Couture Sewing, Tailoring Techniques by Claire Shaeffer
This book is about tailoring techniques and sewing secrets of such renowned designers as Chanel, Dior, and Balenciaga. Get an insider's view of the couture industry. Author and fashion expert Claire B. Shaeffer shares garment tailoring techniques, construction methods, and even short cuts used in the finest European ateliers of Paris, Rome and London.
Shaeffer presents viewers with an in-depth tailoring workshop, demonstrating key techniques such as converting darts to ease, creating a patch pocket, interfacing a hem, stitching a fly zipper, and making a bound buttonhole.
As a child you learn to cut at school and you will continue to do it all your life. It is such a basic action in life, you never think about it for a minute. In the couture world, however, cutting is a big deal. In fact: cutting is an important couture technique.
Cutting as a tailor
In Haute couture world, expensive materials are used. As a hobby seamstress you are probably buying less expensive fabrics. Maybe you bought a fabric of 10 euros per meter, or maybe one of 30 euros. Suppose you need 1.5 meters for a jacket, so you are cutting a piece of fabric of 45 euros. In the worst case, and that happens a lot, you make a mistake and you screw up the piece of fabric.
This happens to everyone a few times. Even advanced seamstress are making mistakes.
You forgot the grain of the fabric or you forgot to cut extra inches for the hems. Or you will find out that you have cut two right sleeves.
Not a disaster, if you have bought enough fabric, but a (small) disaster if you have to buy the fabric, but it is just not available anymore.
Cutting is part of the entire project that should not be underestimated. The more accurately you cut the pattern, the better the next step of your project.
Scissors are the workers!
When you start sewing, it looks like the scissors are no longer needed. But nothing is less true. Cutting is a big part of the whole process. You have to cut the corners, you have to make notches for the curves and you often have to trim the hems when the fabric has to be sewn together on the right sides.
And: the scissor is your big friend if you don't have a lock machine (yet). You have to cut precisely and zigzag the hems. And even if it is just the inside of the garment, the more accurately you work, the better and more professional are the result(s).
Cutting as art
In the book Ultimate Sewing Bible beautiful drawings about cutting or "couture cutting" are described:
A lot of precise work but it will be worth the effort!
We want gold!
It is therefore soooooo important to work with good scissors. A wire cutter for finishing the remaining wire. A stork scissors for small secure work and a golden pair of scissors to cut the fabric and the lining and to keep at hand for cutting during the sewing process.
A very fine pair of scissors is the Golden Scissor. Razor sharp, very precise and comfortable in the hand. These scissors are the number one in quality sewing scissors for the sewing world.
Our best buy:
Nothing as ordinary and unimportant as scissors? No, nothing as important as good scissors! A small investment but a tool that makes your sewing project looks like a piece of couture-art.
As a seamstress you might wonder WHY you need an overlocker and WHICH overlocker.
We will answer loud and clear and help you to decide which overlocker works for you.
An overlocker: yes, but why?
First of all: it is not a sewingmachine. A (good!) sewing machine can do almost anything, but an overlocker is a the dessert after a delicious meal. The finishing touch, the whipped cream on the cake, the golden thread that makes your sewing work so professional finished. Do we know more metaphors? Probably, but let's stick to the (sewing) lesson.
For example, an overlocker can sew elastic materials together and finish with a 3 or 4 thread-stitches without any difficulty. For example: these stitches at the end of a t-shirt. Turn your t-shirt or sweater inside out and take a look down. So now you know why! Even the best seamstress in the world can't get it done with a sewing machine. An overlocker sews and CUTS the fabric at the same time.
So put those zigzag scissors away and from now on finish your own clothing with an overlocker. The result will be the difference between: "Nice jacket, mmm ... homemade?" And "Wowwwww, such a nice jacket. You are kidding me, did you make it really yourself ???”
In addition, an overlocker also creates decorative seams, even threads beads or pearls on the fabric and is able to do a lot more magical tricks.
And imagine you are working with a sewing machine to deal with a huge piece of fabric that should become a curtain: an overlocker would turn the big job into a piece of cake.
