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.

 

Posted on

7 Simple Eco friendly makes

With the climate change, burning of fossil fuels and the mountains of plastic we are using and discarding daily, sometimes without knowing (it’s in everything even tea bags!) the planet is really suffering and is in desperate need of a helping hand from us! With changes from everyone needed now more than ever here are a few simple makes that are easy to do and will go towards helping out planet earth. Most of these makes will also save you money as you wont need to keep buying new items just to throw them away after use.

Single-use has recently been named the word of the year by Collins dictionary, which indicates how relevant this has become this year.

via GIPHY

1 – Waxed cotton food wraps

No more need for cling film or plastic bags , these are easy to make at home and can be made out of most cotton fabrics. We have a huge range of dress and craft weight cottons which are perfect for making these with so you can choose from almost any design or style you can think of!

We have even helped out Damers first school in making these back in July, for more details on these wraps and how to use them check out their great work here!

2 – Sandwich keeper

Cut out the need for single use plastic sandwich bags and plastic packaging (if you cheat and get a shop bought sandwich), instead take your lunch with you in style! What’s even better about this is that it doubles up as a place mat when opened so you can eat your lunch anywhere out and about and know you’ve got a clean surface to eat from and also a handy crumb catcher! It is machine washable for when the outside gets grubby but for day to day use you can wipe clean the inside with soapy damp cloth, then rinse.

I made this one earlier in the year and I haven’t needed to buy sandwich bags since, saving money and cutting out a little more plastic.

3 – Shopping bags

We have nearly all got used to the idea of carrying around a shopping bag with us to avoid using plastic bags. I find that you can almost never have enough of these as they always come in handy for something. Simple tote bags that fold up to nearly nothing so that they fit neatly into your pocket or handbag or even just to live in the boot of your car or around the house for that time when you need them.

We have a huge range of sturdy fabrics in stock with lots of colours and designs to choose from to make these handy bags. The best thing about making these bags yourself is that you can make these bags big or small, simple and straight forward or you can add pockets and compartments to keep things separate, decorate the outside with embroidery or motifs to jazz it up a bit, the possibilities are endless! Also, in stock we have cotton, polyester or acrylic webbing available which is perfect for making the handles of these bags and makes it super simple.

4 – Fruit and veg bags

These can be simple draw string bags to keep your fruit and veg separate from other shopping, muslin or net fabrics are great for these. These can also help keep your fruit and veg good for longer as they don’t sweat and stay damp like they do in plastic.

5 – Using string/ twine or ribbon instead of sticky-tape for wrapping Christmas presents

Why not use decorative ribbon or even some hessian twine to secure your presents this year. These will give your presents a whole different look and add something special, while at the same time reducing the amount of single use plastic being used this Christmas as you won’t need to use sticky-tape.

6 – Baby/wet wipe alternatives- terry towelling, fluffy fleece, cotton

Baby wipes get used in their hundreds of thousands each day and the majority of these are, again, plastic based which means they just stay like they are for years and years after their single use. There are loads of reusable alternatives that you can try making, including using fluffy fleece, terry towelling or just simple cottons as the base for the wipes these are used along with your chosen cleaning mix, which is usually a simple mix of skin friendly liquids not harsh chemicals (e.g. baby oil, tea tree oil etc) but there are lots of others to choose from. This might take a little research to perfect the best ones but will reduce the amount of single-use wipes used and so will be more friendly to the environment and your baby’s bum.

7 – Sanitary towel alternatives

Sanitary pads can be replaced with reusable cotton pads, with no nasty plastics in sight. We are happy to supply Cosy pads with the fabric to create their own version of reusable sanitary towels click here to check them out. Or you can come in and see us to choose your own fabrics and give making your own a go.

 

 

 

Posted on

Felt With Love

We have a few copies of this fabulous, bright and colourful new felt project book in stock at Livingstone Textiles and we thought we’d create one of the flowers in the book as a hanging christmas decoration for the shop.
This book is a delight to look at with its bright colours and inspiring designs and there are so many projects that we want to try. The book would make an ideal gift or you can make a whole load of presents from its pages.

 

Hold the 4 felt flowers together and sitch throught the centres to hold.

