16 Sep 2014

Offset Path for Stitching & More

Using Illustrator’s offset path feature allows you to do exactly that – create new paths that are offset from existing paths.  This works great for creating stitching and much more.  In the example below, I want to add stitching to the straps on the bag.  Instead of manual drawing this (or using a pattern brush which would be another great option), I’l use offset path to accurately place the stitching a specified distance from the existing paths.

{Sew Heidi} Using Illustrator's Offset Path to Create Stitching

I’ll start by selecting the paths that need stitching (note this works best on closed paths) and choose Object > Path > Offset Path… {Sew Heidi} Using Illustrator's Offset Path to Create StitchingRead more…

10 Sep 2014

Techniques for Drawing Fashion Flats in AI: Use Object > Arrange

The last post in the series of 4 techniques for drawing fashion flats in Illustrator (1: Outlining with Style Lines, 2: Copy Path Segment, 3: Pathfinder Divide) is my personal favorite.  I think it’s the easiest as well as the most versatile when you need to make adjustments to your styles lines later.  Download the free support file before reading on: 

{Sew Heidi} Drawing Fashion Flats in Illustrator: Object > ArrangeUse the stacking order of objects in Illustrator to your advantage and be a little sloppy with the arm seams.  No one’s going to see them anyway, because you can just hide them behind the body.  Your garment will need to have a fill color (even if it’s just white) for this to work, but it allows for much easier manipulation of style lines later since the seam lines don’t match up perfectly.  Simply draw your body, then draw the sleeves, being a bit sloppy with the armhole seams, and with the sleeves selected choose Object > Arrange > Send to Back so they’re hidden behind the body.  Simple!

09 Sep 2014

Creating Repeating Patterns in AI CS6 & Newer

If you’re using Adobe Illustrator CS6 or newer, you MUST learn how to use the pattern making tool.  It was truly a game changer for those of us who create repeating patterns in Illustrator (whether that be for textiles, wallpaper, scrapbooking, websites, or anything else!)…and if you’re not one of us, then you soon will become one once you see how easy patterns are to make with this feature!  This video guides you through everything you need to know about using the repeating pattern tool and different settings available. Download the free support file to follow along here: 

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03 Sep 2014

Techniques for Drawing Fashion Flats in AI: Pathfinder Divide

The 3rd post in the Techniques for Drawing Fashion Flats in AI series (technique 1: outlining with style lines, technique 2: copy path segment, technique 4: object > arrange) is about using the Divide button on the Pathfinder panel.  Divide allows you to cut closed paths into multiple shapes using overlapping paths.  Download the free support file before getting started: 

{Sew Heidi} Drawing Fashion Flats Series: Pathfinder Divide

The end result is the same as copying path segments, but is just a different way to go about it.  A few things you’ll want to ensure you get the desired result:

  • the garment outline is drawn as one closed path
  • the overlapping paths overlap the garment outline on both ends of the path
  • the overlapping paths are STROKE ONLY and NO FILL
  • when using the Divide option, make sure to only have the garment outline and the overlapping paths selected

Like copying path segments, this is also not one of my favorite techniques – while it creates very neat illustrations with paths that perfectly align, if you need to change the style lines later it’s a bit cumbersome as you have 2 paths to manage.  Next week I’ll share the 4th and last technique of this series (my personal favorite!) for drawing fashion flats in Adobe Illustrator.

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