On Tuesday night we had our first sewing class of the term which was a new sewing class to us, learn to sew stretch. Within the class the pupils were to make a pair of stretch leggings out of jersey or a spandex blend. Everyone was so excited about this class, as so many people struggle with sewing with stretchy fabric but everyone went away happy and with their completed garments.
Next week we will be running our second new sewing class of the term “How to sew stretch- Tank top” which will show different techniques you will need to sew stretchy fabrics. With this class the pupils will leave with a home made tank top and the knowledge to made another one in the future. If you are interested in learning how to stretchy fabrics and want to do our class why not contact us and see if we have any spaces.
We offer a wide range of sewing classes at Livingstone Textiles ranging from garment making classes to dressmaking techniques and home furnishing sewing classes, ranging from cushions to curtains.
If you are interested in doing one of our sewing classes why not contact us and we will be happy to go though the different options available to you.
We hope you can come down and join us at the Westpoint showground near Exeter this weekend, where we have a stand in the Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts fair. We go every year to the show as shoppers to pick up new craft items, but it is the first time we have taken a stand. We think our display looks good, but let us know what you think. The show started yesterday, Thursday 24th September 2015, and runs until Sunday 27th September. We are on stand E21 towards the back of the hall and near the quilting exhibitions. See you there!
Here at Livingstone Textiles the staff have also got the sewing bug – it helps to make the unpacking fun when you’re planning your own makes!
This is Anne in a fabulous jersey top made from New Look pattern 6330. Anne says “It wasn’t obvious from the pattern envelope but this top has a boat neckline which it turns out is quite flattering (you may disagree from my photo!) The three quarter sleeves are long enough not to bunch around the elbows, but next time I make this pattern I will probably make a shorter sleeve like a t-shirt – which will mean I need less fabric as well.”
We have a really good range of patterned jerseys with new ones just arrived this week. We keep Simplicity and New Look patterns in stock and you can browse the books in comfort in our new room. We’d also love to see what you’ve been making, so send in your photos!
Summer’s just round the corner and we are all hoping the weather will hold long enough so we can pop down the road to the beach. However until the weather holds long enough why not get the summer feeling with our range of seaside fabrics. We have a great range in our shop in Bridport Dorset from fabrics on the roll to hangers that you can order in from. Our fabrics range from dress weight to curtain and upholstery weight.
This beach hut fabric works wonderfully as a bag, curtains, cushions and bunting. We sell the fabric by the metre or as bunting strips £3.20 per strip.
Bunting is such a fun and easy way to decorate your house or garden for any occasion from weddings, birthday or a simple BBQ.
The fabric is sold by the metre on our webpage but the bunting strips are only in our store in Bridport.
This lovely smock was made by one of our girls in the shop and isn’t it fun? She has used one of our new fish fabrics priced at £11.20 per meter, 140 cm/ 55″ wide. She made the pattern from our dot and cross paper which is for sale at £1per metre, only available in store. This fabric has multi uses from clothing, cushions and curtains, and has a really fun sea- side design. Our Cushion making prices start at £7.00 for a non- piped cushion and £9.00 for a piped cushion depending on size.
This fabric is available to order on our web-shop or in our shop in Bridport Dorset. If you would like a sample of this or any other fabric you have seen on here please contact with your detail and information on your fabric.
Now summers on the way we are all spending more time out side and in our conservatories but the conservatory furniture might not be looking as bright and fresh as it did a few years ago. Rather than buy new why not have fresh covers made for them.
Our makers cost start at £30.00 per cushion for a boxed cushion depending on size.
For more information please pop into our shop in Bridport Dorset or contact us on 01308 456844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This lovely check top has been sewn by one of our younger customers who at 16 has created this beautiful and well sewn garment and has also kindly let us photograph it.
She has used a new look pattern, number 6104 which is available to order from our shop in Bridport, Dorset priced at £5.95 a pattern. Each pattern has a range of sizes to fit different body sizes, just remember to measure yourself before cutting as dress sizes can be different from high street sizes.
She has used a very tasteful check fabric which really works well with this style of top. The fabric is available to buy at our shop in Bridport for £18.20 per metre and is 160cm/63″ wide.
The customer has then selected a beautiful marbling look white button which is priced at £2.04 each. These buttons are a lovely choice as they don’t distract from the top but pick up the light and add to the final look.
We were very excited to see this garment and were so pleases to be allowed to share it on here with you all.
All products that have been mentioned and priced on this post are current to the date and time of posting however prices do change so in future prices may not be correct.
