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Reviewed by Gayle MacGregor – Sideshow Alley

Couture Sewing: The Couture Cardigan Jacket. Sewing secrets from a Chanel collector
by Claire. B. Shaeffer
The Taunton Press: ISBN. 978-1-60085-955-7 BUY NOW

This fascinating book with accompanying DVD is the latest in the Couture Sewing series by acclaimed author Claire Shaeffer, and explores the construction techniques developed by the author to create a Chanel style Jacket.

Through meticulous research based on the Authors collection of original Chanel Jackets and Museum archival research, the reader is treated to a step by step tutorial.

The text and accompanying DVD demonstrate every process required including:

  • Selection of the pattern and fashion fabric, lining and trims and preparation of the fabric and completion of a muslin toile
  • Basting, quilting, stabilizing and shaping including shaping bust and creating dart stays.
  • Stitching seams, and placing and stitching lining
  • Hand worked buttonholes
  • Three piece sleeves
  • Edge finishes
  • Hand set in sleeves
  • Patch Pockets
  • Back shaping and adding a chain weight hem finish

The text is accompanied with clear photographs of the sewing process, along with vintage examples of authentic Chanel jackets.

Chapter 9 includes how to identify original Chanel jackets versus fake versions or Licensed Copies, along with tips on how to date Chanel jackets. The instructions along with the DVD make the sewing process crystal clear. The authors calm, clear and concise instructions encourage you to take on the project without feeling daunted. By sharing her knowledge of these construction techniques the Author is sharing a wonderful gift with all of us that love to sew, along with all who love Vintage Couture techniques.

I would highly recommend this publication to sewers of a medium to high skill level as a fascinating and rewarding challenge.

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