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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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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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Velvets now available on our Website

A beautiful range of Velvets that carry a soft sheen are now available to order on our website,for just £19.50 per metre (excluding shipping fees).  These 100% polyester velvets are 140 cms width, and have a gorgeous soft touch and luxurious semi-matt texture. They’re suitable for curtains, cushions and domestic upholstery, and with a range of colours large enough to match any room scheme, would be a fantastic way to add a touch of luxe to your home.

If you’d like to see the full range of  colours the hanger can be borrowed for a small deposit or we can send you samples.

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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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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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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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A Splash of Velvet

This glorious velvet is settling happily on our velvet shelf but we don’t think it will be around for long.

The rich splashes of colour are as enchanting as a Monet painting but that not all.  This glorious fabric has the feel of the softest kitten fur.  In fact, we don’t just stroke it each time we pass it by, we have been spotted giving it a hug too.

Come into the shop and have a feel for yourself, nothing like seeing the real thing before you buy and luckily for you guys we have a roll in each of our stores 🙂

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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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Beautiful new velvets

New in, and getting a lot of attention in both our Bridport and Yeovil shops, these beautiful velvets come in a rainbow of delicious berry colours, brights and neutrals. If you’d like to see what the colours would look like in your home the hanger can be borrowed for a small deposit, and the fabric is available to order from both our shops at £21.50 per metre.

These 100% polyester velvets are 140 cms width, and have a gorgeous soft touch and luxurious semi-matt texture. They’re suitable for curtains and domestic upholstery, and with a range of colours large enough to match any room scheme, would be a fantastic way to add a touch of luxe to your home.

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Far From The Madding Crowd

At Livingstone Textiles Bridport we are extremely fortunate to live amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the British Isles.  As well as fast becoming a very popular  holiday and tourism destination with its crumbling Jurrasic coastline, the West Dorset landscape is increasingly seen in documentaries, television series’ and as an area in which to make evocative films.

For many of us nothing beats a good traditional costume drama and in the newest screen version of the Dorset Author Thomas Hardys’ beautiful novel, Far From The Madding Crowd, the stunning countryside around Bridport is portrayed with all of its rural charm.   While the filming was taking place from various locations around the town and surrounding villages, one film crew pitched camp behind Livingstones and we frequently supplied ribbons, haberdashery, elastic, buttons and various pieces of cloth to the costume department who would regularly pop in to top up their own supplies.

 

Inspired?  Why not host a unique Regency Ball Party?  West Dorset has a wealth of beautiful village halls for hire at ridiculously cheap rates and there is a beautiful Regency inspired venue at The Bull Hotel in the town complete with its own Ballroom.  Local Folk Bands can perform live music for you at really competitive rates and most can arrange a local caller to teach very simple Playford Dance.   For a birthday or wedding, this could be a beautifully immersive experience and at Livingstones we can supply you with authentically styled patterns to sew your own gowns as well as an array of luxury patterns and plains for waistcoats, dress shirts, petticoats and bonnets.  Remeber to ask us about joining our pattern club as well to get free patterns and great price offers unavailable online.

 

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Spring makeover for holiday homes and hotels

It’s that time of year when you may be looking at renewing the soft furnishings in your guest accommodation, and at Livingstone Textiles we can help you with all aspects of the process.  We have a huge variety of fabrics to choose from in store on the roll, and an even wider selection available to order from our suppliers, so whether you want to furnish a luxurious bolt-hole, or spruce up a holiday cottage, you’ll find plenty here to please.

For a luxe feel, take a look at our gorgeous Romo velvets to bring a really sumptuous finish for your property,or maybe our large range of seaside themed fabric in blues, brights or neutrals will tempt you – they’re great for cushions and curtains in a house near the sea.

We can guide you through the whole process, from choosing your fabric, to having your fabric made up into hand-finished curtains, blinds and other soft furnishings  made to measure by our experienced local seamstresses. We can even have your chosen fabric treated with fireproofing, with a certificate, for extra peace of mind.

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Rolls of Fabric

Inside 2Don’t forget that Livingstone Textiles stock hundreds of fabrics on the roll for you to chose from.  Fabric is one of those products that you really need to feel before you buy and our huge selection means you can usually find something to take away that day.  Two weeks before Christmas a customer popped in to the shop and chose one of our semi plains off the roll and we were able to make her blind and cover her baton in time for Christmas.

