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Cutting out plastic curtain hooks

At Livingstone Textiles we are very conscious of our environmental impact and are always trying to find new ways to reduce the amount of waste we produce and our overall impact on the planet, even if it’s just by making small changes here and there!

Our latest policy to reduce our environmental impact is that we will no longer be stocking plastic curtain hooks, once our current stock of plastic hooks runs out we will only be selling metal hooks. This is a small change but every little helps, with the current state of our planet and the vast amounts of ‘disposable’ plastics being added to the planet everyday this small change will be a step in the right direction!

These metal hooks are available in two colours, brass and silver. These hooks are far stronger than their plastic alternatives, so will not need to be replaced due to snapping in the same way that plastic ones do. Metal hooks will also stand the test of time and won’t go brittle in the sun, as so often happens with the plastic hooks, so no more pieces of plastic pinging around the place in years to come!

Being metal these hooks can be recycled at the end of their life and made back into something useful with less harmful chemicals and energy than plastics. Even if they dont end up being recycled they are inert and won’t leach out harmful chemicals into the environment or be ground down into micro particles.

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Glittery fabric patches

Here’s a fun new product we’ve got in stock, just in time for your Christmas crafting!

These squares of glittery self-adhesive fabric in a range of colours can be easily cut to shape with scissors to add glittery detail to all sorts of things, so get creative!

As they are self adhesive, that can be used on wood, metal and card to add a little glitter to almost anything, but this glitter fabric can also be used on clothes and other fabric items; simply cut to shape and remove the backing, then stick in place and iron for 60 seconds. Once cool the finished item can be safely washed at 30 degrees (hand wash recommended)

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Aztec Braids

We have some zingy Aztec styled braids in stock in perfect tones for autumn.  They are sure to liven up any outfit or hat that you choose to adorn them with and are just a sample of the hundreds of trims and ribbons that we keep in stock at Livingstone Textiles.

if you’re looking for trims and finishings, pop in and look at our vast button collection that we keep along with a great stock of elastics and haberdashery items .  Don’t forget that we have stores in both Bridport & Yeovil with parking next to both!

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New Motifs

We have a new selection of motifs in store in Bridport this week. These include sequin motifs and a range of stunning padded motifs. These have a small opening at the rear for you to add hollowfibre toy stuffing, giving the padded effect. The opening can then be sewn closed or if you are attaching the motif to a backing this is not necessary. The range includes small birds, fox faces and toadstools plus large motifs including owls and mice.

Our motifs are now displayed next to the buttons, please come and have a look., browse the full range and then ask for assistance to purchase your choice of motif. We are sure you can find inventive uses for all these beautiful motifs by adding them to clothing, cushions, bags and other craft projects. Do send us a picture of your project so we can share it with the world!

These are just part of our extensive range of haberdashery.

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Put a feather in your cap for the Hat Festival!

It’s the annual Bridport Hat Festival on September 1, so if you’re looking for last-minute hat ideas, pop down to Livingstone Textiles for all manner of tempting ribbons, braid, bells and trim, including a fantastic  range of feathers, from colourful indian feathers and these gorgeous ostrich plumes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or this opulent steampunk blue-black feather trim

 

 

 

 

 

 

or something rather cute in natural brown!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let your imagination run wild at Livingstone Textiles

…and remember, if you want to get ahead, get a hat!

 

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Even More Pom Poms!

We have now got even more scrummy colours in our rich velvet pom poms to choose from!

These Pompoms are great to add as a jazzy addition to blinds or cushions to brighten up your home, or you can add them onto clothing such as the bottoms of shorts or trousers, or around the neck line of a dress to add a burst or rich colour.

 

 

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Lace for a Bralette

Quite a few young and older women are discovering the liberating comfort of the Bralette.

Many of them are made from supersoft polymide and elastane and are just unbelievably comfortable to wear however some of the really pretty ones can be fairly pricey, especially if you have a love for lace or back detail.

We came up with a little idea to give you the expensive look without the price tag.  Go and grab yourself a couple of bralettes from any of the discounted clothing shops and add some of our stretchy lace to the bottom panel.  You only need around 80cm for one bra and at 145mm it is good and wide to extend as a sheer panel over your rib cage.  It’s priced at £2.75 a metre and we stock it in both white and black.

