How to create a simple pattern repeat in Adobe Illustrator

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This is just a quickie to take you through the basics of offset pattern repeats. Now Illustrator does have a pattern repeat function that is OK but being me I love to know how things work rather than leave it up to the software!! This video takes you through that process. If you would like something more advanced have a look at my “Random All Over Pattern Repeat” video. I created this video a few years ago and takes you through a little more detail. I hope this helps you understand the process – please contact me with suggestions for more videos like this. I also have details on pattern repeats in the book I co-authored with Frances Vereker – Fashion Designers Handbook for Adobe Illustrator – pages 71, 72 and 75-77.

I hope this helps you understand the process – please contact me if you are interested in more videos like this

How to draw a basic fitted tee shirt in Adobe Illustrator

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I have just done a new video detailing how to use the Pen Tool when drawing a basic fitted tee. I have included quite a few of my favourite tools! Watch out for the Reflect Tool!! I love using this – my friend MM showed it to me, so much faster than using the menu. The “Anchor Point Tool” is another tool I use frequently as it has so many applications these days. Also, make sure you set up your file so you can work efficiently – take note of preferences in the beginning of the video and be sure to leave “Snap to Point” and “Smart Guides” selected! Enjoy!!

“Make sure you set up your file so you can work efficiently – take note of preferences in the beginning of the video and be sure to leave “Snap to Point” and “Smart Guides” selected!”

How to draw a derby shoe in Illustrator

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I have chosen a Derby shoe because it is a basic shoe and leads you through the process you would use when you draw a shoe. I start with selecting a basic shape and then I add layers of details. You will need to be an experienced user of the Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator! Please go on to the other linked videos for the Derby. Good luck!!

You can also download the Free template to use when drawing the shoe derby-template


“I find that having an understanding of shoe construction really helps when drawing in Illustrator.”

Photoshop – Selection and refine edge – now “Select and Mask”

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I always do non-destructive edits in Photoshop so that I can adjust all images until I am happy with my final image. I will then save the original version and I will also save the image as a JPEG file. I would suggest you download a quality image with some good contrast to follow along with my video


“Select and Mask is a great way to edit your selection professionally!”

Image size for mood boards

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Finding good images to create mood boards is very difficult. I think it is so important to understand image size and the final output of the mood board first. Will your mood board be electronic? Will you be putting it on a Pinterest page? Are you going to use your Mood board for a printed presentation? In this blog I will discuss how and where to look for good images.

Click the image title to open my downloadable notes

Understanding composition and mood boards

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What is a mood board? Why do we create them? What are the design principles we use when creating a mood board?

Once you have finished the mood board reflect on the following questions:

  • Have I created an easy reference tool to use when developing my range?
  • Have I reflected on the season and target customer?
  • Have I finalised my colour palette?
  • Have I used the most important images?
  • Have I summarised the theme?

A Fashion Designer’s Handbook for Adobe Illustrator

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A few years ago my lovely friend and colleague, Francis Vereker, and I co-wrote a book on Adobe Illustrator for the fashion Industry – Fashion Designers’s Handbook for Adobe Illustrator, Marianne Centner & Frances Vereker (2011)

It is a great beginner’s guide as it leads you through the most basic set up, introduces you to the most used tools as well as detailed guidance on how to use the pen tool. You will also find some basic exercise files on the Wiley website! I would highly recommend having this in your library!! Have a look now. I have linked the image to Wiley

Baby and Toddler’s templates

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The following children’s fashion templates were developed over many years of working in industry as a designer, teaching in fashion schools and training in Industry as well as writing a book for Adobe Illustrator for the fashion Industry – Fashion Designers’s Handbook for Adobe Illustrator, Marianne Centner & Frances Vereker (2011). This book will also lead you through the basics of Adobe Illustrator. I would recommend having this in your library!!! Have a look at it now!!

The baby template is based on a 3-6 month baby. With babies wear I find it best to get some great basic shapes set up first and then use these as the basis for other styling. I have provided 3 common silhouettes for you. The Toddler would be approximately 3-4 years. I have put the outline of the tummy in the front view so you will be mindful of a child’s build when designing. Children have round tummies because there is not enough room for their vital organs to sit back under the ribcage. This makes anything that is tight over this area very uncomfortable for them. The side view demonstrates this well. Once again I have put some basic shapes in.

Men’s template

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The following men’s fashion templates were developed over many years of working in industry as a designer, teaching in fashion schools and training in Industry as well as writing a book for Adobe Illustrator for the fashion Industry – Fashion Designers’s Handbook for Adobe Illustrator, Marianne Centner & Frances Vereker (2011). This book will also lead you through the basics of Adobe Illustrator. I would recommend having this in your library!!! Have a look at it now!!

My male template is also quite generic, but he tends to lean towards a less athletic build as opposed to the male template you can download from my book at the Wiley  website (see link in the above). As with my female template he is the correct proportion – not an elongated fashion proportion. Once again I have put some basic garments in for you!

Women’s template

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The following women’s fashion templates were developed over many years of working in industry as a designer, teaching in fashion schools and training in Industry as well as writing a book for Adobe Illustrator for the fashion Industry – Fashion Designers’s Handbook for Adobe Illustrator, Marianne Centner & Frances Vereker (2011). This book will also lead you through the basics of Adobe Illustrator. I would recommend having this in your library!!! Have a look at it now!!

Like fashion, body templates will change according to the market you are working in. I have tried to keep my templates as generic as possible – not too curvy or muscular and not too straight and youthful. You will easily be able to adapt to your style and market segment from these. I have also added some basic garments as a start. Pull these apart to see how I construct a drawing.

Women’s 3″ heel shoe template

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 This is a basic women’s heeled template. I have used this to draw a platform shoe but you can draw anything from a classic court to a funky platform using this as a base template.

Often shoe designers will work to a particular last that they have developed themselves. You may want to use this as a base and adapt it to your style. Perhaps by adding a rounded toe puff to use when drawing a clog silhouette.