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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










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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Sewing with knitted fabrics


– Reviewing ‘A beginner’s Guide to Sewing With Knitted Fabrics’, by Wendy Ward.

Sewing with jerseys and other knitted fabrics is a great way to make stylish clothing that is relaxed and comfortable to wear, plus of course, making the items yourself gives you full control over the fabrics and the fit. If,however you find the idea of getting to grips with sewing stretchy fabrics a little bit scary, especially if you haven’t done it before, then this new book could be the answer!

As well as well as all the easy-to-follow instructions and useful tips you’ll need to succeed with knitted fabrics, this book also contains beautifully clear instructions for making 20 fantastic designs of trousers, tops and dresses, as well as full-size patterns for all the garments in sizes UK8 to UK26 in an envelope in the book, which makes the price of £12.99  even more of a bargain!

…also, we sell dot and cross pattern-making paper off the roll in the shop for only £1 a metre, so you can very easily trace off the pattern pieces you need for your project, keeping all the sizes and options of the original patterns intact.

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Penguin Power


DSC_0973Deep in the back recesses of the 2nd floor of a seldom visited corner of Livingstone Textiles, but not quite as far up as the attic there lives a dusty box.  This box is the resting place of the Livingstone Penguins that flew over Bridport one winter and mistook our shiny tin roof for ice.  Of course, once they’d landed here they couldn’t very well leave because they’d made so many friends with the children that visit our fabric shop with their parents.  They also rather enjoyed the chocolate coins that we fed them on from the till so they decided to take up residence here and requested a nesting box to sleep in.  We had a word with Tom and he granted them leave to stay with the proviso that every Christmas they must entertain the children by sliding down the stairwell.  We’ve built them a new ice slide as the temperature has warmed up somewhat since last week and they seem pretty happy with it although we should tell you that we think there have been some pecking squabbles in the box over the summer because when we fetched them out, a couple of them had their eyes missing!  If you’d like to make your own penguins out of felt, you can find instructions on how to do it here


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How to Make a Bottle Carrier Bag

Bottle carrier completeIf you are looking for a last minute present, or would like to jazz up some bottles you are giving, why not make one of these useful bottle carriers, which will go on to be used for carrying bottles back from the shops for years to come.

I have made mine from water resistant fabric to give a longer life, but it could equally be made from any heavy canvas fabric. This bag took half a metre of fabric, 1.8 metres of bag strapping and 2.5 metres of bias binding. The advantage of using water resistant fabric is that it does not fray, so I did not have to neaten any edges, the disadvantage is that I did not want any extra pin holes so had to be very careful where I put my pins.

Bottle Carrier PiecesFirst I cut out my pieces – 2 of 26cm wide by 32cm high for the front and back, 1 of 16cm wide by 90cm long for the gusset and 2 of 18cm wide by 20cm high plus 1 of 21cm wide by 20cm high. These last 3 pieces form the inside of the bag which keeps the 6 bottles separate.

The first stage is to turn over 1.5cm on the top edge of the front and back, and both ends of the long gusset piece, and sew to form a simple hem. Now move on to making the inside pieces of your bag.

Inside piecesCut and stitch on bias binding on the top edge of all 3 inside pieces. These inside pieces then need to be ironed to form creases as shown – at the centre of the two smaller pieces and to divide the wider piece roughly into thirds, allowing a small seam allowance on the two ends. With the water resistant fabric you will need to use a cloth when ironing to avoid melting the water resistant coating onto your iron!Bottle carrier inside

Sew the inside pieces together at the folds you have ironed to that you make this shape. You should now have 6 flaps that can be sewn onto your bag. You are now ready to attach the handles and the inside to the main bag pieces.

Bottle carrier handle frontCut the bag strapping into two pieces and pin the first one to one side of the bag AT THE SAME TIME pinning through the edges of the first two flaps of the bag inside. Bottle carrier handle backThe flap will be attached to the front when you sew through the inner edge of your bag handle. Be careful when you sew to keep all the other flaps out of the way, and sew all the way up both edges of the bag strapping. Repeat for the second side of the bag with the two back flaps of the bag inside. This should then leave the two edge flaps ready to attach to the gusset. Bottle carrier gussetPin each flap to the middle of one side of the gusset and sew. You now have all the pieces attached together and all that is left is to sew the edges with the bias binding to finish the bag.

