THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

July 15, 2010

Technical Drawing For Fashion

Technical Drawing for Fashion (Portfolio Skills Fashion & Textiles)

Author: Basia Szutnicka

Technical Drawings: Ayako Koyama

Publisher: LaurenceKing in association with Central Martins College of Art&Design

ISBN number: 978185669618

Type of binding: Paperback

Number of pages: 234 with 850  illustrations plus a CD-Rom with templates

Size 11x 8 1/2 inch

Price: UK £ 22.50  US $ 35.00

TSD received an email from the publisher if we were interested in reviewing this book. 

The publisher Laurence King is in the UK and I am also from Europe so I responded that I was interested but would like to do an independent, honest unbiased review about the quality of the book since I would receive the book for free.

This book is fairly new (press release was on April 2010) and in my possession for some time but due to all kinds of errands I had no time to do a post till now.

I really like the book and find it a comprehensive book. I do not work in the fashion industry and use only sketches and never made a technical drawing. But this book is a great way to learn how to make technical drawings if you are a student or work in the fashion industry.

You can see the difference between a sketch, fashion illustration and a technical drawing,which I scanned from the book.

A sketch is a design idea, the fashion illustration a look how a specific garment looks like on a body.

The technical drawing shows all the construction details that are involved in the production process.

 Georgene did a post about Technical Drawings vs. Fashion Illustration

The book is not about fashionable clothes but gives you a comprehensive inside how to draw technical drawings for garments by hand or by using Adobe Illustrator.

The second part of the book shows over 250 technical drawings of all kind of garment styles and construction details, the key basic shapes are shown together with a picture of the sewed toile in fabric. ( a toile is a French word and is a test garment sewed in fabric in bleached cotton) 

For example Skirt Key basic shapes which you can see in this book are:  Pencil Skirt/Fitted Skirt/Sheath Skirt, straight Skirt, A-Line Skirt, Circular Full Circle Skirt, Gathered Skirt, Pleated Skirt.

 The technical drawings of these skirts front and back view together with a picture of the skirts on a dressmodel.

 Plus technical drawings of skirt variations front and back views : Dirndl, Gored, Wrap/Wrapover, Sarong/Pareo, Tiered/Peasant, Handkerchief hem/Irregular hem,  Asymetric, Puffball/Bubble/Baloon, Skating skirt, Kilt, Skort, Peg/Pegged Hobble skirt.

You can see pages of the book via the publisher website

Since I have no other books with this subject to compare with, I cannot tell you if this book is a useful addition to your library but based on this book alone I would buy it if I needed the skills to learn how to draft technical drawings or working in the fashion industry.

Contents of the book:

Part 1:


Illustration in the fashion process

How and where are technical drawings used

How to make a technical fashion drawing

Drawing from a garment

Technical drawing by hand using the generic template

Technical drawing from the generic template-using illustrator

Speed design using illustrator

Hints and tips

Style details

Part 2:

Visual directory of styles and details








Styling details







            Construction details

            Design details

            Decorative design details




            Fastening /Hardware

 Index and resources

 The CD-Rom contains all the templates.

 !   Full-Size Figure Template

2   Teenage & Plus Size Figure Template

3   Fitted Dress/Tube/Sheath (page 64)

4   Shift Dress/Tank/Chemise (page 66)

5   A-Line Dress (page 68

6   Pencil Skirt/Fitted Skirt/Sheath Skirt (page 76)

7   Straight Skirt (page 78)

8   A-Line Skirt (page 81)

9   Circular Full Circle Skirt (page 82)

10 Gathered Skirt (page 84)

11 Pleated Skirt (page 86)

12 Legging (page 92)

13 Drainpipe/Skinny/Cigarette Pant/Stovepipe (page 94)

14 Straight Trouser (page 96)

15 Tapered Trouser (page 98)

16 Bellbottom/Flare (page 100)

17 Camisole/Strappy Vest (page 112)

18 Vest/Tank Top (page 114)

19 Tunic (page 116)

20 T-Shirt/Tee (page 118)

21 Shirt (page 120)

22 Classic Single Breasted Jacket (page 128)

23 Classic Double Breasted Jacket (page 130)

24 Casual Unstructured Jacket (page 132)

25 Classic Single Breasted Coat (page 140)

26 Classic Double Breasted Coat (page 142)

27 Casual Unstructured Coat (page 144)

 You can read an editorial review at

 I totally agree with the above editorial review.

