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Couture Sewing Techniques - Claire Shaeffer


Published: 24th May 2011
In Stock. Ships today or next business day from Australia
RRP $55.99

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 and a chapter on specialty fabrics. No one can unravel couture garment construction the way Schaeffer can, from the art of hand sewing to mastering edge finishes, from classic closures to shaping a garment for a perfect fit. Readers learn all the basics — and more importantly: how to apply the techniques — on skirts and sleeves, pockets and jackets, evening gowns, and more. Gorgeous photos, clear illustrations, and concise language combine to make this the most complete couture-sewing course available.

About The Author

Claire Shaeffer is an acclaimed couture designer and recognized expert in the history of fashion. She gives twice-yearly workshops to select few, and has published many books on the topic of couture techniques including the first edition of Couture Sewing Techniques, which has sold more than 80,000 copies.


This is my No 1 Resource!!!


I study fashion design and of course I spend loads of time sewing. This is my number 1 book that I first go to when I need that extra bit of professional advice that I can learn at my own pace. My tutors at my college are great, but sometimes they're busy and can't get to my construction queries. This book is a MUST for all who want to take their couture skills further!




Indispensable to dressmakers and seamstresses, whether professional or amateur. Ms Schaeffer has provided us with traditional techniques that will assist any woman who wishes to make beautiful garments whether for herself or others.


A must from a couture expert.


Claires knowledge on the subject of haute couture is expert level and she willingly shares what she can. This book is no exception. Often showing handmade less than perfect but high value is an inspiration to those of us who thirst for knowledge in our quest to learn the techniques.

Melbourne, AU


Very Helpful Book


ideal as a quick reference guide

Toowoomba, AU


Awesome service my book came next day


book was for my daughter for uni course



Fantastic book


Brilliant book for the sewer.lots of great tips.



Couture Sewing Techniques

5.0 6


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, designerAs 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

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

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

ISBN: 9781600853357
ISBN-10: 1600853358
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 24th May 2011
Publisher: Taunton Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.0 x 20.0  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.81
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: New edition