Top positive review
180 people found this helpful
Emphasis on "couture" precisely defined, not for fainthearte
on 20 May 1998
This is truly a wonderful book for those ready to step beyond "speed sewing" and rotary cutting to creating beautiful garments with exquisit finishing. I've been sewing for 40 years and never knew how different couture sewing techniques are from those the rest of us commonly use. As precisely used in this text the word "haute couture" only applies to those 20 or so designer houses in France who meet certain strict standards regulated by the government. Fascinating!
This is a book to read and study, lots of carefully detailed text and good photographs of haute couture designs and finishing techniques. Did you know there are at least five different hand basting stitches and even more permanent hand sewing stitches for garment construction? Did you know couture houses don't use paper patterns? That their seam allowances are usually at least one inch wide? That most of their basting is done from the RIGHT side of the garment? That most seam edges are finished by hand -- even into the curve clips? That most garments are constructed entirely by hand? That steaming, shrinking and molding garment sections by pressing are as important to the shaping process as the sewing? And I'm not just talking about pressing seams open here. Wow! And I thought I knew how to sew.
While other books may use "couture" in their titles this book means it. While I've said this isn't for the fainthearted anyone who sews clothing will find some new and accessible technique here. Grab it, keep it near your sewing machine and if you only add one new technique with each project your skill, pride and satisfaction in your work will grow immensely.