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Couture Sewing Techniques

4.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  573 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Sewers who have ever longed to create clothing with the distinctive look of haute couture will love this book. They'll learn the finer points of hand sewing, shaping, and finishing for a high-end, professional look. This book is for all sewing enthusiasts who appreciate fine workmanship.
Paperback, 217 pages
Published January 19th 2001 by Taunton Press
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Nineteeth-Century Fashion in Detail by Lucy JohnstonThe Tudor Tailor by Jane Malcom - DaviesPatterns of Fashion 1 Englishwomen's Dresses & Their Construc... by Janet ArnoldPatterns of Fashion 2 Englishwomen's Dresses & Their Construc... by Janet ArnoldPatterns of Fashion 3 by Janet Arnold
Historical Fashion Books
38th out of 127 books — 26 voters
Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. ShaefferHow to Make Sewing Patterns by Donald H. McCunnSewing Lingerie by Zoe A. GraulMake Your Own Horse Clothing by Jean PerryIslander Sewing Systems I by Janet Pray
Advanced Sewing Library
1st out of 11 books — 4 voters

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Jun 19, 2009 Margie rated it really liked it
Shelves: costume
Unlike her book "High Fashion Sewing Secrets," this book does not offer detailed, step-by-step instructions for all of the techniques discussed. It does offer plenty of diagrams and photos, but the majority of the techniques are described in text. There's a lot to be learned from the text! This book is densely packed with information, and even home sewers will learn something from it. It's important to note, though, that if you're looking for step-by-step instruction, or are looking for machine ...more
Jul 25, 2010 Mrelia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crafty-goodness
I love to sew, but I am not a fashion person. In fact, I've never understood how anyone could drop thousands of dollars on a single garment.

But looking at the work that goes into a true couture garment has made me change my mind about that segment of the market, at least. I am in awe of the amount of work, the careful attention to the tiniest of details and the "invisible" elements of construction that elevate clothing to couture.

I've started revising my sewing habits and though I'm spending mor
Jan 02, 2009 Michele rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sewing
I thought this book was a fascinating look into the techniques used in couture sewing. I later went to a seminar by Clair Shaeffer and she genuinely knows couture inside and out.
May 05, 2010 Aradia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beauty-fashion
Great primer for hand-stitching techniques. Even if you don't sew yourself, the info in the book will help you determine if a piece of clothing was well made.
May 13, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it
need to add this to my library. one of those books a sewist needs to have on the shelf to refer to when necessary
Apr 10, 2014 Lisampinto rated it liked it
I wish the techniques were illustrated step by step, and in greater detail.
Oct 24, 2011 Kayleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far it does seem to be completely revised. Making a good book even better.
Sue S
Oct 29, 2015 Sue S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I checked this book out a the library and after I read it cover to cover I got so excited I immediately bought it. This book is a super fun read and has so many techniques for apparel makers you will swoon! The photos of couture clothing in the authors collection and from others collections is wonderful to look at. The illustrations of the couture sewing techniques are clear and well drawn. As I become more skilled I know I will add some beautiful hand work with ideas from this book.
Stephanie R
Mar 17, 2013 Stephanie R rated it liked it
Shaeffer packs this book with information. Many of the techniques aren't necessary but they are satisfying and do make a garment seem more finished and polished.

This book has no step-by-step instructions and very few diagrams or helpful photographs. This is a great book to accompany a library of sewing techniques, but it should absolutely not be your only book. The value of Couture Sewing Techniques is in its finishes and unusual little extra steps (such as sewing beads to a zipper), not in its
Jan 03, 2015 Lisa marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I am wanting to start sewing my own clothing and I am very much a beginner. This book seems wonderful, however it is too advanced for me at this time. I will get some experience and then come back and review the book once I can fully understand it.
Joan Kilpatrick
Feb 21, 2012 Joan Kilpatrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book and more than worth the $25!

I had read Shaeffer's 1993 edition and thought I was being silly to buy this newly revised and updated version. Boy, was I wrong! I had read the early one several times over the years and loved it, but either I have forgotten a lot from that edition or this is twice the book the earlier one was!

