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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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What happens on Burns Night?

 

 

Burns Night is annualy celebrated in Scotland on the 25th of January and celebrates the works of the great poet Robert Burns.  It is also now frequently observed in other parts of the United Kingdom by native Scots and those who appreciate the heritage of Scotland.   Robert Burns was born on January 25th 1759 which is why Burns night is celebrated on this day.  He died in 1796 and his best known work is probably “Auld Lang Syne” which is traditionally sung at midnight on New Years Eve or Hogmanny. He is known in Scotland as “The Bard”

Many families and friends enjoy getting together on Burns Night to share a supper of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with Whisky as the preferred tipple.  You can find out more about Haggis here.  During the evening poetry written by Robert Burns is recited, sometimes Scottish songs are sung and then the Haggis is traditionally ‘piped in’ by a Bagpipe player in full Scottish dress where it is toasted on arrival at the table.  At Burns night events many men choose to wear kilts and women might wear a shawl, skirt, sash or dress made from their family tartan.  A tartan is a cloth made of wool woven in a distinctive check pattern using different colours across the warp and the weft and clans have their own distinct patterns that have been replicated over centuries, often nowadays in more modern blends of viscose and polyester as well as in wool.

If you are attending a Burns Night event you can choose from the range of bright new tartans at Livingstone Textiles to create a sash or shawl over your evening attire, we don’t have much online but their are lots to choose from in house.  We also stock some colourful tartan ribbons to dress your hair or add interest to a plain dress, pop in to either of our shops to browse our collections.  We also think that it’s a great idea to host a kids Burns Night event where you can get them involved with the reading of poetry and maybe using a recorder to pipe in a haggis that they’ve helped to prepare.  They could make a Scottish flag to hang up or could colour in place settings using some of the words in the poems of Burns.  For more inspiration and ideas for a special childrens event visit https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/burns-night

 

 

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10 % Discount on Christmas Fabrics!

We’re very excited to offer our customers a 10% discount across all of our Christmas fabrics until the end of January 2019.

We still have some beautiful timeless designs in stock that you can now pick up at a great price and squirrel away ready for next autumns projects.  Now is also the time to come and browse our extensive collection of craft books too.  You can spend a little time with yourself and get acquainted with a new project for the cold months ahead.

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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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Happy Halloween

It still is really not too late to get yourself kitted out for………………………………………………..

                                                                                                       H A P P Y                H A L L O W E E N !

Get yourself along to Livingstone Textiles this half term and bring the kids too. We’ve dozens of delicious sparkle, stars and spooky stuff to drape yourself in and for decorating the house.  Whether its shiny holographic stretchy stuff or gossamer net with metallic rainbow cobwebs (and it’s reversible too!), we’ve got lots to choose from and starting at only £3.50 per metre you can afford to make some great costumes this Halloween.

 

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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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What is…………Interfacing

How to choose and use Interfacing

 

If you have never purchased interfacing for dressmaking it can be a rather confusing subject.

Interfacing is an extra layer of fabric applied to the inside of a garment in order to give it some strength and stability.  It is normally used on cuffs, collars, shoulder areas and waistbands to add structure and stop the fabric from being floppy.

You can buy interfacing specifically for your fabric and it comes as either iron on or no-iron on.  Iron on interfacing is especially good for beginner dressmakers as once ironed into place it doesnt shift about when sewing the layers under your sewing machine. It is suitable for most fabrics made from natural materials, ie cotton and linen.   Iron on (or fusible) interfacing is not suitable for any fabrics with a knapp, like velvet, cordurouy or fur because it will crush them.  It’s also unsuitable for sequinned fabric, vinyls and metallics because they are not designed to have direct heat applied to them or for lace or scrim because the nature of the open weave fabric means that glue will always seep out through the other side.  These fabrics are far more suited to a sew in interfacing as it will not affect the drape nearly as much.  Sew in interfacings are only normally used by professional dressmakers, along with linen interfacings that are used by tailors to add structure to coats and jackets.

Once you have decided on sew in or press in interfacing, you need to make a decision on the type.  Most popular is a non woven interfacing because it has no grain and is therefore suited to virtually any fabric.  However if you are sewing jersey, you will need a stretch fabric so that the garment retains its flexibility.  The basic rule is to match the interfacing so that its qualities are almost identical to the fabric that you are working with.  Indeed very lightweight summer cottons can get by with another piece of the fabric used as the structure layer. Interfacing also comes in a dark, charcoal shade and a creamy white and again, you need to match the colour, as far as possible to the colour of the cloth you are cutting.

 

 

 

To use iron on interfacing, first do a test on a scrap of fabric to see how it behaves, ie wrinkles, shrinks etc.

