Dress Design Tools kit: Musk have tools to create your own clothes

Wanna get your hands on my Dress Design Tools Kit?

The biggest challenge people face when creating their own clothes is chaos.

Strips of paper everywhere, threads on every tiny spots, pencil dust, needles and the list goes on and on.

On top of that we all suffer from shiny objects syndrome. When we see something cool, may be a tool, fabrics or any art materials we can’t sleep until we get our hands on it.

Building up our tools and messing up with our tiny spaces that are available to us and then they occupy different places in our homes and then a complete chaos and overwhelm.

Most of the times, we don’t even feel like to work because our workspace is not at all inviting.

Here’s the problem. There are so many options for tools out there and it’s really hard to pick one and we end up getting things more than we need.

And this is where today i’m going to help you. I give you the list of my complete dress design tools kit that helps you to design your own clothes. This is the basic list of what I like to have in my hand to create beautiful clothes. You don’t have to get them all but plan for one tool each month and build your dream design workspace.

Also, I made a beautiful pdf for you to download.

Simplify your dress making process with this ultimate dress design tools kit, especially for sewing beginners. Click here to Download your copy… fashion design tools, dress design tools, sewing for beginners, sewing tips, dress design ideas, design your own clothes, how to make clothes,

Basic Dress Design Tools

  • First thing you need is a little corner that was dedicated to your work. It could be a corner on your living room or bedroom or basement or anywhere.
  • Second is the Desk and chair. Floor would do but desk gives you more freedom to comfort. If you can’t afford it, you could go for second hand stores or if you are worried about the space, You can fix a plywood to the wall which can be foldable when you don’t use it.

Inspiration + Research + Planning Dress Design Tools

  • Pinterest boards: Pinterest is a life saver for me. Before the pinterest, I have tons of books and lot’s of mess to keep the inspirations and style images. But now I use pinterest to store all my inspirations. Create a board on pinterest named Clothing Design Inspirations and collect anything you find interesting. Spend 10 minutes a day to collect inspirations, so when you want to design your clothes, you don’t have to start from scratch.
  • Games: I love to play games with my niece and most of the times, when i’m not inspired, these games gives me bunch of refreshing ideas to get started right away. Some of the games I like are: Club penguin is like a virtual world for kids to hangout in form of cute penguins. You can find some virtual stores with awesome clothes that gives you amazing inspirations. Pixie hollow: OMG this is something I miss so badly (I even used to play sacrificing the night sleep lol) This is the source of ultimate inspiration. Everything here is inspired by nature. It is a tiny virtual world for fairies. Unfortunately this game was closed but you can still create fairies and dress them in cool clothes. Jojo’s fashion show: You can learn more about themes and looks from this game. Barbie fashion show: my second favorite. We were given fabric samples and silhouettes to work on given themes like school spirit etc… we need to design clothes and fit them to models and send them to fashion show. The animation and graphics are so brilliant that you need to check out.
  • App: Evernote for digital notes. As we design clothes, we get this sudden inspirations or we see something cool and we need to note some ideas and this is why you need an app to jot them all. The thing I like about this app is it syncs with both phone and computer that allows me the flexibility to work on available device.
  • Dress Design Roadmap: Recently, I put together a dress design roadmap, which is a checklist of the complete process of making your own clothes. It will be so handy to print it out and keep it beside you whenever you want to make your own clothes. You can download it here.

Dress Design Tools

  • Sewing planner: Recently I put together a beautiful planner to help you right from design till creating the final garment. you can download it here.
  • Sketchbook: I don’t think I need to talk about this much. As you know, this is the physical brain for any designer. we dump all our ideas in a visual form here. I like to use something that fit in my handbag to carry wherever I go.
  • Templates book: I created a croquis template page with 4 croquis on it. I like to print 50 sheets of it and spiral bound to a book. whenever I get some ideas, I directly draw over the beautiful croquis without starting from scratch. If you like to take prints of it, I attached the sheet in the downloadable pdf below.
  • Design your own clothes mini course: This is the 3 days mini course that i created which helps you choose your perfect colors, design clothes that suits you body. If you ever want to make your own clothes, this is the first place that you need to start. Click here to sign up, if you haven’t yet.
  • Fashion Sketchbook Challenge mini course: Oh yes, You go some idea on your head and you don’t know how to put it in paper. This is where this fashion sketching course comes in. Since i started this course, more than 3000 people completed it. You can sign up here too.
  • App color picker: colorwise has bunch of apps that helps you with picking the right colors when shopping for fabrics.
  • Art materials for design stage: mechanical pencil 0.7mm: this gives me clean lines without any mess, non dust eraser, watercolor pencils that are so flexible to use as pencils as well as watercolor paints., 5 number round brush and a color palette.
  • Book: creativity in fashion design: This book is everything about creativity and it takes your creativity to next level.
  • Software: I am a huge fan of Adobe photoshop. I do most of my sketches using photoshop. I teach some of my techniques in fashion sketchbook challenge course. other software that I love is Adobe Sketch.

