9 Tips on Fashion Design and Dressmaking

by Eden Ding

Starting a fashion design career takes hard work and persistence. If you’re confident that you have what it takes to make it in the fashion world, set realistic expectations for your success. When you’re starting out in your fashion design career, expect to pay your dues in an entry-level position before you can work up to the job you really want. Don’t be afraid to start small. Think about the big picture, but start with an attainable goal. Be creative.

Consequently, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of the industry and be able to apply acquired skills in a theoretical and practical manner.

I suggest that in order to be a good fashion designer or dressmaker you need to be able to:

  1. Understand fashion trends, clothing ranges and colour groups.
  2. Learn Know how patterns work – flat patterns, commercial patterns, tracing patterns and pattern blocks – read patterns, choose pattern sizes and have basic pattern alteration knowledge.
  3. Have knowledge on the range and quality of the many fibres and fabrics available today – natural and man-made fibres, fashion fabrics, modern developments and special fabrics – which will have a large bearing on your creations.
  4. Be familiar with the tools and equipment necessary for good dressmaking: scissors, tape measure, pins, machine needles, hand needles, stitch ripper, tailor’s chalk, haberdashery, sewing machine, overlocker, iron, ironing board, full-length mirror, flat cutting surface and storage.
  5. Be conversant with inserting zippers and sleeves, buttonholes, waistbands, types of stitching, seam types, stretch sewing, and so on.
  6. Present a design collection using fashion drawing and design skills, as well as the competent use of colour and themes.
  7. Understand which designs will suit the client’s life and activities, as well as know the basic body shapes, hair styles, make-up trends and how to plan a wardrobe.
  8. Know how to set up a system, research customers, basic business structure and types of operation.

How can you become a better Fashion Designer and Dressmaker?

To gain professional fashion design and dressmaking proficiency, it is best to undertake a specialised course that teaches you the essential skills. Search for a school with a course that is a leader in the provision of writing distance education courses that aim to give students a broad understanding of the industry competency regarding both the theoretical and practical application of this knowledge.

Apart from understanding the application of various dressmaking and design skills, by learning elementary drawing techniques to professionally define your creative visions, you can uncover clever ways of presenting your designs and using various media to lift your work.

Recognise and anticipate fashion trends, develop a design theme, and gain an understanding of the process and workings of the fashion haute couture industry. Also, learn how to identify, select and find the fibres that make your clothing stand out from the rest by perfectly balancing style and function.

If you dream of being your own boss, as well as the theory of fashion design and dressmaking you also need to know the practical aspects of how to set up in business.

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