Bottle carrier edgesPin the binding round, attaching the gusset to the front and back of the bag. You will need to make a small snip in the gusset at the corners to help this work. Sew the bias binding on, making sure you have trapped both sides of the binding, especially at the corners. Bottle carrier edge finishedI did two rows of stitching to make sure and it was a bit fiddly! My bag is finished and I have a hand made present to fill with lovely fruit juices from the local farm shop.

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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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How To……put Wadding & Stockinette on to Foam

We supply foam to renew all kinds of seats, cushions ,beds and campervans.  The foam we supply can be made super comfy by adding a layer of thick quilters wadding.  This softens the edges and corners of the foam and gives a more rounded appearance to the cushion when the covers are back on.  We often do this in house for our customers and we then cover the wadding with a layer of thin stockinette to help ease the cushions back into their covers . Foam has a tendency to grip the underside of many fabric covers and it can be a bit of a battle getting them back on to the foam, sometimes it takes three of us to do it in the shop and it can be quite entertaining to watch as well!

Here we will set out step by step a guide to covering your own foam cushions.  All of the materials used in the photographs can be bought from our shop and we can also send them by mail order. Contact us to place your order over the phone.

Firstly, lay your foam out on the stockinette and cut out pieces for the top, bottom and side











Next you need to put the foam on some newspaper and spray with contact adhesive.  Remeber to do this in a well ventilated area.  Once you have sprayed on the glue, carefully line up your wadding pieces and lay gently in place, you only get one shot at this so take your time as it sheds if you try to pull it off and start again.  Press down firmly.  We do the top and bottom first then cut a long strip, spray glue it then roll the edges along it in one piece.


























Once all the wadding is in place, cut a generous piece of stockinette.  It stretches to unbelievable sizes!  Open one end of the stockinette and slide the cushion inside then neatly roll the edges into little seams that sit along the edges of the cushion and pin in place with long quilters pins.  This way you don’t end up with big lumps on the sides.  Carefully whip stitch along the seam, catching the rolled seam to the cushion using a long darner needle and a good quality thread.  Repeat the whole process the other end.



















Your foam is now ready to be put back inside the cover and sat on.  If you have any further questions on how to do this, you can contact the team at Livingstones Bridport on 01308456844


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What is… Jersey and How Do You Sew It Successfully?

Jersey top
Jersey top

Not knowing what a fabric is can make it seem scary, and means you might not want to sew with it. That is how maany people have come to feel about Jersey and other stretch fabrics. In fact once you know what you are doing, jersey is not scary and has a lot of benefits to being able to sew with it.

Jersey is a knit fabric used predominantly for clothing manufacture. It was originally made of wool, but is now made of wool, cotton, and synthetic fibers. The fabric can be a very stretchy single knitting and usually light-weight.

The benefits of Jersey and stretch fabrics are also the part that people find scary, which is the stretch. People worry that they won’t be able to sew with a stretchy fabric and that it will pucker under the stitches, which can be true if using the wrong stitch. The best way to sew with a stretch fabric is to sew with a small zig zag. This stitch allows the fabric to still move and therefore stops the puckering. Another option is to use a stretch stitch setting if your sewing machine has one. This can be either straight or zig-zag and involves the machine making 3 stitches next to each other very slightly offset, which lets the seam stretch with the fabric. A third tip is to use a walking foot for sewing jersey, this stops the top layer of fabric in the seam ‘creeping’ as you sew.

Once over the fear of sewing with the material, it is then possible to see the benefits of this very versatile fabric. The benefit is that it is stretchy, meaning it can be very flattering to the figure, it will stretch if you have sewn the item a little too tight, and most of the time with jersey garments you don’t need zips! Another top advantage is that most jersey fabric does not fray when cut so all that tiresome oversewing of the cut edges of your garment are done away with, making sewing up of jersey garments really speedy. You can even use this feature to allow you to make designs on the garment by appliqueing on layers and cutting designs in the jersey as in this example.Example of cut jersey design

Stretch fabrics can be made with a range of different fibres, from the synthetic lycras and elastines to the natural cottons and viscoses. Each with different levels of stretch and with different qualities to complement different garments.

Top Tips to sewing with Jersey;

  • Sew with zig-zag stitch or use stretch stitch setting on your machine
  • Pin lots to stop it from slipping, and/or use a walking foot
  • Always use a ball point needle to sew
  • For added extra ease cut with a rotterycutter 
  • Jersey doesn’t fray and hemming is not always necessary

Interested in trying out Jersey or stretch fabrics? Click here to see our range of jersey fabrics we have to offer on our website.

