Fashion Portfolio Step 7: Sketch Out Your Ideas

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Step Seven To Creating A Killer Fashion Portfolio

For those of you actually doing the portfolio challenge work right alongside me, let me just congratulate you on coming this far! Putting a portfolio together is hard work. Hopefully, these mini-tasks have made it easier for you along the way.

If you found your way to this post via a search, welcome! This is a one month challenge where I blog about the steps I am taking to put my own portfolio together. I highly recommend you go back and read from the beginning the step-by-step guide for putting a fashion portfolio together.

At this point, you should have created a mood board that sets the tone for your collection. You have created your concept board. You have your color palette selected. I am sure you have lots of ideas for your collection! Now we need to start sketching out our ideas. So let’s get started!

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!

As part of this ten-part fashion portfolio blog series, I have 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.

How To Get Started Sketching For Your Fashion Portfolio 

Many people find this part of the process the most difficult. It is easy to get inspired by pictures and colors. However, when you have to put pen to pare it can be hard. That is why is this step of the process I want you to relax.

This session is basically another brainstorming session. I personally like to give myself a set period of time (maybe an hour) to just sketch out by hand whatever comes to mind. I don’t like to give myself any inhibitions.

Follow these 5 steps below to get the most out of your brainstorming session and get a well thought out collection.

5 Steps To Sketching Ideas Quickly

Follow these 5 steps below to get the most out of your brainstorming session and get a well thought out collection.

  1. Choose your materials. Sketchpad, pencils, colored pencils, markers, etc. Whatever you feel most comfortable.
  2. Give yourself a set period of time to just let your ideas flow onto paper. I recommend an hour. During this time your sketches are rough drafts. They do not have to be full on fashion illustrations. They just need to be basic sketches to get your idea across, and with enough detail that you can recognize and remember what you liked about it. Some people sketch with bodies. I like to just do flat sketching because to me it’s all about the garments. But do what you feel comfortable with.
  3. Pull out your tear sheets of images that inspired you when you were creating your mood and concept boards and see if they help to spark new ideas.
  4. Once your hour is up, go through all of your sketches and see what pieces you love, and which pieces go together nicely to make an outfit if applicable. If you are making a collection portfolio with full outfits decide how many you want to show.
  5. From here you should know how many holes there are that you need to fill in. Do another short sketching session for the missing pieces for your collection. For example: If you designed an awesome blouse and skirt, you may need to design some completer pieces like a jacket. Keep doing this process until you have all the pieces for your collection.

How To Edit Your Designs Like A Pro

Now is the hard part. As my mentors have told me in the past, “you can’t love all your babies.” Some designs are always better than others and it is time to weed out the undesirables. Look at each piece objectively and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do all of these designs go together to tell a story? Hopefully, they tell the story of your mood board and concept board!
  2. Do these designs have the correct aesthetic for my brand or customer base?
  3. Is this outfit or garment special enough on its own? If not, what can I do to make it better?
  4. Is my original concept being shown clearly through these designs?

Keep working through this process until you feel like you have the best collection you possibly can. You should have a very clear understanding of what details go on each garment and what colors or patterns you are going to use. It should be so clear to you could start drawing your final fashion illustrations right out of your sketch pad. If you’re not there yet go back and repeat the above steps. See you in a couple of days! Let me know how your progress is going.

Action Steps

  1. Follow the above steps to do a sketch brainstorming session.
  2. Edit your sketches to form a collection.
  3. Go back and fine tune the details in each one of your sketches.

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,