Monday, May 2, 2011

Claire Shaeffer's Pattern Collection

I've been collecting these for the past 2 years. There are still a few out-of-print patterns I don't have but I wanted to share the ones I do have with you. Each pattern highlights a few couture techniques. With the exception of a few of these, I can see myself wearing them if made up in the right fabric. My plan is to one day have made up all of these patterns.  Contrary to popular belief that "couture" equals "difficult", a few of these patterns are rated "easy", some "advanced" but most are "average."  Of course, that doesn't rate the amount of time it will take to complete a garment.

#7467 OOP
I call this one the 80's jacket.  Printed in 2001, this is the only pattern in my collection that uses both sew-in hair canvas and batiste for interfacing.  This jacket uses pad stitching, welt and patch pockets, sleeve interfacing and shaping, and a 2-piece vented sleeve.   


#7468 OOP (available online at Vogue Patterns)
Printed in 2001, this pants pattern is a double-pleated, straight leg pant with a mock fly zipper, side front pockets, and a button-front waistband.


#7539 OOP

Printed in 2002, this very loose-fit jacket includes great instructions for using stay tape (couture "stay tape", where to put it and how it affects the way the garment hangs).  I also found a great tip for pressing perfect seams in wool fabrics.  I would love to have this jacket in the pink plaid fabric that Claire Shaeffer used.


#7540 OOP

Printed in 2002, a straight dress with welt pockets that is fully underlined.  This pattern includes instructions for making dress shields, a belt and hand buttonholes, interfaced hem, handpicked zipper and covered snaps. 


#7881 (currently available)
Printed in 2004, this is great pant has no darts (shape the fabric with steam), a mock-fly, and faced contour yoke.


#7908 OOP (available online at Vogue Patterns)
Printed in 2004, this is a beautiful fitted jacket with an interesting pocket design.  The instructions also include details about balanced darts and lapped seams.  This jacket has a 2-piece sleeve and includes pad stitching, reinforcement for corners and curved edges, more advanced pressing techniques and hand buttonholes.  I think the unusual pocket design is the reason for the advanced difficulty rating.


#7966 OOP
Printed in 2004, this dress has a tucked princess design with split neck and handpicked zipper.  The dress has dress shields and lingerie guards and is rated advanced difficulty.


#8087 OOP (available online at Vogue Patterns)
Printed in 2005, this jacket is an advanced pattern.  This jacket has pad stitching, welt pockets with flaps, and a 3-piece sleeve.


#8156 OOP
Printed in 2005, these straight-legged pants have a contour yoke, mock fly zipper, cuffed hem and back welt pocket with flap.


#8259 OOP
Printed in 2006, this pattern is rated difficult and often used for French jackets, aka the "Chanel jacket."  Claire Shaeffer gives instructions for a 3-piece sleeve, quilting fabrics together, and a stand collar.


#8333 (currently available)
Printed in 2006, this is the pattern that first caught my attention in the Claire Shaeffer collection.  I was more intrigued by the jacket and unusual pockets (hidden in the pleats) than learning couture techniques.  This pattern is rated advanced difficulty and includes interfaced hem, 2-piece sleeve, pad stitching, sleeve head, and hand buttonholes.


#8369 OOP (available online at Vogue Patterns)
Printed in 2007, you finally learn how to add chain weight in the hemline (this is for you Chanel ladies out there).  You also learn how to make Chinese ball buttons, insert a sleeve head, and interface a hem; jacket has a 2-piece sleeve.


#8400 OOP (available online at Vogue Patterns)
I call this the clown jacket. Printed in 2007, the fabric is very off-putting in this jacket and the instructions only explain one new technique, a bound buttonhole.


#8428 OOP (available online at Vogue Patterns)
Printed in 2007, this jacket pattern includes instructions for pad stitching, bias tubing, hand buttonholes, interfaced hem, 2-piece sleeve and sleeve heads.


#8449 (currently available)
Printed in 2007, this is the first pattern that has better pictures showing you how to do the hand stitches.  You also learn several bias techniques (like lap basting), bound zipper placket, and tons of practice with staying edges.  This dress is not lined.


