Can You Design Clothes When You Don't Know How to Draw?

MakersValley Blog | Can You Design Clothes When You Don't Know How to Draw?
Anna Spaugh

Anna Spaugh

It can be a challenge to design fashion with little to no drawing skills, but it’s not impossible. Victoria Beckham has a successful clothing line without knowing how to draw, as do other fashion designers. There are lots of tools and resources that you can use to design garments whether or not you know how to sketch out your designs. Some involve tech, but some also use long-trusted techniques for better melding the designs in your head to the human form.

The following three techniques are our top resources for fashion designers who struggle with drawing:

1. Use Fashion Croquis to Help You Design

A croquis is a simple drawing of the human figure. Designers build on top of the croquis to design their garments. Many designers, from fashion to costume, use croquis to create designs. There are lots of croquis available online for purchase and for free, and they come in many different body positions so that you are able to show off your design effectively.

Another option to drawing is you can hire a sketch artist and have them draw out your designs.

2. Drape Instead of Draw

Draping is another way to design clothes without having to draw. This is where you drape fabric over a dress form and pin it in place. You also don’t need to know how to sew to be able to drape. This is a very visual method to bring your clothing designs to life without having to draw them out.

3. Use Software to Design Fashion

Whether you can draw well or not, knowing how to create fashion designs using a fashion illustrator is a must. Adobe Illustrator is the one that is most commonly used in the fashion industry. But there are others that you can use, such as Corel Draw, Sketch, Sketchbook, and Clo 3D.

Using software to create your designs allows you to get around the drawing part while still presenting beautiful designs. Also, it’s fast and easy to create product renderings for your design tech packs. These renderings will form your design flats, which are your designs laid “flat” to show your manufacturer where all your seams and other details go.

If you are new to Adobe Illustrator, or any of the other softwares, and not sure where to start, you can find courses and classes on Skillshare, Udemy, and YouTube.

Should You Learn How to Draw?

Drawing Tools

You can certainly design clothes without knowing how to draw, in using any or all of the options above. However, knowing how to draw will help you design clothes faster. There are ways around drawing, but as you work, you may need to sometimes adjust your designs. Especially, if you’re collaborating with someone and working together to create a design, it helps to know how to draw.

The thing to remember about drawing fashion is that it does not need to be perfect. You don’t have to be an amazing artist to design fashion. As long as you can communicate what you want your design to be, that’s what matters. Communication is the key; not your ability to draw like a Disney animator.

Yes, Practice Does Make Perfect

Practice Drawing

While you don’t need to draw like an artist, it doesn’t hurt to improve your drawing skills. There are different mediums to learn other than pencils, such as markers or watercolor. As you explore and practice, you’ll find what works best for you and what you want to design.

You have lots of resources online and print available to you to learn how to draw better. Remember though, in the end, it’s all about how well you can communicate your designs.

Pattern Making

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