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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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We Are Haberdashers

 

Here at Livingstone Textiles we like to supply you with the best quality products at the most competitive prices we can find.  We know that many of you love the Prym range and there are hundreds of haberdashery products available from this company, all beautifully packaged and presented.

We also stock an excellent range of products by a UK based company called Whitecroft.  The Whitecroft Essentials range is a collection of products that we stock for knitting and sewing.  We concentrate on basic stock lines such as sewing needles, pins, machine needles, poppers, fur fasteners and hook & eyes.  We also keep embroidery hoops, knitting pins and crochet hooks in stock having seen a great revival in wool based crafts over the past decade.

Whitecroft have been supplying wholesalers for over a century and as a retailer working in the textiles trade for over 47 years in the same premises, we know that we can rely on the quality, the supply and the price of Whitecroft Essentials to all be consistant.   Many of our customers are now coming in with third generation sewers and knitters which is a wonderful thing.  We also have customers who tell us that they remember coming into the shop with a parent or aunt and they love how we haven’t changed very much over the years.  Like Whitecroft, we focus on the basics, good quality products at affordable prices and above all else, in an increasingly competitive online environment we pride ourselves on customer care and satisfaction.

The New Year and cold winter evenings are an ideal time for sitting down and sorting out your sewing tin or box.  Pop in and top up on your basics the next time you’re in Yeovil or Bridport, we’d love to see you and help you re-stock.

 

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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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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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FINAL DAYS OF OUR FREE OFFER

 

 

Remember to come in and order your new curtains before the end of April.

We are offering you FREE LINING with all orders placed by next Monday the 30th and we’ve got some gorgeous spring fabrics in for a fresh new look.

 

 

Not sure where to find us?  Look out for Toms Van parked near one of our shops.  We currently have fabric showrooms at Yeovil and Bridport

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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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Tools For Self Reliance

You may already be aware of the sewing machine repairs and maintenance servicing that we offer our customers to help them keep their machines in tip top condition but you may not be aware of what might happen to your machine when its past its best and you decide that its not worth throwing any money at.  Many of our customers leave their old machines with us when they’re done with them and we’re very proud to support communities in Africa to help reduce poverty by working with Tools For Self Reliance.

This marvelous organistaion works to enpower communities by providing tools and the training they need in order to earn a living and create a positive impact within their communites.  All of your unwanted and broken sewing machines and overlockers are collected by one of their volunteer tool collectors when we have a little herd of them.  All of the serviceable parts are then used for refurbishing or repairing other machines by even more volunteers in the UK before being sent out to places like Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia as well as many more.  Once the machines are out in Africa, they are used by people like Uma Jalloh as she trains as a tailor and learns the skills that she needs to contribute to her brothers household.  Uma escaped an arranged marriage at 14 and had never been to school until she got involved with TFSR.  You can read her story and others here. 

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Livingstone Textiles has worked closely with Tools for Self Reliance in Southampton for many years now.  If you would like to get involved with volunteering, you can find out more here  You could also share this page to your Facebook Feed and help us to raise their profile in the UK.  Alternatively, just hand in your old and broken machines and we’ll make sure they get into hands that will really put them to good use.

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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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Lovely Linens

At Livingstone Textiles we are proud to stock a great selection of linens suitable for dressmaking and curtain making.  We hold beautiful soft linens from Russia, rough and slubby linens from Lithuania and beautiful herringbone weaves as well as traditional Irish linens.  As well as our regular stock lines in natural colours we can also occasionally source limited colours in gentle washed out greens, oranges, yellows and blues.

We sell a lot of our linen as curtain fabric as its weight allows it to drape beautifully but one or two of our staff members have sewn clothing items from the lighter weights as it hangs really well and below we can share with you a lightweight hoodie that was made from a green/blue linen that was in stock last summer.  Sadly this particular colour has not become available again but we still have other colours in stock.  Some of our customers also print on our linens and turn them into unique cushions and tea towels.

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SIMPLICITY PATTERNS ARE STILL HALF PRICE !!

Browse the collection online and just pop into the shop and collect your pattern.  You can HAVE IT TODAY as we stock all of the patterns here in the shop and rarely sell out.

You probably are thinking, ‘Well if I browse online then I may as well buy online and be done with it’.  That’s all well and good but we think you should visit us for three very good reasons

  1.  The P&P cost…………….combine your visit to us with your shopping trip to Bridports historic market, it’s easy to park right outside the building in the Waitrose car park. Or alternatively, visit our Yeovil shop opposite the Octagon theatre with free parking for customers.
  2.  You get the opportunity to look at our absolutely massive selection of Dress Fabrics at unbelievably competitive prices. You can feel the quality and see how the fabric will work in your pattern properly.
  3.  You can talk over the fabric choice & pattern requirements with our staff, who all love to sew themselves, and pick up all those little bits and pieces (known as notions) that you may need to complete your garment.

No more waiting around for the postman – get sewing today!

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New Prestigious Textiles Fabrics

A sneak preview into one of the Prestigious Textiles new fabrics that are to be released next week are these beautifully bold, printed designs of animals. DSC_5663These bright colours add a retro feel to the fabrics with the bold yellows and greens. We love the increasingly interesting detail that has been added to the black and white animals, although you might think that subdued colours like black and whiteDSC_5666 on a bright flat colour might sink back and become unnoticeable with this design that doesn’t happen. It’s the monochrome design and detail on the bright colour that works so well because when you look at the same design on the more subdued colour, the monochrome animal doesn’t stand out as much.

