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.
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.Continue reading Green Ideas – Sample Hangers
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.Continue reading The Bridport Fashion Revolution
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.
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.
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.Continue reading How to work a Cable Stitch
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
- Needle (for hand stitching, optional)
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.
Curtains fulfill many uses in your home. As well as being decorative they also help to reduce echoes, making your room more welcoming. At this time of the year most importantly they can really help with heat retention which saves you money on heating. Even a double glazed window will feel like a big expanse of cold in your room once the sun goes down. So, what should you take into consideration when choosing curtains for warmth?
- Fabric choice. Heavier fabrics will keep in more heat, although all woven fabrics will allow in some drafts. An example is our range of tapestry fabrics, which are all suitable to make heavy curtains. Some heavy fabrics are not suitable, however, especially if they are upholstery fabrics with a back coating as these are too stiff. Ask our staff if you are unsure which of our fabrics can be made into curtains.
- Interlining. This is a layer with thermal properties which is inserted between the main curtain fabric and the lining, and is also known as curtain bump. It feels a little like a blanket and makes the curtains more luxurious. It can even be used with very lightweight fabrics such as faux silk and makes your curtains feel like a million dollars. Interlining can be cotton or polyester and comes in both light and heavy weights. There is an additional charge on the making up because the interlining has to be tacked into the main fabric before adding the lining. If you do not have much room to pull the curtains back off the window or door, interlining will affect this as it makes the curtains considerably thicker.
- Thermal or blackout lining. If you don’t want to add interlining to your curtains you could use the option of thermal lining. This is an ivory coloured coated polycotton lining which prevents air getting through the lining, thereby stopping drafts. This creates a colder pocket of air next to the window whilst retaining the heat in the room. This lining is lightweight and will not add to the bulk of the curtains. Thermal lining will not stop light coming through completely, though it is referred to as ‘dimout’ so it will reduce light to some extent. However if light is also a problem (from street lights or the sun in the summer) the good news is that blackout lining also has exactly the same thermal properties as thermal lining, it is just a little heavier and also blocks all light. Some light may come around the edges of the curtain (or through the stitching lines for a roman blind) but none will penetrate through the fabric itself.
- Length of curtains. If you are trying to cut out drafts with a full length curtain, you can choose to have your curtain come right down to the floor to ensure that air cannot get underneath it. You could also consider making a shorter curtain long enough to tuck behind a radiator to stop heat going up behind the curtain.
If heat retention is a priority, do mention it to us when you consult about your curtain project. Many of the same factors can also be applied to roman blinds as well. We are happy to make up curtains and blinds for you with all of these options considered, or you can consult our guide to choosing a lining to see all the options. If you already have curtains but want to make things more cosy, you could always consider adding a loose lining with loose lining tape. This is really easy to do, as the thermal lining does not even need hemming as it does not fray when cut. You can find instructions on how to add a loose lining here.
Iron On Roller Blind Backing (Stiffening Material)£13.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Lightweight Cotton Curtain Bump Interlining£4.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Heavyweight Cotton Curtain Bump Interlining£5.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Heavyweight Synthetic Curtain Bump Interlining£5.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Lightweight Synthetic Curtain Bump Interlining£3.30 inc. VAT Add to cart
Thermal Curtain Lining£4.55 inc. VAT Add to cart
Poly Cotton Curtain Lining – Cream double width£5.65 inc. VAT Add to cart
Poly Cotton Curtain Lining – Cream£3.15 inc. VAT Add to cart
Blackout Curtain Lining – Soft drape£5.65 inc. VAT Add to cart
Cotton Curtain Lining – Cream£4.80 inc. VAT Add to cart
Cotton Curtain Lining – White£4.80 inc. VAT Add to cart
Cotton Curtain Lining – Stone£4.80 inc. VAT Add to cart
Eyelet Header Tape with Plastic Rings£6.00 inc. VAT Select options
At Livingstone Textiles we are proud to offer you a great selection of Curtain Linings and Interlinings. Older buildings in West Dorset and rural Somerset often have traditional stone or wooden windows that are incredibly draughty. For heritage reasons these properties may not have the option of double glazing or plastic windows so Thermal Lining can be a very practical solution to draughts and cold spots.
