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I know I have said it before, but there are many great sewing technique books out there that can enhance work and expand boundaries for fashion designers.  One that I come back to again and again is Claire B. Shaeffer's Couture Sewing Techniques.  Thanks to her her lifelong fascination with (and study of) Parisian Haute Couture, Schaeffer has outlined the basics of couture sewing, and how to apply them to every day garment making.

In addition to hand sewing instruction, Schaeffer explains other important techniques like shaping the garment, how to finish edges with skill and elegance, and couture quality closures.  Through detailed sketches and photographs of the insides of couture ensembles, she demonstrates what makes these clothes so special, and how extra attention to detail can make a garment extraordinary.  Shaeffer also authors an excellent chapter on the Haute Couture system, how it functions, and why a dress can cost more than a car.

Claire B Schaeffer, Couture Sewing Techniques.  Newtown, CT: Taunton Press, 2001.

I think this post is also a good opportunity to see what books Art & Culture readers think are good resources for fashion designers.  It does not necessarily have to be a technique based book; fictional, biographical, and museum catalogues are all welcome suggestions.  So, if anyone is interested, post a review blog on the Fashion Design page and tell us what book inspires you!

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