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Half Yard (TM) Heaven


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About the Author

Debbie Shore started her career as a children's television presenter and since then has appeared regularly on television both as an actress and selling products on a shopping channel. Debbie has also hosted live fashion shows with a major fashion store, produces her own range of instructional DVDs and writes for several popular sewing magazines. She is now a bestselling author and has written over 18 books for Search Press, with several more underway. Debbie was voted Sewing Designer of the Year in the Immediate Media British Craft Awards 2017. She lives in Lincolnshire. Visit her website at:


If you sew, you probably have a scrap bin full of odd-sized pieces of fabric that you don't know what to do with. Avid sewist Shore provides 26 small projects designed to use these small-to-medium scraps. Despite the book's title, a half yard isn't needed for most of the projects, which focus on cute, feminine accessories for women and girls. Highlights include the craft caddy, with numerous pockets to hold various bits and bobs of crafty stuff (and a convenient handle for portablility), a zippered makeup bag, and an easily customizable pair of house slippers with soft fleece soles. The projects are easy to sew and require basic sewing machine skills (straight and zigzag stitch, topstitching, and zipper installation), and key steps are illustrated with photographs. VERDICT This pretty collection will appeal to sewists looking for simple, quick projects to make as gifts.

* Fibre Crafts *

We all have scraps of fabric that we never end up using, so this bestselling book by Debbie Shore for 26 projects to make with less than half a yard of fabric is ideal. There are lots of different ideas in here, some you will have undoubtedly seen before, but lots of other new ones too. They range from tissue box covers, to slippers, glasses cases and placemats. The images, as you would expect, are very clear and bright and the instructions are perfect for sewers of all abilities. Some of my favourite inclusions are for a sewing machine cover, neck cushions (which annoyingly I'd just bought for my girls but will be using the pattern from this once they split) and a gorgeous chicken doorstop - who could resist?! I think that there are lots of useful projects to get your teeth into, and to use up those scraps of left-over fabric!

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Simple, quick and easy - these projects can be made in a jiffy using small amounts of fabric. Easy to understand instructions and clear photographs show these projects off to advantage. There's something for everyone and this is a great beginners book. Good range of simple to sew projects for the home and family. Nothing new but a good collection of standby items from aprons and oven gloves to owls and hens, tissue box and sewing machine covers. 26 beautiful projects to make or give as gifts and the book would make a beautiful gift too.

* Karen Platt *

As someone who tends to buy fabric in small lengths (fat quarters or half metres) I was very excited when I saw this book was coming out. I'm always on the lookout for projects to make with small amounts of fabric and this book has 26 different projects in it which use either fat quarters or half metres. The projects are a mix between things for your home like a tea cosy, pan holder and peg bag, things to wear such as slippers, children's apron and rosette head band to useful things like a craft caddy, glasses case, tote bag and table mat. There are big bright photos for every stage of the sewing process, making it easy to follow. There are also step by step written instructions plus useful tips scattered throughout the book. What's clever is there are no templates in the book, instead Debbie tells you how to create the templates yourself using common household objects like plates or lids. This means no faffing around with photocopiers trying to enlarge templates (yay!). This book is ideal if you have lots of smaller pieces of fabric you want to use up.

* Sewing Directory, The *

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of rather beautiful half yard and fat quarter pieces of fabrics in my stash, so it's always useful to find a title that focuses on these. This is really a book aimed at beginners or novices, so whilst the projects are very sweet and creative, it may not be challenging enough for some of our more advanced readers. It is however a lovely book of ideas to introduce youngsters to sewing, and it includes a detailed preparation section before it embarks on the 26 projects within. The projects are mainly generally sewing based but some do incorporate basic patchwork, applique and quilting. Large step-by-step instruction photos make it very easy to follow and increase the production values of the book. Favourite projects for me include the chicken doorstop, the oven gloves and the sewing machine dust cover.

* Popular Patchwork *

This is a delightful book. The basic techniques you need to know are explained at the beginning of the book, and every step-by-step project is accompanied by a fabulous photograph of the finished piece, including beautiful bags, aprons, a craft caddy for storing your making kit, a handy wash bag, a notice board and numerous other gifts and accessories for you, your family and your home.

* Hot Brands, Cool Places *

Many, many months ago I was sent three books of my choice to review from Search Press, and I have finally gotten around to posting a review of the first book: 'Half Yard Heaven' by Debbie Shore, which I am told has been one of Search Press's best sellers of 2014.As its title suggests, the principle of the book is putting to good use leftover scraps of fabric, or, as the author points out, 'the fabric could equally as well come from an old tshirt, duvet cover or tablecloth as from a fabric store'. Using up left-over pieces of fabric is a very appealing prospect, as I'm sure it would be to lots of you who also sew and often find yourselves with the odd half metre left over - too pretty to throw away, but too small to use.

The visual style of the book is very Cath Kidston inspired - florals, polka dots and stripes abound in pretty pastel colours. The photography is good. Step by step instructions are accompanied by clear photographs, and the layout is well designed and not too fussy or overcrowded.

The projects vary in appeal, at least to me! I really liked the Sewing Machine Dust Cover, so I made it, and found it was easy to make, with good, clear, customisable instructions. There are other projects that I could see myself making as gifts for other people. The projects that stand out to me are the slippers, the child's apron, the owl and the pussycat stuffed toys, the chicken doorstop and the padded coat hanger.

If you would like to read more of this review click here for the link to

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