains a range of 13 fun fabrics designs from stars and stripes to fun jungle animals, all in a range of different colours.

These fabrics would be suitable for curtains, cushions, blinds and other soft furnishings.

These fabrics are not available on our webshop but available to view in our shop in Bridport Dorset. As with all our fabric samples, the book is available to take home to check colours, we just ask for a cash deposit. If you would like any more information please contact us and we will be happy to help.

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Retro Interiors

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Look what turned up in a bag of old knitting patterns destined for the tip!  This edition of House and Garden magazine was published in 1968 and cost 4 shillings.  Along with it was this old sewing and haberdashery catalogue.

One of our previous staff members now works in London at MacCulloch & Wallis, although she was born long after this copy of stock articles was printed.

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So, clearly only women were expected to sew in the seventies!!

 

 

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“Semi sheer, washable, practical Dralon………she just had to have it”  🙂

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Sewing Books and Craft Books in Stock

Sewing Book StandThese craft and sewing books have just arrived in our store in Bridport, and we are excited to share them with you. Lots of lovely ideas for items to make from cushions to fabric brooches with clear pictures and instructions. You can find stash-busting suggestions on what to do with all your fabric offcuts, and Christmas crafts are also covered with a wonderful book on how to make Christmas Stockings. We are concentrating on books related to sewing, but the full range, including craft and knitting books, is available to order from our catalogue. Lots of temptation for the staff as well as the customers!

Patchwork book

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Pattern Sale and New Pattern Book

New patternsNew releases of patterns are always fun, and it’s exciting to look at the new designs and think how they would work with the fabrics we have in store. The new catalogue for the New Look patterns arrived recently and we are especially pleased to see some great patterns for stretch material. 6412My favourite is pattern 6412, and what is especially amazing is that the garment shown on the envelope is actually a dress! We think it would look great with leggings or thick tights and boots. We have lots of jersey fabrics that would suit these patterns to a T.

Coat patternsThere are also coat patterns which you could make up with our fleeces, children’s dresses and party outfits galore. Our pattern books are now in our end room with a table and chairs so you can sit and browse.

To add extra excitement to the new patterns, Simplicity are having a flash sale on their patterns. For one week only all Simplicity and New Look patterns are half price or better. The sale ends on Wednesday 2nd December 2015, and don’t forget you can fill up your pattern club card at sale prices and then choose a free pattern at your leisure. Pattern club cards give you one free pattern for every 4 patterns you buy. We keep the cards at the shop so there is no worry about losing your card, it’s always here for you.