For all you Camper-van lovers out there we have this beautiful camper-van fabrics which is available in our shop in Bridport Dorset at the price of £12.60 per metre. This fabrics is 140cm /54″ wide and has a pattern repeat of 32cm/12.5″. The fabric would be ideal for cushions, curtains, blinds and garments.
An example of how beautifully this fabric works is with this cushion, to make one cushion you would need half a metre of main fabrics at £12.60 per metre, 2 meters of piping cord at 32p per metre, a zip at 66p and half a metre of contrast fabric at £5.00 per metre. The total cost for materials for this cushion would be £13.24 and for one of our makers to make this cushion would cost an extra £9.00.
If you like this fabric or any you have seen on our website and would like a sample sent out contact us with your details and information on which fabric you like and we will be happy to help.
We have been busy making some new cushions over here at Livingstone Textiles, to use as an example of what you can do with some of our beautiful fabrics. This lovely washing line fabrics is £9.00 per metre and comes at 140cm/54″ wide. It is a beautiful example of applique and embroidery and could be used for many things.
The cushion is a beautiful example of this fabric and what can be done, here we have carefully selected a range of colours which will work with our selection of garments. We have gone for a pink drill, which you would need 0.5 meters at £5.25 per metre, 0.5 meters of a contrast green with white spot for the piping at £6.20 per metre and 2 washing line stripes at £9.00 per metre. You would also need 1 zip at 66p and 2 meters of piping cord at 32p per metre. The total cost of this make was £16.82 for the materials, if you fancy this cushion but don’t want to make it your self one of our makers could make it for you for the total cost of £30.00. Contact us for more information.
Fancy making a feature of the cushion? We also not only sell the fabrics by the metre for your bigger projects but we sell it as bunting stripes at £3.00 per stripe. Each strip is 140cm/54″ wide and comes with one washing line.
For those of you who love your vintage tractor and machinery or just have a little one who loves tractors then this fabric is for you.
It has a mixture of different vintage tractors on a lovely green grass background.
This fabrics is priced at £14.90 per metre and is 112cm/ 44″ wide. It has a pattern repeat of 30cm/12″. This fabric would work for a number of different things from craft projects to garments. It is available to buy online or in our shop in Bridport Dorset.
Please contact us to enquire about current tractor fabrics which may be available or see below for a curtain weight tractor fabric.
This is a lovely example of a skirt made by one of our customer that she has kindly let us share with you. It has been made with one of our fabrics and a pattern that we sale. The customer has gone for a handkerchief style so that it hangs with lovely points. She has gone for a lovely warm checked fabric that will work well in both boots for these colder days but a design that will also work with summer shoes for the warmer days we have ahead. Both the pattern and the fabric is only available in our shop in Bridport Dorset but if you would like more information on these please contact us and we will be happy to help.
With everyone getting all excited about the eclipse last week we thought we would show everyone our exciting space fabrics.
The first one is our “retro space” fabric, this fabric is 112cm/ 44″ wide and has a pattern repeat of 7 cm/3″. It is 100% cotton and is priced at £14.90 per metre.
We love its retro design with the robot and rockets, and would work well as a craft project or even a garment. It would make some really fun pajamas.
Our next Space fabric is a realistic print, and works really well. It is beautifully printed with only planets and stars. This fabric is 112cm/44″ wide and has a pattern repeat of 52cm/20.5″. It is also 100% cotton and is priced at £18.35 per metre.
STOCK UPDATE : These fabrics are now out of stock and unavailable. Please see below for a selection of some of our current quirky craft fabrics.
This lovely fleece dress will keep you warm on these chilly spring evenings while still having a fun edge. This “pixie” dress is made from a dress pattern that is available to buy at our shop in Bridport Dorset. The dress pattern comes with two other jumper patterns that you could make and also some lovely ideas for decoration. The dress that we have made doesn’t have the felting that is shown on the dress pattern, but this technique is explained with in the pattern.
We have used one of our plain fleeces to make the dress which is £6.00 per metre and comes in at 150cm wide. This makes it a really warm dress.
We have added the bell sleeves to our dress as we wanted to really go with the fun “pixie” feel to the dress.
This is a really fun and quite easy dress to make, all of the materials and pattern are available in our shop in Bridport.
If you would like a sample of this or any other fabric you have seen on her please contact us with you details and information on the fabric and we will be happy to help.
For those of you who are local to our Bridport shop you will have noticed the little changes we have been making. The first of our changes is we have opened up a new show room, which as you can see from the photo to the left it hasn’t taken us long to fill with so really exciting fabrics. In this room now we have velvets, velours, felt, poly- cottons and some really fun fancy dress fabrics.