If you really can’t find anything amongst our stock, we can order from any of our suppliers and most deliver to us within a week, some in just a day! Just ask us when ordering and we’ll do everything we can to get your fabric as quickly as possible and if you really can’t get to us then we’ll happily send you samples of anything in stock, just ask and we’ll try to match you with your ideal fabric.

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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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Elastic Adjustable Belt

 

We decided to make some new belts for holding our scissor pouches as well as show off this gorgeous new coloured elastic that we now have in the shop.  We were so pleased with how they looked that we decided to share it with you with step by step instructions.

All of the components are available from both of our outlets in Yeovil and Bridport and we think they would make great presents for Christmas.

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Snake Hips shows off the belt! Why don’t you try making your own?  It’s a great functional belt and works well as a gardening tool belt, scissor pouch or just a great fashion accessory.  You can choose from some of these gorgeous new elastics in several widths including a fabulous sparkly one!

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Melplash Show

With Melplash show only two days away some of our local customers might be testing out that cake recipe one last time to make sure it’s perfect for the yearly cake competition, I know that Tom at Livingstone Textiles has been busy trying to get his cake perfect for the big day… he’s been known to bake some beautiful cakes in the past! This year he’s planning on entering the men’s only class and will be hopefully making a Guinness and chocolate cake, the staff at Livingstone Textiles are hoping we might get a taste of some of the practice pieces.

Maybe you’re not so interested in cake baking as much as in the decorating of it.  Sugarcraft is an amazing skill to have and last years Melpash show entries showed off the high skills that the people of Bridport have. We’re taking our pop up shop down to the show again this year and are really looking forward to seeing this years entries.  We thought this cake ribbon might give you some inspiration for the occasion and could add the perfect finish to your cake! DSC_5660

Maybe you are entering a flower arrangement?  Don’t forget we have a wide range of ribbons and bows that could add to your display.  We stock a vast selection in the shop in Bridport, from Hessian ribbons to traditional satin in many colours and widths.  These can add to your arrangement without distracting from the beautiful flowers.  If you forget something or need it at the last minute we will have a small selection to chose from on our stand

If you’re coming to the show, how about a visit to see all those lovely arts and craft entrees in the craft marquee. One year there were some lovely bunting flags that had been made using many of our shop fabrics.  We were delighted to see the work involved and that we could be part of that winners success.

We really enjoy seeing the beautiful crafts and garments that people can make from our fabric selection.  Entrants put colour and pattern together in a totally unique way and when we see them entered into a competition we feel very proud to have been part of the story. We really can’t wait to see what sewing entrants pop up at the Melplash show this year.

The Melplash show offers a great day out to Bridport, full of agriculture, animals, machinery and local trade stands.  If you’re traveling down to Dorset for the show, you can always pop in to the shop and see us if you get time, or pop across to our stand and say hello.

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Folk Festival 2017

Bridport is known for its ambience and hosts some lively community festivals.   We also have a vibrant music scene in the town, one genre of which is Folk Music and a handful of regular folk music performers have decided to showcase some of the best local talent in Dorset by hosting the First Ever Bridport Folk Festival. What’s more, it’s a Free Festival!!

Folk music, song and dance are part of our rich British culture and it is positively thriving among the young and old alike in the town and deep into the hills of Dorset.  To showcase our heritage, The Bridport Folk Festival will be hosting over 76 acts, more than 50 of these acts are musicians that will be singing and playing at several venues across the weekend of the 11th, 12th and 13th of August.  There will be 3 main stages all within the town centre, one in Bucky Doo, one in The Borough Gardens and the main stage will be on the Millenium Green. All stages are free to enter and any money collected will be shared in half with the RNLI.

Livingstone Textiles are very proud to have supported this event with both sponsorship and materials to build the stage sets and providing a venue large enough for a community sewing bee to stitch the vast quanities of extra wide calico needed for the stage roofs.  The calico that has been used is 3 metres wide from selvedge to selvedge so it’s ideal to use as a lightweight cover in the event of showers and as shade from the sun.  The stages will also be featuring backdrops made from our polycotton plains and draped with our two tone organza and we’ll be featuring pictures of these on the blog after the event.

