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Vintage Spring Roses

Ceiling to floor length curtains made with delicate vintage roses fabric have been finished with a 6″ deep pleat heading tape in order to balance a large room. When choosing a curtain heading it is important to consider the overall effect combined with the curtain drop size and a standard 3″ heading tape is usually okay. In a large room with big windows you can opt for a bigger print and a deeper heading because the curtains will look elegant and in proportion to the room size. The fabric that the customer has chosen for us to make into their curtains is available to buy on our website and features this soft print on a linen background.

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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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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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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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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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How to Make a Tube Scarf with Pompoms

We wrote a little while ago about our new amazing rainbow cuddle fur, and thought about creating a scarf from it. Because this fabric is one sided, you can’t just cut a strip of fabric as you don’t want the back to show. So here is how to make your own scarf using the tube method, and to go one better you can put a pompom on the end.

Cut a strip of fabric across the width and about 25 – 30cm wide. Fold in half right sides together and sew along the edges with a sewing machine or overlocker (the edges will probably not fray, but check your fabric to be sure). If you don’t want pompoms sew across one end of the fabric.


You now have a tube of wrong way out fabric.


Turn the tube right side out. If you are not adding pompoms sew the open end of your scarf closed and you are finished.


To add pompoms, take a running stitch all the way around your tube about 10 – 15 cms from one end. Pull up the running stitch to gather the fabric and fasten off.


Stuff the open end of your scarf with hollowfibre toy stuffing.


Take a second running stitch all around the open end near the edge of the fabric. Pull up again, tucking in the edges of the fabric as you go, then fasten off. Repeat for the second pompom at the other end of the scarf.

You now have an amazing statement scarf with oversize pompoms!

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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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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!

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Staff Make – Harlequin Footstool

Here’s a make we’ve been keeping under wraps because it was a Christmas present for my daughter. No mean feat making such a big thing without her knowing, thank goodness for school hours and our Livingstones workshop!

I am more of a sewer than an upholsterer, so when I fell in love with these colours of corduroy and how they looked together, I knew I would have to come up with an imaginative design to make use of them. I bought half a metre of each of the four colours, which was just under 20″, and this set the size of my footstool. I wanted my footstool about 15″ high so I cut a piece 18″ wide from each of the half metres, then I cut a triangle with the height half of the width, and a long piece about 6″ tall for my pocket.

I made the pockets quite fancy by folding in gussets and dividing them into 3, but a much simpler pocket would work as well.

To put it all together, first I hemmed the top edge of the pocket with a small hem. Then I turned in the other edges and folded my pockets. Next I pinned the pockets onto the sides, after deciding how to work the colour contrasts and where to position them. I sewed the edges and the seams in between the pockets first, making sure not to trap in the fabric from the gussets. Then I sewed along the bottom edge of the pocket to close it off.

Next I stitched together the 4 triangles to make the top, then attached on the sides to the top, making sure all my edges were properly square. Finally I sewed up the corner seams. All of this worked fine on my domestic machine, which I was really pleased about.

I also made up a small bean bag about 1.5″ deep to go inside the top, then I filled the rest of the inside with foam offcuts cut to size. I used a piece of harboard as the base and stapled my fabric to the board, checking my measurements and starting at the middle of each side. I also stapled on some blackcloth to make a neat base, then I left it at that. You could add feet or casters to make it easier to move the stool around. Now my daughter has a comfy footstool which can also double as an extra seat, and the pockets are handy for phones, chargers and remotes.

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Happy Hogmanay!

The History of Hogmanay

We don’t hear much about Hogmanay in England where our fabric shops are based, particularly the South West because seem to do Christmas on such a massive scale and that strange time between Christmas and New Year becomes a haze where nobody can quite remember which day it is. In Scotland however, things have been somewhat different for many generations of people growing up there and it may surprise you to know that Christmas was not celebrated as a festival until the late 1950’s. Children expected Santa to arrive on New Years Eve alongside family gatherings and parties (or Hogmanay’s) where gifts were exchanged. Hogmanay is a very important festival to the Scots.

The Protestant Reformation had the festival down as a Catholic feast and as such , it had no place within the country and so it was banned. This ban led to ancient traditions already in place, (possibly from invading Vikings and Norsemen that had been a part of Scottish Solstice traditions for a very long time) to be stepped up and celebrated as a winter solstice holiday across the New Year period, leading to some serious partying involving fire amongst other things. In Shetland where there is still a strong Viking influence the feast is known as Yules, passing over from Scandinavia as the festival Yule. The collective ‘Hogmanay’ on New Years Eve involves several traditions and superstitions that include a deep clean of the home, ashes to be removed from the grate before midnight and that the first to pass over the threshold after midnight should be a dark haired stranger carrying a piece of coal for luck. Plus of course obligatory drinking of whisky.

