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How to make a scrunchie

We are now doing scrunchie packs here in Livingstone Textiles Bridport, this is a little pack containing all the fabric and elastic you need to make four hair scrunchies. These would make great gift packs for people learning to sew or getting back into it, they would even be fun little projects for the Easter holidays to keep children busy for an afternoon.

We have written this step by step guide on how to make these with lots of pictures to make it easy to follow!

Here’s how to get making…..

What you get in the pack (makes 4 scrunchies) :

  • 2 long strips of fabric (approx 7cm x 112cm)
  • 1m of elastic
  • 1 Safety pin

What you will need:

  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Needle (for hand stitching, optional)
  • Iron

Step 1 – Take your long strips of fabric and cut them in half, this will give you the four pieces of fabric that will be your scrunchies.

Step 2 – Fold one of the shorter strips in half lengthways with right sides together (wrong sides out) and press with an iron to keep the fold.

Step 3 – Using a zig zag stitch sew along the edge of the fabric to create a tube.

Step 6 – Overlap the ends of the elastic by around 2cm (1″) then secure them to make a loop. Carefully pin the ends of the elastic together ready to be sewn. Stitch together the ends of the elastic with a zig zag stitch (this will allow the elastic to stretch still), make sure the are firmly secured.

Step 7 – Tuck in the raw edge of one end back inside the tube by 1cm (1/2″) next take the other end with the raw end and poke this inside the tube where you have already folded in, this will complete your loop neatly.

Step 8 – The final step is to stitch the ends together to secure them. This can be done with a machine stitch through both the fabric and the elastic over the join to keep it secured. However, for a slightly neater finish you can hand stitch the seam, this allows you to only stitch through the fabric and not also through the elastic so the seam is less noticeable.

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Dragon Toy Make & Toy Making Resources

Making toys as gifts is enormously satisfying and one of our staff recently got bitten by the bug with this fantastic dragon pattern by Simplicity – number 8715. We hope you like the results!

This pattern is designed to be made with lightweight minke fleece, but we wanted to use a delicious raspberry plush fabric we have in store to make it even more cuddly. This meant a few extra things we had to think about in the making up

  • The cutting layout. We had to think about what direction we wanted the nap to lie on every piece, which meant we couldn’t use the cutting layout in the pattern. (You have to be able to stroke your dragon just like a cat!)
  • Transferring markings. It was not easy to transfer markings from the pattern pieces as the plush fabric did not take markings well (probably also true with fleece). We ended up using tailors tacks to mark the position of the horns and eyes on the head.
  • Securing fabric for sewing. The plush fabric has a tendency to move around when you are sewing because of the pile. The seam allowances on this pattern were pretty small so this mattered more than ever. We solved this by choosing to tack every seam before sewing.

If you are thinking about making some toys yourself to give as gifts or just to have at home, we have lots of items here at Livingstone Textiles. The Simplicity catalogue has a whole section devoted to toys and accessories (patterns are kept in stock), and we also have a good range of books containing toys to sew, knit or crochet. We also stock the following:

  • Hollowfibre toy stuffing in 3 different sizes of bags
  • Pompoms and bells
  • Toy safety eyes in black and amber in various sizes
  • Yarn for knitting and crochet at our Yeovil store
  • Knitting and crochet patterns at Yeovil
  • Felt in a wide range of colours by the metre and as 9″/23cm squares
  • Ribbons and other trims
  • Extra long doll making needles
  • And of course a massive range of fabrics
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Interlined Curtains

Curtains made with interlining or ‘bump’ are much fuller and more luxurious than those made with just lining alone.
The bump literally ‘bumps up’ the fabric making it thicker and has the added quality of providing a layer of insulation against cold windows.
Interlined curtains are an especially popular choice in a house with older windows and those with listed building status but are also used in more modern homes where an appearance of luxury is required.
The window size must be taken into account when considering interlining because they can easily swamp a room with too much volume. The fullness of the finished curtain also has to be taken into account but don’t worry because all of the staff working across Livingstone Textiles are trained to advise you in the appropriate way. Find out more here.

