31 Oct 2014

Banana Republic Instagram Ad: The Reality of Fashion Design

Grab the free vector jacket sketch that I make in the video: 

Instagram just released video ads, and Banana Republic was one of the first to jump on board.  While I respect and admire fashion illustrators, I also couldn’t help but think “you don’t go from a pretty illustration to a fully manufactured garment”.  In reality, I’d argue that there are more fashion designers out there who work exclusively or mostly on the computer than there are those or sketch by hand and create nicely illustrated fully colored designs with pen and paper.

This video is my interpretation of a more realistic design process (with the BR ad as an overlay in the bottom right corner).

Designers – just don’t think you’re going to get out of school and get a job sketching pretty pictures all day.  The reality is you also need to be savvy on the computer and learn how to use Illustrator for fashion design.

28 Oct 2014

Manufacturing Overseas: An Overview

Most of my tutorials and posts are about how to use Illustrator for fashion design…yes, that’s what I spend a big part of my time doing…but did you know that in addition to that, I work with factories overseas to manufacture products?  “Sew Heidi” is just part of who I am.  Another part is Illustrator Stuff, which you probably know about by now, and even yet another part is The Fashion Element.  I’ve been designing for over 10 years and have worked with many factories overseas to get apparel made for my customers.  I recently wrote an Overview of Overseas Manufacturing for How to Start a Clothing Company.  If you’re a designer and are thinking about taking the next step, this is a great place to start.  Make sure to get to the end of the article where I list a few great resources for getting started.
Fashion Flat Technical Sketch

21 Oct 2014

Fashion Design Sketching Made Easy with the Join Tool in Illustrator

I couldn’t be more excited about the release of Illustrator’s new Join Tool in the latest CC 2014 update (version 18.1.0)!  This is an essential tool for drawing fashion illustrations since often we draw half of the garment, reflect and copy it, and then join the anchor points down the middle.  This tool takes the work out of joining paths that are overlapping or have gaps and does all the work for you!  Watch this Illustrator video tutorial that I did in collaboration with Laura Coyle of Illustratoring (do yourself a favor and browse her site, she’s an amazing illustrator and has a knack for teaching Illustrator) to see how it works, and grab the fashion technical flat template over at Illustrator Stuff to follow along.

15 Oct 2014

Create Denim Textures in Photoshop & Illustrator

Illustrator is a great tool for drawing fashion flats and repeating patterns, but sometimes you might want to use raster (pixel based) textures for more realistic looking fabric fills.  This tutorial will show you how to create a denim texture in Photoshop and then turn it into a repeating pattern to fill your sketches in Illustrator.  You can grab a similar denim texture and the shirt used in the video over at Illustrator Stuff.

08 Oct 2014

Technical Fashion Flats in Illustrator: A More Artistic Approach

When creating and designing, we put our best foot forward to do top notch work and make awesome presentations.  Sometimes we lose the “sex appeal” when it comes to technical flat sketches, but there are ways you can add some flair.  It can take a bit more work, but will really show off your skills.

I’ll note that I actually did these for some large format posters at a workshop I taught, but I tripped over them recently and was reminded how nice they had come out, so I wanted to share.  My day to day Illustrator tech flats are a bit less glamorous as I just don’t have the time to make them so purdy…but sometimes it’s nice to go the extra mile!

The addition of drop shadows and pull outs are a simple touch that add some dimension while still making the instructions easy to follow.
{Sew Heidi} Technical Fashion Flat Sketch

This next one requires quite a bit more work, but I truly love the way it comes out.  It might not be the best approach to use in a tech pack for production, but it’s perfect for fancy presentations if you want to convey to a client the details of a garment in conjunction with the color sketch.
{Sew Heidi} Fashion Flat Technical Sketch

This last one isn’t much different than how you would actually want to prep the artwork for production, but you can see that taking a little bit of time to make sure everything is aligned, callouts are sufficiently contrast and specs are clear and easy to follow will really go a long way not just visually but in production as well.
{Sew Heidi} Tech Fashion Flat Illustration