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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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Outdoor Fabrics

 

Time to revamp your outdoor furniture or make a sun canopy? These stripes will certainly cheer up your outdoor living space.  We currently have other colours in stock as well.

 

 

Pattern repeat 64cm/25.25″

 

 

Fancy something a little more classic? Why not go for this traditional mediterranean design of olives on your alfresco dining bench and add a holiday feel to your afternoon.

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How to hang a Roman Blind

Livingstone Textiles Guide:

Note: your batten should already be in place and should also have the Velcro and eyelets attached at this point.

Step 1: Threading the cords

If you have had your blind made by us then your it should already be threaded with cord. However, if you find you need to thread the cords then follow these instructions.

Lay the blind down on a clean table/surface face down. Next thread the cords though the eyelets from the top of the blind to the bottom and secure them by threading through the safety device. You now need to decide on which side of the blind you would like the pull cord to be on for opening and shutting the blind as this will affect the direction the cords.

Secure the blind onto the batten by pressing the Velcro together. You should now thread the cords through the eyelets on the batten starting with the corresponding eyelet for each line of cord, either work left to right (cord will hang on the left) or right to left (cord will hang on the right). Thread all of the loose cords through your wooden acorn to keep them together and tie a loose knot to stop them slipping back through. Do not cut the excess cord off at this point.

Safety Device 1 - Roman Blind
Safety device

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acorn
Acorn

 

 

Step 2: Adjusting the cord length

In order to ensure you have the correct length of cord pull the blind up and down a few times to make sure it runs level. To determine where to cut the cord you should let the blind hang all the way down so that the acorn will be at its highest point you should have a short distance between the last eyelet on the batten and the acorn. Tie a small knot here to keep the cords together and then cut off the excess, the knot should be hidden inside the acorn when it is pulled down over it.

If you have found that your blind has moved slightly after doing this and is no longer level, you can fix this easily by tweaking the length of the cord, by pulling it through the safety devices on the bottom of the blind, making where it hangs longer or shorter.

Step 3: Fixing the cleat

The cleat should be secured next to the blind cord at least 1.5m above the floor, this is to reduce the risk of small children getting the cord caught around their necks which could lead to strangulation. The cleat requires two screws to be screwed through it and into the wall (or other fixing point) in order to secure it.

Safety note: When the Roman Blind is pulled up the cord must be fully wrapped around the cleat, so that there is no excess cord hanging down for small children to be able to reach.

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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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Choosing Linings for Curtains and Blinds

At Livingstone Textiles we are proud to offer you a great selection of Curtain Linings.

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 Linings for Curtains and Blinds

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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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Bridport Hat Festival

Underwater hatIt’s that time of year again when Bridport goes a bit crazy for hats.

This is the 8th Hat Festival and promises to be another exciting event in the town featuring handmade hats, obsure hats, posh hats, caps, boaters and bonnets.

You can try your hand at millinery by attending one of the courses in the town or you can get yourself involved with the children and make your own wacky hats and fascinators.  A couple of years ago, Megan made this incredible aquarium hat out of net and fabrics from Livingstone Textiles and assembled them on an upside down lampshade.

2011_mass_hat1 Bridport is absolutely buzzing on Hat Festival day as hundreds of people turn out in their creations and parade the streets .  We have a wide range of fabrics that can be used to make a hat, cap or bonnet from scratch.  You could try making a sparkly creation from sequin fabrics and embellishing with shiny ribbons and trims or how about something in glamourous velvet to mark the occasion, trimmed in stunning black ravens feathers that we are now selling as a trim.  Easily sewn in place along the bound edge, your project could be a prizewinning showstopper.  We have hessian as well that you could fix up into a crazy scarecrow hat with some fabric flowers sewn into place or how about adding some decorations to a traditional straw boater?  Bridport is home to the nations oldest butchers and with a string of hand sewn sausages made from our brown felt and placed on the hat, worn together with a striped apron and you’ll look surely look the part.  Lets not forget the recent visit by the circus to Bridport town, you could make a fabulous clowns hat.  Anyone remember the visit to Livingstone Textiles by the clown last summer?  My goodness, what a funny fellow he was coming booming up the stairs with his giant shoes and megaphone!  We also recently hosted the first Bridport Folk Festival and the town came alive to the sounds of the morris dancers, many of whom wear really striking hats to dance in.