When we make your interlined curtains we use a more involved method of making where the interlining is first locked into place with Herringbone stitch under the side turns of the fabric and along the seams of any joins.

A picked hem is then worked through both the interlining and into the show fabric where a tiny line of equally spaced stitches will be barely visible.

Finally, the pencil pleat heading tape is sewn into position making the curtains look really plump and luxurious.

For these curtains we have used a lightweight polyester lining and we also stock polyester in a heavy weight as well.

If you prefer a natural fabric, we can supply and/or make interlinings in both lightweight and heavyweight cotton bumps as shown below.

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Day of The Dead

Funky House Trousers

These groovy trousers were made by Laura at Livingstone Textiles, Bridport and are perfect for slipping into after work and lounging about. They are made from 100% cotton poplin in a simple pull on style and feature a comfy sewn on waistband with a channel for the elastic so it doesn’t spin round. The channel also adds a decorative frill effect at the top of the trousers, creating a feminine touch. There’s a single pocket for your phone at the front and openings in the leg hems so that cord can be added for a tied up effect.

We have lots of this great material in stock at both of our stores and it’s available in three different coulourway; black, pink and yellow. It’s 112cm / 44″ wide and at only £7.50 per metre the cost of making these trousers was under £15, what a bargain!

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Is it time for Christmas Makes Yet?

We’ve been selling Christmas fabric, fat quarters and trimmings for a few weeks now, so you might enjoy a look this lovely book full of advent calendar ideas for some Christmassy inspiration!

It has everything from traditional pocket-type wall hanging calendars to bunting, trains, and scandi chic felt creations – something for every home. Pair this up with our Christmas fabrics and trims, and our range of acrylic and vintage felts, and you will have everything you need for a beautiful handmade countdown to Christmas!

Only £9.99

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Swedish Blind

We are introducing an exciting new style of blind to our make-up service!

The Swedish blind is ideal for windows where a roman blind doesn’t work and a roller blind is just too dull, or just for a slightly more adventurous splash of colour at your window. This introduces a great soft furnishing to your window with the freedom to choose two complimentary fabrics, meaning the blind looks great from both the inside and from the outside.

This blind works by using a similar system to a tradition roman blind, in which a top wooden baton is used with eyelets to guide the cords. These cords loop around the fabric to pull it up from the bottom this creates a roll that travels up the blind. This way of rolling up allows the lining fabric to be seen from the inside of the room giving this blind its unique look.

Love this blind but would like black out material to stop the light coming in? We can also make these with black out material inside so that you still get two fabrics and a black out blind!

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Poppy Print Blinds

This striking fabric by Prestigious Textiles is a real eye catcher; with it’s big bold colours and large poppy flower print, it will bring a garden freshness to any room.

One of our makers has recently made this up into a roman blind and some scatter cushions for a customer, to personalise their new home, and it looks fabulous! The design is digitally printed and has the effect of being painted with big brush strokes. This fabric is in store at our Bridport shop, and can be brought to our Yeovil store or ordered online.

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IKAT

We don’t just do curtains and blinds here at Livingstone Textiles, we do an array of cushions. You can choose from zipped, piped, envelope, boxed cushions and chair pads as well. These kitchen chair pads were made with ties and stitched in the centre to create a buttoned effect through this very cool looking Ikat fabric. When you bring us an idea for a project you have been thinking about, our staff and makers will endeavour to create something to fit your requirements and take into account everything you explain to us before helping you decide on fabrics and colours. Pop in to either of our shops and speak to us. We’ll do our very best to help you realise the look that inspires you, all without expensive design consultation fees.

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Beautiful Bill Beaumont

Elegantly gracing the drawing room of a modern home in West Dorset are these lined pencil pleat curtains made from the collection ‘Elspeth’ by Bill Beaumont. We currently have a large quantity of heavily discounted roll stock in Bill Beaumont designs at our Yeovil shop and throughout the month of August we are giving away free poly cotton lining with every curtain order placed until the 31st.