 

 

 

 

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Bridport Folk Festival

Livingstone Textiles started out in the vibrant town of Bridport and has been a big part of the town for over 46 years.  The thing about Bridport is that there’s always something going on and last year a small group of enthusiastic folk lovers put on Bridports very first Folk Festival.  It was a great success so with a little change to the date (so as not to clash with Dartmoor Folk Festival) they decided to do it all over again and put it on the week before Sidmouth Folk Festival.

 

 

Launching on Friday with bands throughout the day at Bucky Doo, the festival got off to a flying start and received a warm Bridport welcome.  Evening entertainment continued across many supporting pubs in the town hosting folk bands and musicians while at The Electric Palace the festival was opened in accapella song and celtic pipes from The Coves before Richard Digence and support took the stage.  Then followed a weekend of frenzied Morris Dancing, lots more stage music, cream teas at Millenium Green and hasty re-scheduling before the rain came down.

 

Many of the Morris Dancers got to dance outside the Red Brick Cafe and on their way round to St Michaels Trading Estate they came past our front door.  Consequently we had a steady flow of keen sewing ladies – and men, all eager to add colour to their outfits with our lace, ribbons, buttons and trims as well as find supplies and inspiration for their own sewing projects.  We don’t list our haberdashery in our online shop but are really happy to send samples and items by post that you might need.  Contact us for further information.

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have you tried this 100% recycled sewing thread?

As you may have noticed on your visits to the shop, we are moving from selling Coats sewing thread to Gutermann, and part of their range includes a selection of fully recycled polyester threads. These are made, in Germany, to the same very high standard as the main range by Gutermann, who guarantee your complete sewing satisfaction:

  • No flying threads during sewing
  • No thick and thin areas in the thread
  • No thread twisting
  • Tear and abrasion resistant
  • Elastic and flexible
  • Soft and supple
  • Non-fade and colourfast

We stock a good range of these 100% recycled colours alongside the main Gutermann range as we know that caring for the environment is a high priority for many of our customers. As these threads are also the same price as the usual range, so why not give them a try?

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Haberdashery – Prym Tacking Adhesive

New in, is this tacking adhesive for crafts and sewing projects made by Prym, it is great for fabric to fabric tacking and fabric to card/ paper.

It is simple to use and comes in a handy 250ml spray can allowing it to be evenly applied to surfaces. Once you have tacked the fabrics etc together with this adhesive, you can then sew or permanently fix another way without it moving, afterwards you simply pull the sides tacked together apart. The spray adhesive is colourless, odourless and acid free it is also completely washable so won’t damage your fabric or leave a residue.

Watch this video for a demonstration.

 

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NEW: multicoloured machine embroidery thread

NEW!

New in store at Livingstones this week, we have these gorgeous multicoloured cotton threads from Gutermann, perfect for machine embroidery.

There are some beautiful shades available, with single reels for £3.65 for a substantial 300m, or a choice of two sets of 5 reels in different, shimmering colours for only £17.50.

These threads are beautiful, so come in and take a closer look, and choose some to take home!

 

 

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New Ribbons

Delightful country gent (and lady) style ribbons are now in stock.  Featuring some really great designs of cows, pheasants and lovely stags, all on vintage coloured satin ribbons, this collection is sure to reflect a flavour of the rural westcountry on your gift or project.

 

We’ve got cheeky little foxes to raise a smile and as we launch into a season of rural and farming shows, these pretty cows would grace a gift of hand made local cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The more exotic sounds of india can be heard echoing in these gorgeous peacock ribbons and could be used to wrap a gift of spices from your travels this summer.  Come into Livingstone Textiles and see one of the largest ribbon resources in the region.

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New Stretch Bias Binding

We’ve stumbled upon a pretty cool product that you might like to know about.  It’s called stretch bias binding.  Of course bias binding already has the stretch in it by the very nature of the way it is cut across the cut of the fabric but this bias binding is REALLY stretchy making it ideal for trimming jersey projects.