The fabric weight that these designs have been printed on is ideal for curtains, cushions, and blinds, however, these are not suitable for upholstery as they are not strong enough for regular rubbing. However asDSC_5667 mentioned above, these would make great house or garden cushions as they are fun and realistic.  You could even jazz up your she shed!   On the left, you can see the many different designs and colourways and they all work beautifully together. They will really add the funky look to your room.

This fabric range comes in 6 different colorways with 6 different animal designs including; ducks, foxes, hedgehogs, deer, owls, and pheasants. Each of these fabrics is 143cm wide although the usable width is only 137cm each pattern repeat does vary depending on the design.  These designs are printed on a 100% cotton base cloth are also available in a splash and shower proof coated base cloth, meaning they would work well for outside cushions and tabling.

We think these are a really lovely collection of fabrics and colours.  They are being released in September, meaning you can bring some late summer sunshine into the home and welcome the first jewels of autumn with these lovely bright colours.

If you would like more information on these fabrics please don’t hesitate to contact us with your details and the information you require and we will be happy to help and obtain FREE SAMPLES for you.

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Back To School- Make a PE bag

With the kids going back to school in the next week, one of the things on you shopping list might be a PE kit bag or a shoe bag, why not make your child’s one individual by making it yourself. Follow this easy step by step guide and make something your kids will love.

  • Decide on the size of your bag and what you want it to hold, this one is going to be a BRON - WIN_20160817_094516shoe bag for ballet pumps, and is not going to have clothes in so it doesn’t need to be that big, but if you are making a PE bag you will need it bigger than this one.
  • This bag is going to be 30cm x 20cm finished size so I will be cutting out a piece of fabric 45cm x 40cm. I have given myself 10cm at the top for turns for the drawstring channel.

 

 

 

  • zig-zag all you edges to stop them from fraying if you want a neater finish you could BRON - WIN_20160817_095615hem all your edges to hide all the rough edges

 

 

 

 

 

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  • The channel will be the first thing that will be made, make a big fold for your channel pin and stitch.
  • Fold your fabric over right sides together and sew together the bottom of the bag and the side of the bag, just leaving one opening.

 

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  • Thread through your cord, add a bag pull and tie a knot.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • You bag is now finished.

 

 

 

 

This is a great make and is something that you could make out of old fabric, like curtains bedding or old lining material. Or you pop in and see us and see our lovely range of fabrics at both our Bridport Dorset and Yeovil Somerset stores. For more ideas this bag could be made from our wide range of waterproof fabrics to make a swim bag another school need for going back to school with.

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The Great Dorset Steam Fair

We are very proud of our country and particularly our farming roots in Dorset  and so when every year the county holds The Great Dorset Steam Fair some of us go a little tractor crazy.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair has been running in Dorset for 49 years, the show started small as an event where people could come and see how people lived and work in years gone by. The show is now widely recognized as a National Heritage show as well as being regarded as the leading show of its type world wide.  Now because of its huge size and reputation, people visit and travel with their vintage exhibitions from all over the country and the world. The Great Dorset Steam Fair is now thought to be one of Europes biggest shows.

As mentioned above some of our members of staff (being collectors themselves) go a little crazy when it comes to tractors and vintage machinery so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to you all that we have a few tractor and farm like fabrics within our two shops. Our longest standing member of staff is a farmers wife as is our manageress at Livingstone Textiles, Yeovil.  DSC_5655

This first fabric is a lightweight cotton with beautiful and vivid illustrations of vintage tractors at work. This fabric really takes you back to years gone by and how the fields were worked with these beautiful old machines. This fabric is only available at our Bridport Dorset store but can be ordered from Yeovil Somerset. It is an ideal weight for patchwork and dressmaking.

The second fabric tractor fabric we have in stock is a curtain weight material, it is a lot heavier than the cotton one above and work make ideal curtains, cushions and blinds although it is not quite heavy enough to upholster with. This fabric features a range of tractors in more of a sketchy artist way, slightly more cartoon-like. This is a fun design that work be ideal for a tractor crazed child (or adult!). This fabric, similar to the one above shows the tractors at work in the fields and also puts the mind back to years gone by.

If you are traveling down for The Great Dorset Steam Fair, why not have a day out from the vintage work and come and see our vintage inspired fabrics in our Bridport Shop and take some of the Dorset Life home with you.

If you would like any information on the fabric mentioned in this post please contact us with your details and the information you require.

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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.

 

 

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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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Fabulous Fun Foxes

These fun colourful foxes have been beautifully arranged with a range of contrasting plain fabrics that really complement each other.

These fabrics will work in most areas in the home from a fun living room to a colourful child’s room. Working with most colours that can add to a plain room or blend in with the most colourful of rooms.  The printed fabrics are printed on a cotton base which is suitable for cushions roman blinds and curtains whereas the plain fabrics are a dyed woven cloth making them slightly stronger but still suitable for cushions, roman blinds and curtains. Each of these printed cotton would be really finished off with a trim in the plain woven coloured fabrics.

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These fabrics are all available to order from Livingstone Textiles Bridport Dorset and Yeovil Somerset. If you would like more information no these fabrics please contact us and we will be happy to help.

 

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Sewing Machine Needles

WIN_20170211_12_49_09_ProWe always have a large stock of sewing machine needles in stock, ranging from thick jeans needles, piercing leather needles and smooth point jersey needles to a pack of assorted sizes.  All of our needles fit the standard needle housing on machines and should be replaced on a regular basis.  Often the tangling of threads when you’re sewing can be attributed to a blunt needle.