Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ten Reasons why you should get a copy of the revised Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer

Couture Sewing Techniques, Revised and Updated

The new and revised Couture Sewing Techniques is finally released and here is my list of  ten reasons why you should own it:

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:

An example of a new illustration in Blouses and Dresses Chapter explains a step
in the construction of a blouse/skirt dress
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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