Lay the cut fabric wrong side up on an ironing board then place the interfacing shiny side down on top of it.  The shiny side has the glue on it.  Lay a damp pressing cloth over the top and gently lay on the iron, just using the weight and a pressing action.  Don’t move the iron around as this may disturb the layers of fabric.  Allow the everything to cool slightly then check to see if it’s adhered by trying to lift a corner.  Once in place it is not repositionable so make sure everything is accurate before you start.  Always use a wool setting for pressing unless it’s a really lightweight fabric in which case you can turn the iron up a little higher and never skip using a pressing cloth as it diffuses the direct heat and protects the fabric as well as the iron.

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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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Lace for a Bralette

Quite a few young and older women are discovering the liberating comfort of the Bralette.

Many of them are made from supersoft polymide and elastane and are just unbelievably comfortable to wear however some of the really pretty ones can be fairly pricey, especially if you have a love for lace or back detail.

We came up with a little idea to give you the expensive look without the price tag.  Go and grab yourself a couple of bralettes from any of the discounted clothing shops and add some of our stretchy lace to the bottom panel.  You only need around 80cm for one bra and at 145mm it is good and wide to extend as a sheer panel over your rib cage.  It’s priced at £2.75 a metre and we stock it in both white and black.

 

 

 

 

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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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Paintsplash Velvet

This astoundingly beautiful fabric has given all of the staff here at Livingstones a great deal of angst.

We all love its bright coloursand artistic style and are busy plotting ideas on how to use it to its full potential.

One of us wants a skirt and that would be a great priced piece of clothing at £16.40 as it would only need about half a metre.

Another really wants a sixties swing coat which would look so dramatic, luckily her mum is the talented Meg who owns Livingstones so hopefully she’ll get her wish…watch this space.

I think I’d quite like a pop of colour to go with a purchase from Dorset Arts Week so I might buy a piece for a cushion to give my living room a lift. What would you use it for?  Come in to the shop and have a feel, it’s so unbelievably soft.

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Summery seaside dress fabrics

 

Ahoy there, shipmates!

Amongst racks of dress fabrics at Livingstone Textiles, we’ve got some gorgeous boat prints laying at anchor and waiting for you. Perfect for a shirt, a dress, or a skirt, these are just some of the delightful dress-weight seaside themed prints you’ll find in our shops, so sail by and have a browse!

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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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Unique One Offs

We have acquired some very beautiful fabric. ” But you’re always doing that” I hear you say.  True enough and our fabric stash is pretty vast, so big that it now takes up two whole shops!  The thing is, sometimes a little stash comes along that we just cannot do without and we just have to squeeze it in somewhere.

This month we are bringing you something unique.  One offs.

And there they are.  Absolutely beautiful hand block printed cottons from India.

Representing the individual nature of handmade, each is a short run of 6 or 8 metres or so and created with Indigo and Rust dyes.

These really are very special and as such we are not selling them in anything smaller than 2 metre pieces.  Each run has been individually inspected by us to ensure clean line up of the block print with no overlaps.

Don’t hang about because the best designs will be flying out quickly and once they’re gone they’re gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Livingstones Summer fabric to be seen with.

 

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Childrens Sun Hats

Love To Sew are a collection of books that contain quick little projects to make, with        small amounts of fabric.  Parents and Grandparents often have a hard time finding a hat that a child will keep on its head so let us introduce you to Childrens Sun Hats by Gill Stratton.  The childrens hats in this book are delightful and really easy to make, even if you only have the very basic sewing skills.  You could make them for your own little ones or as a gift for someone else.

Containing step by step instructions including the measuring of a childs head circumference right through to the top stitching hints for crisp and clean brims, this book is a great way into making hats for the first time.  The photographs showing each stage are clear and the instructions are written in laymans terms making them really easy to follow.  There are some clever cutting tips to limit the fabric waste and a full list of the sewing equipment and fabrics needed for each project.   The designer shows you how and where to use interfacings to give strength to different parts of the hat and shows you how to make some clever and co-ordinating trims and accessories.

 

 

 

 

 

At the back of the book you will find half size templates for all of the hats included with simple enlarging instructions and there are some clever tips on upcycling old clothing into hats and linings if you don’t fancy buying anything new.  This book can be browsed and purchased at Livingstone Textiles in Bridport, Dorset and we highly reccomend it.

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New Stretch Bias Binding

We’ve stumbled upon a pretty cool product that you might like to know about.  It’s called stretch bias binding.  Of course bias binding already has the stretch in it by the very nature of the way it is cut across the cut of the fabric but this bias binding is REALLY stretchy making it ideal for trimming jersey projects.

 

Sewing jersey is becoming more and more popular as makers realise that with care and patience, this material can be fashioned into beautiful clothing at a fraction of a shop priced garment.  Binding the edges of any garment will always give it a professional look but making your own bias from jersey can be quite a tricky and frustrating excercise.  This new stretch binding eliminates all of the angst allowing you to get on with the trimming and at Livingstones we are trialling it in black and in navy at just £1.20 per metre.  To help you gain more confidence in using this product, follow the link to this youtube video and learn how to apply it step by step.

 

 

 

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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!