With this change around we now have a cushion section where we stock a range of different sizes from 14″ to 30″. Some of these are also available in feather.
The last change we have make is extra shelving in our main dress fabrics room. In here before we had a mix of fabrics we have now a section of 100% cotton fabrics. So if your interested in patch-working you will love this section. We have a wide range of cotton fabrics from plain colours to beautiful designed prints in a range of prices.
We have had a delivery of our ever popular monkey fleece in both in the grey and the white. Both the monkey fleeces are extremely soft and silky.
We also stock a large range of fleeces from plain colours to printed designs. With prices starting at £6.00 per metre.
All of our fleeces are available at our shop in Bridport Dorset and some are for sale at our web-shop, if you would like a sample of this or any fabric that you have seen on her or our web-shop you can email us with your details and information on the fabrics.
STOCK UPDATE : This fleece is now out of stock, see below for a selection of some of the fleeces we currently have available via our webshop, or visit our stores in Bridport Dorset and Yeovil Somerset for more options.
Spring is only just around the corner, its starting to feel warmer and there doesn’t seem to be as much ice on the ares in the mornings. This seems to have been reflected in our choice of new dress fabrics, we have been picking beautiful flowery dress weight fabrics.
A example of these beautiful fabrics is this roses and paisley print, which is available in two colourways. Its 112cm/44″ wide. These would make a fabulous spring/ summer dress.
This lovely brown flowery cotton poplin has a smaller printed design, this comes in three colourways as shown. These would not only make fabulous Spring/ Summer dresses, but the tone of brown that is used would mean they would also make amazing Autumn garments. This fabric is 112cm/ 44″ wide.
STOCK UPDATE : These fabrics are now low in stock, please contact us to enquire or see below for some of our current floral craft fabrics available online.
When going though some old newspapers recently we discovered a old advert from 1987. It was fun to see how different our new adverts are. I’m not sure if we could use the wording ” ladies…sew and save” as we have just as many male customers as females.
What a nice reminder of how things have changed over the last 28 years and have lovely to think of Livingstone textiles having been here that long.
On Monday we traveled up to the stitch and craft show in Birmingham, to look at some exciting new fabrics and to get some fresh ideas. The day started early with us leaving Bridport at 7.30, but despite the early start we were all looking forward to the day especially as three members of staff hadn’t been to the show before.
It was really good to see the range of fabrics and craft that is available, and to get ideas for our shop. We loved seeing the bigger range of soft cuddle fleece that is available, and the massive range of buttons and craft.
We all had great fun choosing new summer fabrics that hopefully should be here soon. As we all cant wait to open those packages, and some of us have already planned different items of clothing we are going to make from them.
Although it was a really long day it was worth it, we saw some beautiful fabrics some of which we have ordered some really interesting craft. We were all fresh with ideas by the end and are looking forward to doing it again.
What is a half drop pattern, and how do I work with it?
If you’re looking at curtain fabric in the shop, you might sometimes notice a fabric labelled as having a half drop repeat, half repeat or half drop pattern. This means that every other repeat of the pattern across the width is dropped halfway down from the previous one.
It’s important if a fabric is labelled in this way, because it means that if you have to join two widths together, for instance if you are making curtains, then you will not be able to match the pattern directly across the width, as you would with most fabrics. In this photo you can see that when you put the two edges of the fabric together, the pattern does not match.
Help! what do I do?
if you want to use that gorgeous fabric with a half-drop pattern repeat, then you need to allow for it in the calculations, both when you are measuring for curtains and calculating curtain fabric. If you don’t make an allowance for the half drop repeat, and just work on the set number of pattern repeats for each length of fabric, you will end up with curtains where the pattern does not match when it’s joined, like this:
The answer is to allow for enough fabric to move up half a pattern repeat, so that the edges match when joined. When buying fabric with a half drop repeat, you will need to calculate the fabric and then add on one whole pattern repeat to your order; you don’t need an extra pattern repeat for each width. In theory you can add only a half a pattern repeat, but adding a whole pattern repeat gives you some wriggle room when working, and about where on the pattern the curtains will start.
So how does that work?
It’s not too difficult! In the example on our measuring for curtains page we needed 5.85 metres of fabric in total, working with a pattern repeat of 65cm. If the pattern was a half drop repeat, we would now add a further 65cm to this total to get 6.5 metres needed in total. There are also some special rules that really help if you’re cutting out curtains with a half drop repeat; take a look at the how-to below:
Cutting out curtains with a half drop repeat
Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Time given is an estimate of the extra time needed to make curtains with a half drop repeat. The actual time taken will depend on factors like how big your curtains are, and how much space you have available to work in. To help you in the process, here’s a detailed how-to on work with a half drop pattern repeat – and stay sane!