We stock a wide range of curtain linings and curtain interlinings (also known as curtain bump) to suit your specific requirements when choosing new curtains or blinds for your home. Curtain linings are used to prolong the life of the more expensive show fabric and offer protection from the sun and other elements that could otherwise cause deterioration of the cloth. They also enable more of the pattern and colour to be seen inside the room when light is on the otherside, ie; daylight, sunlight and streetlight as these will be shining straight through your fabric. Continue reading Choosing The Correct Linings for Curtains and Blinds
Making toys as gifts is enormously satisfying and one of our staff recently got bitten by the bug with this fantastic dragon pattern by Simplicity – number 8715. We hope you like the results!
This pattern is designed to be made with lightweight minke fleece, but we wanted to use a delicious raspberry plush fabric we have in store to make it even more cuddly. This meant a few extra things we had to think about in the making up
- The cutting layout. We had to think about what direction we wanted the nap to lie on every piece, which meant we couldn’t use the cutting layout in the pattern. (You have to be able to stroke your dragon just like a cat!)
- Transferring markings. It was not easy to transfer markings from the pattern pieces as the plush fabric did not take markings well (probably also true with fleece). We ended up using tailors tacks to mark the position of the horns and eyes on the head.
- Securing fabric for sewing. The plush fabric has a tendency to move around when you are sewing because of the pile. The seam allowances on this pattern were pretty small so this mattered more than ever. We solved this by choosing to tack every seam before sewing.
If you are thinking about making some toys yourself to give as gifts or just to have at home, we have lots of items here at Livingstone Textiles. The Simplicity catalogue has a whole section devoted to toys and accessories (patterns are kept in stock), and we also have a good range of books containing toys to sew, knit or crochet. We also stock the following:
- Hollowfibre toy stuffing in 3 different sizes of bags
- Pompoms and bells
- Toy safety eyes in black and amber in various sizes
- Yarn for knitting and crochet at our Yeovil store
- Knitting and crochet patterns at Yeovil
- Felt in a wide range of colours by the metre and as 9″/23cm squares
- Ribbons and other trims
- Extra long doll making needles
- And of course a massive range of fabrics
Royal Grey Tartan£9.00 inc. VAT Add to cart
Navy Grey Tartan£8.85 inc. VAT Add to cart
Small Blue Square Tartan£10.45 inc. VAT Add to cart
Blackwatch Tartan£8.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Black & Gold Tartan£8.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Green & Black Tartan£9.00 inc. VAT Add to cart
Yellow & Grey Tartan£10.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Grey & Red Tartan£10.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Blue Grey Tartan£5.25 inc. VAT Add to cart
Stewart Tartan£10.45 inc. VAT Add to cart
Rainbow Cuddle Faux Fur Supersoft£14.85 inc. VAT Add to cart
Blackwatch Tartan Fleece£10.20 inc. VAT Add to cart
Grey Teddy Bear Face Cuddle Fleece£10.20 inc. VAT Add to cart
Llama Cuddle Fleece Pink£10.20 inc. VAT Add to cart
Multicolour Stars Satin£4.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Multicolour Foil Web Net£4.65 inc. VAT Add to cart
Day of the Dead Skeletons Satin£6.75 inc. VAT Add to cart
Thistle Ochre Print Fabric£14.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Colourful South Asian Curtain Fabric£12.75 inc. VAT Add to cart
Wildwoods Linen Style Fabric£24.99 inc. VAT Add to cart
Natural Bee Patterned Fabric£14.85 inc. VAT Add to cart
Scandi Birds-buff/orange£13.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Scandi Birds-Blue£13.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Chambray Skulls£13.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Chambray Bling Spots£13.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Chambray Bling Stars£13.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Flying Crane Curtain Fabric£12.80 inc. VAT Add to cart
Multicoloured Cartoon Dogs Tapestry Fabric£18.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Wool Baize Green£18.00 – £36.00 inc. VAT Select options
