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Couture Sewing: The Couture Cardigan Jacket- Sewing Secrets from a Chanel Collector Paperback – Oct 15 2013

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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  • Couture Sewing: The Couture Cardigan Jacket- Sewing Secrets from a Chanel Collector
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press; Pap/Dvdr edition (Oct. 15 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600859550
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600859557
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 21 x 26 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #85,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About 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 has served as Couture Sewing Technique Consultant for the Museum of the City of New York, is a long-time designer for Vogue Patterns, a frequent contributor to Threads magazine, and the author of numerous books. Shaeffer received the Professional Association of Custom Clothier's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003, and was inducted into the ASG’s Sewing Hall of Fame in 2012.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Format: Paperback
Just when I thought I knew everything there was to know about Couture construction techniques….enter the 3 piece Chanel sleeve. I was thrilled to see how Chanel gave her sleeves so much shape and rather than doing it via a 2 piece sleeve construction, she did it in 3 parts. Thanks for continuing to share your love and passion for the Couture.
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This is an EXCELLENT value & resource, as it comes with an extremely well explained DVD to back up points in the book. Super value! Even if you're not going to make a couture jacket with all the steps involved, this is still a great reference for sewing any kind of tailored jacket. A job very well done! Excellent tips & techniques that Claire explains in a straight forward way. I will refer to it many times.

Rosalind Clayton
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa8e8e558) out of 5 stars 71 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8ec1f9c) out of 5 stars Claire Shaeffer has a series of these books on couture sewing techniques Nov. 19 2013
By BowedBookshelf - Published on
Format: Paperback
While I am not the type to actually wear a couture jacket (a Chanel jacket with jeans, say, is not my favorite combination) I do admit to admiring the luxury of the material and the exquisite craftsmanship of the creation.

There were a number of techniques discussed here that could be applied to effect on other projects one wanted to upgrade to the level of fine art. For instance, you may have wondered why certain items of clothing you have owed (or borrowed from a friend or relative) lasted so well, and could take the abuse of daily living without showing the effects. Perhaps sometime you admired the drape of a jacket fabric without knowing quite how they achieved that custom fit. Without taking the garment apart, you were never going to uncover the mystery.

Author Claudia Shaeffer does all that for us and more. She shows us the machine and hand sewing techniques for each stage of the jacket process. One part I found most interesting was the cutting and seam-marking. It may seem obvious to some, but thread-marking the seams rather than using some other marker is clearly superior to anything else I can think of when one is cutting from a large piece of fabric with an obvious graphic. (I am not talking about Chanel jackets here, but using unique fabrics for specialized projects).

Buttonholing, sleeve side vents, applying gimp trim and pockets are all discussed, and it should come as no surprise that good results comes from careful attention to detail and patient hand sewing techniques. These are projects in which one must revel in the process rather than simply the product. But with the right kind of desire, one can produce lovely, long-lasting and unique pieces of clothing art…and it doesn’t have to look like Chanel unless you want it to.

Shaeffer includes high-quality and useful close-up pictures in the book of the techniques she describes, and has many gorgeous photographs of Chanel jackets through the years. While I did not see the DVD included with the book, it must be an equally useful master course in couture fitting. For an aspiring tailor, clothing designer, or seamstress, to find a teacher for these techniques is as rare as hen’s teeth. Artisans that can do these things can rarely explain it. Shaeffer has done that AND produced a book with beautiful, clear photographs that you can reference again and again as you struggle to achieve something unique.

As I went to post this review, I discovered that Claire B. Shaeffer has an entire line of books and DVD sets on couture sewing techniques. Her line is wonderfully priced by the indispensable craft publisher Taunton Press. Creating works of art by hand makes better people of us—those who appreciate the time and effort involved in success and failure and beauty. We begin to understand talent, patience, perseverance…those things that will make a difference to us in our lives and loves. If you know an aspiring fabric-ator, the name Claire B. Shaeffer is a useful name to know.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8ec600c) out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart Feb. 9 2014
By Anonymouse - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have not met Claire Shaeffer but I have met fanatical costumers and they sure are an obsessed bunch. If you are seriously serious about tailoring jackets, then this book is for you.

