Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review │ Claire Shaeffer : Couture Sewing

Claire Shaeffer is a sewing legend; I've only ever heard good things about her. I really enjoyed this book. It only has six chapters, I really wish it were longer. Not that I'm ever going to get to the level of sewing couture, I just wanted to read this book because it was written by Claire, and I knew I could learn a lot from her. 

I was very surprised to learn how much hand sewing is done in haute couture. I always thought they use nothing by high-end sewing equipment. "The edges of many couture designs are finished by hand", Claire writes, and " the greatest advantage hand sewing offers is control. You can add a little ease anywhere with very little effort".
Not only does she talk about the importance of sewing by hand, there is an appendix at the end of the book that shows you how to do many different kinds of stitches by hand.

Each chapter provides techniques to help you achieve a professional look when making garments. Chapter one covers buttonholes, two - pockets, three - hems, four - sleeves, and five - trousers. You may have guessed it - a lot of buttonholes in couture are made by hand! I seriously feel like Claire has given me permission to start using my hands again. Last weekend I had to replace the zipper on my husband's cargo shorts because the old one was broken. I hand stitched one side entirely by hand to prevent the stitches from showing on the fly.

There are plenty of pictures throughout to show you how to do each step. This woman is brilliant!

The book comes with a DVD which offers an in-depth tailoring workshop. I think any sewist can greatly benefit from this book. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of her books.

Happy sewing!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Burda dress 138 05014-US - (Almost done)

The hem needs to be undone and straightened.

The hem is a total mess but the good thing is that it is easy to fix, so I'm going to work on it this weekend. Actually, the hem on the model's dress has the same problem, only not as bad as mine. I traced a plus-size pattern and had to adjust it from a size 44 to 36. Tracing turned out to not be as bad as I thought it would be; in fact, I really enjoyed it. While re-sizing the pattern, I somehow changed the neckline from a U to a V, which I absolutely don't mind, though. 

I used the pattern for the red, lace dress at the top of the picture below: 

Burda's instructions are certainly not the best (to me), but this is a simple pattern so I didn't have any major problems with it. I love the fabric I used for this dress; I found it on sale at JoAnn's. 

Happy sewing!

Friday, July 4, 2014

BurdaStyle Summer 2014

I finally bought myself a copy of BurdaStyle magazine. It arrived yesterday and I'm so excited to try their patterns. This issue comes with 20 of their new designs included on the pattern insert. I really like a lot of the patterns. I think the challenge for me is going to be in tracing the patterns, and sewing with limited instructions without pictures. 
I think Burda does this on purpose - the most gorgeous patterns are not included on the insert. They want you to purchase them for download online. 

I love the grey V-neck dress on the second row, and the cowl neck top at the bottom. 

All the Summer 2014 styles.

For those of you in the U.S., I hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July and enjoy the long weekend. 

Happy Sewing!