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Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew

Lesson 2 of 14

Why Start with a Sketch?

Jay Calderin

Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew

Jay Calderin

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Lesson Info

2. Why Start with a Sketch?

Lesson Info

Why Start with a Sketch?

So why start with a sketch. Before we actually start sketching, I want to bring to your attention the word sketch in terms of what's the difference between a sketch and an illustration. And an illustration is a, if can be a fashion drawing, but the whole goal behind it is advertising and promotion and creating, you know, a mood, right? It's almost like with fashion photography. Like you see catalog photographs, which are very clear, the model's not moving. And you can see the clothes. And then you see fashion editorials where you know, she's jumping up in the air, and maybe you don't even see the clothes. You know what I mean? They're kind of obscured by something. So with, that is the basic difference between a sketch and an illustration as well. That's not to say that if you have some drawing skills, and put a little flare, or started to add them to your menu, your sketches can't be as beautiful. One of the, I would say the two things you might want to explore along those lines is le...

arning more about anatomy, and taking some life drawing classes. Those are very simple and they're fun. And you can usually do them locally, you know. And in a real relaxed way. Those things are the things that will allow you to add the little nuances. You know, the little special things that you only get after time and familiarity with those things. I also wanted to speak to photography, because historically illustration was one of the first ways, other than showing the garments, to get people to get excited about them. To sell them, to promote them. That changed when photography, kind of became the fashion. And it became a more important tool. But nowadays there's a return to fashion drawing because there are places you can go with a fashion drawing that you can't even go with photography. And sometimes they morph together, like in a digital format where you can bring in a photograph and then sketch over it and you know, enhance it in ways that use you know, art techniques. So, yes? Is there a drawing program that you recommend for tablet, or... Well I'm not sure, I think they have versions for tablet. But I primarily work with Photoshop and Illustrator. Those are sort of industry standards across the board. And we just treat it as another tool. So basically just a digital tool rather than the pen or the watercolor or whatever we're working with. Then we have drawing styles, and this is about capturing the style of the designer, but also the essence of the customer. So the style in which you draw it, and what you emphasize becomes an important part of your sketch. And last but not least the tools and materials that you can use. There's not right or wrong. There's some suggested tools. And I'm gonna go over what some of the highlights are of tools, like the basics that you need, and why you might choose one over the other in terms of medium. So here I'm just showing you a couple of different styles. This is one of my heroes that I learnt from. One of my first textbooks was using the artwork of Steven Stipelman. He's a very famous fashion illustrator. And this is definitely on the illustration side. This is, you're capturing the essence of a woman. You know, like what the feel that you want her to feel when she buys the clothes. And then our next slide has a lot of the three very very different styles. One of them is Christian Berard, who is this incredible illustrator. And there's, he was involved in this incredible fashion project called Theatre de la Mode. And these beautiful fashion dolls, and they created sets and he used to go to fittings with the women. The privileged women in Paris. And his style is definitely more illustration. You know, about setting a mood. The center image on this slide is actually a really fun fashion sketch from one of my students. And he was having the hardest time with drawing for the beginning of the semester. And then he realized, we said, you know, you have permission to create your own figure. You know what I mean, to create your own. You know, who do you want to represent? And he created this incredible characters. And it allowed him to dig deeper. Not like the, you know, put off by the whole sketching process. And the last one is actually one that I did actually on the computer. So this is, it looks like it might be by, you know, by hand. But it's actually a computer generated drawing. And it emphasizes, sort of, quality of line. Which we'll talk about in a little bit. Here, again, just example about the photography, how Vanity Fair, these are both images from Vanity Fair. This is the early 1900's. And the first one is an illustrated cover which was the standard. And then photography took over. And then last but not least our supplies. And the supplies, these are three of the basics that I use every day. But students can adopt any kind of, you know, materials that they wanna use. I'll tell you why I think these are important and how they're useful to starting, someone who's starting sketching. The first one are watercolors. Watercolors, I think the most useful aspect of watercolors is they allow you to mix, and create these incredible layers of transparency in a drawing. So for someone on a budget, having a basic set of colors, you know, like some primary colors, black, white and, I always recommend burnt sienna for color for skin tones. And then with just those, and maybe some secondary colors you can do anything. So if you just want to start with that, it gives you the most versatility. Pencils, I use in my process to both start a sketch and to finish a sketch. To transfer a sketch and to you know, reinforce lines. But you can also just use pencils to do your sketches. And then markers will give you great powerful color on the page, but the only drawback to markers, as you can see here, is if you have a large menu of colors in your collection that means getting a marker for every single color. There's no real mixing. I mean, you can do a little blending, but it gets kind of expensive. But if you have a certain palette you're working with for a season, it's a worthy investment. So that kinda lays the groundwork for what we're gonna be doing. Now we're gonna get to the heart of what this section is about. Which is making. So we're actually going to be drawing and going through that process.

Class Description

Bring your designs to life with Jay Calderin in Making Fashion: Draw, Draft, and Sew!

Jay Calderin has been called a “a budding designer's best friend,” and in this class he’ll show you exactly what it takes to create and construct custom clothes. 

You’ll learn about:
  • Drawing and planning for clothing production
  • The stages of pattern making
  • Constructing and finishing garments
Jay will help you get started with smart drafting tips and offer insights on working with muslin so your patterns lay and drape properly.

If you want to produce one-of-a-kind garments, join Jay Calderin for a complete primer on getting started in Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew.


Jacquelyn Bradley-Nelson

I love this class, I'm glad I found it. This what I want to learn or add to my knowledge. JayC you are awesome! I need more learning on rendering coloring for illustration for that is. I can't wait to see what's on the other class I will take. Thanks! Signed: rm515jb.

Andrea Leggett

I really enjoyed this and the draping really opened my eyes to what can be achieved. Jay made it look easy so I plan a shot at draping later and will post my effort on Instagram with thanks to him! Thank you Creative LIve for bringing this to me (in the UK) and special thanks to Jay. When I'm in Boston in August I"ll buy you a beer!


Loved the draping information. It was logical and clear enough to make me want to try it.