Fashion Portfolio – Step 9: Add Flat Sketches

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Step Nine To Creating A Killer Fashion Portfolio

Welcome back to the fashion portfolio blog series. We are almost finished! Today I am going to show you how to add flat sketches to your fashion portfolio.

So far you have sketched out your collection in a rough draft form, and selected your color palette and fabrics. The next step is drawing the flat sketches for your fashion portfolio. It will be easier for you to create the flat sketches for your collection because it should now be crystal clear for you what each and every piece in your collection will be right down to the color, fabric, and silhouette.

I want to take a minute to congratulate you for coming this far. Putting together a fashion portfolio is a lot of work! Hopefully, this step-by-step guide has made it a little easier.  If you are just joining us I highly recommend you go back and read Fashion Portfolio Step One.

We couldn’t cover every possible angle of how to create an amazing fashion design portfolio in just one post! This article is part of an EPIC 10 part Fashion Portfolio Blog Series. If you want to learn all the tricks to make YOUR fashion design portfolio stand out and get you hired you can check out the entire series at the bottom of this page.

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Join The Fashion Portfolio Challenge on Facebook!

Do you want a little extra help with your fashion portfolio? Would you like to get some feedback from other fashion industry professionals on how you can improve your work? As part of this ten-part fashion portfolio blog series, I created a challenge inside the Pick Glass Fashionable Careers Facebook group. Here you can post examples of your own work and get feedback from the group! It is totally FREE. So, come say hi and meet other like-minded fashion industry professionals just like YOU.

What Is A Flat Sketch?

A flat sketch is a detailed sketch of a garment that shows construction details. It needs to demonstrate how the garment is to be constructed including stitch detail, button or zipper closures, or any other special details. A flat sketch does NOT include a body figure, an entire outfit or how it is styled together.

A flat sketch should also be drawn in proper proportion to a REAL garment. It should not be stylized or shown in any sort of exaggerated form. This type of sketch is usually drawn on the computer using a program such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. Other than in your fashion portfolio you will also find these types of drawing in a “tech pack”. A tech pack is a technical package the designer gives to the factory, who will then follow the instructions to making the photo garment.

How Do I Draw A Flat Sketch?

You can either hand draw your flat sketches VERY CAREFULLY, or you can draw them in a program such as Adobe Illustrator. I highly recommend using a vector based program such as Adobe Illustrator for a couple reasons. One, you can make accurate, symmetrical designs. Two, you can fill in the bodies with color or fabrications to show a completed garment. You can get an Adobe Creative Cloud account with Adobe Illustrator starting as low as $9 month.

How should I present my flat sketches in my portfolio?

It is customary to present both a front and back sketch of a garment. You can even show a close-up view if it is necessary to explain a detail to the viewer.

Usually, flat sketches are shown in black and white. This is mostly because you want to make clear any stitching details or construction details that are important for the garment. However, if a garment does not have much detail some designers may choose to show a filled in body in color. Below is an example of both options. Decide which is best for you and your collection.

Some designers will show their CADs or fabric swatches right next to the flat sketch of the garment that they correspond with. This helps to make it clear to the viewer which fabric goes to each garment and they can better visualize the finished product. You can even show a filled in body (the flat sketch colored in) if you feel it helps show the pieces in your collection. Below are a couple examples from my own portfolio to demonstrate these options.

flat sketches

Flat sketches by Malie Bingham portfolio

Action Steps

  1. Create flat sketches for each item in your collection.
  2. Decide how to present them best on the pages of your portfolio.
  3. Fill in the bodies with color or pattern if necessary.

Fashion Portfolio Blog Series

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If you, or someone you know, want to learn how to create a killer fashion design portfolio you can read the entire series here. Learn what it takes to build an amazing fashion portfolio that will get you noticed and get your foot in the door.

  1. How To Create A Killer Fashion Portfolio
  2. Fashion Portfolio – Step 1 – Review Your Current Body of Work
  3. Fashion Portfolio – Step 2 – Find Inspiration
  4. Fashion Portfolio – Step 3 – Get Clarity of Concept
  5. Fashion Portfolio – Step 4 – Create A Mood Board
  6. Fashion Portfolio – Step 5 – Create A Color Palette
  7. Fashion Portfolio – Step 6 – Create Your Concept Board
  8. Fashion Portfolio – Step 7 – Sketch Out Your Ideas
  9. Fashion Portfolio – Step 8 – Find Your Fabrics
  10. Fashion Portfolio – Step 9 – Add flat sketches
  11. Fashion Portfolio – Step 10 – Fashion illustrations
  12. Interview With Karen Avila – Freelance Fashion Designer & Illustrator


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Fashion design portfolio, fashion portfolio, fashion portfolio tips, fashion careers fashion design careers, fashion career advice, fashion industry, fashion portfolio blog series,