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Purse and Bag Snap Handles

Look at these gorgeous little snap fasteners for small purses and evening bags! We’ve got two different sizes in stock at our Bridport shop for you budding bag makers and they would like delightful made up into accessories with these luxury velvet fabrics. The small silver purse designs are £5.50 each and the larger gold frames are £5.90 each so pop in to the shop and grab a couple, one for you and one to make in to a gift for a special friend.

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Mending

You may be pulling out some of last years winter clothes and finding them in want of a few repairs or alterations before they are ready to wear again. Instead of taking them to the charity shop and investing in new clothes, you could save yourself some money by getting handy with a needle & thread and fixing them. You’ve maybe lost a few pounds over the summer and need to do some adjustments in order to make a waistband fit snugly again, or as in the pictures below, the bar from a hook and bar fastening set up has just sheered off the trousers. A simple repair can be made by purchasing a Trouser Hook and Bar kit from our Haberdashery department and along with a needle and thread, the trousers are wearable again in a matter of minutes. This same set can be used when making new garments as well and is a lot easier to do than making button holes, plus it has the advantage of being invisible once fastened.

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Yes, We Sell Comfortable Thimbles!

Traditional metal thimbles are useful,but not terribly comfortable and prone to falling off at inconvenient moments. If you like using them,don’t worry, we still stock them, but we now also sell these lovely things by Prym, an award winning ergonomic design combining protection with high wearing comfort.

Prym says: Solving the age old problem of the thimble slipping of the finger during sewing, this ‘Soft Comfort’ Ergonomic Thimble from Prym is innovative and ultra useful. The shaft of soft plastic offers impeccable comfort in sizes S, M and L. There are four side vents to prevent sweating when stitching for longer periods. The top of the “Soft Comfort” thimble is made of hard white plastic with dot shaped notches to ensure perfect needle guidance even with heavier fabrics and when sewing multiple layers.

We have them in three sizes which are in three hard-to-lose colours – orange (small) pink (medium) and green (large). At just £4.60 each, one of these will be the perfect fit for your sewing kit!

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New Bias Binding

We have a new range of bias binding coming in with a new colour range and wider fold these new bindings will be replacing the old style. The new range will be phased in as the older ones sell out so we don’t yet have the full range of the new style but we’ve got a good selection to start us off.

The colour choices we have in this new range are lovely and are more in keeping with our fabric stock, so you’ll nearly always find a match. The fold over on the new range is also much wider and meets in the middle of the tape.

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How to…put in an invisible zip

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!

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Bra Forms

We now have bra forms back in stock on the haberdashery wall. These are just what you need for making (or repairing) bras, swimwear, sundresses etc, and would be a good match for the swimwear fabric we stock now. Availalbe in black and white.

As all the packs currently out are a 34″ cup size, I’d like to know what sizes would you like to see us stock?

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Miss Haversham has butterflies!

The lovely Miss Haversham has been given another amazing makeover by Evie – this time she’s modelling a skirt in a gorgeous lightweight polyviscose leafy print fabric ( £13.50 per metre) and a host of brightly-coloured butterflies, which recently landed amongst our large collection of iron-on motifs, and are selling at only 75p each. Get your summer on!

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What is…Haberdashery?

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.

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Rain Mac and Tent Repair Patches

Although it is summer and we are in June the weather is never guaranteed, meaning that rain mac is still important and if you’re planning on camping out so it that tent. Any rips and tears are always a pain but we have the solution!

These patches are great for feather jackets with holes, rain macs, tents, awninigs, bags and much more.

This repair patch can simply be stuck onto the fabric or for tougher fabric that won’t melt it can be ironed on, making it great for most repairs and can make a neat and quick fix, without even gettting the sewing machine out.

It comes in a range of colours so you can choose the one that will blend in the most. If you can’t quite find the colour that will blend in it can be cut out into any shape you like so you could even have a feature flower shaped repair patch (or any other shape you can make).