Pattern Drafting Tools

  • Pattern master: This scales replaces all the other scales and frees up your room.
  • Pencil 2b: This gives darker lines while drafting
  • Color Markers: I use permanent color markers or sketch pens for drawing seam allowances and any fitting lines in drafting
  • measuring tape: A flexible tape to measure your body.
  • Paper cutting scissors: Never ever use the same scissors for both fabric and paper. You need to have seperate ones that are comfortable to hand.
  • Tracing sheets or butter paper/ parchment paper: you I draft patterns on tracing paper, that allows me to look through when i trace it to the fabric. I found out it was super easy to work with tracing paper that any traditional pattern papers.
  • Scotch tape: this is a cool tape that allows you to write over it.
  • Sewing patterns: if you want to skip drafting and directly loves to sew, then sewing patterns are great start. There were so many free patterns out there buy I totally love seamwork patterns. when you subscribe for $7 a month, you can get a wardrobe building sewing pattern each month with excellent sewing tutorials. Also you get their magazine to take your skills to next level. You can get the first month for $1 and you can cancel any time.
  • Sewing magazines: These are the cool things that you can buy each month and filled with sewing patterns and projects that can fill your month. I like Love Sewing magazine and simply sewing magazine
  • Books: pattern making for fashion design by helen Joseph.
  • Software: Valentina is a free clothing design software and is super awesome tool for drafting patterns for free. cool thing is the grading, once you drafted the pattern in it, all you need to do it change the measurements and it automatically change the draft for you. They were bunch of youtube tutorials about how to use it. Since it’s not that complicated tool, it took me one day to learn the software.
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Sewing Tools

  • Sewing Machine: Most of us confuse to choose which one to buy when they were starting out. With too many options out there, they buy something with hundreds of features and get scared to learn how to sew. My biggest suggestion is to buy something that can sew both straight stitch and zigzag stitch. That’s all you need.
  • Sharp scissors that has good grip are comfortable on hand
  • Seam Ripper: This is life saver to help you with easy seam opening when you have done something wrong.
  • Marking tools like marker’s chalk and washable marker.
  • Muslin or calico fabric to test the pattern fit.
  • Ball pins to hold your fabric together while sewing
  • Hand needles
  • Steam Iron box for pressing (pressing takes your sewing to next level)
  • Pressing Mat: you can simply place it on any surface to use it and can fold when not in use)
  • Books: Professional sewing for fashion designer. OMG this book is a gold mine.
  • Magazine: Threads magazine Once you subscribed to it, you will receive magazine every month with new technique and tips. You should check out their website to get some idea.

And there you go! Pick the one that make sense for you or the one that you probably missing in your design tools. Let me know what do you think in the comments below.

Busy women guide to making your own clothes + Free Sewing Planner

Yup, I made a Free Sewing Planner for you!

We all loves to create our clothes, but the problem is time. There are so many things that demand our attention every single hour and we can hardly scrape any time for our hobbies and dreams. But in reality I found if we can spend like 15 minutes a day, we at least can make 2 pieces for our wardrobe every single month.

With that all in mind, I created this beautiful sewing planner that helps you to create amazing fashions right from idea to the final design. The best part of it, You can use this every single time you want to create a piece. So this is not a one time thing that you download and forget.

I even made a video for you that explains how I personally use this planner for myself.

Step 1: Download the Free Sewing Planner below. I even put together a sample planner that was filled to give you an idea of how to use this planner.

Step 2: Watch this video where i walk you through step by step about how to use this free sewing planner and make the most out of it. 

Play Video


Welcome to sewingnpatterns.com. Today I’m gonna show you how to use this dress design planner.

