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Couture Sewing Techniques

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  801 ratings  ·  51 reviews
The world of haute couture is a place where only a privileged few can ever hope to reside, right? Wrong. Fashion historian Claire B. Shaeffer opened the door to this exclusive realm in her authoritative guide to the techniques that define couture sewing. And now, the industry bible, Couture Sewing Techniques , has been revised and updated throughout -- with new photos an ...more
Paperback, 217 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Taunton Press
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4.34  · 
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 ·  801 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Jun 19, 2009 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 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
Apr 10, 2014 rated it liked it
I wish the techniques were illustrated step by step, and in greater detail.
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiber-arts
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.
Stephanie R
Mar 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sewing
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
May 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far it does seem to be completely revised. Making a good book even better.
May 13, 2012 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
Yvonne Kullberg
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Claire Shaeffer's comprehensive knowledge of the couture industry and techniques is exquisitely displayed in Couture Sewing Techniques. Learning about the socioeconomic history of the famous ateliers was an eye opening and lavish experience. After reading this book, my skepticism for couture price tags and fashion shows has transformed into awed respect for the artists. My 'to learn' list for sewing techniques has also grown exponentially.

The layout of the revised edition makes skimming to topi
Denise Link
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it
This is a detailed reference book densely packed with information, but I read it from cover to cover. I also highlighted more passages than I did in college. I have been a sewist for 45 years, but recently made a concerted effort to up my game and learn more about couture. Most techniques here are not difficult, just different and sometimes more time-consuming than traditional home-sewing methods. (Except the tailored jacket chapter. Wow, that looks like a lot of work!) If you sew, or if you're ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's a great book, but not all techniques are clearly illustrated. For example, I would have loved to see pictures of how to see the sleeveless flange.
It's a great reference book. Slow sewing. My Grandmother sewed like this.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed this from the library to see if I should buy it. The answer is: yes. My skills are not quite where they need to be to make the most of the book, but it will make an excellent reference to have handy.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diy-sewing
This book is so full of amazing techniques. I'll e definitely buying one of my own as this one was from library.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really 4.5. I wish it had more pictures!
Robyn Galbreath
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great reference for hand-sewing techniques and really helped me learn what makes a garment well constructed.
Gail Richmond
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Finishing techniques...all kinds! Everything to make your project look professionally made.
Joan Kilpatrick
Feb 21, 2012 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
This book gives an amazing amount of detailed information about couture sewing techniques, I thought my dressmaking skills were quite well developed but I have learned that really I'm still just a novice!
The techniques are well explained with a number of drawings used to illustrate them as well as a number of photographs of haute couture garments to inspire. There are tips that can be applied immediately to instantly lift the quality of finish on home made garments and plenty of more challenging
Oct 29, 2015 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.
Jul 06, 2011 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.
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If your going to do a kindle edition do it properly

This is an amazing book the info and content terrific but the photographs and drawings have not been rescaled or compiled to be used on the kindle version. When you expand the photos to get the detail the author is discussing the resolution is poor and pixilated.

It detracts from an otherwise good book. It doesn't do the format any credit either.
Peri Collins
Jul 19, 2012 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.
Reneé Porter
Dec 31, 2012 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.
Oct 26, 2013 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.
Aug 12, 2012 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 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 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.
Jan 03, 2015 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.
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very inspiring and informative. Full with images where you can get ideas and understand the objectives of the author and the purpose of the book. For real artist this is the book. If you just want to do "some sewing" get a ready to use pattern instead.
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