You will need to take a bit more care when cutting out your fabric to get the best results. First of all, think about how many many widths of fabric you need for your project, and number them all in sequence. In our example on the curtain calculator we are working with 3 widths of fabric, so we would number them 1 to 3.
Cut out odd numbers
You then start by cutting all of the odd numbered widths, in this case 1 and 3. We would cut 2 lengths of 3 pattern repeats from our fabric with no gap between them. it might help to number these pieces before you get confused.
Cut off the half drop
Next, to make it all work perfectly, you need to cut off half a pattern repeat from the fabric before cutting the even numbered pieces. In our example we would cut half of 65cm, which is 32.5cm. This piece will be discarded unless you have another use for it.
Cut out the even numbers
Now, go right ahead and cut out all your even numbered widths, again with no gap in between. In our example this is one piece – width number 2. Again, it would be useful to number these pieces, just to make the next part less stressful!
Joining your drops
Now you’re ready to sew, and as long as you attach odd numbered widths to even numbered widths, you should find the patterns match perfectly from one width to the next. In our example on the curtain calculator we are making a pair of curtains with one and a half widths of fabric in each so we would now cut width number 2 in half down the length of the fabric and attach half to width 1 and the other half to width 3 making two curtains.
If you are in any doubt about your calculations and are using one of our fabrics, please do ask us – we’re happy to help!
If our experienced makers are making your curtains – or if you are making them yourself- you’ll need accurate measuements to get the very best result. To measure for curtains, you’ll need two measurements on your window – the width and the drop. You will get the most accurate measurements if your pole or track is already fitted and you measure with it in place.
What kind of curtains?
In order to get your measurements you will need to know what kind of curtains you want and also how long you want them to be. Remember that the curtain header you choose can change the look of your cutains completely, and also affect how you need to measure for them.
Measure the drop
Eyelet curtains: measure the drop from 1”/2.5 cm above the pole to where you want the curtain to finish. Tab top curtains should be measured from the top of the pole; then subtract the length of the tabs you are making. All other types of header: If you have a pole, measure from the bottom of your curtain rings to where you want the curtain to finish. For curtain track you should measure from the top of the track to where you want the curtain to finish.
Inside the recess or outside?
Curtains within a window recess usually finish just above the windowsill, whereas curtains hung outside a window recess usually longer. They can finish below the windowsill (approx 4-6”/10-15cm or to your preference), or you can choose to make them longer if you desire. Floor length curtains can finish just above the floor (to make them easy to draw), just on the floor (to keep out draughts), or can be made a couple of inches longer to add weight and a luxurious feel.
Now measure the width
Once you have measured the drop, simply to measure the width of your track or pole. Add in any overlap which is in place on your track fixings. For poles, measure from just outside where the pole is fixed to the wall.
Calculate your curtain fabric
Now that you have all the numbers, you can easily work out how much total fabric you need for your curtains as well as the measurements for each cut. Either use the how-to below or go to our Curtain Fabric Calculator to calculate your requirements. You will need to know the width of your fabric and any pattern repeat (these can be found on any of the fabrics on our shop). It’s important to follow all the steps correctly, so take your time and follow the how-to carefully; make sure you use the same units of measurement (inches or centimetres) throughout!
Work out your fullness
First calculate how many widths of fabric you will need for your window. This will depend on how full (or gathered) you want your curtains. For standard pencil pleat heading we recommend double fullness (multiply the width by 2). For triple pleat curtains you may need 2.5 times fullness (multiply the width by 2.5) For eyelet curtains you need between 1.5 times fullness (adequate) and 2.25 times fullness (maximum). You will need to make sure you have an even number of eyelets on your finished curtains. Our eyelet curtain header tape has 8 eyelets per metre of tape.
How many widths?
In step 1 you multiplied your measured window width by the fullness you wanted; now you need to divide this figure by the width of the fabric like this: Measured width 210cm x 2 for fullness = 420cm divided by width of fabric (137cm) = 3.07
round it up
Now round the number in step 2 up (or down) to the nearest exact number. In the example the figure is 3.07; Round this down to 3. This means you would use a total of 3 widths or drops of fabric for your curtains; For a pair of curtains this would mean one and a half widths in each curtain. If in doubt round up to the next whole number, as curtains with more fullness look better.
How long is each width or drop?
