How to Design Clothes and Draw Patterns

By LeafTV Editor

Clothing design is a career that requires both a sense of fashion and a healthy dose of artistic flair. All clothing lines begin with an idea sketched on paper and become patterns with which the clothing is manufactured into something that hundreds of people wear. To be able to design clothes, you must be able to keep up with frequently changing trends, and you should love what you do. A career in fashion design can be fun and rewarding, but it also offers a competitive challenge. Here's how you can design clothes and draw the patterns that could be the next hot trend in fashion.

Suit template clothing pattern
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How To Design Clothes And Draw Patterns


Design your clothing line first. Make a list of fabrics and fashion styles that you find interesting. Decide which season you'll be designing clothes for. Think about colors that will go well together. Keep an eye on the current trends and try and predict where fashion is going: since clothing takes months to be manufactured, what you design now won't be seen in stores until some time in the future.

Sketch a nude male or female figure, depending upon the clothes you want to design. Sketch the figure front and back. It's a good idea to make copies of this sketch so you can color your figures different skin tones and hair color. This will give you a better idea about how your designs will look with different physical characteristics.

Sketch your clothing designs on your figure. Use as much detail as you can when you sketch the outfit. Color the clothing and try to emulate the fabric textures. Erase parts of your model figure as needed to form-fit your clothing design.

Use your sketches as a reference and place your pattern paper on a flat surface. Unless you know the size you want the outfit to be, find a live model and take measurements. You might consider purchasing a dress form from a fabric shop, especially if you will be designing clothes regularly. A dress form is essentially a life-size replica of the human form you can use to help you fit the clothes you make.

Recreate your sketched design on the pattern paper with a black felt tip marker. You can purchase pattern paper at a fabric or hobby shop. You want to draw full size now. The arm patterns should be placed separate from the rest of the pattern, as well as collars and any other ornamental extras.

Make design notes in the upper and lower corners of your pattern, Indicate design measurements on the pattern at the appropriate places on the pattern, such as arm length, bust measurements, and length. You will want to add a little extra to allow for fitting, which can be taken up after the project is completed.