Sunday, January 17, 2021

Weekend Review: Making Designer Trims


Couture Sewing: Making Designer Trims / Claire B. Shaeffer
Newton, CT: Taunton Press, c2017.
144 p.

This is a wonderful book, which I fortunately got my hands on via Interlibrary Loan. So inspiring! It's one of the titles in the Couture Sewing series by acknowledged expert and Chanel collector Claire B. Shaeffer. (If you haven't heard her talk about her collections, check out this podcast by Threads).

This book is full of great information on making and applying trims to that Chanel style jacket you've just spent so long working on. Rouleau loops, piping, ribbon, self fabric fringe or selvage piping, insertions, embroidered edging; there is so much here to work with. Since it's couture focused, most of the work on these trims is done by hand, and really seems like it needs to be to get a good result. Quick weekend projects these are not. 

Personally speaking, I'm not likely to sew up a couture jacket any time soon, but the ideas here are so beautiful and interesting. I can already think of many other ways to use these ideas on simpler projects, and dress up a plain silhouette with something that is already at hand. One thing to note is that this book is about using ready made trim for the most part -- ribbons, gimp, self fabric strips etc -- and not creating your own trim from scratch, ie: braiding, weaving etc. 

If this is something that appeals to you, this book will definitely give you some ideas, and some specific techniques for applying the trim and finishing the edges cleanly and so on. And there is also a gallery of Chanel pieces at the end of the book to get a good look at many of these options in person, so to speak. Really lovely to look through, like the rest of Claire Shaeffer's books. 

I really love that faced cuff on the back of the book!

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