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Pattern Hacking


Livingstone Textiles are up to date with this season’s fashions with the new summer edition of the New Look and Simplicity pattern books. At both our shops in Bridport Dorset and Yeovil Somerset we try to stock all the patterns that are listed in the books and if we don’t have them available we can easily order them in for you.

These books have hundreds of different patterns for all occasions for both children and adults, male and female, all in a wide range of sizes. The great thing about making your own clothes is you can tailor them to you and your size, so if your waist is a different dress size to your bust you don’t have to compromise you can tailor the pattern to you. A great way to do this is with Simplicity new pattern range that helps you to pattern hack giving you the confidence to change other patterns. Watch the short video below to learn more about pattern hacking.

With the new Simplicity pattern book, you can tailor your outfits to you with the range of patterns designed for pattern hacking. Each hacking pattern comes with multiple pattern pieces for design hacking and extra paper to help you. Simplicity’s pattern hack collection is designed to put the creativity in your hands. Starting from basic shapes using these patterns and instructions to sew unique pieces and build your perfect wardrobe. We present several options but challenge your creativity to look for other unique ways to hack the patterns. See how far you can take it.  Also, see other patterns in the range to hack – 8375 knit dress, 8376 knit top, and 8377 knit cardigan.

All of these patterns are available at both our Yeovil Somerset store and our Bridport Dorset store. If you require any more information please contact us and we will be happy to help. If you are hacking one of the regular Simplicity sewing patterns and need more paper to avoid cutting into your pattern pieces, we sell dot and cross pattern paper by the metre.

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How To.. Make a cozy Fleece Sleeping Bag

With the weather warming up it might be just the time to get out camping, whether you are going on holiday or just having fun camping in the garden the night can be cold. Why not make a fleece sleeping bag, follow these steps to a really easy make;

  • Decide on how long you would like your sleeping bag to be, most fleeces are 150cmDSC_5476 wide this is generally wide enough to be folded in half for the back and front of the sleeping bag if being made for a child, as for the length it depends on how tall the person is and how much room they might want at the end.






  • Fold the fleece in half and pin two of the sides leaving the top open.DSC_5477
  • Stitch where you have pinned





  • Turn right way round and there you have it a quick and easy sleeping bag.DSC_5478






Fleeces are available at both Livingstone Textiles Yeovil Somerset and Bridport Dorset.


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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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Hessian Bunting

Bunting is something that we love to make and use to decorate our shop and we use it to show our customers all kinds of gorgeous colour combinations.  This week got to thinking about weddings, garden parties, rustic outdoor events and food fairs in our beautiful Dorset countryside and what could look any more rural than hessian?WIN_20170422_14_47_13_Pro

This idea is so simple to do that we thought we’d share it with you.  We cut out some triangles of hessian and zig zagged the edges to stop the fabric from fraying and then we simply spaced out the flags and stitched them onto a few metres of our cluny lace.  Of course,  you can always upcycle some old coffee sacks if you can lay your hands on them but if not, pop in and check out our different grades of hessian as they also look brilliant as trestle tablecloths finished with pure white cotton runners.In our beautiful listed mill building, we think hessian works very well with the prominent industrial elements on show.


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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
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Quick Christmas Make

If you’re wondering how to entertain the children in the week from when they break up to Christmas Day, how about making some of these lovely Christmas tree decorations as shown to us by one of our customers? Simply cut a series of circles of different sizes from your chosen fabric or fabrics. Sew a loose running stitch around the outside of each circle then pull up to gather into the centre  and stitch into place (this will make a smaller puffy flat circle). Thread a large-eyed needle with several strands of metallic thread. Start by knotting the thread through a large bell or button at the base. Thread on each gathered circle, starting with the largest and knotting the thread in between each layer so they stay separated. Finish with a small bell or button after the last circle, then tie off so there is a hanging loop for your finished tree. Simple but effective and fun!

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How to make felt penguins

penguins-how-to 001 (Small)penguins-how-to 002 (Small)penguins-how-to 003 (Small)penguins-how-to 004 (Small)Fancy making your own Christmas decorations this year? Why not make some fabulous felt penguins? Follow these easy steps to make your own Winter wonderland.

We used some 2oz quilter’s wadding to cover the old stairlift and tied it on with pieces of blind cord.  We then made up some penguins with some coloured felt squares in black, orange and white and stuffed them with toy stuffing.

