Design & Style, Business

Constructing Your Garment

Marc Jacobs

Lesson time 12:29 min

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

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

Topics include: Every Choice Should Have a Purpose • Favorite Construction Techniques • Your Construction Quality Depends on Your Purpose • Using Models to Test Your Garments • Fashion Is a Series of Choices


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 ...

About the Instructor

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.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Marc Jacobs

In 18 lessons, iconic designer Marc Jacobs teaches you his process for creating innovative, award-winning fashion.

Explore the Class
Sign Up