How to Make Fashion Illustrations Even if You Can’t Draw

When I was little I used to love going to my cousin’s house because she had those little plastic fashion plates. The kind that you put paper over and then rub a crayon over to get the design. I didn’t have those at my house, and I don’t know if I ever asked for them. Eventually, I grew out of those and started designing more things that didn’t use the premade mash together plates. And that’s where croquis come in. I wasn’t that confident when I first started designing, so I used croquis in all of my designs. And it’s perfectly fine to never grow up from them! 😉

I’ve made you several pages worth of curvy croquis that you can use in your designs. In case you want to see what a design looks like on real women. I used real models to get the proportions of REAL women. Get them for free by joining the HIVE.

Modern croquis (also known as the 9 head fashion figure) are supposed to be tall and elongated to help show off the designs and fashion. I’ve also met some models that are those exact proportions, so your designs look pretty cool walking down the runway on these extremely tall chicks. But the majority of chicks don’t have those proportions, so it’s really nice to visually see how something will drape on the body. And that’s exactly why I made the curvy croquis.

7 Easy Steps to Making Fashion Illustrations:

  1. Okay, first off…gravity applies in your designs. So, unless you created this awesome weightless new crepe, all the folds and seams should look like they are hanging towards the feet. That alone will make your designs awesome.
  2. Print your croquis out and put an extra sheet of white paper over it. Trace the fashion figure. It’s good to have her on your paper in case you accidentally lose that sheet or she moves while you’re trying to sketch your designs.
  3. Sketch your clothes. This happens to be the Cinnabar Sky dress and top that I made the pattern for (it’s also free for Hive members). When I was first designing it, I made a sketch close to this. I knew I wanted it to cross over and have a long option for the winter time. I was also nursing at the time, so I wanted it to be cool, so I left off long sleeves. 
  4. Erase the body parts that are now covered by clothes and clean up any stray pencil marks.
  5. Add color to your designs. I like to start off by coloring the skin and hair first. Don’t worry if your hair overlaps some of your clothes, it’ll just look more natural.
  6. Add extra details….hair highlights, shadows, etc. I added some polka dots here, it matches a fabric I have in my stash. I wanted to see what it would look like on this design. I think it turned out cute, what do you think?
  7. Use a mood board if you’re planning a collection of clothes for the same season or theme. This is what mine looks like with all her skirt shadows filled in. I have a whole bunch of fabrics I want to work together with this outfit.

And post pics! We want to see your designs on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. 🙂 I would LOVE to see what you come up with!

If you want to learn more about Fashion Design, check out Fashion Design Bootcamp where we go into more depth and help you learn the skills you need to stand out as a fashion designer.

Happy designing!

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