Half Yard Home Debbie Shore

51covYaALgL._AC_US218_Pub: Search Press LTD

Sewing superstar, Debbie Shore, has designed 40 gorgeous home accessories that can be made using half a yard of fabric or less. The projects are divided into accessories for the Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen and Bedroom, with a special section for picnics. Clear step by step instructions and beautiful photography make it easy to create desirable projects from a tablecloth, magazine box, chair slip, napkins, napkin ring, oven mitt, apron, tea cosy, cafe curtain and jewellery roll, to a picnic place mat, bread bag and bottle bag, and more. Debbie’s flair for design and eye for fresh, beautiful fabrics make these home accessories that readers will make to run up for themselves.

If you love sewing you will know the name Debbie Shore..

She is a woman with remarkable success designing, making and teaching all of us the fundamental basics of sewing while giving us the most beautiful and inspiring ideas for our homes, our children, and everything else in between.

Half Yard Home is a wonderful book, filled with pretty and useful ideas to beautify every corner of where we live.

Bags, Jewellery rolls, and cushions are easily explained and with useful sewing tips and methods even a beginner will have no trouble getting to grips with these projects.

What I especially love about Ms Shore, is that everything she creates is inexpensive. You can you use your leftover scraps or recycle your favourite clothing that is no longer useful.

She also allows the sewist to sell the items you make for a tidy profit.

She loves nothing more than bringing the craft and her ideas to those of us who are looking for easy sewing projects that will teach us new skills and enable us to love what we achieve.

This book is perfect for everyone, and as always the projects are perfectly photographed using a step by step method.

Highly recommended and a beautiful gift for anyone who loves to stitch.


All the projects are beautiful in this book..

but I especially liked the Yo Yo Cloth.



Yo Yo’s or Suffolk Puffs as they are often called are extremely easy to do and very pretty.



Using a circle template and a scrap of fabric cut a circle. Depending on your size choice they can be small or large. This one is about 2 inches in diameter.



use running stitch around the edge of your circle..


then pull it tight (careful not to snap your thread).


It doesn’t matter which way you use your Yo Yo..


I used the stitched side for my project.


I didn’t want a Yo Yo cloth as I found it too pretty to use so after an afternoon of sewing I made quite a few of these cute little things and made a beautiful cushion.


I added buttons to the center of the Yo Yo to cover the stitches.

Yo Yo’s are the most perfect of decoration and can be added to bags and quilts. I have even seen them added to a neckline of plain T’shirt which looked amazing.

Happy Sewing x

Buy the book..





Complete Guide to Dressmaking Jules Fallon

5149PymnL3L._AC_US218_Pub:   Search Press Ltd

A beautifully presented technique-resource, this is a guide for dressmakers new to the craft and for those who want to take their skills further. This definitive how-to book features scores of step-by-step sequences showing every kind of technique, from simply using and adapting paper patterns, to specialist couture-inspired seaming techniques that will take your garment-making skills to a new level. Author Jules Fallon runs a hugely popular and over-subscribed series of dressmaking classes, which means she knows exactly the techniques that everyone gets stuck on. She brings her neat tricks and sage advice to all aspects of the book, and especially to the “Help!” features: troubleshooting fixes for the real-world mistakes that are part of our dressmaking experience


This is a book for every sewist.

When it says it’s the complete guide, it really is just that.

Not only is it a beautiful glossy book, it is photographed and presented in the most perfect of ways.

Sewing Machine basics, essential tool kit and how to measure yourself are covered in the first few pages. Then Jules Fallon takes us on a journey that covers every aspect of Dressmaking.

Collars, Sleeves, Zips and even how to sew an ‘hook and eye’. This is a book for EVERYONE.

Fallon’s knowledge is extensive, a trained pattern cutter she has been in the business for 15 years, so having her book in your hands is like having her as your own personal tutor.

if you struggle with Pleats, Pockets and Plackets Jules Fallon has it covered.

This book is a must have.


Buy the book..




The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook Nora Abousteit

61GXMdh5nbL._AC_US218_Pub: Potter Craft

The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook is the most comprehensive, hip, and creative guide to learning to sew clothes with style. With more than 430,000 members around the world, BurdaStyle is the largest online community of sewing enthusiasts, fashion designers, and DIYers. BurdaStyle celebrates this vibrant, global community as they teach readers everything they need to know to design and sew an entire wardrobe of fashion-forward looks using the five fully customisable sewing patterns enclosed with the book. Filled with gorgeous photography, step-by-step instruction, and contributions by 78 designers from 22 countries.

The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook will be the go-to guide for every fashion sewer.

This is a book filled with ideas and inspiration..

Whilst I am not enamoured with the stylists creations, this book has five patterns. A coat, dress, bag, a blouse and a skirt.

