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on April 30, 2011
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. She focuses mostly on lace and stripes, but also covers other tricky fabrics which require special techniques to enable undisturbed design.

Seaming Lace to Lace: Lapped Seam, Buttressed Seam, Ribbon Seam
Seaming Lace to Fabric: Lace-on-fabrique Appliqué Seam, Applied Appliqué
Finishing Edges: Neckline Edges, Hems
Designing with Allover Lace Patterns:

Rearranging Stripes
Shrinking and Stretching
Pleats and Tucks
Cutting and Seaming

Wrong Sides and Selvedges: for fabrics with attractive wrong side and selvedge
Designing with Prints and Patterns: Matching Fabric Patterns
Designing with Appliqué
Sheer Fabrics

10. Affordable price!
Amazon's $15 for this most unique resource is a steal! I got my copy yesterday!
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on June 2, 2011
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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on September 8, 2011
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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on May 2, 2011
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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on July 27, 2011
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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on June 21, 2011
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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on February 18, 2012
After sewing for most of my life, circumstances forced me to cut back on my output for a number of years. Recently I joined a group dedicated to reproducing patterns from the 1912 Le Mode catalog and figured I needed a refresher course and some new techniques to ponder as well. This was exactly the book I was looking for. The directions are clear and the pictures are lovely. I read it cover to cover in a couple of days and marked sections I expect to be helpful in the near future. I made my husband a cumberbund for his concert dress tuxedo and used thread tracing for the pleats as suggested in the book. Perfect pleats were the result. Perfect- and this from a woman who struggles with straight lines.
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on July 18, 2011
I would think that even if you don't sew, this book would be a great read. History and fashion are rarely boring! The detail regarding superior garmet construction is meticulously researched and demonstrated as well. Very enjoyable AND informative!
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on October 16, 2011
This book targets the people who want to learn "couture sewing techniques" to enhance RTW garments. The author provides elaborate examples, pictures with color, and step-by-step procedures that an advanced beginner/ intermediate sewer can incorporate when constructing a garment at home. The audience can look forward to expanding their own knowledge base. If I had the time, I would definitely practice the detailed stitches on muslin to create my own samples discussed in chapter 2: The Art of Hand Sewing. This is the section that I have referenced the most. I must also say that this book introduced me to the practice of "Thread Tracing" found in chapter three: Shaping the Garment. By contrast, the book suggest thread tracing by hand (too time consuming for me), so I have machine thread traced my muslin pattern pieces with serger thread to save money. This has worked out perfectly for me. I am pleased to have this book in my library.
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on September 9, 2011
once I started reading I couldn't put it down. how couture sewing happens is incredible interesting. I sew, and will never sew like this but now I know what couture techniques are and can't wait to actually see a real couture garment. plus I am sure I will be adding a little more hand work to my garments. the book is illustrated beautifully, the writing was easily understood and the short history of couture sewing was really interesting.
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