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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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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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Sewing and craft themed fabric

Brand new in!

This is a fabulous fabric with all things sewing related in the design, what more could you want!?

This fabric is a durable polycotton with vibrant colours that make all the beautifully printed sewing instruments stand out. This fabric looks wonderful made up as a roman blind and would also look great as curtains, these would make a perfect addition to any sewing room. It could even be made up into cushions or a bag, as a gift for that sewing enthusiast you know.

There is a vintage theme to the sewing instruments with the iconic Singer sewing machine and vintage mannequin along with the kind of haberdashery you would expect to find in a well-stocked sewing box of maybe your mother or grandmother.

This fabric is available in our Bridport shop or you can purchase it online by following the link below to our web shop.

 

 

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Book Review: Boho bags

 

This lovely book by Beate Schmitz is full of ideas for making a variety of useful bags, perfect for using up the small pieces of fabric we all have at home, or for treating yourself to a half metre of something gorgeous from the huge range of furnishing fabrics here at Livingstone Textiles!

There are detailed, illustrated instructions  for a range of bags from small bags for keys and change through to large tote bags and striking messenger bags. Also included are full-size patterns in a storage pocket in the back of the book; all in all a useful and well thought out addition to your bookshelf, and a bargain at only £8.99!

Most curtain fabrics can be used for making bags, and also many craft fabrics are suitable for smaller bags, or larger ones with use of a heavier interfacing. Browse our online selection by clicking on the pictures below, or visit our stores in Bridport Dorset or Yeovil Somerset to see a larger range.

 

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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.

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Lace for a Bralette

Quite a few young and older women are discovering the liberating comfort of the Bralette.

Many of them are made from supersoft polymide and elastane and are just unbelievably comfortable to wear however some of the really pretty ones can be fairly pricey, especially if you have a love for lace or back detail.

We came up with a little idea to give you the expensive look without the price tag.  Go and grab yourself a couple of bralettes from any of the discounted clothing shops and add some of our stretchy lace to the bottom panel.  You only need around 80cm for one bra and at 145mm it is good and wide to extend as a sheer panel over your rib cage.  It’s priced at £2.75 a metre and we stock it in both white and black.

 

 

 

 

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Bridport Folk Festival

Livingstone Textiles started out in the vibrant town of Bridport and has been a big part of the town for over 46 years.  The thing about Bridport is that there’s always something going on and last year a small group of enthusiastic folk lovers put on Bridports very first Folk Festival.  It was a great success so with a little change to the date (so as not to clash with Dartmoor Folk Festival) they decided to do it all over again and put it on the week before Sidmouth Folk Festival.

 

 

Launching on Friday with bands throughout the day at Bucky Doo, the festival got off to a flying start and received a warm Bridport welcome.  Evening entertainment continued across many supporting pubs in the town hosting folk bands and musicians while at The Electric Palace the festival was opened in accapella song and celtic pipes from The Coves before Richard Digence and support took the stage.  Then followed a weekend of frenzied Morris Dancing, lots more stage music, cream teas at Millenium Green and hasty re-scheduling before the rain came down.

 

Many of the Morris Dancers got to dance outside the Red Brick Cafe and on their way round to St Michaels Trading Estate they came past our front door.  Consequently we had a steady flow of keen sewing ladies – and men, all eager to add colour to their outfits with our lace, ribbons, buttons and trims as well as find supplies and inspiration for their own sewing projects.  We don’t list our haberdashery in our online shop but are really happy to send samples and items by post that you might need.  Contact us for further information.

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New In ——-V Cushions

 

 

These cushions are new in and are a good way to add extra support where it’s needed.

They can be used as extra padding when reading in bed or in a chair and can also be used help to make a sick or elderly relative much more comfortable when eating if they are prone to slipping sideways.  It eliminates the need for lots of pillow stuffing to keep them upright.   Made from our top quality polyester wadding by our man in Devon, this locally made product can also be laundered in the washing machine.  The V shape makes it ideal as a sleep support as it fits easily between the knees and can help if you suffer from aching legs at night as well as being invalubleif you are pregnant and struggling to get comfortable.  When baby is born, it makes an excellent support for breastfeeding mums as you can prop baby at excatly the right height and angle to latch on properly.  And when baby get bigger you can use the V cushion to support him while you play together.

We tried the V cushions at work and found them so super comfy that we’ve named them the Livingstones Zen Cushion.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Chess Fabrics – New Atlas Collection

 

 

A stunning new collection of fabrics from Chess. Made with natural fibres and featuring some beautiful iridescent colours as well as subtle hues across all designs, this range can be used to make blinds, curtains and cushions.  All of the fabrics in the collection have a Martindale test of 20,000 rubs making them suitable for upholstery as well.  This means that you can co-ordinate your look across your whole room and create a very smart look.

