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Slow Fashion Industry : Pattern Sale Ends Today

Today is the last day that you can buy New Look patterns at 40% off.  The offer is valid on all of the designs in the newly launched summer catalogue which features some great new outfit ideas.

Be part of the Slow Fashion movement and invest some time in making yourself something to wear this summer, the time and care you take in making your own garment will lead to an appreciation of the textiles that you use and the resources that goes into producing them for manufacture.  You will be making something to fit your measurements so no more compromising on badly fitting garments either.  By starting to create your own wardrobe you can contribute to reducing the waste and emissions caused by the Fast Fashion industry because after investing your time in sewing things to wear, you will make it to last and think twice before casting it aside.  You will be doing your bit for the planet and your local town by spending money in an actual shop, not online!  This promotes local employment whereas buying patterns online will not.

We also hold stock of all the current New Look patterns so you don’t have to wait or pay for postage either 🙂  We don’t even mind if you choose to upcycle an old garment or textiles with your new pattern instead of buying new fabric from us because we are passionate about sustainability at Livingstone Textiles and have been working to keep our carbon footprint as small as we possibly can for years.  We are now stocking fabric made from waste fibres in the textile industry as well as recycled felt, and are actively demanding more choice from our suppliers.  You will be able to read a lot more about our business ethic and green credentials very soon because we are compiling a whole new page dedicated to it on our website where you will be able to see all of the little and big things we are doing to help make a difference.

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Stretch Velvet Evening Dress

One of our members of staff had a special date earlier this month that required something a little more dressier than her usual attire.  It’s quite rare to get the glad rags on and dine out at a proper dinner dance these days so it was no surprise that nothing suitable could be found in the wardrobe.

Out came the sewing machine and some beautiful stretch velvet that was purchased about two years ago.  All that was needed was a pattern that would make the most of the way the light shone off the fabic, making it appear to be more than one flat colour.

 


Pattern 6577 in the New Look pattern book shows a top in a similar fabric to the one proposed and the drape on the cowl neckline would be perfect for an evening dress so Laura set about a few alterations to the pattern to take it from a tunic to an evening dress with a slit up the side.

She also measured her own key statistics and marked them on the pattern at the bust, waist and hipline and then carefully drew in the lines to create her own personal pattern.  Finally she decided on the length of the gown and split the pattern where indicated in order to add in another section of pattern paper and create a full length pattern.

 

Careful pinning and cutting ensued, the fabric was quite thick and so needed to be treated carefully as it was inclined to slip as well.  Three pleats at the shoulders formed the drape for the cowlwhich also pulled the shoulder back to the correct position for sleeves.

 

Little cap sleeves were decided on in order to give the dress a 1930’s feel and a fur stole was quickly run up on the machine from a textured swirly fur in a pale coffee colour from Livingstones.

White velvet bag and sparkly shoes were the finishing touches , hpefully it wont be too long before another opportunity arises to wear it again.

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Miss Haversham

 

Miss Haversham is looking rather spectacular in her Burns attire. Draping a couple of metres of tartan as a shash will add elegance and authenticity to any evening dress you are sporting for the occasion.

Miss Havershams outfit is inspired by Simplicity pattern number 8285.

 

 

 

We also love pattern 2172 and this video shows you how to make this magnificent coat.  There is also a fabulous skirt that can be worn with it.  Follow the link for more information on making these patterns.  We stock the whole range of Simplicity patterns at our shops and you can select some stunning damasks and velvets from our soft furnishing cloths.  We have an entire room dedicated to fancy dress fabrics, ranging from dreamy two tone organzas to bi stretch copper lurex so you can create a totally individual look.  Follow our pinterest board for more ideas.

 

 

 

 

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Happy New Year!

Whether you’re just starting out on your sewing journey, have just moved to the Bridport area and are hunting down new soft furnishings or need some advice on a current project we are looking forward to seeing old and new faces in 2019.  Our normal shop opening hours are now resumed: Mon-Sat 9-5. Closed Sundays.

