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Sew Heidi {Adobe Illustrator for Fashion Designer Tutorials and Courses}

Nice to meet you, I’m Heidi

I use Illustrator like a boss and can teach you to do the same. If you’ve been told you should learn AI but aren’t sure where to start, this page is for you.

How do fashion designers use Adobe Illustrator?

Illustrator is an essential tool in the fashion industry. Here are the 4 main ways fashion designers use the software:

  1. Sketch fashion flats to express your vision
  2. Create tech sketches to communicate ideas to a manufacturer
  3. Design repeating textile patterns and print designs
  4. Layout line sheets and presentation boards

How do fashion designers use Adobe Illustrator

I realize that sounds like a lot, but don’t be overwhelmed. You’ve made it to the right place and I’ll help you learn what you need in a step by step way that’s clear and easy to understand.

Do I need to learn Illustrator?

It depends.

If you want to get a job as a fashion designer…

The answer is yes. 90% of fashion design jobs require Illustrator proficiency and there’s a good chance you’ll have to take a test.

What exactly does “proficiency” mean? My answer is simple: sufficient knowledge to effeciently do your job and the ability to figure something out if you don’t know the exact steps.

That means the definition may vary depending on company size. You may be required to do all or just one of the four tasks listed above (fashion flats, tech sketches, repeating patterns, line sheets).

If you want to launch your own label…

The answer is maybe. I suggest you consider what your strengths and inclinations are before diving head first into learning.

If you’re computer savvy and enjoy learning new skills, it can be worth your time. If you fight with technology, you may be better off outsourcing if your budget allows.

It can be wise to at least learn the basics so you can make simple edits and revisions, which will save you time and money.

Won’t I learn this stuff in fashion school?

I wish. But unfortunately, the courses at FIT and other fashion schools only teach basic skills. Which is exactly why I started creating free tutorials and resources. So you can get the help you need to get ahead in this cutthroat industry.

Heidi, I’ve learned more here watching your videos than I ever did at the top LA fashion school I attended. Good work, sista.” -Aria

What about Photoshop? Don’t I need to learn that too?

Chances are no. Some job listings say you do, but I can tell you from over a decade of experience working with multiple companies that the majority – if not all of your design work – will be done in AI. Most designers who use Photoshop are using it for things they should actually be doing in Illustrator.

Become proficient in AI first and tackle PS later if you really need to.

This all sounds great, but where do I actually get started?

There are a lot of things you can do – and I’ve outlined all of them below. Don’t get overwhelmed with the options, instead just pick one and get started.

Get the Ultimate Guide to Illustrator for Fashion
(and further your fashion design career by gaining confidence in AI)

I’ll show you exactly how in this 49 page PDF guide. Even if…

-Thought of Illustrator terrifies
-You feel like you’ll never learn how to do everything
-Your hand sketches are 100x better and faster

Watch the 3 Getting Started Videos

Essential for all fashion designers new to Illustrator, these 3 videos will get you up to speed fast. If you’re a total beginner, don’t move ahead until you’ve watched all of them.

Illustrator for Beginners: Part 1

Illustrator for Beginners: Part 2

Illustrator for Beginners: Part 3

Take the Free Fashion Flat Sketching Course

If you’re comfortable with the basics, the most important skill to learn next is how to sketch fashion flats. Which is exactly why I created a free mini course just for you: Fashion Flat Sketching with Illustrator.

Take the free course now and I guarantee you’ll already be 10 steps ahead of the competition.


Don’t try and do this alone!

When I first decided to try and break into the fashion industry, I hid out in my basement sewing like a recluse. But I knew if I wanted to do something – anything – in fashion, I had to change.

I had to get out of my comfort zone and meet people.

Once I began doing that, things fell into place. I landed my first job in the industry. I started teaching Illustrator. I became partner at a design agency.

Since I know how scary “networking” can be, and since I know many of you don’t live in fashion hubs like NYC or LA, I’ve created a couple ways to help you “meet” people digitally.

The Successful Fashion Designer Community

It’s free to join and open to everyone. Inside, you can discover the inside scoop on secret industry resources, get expert guidance, and connect globally with likeminded people.


Finally, thank you for being here!

We all work hard to stay ahead in this brutal industry, and I prefer to do it together with you. It’s much more fun that way.

I have just as much to learn from you as you from me, and I love hearing your story. My inbox is always open and I invite you to introduce yourself.

Thank you for being here – none of this would be possible without you.
{Sew Heidi} Signature