 

Sewing jersey is becoming more and more popular as makers realise that with care and patience, this material can be fashioned into beautiful clothing at a fraction of a shop priced garment.  Binding the edges of any garment will always give it a professional look but making your own bias from jersey can be quite a tricky and frustrating excercise.  This new stretch binding eliminates all of the angst allowing you to get on with the trimming and at Livingstones we are trialling it in black and in navy at just £1.20 per metre.  To help you gain more confidence in using this product, follow the link to this youtube video and learn how to apply it step by step.

 

 

 

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Make do and mend

At Livingstone Textiles, we support the thrifty sewer (and the not so able) with lots of products to help you mend your clothes and other items – everything from replacing elastic to repairing furniture.

There are many reasons why clothes can suffer, from moths to sheer wear and tear, but there is no need to throw out your favourite item. For jumpers, the answer is often good old-fashioned darning.

Prym darning mushroomWe have these lovely darning mushrooms from Prym. They come in two pieces, making them easy to store, and we just love the fun design with a spotty red top. Of course you will also need the mending wool, and we supply a wide range of colours.Prym darning mushroom

 

 

 

 

 

If it is the elbows that have worn through on your garment, darning may not be enough to save it. In this instance we can supply a range of suedette elbow patches, which you can iron to position on your garment and then sew to secure.

Repair patches and tape

A tear in a garment can be really frustrating, especially if it is fairly new. In this case you can either cover the tear with a fun motif, or if you would prefer a less obvious repair you can use our iron on repair tape. This is used on the reverse of the garment with a toning colour so it is less likely to be seen. Again, a range of colours are available. Nylon repair patchesWhere ironing on is not practical, eg with nylon raincoats, we also have adhesive patches which can be cut to size and placed over the tear.

On the furniture side we have a large selection of items for repairing upholstery. These include linen thread, waxed cotton thread, mattress twine and upholstery repair needles. Linen threadWe also supply both hessian and herringbone webbing, and elastic ‘Pirelli’ webbing. We also have everything you could possibly need if you are reupholstering an item, including a selection of different types of wadding, and of course a huge range of upholstery fabric on the roll.

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Prym Fray Check

20180202_151536Look out for this useful stuff in our shops! Fray Check is a colourless liquid that stops fraying by reinforcing the fibres.It can be used to prolong the life of garments by reinforcing stressed areas like button holes, seams, collars and cuffs against the wear of day-to-day use.  For more creative projects, Fray Check can be used when sewing curves to seal the edges, to give rolled seams a stable finish, or to seal the edges of fabric for craft projects like motifs. The finish is washable, and can be repeated if needed. Find out on this video.

 

 

 

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Tiny heart buttons

 

Just in time for Valentine’s day, these tiny heart buttons are new in store. In either red or ivory, they would be just perfect for childrens clothes or knits, and with their soft, rounded shape will be easy for little fingers to handle too.

We also thought they would be beautiful for handmade wedding accessories – especially the ivory hearts, which you can see in the close-up picture have a delicate rustic look. We’re picturing them on cards, gift tags or bunting for a perfect homemade rustic wedding feel.

 

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Far From The Madding Crowd

At Livingstone Textiles Bridport we are extremely fortunate to live amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the British Isles.  As well as fast becoming a very popular  holiday and tourism destination with its crumbling Jurrasic coastline, the West Dorset landscape is increasingly seen in documentaries, television series’ and as an area in which to make evocative films.

For many of us nothing beats a good traditional costume drama and in the newest screen version of the Dorset Author Thomas Hardys’ beautiful novel, Far From The Madding Crowd, the stunning countryside around Bridport is portrayed with all of its rural charm.   While the filming was taking place from various locations around the town and surrounding villages, one film crew pitched camp behind Livingstones and we frequently supplied ribbons, haberdashery, elastic, buttons and various pieces of cloth to the costume department who would regularly pop in to top up their own supplies.

 

Inspired?  Why not host a unique Regency Ball Party?  West Dorset has a wealth of beautiful village halls for hire at ridiculously cheap rates and there is a beautiful Regency inspired venue at The Bull Hotel in the town complete with its own Ballroom.  Local Folk Bands can perform live music for you at really competitive rates and most can arrange a local caller to teach very simple Playford Dance.   For a birthday or wedding, this could be a beautifully immersive experience and at Livingstones we can supply you with authentically styled patterns to sew your own gowns as well as an array of luxury patterns and plains for waistcoats, dress shirts, petticoats and bonnets.  Remeber to ask us about joining our pattern club as well to get free patterns and great price offers unavailable online.

