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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.

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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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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.

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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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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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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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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

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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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.

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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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Dreamy two tone Organzas

DSC_2051

 

We have them back!  The glorious two tone organzas that flew out of the shop last year are back and we’re so delighted to have more colours to offer you.  The blue/green colourway is one of the favourites and we expect this to sell really fast but while you’re in the shop, check out the others as well.

 

The grape is delightful.  A combination of deep pink and petrol blue, it shimmers and changes as it moves under the light.  If you can’t get in to see us over the easter Break, remember we can always send out samples in the post and you can order by telephone on 01308456844, email or online at www.livingstonetextiles.com

 

 

 

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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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Book review – Fabric Manipulation

Fabric Manipulation – 150 Creative Sewing Techniques, by Ruth Singer

This beautiful hardback book generated a huge amount of excitement when in arrived in store at Bridport, and we all felt inspired by the projects! In the beautifully laid out pages, Ruth Singer looks at techniques to shape, embellish and, yes, manipulate fabric in astounding and creative ways, to create both traditional and strikingly modern effects.

Within the chapter headings of Pleat and Fold, Stitch and Gather and Apply and Layer, the author covers all kinds of fabric techniques, which can be used for both dressmaking and home furnishings. Although the finished projects are often spectacular, the uncluttered layout of the book and the clarity of the instructions, enhanced by the clear and beautifully photographed illustrations makes it all very achieveable – just come in and take a closer look at book to see.

She also covers choosing and using fabrics, equipment and materials, and although the techniques are often based on the author’s love of vintage costumes, she shares her secrets for using these techniques with a modern twist, and positively encourages your experimentation. Treat yourself to this gorgeous book, and be inspired!