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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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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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Sophies’ Sandwich Keeper

With all of us becoming very conscious of throwaway plastics and trying to reduce our use and consumption, one of our Bridport team members decided to make up a bag to put her sandwiches in.  Made from less than a fat quarter of fabric, she lined it with a ripstop nylon and popped a velcro closure onto the top and bottom of the first two corners that fold over the sandwiches.  She then made a button hole in one corner and stitched a button onto the showside of the remaining corner that make a neat little packet when closed together, keeping her lunch fresh and looking very pretty in the staff fridge.  Needless to say that we all want one!

Adorable!  Look out for her next experiment with waxed fabrics.

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Fabric Dolls

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There are some beautiful books in the fabric shop at Livingstone Textiles, Bridport.  These are some of our favourite doll making books because they are fanciful and appealing to all age groups.

 

 

 

We also stock a helpful bit of kit for dollmakers called a doll needle.  This very long needle is great for attaching limbs, hair and facial features as you can pass the fine needle throught the fabrics without distortion.  Pop in to the shop and browse our books if you’d like some inspiration for a new project.  We stock kapok stuffing, calico, organzas and beautiful buttons for you to style your dream doll.

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Back To School- Make a PE bag

With the kids going back to school in the next week, one of the things on you shopping list might be a PE kit bag or a shoe bag, why not make your child’s one individual by making it yourself. Follow this easy step by step guide and make something your kids will love.

  • Decide on the size of your bag and what you want it to hold, this one is going to be a BRON - WIN_20160817_094516shoe bag for ballet pumps, and is not going to have clothes in so it doesn’t need to be that big, but if you are making a PE bag you will need it bigger than this one.
  • This bag is going to be 30cm x 20cm finished size so I will be cutting out a piece of fabric 45cm x 40cm. I have given myself 10cm at the top for turns for the drawstring channel.

 

 

 

  • zig-zag all you edges to stop them from fraying if you want a neater finish you could BRON - WIN_20160817_095615hem all your edges to hide all the rough edges

 

 

 

 

 

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  • The channel will be the first thing that will be made, make a big fold for your channel pin and stitch.
  • Fold your fabric over right sides together and sew together the bottom of the bag and the side of the bag, just leaving one opening.

 

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  • Thread through your cord, add a bag pull and tie a knot.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • You bag is now finished.

 

 

 

 

This is a great make and is something that you could make out of old fabric, like curtains bedding or old lining material. Or you pop in and see us and see our lovely range of fabrics at both our Bridport Dorset and Yeovil Somerset stores. For more ideas this bag could be made from our wide range of waterproof fabrics to make a swim bag another school need for going back to school with.

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The Great Dorset Steam Fair

We are very proud of our country and particularly our farming roots in Dorset  and so when every year the county holds The Great Dorset Steam Fair some of us go a little tractor crazy.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair has been running in Dorset for 49 years, the show started small as an event where people could come and see how people lived and work in years gone by. The show is now widely recognized as a National Heritage show as well as being regarded as the leading show of its type world wide.  Now because of its huge size and reputation, people visit and travel with their vintage exhibitions from all over the country and the world. The Great Dorset Steam Fair is now thought to be one of Europes biggest shows.

As mentioned above some of our members of staff (being collectors themselves) go a little crazy when it comes to tractors and vintage machinery so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to you all that we have a few tractor and farm like fabrics within our two shops. Our longest standing member of staff is a farmers wife as is our manageress at Livingstone Textiles, Yeovil.  DSC_5655

This first fabric is a lightweight cotton with beautiful and vivid illustrations of vintage tractors at work. This fabric really takes you back to years gone by and how the fields were worked with these beautiful old machines. This fabric is only available at our Bridport Dorset store but can be ordered from Yeovil Somerset. It is an ideal weight for patchwork and dressmaking.

The second fabric tractor fabric we have in stock is a curtain weight material, it is a lot heavier than the cotton one above and work make ideal curtains, cushions and blinds although it is not quite heavy enough to upholster with. This fabric features a range of tractors in more of a sketchy artist way, slightly more cartoon-like. This is a fun design that work be ideal for a tractor crazed child (or adult!). This fabric, similar to the one above shows the tractors at work in the fields and also puts the mind back to years gone by.

If you are traveling down for The Great Dorset Steam Fair, why not have a day out from the vintage work and come and see our vintage inspired fabrics in our Bridport Shop and take some of the Dorset Life home with you.

If you would like any information on the fabric mentioned in this post please contact us with your details and the information you require.

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Melplash Show

With Melplash show only two days away some of our local customers might be testing out that cake recipe one last time to make sure it’s perfect for the yearly cake competition, I know that Tom at Livingstone Textiles has been busy trying to get his cake perfect for the big day… he’s been known to bake some beautiful cakes in the past! This year he’s planning on entering the men’s only class and will be hopefully making a Guinness and chocolate cake, the staff at Livingstone Textiles are hoping we might get a taste of some of the practice pieces.

