Book Review:The Art of Couture Sewing

I have been searching for a book to augment my old standby, Claire Shaeffer’s Couture Sewing Techniques. When I saw on Fairchild’s site last year that this book was scheduled to be published, I pre-bought it at And I am very glad I did. This is a great book!

Title: The Art of Couture Sewing (Softbound)

Author(s): Zoya Nudelman

Publisher: Fairchild Books

ISBN: 978-1-56367-539-3

Suggested Price: $82.00



  1. Introduction to Couture
  2. The Art of Textiles
  3. Uses of Tools and Supplies
  4. The Skill of Hand and Machine Stitching
  5. Couture Draping Secrets
  6. The Secret of Closures
  7. The Skill of Hems and Other Edge Finishes
  8. The Secret of the Corset
  9. The Skill of Fabric Manipulation
  10. The Skill of Garment Embellishment
  11. The Secret of Tailoring adnd Dressmaking

Illustration Credits

First Impressions: This is a college/design school-level textbook. It covers a great many different areas of expertise, all of which apply to couture and other sewing. It’s really well illustrated. Each chapter ends with an essay on a different couturier that serves to inspire and illustrate.

A Little More Depth: Wow! What can I say about this book other than that it’s a treasure trove of information. I particularly love the sections on handstitching and smocking (Phyllis, this book is so up your alley). They really do a great job of illustrating what the different stitches and techniques look like. The section on corsetry is also really well done. The only chapter that is not up to par with the rest is the one on tailoring. Frankly, that’s minor to me. This book is more about the flou, or dressmaking end of couture, rather than the tailleur. I think there is enough material there for another book on couture tailoring.

I also like the fact that this book is a great reference. By that I mean that you can open up to any chapter and start going on the techniques described there. It’s not set up as a series of techniques that have prerequisites. For example, if you want to make Mexican Tucks, open to that page and the instructions for it are self contained.

There is only one glaring omission in this book: the author’s bio. The only information about Zoya Nudelman is contained on the first page. It only says, “Zoya Nudelman, International Academy of Design, Schaumburg”. There is a bio for her at the Fairchild Books website. I hope they will include that in future editions of this book.

Do I Recommend this Book? Yes. This is a great book if you have interest in couture techniques. I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner, but for anyone who wants to make gorgeous garments, this is a must have. It’s expensive, but it’s worth it.

Parting Shot – Miss Me?
We were on vacation all last week and boy, did I need it! We were in a place where there was next to no internet access and no cell phone coverage. it was GREAT! I highly recommend unplugging for a week. The kids loved it too:
Happy sewing!

About Gorgeous Things

I own an online fabric store, Everything else you need to know about me is what I tell you on my blog, darlings!
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