Aids to fashion drawing
Awed by designers’ fashion drawings ?
Amazed by sewers who sketch their planned wardrobes ?
I thought it was impossible for me. So was delighted to discover this Christmas that there are children’s toys which help with this process.
Use stencils that you draw round. Fashion Angels Design Portfolio is one.
There are many books/ sets of stencils/ shapes to trace/ stickers, in several styles. Indulge your inner rock chick, dream up impossible red carpet dresses
The shape you want isn’t included ? Make your own stencil.
Print the line drawing from commercial pattern information, onto “printable acetate” sheet.
Cut out the shape to make your own stencil. Not easy but it is possible.
Mock-ups in paper or fabric
There are children’s kits which are the modern equivalent of paper dolls – use templates to cut out pieces of paper in the shape you want, add glitter and trims.
Such as Paper Fashions by Klutz.
Some of these kits contain fabric rather than paper.
Or small 3-D mannequins which are easy to attach fabric to.
Such as Designed by you fashions.
These are obviously popular toys as there are multiple versions. Search ‘fashion’ in the toy section at Amazon.
Good if your focus is fashion design rather than pattern making or sewing.
Personally I prefer to make ‘real’ small clothes.
It would be fun to have a half-scale dress form, such as one from Dress Rite.
Or a quarter-scale 16 inch ‘fashion doll’ with adult body shape (not as distorted as Barbie), such as Tyler-Wentworth.
Generally I can only find sources in the US, and shipping charges are huge.
I’m making basic fitting shells for my 18″ child-shaped doll. So I can play with pattern making Also – like us – she’s not quite the same shape as commercial patterns for 18″ dolls.
Tips on drawing
Many tips on easy drawing approaches here from Threads magazine.
Fashion Design Workshop is a teen’s guide book on techniques for making your drawings look more like clothes. Lots of examples to copy.
There’s a bit about fashion drawing in the middle of this video from Simplicity.
From a designer so she makes it look easy.
The basic figure drawing which you add your fashion drawing to is called a ‘croquis’.
The ‘croquis kit’ in Simplicity’s Project Runway patterns includes a fashion figure, and separate drawings of each the style elements in the pattern. They suggest you trace the style elements onto separate vellum sheets, then move them over the fashion figure to choose which combination you like.
Here’s part of Simplicity 1718.
Of course there are many books for people who want to produce professional fashion drawings. I’m just talking about having fun/ doing something that’s personally helpful !
No good at drawing the human figure ? Many ways of avoiding this.
These aren’t children’s toys, they’re proper fashion designers’ aids.
Shoben Media have croquis templates to trace around.
Pose 1 – woman, straight standing
Pose 2 – woman, straight walking
Pose 3 – woman, ‘high hip’ pose
Pose 4 – man, ‘high hip’ pose
Designers use the angled poses to display their work, as they make clothes look better. But to make design details clear, or to sketch from a pattern line drawing, you need the straight standing pose.
There are many sketch pads pre-printed with croquis. The Fashion Sketchpad is an example.
Hmm – compare the Shoben model croquis with a croquis more like me (from a discontinued site showing Trinny & Susannah’s 12 Body Shapes).
Obviously sketching clothes onto a model croquis is fun for fashion designers, but not much use in deciding if a style flatters my body shape !
Designers’ croquis have long thin body proportions (ratio of 8 or 9 heads to body), the proportions which make clothes look good. But only a very small number of people have this body shape in real life.
There are free croquis from Threads magazine which have more ‘average’ proportions. They include croquis for petite and plus figures.
If you want to develop an accurate croquis of yourself, the book Fantastic Fit for Every Body by Gale Grigg Hazen has detailed instructions on making one from photos. (P.S. see the comments for several easy ways of making a personal croquis.)
You could print a croquis on tracing paper, so you can trace pattern line drawings onto a body shape.
For this, start with a straight-pose croquis like the ones above.
Check your tracing vellum will work with a printer !
Some fiddling with sizes may be necessary to get figure and clothes to the same scale. Learn to use the scaling function in your printer software. . .
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This is just a small sample of what’s available.
Some people think they can’t play with these books and kits because they’re for children. How sad. My drawing skills are definitely at childish level, and they’re just right for me.
So get out your coloured pencils and have fun
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Patterns and links available February 2013
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