Design, Photography, & Fashion

Constructing Your Garment

Marc Jacobs

Lesson time 12:28 min

Marc shares his favorite construction techniques and how he approaches the construction process for his designs.

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Marc Jacobs
Teaches Fashion Design
In 18 lessons, iconic designer Marc Jacobs teaches you his process for creating innovative, award-winning fashion.
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I go a little crazy with stitching. I mean, I don't know why. It's just been a-- well, I guess it's one of those things, a peculiarity. But I always like to see stitch samples. So there's obviously-- I mean it's sort of-- I think when you topstitch or when you stitch on a garment, you can have multiple rows of stitches. You can have one row of stitching. You can have no stitching. But there's different sizes of threads. And then there's different number of stitches per inch. And depending, sometimes it's nice to have a very fine thread with many small stitches, like on a silk garment. And then also on heavier fabrics, what I like is a thicker thread where the stitch is longer and so that the stitch is sort of kind of exaggerated. And it's, I think, something that people just take for granted. They think that it just happens. But there are also things that you can do with stitching, like you control the tension of a stretch to create sort of tension in a seam. Or you can let it be loose to sort of have the stitch sit on top of the fabric rather than cut into the fabric. I think the placement of buttons, sometimes exaggerating the size of buttons and placing them close together can give you this effect of something being shrunken . Using buttons that are too small in proportion for a garment and many of them gives you a certain look. Or a wide button stance on something double breasted gives you a very different look than when the buttons are placed close together. But these are all kind of, I think, tricks and things that one discovers when they're working. And this is why I think that that muslin stage in the fitting room is so important because, again, I can sketch and put three little buttons on a sketch. But it looks one way in a sketch, and then when you actually put the button size onto a muslin and if you space them quite close together, it's amazing how, in the end, the eye sort of makes you feel like something has been exaggerated. Again, just from these kind of little things that you see as classic details. But the spacing and the size, the proportion of them, the placement of them really can create a different look in the finished garment. All of those choices, again, have an effect on what the garment looks like. So if you want something to look very, very clean and not sporty, you avoid topstitching. And if you want it to have a sportier feeling, topstitching is a good detail. And again, multiple rows of topstitching, things like two rows of topstitching, always evoke sort of a jean construction. A wide space of topstitching always gives an exaggerated look to something with volume, I find. So there are things that you can do that I think, again, it isn't the focus. It's not the first thing you see when you look at something. But they do play a part in the overall sort of spirit of the garment in the end. [MUSIC ...


Create your own trends

Marc Jacobs’s infamous grunge collection got him fired. It also won him the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. In his first online fashion design class, the 11-time CFDA Award winner teaches his hands-on process for creating clothes that push boundaries and set trends. Learn Marc’s construction techniques, how he creates unique shapes and silhouettes, and how you can develop your own ideas from the first sketch to the final piece.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Seriously loved this class. Marc renewed my passion for this business and I am so ready to get working on my business again.

This class gave me a better sense of how the fashion industry works down to very specific details like sourcing for manufacturing. The intimacy of the interview also helps see Marc as the best resource he can be.

I am inspired to move ahead in my plans to create fashions. I feel free to pursue my unique perspective and aesthetic and now have a good idea of how much commitment it takes. I appreciate Marc's openness, passion, and willingness to follow his instinct,

What I like about Masteclass' method is not the practical side (that is very little), but the inspiration that helps you get. I see them more as interviews than courses, and i have learnt to enjoy them.


Comments

Cristelle S.

Dear MasterClass, Hello. This comment is about the lesson "Constructing Your Garment", from the "Marc Jacobs Teaches Fashion Design Class". I really liked learning about a thin or thick thread. Before this lesson, I only used to think about choosing the colors of the thread for my fashion designs. Thank you. Sincerely, Cristelle Nicole

A fellow student

I am also taking notes, some many jewels of creative wisdom that you can transfer and apply in any creative field. Mostly I love his take on inspiration, and its evolutional process. This class teaches how to script a narrative where you can manage creative choices and impulses, to tell a coherent story. It is not only about exploring ideas, but modify them and over all refine them.

A fellow student

Am enjoying the classes and compiling my own notebook for what is relevant for myself ... Marc covers every detail and am picking up important techniques to enhance further development that I have overlooked in my career, also to make a clearer construction for design layout... It’s fabulous to get an insight to this masters techniques ... and absorb it all like a sponge ... we can never stop learning .. am loving this ! Thank you Helen ...Carnival costume designer www.helendavenport.com

RJane @.

I’m picky when it comes to clothing. I don’t like see-through and rough and abrasive fabric. I cut off the label and instruction tags, which are clutter to me. I like simple, stylish and sophisticated clothes. @RJanesRealm

Daniela

I definitely need to take time into experimenting more with different materials, so I can truly find my own voice and style identity. A good garment is really well made only with a decent finish. If it's not pretty inside as well, I can't be happy with my pieces. So this is the reason why it takes me a long time to make an entire garment.

Stephanie B.

I feel everything thing is made out of jegging material and the actual jeans are never large enough

Greg M.

I made this black and white dress out of white felt and I added black stripes and a black belt and paired it with a black and white scarf

Alba M.

I enjoyed this lesson, however it would've been even better if it was as a show and tell of definitions and concepts Marc is giving. Beaides that I and getting the inspiration I need to complete my first piece for a Fashion Show I am attending.

Emily S.

Interesting that Marc mentions how much he dislikes merrowed (serged/overlocked) edges. I often resort to serging because I'm always in a hurry to finish a garment and move on to the next one; I care less what the inside looks like than the outside and the fit. But this class is encouraging me to slow down a little and use cleaner finishes more often.

Jean F.

This is the part I like to call fashion Kung fu.. I get detail precise and learn along the way check my #13 out 20 constructing a garment I find relaxing... it’s intricately satisfying