Maybe you’re not so interested in cake baking as much as in the decorating of it.  Sugarcraft is an amazing skill to have and last years Melpash show entries showed off the high skills that the people of Bridport have. We’re taking our pop up shop down to the show again this year and are really looking forward to seeing this years entries.  We thought this cake ribbon might give you some inspiration for the occasion and could add the perfect finish to your cake! DSC_5660

Maybe you are entering a flower arrangement?  Don’t forget we have a wide range of ribbons and bows that could add to your display.  We stock a vast selection in the shop in Bridport, from Hessian ribbons to traditional satin in many colours and widths.  These can add to your arrangement without distracting from the beautiful flowers.  If you forget something or need it at the last minute we will have a small selection to chose from on our stand

If you’re coming to the show, how about a visit to see all those lovely arts and craft entrees in the craft marquee. One year there were some lovely bunting flags that had been made using many of our shop fabrics.  We were delighted to see the work involved and that we could be part of that winners success.

We really enjoy seeing the beautiful crafts and garments that people can make from our fabric selection.  Entrants put colour and pattern together in a totally unique way and when we see them entered into a competition we feel very proud to have been part of the story. We really can’t wait to see what sewing entrants pop up at the Melplash show this year.

The Melplash show offers a great day out to Bridport, full of agriculture, animals, machinery and local trade stands.  If you’re traveling down to Dorset for the show, you can always pop in to the shop and see us if you get time, or pop across to our stand and say hello.

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Christmas Promotion TODAY!

10% OFF ALL CHRISTMAS LINES ONE DAY ONLY!!

Christmas promotionIt may seem like a long way off with the sun shining on us all, but our Yeovil shop has been busy getting ready for Christmas! Yes, it’s that “C” word that we normally don’t want to hear until at least December, and don’t want to think about until at least half way through December. But Livingstone Textiles Yeovil is ready for Christmas and today is their BIG CHRISTMAS PROMOTION!

Christmas fabricsToday and only today and at our Yeovil Somerset store we will be selling all of our Christmas fabrics, advent calendars, Christmas fat quarters and all things Christmas with 10% OFF.

Christmas may seem like a long way off but for us sewers who want our makes ready in time for the beginning of December it’s not that long really. For those of you that are like us keen sewers, you will be pleased to know that we stock a small range of Christmas fabric all year round. However today we have our FULL RANGE OF CHRISTMAS materials out and ready to sell.

Available to purchase at FullSizeRenderour Yeovil store is a range of lovely advent calendars in three different designs, each of these are really easy to make up by simply folding each line to make a pocket and then sewing. A xmas ribbon etcgreat way to have an advent calendar that can last you for years and years to come.

 

We also have a massive range of Christmas Fat Quarters which have been cut from our extensive range of Christmas materials, which are available to buy by the metre.

We also stock all those other little things that you might need from bells to ribbons and glittery material.

This offer is only available at our Yeovil Somerset Store and for one day only (25 July 2017) if you would like more information on this offer please contact Yeovil on 01935 422631.

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Pattern Sale Starts 9am tomorow

WIN_20170317_11_39_23_ProRotated simplicity sale photo

It’s exciting news! There’s still time to make a new summer outfit or get ahead and start creating your new autumn look before A/W17 hits the shops.  All of the New Look and Simplicity patterns we have in stock are HALF PRICE FOR TWO WEEKS!!  You can browse online if you’ve no time to come and browse the catalogues in the shop.  When you come to collect your pattern you’ll see that we also hold the most beautiful fabrics and you can grab yourself another bargain while you’re here too because our FABULOUS SUMMER FABRIC SALE is on as well!  We really want you to get sewing and discover the enormous pleasure you’ll find when you make garments for yourself, for your loved ones, your grandchildren and friends.  All our staff are mad keen sewers and really happy to offer you help and advice with your projects.

See you soon

The Livingstones Team

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Elephant Patchwork Quilting Classes

Our newest patchwork course is well under way in our Yeovil shop.  Having a dedicated teaching space enables us to offer you our sewing expertise in a small group where you can learn new skills and make new friends.elephant workshop wk 1 img3wk2 elephant workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see that all our ladies are happy and relaxed and busy creating some beautiful patchwork, all skillfully lead by our tutor.

