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couture techniques

fabricholic | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I didn’t realize that slip stitching a hem was a couture technique. I love having hems or cuffs to hand stitch on my lunch break at work. It is just fun for me.


  1. sewelegant | | #1

    I think it is so typical that we don't realize how many of the couture techniques are already in our repertoire.  I had to get Claire Schafer's book when it came out and did thoroughly enjoy browsing through it.  The realization that I was already using many of the techniques she described was a bit of a revelation but I have to admit when it gets too tricky and difficult to execute I am happy to just read about it.  My greatest sadness is that in the aging process I have lost my dexterity and can no longer sit and hand sew just for the pleasure of it so I fully understand why you think it is fun.


  2. Ocrafty1 | | #2

    It is amazing how many 'couture' techniques we use on a regular basis.  I've been sewing for yrs. and bought Shaffer's book a few months ago.  I finished a dress and jacket tonight and used her book as a refresher on how to do pad stitching and also used her technique for putting the lining in the jacket.  I'd never basted the sleeve lining to the sleeve the way she described it!  It turned out perfect.  I sewed the whole lining in by hand and was so pleased with the results!  It took much longer than I expected, but my dexterity and eyesight aren't what they used to be either. 

    I also loved reading about how designers 'cheat' on getting gowns to stay where they are supposed to.  For years I've struggled to make gowns fit and stay with mixed results and a lot of frustration and disappointments.  Now that I know some of their tricks, things will be much easier on me!  LOL


    1. fabricholic | | #3

      I would love to see pictures of your work. especially the padding stitches and the hand sewn lining. Good for you. I think I have the book you are talking about, but haven't taken the time to read over it.

      1. Ceeayche | | #4

        me tooo!

    2. DesigningPat | | #5

      I have Claire Shaffer's books and have attended a clinic run by her in Florida. I learned a lot, and I also learned that I do a lot of couture techniques from my Grandmothers' input from long ago! Fitting gowns like the pros is an interesting topic. Do you have a certain resource you would like to share about this topic? I would love to know>

      1. Ocrafty1 | | #6

        I just bought Claire Schaffer's Couture book last Nov.  It was a revelation!  I recently got unbelievably lucky, and bought a collection of Threads that goes back to the early 80's. There is a lot of info in those magazines that tells about the built-in underpinnings that the pros build into the foundation garments. That seems to be the key in getting the perfect fit for gowns. There has also been some discussions here at Gatherings on that subject.  I want to get Kenneth D. King's book, but haven't had the chance to get it yet.

        Another thing that I do when I make a garment for a client is have several fittings.  I only have 1 very old dress form that I bought at a rummage sale, so it doesn't really work for my clients.  I let them know up front, that there will be several fittings(sometimes up to 6) included in their contract.  I almost always make a 'toile' or muslin before I cut the fashion fabric. The only time I don't is if I've made the same pattern for that client before.  It is critical for getting a good fit.  I also do fittings of the garment and it is hand basted together, so that I can make any changes while it is on the client.  I guess, in that way, I am using couture fitting techniques....but I'm not comparing myself to that level by any means! 

        I've never had any 'formal' schooling in design, but I've researched a lot on the net, and sent emails asking for suggestions, to some professionals who have been gracious enough to respond. If you want to send me a personal email, I'd be glad to share some of those resources with you.

        The best recommendations I can make are to experiment a lot, try out the techniques that you see in the Schaffer book, and look throught the archives in Gatherings.  There are several 'pros' who post here, and they have links to their websites or blogs.  They are wonderful about answering questions, and have lots of pix and sometimes really great 'tutorials' showing certain techniques.  If I find one that I think I might want to check out again, I bookmark it.  I have over 100 bookmarks just for research. 


        1. KharminJ | | #7

          Hi, Deb!I just picked up Cool Couture last week and have read it cover-to-cover already. (Love those 40% off coupons!)It's a pretty well written book, but doesn't cover as many useful-for-me techniques as I'd hoped - check out the ToC at Amazon:

          http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Couture-Construction-Secrets-Runway/dp/1589233891/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=booksqid=1237912673&sr=8-1#readerIf I'd taken my own advice, I think I'd've taken a pass on this one. But, your level is way different than mine ;)He certainly does advocate "playing" with your fabric and trying your own solutions to construction problems - many techniques are described as "Here's what I came up with to ..."Bright Blessings! Kharmin

          1. ohiostar | | #8

            I also got to look at the book at a local Joann's. Even with a 40% coupon I would think two or three times about spending for the book. Don't get me wrong, I like his work and his techniques, but the it did not contain enough "stop the presses" ideas for me to purchase the book. The twill tape shirt, in Threads 139(?) was more inspiring. I have 3 of Claire Schaeffer's books and I like to read about ideas and then try my own applications. Which of course, is what Kenneth King does. Who knew?

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