Teddy Bear Face Cuddle Fleece£10.20 inc. VAT Add to cart
Scandi Birds Yellow and Grey£14.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Hares and Pheasants Curtain Fabric Cornflower£14.60 inc. VAT Add to cart
Hares and Pheasants Curtain Fabric Green£14.60 inc. VAT Add to cart
Hare and Dot Print Fabric£13.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Hares In The Grass Fabric£12.00 inc. VAT Add to cart
Graffiti Fabric£10.50 – £21.00 inc. VAT Select options
White Leaf Pattern Cotton Poplin£8.25 inc. VAT Add to cart
Green Leaf Pattern Cotton Poplin£8.25 inc. VAT Add to cart
Wine Leaf Pattern Cotton Poplin£8.25 inc. VAT Add to cart
Blue Leaf Pattern Cotton Poplin£8.25 inc. VAT Add to cart
Reversible Swan Fleece£10.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Unicorn Cuddle Fleece£9.75 inc. VAT Add to cart
Navy Scottie Dog Cuddle Fleece£10.20 inc. VAT Add to cart
Grey Scottie Dog Cuddle Fleece£10.20 inc. VAT Add to cart
Llama Party Cuddle Fleece£10.20 inc. VAT Add to cart
Fox Print Cuddle Fleece£10.20 inc. VAT Add to cart
Blue Whale Cuddle Fleece£10.20 inc. VAT Add to cart
Fish Fabric£12.00 inc. VAT Add to cart
Popart Plain Linen-Style£11.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Pheasant Fabric£11.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Standing Stags Fabric£11.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Farmyard Animal Fabric£20.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Lighthouse Fabric£11.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
White Hydrangea£11.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Nordic Trees Xmas£8.55 inc. VAT Add to cart
Eco Recycled Polyester Felt£6.65 inc. VAT Select options
Oriental White Origami£8.40 inc. VAT Add to cart
Poplin Plain Cotton£5.90 inc. VAT Select options
Rush-Hour Traffic£8.25 inc. VAT Add to cart
Kid’s Construction Fabric£7.05 inc. VAT Add to cart
Little Horses£6.70 inc. VAT Add to cart
Ducks with Hats£8.25 inc. VAT Add to cart
Pink Flowers Linen Blend Fabric£23.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Multicolour Birds Printed Fabric£14.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Rustic, Narrow Lithuanian Linen£10.35 inc. VAT Add to cart
Russian Light Linen£17.70 inc. VAT Add to cart
Russian Twill Linen£17.70 inc. VAT Add to cart
Red and Orange Flowers Acrylic Coated Fabric£14.25 inc. VAT Add to cart
Pink Rose Linen-Look Fabric£12.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
White Flowers£6.70 inc. VAT Add to cart
Dotty Spot Fabric£7.25 inc. VAT Select options
Fleece Plain Colours£7.05 inc. VAT Select options
Brown and Tan Printed Animal Fur£11.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Camper Van Craft Fabric£7.05 inc. VAT Add to cart
Light Weight Calico£3.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Heavy Weight Calico£4.65 inc. VAT Add to cart
Red Tartan Fleece£7.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Large Tree Print Fabric£12.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Hares and Pheasants Curtain Fabric Copper£14.60 inc. VAT Add to cart
Sheep Fabric Grey£14.30 inc. VAT Add to cart
Scandi Trees£14.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Leaves and Butterflies£14.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Botanical Fabric£14.30 inc. VAT Add to cart
Stag Head Print Fabric£13.40 inc. VAT Add to cart
Beach Huts£14.90 inc. VAT Add to cart
Fun Boats Design Fabric£13.50 inc. VAT Add to cart
Detached Strings wound inside the cassette
Very occasionally strings on a Roman Blind pull out of the safety toggle at the bottom of the blind, particularly if it is a very heavy or long blind and has been subject to force. It can seem quite an impossible task to work out how to get the cords out of the cassette and threaded back through the blind. Fortunately because we assemble these blinds we are able to help and advise you on how to get it working correctly again and if you don’t feel confident about doing it yourself, you can leave it with us and we’ll take it apart and get it going. There is usually a small fee for this which also covers any other minor repairs that need doing such as loose rings or missing safety devices and we can replace any worn strings as well. Give us a call or just pop in to the Bridport shop with the blind and we’ll see to it for you.
