In the past two years, I have designed four dress collections (Time flies!). Each time I’ve shared a collection here we have received tons of requests for a how-to post about fashion sketching.
I am self-taught (and still learning!), but I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about my process. I hope that some of you feel inspired to pull out your pens and pencils and notebooks today. Fashion sketching isn’t nearly as intimidating as I once thought it would be.
1. Create a good croquis. A croquis is the basic drawing of a model pose that you can trace over and over again while sketching your fashion ideas. You can find croquis to use online or in books, or you can create your own.
I created my first croquis years ago by tracing a pose on a vintage pattern. Typically, croquis are exaggerated tall model forms. But what if you want to design for someone else, say a child or a plus sized woman? Make your own! Here’s how I do it…
1. Print a photo that has a good pose and body form that you want to design for. I chose a couple photo with my husband because sometimes I enjoy designing “his and her” looks.
2. Using window light, trace the basic body shape on a new piece of paper.
3. Use your new croquis, by tracing over it with a fresh sheet of paper, to sketch your own new designs over and over again. Fun, right?!
2. Don’t stress, just practice. Instead of stressing over getting the perfect sketches, just start where you are and practice. Before I shared any of my sketches (even with my friends) I was sketching for a whole year in secret notebooks.
Each time a notebook was full I would rip out my favorite designs and start a new one, throwing the rest out. Nothing can replace quality practice time. It’s the only way to grow and develop. You’ll gain confidence as you go!
3. Focus on developing a style of your own. There are a lot of things that determine the unique style of your illustrations. Do you want to use watercolors, markers or colored pencils? How will you illustrate the faces on your models? How much styling will you include?
All of these little details will work together to create a look that is distinctly yours! Focus on creating sketches that express your unique aesthetic with each element.
Resources I recommend: When I first started learning to sketch, my pal Mallory let me borrow Figure Drawing for Fashion Design. It was super helpful for learning the basics.
I also highly recommend The Fashion Sketchpad (pictured above). It’s a notebook with 420 figure templates to sketch on. I’ve been using it for a few years and absolutely love it for a quick sketching and traveling!
Thanks so much for reading. If you love to sketch fashion ideas, feel free to leave your own tips and resources in the comments! xo. Elsie
Thanks so much Else for sharing your experience, I thought it’s so difficult to sketch, I love fashion designing but was sonervous to start. This was helpful ?
It was amazing see this tips for fashion sketching! From the basic it is important tu pratic more and more! I loved loved loved!!!
so helpful.i’m just 14 and I already like designing dresses buut my mom do not support me.she wants me to get a more professional courses.
Thanks. Am such a perfectionist that i always try to make all my designs special. I can draw just that am always scared of making a mistake. You have really inspired me. But please can i email you for further advice
comment: thanks so much for these, I stumbled upon it after a long search. am a young African lady trying to get a footing in fashion.
I have a lot of nice designs but can’t create them.
I tried and tried and almost gave up,thanks for inspiring me.
is it okay if I show you something I created after I practice this?
Thanks It’s really helpful
Hi it was really very helpful thank you for sharing this…
I want to do learn fashion sketches..plz help me..
wow this was really very helpful.
thanks for sharing
you the best
I’m designed for a lover, new methods
Thanks for the useful and great information. For those who want to learn Fashion Sketch, we created a fashion sketch book to help easily create your fashion styles with figure templates. https://amzn.to/2JMVWSF
hi i draw fashion all the time
Thx for this post to be honest it encouraged me to start again
Want to member or to partner with you. Would need free journals from you as well.
Thanks for the tips! I was thinking about learning to sketch because I have a design in my mind but I can’t draw. My brother tells me I don’t need to know how to draw but that’s probably because he can. I would like to learn. Thanks again.
Wow Elsie, you are amazing. I am in Africa and have been seeking out a site to take me through my design journey… You are adding value to the world through your site. Bless you.
I would like to learn and sketch lovely pictures but my sketching skill is weak.
I like this I may be young but I love fashion it is my dream and I hope I can make that come true.
i absolutley love it and it’s very helpful and will help me to pusue my dream to be a fashion desighner
I want to become a professional fashion designer. So can you please suggest me which fashion design course is best?