But we won’t tell anyone, because you have just saved a huge amount of money by making your own curtains...
Why do you need a lock machine?
That's why. For all those things that an overlocker does and a sewing machine does not. Or maybe the sewing machine is able to the job but you need special feet. And above all: an overlocker is cutting and sewing at the same time.
Now don't dump your sewing machine straight to the thrift store because with an overlocker in addition to a sewing machine, you create beautiful sewingwork and it definitely looks more professional.
Which overlocker do you need?
Overlockers are for sale in different price ranges.
The cheapest is around 200-300 euros and the most expensive are around 1000 euros.
The difference between the cheaper variants and the expensive ones is often in the fact that an expensive overlocker has an air pump threading system.
The threads are blown through the machine, on the way to the end at the needles. This is especially easy for people who are less handy or who don't have the patience to manage the threading themselves.
The expensive overlockers often have more options in terms of stitches and some options are automatically. The same as with a sewing machines. The more expensive the sewing machine, the more options and possibilities.
Often the remark "Did you make it yourself..." does not feel like a compliment. Somehow people are noticing the difference between self-made clothes and the stuff you buy in a store. But as soon as you start working with an overlocker, you will no longer hear these words. Why not? Because your sewing work is now so precisely finished; it looks very professional!
Let’s start adding beautiful labels with your own name or "self-made" on the clothes, because from now on, nobody believes it anymore. With an overlocker: your sewing work looks like Haute Couture Yourself.
And "Oh wow, did you really make it yourself???" becomes a very big compliment! And you will answer very proudly: "YESSsss!"
The best buy: Overlocker Lewenstein 700DE
A sewing machine, a piece of fabric and an idea ..
these are enough to do the job..? many novice seamstress might think... . But that is unfortunately not true. With a sewingmachine, a sewingpattern and a piece of fabric, you can go a long way but you are not there yet.
Let's think for a while: cooking or baking is your passion. A pan, a recipe, the ingredients and let's start cooking. But that is not the reality. In an average household you should not just open a kitchen cupboard, chances are that a load of things will look at you. As soon as cooking or baking is a passion, a lot of kitchen tools are needed and wanted. From spatulas to food processors. They make it easier for you, they give you more options and possibilities and you enjoy the cooking big time.
Sewing as a hobby or passion!
This also applies to sewing. No overcrowded cupboards full of stuff are needed, but we like to mention the best sewing supplies, tools or accessoires. These are simply very useful and make it easier for you. And make you enjoy sewing even more. Of course you do not have to purchase all these items immediately. But put them on your wishlist. Or buy the tools as soon as they are on sale. On the market they are sometimes in large containers, or on webshops they are listed under 'parts' or sometimes under 'haberdashery'. In this case, the following applies: cheap is expensive. It is better to buy a good good pair of scissors than ten times a bad cheap version. And the first option is also a lot more sustainable.
These little sewing tools are BIG friends:
Buying a handy sewing machine is now a good plan! The worst thing in this bizarre time is that we don't know how long our #staythome will be necessary to stop the virus Corona. We look at the situation from day to day and hope that we can all go out again soon.
Enjoy spring, family at home and try to enjoy the ordinary things in life.
In the sewing world, there is a lot of anticipation that many people will now have time for their hobby. The fabric shops come with nice offers, the sewing magazines have interesting blogs and even patterns of mouth masks come along.
Many reasons to start sewing!
It might be an idea to finally make a decision and buy a sewing machine or maybe one more.
Take a look at our reviews!
Toyota TSEW2 Ergonomic (EN)We are happy to test the Toyota TSEW2 and came to the conclusion that this is an ideal machine for, for example, taking it to a sewingworkshops (if it continues in limited groups, or private lessons) or to sit outside. Table on the terrace or balcony, and enjoy the fresh air and creative sewing.
Making an Easter dress, sewing mouth masks or making summer clothes ... Very good things to stay positive in difficult times. This lightweight sewingmachine is just part of this. Especially as a beginner, it will be a great sewing machine and as a medium advanced seamstress you can have just as much fun with it.
Read our test report and make a decision!
Our best buy: Sewing Mannequin ' Sierra'