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

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

Crazy cacti to crochet!

We’ve got some lovely new books in stock right now, including Crocheted Cactuses by Sarah Abbondio.

 

 

This one particularly appeals appeals to me both as a gardener (the patterns are for botanically correct, named cacti!) and as a beginner at crochet because these gorgeous little cacti are manageably quick makes, and there are useful illustrated guides to stitches and techniques. Also…no watering, ever!

Hardback book, only £6.99 from Livingstone Textiles

 

 

Posted on

Our makes – gorgeous monkey cushion

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of our makers has used this gorgeous print to make a cushion for our Bridport shop, and now we all want it! The colourful retro print monkey design is set off perfectly with another shop favorite, an edging of playful teal blue pompoms. Perfect for cushions, stylish yet playful curtains, or a roman blind – and don’t forget we can make them for you.

 

 

 

Retro printed linen, available from stock now from our Yeovil store, or pop in to see us in Bridport and we can have it bought down from Yeovil for you. Heavens, we may even order some for ourselves!

150cm/60″ wide; On sale now at £35.90 per metre

Posted on

Bean bag filling

Here at Livingstone Textiles we sell bean bag filling, which are the little polystyrene beads that make bean bags….. bean bags.

To source more of these Tom and Meg went to visit the factory in Birmingham last week to collect some more stock and see where they come from and how they package them up, which is you’ve ever dealt with these tricky little beads you will know is a nightmare. When they were there, they found the most enormous bean bag ever along with huge polystyrene blocks, here are some picture of Meg stood next to these giant things to give you an idea of the scale.

 

Posted on

Customer makes – Brilliant Bee Dress!

We love seeing what you all are making with our fabrics, it’s great to see the variety and the creativity that everyone has.

We have been sent these pictures by Debbie who has made this stunning dress from some of the fabrics found in our curtain and furnishings range, showing how versatile fabrics really can be, the limit is your imagination!

The sewing on this dress is so neat and the overall look is really effective so well-done Debbie!

Debbie has also been busy making another dress, from one of our cotton poplins, this dress has lovely summery look to it and again is brilliantly sewn.

 

If you have been busy making something from some of our fabrics and you’d like to share it with us, then please send us an email to people@livingstonetextiles.com with a photo attached. We love writing about the great thing you all get up to with fabrics.

 

 

Posted on

New In – Pure Wool

New in stock now, are these pure wools in three great colour ways, they are perfect for making skirts, jackets, bags and even curtains!

The colours are muted and subtle with a soft fade throughout to give a stripe effect. They are of a really high quality with a great feel and lovely drape.

Wool is such a warm and versatile fabric and really can be used to make almost anything and why wouldn’t you with these great colours available!

They are 144cm ( 56″) wide and are on sale at £26.50 per metre.

 

Posted on

No Business like ‘Sew’ Business

 

 

Bridport Arts Centre is all ready to kick off its Fashion Week event to celebrate fashion history, costume and the recent upsurge in the popularity of sewing.  Starting on Monday 4th March and running through to Sunday 10th March there is sure to be something to whet your appetite and inspire you to get your sewing machine out.  Livingstone Textiles is very proud to have been able to sponsor this event and during the week we will have a stand in the Arts Centre foyer where you can pick up information about our locations and the products and services we provide as well as a huge selection of fabric and haberdashery to choose from.

.

The events consist of talks on pattern drafting, pattern reading, historical fashion and the influences of modern London fashion through the experienced eye of Saville Row tailor, author and tv presenter James Sherwood. Also visiting Bridport to talk about the Royal Wardrobe are the Curators of Bath Museum of Fashion. They will be explaining their current exhibition on modern royal fashion as well as the royal wardrobe of Queen Alexander, Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and our current Queen Elizabeth. Continuing the fashion history theme, Bridport museum will be giving a unique insight into their textile and costume collection dating back 150 years and Arts Centre Director Curtis Fulcher will be giving an informed talk on Tudors and Historical costume. Curtis is an experienced costume designer and maker and has made a couple of recreations to demonstrate his talk with questions. There are also a great range of films to watch about some of the greatest fashion designers that have ever lived and you can find more information about the whole weeks events here

Posted on

Stretch Velvet Evening Dress

One of our members of staff had a special date earlier this month that required something a little more dressier than her usual attire.  It’s quite rare to get the glad rags on and dine out at a proper dinner dance these days so it was no surprise that nothing suitable could be found in the wardrobe.