20933811_1898990463684058_3500334233960282358_o Credit to Dorsetbays photography for this lovely shot of Fetus Derriman, a morris team from Weymouth sporting colourfully decorated hats at a recent event.

Don’t forget, we also stock many widths of round hat elastic to hold everything in place while you enjoy the day.  Pop in the shop at the bottom of the Waitrose car park, Bridport to purchase.

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The Complete Measurement Guide For Dress Making

Simplicity-Complete-Measurement-Guide

One of the things about dressing making that can be quite scary is the sizing of the garment.  The idea of spending hours making a beautiful dress, or trousers and putting them on for the first time and then them not fitting can be incredibly soul destroying.  Fit is so important and completely the point of making your own garments so when they end up miles too big or worse too tight, all that effect you have put in has gone to waste!  sometimes you can buy a dress pattern and, particularly if you buy it discounted online, you won’t be getting the free expert advice that benefits our in store customers.  When it arrives you may realize that you don’t understand what the sizing means and that your dress size on the pattern doesn’t even match the garment size! All this can be very confusing and put you off you starting the project at all.  When you purchase from us in house, we are able to give you sound advice on size and fabric requirements, including suitability.  We can open the patterns out on our cutting tables and help you to understand terms, abbreviations and phrases and we’re always here to help and advice as you progress your project.   It may also benefit you to read the Simplicity-Complete-Measurement Guide

This guide adds to the quick fit guide on a pattern with a complete range of sizes for all ages, both male and female  plus measuring tips, home decor, and more. This guide will really assist you with confidence in making.

Livingstone Textiles in Bridport, Dorset and in Yeovil, Somerset both sell Newlook and Simplicity dress patterns. We usually have all of them in stock in order for you to start your project taht very day.  Very occasionally we may have just sold the pattern you wanted and will get it ordered in for you and if it’s on sale. you still get the sale price.  Another great advantage of buying from us and not online discounted shops is that you can join our pattern club for free.  This benefits you hugely because when you have bought four patterns from us, your fifth one will be free.  Thats ANY pattern as well, from either of our catalogues.  Browse online and buy in store, no postage,no waiting, immediate sewing, help and advice in person, and a pattern club, what are you waiting for?

If you would like more information on the fabrics and services of Livingstone Textiles at either of our stores then please contact us and we will be really happy to help you.

 

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How to add a blackout lining to curtains – Loose lining tape

Loose lining tape – how to use

Loose lining tape is a brilliant way to add a lining to your curtain fabric without any hard work. It is often used for making a normal curtain into a blackout curtain or for adding interlining to a curtain to make it more draft proof.

Loose lining 10

Your curtain will have a heading tape already attached.

 

 

Loose lining 9

 

 

 

Lift up the flap on the loose lining tape and insert your lining.

Loose lining 7

 

 

 

Fold the flap down on the loose lining tape.

 

Loose lining 5

 

 

 

Sew down the flap of the loose lining tape so that it traps the lining.

 

 

 

Loose lining 12

 

Take your main curtain and your loose lining. To attach the loose lining to your curtain, loop your curtain hook through the loose lining tape and through your heading tape.

 

Loose lining 11

 

Continue to do this until all your hooks are in place. The lining is now attached to your curtain and can easily be removed if required.

 

Loose lining tape costs 45p per metre

Blackout lining is ideal for children’s bedrooms, blocking out glare from street lights. It can help you get a better nights sleep. Many people think that a blackout lining will be black, but it is the same colour as normal curtain lining – ivory or white.

Blackout lining costs £5.20 per metre

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What is…….an Overlocker?