Im lekha the founder of sewingnpatterns.com Im just like you busy with tons of things going on in my busy life, and this planner is made for myself to add more wardrobe pieces to my life and this planner takes care of all my planning and designing things and gives me a proper action plan to get started.

By now hopefully you downloaded the planner and printed it out. If not, Pause this video and do it now.
So without any delay, lets get started.

Before we get into, if you get a chance to use this planner and if you are loving it, Leave me a comment and Let me know below this video. I will be so glad to hear from you.

Step 1 of this dress design planner is the purpose. I mean Why are you making this in first place. The reason this question is so important is because… Honestly we start so many projects, it could be anything, not just clothing. And only few make it to the end. We stop doing it because we get busy on other stuff, we lost inspiration, we are not motivated, we don’t feel like doing it and most importantly we forget why we even start it. And this is where this page comes to action. It reminds us every time and motivates us to go back to the project. Please don’t skip this page no matter what. Also this gives you a clarity of what you are doing.

I put together fill in the blanks to make things really easy for you and I got an example if you are stuck anywhere in between.

So there you go, for this project in my example, I want to design a top to wear for casual outings like evening walks or grocery shopping or may be on playdate with my kid, which makes me feel comfortable to move and look pretty even on casual occasions. And this is why I’m doing this project.

Once you got clarity on your purpose, Lets move on to step 2, the inspiration.
I don’t know about you but whenever I see any dress that I love, I save it to my pinterest board named self wardrobe and this way I have a whole set of ideas and inspiration, so I don’t have to start from scratch looking for inspiration. If you don’t do this, I highly recommend to create a board on your pinterest and start collecting anything that you are inspired of. Or if you are not digital type don’t worry, I recommend to pull designs from magazines and stick them on a book, like I used to do when there is no pinterest.

In this big box put on your visuals that inspires you for this particular clothing that you are going to create. This could be outfit ideas or your favorite celebrity clothing or anything that inspires you.

For this example I’m gonna go for simple ones. Because this is a casual top, I don’t want so many things going on and like to keep it as simple as I could. Also, I should be able to complete it in a weekend.

I choose these images that I liked. And pasted it here. You can print images that you like and stick it here or you can cut images from magazine and put them here. Whatever is comfortable to you 

For this image, I liked the look of one single color and here I like the gathers that drapes on the body, not too bulky nor too tight and the length I wanna go for long top that makes me very comfortable. I love this wide v neck that looks so pretty also the strip of the fabric attached on the shoulder leaving the look of something worn on the neckline. Also I wanted to include 3/4th sleeves.

Here are the elements I picked from my inspiration. I want you to note down anything that you liked from your images. In my case I picked v-neck, soft gathers, neckline detailing, 3/4th sleeves, knee length

Moving onto next sheet. I want you to pick 3 to 5 colors that suits you most and would love to use. If you don’t know which colors suit you, I have an awesome tutorial and you can download it by clicking here.

I pick these 3 colors. Use this white space to collect fabrics that match your colors. I got this image randomly on internet, but I want you to use real fabric swatches or images of similar fabrics that you like to use.

Now Moving on to my favorite part which is design development.
Put your inspiration sheet beside you while you do this and look at your elements list.

Step 1 is to Use the boxes here to draw your lines. If you have no idea what this means, click on here to download the tutorial.

Once you pick your lines, Put them into the clothes and add the elements to that lines. Create as many as you can. Just let your mind flow. Remember don’t look for perfection here. Just go on with the blank mind.

Now the final design. You may like one from here and one from there from your previous designs, Now its time for master piece, eliminating unnecessary and adding any extras and developing to a brand new design. Draw the flat sketch here. This is a great way if you want to map out where darts fall or any technical details that you wanted to figure out. Use this section for any notes.

Now the pattern development. Once you are done with design part, You need to figure out how are you making pattern for it. Are you drafting from scratch? Are you modifying a sewing pattern? Or Are you recreating pattern from old clothes? By the way, I have an tutorial on it. Just click here and it takes to the tutorial.

Once you figure out how you are making pattern, use this space to engineer your dress. Put everything that you think in your mind here. Again make any notes in this section.