Out came the sewing machine and some beautiful stretch velvet that was purchased about two years ago.  All that was needed was a pattern that would make the most of the way the light shone off the fabic, making it appear to be more than one flat colour.

 


Pattern 6577 in the New Look pattern book shows a top in a similar fabric to the one proposed and the drape on the cowl neckline would be perfect for an evening dress so Laura set about a few alterations to the pattern to take it from a tunic to an evening dress with a slit up the side.

She also measured her own key statistics and marked them on the pattern at the bust, waist and hipline and then carefully drew in the lines to create her own personal pattern.  Finally she decided on the length of the gown and split the pattern where indicated in order to add in another section of pattern paper and create a full length pattern.

 

Careful pinning and cutting ensued, the fabric was quite thick and so needed to be treated carefully as it was inclined to slip as well.  Three pleats at the shoulders formed the drape for the cowlwhich also pulled the shoulder back to the correct position for sleeves.

 

Little cap sleeves were decided on in order to give the dress a 1930’s feel and a fur stole was quickly run up on the machine from a textured swirly fur in a pale coffee colour from Livingstones.

White velvet bag and sparkly shoes were the finishing touches , hpefully it wont be too long before another opportunity arises to wear it again.

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

Practical, stylish ticking stripes

Ticking never goes out of fashion, especially as we have it in so many colourways. Whether you’re minimalist, rustic, or going for a maritime theme; whether it’s for blinds, curtains or cushions ticking fabric will fit right in.

For some creative inspiration, follow the link to see how Laura, one of our curtain makers, used ticking to line some charming curtains for a shepherd’s hut. It contrasted perfectly with the scandi trees show fabric, and the curtains look gorgeous! So if you feel you have a great home furnishing idea but don’t feel confident to make it yourself, at Livingstones you can have curtains, cushions, blinds and more hand made and hand finished by our makers, who can be as creative as you want them to be.

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

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

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

Vintage Patchwork Quilt

This beautiful patchwork was constructed in Wales and gifted to a friend in the 1970’s.
The hexagons are very clearly Laura Ashley cotton dress fabrics from that period and have been beautifully hand pieced together using a technique known as English Paper Piecing or EPP, to create a double bedspread.  One of our makers was asked to remove the nylon bedsheet that had been used as a backing and to replace it with something more suitable.

She decided that a plain white cotton sheeting would look the most fitting as a backing fabric as it compliments the blue and white design of the patchwork top.  She also created a thicker quilt by adding a layer of batting between the top and the sheeting.  The batting used is our Warm & Natural needle punched cotton and it is a completely natural product that does not seperate or bunch up.  It can be machine washed and because the fibres are pure cotton, the needle can pass through the layers quickly and easily when quilting by hand or machine.

The batting can be purchased from either of our shops or you can order it by ringing us and we will ship it out to you the same day.  This product is not currently available to buy on our webshop but we are happy to send out free samples on request.  We stock both cotton and polycotton sheeting in plain black, white and royal blue and can also mail out samples and whole pieces.  We have a few more colours to choose from in the poly cotton.  The quilt was made using an unconventional method where the layers were placed right sides together along with the cotton batting and then bagged out through a gap left in the top.  The gap was carefully top stitched together then the centre of the quilt was marked.  The Hexagon that fell in the centre of the patchwork was then hand quilted followed by random other hexagons.  In this way the quilt could be enjoyed very quickly as a coverlet but added to at any time our seamstress wanted to do a little hand sewing.  And of course January is the perfect time for disappearing under a mountain of fabric layers to quilt on a winters evening.

If you would like to learn more about patchwork and quilting, or just take some basic sewing lessons then have a look at the classes we will be running over the next few weeks.

 

 

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

10 % Discount on Christmas Fabrics!

We’re very excited to offer our customers a 10% discount across all of our Christmas fabrics until the end of January 2019.

We still have some beautiful timeless designs in stock that you can now pick up at a great price and squirrel away ready for next autumns projects.  Now is also the time to come and browse our extensive collection of craft books too.  You can spend a little time with yourself and get acquainted with a new project for the cold months ahead.

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

Norman the Nordic Gnome

We’ve been making some cute decorations to hang up in the shop and we thought we’d share them with you, along with some simple step by step instructions on how we did them.

All you need is a square of red felt, a giant white pom pom and two little pompoms.  We used a pink 1/2 inch one for the nose and a white 1 inch one for the top of his hat.  From the sewing box you’ll need scissors, a needle, some pins and some red thread.