Owning your first Overlocker is incredibly exciting but it can also be rather daunting.Overlocker technique manual Just learning how to thread the machine can be enough to frighten some owners into leaving it in a cupboard, never to see the light of day, but it doesn’t have to be scary.  This easy to understand book sets out each step of using an overlocker with clear diagrams and plain English.  An overlocker is simply a machine that gives you beautiful and professionally finished seams and edges.  It can be used for hemming, trimming and enclosing seams at the same time and rolled hems.  It can also produce decorative stitches.  An overlocker is a machine for finishing seams and it cuts off excess fabric with a blade that comes up from under the machine.  When threaded with coloured threads to match your project, the seams can be transformed into a decoration and you can even add beads to edges with an attachment.  This book explains everything you need to know and can be bought from Livingstone Textiles, Bridport.

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Lampshade Making Kits Available at Livingstone Textiles

DSC_5337Lampshade making kits are now available at Livingstone Textiles Bridport and Yeovil. Really easy to make and only a small amount of fabric is required. These would make a really good addition to your room, maybe in a contrasting fabric to your curtains or matching. The great thing with making your own lampshade is you can really have some fun and make it as individual as you want.

 

 

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Follow us on Pinterest… The worlds catalogue of Ideas

We have so many things to show you, why not take a look at our Pinterest page and follow all of our ideas, makes and new fabrics. You can pin any of our images to your own boards to start creating your own styles and hobbies. It’s just a digital noticeboard and so easy to use and you can find all our tutorials on there as well.  Below are some of the pictures you’ll find on Pinterest, click here to visit our boards
win_20161217_15_45_48_prodsc_5217WIN_20170104_15_38_13_Pro2016-04-01 16.05.512016-02-13 13.57.132016-03-12 13.29.35DSC_4705

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Sewing Machine Needles

WIN_20170211_12_49_09_ProWe always have a large stock of sewing machine needles in stock, ranging from thick jeans needles, piercing leather needles and smooth point jersey needles to a pack of assorted sizes.  All of our needles fit the standard needle housing on machines and should be replaced on a regular basis.  Often the tangling of threads when you’re sewing can be attributed to a blunt needle.

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What Is Curtain Bump?

Cold weather means higher heating costs.  To keep these costs down a bit, why not have your new curtains made with interlining?  Even double glazed windows tend to have cold air circulating them that can create uncomfortable draughts.

Traditionally called ‘Bump’, interlining can stop cold air from entering the room when the curtains or blinds are drawn because it is a dense layer that sits between the show cloth and the curtain lining. We provide two different weights, lightweight for a thin warm layer and heavy weight for a thicker, more luxurious finish.  Adding bump to both Roman Blinds and curtains make them fuller at the window as well acting as an insulator.  It’s certainly a much cheaper option than replacement windows.

Our polyester curtain bump is £3.30 per metre for lightweight and £5.70 for heavyweight.  The natural cotton bump is £4.50 per metre and the heavyweight is £5.90 per metre.  All are 54″/140cm wide and available from both of our shops, as well as by telephone order (01308 456844) and our online shop.

Polyester Curtain Interlining Lightweight

Lightweight polyester

Lightweight Cotton

Heavyweight Cotton

Heavyweight Polyester

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Toms Top Tips………

Here it is………………A list of the top sewing tips used by our professional makers to help you get the most from your hobby.

1}     Use Sharp Scissors

2}     Invest in a good sewing machine.  Old machines can be temperamental with tension problems leading to ‘chewed up’ threads in your work.  Sturdy old machines need to have the tension re-callibrated in order to operate correctly.  Machines can be serviced here in house by our engineer. Call for further details 01308 456844.

3}     Learn how to make bias binding.  Neck openings and pretty garment edging look so much better when bound and once you can make bias, it’s really simple to add piping to cushions for a really professional look.

4}     Improvise!  To sew a curved seam, use a folded towel under the curve in the garment or cardboard kitchen roll tubes.  A tailors ham is an expensive piece of equipment.

