We are all really looking forward to giving you the opportunity to browse in our shops in person in the near future, so we wanted to update you on our latest plans. These may have to alter as further guidance comes out from the government, but here are our first drafts of how things will work.
Provided the government moves to Step 2 on 1st June, we will aim to reopen to the public at the earliest on Tuesday 2nd June. UPDATE – Expected date is now Tuesday 16th June due to government guidance. This applies to both stores – Bridport and Yeovil.
As we are preparing to reopen our stores, you may be wondering if it is possible to order curtains to be made up. Livingstone Textiles are well known for the quality of our made to measure, hand finished curtains. And now we are able to start taking requests for curtain quotes.
Until we reopen our doors, we can only take these requests at a distance. So you will need to take your own measurements. Please see our guide to measuring for curtains and follow the instructions. Then choose a fabric from the options below or let us know if there is a specific fabric you have seen online or from our samples before the lockdown. We will need to know the curtain header you would like and what type of curtain lining.
We know that during lockdown many of you have been using your sewing machines rather more than usual. Whether that is for sewing scrubs for a local volunteer effort, making masks for family and neighbours or just getting on with some of your own projects, it all takes a toll on your machine.
The best present you can give your sewing machine is to get it a service! So we have booked in our engineer to visit on Friday 29th May 2020, which will go ahead so long as we have enough machines for him to travel to us. The shops will still be closed on this date but if you drop off your sewing machine to us before then it will be serviced and ready to collect when we reopen, on 1st June if government guidelines allow.
While our stores are not yet open for visitors until at least 1st June, you can now start to shop via our online store. You can have items sent out to you in the post or collect from our Bridport store. This option will be available for local postcodes and is free. Just place your order online and we will contact you when your order is ready to arrange collection. Please note that we are operating with minimal staff so orders will take a little longer to process than normal. We also understand that parcels are taking slightly longer to deliver due to pressures on Royal Mail and the prioritisation of NHS needs.
If you don’t see what you need on the webshop, don’t worry. Just contact us or message on Facebook and we will do our best to help. You can let us know the products you are most in need of at the moment. To get you started we have some stretch towelling which is very suitable for masks, and have also listed our flat elastic. We will be adding our products back in over the next few days, but as always it will still be just a portion of what we have available in store and we look forward to welcoming you to our shops soon. Keep checking our website or Facebook for more news.
We know a lot of you have been wanting to source elastic for various purposes and we have now made it available so that you can order from our website while stocks last. We can post out for £1.95 per order or you can collect from our Briport store for no charge, just choose collection in the cart or checkout. This option will be available once you have entered a local postcode, and we will contact you once your order is ready to arrange safe collection.
The elastic is available in various widths from 3mm (1/8″) and in black and white. Minimum purchase is 5 metres and you can choose any multiple of 5 metres by altering the quantity.
We are keeping a close eye on government guidance and look forward to being able to open our stores in a socially distanced manner in the not too distant future. In the meantime as the guidance has changed to support using face masks, we have found a product in our stores that is very suitable for making masks, white stretch cotton towelling. We have now made this available to buy on our website (see below) and you can have it sent out to you or collect from our Bridport store if you live in the local area.
While we are not able to trade, and are staying home to keep everyone safe, we certainly haven’t been idle! Individual staff members have been sewing scrubs as part of various local groups for Dorchester, Bridport & Yeovil hospitals, and we have been cutting out supplies of fabric at the Bridport shop with strict social distancing! This is all keeping us very busy at the moment, so we are asking that if you have needs for supplies for sewing for the NHS only, you co-ordinate with groups in your area to reduce enquiries about availability.
As a responsible business with vulnerable staff and their family members, we are changing our shopping arrangements. We are still here to make sure you can get on with your projects at home but we are not currently allowing customers into our shops to browse. This way we can serve you with old fashioned counter service whilst keeping you and ourselves as safe as possible.
We appreciate it may be frustrating not to be able to browse our delicious stock of fabrics and haberdashery, so we are going to feature our stock on our Instagram accounts for Bridport and Yeovil over the coming weeks to help you decide what you need. We will keep you updated on how to order curtains, roman blinds, foam and cushions with us over the next few weeks so do follow us on Instagram Bridport, Instagram Yeovil, Facebook or Twitter to see the latest information. We will also try to lift the mood by sharing lots of pretty things and would love you to tag us in on anything you are making to keep your spirits up.
Whilst we are happy to see you at our door, we do ask that wherever possible you phone us with your requirements first (see phone nos below) so we can have your order ready. This especially saves us legwork at Bridport up and down the steep stairs. We would encourage you to pay by card wherever possible. We will continue sending out orders in the post as long as arrangements allow for this. You can also order on our website and we will be adding a free collection option as soon as we can. As you can imagine we are adjusting to an ever changing environment and guidelines so please bear with us if things change over the next little while.