Invisible zips give a polished finish to your handmade garments, but they can be fiddly to put in neatly. We’ve recently been asked if we can stock a zip foot specifically for these zips, so as well as a standard zip foot from Prym, we’ve now added this excellent special zip foot to our haberdashery range.
Prym says: For easy sewing of zip fasteners, Prym offers two different versions of zipper feet for the sewing machine. The standard foot made of die cast steel and zinc is suitable for all sewing machines with a clip foot and makes sewing standard zip fasteners tremendously easy. The special zipper foot on the other hand is the perfect aid for sewing invisible zip fasteners and can be mounted with its three different sized mounting adapters for different brands such as Elna, Pfaff, Singer, Master, Bernina, Privileg and Universal, as well as for sewing machines with slanting needles. Its white plastic sled guarantees a precise guide and thus ensures best results when sewing zip fasteners.
There are instructions with the special zip foot for sewing an invisible zip, but this video made by Prym is much better, and really worth a watch!
Bridport Hat Festival 2019 is fast approaching, and with that comes the inevitable pressure to create an astounding garb for your head. Well fear not, as out selection of ribbons, trims, feather and more is sure to offer something to anyone looking to spruce up their headwear.
This piece was brought in on Saturday by a customer, and they used our rainbow feathers (£6.45 /m – 60cm used) and rainbow cord (40p /m) to add some colour and life to this vintage top hat!
We have a huge range of different fabrics and accessories you can add to any headpiece to help prepare you for a Saturday of crazy hat-ness.
Appliqué is ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric in different shapes and patterns are sewn or stuck onto a larger piece to form a picture or pattern. It is commonly used as decoration, especially on garments. The technique is accomplished either by hand or machine.
Applique is an easily recognizable form of art and decoration that is used throughout the world. The technique involves sewing various scenes or patterns on small pieces of fabric. These fabric pieces are then attached, for example by stitching or glueing, to larger pieces of fabric. You can decorate clothing like jeans with applique or it can be used to decorate a quilt. The word “appliqué” is derived from the French verb “appliquer,” meaning “to put on.” It refers to a textile craft in which one piece of fabric is sewn over another for a decorative effect. Appliqué is found in many forms of folk art, from Gujarati Indian tent fabrics to American colonial quilts and Eastern European traditional costumes.
If you’re not sure where to start then get in touch and we will try to help. We run classes in applique and patchwork at our Yeovil premises and we also have some inspirational books in stock at both shops.
Summer is well under way with all of the long and hot days we’ve been having and we’re very lucky to have the beach so close to enjoy after work or at weekends with family and friends.
Many of us will probably have a holiday planned and we always see a lot of holiday makers in our Bridport shop at this time of year, stocking up on their fabric stash and buying Christmas Fabrics too – don’t forget that these fabrics have 10% off during July as well.
As we move further in to the holiday period, ideas for childrens activities can start to dry up so we suggest you try our new Craft Packs. A bargain at only £2 they all contain various textures and weaves of fabric from samples we are sent by our suppliers. We also put in small end pieces of trim like lace or pompoms plus a reel of thread and usually some vintage buttons or other haberdashery and each of the packs is based on a colour theme so whatever you decide to use it for, everything will work well together. They are excellent for creating textile pictures and small projects like dolls clothing or patchwork mug mats and can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike. We have a strong recycling and reuse ethic here at Livingstones and for us it proved to be an excellent way to make something out of small pieces of fabric that might otherwise go into the dustbin.
We often get asked in the shop, as customers are choosing some lovely curtain fabric, if curtain lining is really needed. We understand the question! Curtain lining lives under the table in the big room in bolts of unexciting neutral colours; it looks a bit boring, and although it’s just a few pounds per metre, it might seem like an unnecessary spend when you’re more interested in the gorgeous show fabric.
