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.
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.
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
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.
The word “drop” when referring to curtains or net curtains simply means the total length of the curtain from top to bottom.
Standard curtains can hang either inside or outside a window reveal, on a pole or track. The drop is the exact finished length of the curtain. Where exactly this should be measured from depends on the type of heading chosen.If you are replacing a set of curtains and having the same type of heading, you can just measure the length of the existing curtains. Otherwise you will have to measure from your existing track or pole. If your track or pole is not yet in place you can make an estimate based on the planned position, but a final measure will be needed once the track or pole is in place. There are more details on our instructions on how to measure for curtains.
Confusingly, sometimes the word drop is also used to refer to one width of fabric used to make a curtain. For instance a maker may say they are making a pair of curtains with ‘two drops per curtain’. In this use of the word, it is interchangeable with the word ‘width’ referring to one full width of fabric from a roll. The cost of making a curtain may be quoted as an amount ‘per drop’ which means that for a pair of curtains with 2 drops/widths in each curtain you will pay four times the amount quoted for making.
Net curtains usually hang on a curtain wire or a pole. They are made with a channel at the top which the wire or pole passes through, or a series of holes for a cafe net curtain. The drop is measured from just above the wire or pole to the window sill, or wherever you want the curtain to finish. Usually net curtains are hung close against the window within the reveal so they usually finish just above the window sill in order to give privacy. Net curtains are made in a range of standard drops and so usually you will choose the nearest drop available that is smaller than your measurement to buy. If this would be too small, you can order the next larger drop and either cut down the net curtain, making a new channel or fold over the top to make it a little smaller.
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.
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.
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.
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!
New in, and getting a lot of attention in both our Bridport and Yeovil shops, these beautiful velvets come in a rainbow of delicious berry colours, brights and neutrals. If you’d like to see what the colours would look like in your home the hanger can be borrowed for a small deposit, and the fabric is available to order from both our shops at £21.50 per metre.
These 100% polyester velvets are 140 cms width, and have a gorgeous soft touch and luxurious semi-matt texture. They’re suitable for curtains and domestic upholstery, and with a range of colours large enough to match any room scheme, would be a fantastic way to add a touch of luxe to your home.
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 aspects 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 fabric 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.
Don’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.
We’re making our first appearance at the Yeovil Show. Come over and say hello and take a look at the sample of fabrics that we have brought along to show you. It’s just a taste of the massive range of stock that we hold across both our Yeovil and Bridport shops as well as our beautiful ribbopns and tapes, bindings and zips. We cater for crafters, knitters and sewers and hold a great selection of books for those of you wanting to try learning a new skill. Our staff are all sewers and knitters and will be glad to answer your questions and help you. We also make up beautifully hand sewn curtains and blinds to order from any of the furnishing fabrics you choose in our shops. We have a vast roll stock for you to choose from and give it free samples to make colour matching selection in your home easier and if you really can’t find anything there, you can browse our beautiful books and inspiring hangers and we’ll order your chosen fabric in for you. We pride ourselves on our customer service and are here to listen and do things well for you so come over and say hello if you’re at the Yeovil Show this weekend. And if you can’t make it, find us opposite The Octagon Theatre where we provide free parking, a lift and ramps to enable full access to everyone.
Once you have picked your fabric the next thing you will need to think about is what heading tape you might like. There are many different types and each different one will effect the final hang and look of the curtain. The style of chosen fabric many also influence the type of heading that is chosen.
Eyelet curtains are curtains with the fabric hanging through the pole with eyelets or rings. This style of curtains means the fabric will hang with a slight wave rather than a tight gather. This style produces a beautiful modern look, however, the down side is these curtains can only be hung on curtain poles and not tracks.
Pencil Pleat Curtains
This the most common style of heading tape as they are easier to move from window to window. The tape is sewn onto the back of the material and is pulled tighter and looser depending on the size of the window. The fullness of these curtains varies from 1.5 fullness to 3 times fullness. You can have different thickness of header tape and this gives different finishes.
Triple Pleat and Double Pleat Curtains
Our triple pleat curtains are made in a tradition way using buckram, each pleat is sewn in. These curtains have a beautiful finish because the pleats are sewn in giving them an even gather. They work well hung on a pole and on a traditional curtain track.
Wave Tape Curtains
Wave curtains is a modern heading tape that gets sewn to the top of the material, these then pull creating a simple wave gather to the fabric, similar to the eyelet curtains without the holes. These create a modern and sleek look to the window.
Tab Top Curtains
Tap top curtains can only be used with a pole. Fabric is used to create tabs that loop over the pole.
Combining stripes with a pattern is always a good thing but its not alwasy an easy thing. We have a smart hanger that does the thinking for you and its put together in colour blocks so the only thing you have to do is match it to your colour scheme.
One of our customers has bought a brand new house in Axminster and has a new grey suite of furniture. She has lime green cushions to cheer it up but wanted something bright but smart at the windows. We helped her to select from this hanger and she chose the pink combination to be made up into Roman Blinds for a large bay window.
The main fabric is called amulet and it is all embroidered onto a linen look cotton. The lattice is worked in long grey stitches and the circles are heavily embroidered in a pink spiral. Edging the embroidered fabric with pink the woven stripe borders makes the blind look smart and picks out the pink embroidery. The maker lined the blinds in stone lining and used the stab stitch method to hold the materials together. This method can be used when embroidery might make it hard to achieve very straight stitching on the show cloth.