Now you know how many widths you need, the next stage is to calculate the length of fabric you need for each drop. You will need to add a hem allowance to each drop. We usually add 8”/20cm to the drop to get the length of fabric needed. This gives 2”/5cm of turning at the top and a double thickness hem of 3”/7.5cm at the bottom.
How many pattern repeats?
Next, check your fabric for a pattern repeat. When curtain fabric has a pattern and you need more than one width of fabric, it is usual for all curtains or joined fabrics to start at the same place on the pattern in order to make them match. (For vertical stripes, plain fabrics or only one width of fabric this step is not needed). Divide the fabric length by the pattern repeat, then round up to the next whole pattern repeat. To check your pattern repeat, look for an obvious detail in the pattern, and check the fabric until you see the same detail again; now measure from one to the other. In this example the pattern repeat is 65cm: Drop = 140cm Add hem allowance of 20cm = 160cm Divide by pattern repeat of 65cm = 2.46 Go up to the next whole pattern repeat = 3
Work out the length of each drop
Now multiply the whole number of pattern repeats from step 5 by the size of the pattern repeat (65 cm in this example) and you get the length of fabric needed for each width. In our example this is: 3 x 65cm = 195cm. Note : if your fabric pattern is a half drop repeat then you may need to add more fabric here for matching widthways.
Now work out your total amount of fabric
Multiply the length of each width (in cm or inches) by the number of widths you need to get the total amount of fabric you need. In our example this would be: 195cm x 3 = 585cm or 5.85m of fabric needed. Be sure to add in any extra fabric you may need for tabs, tie-backs, cushions, piping or pelmets. You will usually need to buy the next whole metre of fabric (in this case 6) if shopping online, although we can cut to more exact lengths in the shop.
If you are shopping with us, we can calculate your fabric requirements for you. Either call in to the shop, or email us letting us know which of our fabrics you are interested in and your measurements, making sure you say whether the measurements are inches or centimetres – we’re happy with either. We’ll do the sums and let you know how much fabric you will need.
Net curtains can screen us from the public gaze, obscure an unwanted view, or filter the daylight coming into a room to soften the light or protect soft furnishings. Getting the measurements right makes them look their best.
To measure for your new nets you simply need to take two measurements on your window. If you already have a net curtain wire or rod in place, measure the drop from the wire or rod to where you want the curtain to end. If not, measure from the top of the frame (not the glass), inside the window reveal. For the width measure the existing wire or rod, or the frame if none is currently fitted.
Our net curtains
We sell our net curtains by the metre, ready to hang with a hem sewn at the top to take wire or rod. They also come in a choice of drops; you simply choose the nearest drop to your measurement. This may be slightly less or more than your measurement but can still work for your window.
If a standard drop is not quite right for your window, you can shorten the curtain net by turning over a new top hem, or our experienced makers can shorten the next longest drop to your measurement. The standard drops available are:
30cm / 12″
40cm / 16″
45cm / 18″
60cm / 24″
90cm / 36″
101cm / 40″
106cm / 42″
114cm / 45″
137cm / 54″
153cm / 60″
160cm / 63″
183cm / 72″
206cm / 81″
229cm / 90″
275cm / 108″
Gather, or fullness
Once you know your drop, you then need to decide how full (gathered) to have your curtains. Standard fullness is 2 x width measurement, but for additional privacy go for 2.5 or even 3 x fullness. Multiply your width measurement by the fullness you’ve chosen to get the metres of net curtain fabric you need to buy. Most net curtains do not fray, so you can leave the cut edges. If you prefer a hemmed edge, you can do this yourself or our seamstresses can hem them for you. See here for the net curtains and drops we have available or browse the full range below and on our webshop.
An example caculation for net curtains
Example window measurements: Drop 142cm, Width 183cm Drop chosen 140cm, 2x fullness so 366cm of net curtain needed. You may need to round this up to 4m of net curtain fabric, depending on how it is sold.
Wire or poles
We sell plastic-coated net curtain wire by the metre, as well as all the fixings. For each window you will need slightly less than the width of the window to allow for the eyes(loops) on the end of the wire and so the wire is slightly stretched. We would usually take about 2″/5cm from the width measured to allow for this, but you can cut the wire yourself at home with a pair of pliers to get the correct tension for your window. Alternatively we also sell net curtain rods; these fit into the window recess. They are extendable, and come in standard sizes to fit a range of window sizes.
Time to celebrate! We will be reopening both our stores on Monday 12th April at 10am. Covid restrictions on number of customers, masking requirements and social distancing will still apply, as will our covid opening hours. We look forward to seeing you then. Like and follow our Facebook page to receive future updates.