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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.

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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.

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Simplicity Patterns still on Sale

 

 

Don’t forget that you can still get 25 % off your patterns for a little while longer, with the offer ending on Tuesday 2nd October.

It’s the perfect opportunity to try out a new style for the autumn and maybe even go for the new pocket trend in skirts. We have the new autumn release of patterns so it’s the perfect time to treat yourself to the latest patterns.

 

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Interlined Curtains

Curtains made with interlining or ‘bump’ are much fuller and more luxurious than those made with just lining alone.
The bump literally ‘bumps up’ the fabric making it thicker and has the added quality of providing a layer of insulation against cold windows.
Interlined curtains are an especially popular choice in a house with older windows and those with listed building status but are also used in more modern homes where an appearance of luxury is required.
The window size must be taken into account when considering interlining because they can easily swamp a room with too much volume. The fullness of the finished curtain also has to be taken into account but don’t worry because all of the staff working across Livingstone Textiles are trained to advise you in the appropriate way. Find out more here.

 

 

When we make your interlined curtains we use a more involved method of making where the interlining is first locked into place with Herringbone stitch under the side turns of the fabric and along the seams of any joins.

A picked hem is then worked through both the interlining and into the show fabric where a tiny line of equally spaced stitches will be barely visible.

 

Finally, the pencil pleat heading tape is sewn into position making the curtains look really plump and luxurious.

You can buy this elegant grey bird fabric in our shops and throughout September you will receive free curtain lining* with any curtain or blind order.

 

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Book Review: Boho bags

 

This lovely book by Beate Schmitz is full of ideas for making a variety of useful bags, perfect for using up the small pieces of fabric we all have at home, or for treating yourself to a half metre of something gorgeous from the huge range of furnishing fabrics here at Livingstone Textiles!

There are detailed, illustrated instructions  for a range of bags from small bags for keys and change through to large tote bags and striking messenger bags. Also included are full-size patterns in a storage pocket in the back of the book; all in all a useful and well thought out addition to your bookshelf, and a bargain at only £8.99!

Most curtain fabrics can be used for making bags, and also many craft fabrics are suitable for smaller bags, or larger ones with use of a heavier interfacing. Browse our online selection by clicking on the pictures below, or visit our stores in Bridport Dorset or Yeovil Somerset to see a larger range.

 

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Put a feather in your cap for the Hat Festival!

It’s the annual Bridport Hat Festival on September 1, so if you’re looking for last-minute hat ideas, pop down to Livingstone Textiles for all manner of tempting ribbons, braid, bells and trim, including a fantastic  range of feathers, from colourful indian feathers and these gorgeous ostrich plumes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or this opulent steampunk blue-black feather trim

 

 

 

 

 

 

or something rather cute in natural brown!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let your imagination run wild at Livingstone Textiles

…and remember, if you want to get ahead, get a hat!

 

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New Xmas Fabrics now in stock

It’s time to get planning if you’re running a craft stall anywhere this autumn and start making up your Christmas Crafts.

We have 3 lovely Advent calender kits in stock ready for you to make up and a panel of the twelve days of Christmas repeated three times so there are lots of opportunities for card making, stitched gifts and lap quilts.

We also have a great selection of new Christmas fabrics in stock and we are steering away from the more traditional designs.  One of our favourites is the navy fabric with the white polar bear constellation across it.  The penguins are pretty cute too.

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Last Chance for 10% Off

It’s the final week of the Prestigious Textiles offer of a 10% reduction on any cut lengths of their fabrics that you order through Livingstone Textiles.

Prestigious are celebrating 30 years in the fabric business and we have a huge range of their sample books and hangers that you are welcome to borrow and take home.  We always recommend you do this as it’s very difficult to carry a colour in your head so having the samples at home will enable you to see the cloth next to your existing colour scheme and to try it out in both natural light and electric lighting.

 

The offer runs until August 31st and any of the fabric that you order can be made up into high quality hand made curtains, blinds or cushions by any of our approved seamstresses.  If you are not confident in your sewing abilities then click here to discover more about our curtain making service

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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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Bridport Folk Festival

Livingstone Textiles started out in the vibrant town of Bridport and has been a big part of the town for over 46 years.  The thing about Bridport is that there’s always something going on and last year a small group of enthusiastic folk lovers put on Bridports very first Folk Festival.  It was a great success so with a little change to the date (so as not to clash with Dartmoor Folk Festival) they decided to do it all over again and put it on the week before Sidmouth Folk Festival.

 

 

Launching on Friday with bands throughout the day at Bucky Doo, the festival got off to a flying start and received a warm Bridport welcome.  Evening entertainment continued across many supporting pubs in the town hosting folk bands and musicians while at The Electric Palace the festival was opened in accapella song and celtic pipes from The Coves before Richard Digence and support took the stage.  Then followed a weekend of frenzied Morris Dancing, lots more stage music, cream teas at Millenium Green and hasty re-scheduling before the rain came down.

 

Many of the Morris Dancers got to dance outside the Red Brick Cafe and on their way round to St Michaels Trading Estate they came past our front door.  Consequently we had a steady flow of keen sewing ladies – and men, all eager to add colour to their outfits with our lace, ribbons, buttons and trims as well as find supplies and inspiration for their own sewing projects.  We don’t list our haberdashery in our online shop but are really happy to send samples and items by post that you might need.  Contact us for further information.

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New In…..Dressmakers Curve

 

 

We are so excited to finally be stocking this professional dressmakers curves.  It’s taken a while but we’ve managed to source one of excellent quality from Prym because some things are worth paying a bit more for.

 

 

 

This investment in your sewing apparatus will assist you in altering patterns by transferring your measurements on to a bought pattern because you can then shape it to your waist and out to your hip measurement on the pattern and draw in your own personal shape, ensuring a really professional fit when you finish the garment.  It’s also brilliant for pattern drafting.  This is when you take a block and manipulate it to create your very own dressmaking pattern.  All items of clothing are made by starting with a basic pattern block that is added to.

If you dressmake then you are probably  already making adjustments to the pattern to create a good fit, after all looking good in a handmade garment is firstly about Fit and secondly about wearing what you want to wear.  By creating your own personal pattern block you can always start with a good basic pattern from which you can design in any style you choose.  Using a dressmakers curve you can create sleeve curves, hem curves and armhole openings as well as hip shapes and waist curves.    Its not just for dresses either, you can use your dress block to also design your own skirts, blouses and tops.

What is a block?  Well, a block is a personally tailored pattern for a very very basic dress or pants.  It has no style details at all so it’s a blank page waiting for your design.  Starting with the basic outline shape, you make adjustments to the block using your own measurements to achieve an absolutely perfect fit.  You then use the block as a starting point for every single pattern you create, knowing you won’t have to make any size adjustments at all because you’re starting with your own bespoke shape.  You can add in style and shape by slashing and spreading to create fullness in a skirt, add ruffles, a neckline shape or by adding darts to pull a shape in for a closer fit.  Once you’ve created your block you can let your imagination go free with the creative detail, knowing its totally unique to your figure.

For more information, some great tips and advice on creating your dressform to match your own figure, click here

To buy your dressmakers curve you can either pop in to your nearset branch of Livingstone’s or contact us and we’ll mail one out to you.

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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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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 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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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.