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:

November 22, 2009

Hot Patterns Free Slinky Shrug Download Simplified

Filed under: Mary Beth,Pattern Reviews,Patterns,Technology — Mary Beth @ 3:40 pm

Free Pattern HP's Slinky Shrug

The Slinky Shrug is available through yet another collaboration between Hot Patterns and the folks at  The link to download the pattern is

This could be such a quick and easy gift done in elegant fabrics 🙂 and a wonderful bed jacket for reading in bed or shoulder warmer to wear while hand sewing in a chair by the window.  Imagine how pleasing that would be for your special person to receive.

Having cut my 21st century pattern using teeth on a pattern drafting software program I might have a trick that can make it easier for you to procure this free pattern.

I downloaded the PFD file and saved it to my computer.  Then I examined my printer’s settings carefully.  We want the printer to make no amendments to the pattern size or shape.  We’ll even sacrifice some of the cutting lines to make sure nothing changes.

First, let’s make sure the printer doesn’t distort your pattern.   Turn off the page scaling!  Don’t allow any setting like  fit to printable area!  Don’t have it shrink to printable area.  Make sure all other boxes that might affect the size of the printing are unchecked.

You can print out all the 27 pages like I did

That’s 4 columns of 7 pages each, plus the cover page and 2 pages of instructions…

Or you can take the easy way out, benefit from my compulsiveness, and print only those pattern pieces you really need.

Because the page notations made by the pattern drawing software doesn’t match the page numbers that the printer will print I had to do lots of counting and recounting but I’ve printed everything out using the following commands and got all the pages needed to make up the 2 pattern pieces.  You can see my confused and confusing notations below, but please ignore them and focus instead on the shape of the pattern

The Front

and the Back.

To print the front “cover page” and instructions:   make 3 separate commands to your printer.  Have it print page 1, and then page 8, and then page 15.  Done and there is no need to tape these together although you can see I did tape the first 2 together…Sigh.

To print out the main pattern pieces (there are only two)

Back (cut 1 on fold) make 3 separate commands that your printer print pages 5 – 7, and then 13-14, and then 20-21. These pages will show you sizes 6 through 22.

You’ll need to print page 25 if you are cutting a size 26 and want the reassurance of having the line to cut on.  The cutting line for size 24 lies right on the edge of the page so it doesn’t even print out at all.

No worry, all you have to do is measure the incremental increase between the other sizes and add that much to find the cutting line for size 24 and size 26.

Butt the edges of the pages together and tape.

Front (cut two pieces) print pages 10-11,  and then 17-19, and then pages 22-25.  Tape them together and you are all done with the tedious paperwork.

Butt the edges of the pages together and tape.

Now you can cut out your main fashion fabric.

To make the ribbing cut straight pieces with the fabric stretch going the length (long wise) of the piece being cut.

Remember that the exact length may have to be adjusted to suit the “stretch” of your ribbing so cut long and stretch test!

Front ribbing piece.  Cut one piece on the fold:  11 3/4” wide x 22 3/4 for size 6, add 3/8″ for each size you go up from size 6.  So size 10 would be 23 1/2, etc

Back Hem Ribbing piece:  again 11.75″ wide, cut on on the fold.  The incremental on the back is 1/2 inch so size 6 is 8 5/8″,  size 10 is 9 5/8, etc

Cuffs pieces are 5 3/4″ wide, size 6 is 10 7/8, and sizes up by a 3/8ths increment.


All that said: I cut the pieces all extra long so I could adjust  for easing and stretching.


All seam allowances are 3/8″.  I used the serger to join the wool boucle pieces together at the shoulder seams and side seams.  It’s too easy to do it any other way.  Of course you can also cut a lining and bag the ribbing with just a little hand stitching to close it up.

And might you have trouble finding ribbing, you can also experiment with knitting some ribbing or even using a stretch fabric that coordinates with your fashion fabric.

I pretended I didn’t have my stash of rayon ribbing to use because so many of us do not (to your great relief, believe me!) and I looked around for a knit to use.

I found knit faux fur!

