Creating Original Garments Using Couture Sewing Methods

Nicole S. Eckerson, Western Michigan University


As part of my research, I examined the techniques and methods used in couture sewing from the past to the present, drawing inspiration from historical couture garments by designers Charles Worth (19th century designer) and Charles James (20th century designer). The four pieces I drew inspiration from include Charles Worth and Bobergh’s evening gown (1861), Charles Frederick Worth’s evening gown (1883), and Charles James’s “Butterfly” ball gown (1954) and “Swan” ball gown (1954). These designers were chosen based on their use of structure and form throughout their pieces. After researching couture sewing methods and using the gowns mentioned above for inspiration, I used my interpretation of these gowns to create three original garments. Justification for this research is to provide advanced knowledge in couture sewing methods, which will enable me to educate others on couture sewing and to sustain the practice and use of such techniques.