We will be open but temporarily trading at a safe distance as a protective measure
With the government now advising against all unnecessary social contact, we have taken the difficult decision to stop browsing in Bridport and Yeovil to all visiting customers from close of business on Thursday 19th March, to protect our customers, our staff and their families
After this time, although you won’t be able to visit and browse, we will still be here at Livingstones to help you with your sewing projects online, on the phone, and by email, and we’ll still be sending out orders and samples, as long as a postal service is available. Closer to home, we are looking into providing a way for our local customers to get hold of their essential crafting supplies, and will be keeping you updated on our website and on all the social media channels. In the meantime, stay safe and please get in touch, we’re here and happy to help.
Ceiling to floor length curtains made with delicate vintage roses fabric have been finished with a 6″ deep pleat heading tape in order to balance a large room. When choosing a curtain heading it is important to consider the overall effect combined with the curtain drop size and a standard 3″ heading tape is usually okay. In a large room with big windows you can opt for a bigger print and a deeper heading because the curtains will look elegant and in proportion to the room size. The fabric that the customer has chosen for us to make into their curtains is available to buy on our website and features this soft print on a linen background.
This popular 3″ band of European folk style flowers sells out regularly in our red, green and black colourway and in the white, green and cerise so we’re bringing you this new addition of classic red and green on a linen coloured band. Its just gorgeous and is going to add a bit of something special to anything you sew it to.
Another of our clever customers has been into Bridport to forage in our remnant bin and she found a piece of brown mock suede embellished with ribbon embroidery. She’s a regular in the shop and showed us how she had cleverly used the bottom panel as the main design of the bag and used the rest of it for the straps and lining.
Double Gauze is a dyed thin cotton of two layers finely sewn together to create a light and airy summer weight fabric that has a number of different uses in dressmaking and crafts. We have three colours in stock at the moment, available to buy in store or in our online shop and we are happy to send you samples, just send email us. We’ve ordered two other colours as well that should hopefully be available next week so follow us on social media for all our news.
This is a brand new arrival in our Bridport store this week, a new addition to our tapestry fabric range. This is a heavy weight cloth which could be used for curtains or upholstery projects. We think it would particularly lend itself to making cushions or covers for window seats, but would also make a great beach bag or a wall hanging! This fabric can be purchased through our Bridport store or brought up to Yeovil for you to collect. It is also available by mail order using the link below.
Sometimes a simple adjustment can transform the look of a room. This table cover was made to tie in a bedside table with the decor in the room, keeping the storage space whilst covering up the clutter. We are able to make bespoke furnishings like these to order and are happy to quote for you from pictures and measurements to make up in any of our fabrics.
Calculating fabric for your curtains can be a complicated process. We published a helpful guide to how to measure for curtains and calculate fabric requirements, but now we have gone a step further and developed a calculation for you. Simply enter the details of each curtain in the form below, using either inches or centimetres for all your measurements, enter the fabric width and any pattern repeat in the same measurement unit (inches or centimetres) and the calculation will be done for you. Please note that as this is an automated process it cannot take account of any savings that can be made by having less fullness or reducing hems. This calculator is in a testing phase, so please do let us know if you encounter any problems or need further help with calculating requirements in one of our fabrics. Please see below for a selection of our current curtain fabrics, details including width and pattern repeat can be found by clicking on the fabric. All fabrics can be ordered from our website in multiples of 1 metre. The calculator will give a result to the nearest 0.1 metre which can be rounded up to purchase from the website. Please note for half drop repeat curtain fabrics we suggest you add an extra half pattern repeat to the calculated figure before rounding up.
If you’re a bit fed up of looking at the same net curtains that have been up for a few years, it might be time to renew them. We’ve got a great collection in our online shop and a post that explains how to measure for nets.
As part of Bridports Fashion Revolution we are bringing you some handy tips to help you re-use, recycle, mend or transform your clothing and accessories.
Every year some of our fabrics are discontinued by the suppliers and this means that the hangers we hold for them are no longer of any use to order from. Some of you will probably know that we sell off these hangers when this happens for anywhere between five and ten pounds. They are a real bargain because as well as all of the smaller samples on the hanger, you will also get a large piece of fabric at the back as well, usually a metre or more squared.
Bridport normally runs a Green Fortnight at this time of year but 2020 brings us something different. This year sees the town hosting Bridport’s Fashion Revolution from the 13th of February onwards and here at Livingstone Textiles we are going to be sharing helpful tips to get you going with Green Fashion.
Fashion is a massive and a dirty industry but we can all change our habits and living in or near Bridport gives us a distinct advantage. This is because there have always been abundant independent businesses that we can choose to shop at. Most items of clothing are bought new and worn on average ten times before they are discarded but there is hope that if we choose to shop differently, we can all reduce the contributing factors to our warming planet.
