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    How to Create Fashion Flats in Adobe Illustrator

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    When developing a garment, final stage for a fashion designer is to fill out a specification sheet to provide the manufacturer with detailed technical drawings (or “flats”), construction notes, finished garment measurements, fabric yields and material and details. Therefore, fashion designers must learn how to draw flats in order to communicate with manufacturers without having any mistake in the garment developing process, To master fashion flats by using adobe Illustrator, you need to have basic knowledge on fashion flats, illustrator tools, and steps. When non-fashion-related people hear the term ”fashion flats or flats”, they might often think the term as a type of shoes. However, fashion flats, also called flat drawings, technical flats, or ”flats” in the fashion industry, are a black and white fashion technical drawing that shows a garment as if it were laid flat to display all seams, topstitching, hardware, and any other design details.

    Flats is the final step of illustration in the fashion, followed by sketching and fashion illustration. In addition, “A fundamental requirement for fashion design is a sound knowledge of the basics: understanding kev basic garment stvles and their construction will enable vou to develop and design endless variations”. <-Please paraphrase! These basic skills will be helpful when you draw fashion flats. Flats can be drawn both by hand and on computer by using Adobe illustrator program. Since the flats has to be perfect and must be drawn at one go, it would be easier and quicker to draw flats by using Adobe illustrator. There are two basic ways of drawing fashion flats by using Adobe illustrator: Creating symmetrical shapes of garment by using an accurate generic template/body shap. Tracing the outline, details, seams, stitches, and wrinkles of garment. I personally do not like the formal/unnatural shapes of flats, so I usually use the tracing technique to create more natural-like and realistic of garments.

    In order to draw fashion flats by using tracing technique on Adobe illustrator, a digital drawing tablet, such as Wacom, is recommended for drawing flats effectively. You will also need to know the basic tools and terms from Adobe illustrator program: Template, Pen tool, anchor point, layers panel, color swatches, stroke panel, and so on. “Template” places your image in a separate template layer, automatically locks it, and prevents it from printing. “Pen tool” takes important role in Adobe illustrator. Since it lets you draw anything by creating straight and curved connected lines, it is crucial to understand. “Anchor point” is to create more intricacy and detail to the lines and shapes. “Layers panel” shows how many layers are in file. It allows you to control all the layers, such as make it Visual/invisible and lock/unlock.

    “Color swatch panel” enable you to choose whatever colors you would like use. “Stroke panel” enable you to adjust and change the stroke: weight, appearance of the ends/corners of the lines, creates dashed line, appearance of the stroke width profile. Additionally, as you learning the steps of drawing flats, you will get used of using keyboard shortcuts. The first step of drawing flats by using Adobe illustrator is to create new document by clicking File-> New (command N). Mack sure it is 8.5 by 11, portrait orientation, and click OK. When you see the blank page, place the image of garment by clicking File-> Place (shift command P), then locate the file that you want to use. Before you click Place, make sure you check the template on the bottom so it would open up as a template layer. If you want to make the template image little bit darker for seeing it better, you can change the dim option by double clicking the template layer.

    Be sure to unlock the layer and scale down (with holding down the shift key) the template image to fit inside the page. It is very important to relock the layer so you do not draw on the template layer. Then, select the top layer which you are going to trace on. Now you are going to start tracing with corresponding colors. In order to do so, you need to open up the swatches panel by clicking Window-> Swatches. You will going to use black for outline, blue for seams, pink for stitches, green for wrinkles. This is going to be self-explanatory, and do make sure when you are tracing the outline of the garment that you are making the close shape. Using the pen tool (P) is going to be the ideal, and other tip I can give you is to zoom in (command +) very closely to the part you are going to work on. When you start tracing and navigating around

    the outlines, make sure to set up the stroke as black outline edge and no fill. If the traced line is not perfect, go can always go back to edit and refine. Be sure that you do your best to be precisely as possible. If you make any mistake, instead of hitting the delete key, use shortcut key of undo (command 2) to back up. Trace rest of the parts with assigned colors. When you are done with tracing, open up a stroke panel by clicking Window-> Stroke. For the stitches, check dashed line, type in 2 for dash and l for gap. Do not forget to click round cap for smoother end line to make the stitches look natural. It gets really handy when it comes to things like wrinkles and wrinkles to add little bit more character.

    Use profile option to create a proper width to make the wrinkles look natural. Lastly, convert all the lines included outline, seam, stitch, and wrinkle to black and change the thickness of the stroke. To start, select an object that has a black stroke, then go to Select-> Same-> Stroke Color. Then change the weight to 1.5 and inside outline to 1. Apply the same steps for each color to change the weights: seam-0.75, stitch and wrinkle-0.5, and convert to black. The purpose of changing weights of the stroke is to give a depth and to be looked define. Learning how to draw fashion flats is not just about learning the technical drawing. it allows you to have a higher level of knowledge to be able to visually communicate in fashion industry to develop the garment design successfully. More the flats be perfect would make the actual garment appear to be accurate as the design in reality.

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    How to Create Fashion Flats in Adobe Illustrator. (2023, Mar 16). Retrieved from

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