So here’s a great example of why you need curtain lining! We often dress the shop with fabric that is quickly stapled into place, rather than use our beautifully hand-finished curtains, and a couple of us recently decided to change the fabric that had been up at the window for almost two years. It wasn’t lined, and when we took it down you can see from the picture that the fading was very obvious indeed, even though the windows do not even get direct sunlight.
We also sell a lightweight polycotton curtain lining, but the best choice is the standard cotton lining that we use when we make your curtains (unless you ask for blackout or thermal lining, of course) Our standard cotton lining comes in cream, white and stone, and is available online as well as in our shops. It is Solprufe, which is a superior 100% cotton fabric, designed to withstand the effects of light for twice as long as other linings without fading or degrading.
As we’re lucky enough to live in the sunny southwest, and especially if you live near to the sea, curtain lining will make your curtains live longer and keep the colours bright and true for longer. They’re worth it!
Haberdashery is the word used to describe all the small bits and pieces used for sewing. This is things like needles, buttons, zips, thimbles and much much more!
The word is thought to have come from the Anglo-Norman word hapertas, meaning “small ware”.
We have a huge range of haberdashery in both our Bridport and Yeovil shops
What is a Draper?
Draper is an old English word used to describe someone who sold cloth and textiles. So here at Livingstone Textiles we would of been described as a Drapers, however recently the word has fallen out of use. There were 2 other Drapers in Bridport town before Livingstone Textiles opened in 1971 and there business adverts can still be seen above the bar in The Ropemakers pub in the town.
Fenwicks was located in the building now occupied by Lilliputs and Braileys moved from their premises in West Street to a shop in South Street. Their new shop was situated near The Dorset Pedlar, a little tea room run by Percy & Ruth Baldry who were the parents of the now owner of Livingstone Textiles Tom Baldry. Tom was a school boy when his parents opened The Dorset Pedlar in 1969 and they were good friends with drapers Joyce & Arthur Brailey.
What is Mercery?
Mercery was derived from the French word mercerie, it initially referred to silk, linen, and other high quality textiles imported to England in the 12th century. The term later extended to goods made of these and the sellers of those goods.
The mercerisation process was devised about 1844 by John Mercer, who treated cotton with solutions of sodium hydroxide followed by washing. Mercer observed that the treated fabrics shrank, had more strength, and could take up dyes more easily. When wool is washed and shrinks like this we call it ‘fulled wool’ so this new product was called ‘fulled cotton’ in order to recognise the same processes undertaken that gave similar outcomes.
The silk-like lustre now commonly associated with mercerising is produced by tension, and was discovered by Horace Lowe in 1890.
The improved lustre of mercerised cotton is due to the production of nearly circular cotton fibres under tension. Another characteristic feature is the untwisting of the cotton hair.
This week Monday 3rd – Sunday 9th June 2019 is child safety week.
Child safety week is run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) which is the UK’s leading charity working to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented, to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents.
This year the theme is “Family life today: where’s the risk?” It highlights the new dangers facing families today from our modern lifestyles and offers simple solutions to keep children safe.
They have loads of great information on how to keep your children safe from many different dangers that come with everyday life. The danger that we are focusing on here at Livingstone Textiles is the dangers of roman blind cords to children.
Roman blinds are a great way dress your window and can be more practical than curtains in some windows. As we all know they are operated by a string pully system whether they are on the traditional system on a cassette system, these stings can be a potential danger if the blind are not hung correctly and/or are not fitted with safety devices.
What is a safety device?
The safety devices we sell here at Livingstone Textiles are small sprung toggles that are fitted to the bottom of a roman blind to hold the end of the cords. In the event that a child or someone gets caught up in the blind cords then then the cord will be pulled out of the safety devices releasing whoever has been caught up in it and therefore the danger of strangulation is significantly reduced. Because the safety devices are sprung if they are pulled out for any reason then the cord can just simply be re-threaded through them and the blind is undamaged.