You can also browse and shop a good selection of our vast fabric stock online here and we have even more in our two shops at Manor Stables Yeovil and St Michaels Lane, Bridport.

See you all soon 🙂

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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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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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New Look New Catalogue

It’s time to make new outfits in time for the array of party opportunities over the next few months, plus cosy leisure wear and smart workwear for the colder months ahead.

Take a good look through the ‘New Look’ pattern book that’s just been put out in the shop, or browse online and pop in for your pattern.  We stock the whole range and if we’re out of one we can normally order it within a few days.

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Halloween

Time to get planning for the ultimate Halloween costume.

We’ve got some brilliant fabrics in stock for you to create an eye-catching outfit. Pumpkin orange cotton, shiny black material with silver cobwebs, black netting with rainbow spiders webs and netting with sparkling stars all over it to dress your room or front windows.
We’ve also got black ravens feathers, black lace, sequins and elastic to trim with.
Pop into Livingstone Textiles and explore our range of material and trimmings and see where your imagination takes you or choose from our huge catalogue of patterns if you’re not sure where to start

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Simplicity Patterns still on Sale

 

 

Don’t forget that you can still get 25 % off your patterns for a little while longer, with the offer ending on Tuesday 2nd October.

It’s the perfect opportunity to try out a new style for the autumn and maybe even go for the new pocket trend in skirts. We have the new autumn release of patterns so it’s the perfect time to treat yourself to the latest patterns.

 

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New Autumn Dressmaking Patterns

We know many of you wait eagerly for the new Simplicity Pattern Book at this time of the year, and we are pleased to let you know that it is here.

Many people are thinking about costumes during the autumn and here are a selection of costume patterns available.

The children are not forgotten with some super new costume ideas for them as well.

One of our favourite new patterns in this issue is this delightful tunic, which we can just imagine curling up in at home on a cool evening.

We have a vast range of fancy dress and dress fabrics in our two stores in Bridport Dorset and Yeovil Somerset, and you can browse a small selection available online below, use the drop down category menu or visit the online shop.

Add to this the fact that the patterns are still on sale at 25% off until Tuesday 2nd October 2018 and it’s a perfect time to plan your autumn makes.

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Subtle NEW stretch fabrics

These are just gorgeous!

With so many tempting patterns in our pattern books now using stretch fabrics,  we are hunting far and wide to source delicious new fabrics to add to our range.

These two beauties are both soft, heavy knit fabrics with a beautiful feel and drape – and look at those lovely  prints!

With so many of these patterns in the books now, we also stock stretch bias and stretch interlining; everything you need to make sewing stretch fabrics easy. With fabrics this good and the clothes so comfortable and stylish – why not give it a try?

 

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New In…..Dressmakers Curve

 

 

We are so excited to finally be stocking this professional dressmakers curves.  It’s taken a while but we’ve managed to source one of excellent quality from Prym because some things are worth paying a bit more for.

 

 

 

This investment in your sewing apparatus will assist you in altering patterns by transferring your measurements on to a bought pattern because you can then shape it to your waist and out to your hip measurement on the pattern and draw in your own personal shape, ensuring a really professional fit when you finish the garment.  It’s also brilliant for pattern drafting.  This is when you take a block and manipulate it to create your very own dressmaking pattern.  All items of clothing are made by starting with a basic pattern block that is added to.

If you dressmake then you are probably  already making adjustments to the pattern to create a good fit, after all looking good in a handmade garment is firstly about Fit and secondly about wearing what you want to wear.  By creating your own personal pattern block you can always start with a good basic pattern from which you can design in any style you choose.  Using a dressmakers curve you can create sleeve curves, hem curves and armhole openings as well as hip shapes and waist curves.    Its not just for dresses either, you can use your dress block to also design your own skirts, blouses and tops.

