Adding item to the basket

× Item added

This item has been added to your basket.

Proceed to checkout
Search the site...

Look inside Click here to join Debbie's
Half Yard Sewing Club
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 21 February 2021
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782217473
  • Stock: 45 in stock
  • Size: 204x260 mm
  • Illustrations: 400
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $29.99
  • Series: Debbie Shore’s Sewing Room Secrets
Download jacket image

Debbie Shore's Sewing Room Secrets: Essential Skills for Dressmakers


Top tips and techniques for successful sewing by Debbie Shore

Add to Basket
Book Description

Packed with key skills and friendly know-how, this essential guide is ideal for anyone taking their first steps into dressmaking.

Packed with key skills and friendly know-how, this essential guide is ideal for anyone taking their first steps into dressmaking.

The latest title in Debbie Shore's Sewing Room Secrets series, this essential guide is packed with key skills and friendly know-how and is ideal for anyone taking their first steps into dressmaking. It covers the important basics such as: how to read and adjust a pattern; how to choose, mark and cut fabric; how to add zips, pockets and buttons; how to adapt old, misshapen or over-sized garments, and how to do some basic mending all shown step-by-step.

This book is a toolkit designed to equip you with all the dressmaking skills you need; it contains ten inventive projects for you to try your hand at using your own pre-loved clothes, and gives you all the knowledge you need to make your own clothes from scratch using the pattern of your choice.

Table of Contents

About this book 5
About me 6
my quick tips 7
dressmaking essentials 8
Tools & equipment 9
Fabrics 20
Fabric terminology 23
Interfacing 24
Threads 25

Dressmaking know-how 26
Pressing vs ironing 27
Measuring yourself 28
Choosing a pattern 31
Understanding pattern symbols 32
Cutting your pattern 34
Transferring pattern symbols 36
Cutting fabric 38
Making a toile 39
Machine stitches 40
Special stitches 42
Darts 43
Seams 44
Hems 46
ProjectKimono Jacket 48
Bindings 50
Zips 52
Closures 57
ProjectTunic Sweater Dress 60
Pockets 62
ProjectShirt Skirt 64
ProjectOld to New Joggers 66
Shirring 70
Sewing elastic 71
ProjectSweater Skirt 72
ProjectWrap Skirt 74
ProjectCircle Skirt 76
ProjectOff-the-Shoulder Top 78
Appliqué 80
ProjectChild’s Shirt Dress and Headband 82
ProjectBatwing Dress 84

Make it fit 88
Mend it 92
Index 96

About the Author

About Debbie Shore

Debbie Shore is a best-selling and award-winning author. She began her career as a children's television presenter and since then has appeared regularly as an actress in various popular dramas and as a presenter on shopping channels. Debbie has developed her own range of fabrics, designed her own patterns, writes for several popular sewing magazines and has written over 30 books for Search Press with several more underway. Over 800,000 copies of her books have been sold worldwide. She is the winner of Craft Influencer of the Year 2020 in the Craft Business Awards, and Social Media Influencer of the Year 2019 in the British Sewing Awards.

Debbie has over 285,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, which has over 30 million views. In 2018, Debbie launched her Half Yard Sewing Club, a monthly subscription service based on the mega-selling Half Yard series, and won the 2019 IPG Digital Publishing Award. For more details about the club visit

Debbie lives in Lincolnshire, UK. Visit her website:


Crafts Beautiful

If you're looking to develop your sewing and dressmaking skills, Debbie Shore's latest release is a perfect place to start. Her Sewing Room Secrets: Essential Skills for Dressmakers not only feature 10 projects to try your hand at, she also gives you tricks for altering and upcycling garments you already have in your closet.


I just adore Debbie Shore books. They are informative and give practical as well as technical advice.

Perfect for the beginner but also ideal for the advanced sewist, Debbie Shore holds your hand and enables you to make a wearable and beautiful garment. This book is a brilliant addition to the collection, and if like me you collect them all, you will also know that they are the books that you frequently go to for your ideas and inspiration.

Her tips are brilliant and the visuals are truly a help. There is no jargon with the instructions so you will know exactly what to do and what you need.

Before opening this book, I expected it was going to be a beginners guide to working with commercial patterns. This is very useful, but there are quite a few of these already on the market, so whats new with this one? A better description is that this is a beginners guide to making garments for the 21st century dressmaker. Not only does it give helpful tips for working with patterns, it also tells you how to upcycle clothes you already own or have bought from charity shops and how to make repairs. You dont even have to buy your fabric from fabric stores.

I was instantly hooked by all this. Starting from scratch is great, but what about all the resources already in existence? Looking after our planet should come first whatever we are doing, and this is very much a book for the modern, responsible crafter. The book starts by having a look at what tools and supplies you need to purchase before embarking on your new hobby. What machine feet and needles you require, sewing box basics and choosing a machine. Learn about fabrics and different types of interfacing as well as how to choose garments in charity shops for repurposing. Measure yourself, decode pattern terminology and learn the basic skills such as cutting out, pattern positioning, what symbols mean and fabric preparation. The rest of the book contains several projects that teach you more skills as you make them from putting in elastic to pockets, closures, and appliqué. Draft your own basic pattern for a loose-fitting kimono jacket, attach a skirt to a jumper and make a sweater dress, make a skirt from a mans shirt, and use a length of cloth for a simple wrap skirt. Mend your own jeans and make a poorly fitting blouse fit by adding some darts. This is dressmaking with the lid blown off, freed from rules and too much reliance on brand new resources. Im not a beginner but I have a lot to learn from this book. This book is highly recommended for anybody who wants to learn dressmaking the modern way.

Add to Basket Printer friendly version

Customers who bought Debbie Shore's Sewing Room Secrets: Essential Skills for Dressmakers, also bought...

Sew Baby

Sew Baby

By Debbie Shore

From Clay to Kiln

From Clay to Kiln

By Stuart Carey

Make It With Air-Dry Clay

Make It With Air-Dry Clay

By Fay De Winter

Also by this author:
A Year of Quilting

A Year of Quilting

By Debbie Shore & Melissa Nayler

Half Yard Autumn Collection

Half Yard Autumn Collection

By Debbie Shore

This site uses cookies, if you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies. Click here to learn how to change your cookie settings.