Fashion Designing Tools


Television programs such as "America's Next Top Model" and "Project Runway" have sparked avid interest into the fashion design industry over the past few years. Many aspiring designers have images of outfits they want to create. Unfortunately, many have no idea of the tools needed to get the design out of their head and made into a three-dimensional, wearable garment.


  • Fashion design is the process of creating a fashion concept that will be made into a final three-dimensional product. The first tool needed for fashion design is education or training in the field.


  • Before your fashion design or concept can be created, it needs to be visually displayed in a two-dimensional drawing. A sketch pad, pen, pencils, paint, markers, charcoal, plastic erasers and colored pencils are all tools that can help you create your fashion sketch.

Pattern-Making Tools

  • A design cannot be mass produced without a flat pattern. A flat pattern cannot be made without a set of slopers (garment section templates). A set of straight and curved rulers, oak tag, dotted pattern paper, fine-point pen or pencil, plastic eraser, dressmaker pin wheel and a pair of sharp paper shears are the basic tools needed to create flat patterns.

Draping Tools

  • Not every pattern can be created via the flat pattern method; sometimes they need to be draped on a dressform using fabric and then transferred to paper. Basic tools needed for draping are a dressform, style tape, dressmaker stick pins, muslin, fabric shears, tape measure and marking pen or soft lead pencil.

CAD Tools

  • For fashion designed with computer-aided design (CAD), you will need CAD software, a fast network and a computer optimized for handling media and graphics. You will also need a digital drawing tablet, a digitizer board for scanning patterns, a pattern plotter for printing patterns and a quality color printer for layout and story board creation.

Garment Production Tools

  • A variety of sewing machines are needed for garment construction, including a standard sewing machine, serger and a buttonhole machine. Different sewing machine feet are needed as well as sharp fabric shears, sewing machine needles, hand sewing needles, fabric, thread, dressmaker pins and various other sewing notions.

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  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of SherryRose
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