Back Cover:


February 13, 2007

Can Internet Swatching be Far Behind?

Filed under: Business Tools,Technology — Gorgeous Things @ 4:58 pm

DH sent me a link from NewScientist,com news service. Researchers in Europe have been working on, with some success, a new glove that will allow users to “feel’ fabrics over the Internet. The article reads:

‘Detailed measurements of a fabric’s stress, strain and deformation properties are fed into a computer, recreating it virtually. Two new physical interfaces then allow users to interact with these virtual fabrics – an exoskeleton glove with a powered mechanical control system attached to the back and an array of moving pins under each finger. The “haptic” glove exerts a force on the wearer’s fingers to provide the sensation of manipulating the fabric, while the “touching” pins convey a tactile sense of the material’s texture.’

Alright! For those of you who have avoided shopping for fabrics on the internet, this may provide you the opportunity you have been waiting for. While the practical uses in the near term will probably be limited to communications between manufacturers and designers situated in Europe and the Americas, and their textile mills in the Far East. Imagine the possibilities for the home marketplace down the line. Who knows, some day you may be able to rub your hands along different silk crepes or woolen boucles. How fun would it be to ‘handle’ Linton Tweeds from the comfort of your own home? Sewing Diva Heaven.

Read the article in its entirety Here

Happy Virtual Swatching!

January 14, 2007

Have We Got Lycra for You

Filed under: Business Tools,Embellishment,Fabric,Industry — phyllisc @ 9:13 pm

Both of my daughters take dance, and they had 2 shows this weekend. Usually, they get their costumes about a week before the shows, and in the past these have been your typically heinous El Cheapo quick-‘n’dirty-I-paid-$75-for-THAT-THING? And of course, because I sew, this is even more painful because I could make a dance costume with one hand tied behind my back.

However, this time I was pleasantly surprised to see two well made costumes. I discovered these had been custom made by one of the Moms.Well, when their costumes didn’t appear until the night of the dress rehearsal I figured I should introduce myself to this poor woman. A Sewing Diva to the rescue – as soon as I told her I can sew she looked as if she had seen the Holy Grail! So I might as well help out because I have some sewing resources to share with her and I’ll get paid for it too.

Here on Sewing Divas, we love fine fabrics, but sometimes Italian woolens, Swiss Nelona bastiste, or Thai silks are not what you need. Sometimes you need glitz, glitz and more glitz, and today I want to tell you about Associated Fabrics Corporation, a New York City company that specializes in theatrical fabrics. 250 colors of 4-way stretch Lycra? Got it. Bengaline in 80 colors? Got it. Hologram Foil Lycra in 14 silver and gold color combinations across 20 colors? Got it. Sparkle Crepe Organdy in 37 colors? Got it. Polyester Chiffon in 46 colors? Got it. And don’t forget the stretch velvets (with glitter or without), animal prints of all kinds, netting and stretch laces. Plus trims such as 2 inch sequined elastic waistband in 28 colors. The swatch catalog is huge, it’s a thick 3-ring binder with big 3 to 4 inch square swatches.

AFC has been around since 1928, and the gents who work there are wonderful, classic NYC garment district guys. So if you ever need fabrics for gigs, theatre, dance, gymnastics and figure skating then AFC is pretty much one-stop shopping. I highly recommend them.


September 26, 2006

Clothing Labels Part 2

Filed under: Business Tools,Notions — Gorgeous Things @ 1:55 pm

Gigi did a post on small-run label manufacturers. I thought I would add a little to that for folks who are interested in larger quantities – say a small manufacturer, cottage industry or serious hobbyist. In addition to Heirloom Woven Labels and Sterling Name Tapes, there are several manufacturers that cater to the small to mid-sized business market. I’m not an expert in these things (for that, check out Fashion Incubator. Kathleen et al have lots of information that I don’t for DEs and larger manufacturers), but I have had a little experience with some of the label manufacturers.