Place a button either side and stitch through the layers to secure the buttons.

 

Tie a piece of thread around the centre of the     

flowers and tie up like a pompom.

The poinsettia can now be hung up as a seasonal

decoration.

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

The cutting edge

 

 

 

Scissors are a great gift for the stitcher or crafter in your life, and we have a fantastic range to suit all ages and budgets at Livingstone Textiles this Christmas.

 

 

 

We’ve got some new arrivals, in the form of these great value soft-touch scissors, which come in multipacks of three different sizes and in different colours, or you can purchase the largest size separately. They are good to use, work for left or right handed people, and are brilliant value for simple projects.

Also new are the ornate and delicately-coloured thread snips, which are perfect for a discerning needleworker, and they’re just so beautiful! we were all cooing over them as soon as they arrived in the shop, so you know they’ll be well-received as a gift.

And finally we do a great range of Fiskars, which are great quality dressmaking, pinking and needlework scissors, guaranteed to stand the test of time;  as an added bonus we offer a sharpening service for them in store, so you or your loved one will never have to struggle with blunt scissors again.

 

Posted on

Gorgeous Giverney

Watercolours in Digitally Printed Fabrics

 

We’ve not had this new range in for long but it’s already proved incredibly popular.  We’ve made up a lot of orders for our customers and it’s continues to be a popular choice for scatter cushions.  Our latest order was for this pair of curtains using two widths in each curtain so they’ll be lovely and full.  We don’t advise anything less than double fullness so you achieve a more luxurious window dressing and you can find out more about calculating your fabric requirements here.  Of course, if you’re not confident with that then any of our trained staff are on hand to help you either in person, over the phone or via email.

We’ve used the Camille range in this project and the colourway is Pervenche.  The designs are evocative of watercolours by the Impressionists and have a softness to the printing that mimics a real painting.  This is all achieved with the digital printing process and we’ll be telling you more about that in the future.  A wider range of designs, colours and fabric uses are shown below.

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.

 

Posted on

Cozy New Fleece Designs

We’ve just got some gorgeous new fleece designs in and they’re super soft!

Lots of new designs are available for snuggly projects and some are reversible.  We’ve even got a couple that feature a different design on each side and the wonderful thing about fleece is that it needs absolutely no hemming at all, making it perfect for quick and easy projects like scarves, hats and ponchos.  Its competitive price means that you can make some quick and easy handmade christmas gifts without breaking the bank.

 

Posted on

Do you need ideas for christmas craft projects?

 

 

 

 

 

We have so many gorgeous fabrics, felts, ribbons and trimmings here at Livingstone Textiles, we thought you might need some crafting inspiration for ways to use all the lovely things that catch your eye!

Among our extensive range of sewing and crafting books we’ve found these three lovely Christmas craft books for you to have a look at (and maybe take home!) next time you’re in the shop. They’re full of ideas, instructions, and patterns for a whole range of beautiful craft projects, for gifts, for sales, or for your home, so why not treat yourself? Perfect to give as a gift too.

Posted on

May’s Steampunk costume

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fabulous steampunk costume has been made by 14-year-old May Robinson. May loves costume design and is just starting her GSCE’s including textiles.

The fabrics May has used can be found here at Livingstone Textiles, and the pattern, 1819 from Simplicity, was available last season, however there are plenty more to choose from in Simplicity’s new Autumn/ Winter catalogue. If her make has inspired you to get your machine up and running and start your own project why not come in and have a look at the other patterns available.

We’d like to say a big well done to May for this great costume, keep up the good work! We hope to see you back in the shop soon for your next project.

Posted on

Christmas Fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The time for Christmas makes is well and truly upon us, and we’re ready for it!

We’ve got a fantastic array of Christmas fabric waiting for you at Livingstones, and with traditional prints, christmassy patterns and rustic scandi to choose from, you’re bound to find exactly what you’re looking for.

See you in store!

Posted on

Happy Halloween

It still is really not too late to get yourself kitted out for………………………………………………..

                                                                                                       H A P P Y                H A L L O W E E N !

