Fashion Designing Essentials: Your Style Tool Kit

 

A fashion designing process  has many stages from the ideation and illustration to the stitching and finalising of the collection. At these different stages, you work with a variety of tools.

Let’s discuss these tools used in the different processes of fashion designing.

 

Sketching/Illustration

 

Sketching gives a tangible artistic version of your design idea. Sketches give the raw illustrated view of how the garment will shape up, how the fitting will be and how the patterns will look on the garment.

A lot of drawing goes on at this stage, if you know how fashion design classes go at this stage.

 

Pencils & Markers

 

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A range of pencils in B to H classes help you to make a well-drawn, well presented illustration of the garment design.

The lighter B class pencils create outlines very subtly. Emphasis for details can be achieved using the harder H class pencils. Fine black pens are good alternatives for detailing. While watercolours can add colors and art, markers viz. Copic markers and touch markers can add effects to the illustration details.

 

Paper/ Drawing Pad

 

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To begin with, you can choose ordinary printing paper for practicing illustration. But marker pads can help you work with markers without causing spreads or loss of sharpness. Cartridge paper is perfect for all kinds of mediums.

 

Software for illustration

 

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After drawing your designs on paper, you can scan them and enhance them with the help of softwares like Photoshop. The drawing can also be done using a digital tablet with a rich choice of stylus, readily creating a digital illustration.

 

Drafting/Pattern Making

 

Pattern making is one of the most important stages of making a garment. To make a pattern you will be needing the following tools:

 

Craft Paper

 

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It is a designer’s canvas of choice for drawing and perfecting patterns before they’re catalogued. Digital drafting software comes handy once you perfect it on paper.

 

Hip Curve

 

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Hip curve is a ruler helps in drafting human hip curves on paper. The ruler is slightly curved mimicking natural curve of a body.

 

“L” Square

 

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The “L” Square ruler helps in drawing patterns in straight lines with reference of the edges.  You can use it to create half, quarter, eighth, 16th and 32nd scales while drafting patterns.

 

French Curve

 

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This  ruler often used in drawing necklines, armholes and sleeves. The scale is shaped specifically for the purpose and will need training from fashion designing courses to use.

 

Tracing Wheel

 

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It’s used to smoothly transfer patterns from paper to garment or vice versa. Using a double face tracing paper, sandwiched between the paper and garment, the tracing wheel is run across the pattern to be copied to the garment.

 

Notcher

 

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Pattern notchers are used to create small notches on the edge of the paper patterns to indicate seam allowance and dart and pleat positions.

 

Draping

 

It’s the process of positioning and pinning fabric like muslin on a dress form to get a structure of a garment design based on the illustration from the designer. You are going to need the following for draping a garment:

 

Dress Form

 

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Dress form is a made layers of foam, fabric and hard plastic imitating the shape of a human torso, male or female, which is used to drape and fit garments on. The dress form can be used to try a finished dress also.

 

Measuring Tape

 

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A tape is for measuring and getting those pesky metric details right!

 

Muslin Fabric

 

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Muslin fabric is very comfortable to create different fabric features, pleats and folds on it. Once the design is made from pinned and clipped muslin pieces, it’s used as reference for actual garment making.

 

Pins, Clips and Tapes

 

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These are used to fasten the design form made in muslin cloth pieces together. Tapes are used to make design markings.

 

Pattern Grading

 

Pattern grading is the process of increasing or decreasing pattern sizes to fit into the size varieties of a garment. This forms a major part of the curriculum in some of the best fashion designing institutes. The tools you need in this process are;

 

Rulers

 

Rulers needed includes the types discussed in drafting to make measurements for different areas of the garment.

 

Scissors

 

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You need good quality fabric scissors to do the cutting work and remember, the devil is in the details! So ensure that every cut is precise and apt for the intended design.

Now you have a fair list of essential items for your tool kit, why not start your designing process? Check for these implements when you venture into the different stages of fashion designing.

 

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