If you want to make your own penguin decorations, you will need squares of felt in the following colours: Orange, Black and White.  You will also need some stick on toy eyes, a reel of black thread, a needle, some fabric glue and a small bag of toy stuffing.  We stock all of these items in our shop in Bridport and they are all available by mail order if you ‘phone us on 01308 456844.

Copy the pattern pieces shown above onto paper then cut out 4 wing pieces in black and glue them together to make two wings.

penguins-how-to 005 (Small) (2)

penguins-how-to 006 (Small)Next, cut two body pieces from black felt and sew them together with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving an opening under the tummy ready to stuff.

penguins-how-to 007 (Small)

Stuff the penguin then stitch up the hole.  Cut a tummy shape from the white elt and glue this over the tummy to cover the final stitching.

penguins-how-to 009 (Small)

Cut two feet and a beak from the orange felt and gathering the narrow edge slightly, stitch the feet firmly to the bottom of the penguin.

penguins-how-to 010 (Small)

The wings will now be dry enough to work with.  Stitch them to the sides of your penguin, in line with the top of his tummy,  you can set them at a jaunty angle to make him look as if he’s trying to keep his balance.  Place the diamond shape slightly above the tummy and stitch across the middle.  Fold the beak over on itself to hide the stitches. penguins-how-to 012 (Small)

Glue on the eyes and when they are dry, tie a piece of ribbon or wool around the neck to look like a scarf and there you have your finished felt penguin decoration.  Please note that these are not toys and should be used for decoration purposes only.

penguin (Small)penguinslide (Small)We tied ours on around the neck and then around the stair rail to secure them.  We then hid the string by tying on the scarf over the top.  They certainly raise a smile as you come up the stairs.

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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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what is………Stab Stitch

Stab Stitch is a very small tack used to hold fabric layers together without lines of stitching.  It is most commonly used to hold together the layers of a Roman Blind when the customer does not wish to see stitching on the face of the blind.

Working from the back of the blind, the needle is inserted into the lining just under the pocket for the rod on all the rods except the bottom one. Here they are worked above the rod. It is inserted at a 45 degree angle, just catches a couple of threads at the front and then the needle is worked back up to the lining again. It is helpful to pull back the work to establish how much of the tack will show on the front.

The stitch is then worked five or six times over the first to create a strong stitch. Finish by working a final tie off stitch through the bottom of the tack then work the ends between the lining and the fabric.

The stitch can barely be noticed on the show cloth. To support the weight of the blind, a stab stitch should be made at each end of every pocket and one under every ring. Placing them under the pocket channels and then above on the bottom rod allows the blind to be seen from outside without any stitch marks when it is partially pulled up. For wide blinds you may need to stab stitch between the rings as well. It is suggested that stitches are no more than 30cm apart.

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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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How to Make a Simple Draw String Bag

With the kids going back to school in the next couple of weeks, one of the things on you shopping list might be a PE kit bag or a shoe bag, why not make your child’s one individual by making it yourself. Follow this easy step by step guide and make something your kids will love.

  • Decide on the size of your bag and what you want it to hold, this one is going to be a shoe bag for ballet pumps, and is not going to have clothes in so it doesn’t need to be that big, but if you are making a PE bag you will need it bigger than this one.BRON - WIN_20160817_094516
  • This bag is going to be 30cm x 20cm finished size so I will be cutting out a piece of fabric 45cm x 40cm. I have given myself 10cm at the top for turns for the drawstring channel.





  • zig-zag all you edges to stop them from fraying if you want a neater finish you could hem all your edges to hide all the rough edgesBRON - WIN_20160817_095615







  • The channel will be the first thing that will be made, make a big fold for your channel pin and stitch.BRON - WIN_20160817_100004






  • Fold your fabric over right sides together and sew together the bottom of the bag and the side of the bag, just leaving one opening.
  • Thread through your cord, add a bag pull and tie a knot.BRON - WIN_20160817_101136






  • You bag is now finished.BRON - WIN_20160817_101428
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How to Sew Jersey Fabric Using a Walking Foot

Sewing machine stitches stretch stitchMany people are fearful about sewing jersey fabric, but with some simple adjustments, there is no need to be. The simplest change is to use a ball-point or jersey machine needle to avoid skipped stitches. Secondly, you can use any special stitches your sewing machine supplies – my machine has a stretch stitch (shown as a triple line of stitches) at stitch setting 17.