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Bargain Threads from only 50p!

We’ve been talking for many months about re-designing our bottom room to make it safer for everyone as a retail space.  This has historically been our delivery area but we also have some rolls of cloth stored on shelving that our customers enjoy having a look at.  We were sad to see another long established business go in Bridport this year with the closure of ‘This & That’ however the legacy lives on because we now have some of their shelving in our delivery area!

We’ve used the shelving to divide the room off and create a new shop display area with a great new space for us to work in behind it.  We had to relocate one or two things as anyone does when they’re having a shift around so we dismantled our old Coats thread stand.  We’ve been selling off all the old Coats stock at massively reduced prices as we’ve gone over to selling Gutterman threads instead so don’t forget to look at the colours we still have left in stock when you’re next passing, you can top up your thread stocks really cheaply because they are now reduced to 50p per reel for the small size and £1 a reel for the large!!

 

We took the opportunity to have a bit of a play last week and created a colourful fish from old cotton reels and we’ve hung him in the stairwell next to some of our gorgeous new woven tapestry fabrics that are available in these new wave designs and don’t forget that you get FREE LINING with curtains ordered throughout May.  We will be developing this theme over the coming weeks to create a summer carnival feel to the entrance that we hope you enjoy it as much as we do creating it.

 

 

 

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did you know…?

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know we stock a range of bra extenders at Livingstone Textiles? These useful little things can help to make a new bra feel like an old friend until it’s worn in, or to keep you comfortable if you’ve gained some temporary weight. Easy to use, they simply hook on to your bra, so no sewing is required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We stock a range of sizes to fit all widths of bras, in black, white or nude. You’ll find them on the wall by the till, along with lots of other useful haberdashery items, so pop in and get one to keep for when you need it!

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No Business like ‘Sew’ Business

 

 

Bridport Arts Centre is all ready to kick off its Fashion Week event to celebrate fashion history, costume and the recent upsurge in the popularity of sewing.  Starting on Monday 4th March and running through to Sunday 10th March there is sure to be something to whet your appetite and inspire you to get your sewing machine out.  Livingstone Textiles is very proud to have been able to sponsor this event and during the week we will have a stand in the Arts Centre foyer where you can pick up information about our locations and the products and services we provide as well as a huge selection of fabric and haberdashery to choose from.

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The events consist of talks on pattern drafting, pattern reading, historical fashion and the influences of modern London fashion through the experienced eye of Saville Row tailor, author and tv presenter James Sherwood. Also visiting Bridport to talk about the Royal Wardrobe are the Curators of Bath Museum of Fashion. They will be explaining their current exhibition on modern royal fashion as well as the royal wardrobe of Queen Alexander, Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and our current Queen Elizabeth. Continuing the fashion history theme, Bridport museum will be giving a unique insight into their textile and costume collection dating back 150 years and Arts Centre Director Curtis Fulcher will be giving an informed talk on Tudors and Historical costume. Curtis is an experienced costume designer and maker and has made a couple of recreations to demonstrate his talk with questions. There are also a great range of films to watch about some of the greatest fashion designers that have ever lived and you can find more information about the whole weeks events here

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What happens on Burns Night?

 

 

Burns Night is annualy celebrated in Scotland on the 25th of January and celebrates the works of the great poet Robert Burns.  It is also now frequently observed in other parts of the United Kingdom by native Scots and those who appreciate the heritage of Scotland.   Robert Burns was born on January 25th 1759 which is why Burns night is celebrated on this day.  He died in 1796 and his best known work is probably “Auld Lang Syne” which is traditionally sung at midnight on New Years Eve or Hogmanny. He is known in Scotland as “The Bard”

Many families and friends enjoy getting together on Burns Night to share a supper of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with Whisky as the preferred tipple.  You can find out more about Haggis here.  During the evening poetry written by Robert Burns is recited, sometimes Scottish songs are sung and then the Haggis is traditionally ‘piped in’ by a Bagpipe player in full Scottish dress where it is toasted on arrival at the table.  At Burns night events many men choose to wear kilts and women might wear a shawl, skirt, sash or dress made from their family tartan.  A tartan is a cloth made of wool woven in a distinctive check pattern using different colours across the warp and the weft and clans have their own distinct patterns that have been replicated over centuries, often nowadays in more modern blends of viscose and polyester as well as in wool.

