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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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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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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.

 

 

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Norman the Nordic Gnome

We’ve been making some cute decorations to hang up in the shop and we thought we’d share them with you, along with some simple step by step instructions on how we did them.

All you need is a square of red felt, a giant white pom pom and two little pompoms.  We used a pink 1/2 inch one for the nose and a white 1 inch one for the top of his hat.  From the sewing box you’ll need scissors, a needle, some pins and some red thread.

 

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7 Simple Eco friendly makes

With the climate change, burning of fossil fuels and the mountains of plastic we are using and discarding daily, sometimes without knowing (it’s in everything even tea bags!) the planet is really suffering and is in desperate need of a helping hand from us! With changes from everyone needed now more than ever here are a few simple makes that are easy to do and will go towards helping out planet earth. Most of these makes will also save you money as you wont need to keep buying new items just to throw them away after use.

Single-use has recently been named the word of the year by Collins dictionary, which indicates how relevant this has become this year.

via GIPHY

1 – Waxed cotton food wraps

No more need for cling film or plastic bags , these are easy to make at home and can be made out of most cotton fabrics. We have a huge range of dress and craft weight cottons which are perfect for making these with so you can choose from almost any design or style you can think of!

We have even helped out Damers first school in making these back in July, for more details on these wraps and how to use them check out their great work here!

2 – Sandwich keeper

Cut out the need for single use plastic sandwich bags and plastic packaging (if you cheat and get a shop bought sandwich), instead take your lunch with you in style! What’s even better about this is that it doubles up as a place mat when opened so you can eat your lunch anywhere out and about and know you’ve got a clean surface to eat from and also a handy crumb catcher! It is machine washable for when the outside gets grubby but for day to day use you can wipe clean the inside with soapy damp cloth, then rinse.

I made this one earlier in the year and I haven’t needed to buy sandwich bags since, saving money and cutting out a little more plastic.

3 – Shopping bags

We have nearly all got used to the idea of carrying around a shopping bag with us to avoid using plastic bags. I find that you can almost never have enough of these as they always come in handy for something. Simple tote bags that fold up to nearly nothing so that they fit neatly into your pocket or handbag or even just to live in the boot of your car or around the house for that time when you need them.

We have a huge range of sturdy fabrics in stock with lots of colours and designs to choose from to make these handy bags. The best thing about making these bags yourself is that you can make these bags big or small, simple and straight forward or you can add pockets and compartments to keep things separate, decorate the outside with embroidery or motifs to jazz it up a bit, the possibilities are endless! Also, in stock we have cotton, polyester or acrylic webbing available which is perfect for making the handles of these bags and makes it super simple.

4 – Fruit and veg bags

These can be simple draw string bags to keep your fruit and veg separate from other shopping, muslin or net fabrics are great for these. These can also help keep your fruit and veg good for longer as they don’t sweat and stay damp like they do in plastic.

5 – Using string/ twine or ribbon instead of sticky-tape for wrapping Christmas presents

Why not use decorative ribbon or even some hessian twine to secure your presents this year. These will give your presents a whole different look and add something special, while at the same time reducing the amount of single use plastic being used this Christmas as you won’t need to use sticky-tape.

6 – Baby/wet wipe alternatives- terry towelling, fluffy fleece, cotton

Baby wipes get used in their hundreds of thousands each day and the majority of these are, again, plastic based which means they just stay like they are for years and years after their single use. There are loads of reusable alternatives that you can try making, including using fluffy fleece, terry towelling or just simple cottons as the base for the wipes these are used along with your chosen cleaning mix, which is usually a simple mix of skin friendly liquids not harsh chemicals (e.g. baby oil, tea tree oil etc) but there are lots of others to choose from. This might take a little research to perfect the best ones but will reduce the amount of single-use wipes used and so will be more friendly to the environment and your baby’s bum.

7 – Sanitary towel alternatives

Sanitary pads can be replaced with reusable cotton pads, with no nasty plastics in sight. We are happy to supply Cosy pads with the fabric to create their own version of reusable sanitary towels click here to check them out. Or you can come in and see us to choose your own fabrics and give making your own a go.

 

 

 

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Felt With Love

We have a few copies of this fabulous, bright and colourful new felt project book in stock at Livingstone Textiles and we thought we’d create one of the flowers in the book as a hanging christmas decoration for the shop.
This book is a delight to look at with its bright colours and inspiring designs and there are so many projects that we want to try. The book would make an ideal gift or you can make a whole load of presents from its pages.

 

Hold the 4 felt flowers together and sitch throught the centres to hold.

Place a button either side and stitch through the layers to secure the buttons.

 

Tie a piece of thread around the centre of the     

flowers and tie up like a pompom.

The poinsettia can now be hung up as a seasonal

decoration.

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Roman Blinds in Autumn

This beautiful new fabric from one of our regular suppliers is a celebration of autumn depicting leaves and berries in vibrant jewel colours.  Made up into a pair of Roman blinds they will compliment our client’s dining room windows and tell a story of the seasons swinging from an English summer into autumn.

This cotton fabric in the featured Rust colourway can be purchased in our shops for only £20.90 per metre, or see below to order online.  We also offer a full make up service with our skilled seamstresses.

 

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How to…….Make A Jacket

The challenging weather of autumn and winter days can leave you feeling a little less than smart as you bundle up in thicker clothing.

At Livingstones we love these easy to follow videos to sew along to.  The following Simplicity video will show you step by step, how to make a tailored jacket of any length that you choose and can wear to add a little class to your winter outfits.  It will look equally good dressed up with a skirt and heels or dressed down with jeans and trainers.  Having your own you tube tutor video will mean you are able to get the project done quickly as you won’t be trying to interpret the instructions while cutting or making.

The jacket is made from Simplicity pattern number 8749

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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.