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Adobe Illustrator for Fashion (CAD I): Introduction to Garment Flats

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6,676 people completed this program


Creating a garment flat in Adobe Illustrator is the most foundational skill a fashion designer needs to know. A garment flat is a basic digital sketch that displays a garment as if it were laid "flat". It's used to communicate your design idea technically - whether that's to a pattern-maker, technical designer, merchandiser, or manufacturer. Garment flats are also a must-have in any tech pack or fashion design portfolio.

What You'll Learn

In this class I'm going to teach you all the techniques, tips and tricks I wish I knew as a beginner. We'll cover:

  • Illustrator Tools . How to use pen and circle tools needed to create a garment flat.

  • Basic Shapes. How to create the lines and curves that make up a garment flat.

  • Flats for Tops. A more detailed understanding of creating garment flats for tops.

  • Flats for Bottoms. A more detailed understanding of creating garment flats for bottoms.

What You'll Do

You'll be able to apply these skills immediately to your own project: creating a set of garment flats you can share with your classmates for feedback. Looking to get your fashion design produced? Submit your design for funding on Betabrand!


Class Outline

  • Trailer. Graphic designer Mickaela Roxas will take you through Adobe Illustrator 101, so you can design your own garment flat. In her online fashion design course, you’ll learn design essentials and all the techniques, tips, and tricks that Mickaela wishes she’d known as a beginner.
  • Getting started with Illustrator. Beginning with the basics, Mickaela will show you how to set up a new document in Adobe Illustrator, modify your art board, and create multiple boards to work from.
  • Selection tool & creating shapes. Beginning with shape tools, Mickaela will introduce you to the tools you’ll need for your fashion design assignment. You’ll learn how to size shapes and work with both selection and direct selection tools.
  • Basic coloring and arrangement. Using the shapes you created in the last lesson, you’ll experiment with outlines and fill colors. Overall, you’ll learn how shapes respond to different commands in Illustrator.
  • Unit 1 deliverable. With everything you’ve learned so far, you’ll be able to create a simple item by using only the shape tools. Mickaela will demonstrate by creating a couple of designs of her own—by copying, pasting, coloring, and rotating shapes.
  • Unit 2.1: Introducing the pen tool. By using the pen tool, you’ll learn how to create lines and closed shapes. You’ll also explore the tool’s adding and subtracting functions, and you’ll discover how to create curves by converting anchor points.
  • Unit 2.2: Align and distribution. After creating a series of scattered shapes, you’ll learn how to align them in different places and formations on your art board. Mickaela will explain how the align tool helps create patterns while you’re working in fashion and design.
  • Unit 2.3: Reflect and grouping. The reflect tool lets you easily create symmetrical shapes. You’ll see why it’s so widely used to design fashion in Illustrator.
  • Unit 3.1: The mirroring technique: parts 1 & 2. Now it’s time to start designing your garment flat. On a croquis (AKA flat mannequin) template, you’ll begin with the neckline, and work your way down to the shoulders, the torso, and finally the shirtsleeves. Mickaela will make this design on just one half of the body, before copying and flipping it onto the other. This tactic will ensure that her design remains perfectly symmetrical.
  • Unit 3.3: Going further – long-sleeve button-down shirt parts 1 & 2. You’ll see the design differences between button-down and button-free garment flats. Mickaela will show you how to make pockets by using the shape and pen tools, and you’ll get your deliverable for this unit: Create five different shirts in black and white.
  • Unit 4.1: Designing flats for bottoms part 1. You can apply much of what you learned by making garment flats for tops while you’re creating bottoms. By designing a garment flat for a skirt, you’ll learn how to make slash pockets.
  • Unit 4.2: Designing flats for bottoms part 2. Mickaela will explain how you can use techniques for designing button-down shirt flats to design a pair of pants. At the close of this fashion design course, you’ll be able to design garment flats for an entire outfit.

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Adobe Illustrator for Fashion (CAD I): Introduction to Garment Flats
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