Fashion Design: Introduction to Hand Drawn Technical Flats

Robert Geller, Founder + Designer, Robert Geller

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12 Lessons (1h 19m)
    • 1. Trailer

      1:33
    • 2. Tools and Materials

      3:54
    • 3. Sketching

      9:03
    • 4. Sketching (continued)

      9:51
    • 5. Line Weights

      3:39
    • 6. Creating Slopers for Tops

      8:33
    • 7. Creating Slopers for Pants

      7:00
    • 8. Drawing Technical Flat Jackets

      10:37
    • 9. Drawing Technical Flat Pants

      7:12
    • 10. Adding Color

      9:24
    • 11. The Full Scale Layout

      8:00
    • 12. More Creative Classes on Skillshare

      0:33
20 students are watching this class

Project Description

Create three technical fashion flat sketches

Tools and Materials

  1. Gather your supplies!

    While I use specific brands for my various sketching supplies, this is really all about using what you are comfortable with. Make sure you have the following in your arsenal prior to starting this class:

    • Pencil + Eraser
    • Sketchbook
    • Markers - I work with Copic, but you can use Prismacolor or Utrech
    • Vellum paper (for tracing)
    • Various rulers ("C-through" rulers allow you to see what you are drawing underneath), including a french curve and circular stencil
    • Measuring tape - Optional
    • Pattern paper (ABC paper) - OPTIONAL when creating the layout

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Sketching

  1. Get the silhouette down

    It is normally easiest to draw from the top down. When working on a top: start with the neck and work your way down to the torso. Be considerate of the arm hole curvature. Then add the sleeves. When working on a bottom: start with the waist and pull the lines down from there.

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  2. Don't forget to LOOK

    It sounds simple, but studying an existing garment will give you the insight you need to fully capture the proportions elements of the piece.

  3. Add in basic details

    Something like ribbing can easily be captured by drawing parallel lines to mimic the knit of the rib. Buttons, zippers, and snaps can be represented really simply through circles and zig zags. 

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  4. Give the sketch some life!

    Add in some movement with light gestural lines. This can give your sketch the slightest bit of interest to bring it to life. Applying different line weights will make your sketch pop.

Creating Slopers

  1. Create the structure for your top sloper
    • Start with the center line. This is your grounds for symmetry. 
    • Proportions for a top are normally 4 inches wide by 6 inches long. This can form your basic proportion that you can then alter with your actual design.
    • Get your collar down. The rest of the garment will fall into place after this.
  2. Complete the shoulders, torso, and sleeves
    • Determine the shoulder slope. This is up to you as the designer, but remember that a human needs to wear this garment.
    • Create the armhole and torso. This forms the basic body shape for your sloper. 
    • Draw your sleeves. When a garment lays flat it is easier to draw the sleeves sitting behind the garment body.

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  3. Create the structure for your bottom sloper
    • Draw the basic proportions. For pants, it is normally 3 inches wide by 7 inches long.
    • Measure the waist band. Similar to the collar, everything is based off of this measurement.

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  4. Build out your bottom sloper
    • Determine the drop of the crotch. Depending on the style you are going for, this measurement has a vast impact on the fit of the pants.
    • Create the separation for the pant legs. This ensures they look like pants and not a skirt!
    • Draw the outside line on the leg. This will determine the fit of the leg… is it tapered? Skinny? Straight?
    • Add breaking lines. These will show where the pants will flex.

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Drawing Technical Flats

  1. Use sloper to draw silhouette

    Use elements of the sloper to build the silhouette of your top/jacket. Make sure to bring in the centerline from the sloper.

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  2. Add in structural lines

    Because this is the technical flat it is important to get the measurements and proportions accurate. This is where the rulers really come into play. 

  3. Consider human proportions!

    Remember that your pieces not only need to look good, they need to be worn. Simple considerations like the fact that a hand needs to fit into a pocket are really helpful when drawing technical flats.

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  4. Add grayscale color
    • Using a dull pencil - ground the whole sketch with the dull pencil creates an outline.
    • Using markers - You will notice that we are working in grayscale. I keep it this way so we can really analyze the structure and lines of the garment without being distracted by color. This also shows the differences in panels when it comes to material breakdown.
    • Continue your line with the marker - This will eliminate the appearance of strokes so you get a nice flat color. 

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Bonus: The Full Scale Layout

  1. Measure an existing garment

    Find an existing garment that you like the fit of take the necessary measurements.

    • Body length (from high point shoulder to bottom hem)
    • Chest (1 inch below arm hole and across)
    • Waist
    • Shoulder to shoulder
    • Neck Width and Neck Drop
    • Shoulder Drop
    • Armhole depth

    Make sure to record your measurements on a corresponding chart for each portion.

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  2. Apply the measurements to grid paper

    When applying the measurements to the body of the layout, start with the centerline. Once you complete the whole outline of the garment based on the existing piece, you can move on to the details.

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  3. Apply pattern details

    Apply the specific details to this piece at the full scale. This is extra helpful for very important pieces that you want to make sure your pattern maker fully understands.

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