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Book review – Make and Mend

Here is one of our new books that we think is absolutely great !

This is about the Japanese Art of Sashiko Embroidery and is a lovely book that will really get you inspired.

With fast fashion and with such a throw away culture because clothing has become so cheap, this make and mend book is a great way to teach you how to repair clothing or other fabric items in a stylish way.  This in itself is a great skill to have, to make your garments last that bit longer and give them a totally new lease of life. The designs in this book are so lovely that even incorporating them into new things you make will add beautiful detail and a unique style.   You can even add them to a bought item to make it your own individual style.

In this book Jessica Marquez starts with an introduction to how much waste we get through with fast fashion and cheap clothing and takes you back to the history of why the Japanese art of Sashiko Embroidery was so important.

The author takes you through all the tools and equipment that you will need and describes in detail what the tools or materials are that you will need to complete the projects throughout the book, this is great for an absolute beginner to mending and the tools are minimal because the author encourages you to use what you already have.

For each project there is a list of materials you will need at the start of it so you can get these ready before you begin. The book contains lots of detailed patterns for stiches that will become your mends and patches so its easy to follow and get right, you just need accuracy and a little patience when stitching the basic running stitch and the book guides you through the rest.

There are great ideas in here for new things to make and also really pretty designs for mends! This would make a great gift for someone or even a treat to yourself as it’s a great skill to have at any age. And as the saying goes a stitch in time saves nine, this is just a really stylish way of doing it.

Make sure you Follow us on Facebook and look out for our Upcoming Book Competition with prizes to be won and details of other exciting Totally Locally special offers that are coming up very soon!

 

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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!

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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Sewing Workshops in Yeovil

In the New Year we will be running more sewing workshops in our Yeovil shop, for those of you who would like to improve your sewing skills or for the complete beginner. These would make a great last-minute Christmas gift for someone or would be a great to consider if you’re lucky enough to receive a sewing machine for Christmas and need some pointers!

The workshops will be run by the lovely Lynn Horniblow. You will need to bring along your own machine, giving you a chance to become more familiar with it and allowing you to focus on the sewing rather than learning all about a new machine. Each class is £45, this is non-refundable so please make sure that you are able to bring a machine and that you are able to attend on the date of the class. There are limited places so please book soon to ensure you have a place.

Tea and coffee will be provided; however, you will need to bring along your own lunch.

January 2019

  • Saturday 12th 10am – 4pm Learn to love your sewing machine
  • Tuesday 22nd 10am -4pm Beginners crochet

February 2019

  • Saturday 23rd 10am – 4pm Beginners machine patchwork

March 2019

  • Friday 15th 10am – 4pm How to zips and fastenings
  • Saturday 23rd 10am – 4pm How to seams, hems and pockets

April 2019

  • Tuesday 16th April 10am – 4pm Zipped and piped cushions

If you would like to book in for any of the above workshops then or have any questions then please contact our Yeovil shop on 01935 422631, or pop in and see them. Please note payment is needed upon booking.

We hope to see you in the new year!

 

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The cutting edge

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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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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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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Summer Sun Loungers

One of the staff at Livingstone Textiles has transformed a pair of 1970’s Deckchairs with some new foam and a smart striped canvas weave.

She upcycled an old pair of curtains as the backing and made a slip on cover to fit over the ends of the chairs. We think the orange fabric gives a nod to the seventies without the overpowering Flower Power Man

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Book Review – The Dressmaking Technique Bible

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!

 

 

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Book review – Fabric Manipulation

Fabric Manipulation – 150 Creative Sewing Techniques, by Ruth Singer

This beautiful hardback book generated a huge amount of excitement when in arrived in store at Bridport, and we all felt inspired by the projects! In the beautifully laid out pages, Ruth Singer looks at techniques to shape, embellish and, yes, manipulate fabric in astounding and creative ways, to create both traditional and strikingly modern effects.