Even with these adjustments, it is possible with some fabrics that the top and bottom layers may not stay neatly together, and one may stretch more than the other. The reason for this is that the bottom layer is being fed through under the needle by the teeth (know as the feed dog). This is not happening with the top layer, resulting in what is known as creeping in the fabric.

Walking footOne way to avoid creeping is to use a walking foot (see left, click on the picture to enlarge), which is able to fit most machines. A walking foot includes a set of teeth, similar to those in the feed dog, actually within the foot. This means that both the top and bottom layers in your seam are fed through the machine, lessening the likelihood of creeping.


To use a walking foot, follow the procedure below to attach the foot to your machine.

Now as you begin to sew, the up and down motion of the needle generated by the sewing machine moves the arm of the walking foot with it. This is then translated into the ‘walking’ movement of the white plastic teeth on the foot – and hey presto! A walking foot can be useful in other situations as well, for instance when sewing lengths of patterned fabrics together for curtains, to make sure the fabric is sewn exactly as you pinned it with the pattern matching up precisely. The walking foot is not suitable for some other applications, eg sewing on curtain header tape as the teeth can get caught in the loose threads.

If this has given you confidence, we have lots of lovely jersey fabrics available to buy online.


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Button Cover Tool

A Button Cover Tool is a clever bit of kit that allows you a really professional finish.

DSC_5041 Instead of looking around the shops for buttons that will match your finished project, you can use the scraps from your cutting out in this tool to make buttons that will instantly blend in.

You can use it to make contrasting buttons too, in the same fabric weight used in your garment.  It can be used with lightweight upholstery fabrics to make feature buttons on cushions and curtain tops as well.




The instructions for use are on the reverse of the packaging and you can make buttons in 11mm, 15,19,23 and 29mm

Simply pop the fabric around the button blank and lay it in the mold.

Place the button back over the shank then use the tool to press it down hard.  Your new button can now be removed from the mold ready to use. For further instructions, follow this link


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How To Cover A Button

Using cover buttons can be very useful within dressmaking and upholstery as it means you can use your main fabric to create your button, in doing this you can make the button less visual, making the blend into the garments/ furniture. There are different types of cover buttons from plastic to metal we have show how to cover a metal button as theses have teeth that will grip the fabric making it easier to cover. You can also buy tools that will help you with covering your buttons. We haven’t shown this using a tool as it can be done without.

Covering buttons are really quick and easy follow theses simple steps and you will have them covered in know time;

  • There is two parts to a cover button, a front that gets covered in fabric and a back that secures the fabric in place and hides all the edges.

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  • Cut a circle out of your chosen fabric big enough that it will wrap around the front of your button and meet in the middle of the back.




  • Fold in the fabric, the teeth should help to grip the fabric 2016-06-23 11.27.11and hold it in place.





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  • Now you have you button cover you need to secure the fabric in place by placing the back on, as you do this push in any loose bits of fabric so it is tight and smooth on the front. You will have to put some pressure to get the back to click in, you should feel it click into place.



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  • The front of your button should now look something like this.




Cover buttons are not available to purchase on our web shop but are in stock in our shop in Bridport Dorset. If you would like any additional information regarding this post of anything else you have seen on here please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help.

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How To Make Piping

Piping can be a really effective way to decorate a cushion, item of clothing or even upholstery but unless you know what you are doing it might seem quite daunting. Follow these simple steps and you will be on your way to becoming a piping pro.

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Mark out your bia tape, it is marked out on the bias of the cloth, which is diagnal to the weave of the fabric. The width of each strip depends on your project and how thick your cord is that you are using as the piping, but we recomment about 1.5 “/ 4cm.



Now your strps are marks out you are ready to cut, simply2016-05-25 14.19.04 cut along the marked lines.




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You now should have your strip of bia, if you ned it longer simply sew the strips together to the desired lenght. Now the bias needs sewing you will need a piping foot fir this. A piping foot is a narrow sewing foot which anables the needle to get tighter to the piping. The image to the left shows a piping foot. A piping foot can also be used for inserting invisable zips.


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Now you are ready to sew place your piping cord in the middle of your bias tape and fold it over so the cord is snadwiched between the fabric. When you begin sewing sew close to the cord so that it is held in place but not so you are sewing on the cord.

2016-05-25 15.15.56When you have finished you should have a piece of piping cord covered in the fabric of your choice with a nice sized tounge of fabric that can be used for sewing into cushion and garments.



If this is too much work for you we do sell pre piped cords in a range of colours at a 2016-05-25 15.15.38competivative price.