Posted on Leave a comment

Dogs in Glasses

We have such a brilliant fabric in stock, we think these dogs are absolutely hilarious and could be made into a bag, a cushion or even a pair of curtains.  Tag the dog lover you know will love this, they’ll be inspired!  Made from a heavier weight woven material it will be durable and long lasting whichever project you use it for, how about a dog bed for your favourite friend?

You can buy it from either of our shops in Bridport or Yeovil and you can now get it on our webshop as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Chambray Now In Stock

We have some rather cool cotton chambray in stock at both our Bridport and Yeovil stores and we think they’ll look really fabulous made into a bag or a denim style jacket.

The cloth is lightweight and has a little stretch in it so would also look great as a jeans style skirt or trousers and you can now buy all three designs  from our online shop by clicking on the links below the videos, but first have a look at how they sparkle!

 

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Bargain Threads from only 50p!

We’ve been talking for many months about re-designing our bottom room to make it safer for everyone as a retail space.  This has historically been our delivery area but we also have some rolls of cloth stored on shelving that our customers enjoy having a look at.  We were sad to see another long established business go in Bridport this year with the closure of ‘This & That’ however the legacy lives on because we now have some of their shelving in our delivery area!

We’ve used the shelving to divide the room off and create a new shop display area with a great new space for us to work in behind it.  We had to relocate one or two things as anyone does when they’re having a shift around so we dismantled our old Coats thread stand.  We’ve been selling off all the old Coats stock at massively reduced prices as we’ve gone over to selling Gutterman threads instead so don’t forget to look at the colours we still have left in stock when you’re next passing, you can top up your thread stocks really cheaply because they are now reduced to 50p per reel for the small size and £1 a reel for the large!!

 

We took the opportunity to have a bit of a play last week and created a colourful fish from old cotton reels and we’ve hung him in the stairwell next to some of our gorgeous new woven tapestry fabrics that are available in these new wave designs and don’t forget that you get FREE LINING with curtains ordered throughout May.  We will be developing this theme over the coming weeks to create a summer carnival feel to the entrance that we hope you enjoy it as much as we do creating it.

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Wild Wild West

Welcome to the Wild Wild West, home of the fastest drawn scissors at dawn.

Livingstone Textiles has two fabulous fabric outlets in the Westcountry bursting with hundreds of metres of gorgeous material ready to be made into lovely projects.  Did you know that as well as stocking fabric for dressmaking and material for making curtains, blinds and cushions, we also stock a number of wipe clean pvc tablings and oil cloths that are not only used for covering tables?

Here you can see that this vintage design of Cowboys and Indians has been made into a waterproof bag or shopping, books or school/college stuff.  It’s been lined with one of our bright and cheerful childrens fabrics featuring orange dinosaurs and has strong canvas straps stitched firmly between the layers.  The whole bag is robust and we think the design has a vintage vibe cool enough for both adults and kids.  The fabric is 130cm wide and costs £8.50 per metre and can be bought at either of our shops in Yeovil or Bridport.

Posted on Leave a comment

Quilted Dressmaking Fabrics

We’ve just taken delivery of two great new quilted fabrics in navy and coffee colours to go with our super shiny silver quilted material.

The navy colourway is available in a traditional diamond quilt pattern as is the silver and the coffee colour is a little bit different because it has a quilted flower pattern.  All three are great for projects like a gillet which having no sleeves is quite quick to make up and the fabric can also be made into a funky picnic rug or an anorak if you fancy a more involved project.

The navy and the coffee designs are available in a 148cm width and cost £7.50 per metre and the silver quilted is 110cm wide and costs £9.80 per metre. They are not yet available on our webshop but you can purchase by mail order over the phone or pop in to one of our shops at either Yeovil or Bridport. Clicke here for our contact details.

Posted on Leave a comment

Easter Opening Hours

Our regular opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm but over the Easter period they are slightly different.  We will be putting a sign on the front doors of both shops as well.

Monday – Thursday      9am – 5pm

Good Friday                   Closed

Easter Saturday             9am – 5pm

Easter Sunday                Closed

Easter Monday               Closed

Tuesday 23rd April        Normal Opening Times resume

Posted on Leave a comment

Cushion Covers

 

We had an order in this week for a pair of curtains and two scatter cushions in this fresh spring fabric and they looked gorgeous when they came back from the maker.  We know that our customer will be so pleased with them, the cream piping perfectly compliments the soft white of the flowers.

Remember that we can make up all sorts of soft furnishings for you, from pencil pleat curtains and roman blinds to boxed and piped cushions and our prices are very competitive, just pop in to the shop and ask for details or take a look at our website, our making prices are the most competitive in the area.

Posted on Leave a comment

Stripy Spring

 

The light in the evenings and the burst of flowers everywhere tells us that despite the chill wind, Spring has definitely sprung.