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Folk Festivals are renowned throught the UK and as well as the numerous song, dance and instrument workshops that take place are always the Morris.

Morris dancing can be traced back at least to the time of Shakepeare in our country and it is widely believed that the Moors people brought it here when they settled in this country, hence Moorish/Morris dancing.  This is just one of many different theories but one things for certain, it’s certainly not just for men.  We have some great female and mixed dance teams in Dorset and they can all be seen dancing enthusiastically throughout the summer at West Bay, Bridport, Charmouth, Lyme Regis, Swanage and at many small villages between from May to September.  Livingstone Textiles holds a vast stock of ribbons and bells, threads and fabrics and are suppliers to Bridport’s very own morris team, Wyld Morris, based at Monkton Wyld, Bridport.  They have recently furnished themselves with colourful tatter jackets made from scraps of fabric that we’ve supplied along with their own odds and ends.  Indeed, Livingstones has it’s very own incognito Morris dancer working in one of the shops!

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We regularly see the local Morris dancers in our shop getting ribbons, fabric and other habadashery supplies they need from us so we are all very excited about this event.

For more information on the folk festival please visit their website.

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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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Bespoke Cushions

Livingstone Textiles are very lucky to have some very talented makers who work alongside us, that can make the most wonderful things from our beautiful fabrics and because of how talented they are its lovely when they get asked and trusted to help create our customers beautiful and amazing works into something more. DSC_5597

This beautiful tapestry was brought into our shop by one of our very talented customers and we were trusted to make into cushions for her. Its amazing to have been given that trust as this piece of art would have taken hours and lots of patience to complete. Tapestry is a skilled sewing technique where the sewer uses a special tapestry canvas which looks like a fine net or mesh. The sewer then uses a tapestry wool to sew the design which as you can see from theDSC_5595 (2) image is a simple stitch on a angle. The piece is only finished when the whole piece is covered in stitches. A range of different colours can be used when creating a tapestry and any design of the crafters can be created.  As can be seen in these images the customer choose to create an image of some very beautiful flowers focusing on the colours yellow and green. She then chooses a lovely yellow linen fabric to finish the cushion with a beautiful piping in the yellow lined to finish and frame the piece of work. The linen really complements this piece because of its weave, which then adds flow to the tapestry weave.

Our maker has then added a simple yellow zip and finish off the cushion.

We have a wide making service with lots of makers that can help you with your sewing needs if you would like more information on what making services we offer please contact us or ask in store and we will be happy to help.

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Rusty Velveteen

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Two soft velveteen cushions made in this gorgeous rust coloured fabric have been made by a member of staff to revamp a lovely old reading chair.  The cushions were piped in the velvet as well and a zip inserted at the back.

Velvet can be a bit tricky to sew as the layers have a tendency to creep as you feed the fabric under the machine but one way of combatting this is to use a walking foot.  The fabric shown is available from Livingstone Textiles at only £7 per metre and is 150cm wide making it ideal for curtains, cushions and even dressmaking.  It drapes beautifully into soft folds when hung and the texture catches the light.  In this instance, it was chosen to complement the historical nature of the chair and bring out the warm colour of the wood. If you’d like to have a go at making your own cushions, our cushion pack is available and comes complete with any fabric you choose and a full set of instructions.  It also makes an ideal gift.

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Silver Crushed Velvet

For a touch of luxury, add velvet. In fact, add crushed silver velvet and go the whole hog.
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Make gorgeous curtains or cushions and upholster a headboard or chair in this understated yet glamorous fabric.

 

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We can supply this fabric and have a making service so all you’ll need to do is relax in your new room.

 

 

 

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contact us for samples at www.livingstonetextiles.com to place an order or telephone 01935 456844

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Winter Weight Curtaining

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Whether its luxury copper velvet, stitched embroidery or ribbon embroidery that takes your fancy, we have some gorgeous fabrics to cosy up your windows.  The ribbon embroidery is worked on a deep chocolate brown faux suede while the stitched seed heads are created from autumn shades of satin on a soft stone cotton blend.  Both would look fabulous draped at the window and the copper velvet can be used for upholstering a chair or a cushion to complement the other fabrics.  The velvet is also wide enough to make into curtains for a more minimalist look.  Exclusively available in our Bridport shop.