Couture Sewing Techniques, Revised and Updated

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Overview

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.

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Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600853357
  • Publisher: Taunton Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/24/2011
  • Edition description: Revised, Updated ed.
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 264,182
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Claire B. Shaeffer is an internationally recognized expert in fashion design history, and construction techniques for haute couture and high-end ready-to-wear. She is a long-time designer for Vogue Patterns, a frequent contributor to Threads magazine, and the author of numerous books.

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Read an Excerpt

After the original Couture Sewing Techniques was published, I visited the workrooms of James Galanos shortly before he retired. He insisted initially that he was not a couturier since most of designs were sold in stores. I disagree; the standards which he set were of the highest quality so I have included him in this edition. More recently, I visited the workrooms of Chado Ralph Rucci—the only American invited to show his designs with the couture collections in Paris. He is a master of the art and the craft of haute couture.

Shortly before I began the revision, I had the opportunity to work with Phyllis Magidson, the curator at the Museum of the City of New York, on a project that focused on Mainbocher and Charles Frederick Worth. This research expanded my knowledge of techniques used in the first hundred years of haute couture while reminding me that many techniques which I had written about earlier had changed little, if at all. This edition includes several photographs from that project. Many of the photographs in the first edition were no longer available so I’ve selected many new ones from the Chicago History Museum, The Ohio State University, Phoenix Art Museum, and Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising as well as from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’ve also included photographs of many garments in my personal collection. No matter what your sewing expertise, this book will expand your horizons. Most importantly, it is a practical guide for learning the craft of haute couture, but it will also provide new ideas for applying the techniques which you already know. Some techniques are less suitable for beginners and some are impractical for everyday sewing; but most will be of value to the average home-sewer and can be used on a wide range of garments and fabrics. I hope you’ll experiment with the techniques and look for new ways to apply them when you sew. Like most of you, I have a limited amount of time to sew and cannot make all garments a la couture. For some garments, I mix couture methods with ready-to-wear and traditional home-sewing techniques to achieve the results I want. I encourage you to do the same. Use this book as a resource, whether you limit your couture sewing to a detail here and there or decide to make an entire garment from beginning to end with couture techniques. I find sewing by hand and with couture techniques extremely rewarding. The pleasure of both making and wearing beautifully constructed garments far exceeds the time and effort required to complete them. I hope this book will help you develop the same skills and perfect old ones, and in turn, reward you with years of pleasure—and a closet full of beautifully made garments. –Claire Sheaffer

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Table of Contents

Part I: The Basics of Couture Sewing
Inside the World of Haute Couture
The Art of Hand Sewing
Shaping the Garment
Edge Finishes
Closures

Part II: Applying Couture Techniques
Skirts and Pants
Blouses and Dresses
Sleeves
Pockets
Jackets and Coats
Designs for Special Occasions
Couture Techniques for Specialty Fabrics

Selected Glossary of Terms
Metric Conversion Chart
Bibliography
Sources of Supply
Index

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First Chapter

Couture Sewing Techniques, Revised and Updated


By Claire Shaeffer

Taunton Press

Copyright © 2011 Claire Shaeffer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781600853357

After the original Couture Sewing Techniques was published, I visited the workrooms of James Galanos shortly before he retired. He insisted initially that he was not a couturier since most of designs were sold in stores. I disagree; the standards which he set were of the highest quality so I have included him in this edition. More recently, I visited the workrooms of Chado Ralph Rucci—the only American invited to show his designs with the couture collections in Paris. He is a master of the art and the craft of haute couture.

Shortly before I began the revision, I had the opportunity to work with Phyllis Magidson, the curator at the Museum of the City of New York, on a project that focused on Mainbocher and Charles Frederick Worth. This research expanded my knowledge of techniques used in the first hundred years of haute couture while reminding me that many techniques which I had written about earlier had changed little, if at all. This edition includes several photographs from that project.   Many of the photographs in the first edition were no longer available so I’ve selected many new ones from the Chicago History Museum, The Ohio State University, Phoenix Art Museum, and Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising as well as from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’ve also included photographs of many garments in my personal collection.   No matter what your sewing expertise, this book will expand your horizons. Most importantly, it is a practical guide for learning the craft of haute couture, but it will also provide new ideas for applying the techniques which you already know. Some techniques are less suitable for beginners and some are impractical for everyday sewing; but most will be of value to the average home-sewer and can be used on a wide range of garments and fabrics. I hope you’ll experiment with the techniques and look for new ways to apply them when you sew.   Like most of you, I have a limited amount of time to sew and cannot make all garments a la couture. For some garments, I mix couture methods with ready-to-wear and traditional home-sewing techniques to achieve the results I want. I encourage you to do the same. Use this book as a resource, whether you limit your couture sewing to a detail here and there or decide to make an entire garment from beginning to end with couture techniques.   I find sewing by hand and with couture techniques extremely rewarding. The pleasure of both making and wearing beautifully constructed garments far exceeds the time and effort required to complete them. I hope this book will help you develop the same skills and perfect old ones, and in turn, reward you with years of pleasure—and a closet full of beautifully made garments. –Claire Sheaffer

Continues...

Excerpted from Couture Sewing Techniques, Revised and Updated by Claire Shaeffer Copyright © 2011 by Claire Shaeffer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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