 

All of the fabrics in this collection are available to order from Livingstone Textiles and we have a made to measure service too where you can choose from Blinds and curtains as well as cushions.  Our in-house upholsterers will also be pleased to discuss your requirements for updating any modern or traditional pieces.

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Paintsplash Velvet

This astoundingly beautiful fabric has given all of the staff here at Livingstones a great deal of angst.

We all love its bright coloursand artistic style and are busy plotting ideas on how to use it to its full potential.

One of us wants a skirt and that would be a great priced piece of clothing at £16.40 as it would only need about half a metre.

Another really wants a sixties swing coat which would look so dramatic, luckily her mum is the talented Meg who owns Livingstones so hopefully she’ll get her wish…watch this space.

I think I’d quite like a pop of colour to go with a purchase from Dorset Arts Week so I might buy a piece for a cushion to give my living room a lift. What would you use it for?  Come in to the shop and have a feel, it’s so unbelievably soft.

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Toucan Play

This rather special bag was made by one of our very talented Bridport customers who from time to time pops into the shop to share her latest creations.

This time she has been working on a stunning little satchel to wear whilst riding her bike.  She has used our vivid toucan fabric with bright orange twill as a contrast on the sides.  We adore the fuschia pink lining that picks out the colours in the parrot on the front.  She has also made a matching hat and definitely adds a bright splash of colour when she cycles around the town. Thank you for sharing this with us, we love to see anything you’ve made 🙂

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NEW: multicoloured machine embroidery thread

NEW!

New in store at Livingstones this week, we have these gorgeous multicoloured cotton threads from Gutermann, perfect for machine embroidery.

There are some beautiful shades available, with single reels for £3.65 for a substantial 300m, or a choice of two sets of 5 reels in different, shimmering colours for only £17.50.

These threads are beautiful, so come in and take a closer look, and choose some to take home!

 

 

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New Ribbons

Delightful country gent (and lady) style ribbons are now in stock.  Featuring some really great designs of cows, pheasants and lovely stags, all on vintage coloured satin ribbons, this collection is sure to reflect a flavour of the rural westcountry on your gift or project.

 

We’ve got cheeky little foxes to raise a smile and as we launch into a season of rural and farming shows, these pretty cows would grace a gift of hand made local cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The more exotic sounds of india can be heard echoing in these gorgeous peacock ribbons and could be used to wrap a gift of spices from your travels this summer.  Come into Livingstone Textiles and see one of the largest ribbon resources in the region.

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Outdoor Fabrics

 

Time to revamp your outdoor furniture or make a sun canopy? These stripes will certainly cheer up your outdoor living space.  We currently have other colours in stock as well.

 

 

Pattern repeat 64cm/25.25″

 

 

Fancy something a little more classic? Why not go for this traditional Mediterranean design of olives on your alfresco dining bench and add a holiday feel to your afternoon.

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Unique One Offs

We have acquired some very beautiful fabric. ” But you’re always doing that” I hear you say.  True enough and our fabric stash is pretty vast, so big that it now takes up two whole shops!  The thing is, sometimes a little stash comes along that we just cannot do without and we just have to squeeze it in somewhere.

This month we are bringing you something unique.  One offs.

And there they are.  Absolutely beautiful hand block printed cottons from India.

Representing the individual nature of handmade, each is a short run of 6 or 8 metres or so and created with Indigo and Rust dyes.

These really are very special and as such we are not selling them in anything smaller than 2 metre pieces.  Each run has been individually inspected by us to ensure clean line up of the block print with no overlaps.

Don’t hang about because the best designs will be flying out quickly and once they’re gone they’re gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Livingstones Summer fabric to be seen with.

 

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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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End of an Era for Coats Threads

Some sad news today but also some happy news. After many many years of stocking a very old fashioned brand of thread that was once manufactured in the UK we are sad to be saying goodbye to Coats Threads. Last year the Coats distribution centres re-located overseas and since then we have had difficulty with supply so we have made the decision to go over to Gutterman.

Many of you ask for Gutterman now as it’s a known and trusted product and although not everyone will be happy about the change, they make a good strong thread in a great range of colours. All of the Coats threads are still reduced until we clear the old stock so now is the time to pop in and top up your colours.

 

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NEW!!!! Sale Rack

We have a little treat for you at Livingstone textiles.  In both our Yeovil and Bridport shops we have introduced a PERMANENT BARGAINS RACK!

All of the fabrics on this entire rack have at least 20% off the ticket price.  Some have only small amounts left on the rolls for cushions and others have lots, certainly enough to make curtains with and lots more besides.  There are some real beauties and the only limit is your imagination.  Pop in and grab yourself a bargain.