Ms Shaeffer collects Chanel jackets and has reverse engineered the tailoring techniques that make them look and feel so fantastic. She presents the "how to" in straightforward Taunton Press prose with loads of photos.

Although I appreciate the value of authentic Chanel pieces to the technician, I would have liked Ms Shaeffer to have included some modern examples of Chanel-inspired jackets for us. I find Chanel from the 50s and 60s unrelievedly unattractive. The fabrics and trim shown in the book represent an entirely different aesthetic from today's and I worry that the samples shown and the fabrics Ms Shaeffer works with in her demonstrations are so authentic that they are offputting.

I received this review copy of "Couture Sewing: The Couture Cardigan Jacket. Sewing secrets from a Chanel collector" by Claire B. Shaeffer (The Taunton Press) through It is one of several of Ms Shaeffer's Couture Sewing books published by Taunton.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8ec6444) out of 5 stars Pleased to add this title to my collection Oct. 8 2013
By Jessica - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very excited to receive this book. I have gone through much of the book, but I have not been able to watch the DVDs. There were some points where I thought the instructions were a bit confusing and not detailed enough. I am hoping the DVD will help with those points. However, I think the overall quality of the book is great. There are a lot of beautiful techniques included in it that I haven't seen anywhere else before. I love that she dicusses the quilting technique. I have always wanted to know how to accomplish that. I like that the pattern she discusses is available through Vogue. I look forward to following her instructions to complete a jacket before moving on to some more adventurous projects. In the back of the books she talks about different ideas for fabrics for the jacket, one of which is denim. I have always wanted a nice denim jacket, but I can never find one that suits me. If I add a collar to her basic pattern (the Vogue pattern) I can create the denim jacket I have always wanted. I am very pleased with this book.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8ec642c) out of 5 stars Excellent Book Oct. 4 2013
By CLB - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book, Claire Shaeffer introduces couture sewing techniques and methods for the Chanel jacket. The meticulous research/studying of original Chanels, and the illustrations makes it a great guide for the home sewer enthusiast. The included DVD, complements her book very well. The instructions of cutting and shaping the jacket sections, princess seaming, quilting, making the 3-piece sleeve, adding the chain weight, creating the double buttonhole, etc. can be found in this book and the DVD.
if you are not familiar with basic hand sewing, or couture methods of garment construction, I strongly recommend purchasing her revised & updated Couture Sewing Techniques book along with her Couture Techniques Workshop DVD (sold separately) before purchasing The Couture Cardigan Jacket.
Why four stars? It would have been phenomenal if Mrs. Shaffer could have acquire at least one contemporary jacket to her collection and briefly discuss its features. Also, but since one of the things that makes a couture garment special is the attention to detail, a more detailed explanation on sewing different handworked tailored buttonholes, would had been appreciated.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8ec67f8) out of 5 stars The DVD is the real value. Aug. 28 2014
By Crafty - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read almost everything there is to read on the subject (patterns, magazine articles, websites, blogs) so I knew that some of the information would likely be a little redundant to me. What I was hoping for was some further illumination on the process and of course the DVD that came with the book.
I read the book in about 2 hours, maybe less. The print is large and there are a lot of pictures. That said, I don't feel that it is particularly light on content. However it does feel more like an expanded construction for her Vogue 8804 pattern than a definitive book on the subject. The fabric choices and trim options shown in the book are rather uninspiring and there is no discussion of fitting the jacket or how a Chanel jacket should fit. She only mentions other pattern options in the DVD. Speaking of the DVD... all the step-by step pictures in the book are still images from the DVD, so the quality of the images is a little less than ideal, however the content of the images and the DVD is quite nice. I feel that the real value in this book is the DVD because there is just nothing like watching someone with years of sewing experience do the work. As Claire sews she is able to point out methods and details that an instructor might not think to mention after the fact. Overall, I'm glad I have this book/DVD, but it in no way replaces all of the other research one can and should do in preparation for their own Little French Jacket project.