Claire Shaeffer is one of the most recognized authors on couture sewing so when she contacted me about her latest book, I was excited to see it. Entitled Couture Sewing: The Couture Cardigan Jacket, for legal reasons she probably can’t refer to it as a Chanel jacket, but I can. It arrived this week and while I am not finished reading it, a comment left on another post prompted me to get this out there right away.
Marysia, if you have not yet started your project, and if you do not yet have this book, stop. Buy it. It is a treasure.
Claire has a likely unparalleled collection of Chanel couture garments and has studied many more in museums and private collections and this book shares some of the secrets of construction that made the iconic Chanel jacket unique. Some of the tips I have never seen anywhere else in print, and having studied haute couture in college myself, there were things in there that were new even to me. What I like most about Claire’s books is that they are never just instructional manuals on sewing , but that she covers the history and backstory of the techniques and the couturiers behind the spectacular garments which serve as her inspiration. Anybody interested in Chanel’s designs, legacy, and in some cases revolutionary sewing techniques will love this book.
As a bonus, at the end of the book is a DVD which I have yet to watch but I am sure it will be fantastic, knowing what her previous projects have been like. There are techniques discussed in the book which really need to be seen in action to be fully understood, and they are covered in the DVD. I will update this post once I have had a chance to watch it.