 

 

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If you would like more information about our next course dates, please contact us on 01935 422631 or email us here https://www.livingstonetextiles.com/contact/

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LIVINGSTONES AT YEOVIL SHOW

20170714_144951We’re making our first appearance at the Yeovil Show.  Come over and say hello and take a look at the sample of fabrics that we have brought along to show you.  It’s just a taste of the massive range of stock that we hold across both our Yeovil and Bridport shops as well as our beautiful ribbopns and tapes, bindings and zips. 20170714_181104 20170715_081431We cater for crafters, knitters and sewers and hold a great selection of books for those of you wanting to try learning a new skill.  Our staff are all sewers and knitters and will be glad to answer your questions and help you. IMG_0094We also make up beautifully hand sewn curtains and blinds to order from any of the furnishing fabrics you choose in our shops.  We have a vast roll stock for you to choose from and give it free samples to make colour matching selection in your home easier and if you really can’t find anything there, you can browse our beautiful books and inspiring hangers and we’ll order your chosen fabric in for you. IMG_0099 (002)We pride ourselves on our customer service and are here to listen and do things well for you so come over and say hello if you’re at the Yeovil Show this weekend.  And if you can’t make it, find us opposite The Octagon Theatre where we provide free parking, a lift and ramps to enable full access to everyone.

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Advent Calendars

IMG_2190It may seem like a long way of with the sun shining very hot on us all, but our Yeovil shop has been busy getting ready for Christmas! Yes, it’s that “C” word that we normally don’t want to hear until at least December, and the word we don’t want to think about until at least half way through December. But Livingstone Textiles Yeovil is busy sewing and getting ready for their Christmas launch on the 25th of July!

It may seem like a long way off but for us sewers who want the makes ready in time for the beginning of December it’s not that long really. For those of you that are like us keen sewers, you will be pleased to know that we stock Christmas fabric all year round, although not a full range that we would normally have from around July onwards.

Already in stock and able to purchase at our Yeovil store is a range of lovely advent calendars in three different designs, each of these are really easy to make up by simply folding each line to make a pocket and then sewing. A great way to have an advent calendar that can last you for years and years to come.

These can be purchased either as a 60cm panel at £9.00 each or in a pack which contains all materials needed to make then except thread.

Coming Soon

Coming soon to Yeovil are some very cute felt packs that you can make and decorate your tree with, a fun way to get the kids involved in the lead up to Christmas.

Excited about Yeovil’s Christmas Launch? If you are then why not pop over to see us, located opposite the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil, where we stock not only a wide range of Christmas materials but also curtain, upholstery and dress fabrics, knitting yarn and craft books, including some with lovely Christmas makes from both yarn and fabric.

Got a question? Contact us and we will be happy to help.

 

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The Dorset Long Ears (better known as rabbits)

WIN_20170311_12_34_07_Pro-1-e1490877416420-576x1024In Dorset, we have a little island peninsula off the Jurassic coast named Portland where the famous stone for St Pauls and many other public buildings in London comes from.   On the Isle, there is a superstition that forbids the public mention of the R word as it is deemed to be very bad luck. JumpingJack at http://old.qi.com/talk/ says:
“The burrowing of rabbits near the stone quarries caused many landslips and, just over a century ago, one of these resulted in a crane operator being killed when the ground beneath his crane collapsed. Afterwards, if workers even saw a rabbit, they would down tools and go home.”
On Portland, Rabbits are referred to as ‘Long Ears’ or ‘Underground Mutton’ and sometimes Bunnies, mention the R word publicly and you can be sure of an uncomfortable hush.  Luckily Livingstone Textiles is a good 20 miles from Portland and we’ve got a couple of some new Rabbit fabrics in for the spring.  At only £6.70 a metre they are great value cotton poplins suitable for dressmaking, shirts and crafts.   Just don’t wear them on the Isle.WIN_20170311_12_35_22_Pro-1-e1490877574677-576x1024

 

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What is…..a Fat Quarter?

Ever wondered what a Fat Quarter is? We have a whole stack of them in our shop and they are often mistakenly referred to as ‘scraps of fabric’ A Fat Quarter is a quarter of a yard of fabric. If we cut strips selvedge to selvedge then we end up with a long thin strip that has a limit to the projects that can be made from it.  These strips are known as border pieces and they can be used to edge panels of patchwork.  What is more useful to the crafter is for us to cut a quarter of a yard of fabric into a rectangle shape.  We lay the fabric out and cut it in half vertically then again horizontally so it looks a bit like a window pane.  This makes the quarter of a yard ‘fat’ not long or ‘thin’  A fat quarter should measure approximately 45cm x 50cm but it might be as big as 45cm x 57cm, it all depends on the width of the cloth as we cut.

All of our fat quarters are cut from our large selection of dress cottons, some plain, some patterned, some floral and some dotty.  We sell them individually so you can select a small piece of material for a little project but we also put bundles of colours and patterns together for you so that you can save time in matching up fabrics.  Buying a bundle makes it easier to buy a larger selection of fabrics in small amounts and to coordinate your projects.These bundles could make coordinating napkins for the Christmas table or maybe a collection of decorations for the tree.  For more inspiration and ideas we sell a great book by Wendy Gardiner that will teach you step by step, how to make lovely gifts and decorations for the home and family.Fun with Fat Quarters book