If you can’t find a suitable design on a roll we can offer a good selection of Bill Beaumont designs on our hangers and whilst these will not be as competitively priced, they will still qualify for free lining until our offer ends. You can upgrade too, just pick another lining such as Blackout, Thermal or Cotton and only pay the difference! We also offer a bespoke Lampshade making service so you can create a whole new integrated look for your room.

Follow Bill Beaumont on Pinterest for great ideas on where to use his fabrics

https://pin.it/nrgwqjpbirkrym

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Hat’s The Word !

Bridport Hat Festival 2019 is fast approaching, and with that comes the inevitable pressure to create an astounding garb for your head. Well fear not, as out selection of ribbons, trims, feather and more is sure to offer something to anyone looking to spruce up their headwear.

This piece was brought in on Saturday by a customer, and they used our rainbow feathers (£6.45 /m – 60cm used) and rainbow cord (40p /m) to add some colour and life to this vintage top hat!

We have a huge range of different fabrics and accessories you can add to any headpiece to help prepare you for a Saturday of crazy hat-ness.

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New stretch fabrics

With so many clothes patterns now using strech jersey fabrics, we’re really pleased that we got some gorgeous new fabrics in to tempt you! Sophisticated prints and gorgeous colours in lovely soft fabrics, these are perfect for making comfortable, simple, sophisticated clothing ready for late summer and early autumn, with designs to please everyone!

Worried about sewing with stretch fabric? You don’t need an overlocker, you can use a simple stretch stitch, found on most modern sewing machines. Come in and have a look through our pattern books for some simple sewing inspiration, or for information and patterns together, have a look at our range of books, or try Youtube for step-by-step guides!

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Tapestry Cushions

These beautiful tapestry cushions are made from a durable woven material priced at £18.50 per metre. It is available in a selection of different designs from our webshop.  They have been made without piping as the design is striking enough to not need a contrast but they do have a zip in the bottom enabling them to be dry cleaned.

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Recent makes

These cushions were made by our maker Madeline recently for a customer to update their conservatory furniture.

This lovely fabric really works well with the box cushion as the seat and a
more complex shaped cushion cover for the back which is joined together with a zip, the finished result looks lovely.

The smaller round chair was recovered in the same fabric by our upholsterer Laura. This fabric really suits this conservatory and the garden.

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Customer makes – Chair upholstery

We love seeing and hearing all about our customers makes and so it’s always nice to be sent in pictures of what you have all been up to with the fabrics bought from us.

The latest picture we have been sent is from the very talented Linda who has used our crane fabric to reupholster her arm chair and it looks amazing! The fabric works really well with the piece of furniture and the before and after photo really shows how great the transformation is. She has managed to get the fabric tight around the chair and so the finished look is very effective, also the pattern matching on the cover buttons shows a great eye for detail so well-done Linda!

We sell upholstery supplies here at Livingstone Textiles along with loads of great fabrics so there is plenty to choose from if you have been inspired by Linda’s great work. The crane fabric is available on our website and in our Bridport shop, to buy it online or just find out more click here.

If you have made something recently with our fabrics and would like to share it with us then we would love to see it, you can send your pictures to us by email to people@livingstonetextiles.com.

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Chambray Now In Stock

We have some rather cool cotton chambray in stock at both our Bridport and Yeovil stores and we think they’ll look really fabulous made into a bag or a denim style jacket.

The cloth is lightweight and has a little stretch in it so would also look great as a jeans style skirt or trousers and you can now buy all three designs  from our online shop by clicking on the links below the videos, but first have a look at how they sparkle!

 

 

 

 

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The Wild Wild West

Welcome to the Wild Wild West, home of the fastest drawn scissors at dawn.

Livingstone Textiles has two fabulous fabric outlets in the Westcountry bursting with hundreds of metres of gorgeous material ready to be made into lovely projects.  Did you know that as well as stocking fabric for dressmaking and material for making curtains, blinds and cushions, we also stock a number of wipe clean pvc tablings and oil cloths that are not only used for covering tables?