5}     Embellish!  Tired garments or things you’ve gotton bored with can be uplifted with a little applique or ric rac.  We have a massive selection of trims, bindings, braids and ribbons in both of our shops starting at just a few pence per metre.

6}     Buy a good mushroom coloured thread.  One of our makers uses a Moon thread that blends with dozens of fabrics and she calls it ‘Magic’.

7}     When buying a thread don’t be afraid to unravel it and lay it against your cloth, it should almost dissapear. Fabric wound on a reel has deeper colour as it is concentrated so when you start to sew with it, you may find it a lot paler than you thought.

8}     Use the internet for inspiration and ideas.  Pinterest is a great place to start and some websites offer you tube tutorials and free templates for projects but remember to always respect any copyright if you’re making to sell.

9}     Iron EVERYTHING!  You may hate ironing but pressing your projects really makes a difference.

10}  Measure, measure, measure.

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Poplin Patchwork Quilt

A really beautiful cotton poplin patchwork quilt made entirely from brand new fabrics in stock but cleverly pieced to imitate a quilt made from fabric scraps.  A small selection of our vast poplins can be found here.

 

 

Our talented customer has made this as a gift for her parents and lined it with pure cotton batting.  She also backed it with pure cotton so the whole quilt is breathable and machine washable.

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Then And Now

The staff here at Livingstone Textiles have a weak spot for dressmaking patterns and whilst one of them was having a sort through hers, she found the lovely vintage one on the right.  This style has been re issued by Simplicity this season in their Vintage Collection.  If you take a closer look at the neckline and waist of this ‘frock’ you can see that they are virtually identical. Pattern 1587 is in stock at both our Bridport abd Yeovil stores if you fancy going vintage in the spring.

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Quick Make – Fleece Poncho

This has to be one of the quickest projects you can make.  It would make a great gift for a child or adult and can be worn outdoors as an extra layer or used as a snuggle up in the evening.

First purchase 70cm of fleece that’s about 140cm wide in your preferred colour or design

 

Lay it out flat, selvedge to selvedge and turn it so it makes a diamond shape.  The cut edge on the right and the fold on the left.

 

Pin approximately 30 cm together with seams tucked inside and sew securely in place.

 

Add pretty buttons

 

Turn down the top corner and Voila! One Poncho.

 

 

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Brer Rabbit Fabric

This classic pattern of rabbits is in the style of William Morris and was used to create a cushion for a recent customer.

 

 

The pattern was carefully centred by finding a central point in the pattern where equal repeats are below, above and to either side.  Customers are often confused by pattern repeats, particularly horizontal ones.  They are so important for a professional finish and our makers always look at the pattern carefully to decide where a drop of curtains will drop from or how to show off the best part of the pattern on a cushion.

When centring a pattern for a square cushion, divide the measurement in two and place the beginning of the tape in the very middle of your chosen place on the face of the fabric.  Measure out to the top, bottom and either side and make a small mark using a tailors chalk or erasable pen.  Carefully fold back the fabric and transfer the markings to the back.   Now mark the same measurement out to the corners from these marks, not on the diagonal.  Join the marks up with lines to make a square then check the WHOLE distance between the top and bottom lines and the left and right lines. (It should be the same as your finished cushion)  Carefully cut around the outside of the line by approximately half an inch, this is your seam allowance.  Cut out a back piece the same and proceed with making your cushion.  For more information on pattern repeats see here

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Coordinating Fabrics

Coordinating fabrics withing a room setting can be a really great thing to do if you want to balance a room or draw attention to one area that uses a loud print. Coordinating fabric can also be a fun thing to do as you can become creative in your room setting.

Bird blind openWe have coordinated in this room with a Roman Blind and Curtains. the customer originally wanted only a Roman Blind for the room as it was going in her daughter’s room and she wanted the light to be blocked out. When discussing her ideas with her she still wanted the window to be decorative and she wanted the fabric to grow with her little girl and so would last a few years.

