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Half Yard Sewing Club

Half Yard Sewing Club review


If you have not yet heard of Debbie Shore where have you been hiding?  This TV presenter turned craft superstar has written numerous best-selling books, designed many craft products, patterns and fabrics, regularly appears on sewing TV shows and is a You Tube star with videos getting several million views.

She has now partnered with her publishers, Search Press, to expand her Half Yard sewing brand into a multi media platform. The new Half Yard Sewing Club is a pay monthly or annually club which gives members access to free projects (available both online or to download and print), instructive videos showing you how to make each project, expert tips from Debbie and the chance to ask her questions or speak to her during her Facebook live chats. It costs either £60 a year or £5.99 per month. The Club only launched in August so at the time of reviewing (end Sept) there are just 14 projects available to members, but 3 new projects will be added every month so the longer you are a member the more projects you can access. As with most of Debbie’s projects they are suitable for all abilities and have clear step by step photos and instructions to guide you.

 Craft Caddy project from Half Yard Sewing Club


Projects are split into categories which will make it easier to navigate when there is a big back catalogue of projects. Categories include bags, Christmas, gifts, storage, kids, home and crafting.  The one that caught my eye initially is the multi pocketed craft caddy shown above. But at the bottom of this page I’ve put a collage of some of the other projects you can find.

It’s worth noting that some of the projects on the site are free, available to non-members as well as members to give you a taster of what to expect if you did join the site. Do take a look at the projects - both free and members only – here. You don't have to be a member to view what projects are available. 

The particular project I decided to focus on is one of the big monthly projects: the craft caddy.  It has an hour long video accompanying in with Debbie talking you through every step required to make the bag (video still below). 

 Debbie Shore video tutorials


There are also written step by step instructions for each project on site, very much like the format you will be used to from her books. Below is an image showing you a couple steps for the craft caddy.
 

 Sewing projects with step by step instructions

 

If you download the project you get the same layout but in pdf format allowing you to print it rather than having to refer to a screen whilst sewing. There is also another download available for this project – the pattern pieces in pdf format too. Some of the projects are quite simple and don’t require printing pattern pieces.

 

Half yard sewing projects

Each project has a difficulty rating on it too (just to the right of the project title) so you can find those best for your ability level.  There is also a link to any techniques you might need to use, which takes you through to the sewing tips and techniques section of the site.  As with the projects they are clearly explained and have step by step photos or videos.

Live stream chats with Debbie Shore

There is an option further down the page to add comments about the project, or upload images and save it into ‘your notebook’.  From what I can see this will create a kind of online sewing journal as you work your way through the projects on site. You can leave notes and tips for yourself in case you make any of the projects again in the future.

Exploring the rest of the site I found there is a section with information on all of Debbie’s books, plus a 20% discount code to help you buy any books you don’t yet have in your collection. 

There is also a blog with things like giveaways, information about her Facebook livestreams (you can submit questions for her to answer during the livestreams) and posts about what Debbie has been making or doing.

To submit a question for Debbie to answer during her monthly livestream you need to view a project – and then on the right of the screen if you scroll down you will find a box that says submit questions for a live chat. She also answers questions on the Half Yard Sewing Club Facebook page throughout the month so you don’t have to wait for the live stream.

There is a sewing tips and techniques section of the site which includes topics like applique, free motion quilting, zips and bias binding.

I had a few questions about the site which I thought other people might have too, so I contacted Search Press to find out the answers. My first question was about whether the projects on the site are unique, or from book extracts and they confirmed that the monthly project (which comes with instructional video and downloads) is unique to the site but that in between those there may be projects from her books (clearly labelled as extracts) or that have previously been published in magazines. Which means members will get at least new 3 projects each month, but some you may have already seen elsewhere.  They are uploaded at different times of the month so there is regular new content added. 

 Sewing tips and techniques


I also wondered how often new tips and techniques would be added. I found out that as new projects are added the related tips will also be added to the site at the same time. They will also be adding new tips on demand, so there will be least 1 new one per month sometimes more. This resource will grow as the projects section expands.

The interactive element of the site is run purely through Facebook, which I can see makes it easy for someone like Debbie who already has a large social media following. But might be tricky for members who do not use Facebook. Perhaps in the future that may be something they consider moving onto the Half Yard Club site. I also thought a forum for members to interact with each other (and perhaps Debbie too) or ask questions would be a nice touch to add in the future.

If you are a fan of Debbie’s style and her books the website will be very attractive to you. It’s a great way to get bonus projects that you can’t find elsewhere, and the step by step videos are a very useful resource. It’s often easier to figure something out when you see it demonstrated rather than just read about it. The price is around the price of a monthly magazine and like with magazines you get a discount if you subscribe for a full year. The site is also ideal for those new to sewing, having video, photos and written instructions to guide you, along with technique guides and extra support from Debbie if needed will really help people progress their sewing skills.

Find out more at https://www.halfyardsewingclub.com/ and read reviews from members of the site here.

 Half yard sewing projects