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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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

 

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Customer makes – Brilliant Bee Dress!

We love seeing what you all are making with our fabrics, it’s great to see the variety and the creativity that everyone has.

We have been sent these pictures by Debbie who has made this stunning dress from some of the fabrics found in our curtain and furnishings range, showing how versatile fabrics really can be, the limit is your imagination!

The sewing on this dress is so neat and the overall look is really effective so well-done Debbie!

Debbie has also been busy making another dress, from one of our cotton poplins, this dress has lovely summery look to it and again is brilliantly sewn.

 

If you have been busy making something from some of our fabrics and you’d like to share it with us, then please send us an email to people@livingstonetextiles.com with a photo attached. We love writing about the great thing you all get up to with fabrics.

 

 

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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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New Show Trims

We have an exquisite array of new trims now in stock at Livingstone Textiles that we picked up on our recent visit to the Stitches show in Birmingham.

Imported from India, they have an exotic feel about them and combine sumptuous velvets twisted with metallic threads to create a trim that can also be seperated out top use as individual motifs.

 

One of our favourites is the embroidered 3″ wide trim seen here in the top of the picture.  It has a distinctly Eastern European folk feel to it and would look authentic adorning any dance or national costume.  You can see more Boho trims that we have available here. 

Please message us through the website if you would like samples of any of our trims, we have a vast range in stock.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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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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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Sewing workshops

We’re really excited about our new programme of sewing workshops, starting this month at our Yeovil store, so if you’re ready to blow away the Christmas cobwebs and learn something different, or improve your sewing techniques, get booking! All our courses give you the chance to learn new skills on your own sewing machine, so that you don’t have to waste time on the day learning how a different machine works, so please make sure you have a working sewing machine available to bring with you on the day.

The workshops are taught by the talented Lynn Horniblow, and cover a range of useful sewing skills; you can learn to get to grips with your sewing machine and use it to its full potential,  master the more fiddly details of sewing, or learn a whole new skill like crochet, or machine patchwork. All our workshops run from 10am to 4pm and cost £45 for the day. tea and coffee are provided, you just need to bring your lunch.

Places are limited, so please pop into our Yeovil store, or phone up to book your place 0n 01935 422631. Payment is needed upon booking.

 

 

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Vintage Patchwork Quilt

This beautiful patchwork was constructed in Wales and gifted to a friend in the 1970’s.
The hexagons are very clearly Laura Ashley cotton dress fabrics from that period and have been beautifully hand pieced together using a technique known as English Paper Piecing or EPP, to create a double bedspread.  One of our makers was asked to remove the nylon bedsheet that had been used as a backing and to replace it with something more suitable.

She decided that a plain white cotton sheeting would look the most fitting as a backing fabric as it compliments the blue and white design of the patchwork top.  She also created a thicker quilt by adding a layer of batting between the top and the sheeting.  The batting used is our Warm & Natural needle punched cotton and it is a completely natural product that does not seperate or bunch up.  It can be machine washed and because the fibres are pure cotton, the needle can pass through the layers quickly and easily when quilting by hand or machine.

The batting can be purchased from either of our shops or you can order it by ringing us and we will ship it out to you the same day.  This product is not currently available to buy on our webshop but we are happy to send out free samples on request.  We stock both cotton and polycotton sheeting in plain black, white and royal blue and can also mail out samples and whole pieces.  We have a few more colours to choose from in the poly cotton.  The quilt was made using an unconventional method where the layers were placed right sides together along with the cotton batting and then bagged out through a gap left in the top.  The gap was carefully top stitched together then the centre of the quilt was marked.  The Hexagon that fell in the centre of the patchwork was then hand quilted followed by random other hexagons.  In this way the quilt could be enjoyed very quickly as a coverlet but added to at any time our seamstress wanted to do a little hand sewing.  And of course January is the perfect time for disappearing under a mountain of fabric layers to quilt on a winters evening.

If you would like to learn more about patchwork and quilting, or just take some basic sewing lessons then have a look at the classes we will be running over the next few weeks.

 

 

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Fabric Manipulation

We’ve got a great new book in stock.  It shows you how to create some great forms with fabric that appear across textile art pieces.  The techniques are all carefully explained and illustrated with some really original ideas that you can put into practice straight away.

 

Using basic geometric shapes and folds as a starting point, you can learn variations on the basic method and develop different decorative effects.  Many of the techniques have been resourced from historical garments and museum pieces as well as more modern books and resources.  The author explains that most of her knowledge of smocking came from books published in the 1970’s!

 

All of the illustrations clearly show the patterns you can make with cuts and folds, pleats and ruffles and the guide at the beginning of the book lists suitable fabrics, tools, measuring techniques, hand sewing methods, pinning, cutting and pressing methods to help you achieve good results.  Some brilliant designs can be created by folding, stitching and cutting layered fabrics in different ways and the complimentary colours can create some rather explosive effects when they are cut into and folded back.

These pictures show how to achieve the stunning textures that are often used to create arty scarves and interior design projects.  The velvet cushion looks particularly striking and the enclosed stuffing balls give a fabulous bobble effect over the surface so it becomes more like a piece of tactile art.

The instructions for this are very straight forward and the fabric calculations are a lot simpler that you would think.  This is such an exciting book and this is definitely one of the projects that we will be trying ourselves.

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10 % Discount on Christmas Fabrics!

We’re very excited to offer our customers a 10% discount across all of our Christmas fabrics until the end of January 2019.

We still have some beautiful timeless designs in stock that you can now pick up at a great price and squirrel away ready for next autumns projects.  Now is also the time to come and browse our extensive collection of craft books too.  You can spend a little time with yourself and get acquainted with a new project for the cold months ahead.

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Happy New Year!

Whether you’re just starting out on your sewing journey, have just moved to the Bridport area and are hunting down new soft furnishings or need some advice on a current project we are looking forward to seeing old and new faces in 2019.  Our normal shop opening hours are now resumed: Mon-Sat 9-5. Closed Sundays.

You can also browse and shop a good selection of our vast fabric stock online here and we have even more in our two shops at Manor Stables Yeovil and St Michaels Lane, Bridport.

See you all soon 🙂

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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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Felt With Love

We have a few copies of this fabulous, bright and colourful new felt project book in stock at Livingstone Textiles and we thought we’d create one of the flowers in the book as a hanging christmas decoration for the shop.
This book is a delight to look at with its bright colours and inspiring designs and there are so many projects that we want to try. The book would make an ideal gift or you can make a whole load of presents from its pages.

 

Hold the 4 felt flowers together and sitch throught the centres to hold.

Place a button either side and stitch through the layers to secure the buttons.

 

Tie a piece of thread around the centre of the     

flowers and tie up like a pompom.

The poinsettia can now be hung up as a seasonal

decoration.

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Roman Blinds in Autumn

This beautiful new fabric from one of our regular suppliers is a celebration of autumn depicting leaves and berries in vibrant jewel colours.  Made up into a pair of Roman blinds they will compliment our client’s dining room windows and tell a story of the seasons swinging from an English summer into autumn.

This cotton fabric in the featured Rust colourway can be purchased in our shops for only £20.90 per metre, or see below to order online.  We also offer a full make up service with our skilled seamstresses.

 

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Concealed Needle Storage

We thought we would share this neat little idea for needle storage inside a Gutterman cotton reel.
Its so simple to twist the base and pull out the centre and it has little grooves to house a threaded needle. This works with all Gutermann threads, including the 100% cotton and our favourite eco-friendly recycled polyester thread.

Simply push your needle into the slits and pop the middle back into the cotton reel ready for next time.

 

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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.