Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

The Elephants are Back!!

Our unforgettable Elephant friends are back in stock

In two authentic colourways for an awesome Boho look

Available to purchase from either of our Livingstone Textiles shops, and online through the links below.

These fabrics can also be made up into curtains and roman blinds for you, please ask for a quote to your measurements.

 

 

Posted on

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.

 

Posted on

Interlined Curtains

Curtains made with interlining or ‘bump’ are much fuller and more luxurious than those made with just lining alone.
The bump literally ‘bumps up’ the fabric making it thicker and has the added quality of providing a layer of insulation against cold windows.
Interlined curtains are an especially popular choice in a house with older windows and those with listed building status but are also used in more modern homes where an appearance of luxury is required.
The window size must be taken into account when considering interlining because they can easily swamp a room with too much volume. The fullness of the finished curtain also has to be taken into account but don’t worry because all of the staff working across Livingstone Textiles are trained to advise you in the appropriate way. Find out more here.

 

 

When we make your interlined curtains we use a more involved method of making where the interlining is first locked into place with Herringbone stitch under the side turns of the fabric and along the seams of any joins.

A picked hem is then worked through both the interlining and into the show fabric where a tiny line of equally spaced stitches will be barely visible.

 

Finally, the pencil pleat heading tape is sewn into position making the curtains look really plump and luxurious.

You can buy this elegant grey bird fabric in our shops and throughout September you will receive free curtain lining* with any curtain or blind order.

 

Posted on

New Xmas Fabrics now in stock

It’s time to get planning if you’re running a craft stall anywhere this autumn and start making up your Christmas Crafts.

We have 3 lovely Advent calender kits in stock ready for you to make up and a panel of the twelve days of Christmas repeated three times so there are lots of opportunities for card making, stitched gifts and lap quilts.

We also have a great selection of new Christmas fabrics in stock and we are steering away from the more traditional designs.  One of our favourites is the navy fabric with the white polar bear constellation across it.  The penguins are pretty cute too.

Posted on

Last Chance for 10% Off

It’s the final week of the Prestigious Textiles offer of a 10% reduction on any cut lengths of their fabrics that you order through Livingstone Textiles.

Prestigious are celebrating 30 years in the fabric business and we have a huge range of their sample books and hangers that you are welcome to borrow and take home.  We always recommend you do this as it’s very difficult to carry a colour in your head so having the samples at home will enable you to see the cloth next to your existing colour scheme and to try it out in both natural light and electric lighting.

 

The offer runs until August 31st and any of the fabric that you order can be made up into high quality hand made curtains, blinds or cushions by any of our approved seamstresses.  If you are not confident in your sewing abilities then click here to discover more about our curtain making service

Posted on

Scandi Shepherd’s Hut

 

 

Down here in the Westcountry there is a fast growing trend for Shepherds Huts as a place of retreat and sanctuary.

Folks with a little bit of land or a large enough garden are choosing them as an option to rent as holiday accomodation too, cosying them up with little wood burners and simple living essentials .

At Livingstone Textiles we have furnished some unusual dwellings with our cloth, most memorably a tree house in a secluded valley not far from our front door.  This week we’ve been working on a shepherds hut where a simplistic approach was requested.

Our client opted for a scandinavian inspired design of lollipop trees on a white background and an unusual lining.  Choosing a ticking stripe for the reverse means that the little hut will look just as lovely from the outside as from the in and we think the effect is beautifully rustic.

 

 

To find out more about this fabric and others that are suitable for curtains and soft furnishings click here.

Posted on

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?

 

Posted on

Chess Fabrics – New Atlas Collection

 

 

A stunning new collection of fabrics from Chess. Made with natural fibres and featuring some beautiful iridescent colours as well as subtle hues across all designs, this range can be used to make blinds, curtains and cushions.  All of the fabrics in the collection have a Martindale test of 20,000 rubs making them suitable for upholstery as well.  This means that you can co-ordinate your look across your whole room and create a very smart look.

 

All of the fabrics in this collection are available to order from Livingstone Textiles and we have a made to measure service too where you can choose from Blinds and curtains as well as cushions.  Our in-house upholsterers will also be pleased to discuss your requirements for updating any modern or traditional pieces.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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!

Posted on

New soft-touch tabling

Protect your table – beautifully.

As an option to our popular vinyl tabling, we now also stock these lovely soft-touch acrylic coated table fabrics. Soft enough to feel almost like a fabric tablecloth and with a stylish matt finish, these fabrics have a stain-proof wipe clean surface, and can even be gently machine washed or dry cleaned to keep them looking good.

The orange flowers on a natural-coloured background and the blue and off-white teacups are both available off the roll in our Bridport shop, while the delicate grey and white flowers and the small vintage rose print are stocked in Yeovil. All the designs can be purchased from both of our shops, and are 138 cm or 54 inches wide, and £14.25 per metre.

 

 

Another tabling option is this PVC coated cotton, which is almost as soft, and comes in a cheerful geometric  print or subtle almost-plain shades. Also avaiable from both our shops, the print fabric is 132 cm wide and £9 per metre, while the plainer shades are 140 cm wide, and £7.50 per metre.

 

 

Posted on

NEW: Vintage tractor fabric

This lovely heavy cotton curtain fabric is new in at Livingstone Bridport, and we love it! with a beautiful ‘vintage’ colourway, this fabric has a print featuring lovely vintage tractors placed over a subtle farm-based texture – fields away from the usual brightly coloured nursery prints, yet perfect for the little ruralist in your life.

The fabric is 100% printed textured cotton, and 135 cms (53 inches) wide.

Posted on

Outdoor Fabrics

 

Time to revamp your outdoor furniture or make a sun canopy? These stripes will certainly cheer up your outdoor living space.  We currently have other colours in stock as well.

 

 

Pattern repeat 64cm/25.25″

 

 

Fancy something a little more classic? Why not go for this traditional Mediterranean design of olives on your alfresco dining bench and add a holiday feel to your afternoon.

Posted on

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.

 

Posted on

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.

 

 

 

Posted on

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!

 

 



 

Posted on

Summer Sun Loungers

One of the staff at Livingstone Textiles has transformed a pair of 1970’s Deckchairs with some new foam and a smart striped canvas weave.

She upcycled an old pair of curtains as the backing and made a slip on cover to fit over the ends of the chairs. We think the orange fabric gives a nod to the seventies without the overpowering Flower Power Man

Posted on

Nets in Stock at Yeovil

With the closure of Ponden Mill in Yeovil, we thought we’d remind you that you can still buy your net curtains in town.  We sell a great range of nets at Livingstone Textiles in Yeovil and you can PARK FOR FREE right outside our door.

Pop in and ask to see the designs we hold and well cut to your requirements.

All nets are ready hemmed and come with the channel sewn in at the top ready to hang,  We also stock a great range of plastic extending poles as well as the traditional hooks and wire.

Posted on

NEW!!!! Sale Rack

We have a little treat for you at Livingstone textiles.  In both our Yeovil and Bridport shops we have introduced a PERMANENT BARGAINS RACK!

All of the fabrics on this entire rack have at least 20% off the ticket price.  Some have only small amounts left on the rolls for cushions and others have lots, certainly enough to make curtains with and lots more besides.  There are some real beauties and the only limit is your imagination.  Pop in and grab yourself a bargain.

Posted on

A Splash of Velvet

This glorious velvet is settling happily on our velvet shelf but we don’t think it will be around for long.

The rich splashes of colour are as enchanting as a Monet painting but that not all.  This glorious fabric has the feel of the softest kitten fur.  In fact, we don’t just stroke it each time we pass it by, we have been spotted giving it a hug too.

Come into the shop and have a feel for yourself, nothing like seeing the real thing before you buy and luckily for you guys we have a roll in each of our stores 🙂

Posted on

Dorset May Day Celebrations

 

Annually on the First Day of May, various inhabitants of Dorset welcome the dawning of Summer by waking before Dawn and greeting the sun at the top of the Cerne Giant.

Wessex Morris Men along with various fools, animals and co-horts ascend the woods under dark skies and this year the moonlight was bright enough to show the way without torchlight.  As the sky lightens, two strong men appear with a barrel of specially brewed ale for the occasion and set it upright.  They’ve hauled it all the way up the hill, having brewed it out in the woods under the watchful eye of local herbalist Eleanor Gallia.  This gift is shared among the Wessex Morris men who then dance up the sun on the site of an ancient maypole situated within the Trundle.

The Wessex Morris have a tradition of bringing out the Ooser for this great occasion.  The Dorset Ooser is a copy of a mythical mask thought once to be common across Dorset, possibly worn as part of a fertility ritual to represent a powerful horned beast.  The last Ooser was lost many years ago and so one of the founder members of Wessex carved a copy of the photograph that was kept in the museum in the 1970’s.  It is incredibly heavy and worn with a great harness by the tallest man in the Morris while the morris men dance around on the maypole site.  The Ooser then descends down the hill into the village to be paraded into the village centre while men and villagers dance and drink.

The copied Ooser was looking a little forlorn at the end of last year having had many outings so it was decided to give him a whole new outfit and as Dorsets biggest fabric shop, Livingstone Textiles was the obvious place to come and hunt for new material.  He now has a new fully lined suedette cloak and a sackcloth apron as well as some new fur on his head and beard and as you can see from the photographs, he looks magnificent.  Read more about hime here and learn more about the real Mayday celebrations around the UK here.  We were lucky enough to have the great story teller Martin Maudsley with us on the day and you can read his spine tingling prose about the event here.