When I first got started, I contacted Widby Labels, a manufacturer of printed labels in Tennessee. They were really lovely people to deal with. I bought sew-in labels as well as pressure sensitive labels for sticking on boxes, bags, literature and sundry other things. You supply them with the artwork (a .gif file or similar) and they provide the labels in a pretty quick turnaround. The labels are printed on polyester fabric, and in addition to custom labels they also make a number of standard labels for sizing, care, etc. Here’s a picture of one of the labels:

Not taking anything away from Widby and their quality, I decided shortly thereafter that I wanted to invest in woven labels. They just look higher end than printed. The service at Widby was such that if they offered woven labels, I would have bought from them in a heartbeat. But that’s not their bag, so I looked elsewhere. does woven labels. This company spun from Lisa’s Bloomers, an historic undergarment manufacturer. Lisa, the owner of both companies, is great to work with. You supply her with the artwork and she will produce samples matched pretty closely to your colors and will produce the labels at a reasonable cost. I think (and Lisa, if you are reading this, please feel free to chime in) that the manufacturing of the labels is done in India. It takes a couple of weeks to get the labels. They are well made, the resolution is good, the prices are reasonable, and the customer service is excellent. Here’s an example – when I ordered the first set of labels, I didn’t proof the specs as carefully as I should have. So I received straight cut labels. I had meant to order center fold sew in labels. When I talked to her about this, she offered to buy back the straight cuts saying she could use them as samples. I thought that was pretty darned good service. I decided to keep the straight cuts, but I really liked dealing with her. The only nit I have with the labels, was that they could approximate, but not match, the Pantone number for the purple “bug” in my logo. That may have changed Here’s a picture of the two label styles from her.

Since I ordered last, she has also added the ability to do custom hang tags, so if you are small manufacturer, ClothingLabels4U is definitely worth checking out.

The big kahuna is Apparel Labels International. I believe they are based in Salt Lake City. I ordered labels from them. They’re big, so the service, while quite good, isn’t as personalized as either of the other two. But they do a great job. They matched my Pantone number (512) for my bug precisely. The labels were very high quality. In some ways I like the ClothingLabels4U labels better, in some ways I like the Apparel Label Int;l labels better. They are both good. But if you look at the company they keep, it seems that Apparel Label is the one that the high-end folks go to. Go figure, the prices reflect that. They do the full line of tags, labels, size strips, hanger tabs. You name it. They also have an art department that will work with you on your design. When I ordered from them, I uploaded my artwork and specs from their website, and within a day they were back to me with a quote and a mockup. I had the labels within a week. They are pretty impressive – here are some samples, along with my labels from them:

All three label companies do a good job of fulfilling the need. Depending on your requirements, one may work better than the other. All three had excellent service and get a Diva thumbs-up.

Happy sewing!

September 15, 2006

Clothing Labels

Filed under: Business Tools,Notions — Gigi @ 11:42 am

Diva Ann has the most beautiful custom labels from that she sews into her creations. If I’m not mistaken, so does Diva Phyllis. I would love to have some made but haven’t come up with any kind of thrilling design for them yet. As a girl, I always used interlocking Gs as my signature but that’s no good as I think the people at Gucci might take issue with that!

I don’t use labels that often but they are nice to have around. For years I’ve been purchasing my labels from Heirloom Woven Labels. The quality is excellent, the minimums are small and the prices very low. Here are just a few of the labels I’ve had made over the years, all are from Heirloom except for the white iron on label I use in my business – those come from Sterling Name Tape. Sterling Name Tape also manufactures woven labels similar to those from Heirloom although I haven’t tried them. I noticed that the iron-on labels are not on their website – I guess you’ll have to contact them directly to order. I use them on the inside of my athletic uniforms and they stay put through years of hard wear and washing.

If you are interested in woven size, care or content labels, you can find those at Heirloom Woven as well.

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