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Half Yard Bags and Purses
The Half Yard Series
BY Debbie Shore

Search Press
4 May 2018/ ISBN 9781782214601
How-To Books/Needlecraft

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde



Make twelve bags and twelve matching purses using only half yards of fabric. All you need is this amount for the outside of the item plus lining, decorations, notions, and hardware. You don’t even need a lot of sewing experience with the easy to read instructions with plenty of staged photographs, although a good knowledge of the basics is a must. There is a page of tips for the “complete beginner” but personally, I would rate this for improver level as there is a fair amount to master. One of the features is that most of the projects feature bag hardware in the shape of buckles, frames, chains, D-rings, and carabiners. This gives the bags a professional finish and instructions are given on how to attach them. At the front there is a list of what you need to embark on making bags plus several pages of basic techniques including stitches, making straps and your own bias binding, adding pockets and putting in zips. There are no patterns in this book apart from a page of templates; each project has a cutting list of the simple shapes you require, plus a list of everything you need and a finished size. You can expect plenty of Search Press’ trademark photographic stages for a pretty foolproof project and a good range of different bag and purse styles. Choose from casual tote bags, shoulder bags, formal handbags, and bags to take to work as well as various purses and wallets to match. My favorite feature of the book is the emphasis on using up what you have; it really shows how to do a lot with a little. From an ingenious use of an old cork to a brilliant way of using up lots of spare threads there is a way of using the smallest scraps. I love the Charles Rennie Mackintosh style rose made from “iris folding” strips of fabric – very pretty and effective. I was also impressed with the range of fabrics used, not only quilting cottons but leather, felt, tweed and all-over lace. This is the sort of book that you can dip into again and again for bags every time you have a new outfit. My current favorite from this excellent series.

If you cannot find a good range of fabrics and other sewing materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

Hardware and a good range of bag making items are available from who ship worldwide.

Reviews of other craft books by Debbie Shore

Making Cushion Covers
Quilted Covers and Cosies
Half Yard Home
Half Yard Christmas
Sewing Room Accessories
Half Yard Vintage
Half Yard Bags & Purses

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2017