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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 irridescent 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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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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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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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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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 kluckily 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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FINAL DAYS OF OUR FREE OFFER

 

 

Remember to come in and order your new curtains before the end of April.

We are offering you FREE LINING with all orders placed by next Monday the 30th and we’ve got some gorgeous spring fabrics in for a fresh new look.

 

 

Not sure where to find us?  Look out for Toms Van parked near one of our shops.  We currently have fabric showrooms at Yeovil and Bridport

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Crafting inspirations – a child’s lampshade

Our Yeovil store shared this adorable lampshade made with Animal Alphabet fabric!

To get the look, this cute fabric is available in store at £17.85 per metre, and we also sell lampshade kits, so you can easily get a smart, professional-looking finish either with this fabric, or the fabric of your choice.

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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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Easter Opening hours

HAPPY EASTER FOLKS

Hessian bunny

Over the Easter period Livingstone Textiles will be open as follows in both Bridport and Yeovil:

Thursday the 29th March – 9am-5pm

Good Friday – CLOSED

Easter Saturday 31st March – 9am- 5pm

Easter Sunday – CLOSED

Easter Monday – CLOSED

Tuesday 3rd April – 9am – 5pm

 

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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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Tiny heart buttons

 

Just in time for Valentine’s day, these tiny heart buttons are new in store. In either red or ivory, they would be just perfect for childrens clothes or knits, and with their soft, rounded shape will be easy for little fingers to handle too.

We also thought they would be beautiful for handmade wedding accessories – especially the ivory hearts, which you can see in the close-up picture have a delicate rustic look. We’re picturing them on cards, gift tags or bunting for a perfect homemade rustic wedding feel.

 

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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!

 

 

 

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Far From The Madding Crowd

At Livingstone Textiles Bridport we are extremely fortunate to live amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the British Isles.  As well as fast becoming a very popular  holiday and tourism destination with its crumbling Jurrasic coastline, the West Dorset landscape is increasingly seen in documentaries, television series’ and as an area in which to make evocative films.

For many of us nothing beats a good traditional costume drama and in the newest screen version of the Dorset Author Thomas Hardys’ beautiful novel, Far From The Madding Crowd, the stunning countryside around Bridport is portrayed with all of its rural charm.   While the filming was taking place from various locations around the town and surrounding villages, one film crew pitched camp behind Livingstones and we frequently supplied ribbons, haberdashery, elastic, buttons and various pieces of cloth to the costume department who would regularly pop in to top up their own supplies.

 

Inspired?  Why not host a unique Regency Ball Party?  West Dorset has a wealth of beautiful village halls for hire at ridiculously cheap rates and there is a beautiful Regency inspired venue at The Bull Hotel in the town complete with its own Ballroom.  Local Folk Bands can perform live music for you at really competitive rates and most can arrange a local caller to teach very simple Playford Dance.   For a birthday or wedding, this could be a beautifully immersive experience and at Livingstones we can supply you with authentically styled patterns to sew your own gowns as well as an array of luxury patterns and plains for waistcoats, dress shirts, petticoats and bonnets.  Remeber to ask us about joining our pattern club as well to get free patterns and great price offers unavailable online.

 

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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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Spring makeover for holiday homes and hotels

It’s that time of year when you may be looking at renewing the soft furnishings in your guest accommodation, and at Livingstone Textiles we can help you with all apects of the process.  We have a huge variety of fabrics to choose from in store on the roll, and an even wider selection available to order from our suppliers, so whether you want to furnish a luxurious bolt-hole, or spruce up a holiday cottage, you’ll find plenty here to please.

For a luxe feel, take a look at our gorgeous Romo velvets to bring a really sumptuous finish for your property,or maybe our large range of seaside themed fabric in blues, brights or neutrals will tempt you – they’re great for cushions and curtains in a house near the sea.

We can guide you through the whole process, from choosing your fabric, to having your fbric made up into hand-finished curtains, blinds and other soft furnishings  made to measure by our experienced local seamstresses. We can even have your chosen fabric treated with fireproofing, with a certificate, for extra peace of mind.

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Rolls of Fabric

Inside 2Don’t forget that Livingstone Textiles stock hundreds of fabrics on the roll for you to chose from.  Fabric is one of those products that you really need to feel before you buy and our huge selection means you can usually find something to take away that day.  Two weeks before Christmas a customer popped in to the shop and chose one of our semi plains off the roll and we were able to make her blind and cover her baton in time for Christmas.

If you really can’t find anything amongst our stock, we can order from any of our suppliers and most deliver to us within a week, some in just a day! Just ask us when ordering and we’ll do everything we can to get your fabric as quickly as possible and if you really can’t get to us then we’ll happily send you samples of anything in stock, just ask and we’ll try to match you with your ideal fabric.

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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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Lovely Linens

At Livingstone Textiles we are proud to stock a great selection of linens suitable for dressmaking and curtain making.  We hold beautiful soft linens from Russia, rough and slubby linens from Lithuania and beautiful herringbone weaves as well as traditional Irish linens.  As well as our regular stock lines in natural colours we can also occasionally source limited colours in gentle washed out greens, oranges, yellows and blues.

We sell a lot of our linen as curtain fabric as its weight allows it to drape beautifully but one or two of our staff members have sewn clothing items from the lighter weights as it hangs really well and below we can share with you a lightweight hoodie that was made from a green/blue linen that was in stock last summer.  Sadly this particular colour has not become available again but we still have other colours in stock.  Some of our customers also print on our linens and turn them into unique cushions and tea towels.