This is for anyone who sews and for anyone who wants to know if you’re doing things right.  This is a fabulous little film made following the creation of the Chanel F/W04/05 collection from the finishing of the last garment from the S/S04 collection to the showing of the F/W/04/05 show.

There are so many parts to this wonderful video that you need to devote full attention to it.  There are wonderful little pieces you can pick up just from a few scenes.

Here’s some idea of what these treasured 5 episodes have in store!

Yep!  Even in the best houses and amongst the best of seamstresses they have to take out stitching too for a good fit.  Lesson to everyone:  If you know the difference, take it out and do it till it looks right to you.


And pressing makes a lot of mistakes go away…just watch this segment on how they dealt with this problem!

So you must be thin to wear couture clothes?….really!!!!  First look at the size of this customer’s mannequin – she ain’t THIN!!!  And who do you think can afford these clothes….it’s the older, wealthier woman, and she’s probably seen a few good meals, drunk some pretty good wine, and not done a lot of exercise!


And indeed it is….from flat drawing to toile or what we would call a muslin.  Personally I thought some of the toiles were almost as beautiful by themselves.  They were very impressive!


And while you’re looking around the atelier (that’s what they call the working studio in a maison or couture house in France), notice how many sewing machines there are!


Karl L is in!



  1. I remember reading an article in some fashion magazine years ago about a very wealthy socialite who wore a size 20 and wore Chanel. Apparently they don’t advertise this, but they, at least then, were readily available rtw in up to a size 20.

  2. Thank you so much. That is a fascinating look into Houte Couture

  3. This is amazing! Does anyone know where I can find the ret of the videos?

    • Taryn, I have the original DVD and there are only 5 episodes on it. I never see it that I don’t learn something else from this wonderful video. I’m so glad that it’s now public and online which is a lot easier than inserting the DVD!!! All the things we feel when we are in the middle of a dilemma are the same things they feel. It’s so nice to have such expert and glamorous company!!!

  4. Could you please tell us the name of the DVD or the name of the videos so we can find them either on YouTube or via another search? Thank you!

    • I should have put this in the blog, but if you click that top graphic (it’s a link to viewing the video) it will show you the 5 episodes.

      If that doesn’t work – try this link, or copy and past this into your browser URL https://m2m.tv/signe-chane

  5. That was so interesting! When you asked us to notice how many sewing machines there are I went back and noticed not one! All made by hand. In the film they conveyed that feeling of anticipation and nervousness so well waiting for Karl to arrive with the new collection. Such amazing clothes. I laughed at the part about how much they cost – honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if that dress she finally pressed the wrinkles out of around the neck was in the $250,000 EU range. It’s a work of art after all that you wear. How much would you pay for an original painting by a master?

  6. Loved watching the videos. I regularly go to You Tube just to see if there is anything new from Chanel to watch.
    Question: I want to build a good library of sewing books. I have “Threads Sewing Guide” that has been helpful and I have “Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer”. Can you recommend other books?

    I so enjoy reading your blog-it has been an inspiration to do better and increase my skills.

    • Yeah – those videos are awesome!!! They are probably some of the most instructional videos I’ve ever seen.

      Books – hmmm – there are a few I recommend for fitting which is one aspect of sewing, but nothing really for fashion or styling that I really like. Kenneth King’s Cool Couture comes the closest to the fashion/styling book. My text for fitting is Fitting
      and Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach
      . This was my text when I was studying and has notes from the years I spent studying fitting.

      As far as techniques: there are the basic ones, and after that I believe that we all develop our own techniques through the magical technique of practice. That’s why the older gal won the first Great British Sewing Bee cause she had the expertise of years of practice. That doesn’t mean you have to be old, but it’s the practice, even if it’s only a couple hours a week. There are nuances in every technique in sewing, and it’s through only the practice that those nuances become second-hand.

      Basic techniques such as back-tacking all seams (except darts), how to finish non-back-tacked darts, straight stitching seams, curved stitching seams, zig-zag finises and seams (and when to use them) and hem stitching. Then there are knit/stretch stitching, and construction stitching. More advanced stitching can change with styles – such as the unfinished techniques of the Grunge era and now the more finished seam and edge techniques that the styles today are showing.

      I know that’s not a short answer, but that gets you started, and the decision about whether a seam is OK or not, is if 1.) you know the difference – take it out and do it right or 2.) you can tell the difference – take it out.

  7. As always – I have learned from you! I enjoyed watching your You Tube videos – the timing was perfect for a new outfit I am trying to work out. Thank you for your recommendations.

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