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Advent calender packs

With the start of advent, and Christmas, fast approaching there is just enough time to get your advent calendar kits and make your very own calendar.

We have a choice of two lovely festive designs available. We have made these up into packs for you with everything you need to make your own, including simple step by step instructions. We also have these available as just the panels of fabric if you would like to use different bindings and backings etc.

 

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May’s Steampunk costume

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fabulous steampunk costume has been made by 14-year-old May Robinson. May loves costume design and is just starting her GSCE’s including textiles.

The fabrics May has used can be found here at Livingstone Textiles, and the pattern, 1819 from Simplicity, was available last season, however there are plenty more to choose from in Simplicity’s new Autumn/ Winter catalogue. If her make has inspired you to get your machine up and running and start your own project why not come in and have a look at the other patterns available.

We’d like to say a big well done to May for this great costume, keep up the good work! We hope to see you back in the shop soon for your next project.

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Christmas Fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The time for Christmas makes is well and truly upon us, and we’re ready for it!

We’ve got a fantastic array of Christmas fabric waiting for you at Livingstones, and with traditional prints, christmassy patterns and rustic scandi to choose from, you’re bound to find exactly what you’re looking for.

See you in store!

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Make Your Own Soft Toys – Book Review

In the run up to the festive season it has become more popular for people to make gifts to give family and friends and the investment of time is so much appreciated by the reciever.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to make this winter whether for festive giving or otherwise we have some brilliant books in the shop for you to browse and choose from.  This month we are looking at the fun toy designs in this one…..

It has really simple to follow instructions and clear diagrams that show how to construct and sew all of the featured toys.  We love the cheeky owl and think he would look great as a hanging decoration or toy.  But if owls aren’t your thing then check out the retro horse. There are plenty of other designs to choose from too, including traditional rag dolls. And unlike similar books, no enlarging is required to make these patterns usable because they are all printed on pull out sheets at the back of the book.  We stock everything to help you finish your project, from fabric and buttons to stuffing and thread.  Pop in to browse our book corner and stock up on winter craft items at Livingstone Textiles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zebra Fabric Transforms Junk Shop Chair

One of our customers has had our upholstery department transform this lovely junk shop chair using our delicious zebra pattern chenille fabric. We think the finish is just fantastic, and you can see how the upholsterer has centred the fabric carefully so the zebra pattern looks just right. This quirky low slung no-leg chair is now updated with an equally quirky fabric, giving a totally individual finish which will look amazing in the customer’s home.

Even better, a project like this will not take much fabric – a single metre of fabric is often enough depending on the pattern. If you are inspired to try a project like this yourself you can now purchase the fabric directly on our website by mail order, by clicking on the picture below.

See also our full range of online upholstery fabrics here

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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.

You can buy this elegant grey bird fabric in our shops and throughout September you will receive free curtain lining* with any curtain or blind order.

 

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Book Review: Boho bags

 

This lovely book by Beate Schmitz is full of ideas for making a variety of useful bags, perfect for using up the small pieces of fabric we all have at home, or for treating yourself to a half metre of something gorgeous from the huge range of furnishing fabrics here at Livingstone Textiles!

There are detailed, illustrated instructions  for a range of bags from small bags for keys and change through to large tote bags and striking messenger bags. Also included are full-size patterns in a storage pocket in the back of the book; all in all a useful and well thought out addition to your bookshelf, and a bargain at only £8.99!

Most curtain fabrics can be used for making bags, and also many craft fabrics are suitable for smaller bags, or larger ones with use of a heavier interfacing. Browse our online selection by clicking on the pictures below, or visit our stores in Bridport Dorset or Yeovil Somerset to see a larger range.

 

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Scandi Shepherd’s Hut

 

 

Down here in the Westcountry there is a fast growing trend for Shepherds Huts as a place of retreat and sanctuary.

Folks with a little bit of land or a large enough garden are choosing them as an option to rent as holiday accomodation too, cosying them up with little wood burners and simple living essentials .

At Livingstone Textiles we have furnished some unusual dwellings with our cloth, most memorably a tree house in a secluded valley not far from our front door.  This week we’ve been working on a shepherds hut where a simplistic approach was requested.

Our client opted for a scandinavian inspired design of lollipop trees on a white background and an unusual lining.  Choosing a ticking stripe for the reverse means that the little hut will look just as lovely from the outside as from the in and we think the effect is beautifully rustic.

 

 

To find out more about this fabric and others that are suitable for curtains and soft furnishings click here.

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Bridport Lighting lampshades

Bridport Lighting has been creating some wonderful lampshades using fabrics from Livingstone Textiles.

From seaside themed fabrics to floral or animal designs they have been creating wonderful peices to suit any room in your home. With lovely lamps to accompany the shades there is plenty to choose from there! The lampshades come in a variety of sizes in each design to fit small desk lamps up to larger floor standing lamps or even to hang from the ceiling in the centre of you room.