What is a block?  Well, a block is a personally tailored pattern for a very very basic dress or pants.  It has no style details at all so it’s a blank page waiting for your design.  Starting with the basic outline shape, you make adjustments to the block using your own measurements to achieve an absolutely perfect fit.  You then use the block as a starting point for every single pattern you create, knowing you won’t have to make any size adjustments at all because you’re starting with your own bespoke shape.  You can add in style and shape by slashing and spreading to create fullness in a skirt, add ruffles, a neckline shape or by adding darts to pull a shape in for a closer fit.  Once you’ve created your block you can let your imagination go free with the creative detail, knowing its totally unique to your figure.

For more information, some great tips and advice on creating your dressform to match your own figure, click here

To buy your dressmakers curve you can either pop in to your nearset branch of Livingstone’s or contact us and we’ll mail one out to you.

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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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NEW LOOK PATTERNS ON SALE


It’s time to make that summer dress that you just can’t find anywhere in the shops.  Our new Look patterns are at a bargain half price and we have some dreamy summer fabrics in stock that you can check out here.

 

Don’t forget that you can join our pattern club as well to make the most of your sewing collection.  For every four patterns you purchase through Livingstones you receive the fifth one free making it five dress patterns for the price of two full-priced ones!

 

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Summery fabrics to keep you cool

With summer around the corner and the hint of sunshine teasing us with its warmth, it’s that time of year for light cotton or even linen clothes to help keep cool and looking summery.

We have a lovely range of 100% cottons in many, many designs from plains to florals or batiks to animals and more. We even have Liberty designs and cotton lawns, so there is plenty to choose from when you’re thinking of adding something to your summer wardrobe.

If linen is more your fabric of choice for the fair weather then we have plenty for you as well, with a colourful range of plain pure irish linens to choose from.

Alternatively, we have a range of linen mixed fabrics, some are cotton and linen unions and others are linen viscose mixed fabrics which are in fact underrated and overlooked by many of the purists who see that there is a viscose content to the fabric and run! However, viscose is a man-made fibre that is manufactured from a plant-based material called cellulose and is typically made from woody plants, such as trees and bamboo. It is a low-cost fabric and has many of the desirable qualities of more luxurious fabrics. It is used to make clothing because it is breathable, drapes well, is highly absorbent and does not trap body heat. Because viscose is made from renewable plants, it is frequently cited as an environmentally friendly fabric, particularly when bamboo is its source. So maybe give linen viscose a chance next time and you’ll be surprised at how cool and comfortable it is!

 

 



 

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Spring Florals

 

Spring has sprung and to celebrate, we’re sharing some charming cotton prints with you.

Perfect little designs that are ideal for dressmaking, craft projects and patchwork, these are just a few selected from the huge delivery we’ve had this month.  We’ve a wealth of new fabrics in stock for you, from plush velvets in stunning colours to exotic botanical prints in some really exciting colours so come and pay us a visit over the easter holidays and get a new project going.

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Book Review – The Dressmaking Technique Bible

As Lorna Knight rightly points out in the introduction to her book, with cheap clothing so readily available, people no longer make their own clothes to save money; but if you want to get an individual look, use a certain fabric, or enjoy a perfect fit, Then dressmaking is still for you, and this lovely, useful reference book contains all the techniques and guidance you need to achieve perfect results every time.

This practical hardback is spiral-bound to lie open for quick and easy reference, and with chapters covering tools and materials, stitches and textiles, fabric manipulation and techniques, you will probably be referring to it a lot!

As you can see from the pictures, the uncluttered pages are generously illustrated with both drawings and photographs, to give the clearest possible instructions, covering subjects as diverse as how to chose and use a pattern, right through to all sorts of tailoring and finishing techniques to enable you to get the finish you want on the clothes you are making. Come and see this book for yourself in our Bridport store, and take it home and enjoy it!