Here you can see that this vintage design of Cowboys and Indians has been made into a waterproof bag or shopping, books or school/college stuff.  It’s been lined with one of our bright and cheerful childrens fabrics featuring orange dinosaurs and has strong canvas straps stitched firmly between the layers.  The whole bag is robust and we think the design has a vintage vibe cool enough for both adults and kids.  The fabric is 130cm wide and costs £8.50 per metre and can be bought at either of our shops in Yeovil or Bridport.

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Curtain making in Bridport

In both our Bridport and Yeovil shops we offer a bespoke hand-made curtain make up service, along with roman blinds and cushions as a few more examples. With a local team of self-employed makers at each shop we can offer a wide range of high-quality hand-made, soft furnishings for your home at competitive prices.

We are proud to say that we have a huge range of fabrics to choose from and our friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to guide you through choosing the right fabric for you. We are also able to offer a measuring up service in the local area for people who need it, we can also offer advice on this in the shop if you just need a little guidance. Also see our guide for measuring curtains here.

Here are some of the latest bespoke curtains with matching scatter cushions we have made for a happy customer.

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Our makes – gorgeous monkey cushion

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of our makers has used this gorgeous print to make a cushion for our Bridport shop, and now we all want it! The colourful retro print monkey design is set off perfectly with another shop favorite, an edging of playful teal blue pompoms. Perfect for cushions, stylish yet playful curtains, or a roman blind – and don’t forget we can make them for you.

 

 

 

Retro printed linen, available from stock now from our Yeovil store, or pop in to see us in Bridport and we can have it bought down from Yeovil for you. Heavens, we may even order some for ourselves!

150cm/60″ wide; On sale now at £35.90 per metre

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Customer makes – Brilliant Bee Dress!

We love seeing what you all are making with our fabrics, it’s great to see the variety and the creativity that everyone has.

We have been sent these pictures by Debbie who has made this stunning dress from some of the fabrics found in our curtain and furnishings range, showing how versatile fabrics really can be, the limit is your imagination!

The sewing on this dress is so neat and the overall look is really effective so well-done Debbie!

Debbie has also been busy making another dress, from one of our cotton poplins, this dress has lovely summery look to it and again is brilliantly sewn.

 

If you have been busy making something from some of our fabrics and you’d like to share it with us, then please send us an email to people@livingstonetextiles.com with a photo attached. We love writing about the great thing you all get up to with fabrics.

 

 

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Practical, stylish ticking stripes

Ticking never goes out of fashion, especially as we have it in so many colourways. Whether you’re minimalist, rustic, or going for a maritime theme; whether it’s for blinds, curtains or cushions ticking fabric will fit right in.

For some creative inspiration, follow the link to see how Laura, one of our curtain makers, used ticking to line some charming curtains for a shepherd’s hut. It contrasted perfectly with the scandi trees show fabric, and the curtains look gorgeous! So if you feel you have a great home furnishing idea but don’t feel confident to make it yourself, at Livingstones you can have curtains, cushions, blinds and more hand made and hand finished by our makers, who can be as creative as you want them to be.

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Thermal Door Curtain

We had to make a door curtain to cover a rear door that was situated at the bottom of a staircase and creating a cold draught in the main living room of this home. A number of fabrics had been mixed by the customer to create a comfortable country living look so we had to find a fabric that didn’t fight with the rest of the colour scheme.  After careful consideration of fabric books and several swatches the customer settled on this fabic by Isles.  The Dove grey colour really softens that corner of the room while complimenting the colour scheme of blues and being made of wool it has thermal qualities that keep the room warmer.  The customer also decided on a thermal lining to eliminate any cold air passing through the cloth and this has made it look very thick and luxurious whilst doing exactly the job intended.  Isles Harris can be purchased from Livingstone Textiles and we can send out samples of any colour in the series.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to apply roller blind backing

When you think of roller blinds they are mostly plain and pretty boring or the patterns that are available aren’t quite right for what you want. Although we don’t make roller blinds we are do stock roller blind backing which is an iron-on fabric that you apply to the back of your chosen lovely fabric, transforming it from standard floppy fabric into stiffened fabric ready for your roller blind cassette! Unfortunately we don’t stock the roller blind cassettes, so you will need to source one for this (they can easily be found online).