We decided to change our downstairs fabric display from Autumn’s Oranges to these fresh and vibrant stripes and greens to bring the outside in.

All of the fabrics shown in the picture can be purchased in store and some are on our online shop.

The sad news is that we can no longer get the lovely grey elephant fabric, however you can pop in and buy one of the cushions if you’re so inclined but first come first served though as stock is very limited.

Meanwhile you will be thrilled to know that the fabulous circus monkeys on the pompom cushion (just seen) are very much available and new in.  We just know that this one is going to fly out because we all love it already.

Remember that we can make up a bespoke Roman Blind for you using either a traditional wooden batten system or the smart new cassette system. We also handmake all of our curtains to your exact requirements and you can choose from a variety of headings including modern eyelets using our new in house press.  We are proud of our team of curtain makers in and around Bridport,Dorset and Yeovil,Somerset and we can provide you with boxed and piped cushions for the home and caravan as well as scatter cushions and are happy to ome out and measure if you’re unsure. Don’t forget that we also have an in house workshop where our skilled upholsterer can breath new life into a favoured chair or settle.

Contact us for more details.

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Ready, Steady, Sew!

 

At least once a week at Livingstone Textiles we have someone new through our doors who is just starting out on their sewing adventure.

 

They are usually rather bewildered at the array of fabrics, haberdashery and techniques and have many questions for us so we have devised a little step by step guide to help rookie stitchers through their first sewing project.

 

 

 

1]  GET A SEWING MACHINE

Beg or borrow a machine that does a straight stitch, a zig zag and goes forward and back.  Anything else will be of no use for quite a while so arm yourself with a basic machine for sewing garments.  You can try before you buy in many fabric shops (including livingstone textiles) or order one on line at a reasonable price.

2] GET BASIC TOOLS

To start with any basic sewing pattern you need a basic set of tools.  Needles (hand & machine) pins, large scissors, a seam ripper, marking chalk  and a tape measure.  You will also find an iron and ironing board very helpful.

3] PICK A PROJECT

Decide on a pattern that you want to wear or use, it’s important to really want what you will be making as that is what will motivate you to finish it.  A garment should be a basic shape with simple features like short sleeves and little shaping.  A bag should be unfussy with simple lines and few pockets or fancy features.

4] PRACTICE

Grab a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a fabric remanant and settle down comfortably with your sewing machine manual.  Have a quick read through then practice lifting and dropping the presser foot, threading up the machine and sewing backwards and forwards until you feel a bit more confident with the pedal.  Practice stitching a straight line at various speeds and practice a zigzag stitch that runs parallel to the edge of your remnant

5] BUY FABRIC!

This is the one area that you will get very good at very quickly.  Buy a fabric that is recommended on your pattern for the project you wish to create along with a matching thread and any other bits and pieces that are mentioned.

6] START SEWING….

Read your pattern carefully, lay it out on your fabric and cut out your pieces.  Label them and copy on any lines or markings from the pattern.  Thread the machine up and off you go!  Remember, it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake, just unpick it and try again.  Remember that there are many helpful tuition videos on Youtube and lots of hints and tips can be found here on our website

 

Posted on Leave a comment

No Business like ‘Sew’ Business

 

 

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

.

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

Posted on Leave a comment

Stretch Velvet Evening Dress

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

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

 


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

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

 

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

 

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

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

Posted on Leave a comment

Elegant Linen Voiles

Laura, one of our curtain makers and Lynne our track and pole fitter have just finished dressing the patio doors in this elegant dining room.

The Rennaisance mini professional track is excellent as a discreet wall mounted curtain track and can also be used as a ceiling mounted track.  The curtain hook fittings glide effortlessly along and it is extremely strong, making it suitable for heavierweight curtains, even with thermal and blackout linings.  It is also available in other colours to match in with your decor should you wish it.

The unbleached Russian linen chosen by the customer was made into unlined curtains to act as a screen against brilliant sunshine and to protect a collection of beautiful old maps and pictures.

We think you’ll agree that the effect is clean and natural and will look even better in the daytime with light filtering through the weave.

Posted on Leave a comment

Recycled fabric

 

With the multiple threats to our environment from pollution and consumerism, the need to reuse and recycle has never been greater. There are many ways to recycle plastic bottles and other plastic waste, but luckily for us, transforming it into usable yarn for weaving fabrics is one of the most efficient ones! Of course, we also demand that fabric produced in this way is beautiful and useful too, which is why we’ve chosen to stock this lovely new fabric woven from  fibres cleverly created from 100% recycled plastic waste, keeping it out of our oceans for a much more useful life as furnishings in our homes.  It’s strong, good to handle and in modern, neutral tones. This fabric comes in a useful double width of 280cms/108 inches wide, and has a pleasing textured and flecked finish.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

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 Leave a comment

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 Leave a comment

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 Leave a comment

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

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

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 Leave a comment

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 Leave a comment

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 Leave a comment

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 Leave a comment

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.