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Half Yard Heaven by Debbie Shore: Review, giveaway and soup discussion

June 27, 2014


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.

Half Yard Heaven by Debbie Shore

Half Yard Heaven by Debbie Shore

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.

Padded coat hanger

Padded coat hanger

I’ll admit that there are some projects in this book that make me yawn, because they’re the sort of project that appears in every crafty sewing book ever, such as glasses case, make up bag, tote bag, apron etc.  But then if you only owned this one book, that would be a good thing, and a very worthwhile way to spend £9.99!  The peg bag and the coat hanger tidy are both much too small to be of any practical use, you would need more than half a yard to make either of these worthwhile!

Coat hanger tidy

Coat hanger tidy

The string of hearts has got that very home-made, lumpy, bumpy, imperfect kind of look – a look which I personally try to avoid in the things I make, and therefore it doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest.  The most risible project, however, has to be the wet-wipe sachet cover:

Every parent or pet owner knows how useful wet wipes can be when you are out and about for cleaning sticky fingers or muddy paws!  So why not pop the sachet inside one of these easy-to-make covers and transform it into a stylish accessory? (20)

Please make it stop.  My eyes are about to roll out of my head.

Surprisingly (and thankfully), there is no bunting project to be seen… that’s because Debbie Shore has published AN ENTIRE BOOK about bunting, called: ‘Sew Bunting’.  As if you need a whole book about sewing bunting!  Having said that, I once scoffed at Aileen for having several soup recipe books.  I said to her something along the lines of “As if you need a whole book of soup recipes!!!  Anyone can make soup!”  Then I started leafing through one of them, and suddenly I was rather impressed by the range and inventiveness of the recipes within, and I even went so far as to order a copy of the very same book for myself.  So, call me a hypocrite if you like.  Perhaps there is a whole world of bunting techniques and inspiration that truly necessitates a book dedicated to the subject.

Anyway – back to the good points of this book!  It is choc-full of inspiration for making gifts with small pieces of fabric, and all the projects are suitable for a beginner.  Debbie writes in the introduction:

All the projects in this book are designed to be easy to make, even if you are a complete beginner, and can be created in just a few hours for very little money (8)

And the blurb claims ‘You will not fail to find something in this book to delight and inspire you’, and, reader, I cannot disagree with that.  Here is the sewing machine dust cover that I made with the help of this book:

Sewing machine dust cover

Sewing machine dust cover

I asked my daughter for a critical, unbiased review of this book, and this is what she said: “I like the pictures and all the writing.  There’s nothing I don’t like about this book.”  So there you have it – the wise words of my four year old daughter.

If this book is the kind of book that appeals to you, or you know of someone who might like it, then you have come to the right place because I am giving my review copy away!  The competition is open to anyone, anywhere in the world and will close on Friday 4th July at 12 noon UK time.  All you have to do to win is to tell me what your favourite soup is.

  1. Jane Shore permalink
    June 27, 2014 12:20 pm

    Butternut squash soup! Lovely
    Ps no relation to Debbie!!!!!

  2. Vivella permalink
    June 27, 2014 12:20 pm

    carrot, coriander and lentil soup.

  3. Barbara permalink
    June 27, 2014 7:34 pm

    Bacon and corn – scrumptious !

  4. Jenni permalink
    June 27, 2014 10:34 pm

    Chicken and sweetcorn, a meal in a bowl 🙂

  5. June 27, 2014 10:36 pm

    Asparagus and spinach soup 🙂 thanks for the lovely give away.

  6. Stephenie M permalink
    June 29, 2014 2:08 am

    Portuguese kale soup, So so good on a chilly night to warm up with.

  7. June 29, 2014 10:00 am

    Sweet potato and coconut soup – always makes a delightful lunch in the winter! Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. June 29, 2014 11:08 am

    Vietnamese hot and sour! Nice review btw.

  9. Gabriele permalink
    June 30, 2014 5:31 pm

    I love pumpkin soup. Meaning: the one with ginger and spices. And an apple, a carrot…
    Hm, now I’m hungry *sigh*
    Thanks for your review!

  10. Maralyn and Tom permalink
    July 1, 2014 7:13 am

    Sweet potato and fresh coriander. Yum!

  11. Karen permalink
    July 1, 2014 8:27 am

    Our home made leek and potato. With carrots and onions all blended up it’s a meal in a bowl. Yummy. Thanks for the chance K xXx

  12. July 1, 2014 10:03 am

    Cream of Mushroom (made from my own recipe. Yes, I’ll share!). Though my Carrot and White Bean Soup is awfully good…and my lentil minestrone… mmm…soup…

  13. July 1, 2014 10:52 am

    Chicken and egg soup! YUM YUM YUM!!!!

  14. July 2, 2014 4:28 am

    Cream of broccoli 🙂

  15. July 2, 2014 6:56 am

    I love White Chicken Chili!

  16. July 2, 2014 10:28 pm

    Mulligatawny soup, lush. Thanks for the review and give away.

  17. Nicola Mcbeath permalink
    July 3, 2014 12:57 pm

    Spicy carrot and lentil


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