 

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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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Christmas ribbons

 

 

Decorations, craft projects, present wrapping…whatever you need ribbon for this Christmas, pop down to Livingstone Textiles and look at the range we have on offer; we have shelves of beautiful ribbon by the metre and christmassy bundles as well,so come to Livingstone and be spoilt for choice!

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Christmas Craft Kits

Felt craft kits

In our Yeovil store we have a lovely range of felt Christmas craft kits for you to choose from. These include felt Christmas tree decorations and felt Christmas cushion covers.

The felt kits include everything you will need to make your chosen project, from the needle and thread to the ribbon and bells, all along with helpful instructions. They are perfect for adding a handmade touch to your Christmas tree or sofa and would be great to make as a small project with children.

The range of kits we have available are:

  • Santa Claus tree decoration
  • Gingerbread man tree decoration
  • Santa’s reindeer tree decoration
  • Christmas tree cushion
  • Gingerbread man cushion
  • Reindeer cushion

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Morris Dancing in Dorset and Devon

Morris dancerOver the summer evenings you may have happened upon an old English Tradition outside of a traditional English pub. Morris Dancing has enjoyed a bit of a revival in recent years and is very much alive and well in West Dorset.  During the summer Bridport was very proud to showcase its own Folk Festival (http://www.bridportfolkfestival.com) which featured fabulous traditional folklore and music from the British Isles as well as a wealth of national Morris Dancers.

The earliest known mention of English Morris Dancing dates back to 1448 and relates to the payment of seven shillings to Morris Dancers by the Goldsmiths Company in London. The term Morris probably relates to the exotic nature of the dance and its origins as a colorful ‘Moorish’ or Moresque’ dance style that spread across Europe as a fashion and probably entered our vocabulary via Dutch, German and French influences because they also have a very similar word for it.

source: Wikimedia

A small statue of a “Moriskentänzer” made by Erasmus Grasser in 1480 for Old Townhall in Munich, one of a set of 16, of which only 10 remain. This dancer has an appearance which would be described at the time as “moorish”, but all the other nine surviving carvings are fairer-skinned. All wear bells on their legs. (Wikipedia)

The earliest records we have of Morris Dancing are of it being performed in a court setting and at the Lord Mayors Processions in London. By this time it had taken on the nature of a folk dance and performances were enjoyed in parishes across the land. Morris Dancing continued in this manner until war broke out and our men and boys were lost or maimed probably  leading to the demise of the dancing over the next generation.

In England we now have several ‘traditions’ of dance that were collected by Cecil Sharpe and his assistants Mary Neal and Maud Karpeles.  Cecil founded the English Folk Dance Society in 1911 and over his lifetime collected over 500 dances and nearly 5000 folk songs, the first of which he saw was ‘Laudanam Bunches’ in Headington, Oxfordshire performed by Headington gone Quarry Morris Men. This became known as the Cotswold Tradition and is danced all over the country, we even have a Cotswold team of dancers local to Bridport called ‘Wyld Morris’.

Morris dancer costumeThis team, or ‘side’ wear a colourful kit to dance in, made up of light brown trousers and a white shirt. Like other sides, they wear bells on their legs attached to leather bell pads that are decorated with pieces of coloured ribbon. They also wear ribbons on armbands as well as sporting ‘Baldricks’, traditional weapon belts worn over the shoulder, usually just one  but many morris dancers wear a pair joined in the centre by a badge in team colours. Wyld Morris members also wear a hat trimmed with ribbons, buttons stand, badges and flowers both artificial and natural and buy virtually all their kit from us at Livingstone Textiles. We have also supplied kit items to Uplyme Morris and many visiting Morris Dancers on holiday in the area. If you fancy giving this fun hobby a go and also enjoy beer, and/or can play a folk instrument, Wyld Morris ( http://www.bredy.org.uk/wyldmorris/) are are running a taster session at Monkton Wyld Court next Wednesday evening, 15th November 2017, in the Pine Hall starting at 7.30 and would love to see you there.