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.

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.


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

great instructor, now I see fashion from another angle - its an ART

REDLUX ™️ A new bespoke handmade jewellery brand - Developing & owning this Trademark as a new endeavor in beauty and style - hearing all about Marc Jacobs’ story and passions shines a strong light onwards and guides the way forward X Thank you Mr Marc Jacobs and MasterClass with respect and lots of love,Andrew Stephen Luck X ❤️ WeLoveYou

Marc Jacobs words was very encouraging. I hope throughout this lesson it would help me to find my way back into my journey in fashion as i lost track.

Interesting. Marc Jacobs helped me a lot in my design class.


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


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

Elizabeth E.

I really enjoy this class. I learned so much. I Love the recommendation that Marc made in this class: It teach you to understand the importance to experiment with all the elements that compose your design in order to create a garment that reflect the spirit and story of the design and made it different from the rest. It was very reveling and very important for me, to learn about the " Production Fit Model" and to be clear what if your main goal when creating a garment or a collection: the Look, the wearability or both. These advices, I will keep in my creative process. Thank you, Marc.

Susie D.

Enjoyed this lesson. Loved the little black dress and explanation/description. He talked about the "line" of a dress and mentioned A-Line. I was reminded of Bubble dress and Sack dress of the early '60s, Mini, Midi, Maxi. I wonder if 3D printing has a value or role in clothing design?

Teresa F.

I personally love the gown from the Fall/Winter 2016 collection. I loved the story behind choosing the fabrics as well as taking elements from what the "goth girl" would like. The dress is extremely feminine, but the color choice, fabric choice, and accessories make it into a stronger piece. The construction plan for my faux leather wrap coat that I sketched would be to create a wide lapel on the collar and a wrap style that would have double-breasted buttons to create the wrap style. I would also like to add a matching patent leather belt that can cinch the waist in even more and round pockets that are not exposed on the outside of the coat. I would create a yoke on the coat as well as button tabs on the wrist to also cinch in the sleeves at the wrist because the coat is faux patent leather it will require a lining, the navy coat would be complemented well with a satin lining. the coat's sleeve hem, as well as the hem of the coat, would look really nice with a double stitch in matching thread. I also would want to incorporate matching navy buttons. I want the fabric to be the star of this coat.