The first step in designing your own fashions is to draw a sketch of what you want your new style to be.
A fashion design sketchbook helps you to create professional-looking sketches and illustrations, and maintain proper proportion (which is much harder than you think, if you're not a natural artist!).
These sketchbooks contain croquis - nude figure templates that you use for drawing your design. Just draw the style you like right over the template - the realistic sketch will help you truly visualize the look you're going for.
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This sketchbook not only has over 100 full-size (8 1/2" x 11") pages of croquis, it has a Glossary of Design, and some thoughts on where to find inspiration for your designs, and how to use that inspiration (without copying someone else's style!).
This is a sketchbook I created myself, and I've used croquis with realistic figures. Many sketchbooks use croquis with very, very tall and thin figures, which can result in stunning illustrations - but the final product will never look like the sketch when it's worn by a real person.
The croquis in this book represent a size 6 figure.
Like the book above, this is one I created. It has realistic plus size figures - if you design for larger women (or "normal", in my opinion!), this will allow you to show how your styles look on a body with real curves.
The croquis in this book are about a size 14 or 16, with a larger waist, full bust, and full hips.
These books are also available in a smaller size (5 1/2" x 8 1/2") that you can throw in a tote bag and sketch on the go!
This book is NOT a sketchbook - it's a coloring book!
I've included it here because, believe it or not, coloring books can be a great source of design inspiration.
The styles in the book may give you some ideas for your own designs - taking the neckline from one dress, and the sleeves or body style from another, for example.
And color itself is an integral part of design! Choosing colors - and making different colors work together - is an art. It takes practice, and using a coloring book will help you refine your color skills. (it's also just plain fun!)
The "nice to have" tools:
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