Design & Style, Business

Patterns and Muslins

Marc Jacobs

Lesson time 14:09 min

Marc discusses the process of going from sketch to pattern and why your first toile will never be perfect. Marc has also provided a pattern from his studio for you to download and study.

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

Topics include: From Sketch to Pattern • Clearly Communicate Your Vision • The First Toile Is Never Perfect • Adjusting and Adding to Your Muslin • It's Not Done Until It's on the Runway


So the sketch goes first to the pattern makers, who drape with muslin or a fabric similar to the one we'll ultimately use. And when we fit that first muslin or first proto, we make some corrections. Those corrections, if they are close enough to being right, they become a soft pattern. The soft pattern is then used to cut the fabric that we are intending for the garment. Or it's used to cut a second muslin if we need to see a second muslin. So depending on how close it is to being correct, sometimes we'll recut a muslin twice or three times. Other times, it will go right into the actual fabric and then we'll be able to leave bigger seam allowances or certain room for minor changes. But it's very rare that it goes from the first muslin to a real pattern. We usually have to do a second muslin and then that muslin becomes a soft pattern. And that pattern then we use to cut the real fabric. Both making your own patterns or working with a skilled pattern maker are both options. I learned to make patterns when I was in school. I have never made a pattern since I've been out of school. But I luckily work with some great pattern makers. And so that of course is very useful. If you are going to create a garment and you don't have a pattern maker or someone to drape for you, you're going to need to learn this. I also think that even if you do have such people helping you to make your garment or garments, that it's really wonderful and a useful tool to have an idea. I mean to have some knowledge of what it is like to do these things because certainly information and knowledge is always useful. And I think in terms of being able to discuss and adjust and to see, to guide someone, having an understanding of what it is that you're asking them is always a good thing. I think my little bit of knowledge in terms of pattern making helps me sometimes to understand what's wrong. Like I can look at a garment and say, oh there's too much curve in this seam. So my fundamental, basic understanding of pattern making sometimes helps me in understanding what I dislike or what I don't like about a finished garment. And I can also look at a pattern and sometimes see that maybe there's too sharp of a curve or too straight of a line. Or maybe there's not enough ease or gathering or in a seam. But again, I have a very basic and very fundamental understanding of pattern making. And people who professionally make patterns have a much more broad knowledge of that skill and craft and trade. [MUSIC PLAYING] The sketches, again, a form of communication that comes with a verbal explanation. It's not just handed over and then hoping for the best. Take for instance, if we're doing a jacket sketch, Joseph or Emily or one of the designers will explain to any of the pattern makers, oh, we're looking for a broad shoulder but without padding. Maybe give them a littl...

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.

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Marc Jacobs

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

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