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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.

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Elastic Adjustable Belt

 

We decided to make some new belts for holding our scissor pouches as well as show off this gorgeous new coloured elastic that we now have in the shop.  We were so pleased with how they looked that we decided to share it with you with step by step instructions.

All of the components are available from both of our outlets in Yeovil and Bridport and we think they would make great presents for Christmas.

belt finished

Snake Hips shows off the belt! Why don’t you try making your own?  It’s a great functional belt and works well as a gardening tool belt, scissor pouch or just a great fashion accessory.  You can choose from some of these gorgeous new elastics in several widths including a fabulous sparkly one!

belt - elastics

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Roses are Red – and Cream – 3d Rose trim on hessian

Rose trimOur latest haberdashery arrival is this beautiful rose trim. We have this in the three colours shown – red, ivory and wine. We thought it would be absolutely superb for wedding favours or card trimming, but also could be incorporated into your Christmas making projects.

You can find this in both our Bridport and Yeovil stores, priced at £2.25 per metre, a really great price given the work in this trim. As with all our fabrics, ribbons and trims, the minimum cut is half a metre.

Roses basketIf you’re looking for roses, but don’t want them on a string, look no further than our loose ribbon roses. These are available in small and large sizes. Again they can be used on cards or added to wedding favours or invitations, but also these can be sewn onto clothes or accessories to personalise them.

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Juki Sewing Machines in Stock

juki sewing machineAre you looking for a great quality sewing machine at an excellent price for yourself or to give as a present? We think this Juki machine fits the bill perfectly.

Some machines today come with a bewildering array of stitches, but here we are keeping it simple. This machine covers all the basics you need when starting out, or for dressmaking or home furnishing. It has straight and zig-zag stitches as well as a blind hem stitch. It can also handle buttonholes with an automatic stitch to make them easy. The reverse stitch lever is nice and chunky and easily accessible on the front of the machine.

The machine has a bright led long-life light and an automatic needle threader to make setting up to sew extra easy. There is an accessory storage box within the extension table, and you can slide this off to allow for free arm sewing on smaller areas such as cuffs and armholes.

You may already know about the WEEE – Waste Electronic & Electrical Equipment Directive which is now law in the UK. This directive means that you can return waste electrical equipment to the retailer when you purchase a new item. So that means we will take your old machine off your hands on purchase of a new Juki machine. tsr logoEven better is the fact that these old machines are not sent to landfill. We work with the charity Tools for Self Reliance, who collect the old sewing machines from us. Any which can be repaired or are in working order are sent to be used in Africa to alleviate poverty, with training given to people setting up businesses using the machines. Any machines beyond repair are used for spares so they do not go to waste.

If you need any help with tips or techniques for dressmaking or how to use a sewing machines, you can check out our wonderful range of sewing and craft books, with everything from a basic sewing machine guide through to detailed quilting projects. The sewing machines also come with a DVD showing you how to use the machine.

This machine is an excellent price at £125 and will cover all your basic sewing needs. Call in to our Bridport or Yeovil shops to take a look or purchase.

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Scissors

DSC_5651Livingstone Textiles sells a wide range of haberdashery products, with scissors being one of the most vital. We have a wide range of Friskar scissors from classic dressmaking, pinking shears to smaller embroidery scissors.

These scissors are a great addition to your work box.

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Prym Tailors Chalk Cartridge Set

DSC_5624It’s amazing when a company comes up with an idea that is so simple yet will make a job so much easier, that is exactly what Prym have done with this new tailors chalk cartridge set. Dressmaking can be a really fun and relaxing thing to do and very rewarding but sometimes when you have to make a mark where a dart has to go and the tailor’s chalk DSC_5629won’t mark or your just not getting a sharp enough point, then dressmaking can become even more stressful. Pryms new tool can really help, giving you the ability to make really fine marks on your fabric, which should make dressmaking so much easier.

This set includes a cartridge holder, a pencil sharpener, and a set of 8 white replacement chalks and 8 coloured replacement chalks. This is a really great buy!

This is only available to purchase on at our shop in Bridport Dorset.

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Pom-Poms

A bit of fun for you all, extra large pom-poms! DSC_5561

Now you all must be thinking out there, what can you do with those? Well, we have a few suggestions some rather fun and others a little more serious.

The Tail

Why not add one to a fun fancy dress costume? It would make a great bunny tail!DSC_5560

Bear Ears

As modelled by our Saturday girl wouldn’t these make really fun bear ears! All you have to do is simply thread ribbon through the already attached elastic. DSC_5562

Soft Furnishings

A little more of a serious option would be to add them to a blind or curtains, we have seen smaller ones added to window furnishings in the past and the look is fun and fabulous. These could really add a fun touch to your home.

Or if you’re not that brave they could be used as a blind pull cord.

All these ideas and the pom poms will only cost you a pound each! A bargain for so much fun!

These are currently only available at our Bridport Dorset store.

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Prym Needle Threader

Find it hard to thread that needle? Well if the answer is yes to that question you need to have a look at Pryms needle threader. This is a great tool for any one’s workbox and is simple to use. This tool will make sewing so much easy and fun.

 

DSC_5356To use the tool you simply put the thread through the hole, put the needle on the top and press the button. A drawn diagram on how to use the tool is included with the product.#

If you would like any further information on this product please contact us and we will be happy to help.