Once you are done with pattern development, think about how you are going to sew it. Note down all the steps. The reason this is so important is because, Its always better to plan to avoid any mistakes and wastage of fabrics. I have given a general process of dress making here but yours can be entirely different. I just wanted you to use this as a handy guide.

Finally Put all the things you need to buy in this shopping list. And project is not complete without the planning right? I want you to put every single step you need to do in this sheet and stick this in a place that you see everyday and this allows you to track your progress and works as a reminder.

Well that comes to the end of How to use this planner. If you have any questions or if you get a chance to use this planner, please leave your valuable comments and takeaways in the comments below this video. 

Grab your free printable sewing planner that helps you in every step of your sewing projects especially for sewing beginners. Also I made a video walk-through tutorial on step by step process of how to use it. Designed to use for your next sewing clothing projects. This will be a great addition to your sewing kit which you can use again and again. Grab your free printable sewing planner that helps you in every step of your sewing projects especially for sewing beginners. Also I made a video walkthrough tutorial on step by step process of how to use it. Designed to use for your next sewing clothing projects. This will be a great addition to your sewing kit which you can use again and again. Grab your free printable sewing planner that helps you in every step of your sewing projects especially for sewing beginners. Also I made a video walkthrough tutorial on step by step process of how to use it. Designed to use for your next sewing clothing projects. This will be a great addition to your sewing kit which you can use again and again.

How to Start Your Journey With Dress Design

If you are wondering, How do I begin my adventure with dress design? Or maybe you are stressing out when creating your clothes, Then this is absolutely for you. By the end of this, you will walk away with the clear process of dress design along with a downloadable roadmap that helps you every time you want to make your own clothes.

I made this 4 step process that sits right next to my desk and helps me every time that I deal with dressmaking. This roadmap has everything from planning the dress on paper till creating the final piece in a proper order so you can just go step by step without any brain work. Though there are many other ways, this is what worked for me and I believe it helps you too make your awesome fashion creations even if you are a complete beginner. You are free to adapt and make any changes, depending on your need.

I like to keep this process right next to my desk so I can walk through each and every time that I create any clothing item.

Well, this is what my 4 step dress design process is going to look like and it begins with

1. Research and plan

  • Collect images of your favorite dresses or create a Pinterest board dedicated to your favorite dresses.
  • Visit your favorite store and try things on and have photographs or doodle styles you like.
  • Arrange them to a style board
  • Pick all the elements you like (necklines, hems, s.o, basically anything you like) note them down.

2. Design Development

  • Figure out your body and plan your lines (you can learn more about this in this mini-course)
  • Apply the elements to your lines and develop multiple designs.
  • Refine your designs. You may like one from here and one from there, experiment with multiple elements and keep developing. Before you know, you have a hand full of designs to choose from.
  • Take your time to pick your favorite.
  • Decide on colors, again this course is going to help.
  • Draw your final sketches and stick to the wall for inspiration.
  • Draw a technical sketch and plan darts placement, surface ornamentation, zipper etc… and write all the details on your technical sketch.
  • Choose the fabric from your colors.

3. Pattern Development

  • Draft pattern from scratch or Look for similar sewing patterns to develop or recreate patterns from old clothes.
  • Develop your design from the pattern.
  • True the pattern.
  • Cut it out on cheap fabric like calico or muslin and test fit.
  • Make any fitting adjustments.
  • Make the final pattern.

4. Sewing

  • Pre-wash the fabric
  • Press the fabric
  • Pay attention to grain line and trace the pattern onto fabric.
  • Add seam allowance and cut the fabric, lining, and interfacing.
  • Mark any notches.
  • Stay stitch on all the curves to prevent stretching.
  • Join all darts, pleats, and gathers.
  • Join waistline
  • Join shoulders.
  • Sew neckline
  • Join side seams
  • Sew hem
  • Add zippers
  • Sew center back
  • Attach sleeves.
  • Make sure to press on every step

Want a copy of this beautiful roadmap? I put together all of this process to a beautiful checklist which you can download and keep it right next to you whenever you need it.

If you enjoyed this post and would love to take your design skills further, I put together a 3 days mini-course that helps you design your own clothes that actually suits you.

And if you need any help with putting your ideas onto paper, this is a great tutorial to get started with fashion sketching.

Hopefully, you got the clarity of how to start your journey with dress design. Let me know your questions or takeaway in the comments below. I would love to hear from you

Until Next Time, Lekha.

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