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with Alison Smith
Online Class

Couture Finishing Techniques

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Learn couture finishing techniques that elevate your garments to the highest level of elegance and craftsmanship. Alongside illustrious instructor Alison Smith, you'll master herringbone, catch, blind hem, flat-fell and buttonhole stitches. Sew French seams, hand-finished whipstitch seams, clean-finished seams and flawless seams on delicate fabrics. Sew a concealed zipper with a placket. Create gorgeous triangular buttonholes. Make perfect closures with rouleau loops, corded loops and covered buttons. Use hand-finishes such as interfaced hems, hand-rolled hems, faced hems with horsehair braid, and machine-embroidered scalloped hems. Finish your garments with impeccable couture techniques that stand up to the most discerning eyes and the test of time.


  • advanced
  • 7 episodes
  • 3h3m

Included in this Class

1. Introduction

1. Introduction

Meet Alison Smith, the United Kingdom's premier teacher of dressmaking, tailoring and corsetry, and learn more about couture sewing and details as you take a tour of a 1965 Chanel frock. In this class, each lesson covers a different facet of couture finishing, so you can quickly reference the information you need as you work on your own projects.

2. Skillful Hand-Sewn Stitches

2. Skillful Hand-Sewn Stitches

Handstitching sets couture garments apart from ready-to-wear garments. Alison demonstrates the most commonly used stitches in couture finishing: herringbone stitch, catchstitch, blind hem stitch, whipstitch and flat-fell stitch. Learn when to use these stitches and see them up close.

3. Superb Seam Finishes

3. Superb Seam Finishes

You don't need a serger or overlocker to create beautifully finished seams. Alison demonstrates a plain-finished seam on wool tweed and shares tips for pinking and pressing. Next, she uses a tiny zigzag stitch to finish a seam in a delicate silk chiffon. If you prefer a French seam, Allison will walk you through it. For a truly couture finish, consider a seam finished by hand with a whipstitch. For a vintage look or children's clothing, try the durable clean-finished seam.

Recommended with this class

  • Hand sewing needles