A little bit of sunshine in February is definitely lifting everyones spirits after so much rain. With clearing skies come cooler evenings and we love this new gorgeous pumpkin coloured fleece for snuggling up in and for lifting a fashionable grey colour scheme. Priced at just £7.05 a metre it’s worth poppping in to Livingstone Textiles for a couple of metres to make an instant no sew throw. It also goes perfectly with the new paint colour charts from Farrow & Ball, available at Bridport Timber & Flooring. The Natural History Museum has been working with the Colour By Nature Collection to create a stunning new range and the Dutch Orange colour is featured on the front of their new sample card. So whether you go for the fabric or the paint to freshen up your living space this spring, this is definitely the colour to go for.
We love hearing from you, whether it’s a question for us, something sewing-related that you need help with, or something you’d like to buy from us, in person, or by post! We also love to see things you’ve made with our fabric, or pictures of our bespoke soft furnishings making your house look gorgeous.
We love to share our news, exciting new arrivals, and picture of things we love on our social media channels – come and follow us!
…you can, of course also phone us, email us, or just pop in for a chat. We love a chat!
Crochet Workshop, by Erika Knight, is a beautifully-presented book suitable for beginners and more experienced crocheters alike. The basics are covered with clear explantions and line drawings, giving you the skills to create both new and more traditional crochet items, all with a lovely, modern twist. It’s the perfect book if you would like to make something small and simple like a dishcloth, or a fabulous crochet dog bed, or all sorts of household items and accessories!
If you are a total beginner, you might also be interested in our ‘Learn to Crochet’ course, running at our Yeovil store on 30 May 2020. It’s only £45 for the day, and there’s free parking too. Ask in either of our shops, or phone 01935 422631 to book your place.
Crochet Workshop by Erika Knight is available from us for £14.99
Some of our makers have been busy recently producing these beautiful box cushions, designed and finished to customer requirements.
A box cushion has the top and bottom panels joined with a separate piece of fabric to create structured sides. These can be quite substantial, as for a sofa cushion, or slim, for something like a window seat. Box cushions can be finished piped or unpiped, depending on the look you want to go for.
We’ve recently made these luxurious piped velvet cushions, and also these hardwearing unpiped stripey cushions which are now giving a camper van a fresh new look. If you would like to reinvent any aspect of your soft furnishings – in your house, caravan, camper or cottage – ready for spring, then call in to one of our shops to be inspired by our huge stock of fabrics. We’re always happy to discuss your ideas and give a no-obligation quote.
Sitting out in your conservatory during January is a rather chilly option and while it is out of use it’s a good idea to have a look and see if it might be in need of a bit of a facelift before the Spring. A local customer decided to pop in to Livingstone Textiles this week to see about getting all of his cushions re-covered so we set about giving them a new lease of life. The foam in the bottom cushions was still good so we were able to re-use them and save him a bit of money. However the back cushions had started to sag and needed a bit of help so we gave the inners an extra few handfulls of fibre filling to firm them up before Madeline set about making new covers for them. She added matching piping, which always looks smart and incorporated zips into each cushion, enabling the customer to be able to wash them when necessary and we think they look fabulous. Don’t forget that you can always email us pictures of your cushions or curtains and ask us to quote you for new soft furnishings, it’s a good idea to include measurements as well so we can get an idea of how much fabric you will need to buy.
Knitting a hat is a great way to use up scraps of wool leftover from a bigger project and a textured hat always looks funky but a lot of people are put off by a cable pattern because it looks so difficult. The stitches appear to overlap each other and cross and a cable pattern can include bobbles and several cross overs that look really involved to do. In fact, they are really quite simple once you break the pattern down into small steps and all patterns will have an explanation of how they want you to work the cable.
The most important piece of equipment to get yourself is a cable needle, these special needles have a ‘V’ in the middle to stop the stitches from sliding off and are used to hold the stitches at the front and the the back of the knitting while you work other stitches on the needles. The Instructions for this pattern can be found in the book 20 To Knit Knitted Hats by Monica Russell and the cable abbreviation illustrated here is written as T3B (Take 3 Back). It has the same meaning as C3B (Cable 3 Back) but is slightly easier to interpret.
Below are step by step pictures on how to work with the third needle. The stitches are slipped on to the cable nedle and held either at the front or the back while a few stitches are worked from the needles. Then cable needle is then brought back in and the stitches worked from there, creating a twist as the knitting wraps around itself.
England is now at Step 1 of adjusting social distancing measures. This means our stores are still closed to visiting customers. Now the government has adjusted the guidance about making journeys we are restarting our mail order and collection system (free collection from Bridport store only). Our online shop is now reopen but please note there may be delays in putting together your order. If you request to collect your order from Bridport we will contact you when it is ready. Most of our staff are on furlough to protect them financially. This means there may be additional delays in responding to queries. We are expecting to reopen to in-person shoppers with restrictions when the government moves to Step 2, at the earliest 15th June 2020. See our Facebook page for more information and updates.