It has a stiffening finish on the knit side that can be loosened by steam so I steamed and stretched to match the curves of the shrug:  stretched the cut edges around the neck area and stretched in the fold area around the bodice to the hips.  I also eased in the fur through the rounded front pieces:

I used the exact widths for the cuffs and edge ribbing so you can see the results.  I cut a size 14 throughout but adjusted the lengths of the faux fur since it does not stretch as much as ribbing would stretch.

Woven wool boucle with faux fur knit

Front of Shrug with Faux Fur for Ribbing

Outside our day has turned dark and rainy so I had to seriously alter these photos to show you any details at all

So wouldn’t this pattern make some great Holiday gifts?

February 3, 2009

Your Closet at Your Fingertips

Filed under: Fashion,Technology — phyllisc @ 6:33 pm


Linda Grant at The Thoughtful Dresser  blogged about this today and I literally went to the iTunes store at 6:30 this morning to buy this app!  This is the best $2.99 I’ve ever spent.  Touch Closet is an iPhone/iTouch app that organizes your closet and lets you put together outfits for future reference.   And I think this will come in handy for fabric shopping too because I can look at my accessories while I’m shopping on-line; I can also use it to really plan my sewing projects because I can put together outfits of, say, a  fabric swatch, a photo or technical drawing from the pattern company web site, shoes, bags and jewelery.  It’s easy to sync photos of your sewing project photos to the device and I’ve also sync’d saved photos of  items I bought on-line.  This is so cool.

January 25, 2009

True Colors: Don’t Trust That Monitor

Filed under: Fabric,Phyllis,Technology,Tools — phyllisc @ 12:57 pm

pantoneLast week I bought a Pantone Color Guide and it’s amazing how useful it is. Savvy fabric websites like Emma One Sock and Gorgeous Fabrics already use Pantone color numbers in their fabric descriptions, and I hope this becomes a standard for all fabric and sewing trim websites (are you listening, M&J Trim and  I love on-line fabric shopping, but frankly, for fabric selection you should not trust the colors displayed on your monitor, especially for reds and blues, which have a huge range of color, saturation and hue.  It’s so much easier to be confident of  a color when you can look it up in  your Pantone Guide to really get an accurate sense of what it looks like.  The Pantone Shopping Color  Guide ($19.95) is the version you want, other Pantone color decks are pricey ($100+) and are really intended for design professionals. Once caveat: Pantone seems to hide this on their web site, and will ship it only within the US and Canada.  Els asked me to get one for her, and the shipping to Europe ended up being more than a third of the price, so I suspect that’s why this is a US/Canada only item on the US Pantone web site.  Pantone’s color system is a global standard however, I googled “Pantone UK” and “Pantone Germany” and got web sites for each, so with some perseverance you might find this outside the US.

January 10, 2009

Fashion At Your Fingertips

Filed under: Designer,Fashion,Technology,Uncategorized — phyllisc @ 10:37 am

iphone_touch_500My husband gave me an Apple iTouch for Christmas, and its wicked cool; basically its an iPhone with Internet connectivity but no phone function.  The iTunes App Store has hundreds of free apps, and fashion designers are starting to upload free iTouch apps that showcase their latest collections.  Both Chanel and Ralph Lauren are available, and has  a condensed version of their web site that is really terrific. 

chanellogo Chanel’s iTouch app showcases just one collection, Paris-Moscow 2008/09, and for students of Chanel its pretty interesting.  Lagerfeld has gone back to Mademoiselle’s Russian period from early 1920’s and gives us beautiful folkwear embellishment on dresses, tunics and coats.  The tall beaded headpieces worn by the models will remind you of something you’d see  on a Chiparus bronze   and they are still amazing even though no modern woman would ever wear them.  There is also a WiFi connection for “Chanel News”; the next time I’m in a hotspot I’ll have to see if that will work.  A moody video of this collection rounds out this app, and even though there is not much content compared to I like seeing the Chanel logo  on my device, it will tide me over until I actually own something that is authentically Chanel!

stylecomlogoThe app is really robust, and I actually prefer the iTouch version over their website because I can look at runway shows from a comfy chair instead of sitting at a desk in front of my PC , using the iTouch feels more like reading a fashion magazine   This app had tons of fun features; the runway videos in particular are great.  Alas, there is no zoom feature and no detail shots, but all of the designers from the web site are represented.  I’ll definitely be going back to download the latest version of this app after Fashion Week.


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