But what I liked about this fab little book is that they are adaptable. So even though my style is somewhat different, I am able to use them and make a perfectly fitted item to my own unique style.

The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook is complete with information for tools, techniques and diagrams that show a step by step guide to make what you decide.

If you are not an experienced sewist, then this book will take you through various stages of creating a garment and getting it right. It covers all the basics and more.

I really did find it helpful. I especially liked the spiral bound spine,  it lies flat which is always helpful when trying to follow methods in a book.

The patterns do not include a seam allowance so you need to be sure to read the book before you start,and you will need to check your own specific sizing. One size does not fit all.

This is a helpful book and although it will not complete your collection of sewing know how, it is a very good basic book with some great ideas and patterns.


Buy the book.. 


Millinery: The Art of Hat-Making Sarah Lomax and Rachel Skinner

51u17vc9LIL._AC_US218_Pub: GMC Publications Ltd

A bespoke hat, designed with a particular event in mind, is something many people long for but often feel is price prohibitive. In this fabulous new book, couture milliners, Lomax & Skinner, show that this need not be the case. With clear and comprehensive step-by-step-instructions and photography, Sarah Lomax and Rachel Skinner, show readers how to make 12 very different hats for a variety of occasions, including a wool felt trilby, a chic pillbox, a fascinator and a feathered headband. The materials and equipment that are required are fully detailed, along with all the necessary techniques, enabling the reader to adapt the designs if they wish, or to create their own unique hats. Full of inspirational and instructional photography, this beautifully designed book truly showcases this wonderful craft and provides all the know-how in order to achieve high-end, couture results at home.

If ever there was a book..

that makes me want to learn a new art and get it perfect it is this one.

I have always loved a sexy hat and Millinery is filled to the brim (excuse the pun) with 12 stunning styles that are not only beautiful but unique and cover all occasions.

Hairbands, Caps and Fascinators  for  Brides, Evening and just because are catered for and Lomax and Skinner showcase their craft and their skill with the most perfect photography.

This is a craft book with a difference, techniques are expertly demonstrated and under the tutorship of these two ladies I can see no reason why I cannot create something wonderful.

There are not many templates or pattern pieces, so it is important to follow each specification and size to get it right, but the methods and diagrams are complete and easy to follow.

The finished results are exquisite, with feathers and lace and other rich trimmings the hats are to die for.

Simply stunning.


These are a few of my favourites from the book…

IMG_20170924_134547 This is the Felt Capeline.

It is a beginners project so I may start by making this one.

IMG_20170924_134536 The Magenta Percher.

Very 1940’s, also a beginners hat, but filled with essential basic techniques.

IMG_20170924_134515 The Sparkling Cocktail hat.

This is a simple style and easy to achieve. I think it’s so beautiful.


Buy the book.

Millinery by Sarah Lomax and Rachel Skinner, published by GMC (£16.99, available from www.thegmcgroup.com)



Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in Ireland Kaffe Fassett

61p1GE2JP3L._AC_US218_Pub: Taunton Press


West Ireland, with its streets of colourful painted houses and ancient stone walls, provides the perfect inspiration for the richly varied quilt designs in Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in Ireland. Renowned for his use of colour, Kaffe creates colour palettes of brilliant hot pinks and reds; deep blues, purples, and greens; and soft blues and whites from his journey to Ireland, showcased in striking quilt designs that are as unpredictable as the landscape of Ireland. With contributions from designers Liza Prior-Lucy and Philip Jacobs, Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in Ireland will inspire quilters of all skill levels. Each quilt pattern includes complete instructions, with colour diagrams, and the book includes a section on patchwork and quilting basics.

Kaffe Fassett is known for his colorways..

In fact he is well known for saying, ‘if in doubt add another color’. Quilts in Ireland just like all his other books is a wonderful display of color and design that will truly inspire and ignite a passion for quilting and design.

This book is photographed in Western Ireland and the pictures make this book a delightful look book as well as a useful addition to your sewing shelf.

With full sized templates and easy instructions, the other brilliant thing that Kaffe does is design quilt with an intricate and clever design that is easier to put together than it looks.

My favourite is the Pine Bark quilt and the Maple Leaf Medallion is just stunning.

All you need is some fabric with color and the possibilities are endless.



This is the Maple Leaf Medallion quilt…


Buy the book..

Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in Ireland, published by Taunton (£23.99, available from www.thegmcgroup.com)


Proggy’s Rag Rug Menagerie Hayley Smith

519Z4LBo30L._AC_US218_ Pub: Search Press Ltd

Discover a new and exciting way to put your stash of fabric scraps to good use with this collection of adorable three-dimensional rag-rug projects, which can be adapted for use as children’s playthings, pet toys and home accessories.