Get yourself along to Livingstone Textiles this half term and bring the kids too. We’ve dozens of delicious sparkle, stars and spooky stuff to drape yourself in and for decorating the house.  Whether its shiny holographic stretchy stuff or gossamer net with metallic rainbow cobwebs (and it’s reversible too!), we’ve got lots to choose from and starting at only £3.50 per metre you can afford to make some great costumes this Halloween.

 

Posted on

Monthly Colour Trend – Mellow Yellow

We’ve just taken delivery of this beautiful new design on a half panama cotton. It has a very slight slub in the weave that adds to its texture and the background while looking grey in these pictures actually is a pink tone.  Please click here for a sample of this fabric for true clarity.  We have lots of complimentary styles and colours in stock at Livingstone Textiles to help you bring some sunshine indoors for the next season.

For ideas on styling with yellow tones in your home, follow our Pinterest page.

If you would like to purchase this fabric online then follow the link

 

 

Posted on

Glittery fabric patches

Here’s a fun new product we’ve got in stock, just in time for your Christmas crafting!

These squares of glittery self-adhesive fabric in a range of colours can be easily cut to shape with scissors to add glittery detail to all sorts of things, so get creative!

As they are self adhesive, that can be used on wood, metal and card to add a little glitter to almost anything, but this glitter fabric can also be used on clothes and other fabric items; simply cut to shape and remove the backing, then stick in place and iron for 60 seconds. Once cool the finished item can be safely washed at 30 degrees (hand wash recommended)

Posted on

New Look New Catalogue

It’s time to make new outfits in time for the array of party opportunities over the next few months, plus cosy leisure wear and smart workwear for the colder months ahead.

Take a good look through the ‘New Look’ pattern book that’s just been put out in the shop, or browse online and pop in for your pattern.  We stock the whole range and if we’re out of one we can normally order it within a few days.

Posted on

What is…………Interfacing

How to choose and use Interfacing

 

If you have never purchased interfacing for dressmaking it can be a rather confusing subject.

Interfacing is an extra layer of fabric applied to the inside of a garment in order to give it some strength and stability.  It is normally used on cuffs, collars, shoulder areas and waistbands to add structure and stop the fabric from being floppy.

You can buy interfacing specifically for your fabric and it comes as either iron on or no-iron on.  Iron on interfacing is especially good for beginner dressmakers as once ironed into place it doesnt shift about when sewing the layers under your sewing machine. It is suitable for most fabrics made from natural materials, ie cotton and linen.   Iron on (or fusible) interfacing is not suitable for any fabrics with a knapp, like velvet, cordurouy or fur because it will crush them.  It’s also unsuitable for sequinned fabric, vinyls and metallics because they are not designed to have direct heat applied to them or for lace or scrim because the nature of the open weave fabric means that glue will always seep out through the other side.  These fabrics are far more suited to a sew in interfacing as it will not affect the drape nearly as much.  Sew in interfacings are only normally used by professional dressmakers, along with linen interfacings that are used by tailors to add structure to coats and jackets.

Once you have decided on sew in or press in interfacing, you need to make a decision on the type.  Most popular is a non woven interfacing because it has no grain and is therefore suited to virtually any fabric.  However if you are sewing jersey, you will need a stretch fabric so that the garment retains its flexibility.  The basic rule is to match the interfacing so that its qualities are almost identical to the fabric that you are working with.  Indeed very lightweight summer cottons can get by with another piece of the fabric used as the structure layer. Interfacing also comes in a dark, charcoal shade and a creamy white and again, you need to match the colour, as far as possible to the colour of the cloth you are cutting.

 

 

 

To use iron on interfacing, first do a test on a scrap of fabric to see how it behaves, ie wrinkles, shrinks etc.

Lay the cut fabric wrong side up on an ironing board then place the interfacing shiny side down on top of it.  The shiny side has the glue on it.  Lay a damp pressing cloth over the top and gently lay on the iron, just using the weight and a pressing action.  Don’t move the iron around as this may disturb the layers of fabric.  Allow the everything to cool slightly then check to see if it’s adhered by trying to lift a corner.  Once in place it is not repositionable so make sure everything is accurate before you start.  Always use a wool setting for pressing unless it’s a really lightweight fabric in which case you can turn the iron up a little higher and never skip using a pressing cloth as it diffuses the direct heat and protects the fabric as well as the iron.