If you are thinking you would like to have a go yourself , there are lampshade making kits available to purchase here at Livingstone Textiles and a huge range of fabrics to choose from to customise your very own lampshade.

 

 

 

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Waxtastic Beeswax Wraps from Damers First School Eco Enforcers

We have a strong ethos about waste at Livingstone Textiles. Wherever possible we reuse plastic and we recycle almost everything! So we were happy to be approached by Damers First School when they were looking to source fabric for their Eco Enforcers newest project. They have developed a product called Waxtastic No Plastic, which is cotton dipped in beeswax to make a natural antibacterial alternative to cling film for wrapping or covering food other than meat. The wraps can be washed and last for up to a year.

Sales are going well and you can pick up your own Waxtastic wraps at  Poundbury Farmers Market on Saturday 7th July from 9am to 12pm, getting into the spirit of Plastic Free July. The Eco Enforcers will also be attending Dorset Food and Arts Festival on 4th August in Poundbury and both days of the Dorset County Show on 1st and 2nd September.

We congratulate Damers First School on their fantastic product.

If you want to reduce your own use of plastic still further, don’t forget our new Waste Not Want Not shop on South Street in Bridport, and you can also make yourself a stylish sandwich holder using our instructions.

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Toucan Play

This rather special bag was made by one of our very talented Bridport customers who from time to time pops into the shop to share her latest creations.

This time she has been working on a stunning little satchel to wear whilst riding her bike.  She has used our vivid toucan fabric with bright orange twill as a contrast on the sides.  We adore the fuschia pink lining that picks out the colours in the parrot on the front.  She has also made a matching hat and definitely adds a bright splash of colour when she cycles around the town. Thank you for sharing this with us, we love to see anything you’ve made 🙂

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Beeswax wraps

The children at Damers first school, Poundbury, Dorchester have been taking part in the National Young Enterprise Fiver Challenge. They have come up with the great idea to make Beeswax wraps, which are 100% cotton material covered in bees wax, dried, then they can be used as an alternative to cling film to wrap or cover food except meat.

The school came to us for some donations of dots/spots or plain fabric made of 100% cotton, which we have provided to help them with their project. They have also managed to source local Dorset beeswax to make these.

We have been sent a picture of the finished product all packaged up and looking very professional!

 

These wraps will be on sale at the Dorset Food and Arts Festival on 4th August on Poundbury. Also, the school will be at both days of the Dorset County Show on 1st and 2nd September.

These wraps are great for the environment and are easy to make, so if you can’t make it to either of the above events then why not give making them yourself a go! We have plenty of fun and bright fabrics in 100% cotton to choose from here at Livingstone Textiles, this would be great for something to do with your childeren over the summer holidays.

 

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Summer Sun Loungers

One of the staff at Livingstone Textiles has transformed a pair of 1970’s Deckchairs with some new foam and a smart striped canvas weave.

She upcycled an old pair of curtains as the backing and made a slip on cover to fit over the ends of the chairs. We think the orange fabric gives a nod to the seventies without the overpowering Flower Power Man

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Make an easy Easter Bunny

Rabbit familyThis lovely Easter bunny is really easy to make. We made ours by simply knitting a square with super chunky yarn, available from our Yeovil store, in garter stitch. Our square was made by casting on 30 stitches but you can make yours any size you like. You will want to vary the weight of the yarn if you are making a smaller bunny. Alternatively if you are not a knitter, why not try using the same principle with fabric? How about a hessian bunny for instance? (You can see at the end of the post how this turned out.)

Checking squareSimply knit in garter stitch until your piece is square (you can check by folding into a triangle as shown) then cast off. Now you are going to create your rabbit shape. Fold down cornersFind the middle of the top of your knitting and fold over both corners as shown. this shows where your stitching needs to go.

 

 

Stitch linesLeaving a tail, sew a running stitch along the lines shown in black in the picture, using one length of wool.

Pulled up stitchesPull on both ends of the wool to form the ears and the head. Your bunny will look a bit sad at this stage, so put some toy stuffing into the head to give a good shape and sew it closed at the back.

 

Sew back closedNext sew the back together down to the bottom edge. Fill the body with toy stuffing, then use a running stitch around the bottom edge and pull up to gather the base closed. Fasten off and sew in any loose ends.

Embroider eyes and noseNow use some black wool to embroider eyes and a nose, then give him a ribbon around his neck. Lastly make a pompom for his tail, or use one of our large white pompoms, sew this on and your rabbit is ready for Easter.

 

 

Here’s how our hessian experiment turned out, let us know if you tried anything else!

Hessian bunny

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Dolls clothing

This is Barbra, the doll, she belongs to Bev Taylor of Taylor Made who is one of our regular customers. Barbra has popped into visit us to show off her great new outfit which has been made for her by Bev using our fabrics and trims.