The technique is easy to master – simply cut your fabric into strips and push it through the holes in some hessian backing – and has been a traditional way of creating mats for centuries.

‘Progging’ is the name for this style of rag mat-making in north-east England, where the author creates her range of Proggy® kits, supplies and tools, but the method is familiar the world over.

Here you will find it given a refreshing modern twist that moves it beyond the usual two-dimensional rug format, with instructions for making 20 fun and funky three-dimensional stuffed animals. With a few simple adaptations to the backing, filling and eye materials, the projects can safely be used as soft toys by children, chew toys by pets, or put to use as door stops and draught excluders around your home.

Hayley Smith has brought us a fabulous book..

filled with cute and adorable animals from bunnies to foxes to ‘proggy’.

Proggy craft is a modern twist to the traditional art of rug making.  This simple but very tactile and creative art can be really quite inventive, and what Hayley has done is brought this craft right up to date with her beautiful toys.

I had never heard of ‘Proggy’ until I came to live in the NE. My librarian told me that as children her mother used to make proggy mats, which then in the cold cold winters the mats were given a shake then put on the bed to keep everyone warm.

The books comes with various templates, which have to be enlarged on a photocopier, and includes all instructions and techniques which are simple to follow.

I think older children may be able to ‘proggy’ but may need some help sewing the pieces together, so it is a craft to be enjoyed by everyone.

All the animals are superb and would make exceptional and unusual gifts.


Proggy is simple and a brilliant way of using small scraps of fabric.


You need some hessian, some fabric  and a proggy tool.

IMG_20170922_105556 IMG_20170922_094937


Choose your pattern and cut the fabric scraps to the correct size and width. All instructions tell you dimensions.



Proggy is really simple.

you just poke a hole in the hessian, poke your fabric through the hole then poke it back through the other side.



Continue this way, until all the shape is covered with your fabric.

The best thing about this craft, is if you have a gap you just fill it quite simply.

IMG_20170923_082923 This is the back.



Once you have finished your proggy toy, sew it together and trim the excess fabric to neaten.

( I made a rookie error in making my toy :/ .. yes it even happens to me at times.)

I proggied the wrong side of one of my shapes, so I will start again and finish later.


Happy crafting x



Buy the book…





130 Iris Folded Cards to Make Maruscha Gaasenbeek

51xQoId+PDL._AC_US218_ Pub: Search Press Books

Iris folding is a simple technique that involves folding papers to create beautiful, spiralling patterns that are similar in shape to the iris aperture of a camera. In this book, Maruscha Gaasenbeek shares with you her love of iris folding, providing templates and clear instructions for 130 beautiful greetings cards based on iris-folded designs. It combines three previously published books by the same author: Iris Folding With Love, Iris Folding For Fun and Iris Folding a Full Year, and represents a fantastic source of inspiration and ideas for cards for all occasions.

I love this little craft..

It is perfect for a rainy day something to do with the children or just to make the ideal card for someone special.

It would make a terrific gift for loved ones of any age and is so simple it is quite addictive.

It is simple and with full instructions, you can achieve something fabulous with a piece of card and some patterned paper.

Iris folding is nothing to do with the flower but everything to do with the lens of a camera. The idea is to fold your paper and stick them alternately using the template  of your chosen shape, until you reach the center, which when turned over looks just a camera lens.It’s amazing.

If I have one dislike about this book. it is the templates.. I feel they would have been better placed at the end, purely because you have to photocopy them for simple use. (however you could just trace them).  I also enlarged my templates as I found them a bit tiny.

But I really do think that this is a craft for everyone, and it was rather fun to do.


I used the scent bottle template…


IMG_20170917_065629 IMG_20170917_163923

I photocopied and enlarged my templates by 50%

Place the shape in the middle of your card and cut carefully around the shape.



I stuck the shape to my table then placed the card over the shape. You need to see the guide lines.

You need one patterned paper for each side. I need four. Cut the paper into strips and fold them.

Make sure they are cut wide enough the cover each guide line.



Place each strip on the guide line and tape them down. You need to do one strip at a time.

Follow the numbers in order with each corresponding patterned strip.



Do this until all the lines are covered.

You should be left with a ‘hole’ in the center of your template. This is the lens.

If you have paper overlapping the side of your card trim this off.

Turn your card over and remove the template.



This is my finished template.  I do think the photograph here and those in the book do not really show the brilliant effect that this technique does.

Some of the patterns have ‘extra’ things you need to do. i:e for the this shape I had to cut out the scent bottle top and add it to the front of my card.

I think this would look stunning using different textiles such as satin ribbon or even colored sand paper.

Happy crafting x

Buy the book..