DIY Technical Design Section 2: Drawing Technical Flats and Croquis
DRAWING TECHNICAL FLATS & CROQUIS
In section 2 of DIY Technical Design we’ll be talking about how to DIY your Technical Flats! But first, I want to show you how you can save a ton of time during the design phase by using fashion templates called croquis. Check out this video to see more!
DESIGNING YOUR GARMENT
Before the Technical Design process can take place, you will first need to design your garment. This series has been created with the assumption that you’ve already done so, however I’d like to briefly touch on it here. There is a lot of methodology, creativity, and technical knowledge that goes into designing a good garment, which will be covered in a future series all on its own.
When you first design your garment, work off a mood board which represent the aesthetic of your brand and the feeling of your collection. You will use croquis to sketch your designs. Using croquis allows you to explore a myriad of design options in a short amount of time.
What is a croqui and why should I use one?
A croqui is a sketched version of a live model. It is used as a template to quickly draw fashion illustrations, typically by tracing, but can also be turned into a PDF and printed when a copy is needed. By cutting out the time it takes to draw individual models, you are able to explore more design options much faster.
How to draw a croqui:
You can draw a croqui simply on a piece of paper or in your favorite drawing program. Use real-life models as a comparison for your proportions. Nine Heads is a great book for learning about the science behind creating croquis. Get creative! You can make your croquis as realistic or as artistic as you want. A lot of designers will create them specifically to represent their unique design aesthetic.
Check out the video to see how to create your own!
How to use a croqui:
Import to your favorite drawing program on your computer or drawing tablet
Print a PDF and draw directly over it
Trace your original drawing or a copy of it on to a new piece of paper
Don’t have time to create your own? These templates are now available to purchase!
How to DIY your Technical Flats:
As you may know, I have a whole series, Introduction to Technical Flats, where you can learn exactly how to DIY your technical flats from start to finish! In this section I won’t be re-hashing everything we learned in ITTF, but instead I want to dive a little bit deeper into why flats are so important.
What program do I need to create Technical Flats?
You will need a vector program in order to DIY your Technical Flats. I highly recommend Adobe Illustrator to create vector illustrations of your designs. If you’ll be DIY’ing other parts of your brand, like images, logos, and videos, Creative Cloud gives you access to all the programs you need.
What if I don’t want to DIY?
If DIY’ing seems overwhelming, you can hire a designer to create your Technical Flats for you. Some designers have separate services for creating Technical Flats, while others include them only as a part of a larger package.
You can also use stock vectors as a baseline for your design. Think of it as a happy medium between DIY and commissioned service. Just download, change a few elements, and you’re done! There are a lot of vector stock websites out there. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at the idea of creating your Technical Sketches from scratch, editing a pre-made vector could be a great compromise.
I list some of my illustrations on Adobe Stock and Shutterstock. You can find my profiles here:
If purchasing a stock subscription is out of your budget, but you’re still not confident in DIY’ing your Technical Flats, you can also look into vector templates. Vector templates will give you a package of basic vectors to edit and use to create your own designs.
These vector packs are now available in my shop!
Why are flats so important?
Technical Flats act as the master, along with the Tech Pack, behind your design. When questions arise during the development process, the development team will always refer back to the Technical Sketch. Therefore, the sketches act as one of the most important parts of the product development journey.
How do you keep flats updated?
As changes are made through the product development cycle, it’s important to keep the Technical Sketches updated to reflect the change. Keep a copy of the sketch with you during fittings and development meetings and mark where changes will be made to the design. Making real-time notes of changes will make the update process much easier. Once all changes for that cycle have been agreed upon, you can update the sketch to reflect the changes. Make sure to add the updated sketches to the Tech Pack when you’re done!
Why is it important to be accurate?
As we discussed earlier, the Technical Sketches and Tech Pack act together as the blueprint for your design. Any missing elements or lack of updates could lead to costly mistakes in production. That’s why it’s so important to not only make consistent updates to your sketches, but to start with accurate sketches in the first place.
Having accuracy is especially important when working with a team, as you won’t always be in the same place to communicate. It’s equally as important to be accurate and consistent with updates when working individually because you may not always remember the changes you intended to make.
Ok, I’ve got my Technical Sketches, now what?
It’s time to add those bad boys to your Tech Pack! Add your Technical Sketches to your cover page. We’ll be covering how to write and add construction callouts to your sketch in section 4. Stay tuned!