Posted on

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.

Posted on

Book review – Make and Mend

Here is one of our new books that we think is absolutely great !

This is about the Japanese Art of Sashiko Embroidery and is a lovely book that will really get you inspired.

With fast fashion and with such a throw away culture because clothing has become so cheap, this make and mend book is a great way to teach you how to repair clothing or other fabric items in a stylish way.  This in itself is a great skill to have, to make your garments last that bit longer and give them a totally new lease of life. The designs in this book are so lovely that even incorporating them into new things you make will add beautiful detail and a unique style.   You can even add them to a bought item to make it your own individual style.

In this book Jessica Marquez starts with an introduction to how much waste we get through with fast fashion and cheap clothing and takes you back to the history of why the Japanese art of Sashiko Embroidery was so important.

The author takes you through all the tools and equipment that you will need and describes in detail what the tools or materials are that you will need to complete the projects throughout the book, this is great for an absolute beginner to mending and the tools are minimal because the author encourages you to use what you already have.

For each project there is a list of materials you will need at the start of it so you can get these ready before you begin. The book contains lots of detailed patterns for stiches that will become your mends and patches so its easy to follow and get right, you just need accuracy and a little patience when stitching the basic running stitch and the book guides you through the rest.

There are great ideas in here for new things to make and also really pretty designs for mends! This would make a great gift for someone or even a treat to yourself as it’s a great skill to have at any age. And as the saying goes a stitch in time saves nine, this is just a really stylish way of doing it.

Make sure you Follow us on Facebook and look out for our Upcoming Book Competition with prizes to be won and details of other exciting Totally Locally special offers that are coming up very soon!

 

Posted on

Chambray Now In Stock

We have some rather cool cotton chambray in stock at both our Bridport and Yeovil stores and we think they’ll look really fabulous made into a bag or a denim style jacket.

The cloth is lightweight and has a little stretch in it so would also look great as a jeans style skirt or trousers and you can now buy all three designs  from our online shop by clicking on the links below the videos, but first have a look at how they sparkle!

 

 

 

 

Posted on

The Wild Wild West

Welcome to the Wild Wild West, home of the fastest drawn scissors at dawn.

Livingstone Textiles has two fabulous fabric outlets in the Westcountry bursting with hundreds of metres of gorgeous material ready to be made into lovely projects.  Did you know that as well as stocking fabric for dressmaking and material for making curtains, blinds and cushions, we also stock a number of wipe clean pvc tablings and oil cloths that are not only used for covering tables?

Here you can see that this vintage design of Cowboys and Indians has been made into a waterproof bag or shopping, books or school/college stuff.  It’s been lined with one of our bright and cheerful childrens fabrics featuring orange dinosaurs and has strong canvas straps stitched firmly between the layers.  The whole bag is robust and we think the design has a vintage vibe cool enough for both adults and kids.  The fabric is 130cm wide and costs £8.50 per metre and can be bought at either of our shops in Yeovil or Bridport.

Posted on

New tapestry fabrics arriving soon!

 

 

We’re just excitedly unpacking some lovely new tapestry fabrics from the same family as these ones –  the perennially popular ‘Lollipop’ and ‘Big Holland‘.  All of them strong, tactile and colourful, perfect for upholstery, curtains and cushions, available in store and online.

We can’t wait to see the new ones…can you?

While you’re waiting, you can check out the current range!

 

Posted on

Easter Opening Hours

Our regular opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm but over the Easter period they are slightly different.  We will be putting a sign on the front doors of both shops as well.

Monday – Thursday      9am – 5pm

Good Friday                   Closed

Easter Saturday             9am – 5pm

Easter Sunday                Closed

Easter Monday               Closed

Tuesday 23rd April        Normal Opening Times resume

Posted on

Cushion Covers

 

We had an order in this week for a pair of curtains and two scatter cushions in this fresh spring fabric and they looked gorgeous when they came back from the maker.  We know that our customer will be so pleased with them, the cream piping perfectly compliments the soft white of the flowers.

Remember that we can make up all sorts of soft furnishings for you, from pencil pleat curtains and roman blinds to boxed and piped cushions and our prices are very competitive, just pop in to the shop and ask for details or take a look at our website, our making prices are the most competitive in the area.

Posted on

Stripy Spring

 

The light in the evenings and the burst of flowers everywhere tells us that despite the chill wind, Spring has definitely sprung.

We decided to change our downstairs fabric display from Autumn’s Oranges to these fresh and vibrant stripes and greens to bring the outside in.

All of the fabrics shown in the picture can be purchased in store and some are on our online shop.

The sad news is that we can no longer get the lovely grey elephant fabric, however you can pop in and buy one of the cushions if you’re so inclined but first come first served though as stock is very limited.

Meanwhile you will be thrilled to know that the fabulous circus monkeys on the pompom cushion (just seen) are very much available and new in.  We just know that this one is going to fly out because we all love it already.

Remember that we can make up a bespoke Roman Blind for you using either a traditional wooden batten system or the smart new cassette system. We also handmake all of our curtains to your exact requirements and you can choose from a variety of headings including modern eyelets using our new in house press.  We are proud of our team of curtain makers in and around Bridport,Dorset and Yeovil,Somerset and we can provide you with boxed and piped cushions for the home and caravan as well as scatter cushions and are happy to ome out and measure if you’re unsure. Don’t forget that we also have an in house workshop where our skilled upholsterer can breath new life into a favoured chair or settle.

Contact us for more details.

 

 

 

Posted on

Remnants Revamped

 

I know we all love the treasure-hunt feeling of digging through the remnants, but we realised that our remnant bin looked just a little disapointing, so it’s had a revamp and a rebrand, and is now our glorious new remnant basket!

Inspired by these vintage bundles we found in the attic, we’ve sorted out our best remnants into lovely labelled bundles, so you can see at a glance how much fabric is there. …however, if you still need to unroll and check if there’s going to be just enough, then that’s okay too.

You’ll find fabric in our remnants for skirts and tops, small upholstery projects, maybe even a blind, and there are some amazing bargains to be had because the prices have stayed the same. In amongst our shop remnants, you’ll also find some fantastic designer pieces, so take a look next time you’re in – it’s a real treasure trove!

 

Posted on

Luxurious Kobe ‘Como’ fabric – and an amazing price!

Newly arrived in store, and also available from our webshop, this luxuriously soft chenille fabric is perfect for curtains, blinds and crafting as well as being tough enough (rated heavy domestic use, Martindale 50000) for upholstery. It’s also fire resistant, which makes it a great choice for soft furnishings in holiday cottages, as well as in your own home. As ever, our skilled makers stand ready to help you achieve the results you desire for your curtains, blinds, cushions, window seats etc if you don’t want to attempt the project yourself.

 

We currently have a range of colours, including a gorgeous two tone blue/purple, all available at an astounding sale price, while stocks last:

 

Posted on

Ready, Steady, Sew!

 

At least once a week at Livingstone Textiles we have someone new through our doors who is just starting out on their sewing adventure.

 

They are usually rather bewildered at the array of fabrics, haberdashery and techniques and have many questions for us so we have devised a little step by step guide to help rookie stitchers through their first sewing project.

 

 

 

1]  GET A SEWING MACHINE

Beg or borrow a machine that does a straight stitch, a zig zag and goes forward and back.  Anything else will be of no use for quite a while so arm yourself with a basic machine for sewing garments.  You can try before you buy in many fabric shops (including livingstone textiles) or order one on line at a reasonable price.

2] GET BASIC TOOLS

To start with any basic sewing pattern you need a basic set of tools.  Needles (hand & machine) pins, large scissors, a seam ripper, marking chalk  and a tape measure.  You will also find an iron and ironing board very helpful.

3] PICK A PROJECT

Decide on a pattern that you want to wear or use, it’s important to really want what you will be making as that is what will motivate you to finish it.  A garment should be a basic shape with simple features like short sleeves and little shaping.  A bag should be unfussy with simple lines and few pockets or fancy features.

4] PRACTICE

Grab a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a fabric remanant and settle down comfortably with your sewing machine manual.  Have a quick read through then practice lifting and dropping the presser foot, threading up the machine and sewing backwards and forwards until you feel a bit more confident with the pedal.  Practice stitching a straight line at various speeds and practice a zigzag stitch that runs parallel to the edge of your remnant

5] BUY FABRIC!

This is the one area that you will get very good at very quickly.  Buy a fabric that is recommended on your pattern for the project you wish to create along with a matching thread and any other bits and pieces that are mentioned.

6] START SEWING….

Read your pattern carefully, lay it out on your fabric and cut out your pieces.  Label them and copy on any lines or markings from the pattern.  Thread the machine up and off you go!  Remember, it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake, just unpick it and try again.  Remember that there are many helpful tuition videos on Youtube and lots of hints and tips can be found here on our website

 

Posted on

Elegant Linen Voiles

Laura, one of our curtain makers and Lynne our track and pole fitter have just finished dressing the patio doors in this elegant dining room.

The Rennaisance mini professional track is excellent as a discreet wall mounted curtain track and can also be used as a ceiling mounted track.  The curtain hook fittings glide effortlessly along and it is extremely strong, making it suitable for heavierweight curtains, even with thermal and blackout linings.  It is also available in other colours to match in with your decor should you wish it.

The unbleached Russian linen chosen by the customer was made into unlined curtains to act as a screen against brilliant sunshine and to protect a collection of beautiful old maps and pictures.

We think you’ll agree that the effect is clean and natural and will look even better in the daytime with light filtering through the weave.

Posted on

Recycled fabric

 

With the multiple threats to our environment from pollution and consumerism, the need to reuse and recycle has never been greater. There are many ways to recycle plastic bottles and other plastic waste, but luckily for us, transforming it into usable yarn for weaving fabrics is one of the most efficient ones! Of course, we also demand that fabric produced in this way is beautiful and useful too, which is why we’ve chosen to stock this lovely new fabric woven from  fibres cleverly created from 100% recycled plastic waste, keeping it out of our oceans for a much more useful life as furnishings in our homes.  It’s strong, good to handle and in modern, neutral tones. This fabric comes in a useful double width of 280cms/108 inches wide, and has a pleasing textured and flecked finish.

 

Posted on

Thermal Door Curtain

We had to make a door curtain to cover a rear door that was situated at the bottom of a staircase and creating a cold draught in the main living room of this home. A number of fabrics had been mixed by the customer to create a comfortable country living look so we had to find a fabric that didn’t fight with the rest of the colour scheme.  After careful consideration of fabric books and several swatches the customer settled on this fabic by Isles.  The Dove grey colour really softens that corner of the room while complimenting the colour scheme of blues and being made of wool it has thermal qualities that keep the room warmer.  The customer also decided on a thermal lining to eliminate any cold air passing through the cloth and this has made it look very thick and luxurious whilst doing exactly the job intended.  Isles Harris can be purchased from Livingstone Textiles and we can send out samples of any colour in the series.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Velvets now available on our Website

A beautiful range of Velvets that carry a soft sheen are now available to order on our website,for just £19.50 per metre (excluding shipping fees).  These 100% polyester velvets are 140 cms width, and have a gorgeous soft touch and luxurious semi-matt texture. They’re suitable for curtains, cushions and domestic upholstery, and with a range of colours large enough to match any room scheme, would be a fantastic way to add a touch of luxe to your home.

If you’d like to see the full range of  colours the hanger can be borrowed for a small deposit or we can send you samples.

Posted on

Winter Hares

One of the staff from Livingstone Textiles in Bridport saw a hare in a field on the Dorset Coast Road this morning.  It was very still but its brown colour and long ears stood out against the drab green of the field and it was just quietly watching.  We like to have that morning chat when we all come in to work while we go about opening up and making a brew and it got us to thinking about some of the really special faabrics we’ve had in over the past couple of years.  Being a shop in a rural town we notice that our customers seem to like hares as much as we do so we thought we’d share a couple of really special fabrics that we’ve had in recently.

All of these are still available in our shops and we also have a couple available to order from our website.

 

 

Posted on

Dragonfly Bag Accessories

We are so excited to share our new range of bag accessories with you.

Many of you come into the shop with your gorgeous bag creations and over the past twelve months we have focussed on expanding our range of straps and webbing tapes to give you more choice when matching your fabrics to the handles you need.

We also stock D rings in a couple of sizes and some adjusters as well but we have now arranged for you to be able to purchase whole sets of rings, adjusters and sliders in two sizes available in gold or nickel.  Howeve our current favourites are these anodised accessories, also available in two sizes.  Their irridescence is really beautiful and they will certainly be a talking point on any of your creations because they are very unusual.  We’re calling them the Dragonfly range and we also have cute thread scissors in this finish as well.

Beautiful thread snips

Pop in and ask us to show you what we have available and bring your project in too, we love helping you to choose something special that works with your fabric.

Posted on

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.

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Fabric Manipulation

We’ve got a great new book in stock.  It shows you how to create some great forms with fabric that appear across textile art pieces.  The techniques are all carefully explained and illustrated with some really original ideas that you can put into practice straight away.

 

Using basic geometric shapes and folds as a starting point, you can learn variations on the basic method and develop different decorative effects.  Many of the techniques have been resourced from historical garments and museum pieces as well as more modern books and resources.  The author explains that most of her knowledge of smocking came from books published in the 1970’s!

 

All of the illustrations clearly show the patterns you can make with cuts and folds, pleats and ruffles and the guide at the beginning of the book lists suitable fabrics, tools, measuring techniques, hand sewing methods, pinning, cutting and pressing methods to help you achieve good results.  Some brilliant designs can be created by folding, stitching and cutting layered fabrics in different ways and the complimentary colours can create some rather explosive effects when they are cut into and folded back.

These pictures show how to achieve the stunning textures that are often used to create arty scarves and interior design projects.  The velvet cushion looks particularly striking and the enclosed stuffing balls give a fabulous bobble effect over the surface so it becomes more like a piece of tactile art.

The instructions for this are very straight forward and the fabric calculations are a lot simpler that you would think.  This is such an exciting book and this is definitely one of the projects that we will be trying ourselves.

Posted on

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 🙂

Posted on

Roman Blinds in Autumn

This beautiful new fabric from one of our regular suppliers is a celebration of autumn depicting leaves and berries in vibrant jewel colours.  Made up into a pair of Roman blinds they will compliment our client’s dining room windows and tell a story of the seasons swinging from an English summer into autumn.

This cotton fabric in the featured Rust colourway can be purchased in our shops for only £20.90 per metre, or see below to order online.  We also offer a full make up service with our skilled seamstresses.

 

Posted on

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

Posted on

Advent calender packs

With the start of advent, and Christmas, fast approaching there is just enough time to get your advent calendar kits and make your very own calendar.

We have a choice of two lovely festive designs available. We have made these up into packs for you with everything you need to make your own, including simple step by step instructions. We also have these available as just the panels of fabric if you would like to use different bindings and backings etc.