She has used mainly 100% cotton fabric, which is the red with cream leaf/ floral design that you can see, this particular fabric we have in stock in many different colour ways. She has also included red fleece on the bonnet which you can visit one of our shops to purchase, again we have this fabric in a range of colours. The trims used around the edges of the dress are also in stock, why not have a quick look at our range here, we also have plenty more designs in stock for every occasion. To finish this garment off Bev has used our 3D ribbon roses, follow this link to have a look at our range.

Why not have a go at making your own dolls clothing, this would be great for a small project to keep you busy and indoors during this cold weather!

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Classic Corduroys

Our selection of corduroy fabrics in a range of fun colours and designs is enough to get anyone inspired to sew, giving you endless options for your corduroy project. All of our corduroys are 100% cotton, is known for being warm and hard wearing which is perfect for this chilly weather, we have a range of different sized wales (sizes between the ridges) including needle cords.

DSC_1734One of our regular customers has been busy making this fabulous, yet simple dress, from our teal cord and has worn it into the Bridport shop to show off her hard work!

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Washable, Wearable and non-Disposable ‘CosyPads’

Washable Wearables

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We are very pleased to supply CosyPads with fabric for their reusable sanitary wear.
Based in France, this cottage industry uses many of our pure cotton fabrics to create super breathable and absorbant pads for ladies and girls.

 

The pads are all handmade to a very a high standard and don’t feature any nasty disposable plastics.  They are fully washable and you can choose your own bespoke colour and pattern combinations.

41649d_c89d1f08519148e8989073c802e1c494~mv241649d_bf431b58d32341b39467576d9108298a~mv2                                                               If you’d like to discover more about CosyPads and order some of their products, you can follow this link.  We still stock many of these gorgeous fabrics in our shops in England at both our Yeovil store and in Bridport at the Mothership nr Waitrose.  New stock is arriving every week and we are starting to unpack many of the new summer weight cottons for the coming season, including some stunning new liberty cottons.

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Sophies’ Sandwich Keeper

With all of us becoming very conscious of throwaway plastics and trying to reduce our use and consumption, one of our Bridport team members decided to make up a bag to put her sandwiches in.  Made from less than a fat quarter of fabric, she lined it with a ripstop nylon and popped a velcro closure onto the top and bottom of the first two corners that fold over the sandwiches.  She then made a button hole in one corner and stitched a button onto the showside of the remaining corner that make a neat little packet when closed together, keeping her lunch fresh and looking very pretty in the staff fridge.  Needless to say that we all want one!

Adorable!  Look out for her next experiment with waxed fabrics.

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Hearts to make for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s day coming up fast, why not treat yourself to a book full of ideas for some lovely heart-themed projects and quick makes? these projects will also be good for craft fairs, Christmas, or just for making life more pretty all the year round!

For the smaller makes, choose from our huge range of fabrics on the roll, or browse through our fat quarters to get  a smaller piece of something lovely. To finish it off, indulge yourself by choosing some pretty things from our selection of ribbons and buttons – you’re bound to find something you like!

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Burns Night celebrations

Are you ready to celebrate Burns Night on 25th January 2018?

We have a fabulous selection of tartan fabrics for you to choose from, in order to help you dress for the occasion. Some of our customers have been busy making their outfits, here is a lovely example of a dress made by one of our regular customers. The black and the tartan fabric along with the trim can all be found here at Livingstone Textiles!

 

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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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Bag and Purse with lining – Customer make

BagOne of our customers brought in their latest make last week and we wanted to share it with you. This lovely bag is made with one of our range of tapestry fabrics, which gives a great heavyweight strong bag. Bag liningThe bag has a bright colourful striped lining as well.

Also inside the bag is this delightful fishy purse, when you open up the purse you find another insert for your coins. The detail and work in this make is just great.

If this has inspired you to make your own, or maybe a thoughtful home-made present for a friend or family member, why not pop into our shops in Bridport, Dorset or Yeovil, Somerset to see our range of craft fabrics? There is sure to be something perfect for almost anyone you could care to mention.

We are always thrilled to see and share what you have been making with our fabrics, so why not send us a picture? Your make could be the next one to inspire everyone!

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Creative Ideas for Decracraft Felt

ronnie robin jomilOur lovely range of Vintage Felts in store are very inspiring for the creative crafters in our area, but if you are in need of any inspiration about what to make you might be interested in a new website Creation Location, launched by our felt suppliers. There are patterns for some craft projects, including a couple of (dare I say it?) Christmas makes and a lovely bag pattern. You can download and print the patterns at home then pop into the shop for your supplies.

We have everything in store at Bridport and Yeovil to make up the robin, and you can see how ours turned out below. Yeovil also stock a range of felt craft kits which include everything you need for each project. These make great gifts or projects for yourself.

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How to make a poncho

With summer saddly now over, with how cold and wet it was yesterday you might be thinking about how to keep warm, last year we posted a great quick way to make a poncho, and with the weather on the change we thought we would post it again so thoses of you who didn’t get to see it can see how easy it is to stay warm.

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.  Then 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.