If you are attending a Burns Night event you can choose from the range of bright new tartans at Livingstone Textiles to create a sash or shawl over your evening attire, we don’t have much online but their are lots to choose from in house.  We also stock some colourful tartan ribbons to dress your hair or add interest to a plain dress, pop in to either of our shops to browse our collections.  We also think that it’s a great idea to host a kids Burns Night event where you can get them involved with the reading of poetry and maybe using a recorder to pipe in a haggis that they’ve helped to prepare.  They could make a Scottish flag to hang up or could colour in place settings using some of the words in the poems of Burns.  For more inspiration and ideas for a special childrens event visit https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/burns-night

 

 

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We Are Haberdashers

 

Here at Livingstone Textiles we like to supply you with the best quality products at the most competitive prices we can find.  We know that many of you love the Prym range and there are hundreds of haberdashery products available from this company, all beautifully packaged and presented.

We also stock an excellent range of products by a UK based company called Whitecroft.  The Whitecroft Essentials range is a collection of products that we stock for knitting and sewing.  We concentrate on basic stock lines such as sewing needles, pins, machine needles, poppers, fur fasteners and hook & eyes.  We also keep embroidery hoops, knitting pins and crochet hooks in stock having seen a great revival in wool based crafts over the past decade.

Whitecroft have been supplying wholesalers for over a century and as a retailer working in the textiles trade for over 47 years in the same premises, we know that we can rely on the quality, the supply and the price of Whitecroft Essentials to all be consistant.   Many of our customers are now coming in with third generation sewers and knitters which is a wonderful thing.  We also have customers who tell us that they remember coming into the shop with a parent or aunt and they love how we haven’t changed very much over the years.  Like Whitecroft, we focus on the basics, good quality products at affordable prices and above all else, in an increasingly competitive online environment we pride ourselves on customer care and satisfaction.

The New Year and cold winter evenings are an ideal time for sitting down and sorting out your sewing tin or box.  Pop in and top up on your basics the next time you’re in Yeovil or Bridport, we’d love to see you and help you re-stock.

 

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Self-adhesive glitter patches

Here’s a fantastic fun new product we’ve just got in the shop, just in time for your Christmas crafting:

 

 

 

 

 

Sheets of coloured self-adhesive glitter fabric that can easily be cut into letters, numbers, shapes – whatever you want!

This versatile product is self-adhesive, so it will stick firmly to wood, metal, card or wherever you want, but because it is a fabric it can also be used to decorate fabric items or clothing  and ironed on – simply cut it to the shape you want, remove the backing and stick it down. For fabrics, cover with a light cloth and iron for 60 seconds. Leave it a few minutes to cool and set, and you’re done!

 

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The cutting edge

 

 

 

Scissors are a great gift for the stitcher or crafter in your life, and we have a fantastic range to suit all ages and budgets at Livingstone Textiles this Christmas.

 

 

 

We’ve got some new arrivals, in the form of these great value soft-touch scissors, which come in multipacks of three different sizes and in different colours, or you can purchase the largest size separately. They are good to use, work for left or right handed people, and are brilliant value for simple projects.

Also new are the ornate and delicately-coloured thread snips, which are perfect for a discerning needleworker, and they’re just so beautiful! we were all cooing over them as soon as they arrived in the shop, so you know they’ll be well-received as a gift.

And finally we do a great range of Fiskars, which are great quality dressmaking, pinking and needlework scissors, guaranteed to stand the test of time;  as an added bonus we offer a sharpening service for them in store, so you or your loved one will never have to struggle with blunt scissors again.

 

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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.