Here is our step by step guide to applying the roller blind backing:

Tools you will need:

  • Show fabric for your blind
  • Roller blind backing fabric
  • Steam iron
  • Large clean surface that you can iron onto
  • Pen/pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Set square (to ensure corners are right angles)

Step 1: How much fabric?

For the show fabric you will need, for the width, the exact width of the finished blind plus an additional 2cm (1″) and for the length you will need the length of the finished blind plus 30cm (12″). For the roller blind backing you will need to allow and additional 2cm (1″) across the width and again an additional 30cm (12″) to the finished length.

Step 2:

Place your roller blind backing down on a flat, clean surface (needs to be suitable to iron onto later) and measure out the required size of your blind plus the additional measurements above, drawing this onto the roller blind backing. Use your set square to make sure your corners are at 90 degrees otherwise your finished blind will look wonky! Now cut out the shape you have just drawn, from the backing.

Step 3:

Position the now cut backing onto your fabric piece (note you have not cut the show fabric at all yet). The fabric should be facing down (wrong side up) and the backing should be glue side down (this is the slightly shiny side). When positioning the backing on the fabric you should consider the pattern placement (if applicable) try to get the pattern central and check that the top /bottom of the blind will work well with the pattern.

Step 4:

Now your fabric and backing are all lined up you can begin ironing. Set your iron to as hot as the fabric will take and begin ironing from the centre of the blind backing working outwards in circles ensuring you go right up to the edges. You will need to press and hold the iron down firmly and apply steam. To ensure that all of the backing has stuck down properly look at the fabric from a low angle to show up any bubbles that may still be there. If this is the case then use the iron to push these bubbles out to the edge of the fabric so that the air can be released at the edge ( think of it like applying a screen protector to a smart phone in this sense).

Step 5:

Now you are able to cut the show fabric and the backing down to the correct size that you want the finished blind to be at the edges, these should be well stuck down because of the extra 1cm either side that was allowed. You will still need to leave the allowed 30cm (12″) at the top as this will be the part that will sit inside of the cassette to secure the blind. You may also want to attach a weighted bar to the bottom of the blind (this should come in the kit) so the 30cm (12″) should allow for this.

Your fabric is now ready to be fitted to the cassette!

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Vintage Patchwork Quilt

This beautiful patchwork was constructed in Wales and gifted to a friend in the 1970’s.
The hexagons are very clearly Laura Ashley cotton dress fabrics from that period and have been beautifully hand pieced together using a technique known as English Paper Piecing or EPP, to create a double bedspread.  One of our makers was asked to remove the nylon bedsheet that had been used as a backing and to replace it with something more suitable.

She decided that a plain white cotton sheeting would look the most fitting as a backing fabric as it compliments the blue and white design of the patchwork top.  She also created a thicker quilt by adding a layer of batting between the top and the sheeting.  The batting used is our Warm & Natural needle punched cotton and it is a completely natural product that does not seperate or bunch up.  It can be machine washed and because the fibres are pure cotton, the needle can pass through the layers quickly and easily when quilting by hand or machine.

The batting can be purchased from either of our shops or you can order it by ringing us and we will ship it out to you the same day.  This product is not currently available to buy on our webshop but we are happy to send out free samples on request.  We stock both cotton and polycotton sheeting in plain black, white and royal blue and can also mail out samples and whole pieces.  We have a few more colours to choose from in the poly cotton.  The quilt was made using an unconventional method where the layers were placed right sides together along with the cotton batting and then bagged out through a gap left in the top.  The gap was carefully top stitched together then the centre of the quilt was marked.  The Hexagon that fell in the centre of the patchwork was then hand quilted followed by random other hexagons.  In this way the quilt could be enjoyed very quickly as a coverlet but added to at any time our seamstress wanted to do a little hand sewing.  And of course January is the perfect time for disappearing under a mountain of fabric layers to quilt on a winters evening.

If you would like to learn more about patchwork and quilting, or just take some basic sewing lessons then have a look at the classes we will be running over the next few weeks.