Within the chapter headings of Pleat and Fold, Stitch and Gather and Apply and Layer, the author covers all kinds of fabric techniques, which can be used for both dressmaking and home furnishings. Although the finished projects are often spectacular, the uncluttered layout of the book and the clarity of the instructions, enhanced by the clear and beautifully photographed illustrations makes it all very achieveable – just come in and take a closer look at book to see.

She also covers choosing and using fabrics, equipment and materials, and although the techniques are often based on the author’s love of vintage costumes, she shares her secrets for using these techniques with a modern twist, and positively encourages your experimentation. Treat yourself to this gorgeous book, and be inspired!

 

 

 

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Sophies’ Sandwich Keeper

With all of us becoming very conscious of throwaway plastics and trying to reduce our use and consumption, one of our Bridport team members decided to make up a bag to put her sandwiches in.  Made from less than a fat quarter of fabric, she lined it with a ripstop nylon and popped a velcro closure onto the top and bottom of the first two corners that fold over the sandwiches.  She then made a button hole in one corner and stitched a button onto the showside of the remaining corner that make a neat little packet when closed together, keeping her lunch fresh and looking very pretty in the staff fridge.  Needless to say that we all want one!

Adorable!  Look out for her next experiment with waxed fabrics.

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Fabric Dolls

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There are some beautiful books in the fabric shop at Livingstone Textiles, Bridport.  These are some of our favourite doll making books because they are fanciful and appealing to all age groups.

 

 

 

We also stock a helpful bit of kit for dollmakers called a doll needle.  This very long needle is great for attaching limbs, hair and facial features as you can pass the fine needle throught the fabrics without distortion.  Pop in to the shop and browse our books if you’d like some inspiration for a new project.  We stock kapok stuffing, calico, organzas and beautiful buttons for you to style your dream doll.

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Elephant Patchwork Quilting Classes

Our newest patchwork course is well under way in our Yeovil shop.  Having a dedicated teaching space enables us to offer you our sewing expertise in a small group where you can learn new skills and make new friends.elephant workshop wk 1 img3wk2 elephant workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see that all our ladies are happy and relaxed and busy creating some beautiful patchwork, all skillfully lead by our tutor.

 

 

Elephant workshop wk1

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like more information about our next course dates, please contact us on 01935 422631 or email us here https://www.livingstonetextiles.com/contact/

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LIVINGSTONES AT YEOVIL SHOW

20170714_144951We’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. 20170714_181104 20170715_081431We 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. IMG_0094We 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. IMG_0099 (002)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.

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What is…..a Fat Quarter?

Ever wondered what a Fat Quarter is? We have a whole stack of them in our shop and they are often mistakenly referred to as ‘scraps of fabric’ A Fat Quarter is a quarter of a yard of fabric. If we cut strips selvedge to selvedge then we end up with a long thin strip that has a limit to the projects that can be made from it.  These strips are known as border pieces and they can be used to edge panels of patchwork.  What is more useful to the crafter is for us to cut a quarter of a yard of fabric into a rectangle shape.  We lay the fabric out and cut it in half vertically then again horizontally so it looks a bit like a window pane.  This makes the quarter of a yard ‘fat’ not long or ‘thin’  A fat quarter should measure approximately 45cm x 50cm but it might be as big as 45cm x 57cm, it all depends on the width of the cloth as we cut.

All of our fat quarters are cut from our large selection of dress cottons, some plain, some patterned, some floral and some dotty.  We sell them individually so you can select a small piece of material for a little project but we also put bundles of colours and patterns together for you so that you can save time in matching up fabrics.  Buying a bundle makes it easier to buy a larger selection of fabrics in small amounts and to coordinate your projects.These bundles could make coordinating napkins for the Christmas table or maybe a collection of decorations for the tree.  For more inspiration and ideas we sell a great book by Wendy Gardiner that will teach you step by step, how to make lovely gifts and decorations for the home and family.Fun with Fat Quarters book