Shaeffer is always clear in her descriptions, but she has added or strongly revised the previous ones for this book. Her directions are written in mo
Jun 04, 2014 Denise rated it it was amazing
An excellent sewing book. I wish there were more sewing books of this caliber. A bonus: the 2nd edition is even better.
Friend the Girl
Aug 29, 2007 Friend the Girl rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fellow seamstresses
Though I haven't hit the halfway mark with this yet, I'm absolutely fascinated by the alien world of haute couture sewing. Couture has been on its way out since before I was born, but it's comforting to see that people still cling to the old art and insist on keeping high quality clothes as art alive. Cheap and fast isn't all that great, and I hope to learn enough couture techniques to bring some hand wrought beauty to other people's lives.
Jul 06, 2011 Susanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great reference book to have handy in any sewing room, I also bought the DVD which is well worth it, as the teaching is at a pace that you can follow and you can return to a specific skill at any time. Personally I found the section on stretching and shrinking fabrics very useful.

The only thing I will say is that there aren't as many pictures as I thought there would be, however, it is a great reference book to have.
Reneé Porter
Dec 31, 2012 Reneé Porter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: needlework
Marvelous book for advanced sewing; however, discussion and illustrations of techniques could be more detailed. The author presents excellent examples and definitions of what couture sewing is but does not always follow through on these discussions. I would still recommend it to anyone who not only designs apparel but who would also like to refine their techniques.
Feb 06, 2014 Jean rated it it was amazing
This is a great reference for many beautiful couture techniques. It is definitely a go-to book for me. The only drawback is that the instructions for those techniques are difficult to follow -- the format is not step-by-step with in-progress photos (which would have been immensely helpful), so it takes some re-reading to understand some of the techniques.
Peri Collins
Jul 19, 2012 Peri Collins rated it really liked it
I bought this to learn more fine sewing techniques as my time is too precious to waste time tossing together a garment that won't last or look like quality. I agree that this is not her best book as some needed details are lacking for a few things, but it is filled with useful information for people who want to add timeless skills to their bag of tricks.
Sondra Meyer Raile
This is a must-have for the library of any sewer who aspires to sewing at the haute couture level, or to simply mastering some of the techniques. Claire Shaeffer clearly describes and often demonstrates couture techniques using lots of color photographs and well-written descriptions. I love her books, and in my opinion this is one of her best.
Aug 12, 2012 Laralux rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is great to explain the couture techniques required in making a Chanel or French couture jacket. Most important is quilting the interior of the jacket itself. Best if your making Claire Schaeffers updated sewing pattern for that jacket. Pattern is Vogue V8804.
Oct 02, 2010 Ty rated it really liked it
Shelves: fashion
If you want to sew the way the fashion designers sewed back in the day before sergers? This book will tell you how. Only the serious seamstress need apply themselves to reading this book. Yes I bought it.
Aug 23, 2011 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I owned the older version of this book, and not realizing it was the same one I purchased this again. Besides a more appealing cover, I didn't notice any significant updates worthy of a revised book.
Jul 02, 2011 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, craft
I am a fairly accomplished seamstress, yet I longed for better illustrations of the stunning techniques outlined. On the other hand, the photos of vintage garments were fabulous.
Jun 21, 2007 Leslie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sewingreference
Very good information, I highly reccommend it, as long as you are willing to run through the techniques with your own samples, it will absolutly change your sewing skills.
May 18, 2012 Maer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skills-touch-up
I've always thought of what it'd be like to make everything by hand - very clever guide to show you EXACTLY what all is involved to make it Couture vs. handmade.
Nov 06, 2008 eric added it
Well, this is sort of an instruction text, but i had to read it through cover to cover. Super informative and good photos if you are interested in the subject
i actually got this book FIRST, then the older one. some overlap of information, but would be great to have them both, if i could
need to check this book out again when I am sewing clothes as opposed to animals, as it seems really useful and informative.
May 09, 2013 Malora rated it really liked it
I should buy this book but my library has it... The techniques are timeless, even though the fashion is very dated.
Linda Sewphia
Apr 18, 2014 Linda Sewphia rated it liked it
Shelves: sewing-secrets
I bought this updated version because of the new illustrations. I also have an older edition.

Jul 13, 2011 Meesh rated it it was amazing
Best book for hand-sewing techniques. Some things just really should not be done on a machine.
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