The truth about Fashion Sketching: Types, Time and Money

fashion design sketches I Fashion design for beginners I Fashion illustration techniques I Fashion illustration templates

First of all, if you are a fashion illustrator or the one who wants to make money with your fashion sketches, then this post is might not be for you! And if you are a designer, who design clothes and use fashion sketching to communicate ideas into paper, then definitely yes, I’m talking about you.

Fashion Sketching

We all Knows fashion sketching plays a major role in designing to preview and visualize our thoughts and make decisions before going to actual clothing to reduce any wastage. But do you ever wonder how exactly fashion sketching is useful in reality (in business and dealing clients), what types of sketches we use when we design and how much time to spend and how much money to afford on sketching material? Let’s figure out the insights and dive little deeper into fashion sketching.

The 3 types of Fashion Sketching

When we learn fashion sketching, we only strive to put all our efforts in rendering beautiful fashion sketches. But in reality If we breakdown fashion sketching, there are 3 types of fashion sketches that we were going to use throughout work-time when dealing with clients or making a collection, which are:

Quick Fashion Sketching

Nothing but rough sketches to doodle on sketchbook to generate ideas. When designing for a client or brainstorming ideas, I draw multiple rough sketches with different ideas and possibilities and finally grab one from here and one from there and convert them into a brand new design or these could be used to give options to your client. Quick sketches are basically like one minute sketches to put ideas on paper which are very much used almost every single day. Develop a quick hand of sketching is very helpful throughout the design process. Nothing fancy, start doodling whatever you feel and try to put on paper!

Rendered Fashion Sketches


These are the ones which we are pretty much aware and spend lots of time for perfection. But we use these fashion sketches very less! Rendered fashion sketches depict the virtual product along with fabric and all details. These are mainly used to give previews to the buyer or press releases or look-books to give sneak-peak  entire collection or to make presales of the product. Mainly used by fashion students in building up their portfolios.

Since these sketches takes up pretty much time, many are opting for fashion croquis templates to save time.

 Flat Fashion Sketch

The most important fashion sketches that plays major role in producing a garment,  depicted in flat form with all the details like seams, zippers, trims, style lines, stitch lines and technical hardware of a garment. Flat fashion sketches allows the seamstress and production unit to understand the design and acts as the main communication tool to make garments alive. Flat sketches are also made into line-sheets and then proceeds to buyer.

Sew Heidi offers amazing free tutorials of fashion flat sketches through illustrator school stuff and subscribing her newsletter offers lots of freebies every week directly to your mail. Do it now!

Out of all these fashion sketches, I spend lots of time with quick sketches to brainstorm ideas and put them on paper as soon as an idea hits. Secondly flats to produce the garment for clients and collection and rarely use rendered sketches and the reason behind was Time.

How much time to spend on Fashion Sketching?

We all think that we have more time than money, but one hour could earn hundred dollars but hundred dollars can’t earn a single minute back. Time is more valuable than money. we need to automate things or make them simple and spend that valuable amount of time on something more important on productive. In this case, When we deal with clients, mostly we ends up with clients who need their garment in a week or two. If not, there are chances to loose a client. So the toughest part is to maintain both quality as well as time. If I have 2 weeks to make an outfit, I need to develop designs, fabric selection, surface ornamentation, pattern design, sew, finishes, press and pack. So there’s no point to spend one whole day in rendering beautiful fashion sketch. Instead i could spend few minutes on quick sketches and flat sketches and invest the remaining amount on somewhere else.

How much do I spend for fashion sketching material

Apart from fashion illustrators, When you are especially starting out, I do not suggest markers or any expensive art material. sure they give awesome results and quicken the process but my point is every cent counts in business. A sketch made from water colors is lot cheaper than a sketch made with markers. When you design for client, cost of the sketch counts too. If you design for $10 and you invest $3 in sketching, then that doesn’t make any sense. Instead you could spend on fabric or quality seamstress that provides more quality and value.

Here comes the end.

Fashion sketching as a student is entirely different than in real business. Hope you go some clarity about how Fashion sketching is used in real life.

If you find this helpful, let me know through comments and do help me by spreading a word through share.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply