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Book Review: Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer


Hello Darlings!

In the beginning of summer I graduated from two-year long evening sewing school with a diploma as a professional seamstress. However, this does not mean that now “I know it all” - on contrary, the golden rule of “the more you know, the more you know you don’t know” has proven to be right again, and I now see even more gaps of information that need to be learned, more skills that need to be gained.

As a keen reader, I have turned to books for my continuous learning process and asked you on Instagram for sewing book recommendations. Many of you recommended “Couture Sewing Techniques” by Claire B. Shaeffer and this was one of the books I grabbed first (along with “Tailoring. The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket”, but more on that later). I took this book along with me on the recent work trip, as there is no better way to enjoy a book than a few hours on a plane with “Flight Mode: On”, ha! Now that I spent a fair share of time with “Couture Sewing Techniques”, I would like to share my review.


At first, I would like to say that I see this book as something more for experienced sewists, not beginners - techniques are difficult, language is complex and quite frankly, you need to have some experience to understand what is going on. That being said, the book works as a great tool to make you want to sew better - all while I was reading it, I couldn't get rid of a thought of “I want to sew at such high level”. Ms. Claire Shaeffer definitely picks the right words and examples to motivate you to up your sewing game, which instantly gives this book extra points for inspiration.

Before getting “Couture Sewing Techniques”, I was expecting it to have more photos and pictures - but it’s my personal preference, as I am more of a visual learner and understand information much better if there’s more visual item presented. I did, however, love all selected couture samples and spent a good piece of time just looking closely and enjoying those masterpieces.

Admittedly, I am more of a team “Let’s look for easy and fast way to make something”, so I wouldn’t say all techniques from the book would be usable in my projects, but I did learn a few usable techniques, for example, buttonhole loop.


Summing up: this book made me want to better my sewing even more, but I doubtfully would be reaching for it on day-to-day basis. If you are an advanced sewist and want to learn more, I think it’s a good edition to your library, however, I also think it’s a bit too intimidating for beginner sewists.


What do you think? Maybe you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts! Also, feel free to recommend me any sewing books you like - I am looking for new additions to the bookshelf!