 

 

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Far From The Madding Crowd

At Livingstone Textiles Bridport we are extremely fortunate to live amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the British Isles.  As well as fast becoming a very popular  holiday and tourism destination with its crumbling Jurrasic coastline, the West Dorset landscape is increasingly seen in documentaries, television series’ and as an area in which to make evocative films.

For many of us nothing beats a good traditional costume drama and in the newest screen version of the Dorset Author Thomas Hardys’ beautiful novel, Far From The Madding Crowd, the stunning countryside around Bridport is portrayed with all of its rural charm.   While the filming was taking place from various locations around the town and surrounding villages, one film crew pitched camp behind Livingstones and we frequently supplied ribbons, haberdashery, elastic, buttons and various pieces of cloth to the costume department who would regularly pop in to top up their own supplies.

 

Inspired?  Why not host a unique Regency Ball Party?  West Dorset has a wealth of beautiful village halls for hire at ridiculously cheap rates and there is a beautiful Regency inspired venue at The Bull Hotel in the town complete with its own Ballroom.  Local Folk Bands can perform live music for you at really competitive rates and most can arrange a local caller to teach very simple Playford Dance.   For a birthday or wedding, this could be a beautifully immersive experience and at Livingstones we can supply you with authentically styled patterns to sew your own gowns as well as an array of luxury patterns and plains for waistcoats, dress shirts, petticoats and bonnets.  Remeber to ask us about joining our pattern club as well to get free patterns and great price offers unavailable online.

 

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What is stretch Interlining?

With so many clothes now being made out of stretch fabrics, a stretch interlining is the perfect way to get a great finish and still maintain the little bit of ‘give’ in the fabric. We carry a huge range of patterns, by New Look, and by Simplicity – which are currently on offer with 50% off – with many designed for stretch fabrics, including our stretch demins and drills, like these jeans by Mimi G:

We now stock a medium-weight bi-elastic interfacing by Prym, in 200 x 90 cm pieces, which is perfect for all your stretch fabric projects. The interlining is fusible and can be bonded to even delicate fabrics using a low-temperature iron. The white interlining is 100% polyester, and is machine washable (as long as your chosen fabric is!) at 30 degrees.

 

 

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Lovely Linens

At Livingstone Textiles we are proud to stock a great selection of linens suitable for dressmaking and curtain making.  We hold beautiful soft linens from Russia, rough and slubby linens from Lithuania and beautiful herringbone weaves as well as traditional Irish linens.  As well as our regular stock lines in natural colours we can also occasionally source limited colours in gentle washed out greens, oranges, yellows and blues.

We sell a lot of our linen as curtain fabric as its weight allows it to drape beautifully but one or two of our staff members have sewn clothing items from the lighter weights as it hangs really well and below we can share with you a lightweight hoodie that was made from a green/blue linen that was in stock last summer.  Sadly this particular colour has not become available again but we still have other colours in stock.  Some of our customers also print on our linens and turn them into unique cushions and tea towels.

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SIMPLICITY PATTERNS ARE STILL HALF PRICE !!

Browse the collection online and just pop into the shop and collect your pattern.  You can HAVE IT TODAY as we stock all of the patterns here in the shop and rarely sell out.

You probably are thinking, ‘Well if I browse online then I may as well buy online and be done with it’.  That’s all well and good but we think you should visit us for three very good reasons

  1.  The P&P cost…………….combine your visit to us with your shopping trip to Bridports historic market, it’s easy to park right outside the building in the Waitrose car park. Or alternatively, visit our Yeovil shop opposite the Octagon theatre with free parking for customers.
  2.  You get the opportunity to look at our absolutely massive selection of Dress Fabrics at unbelievably competitive prices. You can feel the quality and see how the fabric will work in your pattern properly.
  3.  You can talk over the fabric choice & pattern requirements with our staff, who all love to sew themselves, and pick up all those little bits and pieces (known as notions) that you may need to complete your garment.

No more waiting around for the postman – get sewing today!