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Thread Bars and Chains | Video

Thread bars and chains are finishing touches often found on couture garments, but they are useful on many other pieces as well. Claire B. Shaeffer, a collector of couture clothes and expert in couture construction, demonstrates how and where to make bars and chains.

Thread bars

Thread bars are often used with a hook instead of a metal bar or eye. You can place the bar at the edge of the fabric or on the fabric’s surface, depending on the configuration of the garment’s closure.

Work with a single strand of waxed thread and a short needle. Take a few parallel stitches as the foundation for the bar. Then cover these with a simple blanket stitch. This forms a neat eye for a hook, that’s soft and more flexible than a metal eye.

Thread chains

Thread chains are actually finger-crocheted chains. Make them with waxed thread for strength.  You can make the chain as long as you like to serve as as an eye for a hook, as a French tack to hold a lining to the wrong side of a lined garment, or as a belt loop.

Claire concludes by showing examples of bars and chains in couture garments from her collection. A Balmain dress has thread bars for hooks at the back neckline. A Chanel jacket has thread chains holding the lapels and pocket flaps to the garment body so they don’t flip up. You can emulate these uses, or you can come up with your own.

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About This Video Series

This video series features three hours of insider tips and secrets for creating high-end couture garments and home accessories. See an expert at work as Claire Shaeffer illustrates the basic techniques that take sewing to the next level -- from hand sewing and machine stitching to marking methods, pressing, and hemming.

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