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Couture Sewing Techniques, Revised and Updated Paperback – May 24, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

With clarity and a profound respect for technique and application, Claire Shaeffer brings one into an haute-couture atelier, where the realm of possibility has no boundaries. She imparts the secrets of hand-work that allow a garment to become weightless, a wisp of dimension for the wearer.   She pays homage to the gods of the craft and bows to the church of haute couture. --Ralph Rucci, designer

As every Vogue Patterns reader knows, Claire Shaeffer can unravel couture garment construction better than anyone, and her revised and updated version of Couture Sewing Techniques is the authoritative guide to haute couture techniques In it, Shaeffer demystifies designer garments and gives you the confidence to try the techniques and practiced in the ateliers of the haute couture. A must-have for all serious sewers. –Vogue Patterns

About the Author

Claire Shaeffer is an internationally respected author, lecturer, college instructor and columnist. Her innovative sewing techniques and easy-to-read instructions have guided readers and students through many sewing facets of the garment industry. She wrote the celebrated Couture Sewing Techniques for Taunton Press and has authored and starred in a multitude of successful videos on couture sewing. 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press; Revised, Updated ed. edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600853358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600853357
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

252 of 255 people found the following review helpful By Marina Von Koenig on April 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
1. Better layout:
The layout is so much better! Text is set in different colors to differentiate the content, tips, pull-out boxes, blurbs. This dramatically improves the book navigation!

2. More Content:
over thirty more pages of content added as a result of the author's recent research.

3. More images:
Claire added more images to illustrate instructions, and they are invaluable!

4. Improved instructions:
Clearly marked step-by-step instructions for all processes of couture construction. If you own the previous edition, you know how the instructions were presented in run-on paragraphs making it difficult to use the book as a quick reference.

5. More how-to illustrations:

6. Claire's Hints:Excellent short tips, mostly absent in the previous edition.

7. contemporary couture techniques from the worksrooms of Ralph Rucci and James Galanos

8. techniques by Mainbocher and Charles Frederick Worth: Shaeffer says in her acknowledgements that she worked on a research project that focused on Mainbocher and Worth. She seems to have added some of the new techniques as a result of this research

9. New chapter "Designing with Fabric": Shaeffer introduced this chapter to demonstrate "a variety of design ideas and specific techniques to inspire you to use fabrics more creatively". A master of observation, Claire describes techniques used in haute couture garments by Antonio Canovas del Castilo, Hubert de Givenchy, Chanel, Worth, Hanae Mori, I. Magnin, Balenciaga, Victor Edelstein, These techniques are not necessarily obvious, but so easy to learn and to apply in your own garments.
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117 of 118 people found the following review helpful By J. R. R. on June 2, 2011
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I teach all levels of sewing at a comm. college and would recomend this book to my intermediate and higher skilled students. When you are ready to pay more attention and time to details, this book is for you.
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109 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra B. Castle on May 2, 2011
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This is a wonderful book designed to give the small relatively easy to do tips for what differentiates couture and fine finished ready to wear from home made clothing. Read through once for the history and then for ideas. I'll never pick up a pattern again without looking at the design and thinking about how it can be fit perfectly and finished perfectly. Not so much as difficult as time consumming
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
3 years ago i shunned my dying sewing machine (partly because it scared my dog) and took to sewing garments by hand. I am mostly self-taught, and learned a lot about construction from tv shows, youtube and closely examining garments in high end retailers. This book is a god send. It's not for the beginner sewer, or someone who wants easy or quick fixes. If you are an experienced machine sewer or enjoy sewing by hand and want to learn how to properly fit and construct garments this is your book. It is full of tricks, anecdotes and details (seriously, you will need to read this a dozen times to internalize and remember the content), and so worth it. I'm about to look for more of Claire's books because this one is so well developed I feel like I can trust her technique and delivery more than any other so source I've found. I never considered skipping darts in certain fabrics for shaping via shrinking and stretching. I have been dying for a detailed guide to welted pockets. I have Vogue's Guide to Sewing, which is wonderful, but this is sewing for another league. I may not be coming into this book with the skills of some other reviewers, but if you think you're about my level when I bought this book, you will appreciate what Claire has to offer. And at this price?!?! Unreal. On to find more books by this author...
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on July 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am in love with this book! I can't put it down! It is by far the best sewing/history reference book I have ever bought! Not only is it a great read, but it has so many interesting and unique finishes that I have never heard of or even knew how to do.

I have been sewing for 14 years now and have always wanted to know more about hand sewing and couture in general. I also have been attending fashion college for 2 years and no teacher of mine has even attempted to show students some of the techniques that Claire Shaeffer has taught me.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone just for the great information and pictures of couture clothing, but you definitely need to know how to sew if you are going to use this book as a reference. So if you are an intermediate to an advance sewer this book is for you!

It has taken me a really long time (and many expensive buys) to find a book that I not only found interesting, but was also able to challenge me and teach me some new tricks.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By katiesue on June 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After years of not sewing and getting back into the sewing groove on some simple projects, I wanted to improved my techniques and Couture Sewing Techniques is exactly what I needed. I am refering to often even though I am still following basic patterns. Each project I work on I use Couture Sewing Techniques to learn more details. I am not ready for couture fabrics or the more involved embellishments, but when I am, the steps and diagrams in the book are so helpful I won't fear trying them out.
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