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Couture Tailoring with Claire Shaeffer

Claire helping out the Vionnet Draping class by modeling.


In a comment on my last post Joyce in NC asked that I tell more about the class I took with Claire Shaeffer. Ah, so much to tell! But I can’t improve on the info already disseminated by Alania in her sewing class review at She’s nailed it already.

I took the class because my friend Georgene read Alania’s class review at PatternReview and contacted me to go and share a room with her to keep costs down. So last August I jumped in.

Then, it turned out that same writer, Alania, gave a presentation of the Chanel class at our local ASG meeting. Alania’s thorough presentation lasted more than an hour. Her class had obviously been quite intense, too. I can not improve on the info she’s shared so I suggest everyone read Alania’s review, including all the comments.

A class with Claire is like: couture sewing boot camp! You work, Baby, you work. And try to absorb the tons of information Claire presents. Impossible to take it all in, I’d say, at least for me it was. Claire has thoroughly studied the subjects she teaches.

It turns out that Claire is my first real classroom instructor so I can’t compare her to anyone else. I absolutely adore her. Could I be prejudiced because she is the first person I could hand a sewing dilemma and listen to her analysis besides my mother? Yes. It’s quite possible that my judgment is not to be trusted. I think the world of Claire Shaeffer.

So I’ve answered the best I can. Here’s the published description of the Couture Tailoring class:

Participants will complete one half of a full-scale jacket while learning to cut and assemble the jacket. Techniques include canvas placement, padding and shaping the undercollar and lapel, taping the edges, shaping the facing, finishing a sleeve vent, assembling the sleeve with lining, and setting the sleeve and shoulder pads. You will learn to make jetted (double welt) and patch pockets as well as how to apply the facing to the lapel and the collar to the jacket.

I don’t know when it will be scheduled again. It is almost too much info for a 5 day class.

Her next scheduled classes are

Couture MasterClass—June 2-9, 2009

Chanel and That Suit—January, 2010

You can contact Claire at

I am so glad I was able to meet her and sew under her eye!

If you can’t take classes with her be sure to invest in her books. She one of those incredible sewing resources and my best advise is to take full advantage of what she has to offer anyway you can.

hugs all
Mary Beth


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

7 responses »

  1. I am feeling soooo envious, pulling my hair here. I cannot begin to imagine what a class with Claire Shaeffer must be like in real life. I love ALL of her books, well almost all. That useless Industrial Sewing Manual book that sits on my shelf that I cannot use. It seems incomplete and I can’t figure out why.
    You are so lucky!

  2. That sounds wonderful, 5 days with someone like Claire Shaeffer and sewing with others sharing this passion. If it was possible in any way I would try to take this class too, but must make do with her books. I have two, which I find so very, very helpful.
    I’m a little envious too, but are so glad for you that you took this and had such a good time!

  3. I’m so envious of your wonderful workshop, but I’m so glad you were able to go and enjoy! Sounds like you had a fab time.

    I’ve nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger Award. 🙂

  4. i have lost over 100 pounds and desparately need to alter some slacks and capri pants due to a strict budget. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
    designs by lady b

  5. I attended one of Claire Shaeffer’s workshops years ago and I loved it. I could not keep up but learned a lot. She was my first couture sewing teacher and I would like to take another workshop with her. Today, I can sew better than I did when I first met her.

    Does anyone know about her DVD?

  6. Pingback: Burda Faux Peplum Jacket – Construction Notes – Magazine 2006/08/128 | The Stitchery

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