#8481 OOP
Printed in 2008, this jacket pattern is rated advanced difficulty.  It includes pad stitching, quilted lining, 3-piece sleeve, hand buttonhole, and sleeve heads.  Skimming the instructions, I don't see why this is an advanced pattern or why the lining is quilted.  I've also noticed that all of the patterns with sleeve head instructions don't indicate what will be used for the sleeve head (in the instructions or on the back of the envelope), except for one.  Sleeve heads were made of lambswool in haute couture but you can improvise with fleece or wool/cotton batting.  I've seen them sold at tailoring shops with 2 pieces of muslin and polyester batting sandwiched in between.


#8498 (currently available)
Printed in 2008, this pants pattern uses a French fly, pleat stays, inseam pocket, and "straight fold over" (or what I've always known as "cut-on") waistband that is interfaced with either double grosgrain ribbon, double hair canvas or single Petersham ribbon.  There are also instructions for hanging loops and weighted hems.


#8519 (currently available)
Printed in 2008, the sharp look of this jacket caught my eye.  Looking more closely at the instructions reveals some new techniques, such as reverse corners and curves.  The buttonhole is placed in the center front seam.  This is the first pattern to indicate on the envelope that you need lambswool for the sleeve head.  This pattern is rated advanced difficulty.


#8578 OOP (available online at Vogue Patterns)
Printed in 2009, this is the only pattern designed for knits.  China silk is the interfacing for this garment.  The "bias waist stay" is actually an elastic waistband enclosed.  There are also waist pleats and inside corners to navigate.


#8621 (currently available)
Printed in 2009, this jacket pattern has an interesting design detail. The sleeve is raglan in back and set-in on the front.  I can't even wrap my head around this idea.  The jacket has a keyhole neckline, bound buttonholes, welt pockets, and a waist seam (no special treatment for this detail). 


#8652 (currently available)
Printed in 2010, this pant has a bound buttonhole, French fly, cut-on or straight fold-over waistband with grosgrain or Petersham ribbon for interfacing and a partial lining (only to knees).  The instructions have great drawings for all the hand stitches (why doesn't each pattern in this line has such great drawings?).  These pants are rated easy for difficulty.


#8692 (currently available)
Printed in 2010, this jacket has interesting bust darts and the usual welt pockets, bound buttonholes, and 2-piece sleeve.  No collar stand but the collar and lapel supposedly have some "interesting edgestitching."  This pattern is rated advanced difficulty.


#8732 (currently available)
Printed in 2011, this is the newest addition to the collection.  This unlined jacket pattern has welt pockets with flaps, padstitching, hand buttonholes, 1-piece sleeve, and interfaced hem.

pic 8732

There at least 3 other out-of-print Vogue Claire Shaeffer Custom Couture patterns missing from my stash but otherwise complete.


  1. Julie, we have pretty much the same patterns - I was also able to get a blouse and a skirt! You haven't been posting for a while - hope it's because you are busy sewing ;-)

  2. thank you for the claire shaeffer collection of patterns. just one question - can you confirm that pattern 8481 - red jacket- does have a 3 piece sleeve. other sites say 2 piece. I am obsessed with making a chanel jacket and want to see what this 3 piece sleeve looks like. Ideally I would like to get pattern 8087 - absolutely impossible. Can you scan it by any chance? happy to pay you for the trouble. dragana

  3. Hi - 8692 has a single-layer construction, with no facings, very interesting. See Ann Rowley's photo tutorial here:

    Love the collection and the short reviews.

  4. I have looked high and low for the 8269 jacket to try and make a Chanel jacket. Is it completely impossible to get hold of

  5. Hello Julie,

    I am just beginning my journey, and you made it easier to search.
    Your collection is a dream. Thanks for sharing; otherwise I would not
    have any idea what Claire Shaeffer designs were printed.


  6. Thanks for this discussion.

  7. Enjoyed seeing the patterns and the descriptions.

  8. I can help anyone out with 8259, I love your collection and I do intend to gather many more of Claires patterns over time. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I love Claire Shaeffer's designs. Thank you for a look at those I have not seen before.

  10. Since my first post, my collection has expanded considerably,but because of you I realize that some that I've searched for before are now available at Vogue Patterns. Thanks so much for Caring, Curating, and most importantly-- Sharing.


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