The daughter like the bird fabric but the mother thought that it would be too much and too busy in the room. After much discussion, this was the conclusion that we came to and so the blind was made with only the top section made with the patterned fabric, the main part was made from plain lilac fabric, and a strip of blue to hide the transition between the two.

Blind with curtainsThe curtains are only present for dress reasons and are simply hung to dress the window, a trim down the side of each curtain was added to coordinate the curtains to the roman blind and the blue for the tab tops was picked out from the fabric design, bringing everything together. The Roman Blind does the same thing, this time though we have used more of the plain fabric, in an effort not to make the blind too busy.

We think this set up really suits the window and balances the room because not too much of one fabric was used the customer can add to the room, she is thinking about a bedspread out of the patterned fabric, we think this could really add to the room.

Bespoke finishes like these can be made yourself at home or by our professional local seamstresses, and give a much more personal finish to a room.

 

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Summer Vintage Vibes

Summer Holidays are ahead of us (and hopefully more sun than rain!)
One of our staff members has a 1970’s vintage caravan and she decided to give it an overhaul. The original and rather vivid orange flowery seat cushions were very worn and have been renewed with a bright flower and bird fabric that has postcards on it to reflect the holiday mood. They still have orange in the colour scheme in order to blend with the original interior.

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The box cushions are made with a zip in order to make cleaning easier. We can make box cushions for you in most of the fabrics that we stock and we can add piping if you wish.

 

To make the new interior complete, she decided to make some new curtains and to keep the cost down she used a basic dress weight cotton poplin.  In order to make them hang well and to look authentic from the outside, she used a coloured lining that picked up the orange in the cushions.  DSC_0435

 

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The polka dot gives an up to date vintage look while the lining is true to the 70’s colour scheme.

 

 

Here’s how the curtain lining looks from the outside………..along with a couple of vintage recliners she picked up in Penzance, much to the dismay of her husband who had to carry them back to the car!!

IMG-20160625-WA0000

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Blinds

Blinds can be practical and decorative but sometimes you don’t aways need to the same type of blind in each room. A different style of blind can change the look of a fabric and a room.

Here’s a quick guide to the different types of blinds  available to you.

Austrain Blinds

2016-05-18 16.20.22

Austrian blinds are a cross between blinds and curtains. They act like blinds but are close to curtains with the texture. Most Austrian blinds have a gathered top like a pencil pleat curtain but then are stringed and pull up like a blind. Unlike a Roman blind they dont have the horizontal rods running through them giving them a ruffled bottom when pulled.

 

 

Roman Blinds

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Roman blinds are structured blinds that use a system of vertical strings and horizontal rods. When pulled they fold into straight even folds. When let down the blind is completely flat.

 

Swedish Blinds

2016-05-18 16.21.01There are two different types of Swedish blinds, one is rolled and held with ribbon and one is corded. Both types work really well with coordinating fabrics as when it is rolled the back of the blind is seen.

Theses are all blinds that we can make to measure for your house. We can advise you on how it will hang with the space you have available in your house. We can offer the full service from measuring, making and hanging. If you are at all interested or would like more information please contact us and we will be happy to help.

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Brilliant Big Bean Bag

Another piece of customer inspiration for you today – this fabulous bean bag! In this case the customer had an existing large bean bag but it had no separate cover so was impossible to clean. They chose this stunning Clarke & Clarke fabric and our seamstresses made up a new cover, leaving the old cover to become the bean bag liner. We think you’ll agree the result is amazing!

 

 

 

You could also make an outdoor bean bag using our range of new waterproof outdoor fabrics.  Available in various patterns and plain colours, there is sure to be something to fit in with your outdoor colour scheme.Heavy Poly Wproof All

Bean Bag Filling

As well as being able to supply some great fabrics for bean bag covers and a bean bag liner (such as calico) we also stock the polystyrene beads for the bean bag filling. You can refill your bean bag or top up your existing bean bag filling, with small bags of bean bag beans starting at only £6