All blinds made by our makers here at Livingstone Textiles are fitted with safety devices as standard. Another added bonus of having safety devices fitted is that it makes levelling and adjusting your blind really easy
How a roman blind is hung is also another important factor in reducing the
risk to children. You should consider the pull cords that hang down (if a traditional system is used) and the chain (if a cassete system is used) these both hang down and can create a strangulation hazard to children if not installed properly.
To install the traditional corded system correctly there should be the safety devices fitted to the bottom of each of the cords on the blind as mentioned above. There should also be a cleat fitted to a surface close to the cords, this should be fitted 1.5m or higher from the floor and the hanging cords should be wrapped around this in a figure of 8 ensuring all the spare cord is wrapped around it, this should leave no dangling cords.
To install a cassette system again the safety devices should be fitted to the bottom of each cord. As cassettes have chains instead of cords there are two options with chains, there is a cord that has a join in which will break if a force is applied and can be put back together afterwards. The other option, which is the one we supply here at Livingstone Textiles, is to have a chain tidy and tensioner. These devices are again fitted to the wall just like the cleat and they hold the chain taught so that the loop is smaller and harder to get caught up in. It also makes pulling the blind up and down easier and gives a finished and smart look.
If you would like any advice on how to hang or blind correctly or on how to make your excisting blind safer then please get in contact with us as we are more than happy to help.
For more information on child safety week, click here to follow the link to their website which has lots more information on keeping childeren safe from everyday hazards.
At least once a week at Livingstone Textiles we have someone new through our doors who is just starting out on their sewing adventure.
They are usually rather bewildered at the array of fabrics, haberdashery and techniques and have many questions for us so we have devised a little step by step guide to help rookie stitchers through their first sewing project.
1] GET A SEWING MACHINE
Beg or borrow a machine that does a straight stitch, a zig zag and goes forward and back. Anything else will be of no use for quite a while so arm yourself with a basic machine for sewing garments. You can try before you buy in many fabric shops (including livingstone textiles) or order one on line at a reasonable price.
2] GET BASIC TOOLS
To start with any basic sewing pattern you need a basic set of tools. Needles (hand & machine) pins, large scissors, a seam ripper, marking chalk and a tape measure. You will also find an iron and ironing board very helpful.
3] PICK A PROJECT
Decide on a pattern that you want to wear or use, it’s important to really want what you will be making as that is what will motivate you to finish it. A garment should be a basic shape with simple features like short sleeves and little shaping. A bag should be unfussy with simple lines and few pockets or fancy features.
Grab a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a fabric remanant and settle down comfortably with your sewing machine manual. Have a quick read through then practice lifting and dropping the presser foot, threading up the machine and sewing backwards and forwards until you feel a bit more confident with the pedal. Practice stitching a straight line at various speeds and practice a zigzag stitch that runs parallel to the edge of your remnant
5] BUY FABRIC!
This is the one area that you will get very good at very quickly. Buy a fabric that is recommended on your pattern for the project you wish to create along with a matching thread and any other bits and pieces that are mentioned.
6] START SEWING….
Read your pattern carefully, lay it out on your fabric and cut out your pieces. Label them and copy on any lines or markings from the pattern. Thread the machine up and off you go! Remember, it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake, just unpick it and try again. Remember that there are many helpful tuition videos on Youtube and lots of hints and tips can be found here on our website
Ticking never goes out of fashion, especially as we have it in so many colourways. Whether you’re minimalist, rustic, or going for a maritime theme; whether it’s for blinds, curtains or cushions ticking fabric will fit right in.
For some creative inspiration, follow the link to see how Laura, one of our curtain makers, used ticking to line some charming curtains for a shepherd’s hut. It contrasted perfectly with the scandi trees show fabric, and the curtains look gorgeous! So if you feel you have a great home furnishing idea but don’t feel confident to make it yourself, at Livingstones you can have curtains, cushions, blinds and more hand made and hand finished by our makers, who can be as creative as you want them to be.