Immediately after midnight it is traditional to sing Robert Burns‘ “Auld Lang Syne”. Burns published his version of this popular song in 1788, but it was in print more than 80 years before. There are several verses

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”

Pop in to Livingstone Textiles and have a look at the fabulous new tartan fabrics we have available if you fancy making your New Years Eve party into a Hogmany. As well as our usual Black Watch and Stewart patterns we have these two plus many more tartans and checks available.

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Dark Materials

If you feel like hibernating in a dark room after the excesses of Christmas, we invite you to dream your way into this lovely room set from ILiv. We are a registered stockist for this company and hold many of the fabrics on rolls in our shops ready for you to create a cosy and tranquil space to relax……and possibly read the Philip Pullman trilogy, His Dark Materials.

Happy Sleeping

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Classic Christmas Stockings

The timeless colours of red and white will always look good on a traditional Christmas Stocking whether it’s a Christmas decoration or to hang up ready for presents. One of our long serving members of staff made these over 20 years ago from red fleece that she bought here at Livingstone Textiles and they still look just as good when we hung them this year. Pop in and see our fabulous range of crafting materials, motifs and trims, ther’s still time to make something for ready to hang up for Christmas and with the children now off school you can get them involved as well. Try this simple felt poinsetta that’s just four petal shaped pieces of felt stitched together through a central button. Wind a piece of thread around the middle and hang them at various levels in a window for a seasonal display.

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Felt Mistletoe

Gorgeous handmade mistletoe constructed from delicate felt pieces lightly stuffed with toy stuffing and then carefully stitched to create this delightful everlasting decoration.

You can find all of the materials to create lots of decorations in either of our shops using your own designs or pick up a kit. Hand made decorations make great gifts too, either ready made or as a kit and every year the recipient will remember you when they put it back up.

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How to make a scrunchie

We are now doing scrunchie packs here in Livingstone Textiles Bridport, this is a little pack containing all the fabric and elastic you need to make four hair scrunchies. These would make great gift packs for people learning to sew or getting back into it, they would even be fun little projects for the Easter holidays to keep children busy for an afternoon.

We have written this step by step guide on how to make these with lots of pictures to make it easy to follow!

Here’s how to get making…..

What you get in the pack (makes 4 scrunchies) :

  • 2 long strips of fabric (approx 7cm x 112cm)
  • 1m of elastic
  • 1 Safety pin

What you will need:

  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Needle (for hand stitching, optional)
  • Iron

Step 1 – Take your long strips of fabric and cut them in half, this will give you the four pieces of fabric that will be your scrunchies.

Step 2 – Fold one of the shorter strips in half lengthways with right sides together (wrong sides out) and press with an iron to keep the fold.

Step 3 – Using a zig zag stitch sew along the edge of the fabric to create a tube.

Step 6 – Overlap the ends of the elastic by around 2cm (1″) then secure them to make a loop. Carefully pin the ends of the elastic together ready to be sewn. Stitch together the ends of the elastic with a zig zag stitch (this will allow the elastic to stretch still), make sure the are firmly secured.

Step 7 – Tuck in the raw edge of one end back inside the tube by 1cm (1/2″) next take the other end with the raw end and poke this inside the tube where you have already folded in, this will complete your loop neatly.

Step 8 – The final step is to stitch the ends together to secure them. This can be done with a machine stitch through both the fabric and the elastic over the join to keep it secured. However, for a slightly neater finish you can hand stitch the seam, this allows you to only stitch through the fabric and not also through the elastic so the seam is less noticeable.

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New tabling has arrived!

new tabling

We have some very pretty and subtly-patterned new tabling arrived in our stores this week, with a much softer drape and fabric-like feel; some of them actually feel like fabric, but with the advantage of being wipeable and machine washable – perfect for brightening up your kitchen, or for a stylish cover-up when the grandchildren visit!

We have a range of patterns and soft-coloured plains for you to choose from, to perfectly complement your home decor.

prices from £7.50 to £14.50 per metre

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Sending Fabric with Love

Remember that you don’t have to use plastic based, foil or even paper wrapping to send a gift at Christmas time because fabric makes the perfect wrapping and can be used over and over again or just made into something by the recipient. It can be secured in place with ribbon too, removing the need for sticky plastic tape as well.

Go green and wrap things up a bit differently this year.

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Simplicity patterns for Winter 2019

New in for this Winter are a great range of Simplicity patterns in their gorgeous new season catalogue. With lots of cosy things to make and some great new fabrics in stock there’s plenty to get you inspired for the colder months ahead and we have some delicious new fabrics to make them with, ranging from new tartans, thick heavyweight drills and a new range of stunning silky dress fabrics suitable for fine blouses or delicate under garments. Pop in and have a browse through the books, we keep them in the quiet fancy dress room at the end of the shop and have a cosy heater next to the desk so you can have a look through the patterns in the warm. Don’t forget that we still have our New Look offer running where you can get a massive 40% discount off all the patterns in the book.