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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.

 

 

 

 

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What happens on Burns Night?

 

 

Burns Night is annualy celebrated in Scotland on the 25th of January and celebrates the works of the great poet Robert Burns.  It is also now frequently observed in other parts of the United Kingdom by native Scots and those who appreciate the heritage of Scotland.   Robert Burns was born on January 25th 1759 which is why Burns night is celebrated on this day.  He died in 1796 and his best known work is probably “Auld Lang Syne” which is traditionally sung at midnight on New Years Eve or Hogmanny. He is known in Scotland as “The Bard”

Many families and friends enjoy getting together on Burns Night to share a supper of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with Whisky as the preferred tipple.  You can find out more about Haggis here.  During the evening poetry written by Robert Burns is recited, sometimes Scottish songs are sung and then the Haggis is traditionally ‘piped in’ by a Bagpipe player in full Scottish dress where it is toasted on arrival at the table.  At Burns night events many men choose to wear kilts and women might wear a shawl, skirt, sash or dress made from their family tartan.  A tartan is a cloth made of wool woven in a distinctive check pattern using different colours across the warp and the weft and clans have their own distinct patterns that have been replicated over centuries, often nowadays in more modern blends of viscose and polyester as well as in wool.

If you are attending a Burns Night event you can choose from the range of bright new tartans at Livingstone Textiles to create a sash or shawl over your evening attire, we don’t have much online but their are lots to choose from in house.  We also stock some colourful tartan ribbons to dress your hair or add interest to a plain dress, pop in to either of our shops to browse our collections.  We also think that it’s a great idea to host a kids Burns Night event where you can get them involved with the reading of poetry and maybe using a recorder to pipe in a haggis that they’ve helped to prepare.  They could make a Scottish flag to hang up or could colour in place settings using some of the words in the poems of Burns.  For more inspiration and ideas for a special childrens event visit https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/burns-night

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

 

 

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New plush fleece fabrics!

Wintery designs and cute cuddly animals are the perfect theme for fluffy fleece to cuddle up with as the evenings are getting colder and darker. We have some lovely new designs just in with more on the way! These fleeces are soft and warm to the touch making you want to snuggle into them.

With deigns including unicorns, flamingos, teddy bears, swans, cats, jungle animals, west highland terriers, jigsaw puzzle pieces and much more! Some of these designs are even double sided giving you two different designs on one piece of fabric.

They would make great blankets, dressing gowns, jumpers, hats or even super soft and warm PJs for all the family. We also have a wide range of colours available in plain fleece.

There is lots to choose from in both our Bridport and Yeovil shops, why not pop in and see what all the fuss is about.

 

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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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Halloween

Time to get planning for the ultimate Halloween costume.

We’ve got some brilliant fabrics in stock for you to create an eye-catching outfit. Pumpkin orange cotton, shiny black material with silver cobwebs, black netting with rainbow spiders webs and netting with sparkling stars all over it to dress your room or front windows.
We’ve also got black ravens feathers, black lace, sequins and elastic to trim with.
Pop into Livingstone Textiles and explore our range of material and trimmings and see where your imagination takes you or choose from our huge catalogue of patterns if you’re not sure where to start

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What is……….Half Panama Fabric?

Ever come across the term Half Panama and wondered what on earth it means or is referring to?
Half Panama is sturdy cotton fabric that has been woven with two threads in parallel instead of one. This creates a fabric which is heavy duty yet lightweight and easy to clean. Particularly suitable for curtains and roman blinds, this fabric base cloth is often used for high quality prints.

An example we have in stock is this lovely geometric print which is available in two colourways, blue and orange.

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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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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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Free Curtain Lining Offer

We are once again offering all of our customers free lining with any curtain or Roman Blind order placed throughout September.

The offer is for FREE poly cotton lining on any size of blind or curtains .

If you wish to choose a different lining, you can still take advantage of this great offer because we will simply subtract the price of poly cotton lining from any that you’d like instead.

This offer is running from both our Bridport store and our Yeovil one so pop in and talk to us with your measurements and we’ll work out a quote with you.

This is an ideal time to get your house smart and cosy, ready for Autumn and Winter.

Shop a selection of our fabrics here

 

 

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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.