Fashion Flats by Laura Volpintesta hand sketched
Fashion Flat Sketches

Hi!  first off I just released a class all bout fashion flat sketches, designing them, sketching, from beginner to more advanced….. I’m so proud of it and I’m adoring this experience!

The flats at the top of this page I sketched for Target’s Merona line. I also was involved with the technical design of this Merona Swimwear Collection.

Click these Icons below to view the trailer and check out the fashion flats class, filmed in Craftsy’s studios in Denver, CO!

Fashion FlatsFashion Flats





Here are some loose flats sketched from  magazine photo using fine pens and sharpie.

Laura Volpintesta fashion flats sketches/ technical drawings from designer garments use different weights of felt tip pens to prioritize details and are easier to read than an even line weight and size.Fashion Flat sketches an be created with a croquis body or croquis template , or free-hand, or to scale.

(on my site you can find a male croquis, kids and toddler,  teen and tween  girls fashion croquis, maternity, and plus size fashion croquis templates).

In my online Masterclasses you will learn how to create and use your own customizable, adaptable fashion model croquis templates. Sign up for Step One to get started, by subscribing!.

Scroll down for more examples.

Using a body like this, you can draw the clothes as if they are on the body, and have really specific and clear references when you draw, like:

  • How long is the jacket compared to the hip level?
  • What is the sleeve length relative to the wrist / elbow? How wide is it compared to those widths?
  • Can you see how wide is the hem of the pant? How fitted is the waist?  How high or low are the pockets relative to the body parts? Where is center front line?
  • Where are the buttons, zippers, etc?
  • Compare how deep is the front neckline relative to the neck, bustling?
  • Notice how  wide is the neckline relative to the actual neck?
  • (Essentially, these are questions about the proportion of the fashion garment)

All of these and more landmarks are visible on your croquis or template

-so it is easy to make fashion flat sketches  by tracing over one of these bodies with copy or printer paper and a pencil to get the shapes just so.  (Do this in #2 pencil or mechanical #2, then ink them with felt pens- info here.)  This can also be done in Adobe Illustrator. Using a template assures that all of the flats are proportionately in sync.  This is terribly hard work to achieve freehand– ALWAYS TRACE OFF OF A TEMPLATE to save time and stay consistent in proportion! Use your creative energy for something more useful like DESIGN!

If you create your fashion flat sketches  using one of these templates similar to mine, they will come out narrow– because a body or garment that looks the way we see it when we look at it on the street or model– is narrower than reality.

Laura Volpintesta, Fashion Flats Model drawing

All of the ashion flat sketches above were created using a flat doll or croquis template. The sketches below were created using  measurements.

Notice that the human is cylindrical/round/deep, and a garment that is lying flat has nothing to wrap around.

The challenge of this is that they look “chic” -er that way, but it can be hard to fit pockets, panels, side seams, all of the details on a narrower looking flat.  In order to really fit everything easily for tech, you’ll need to use a wider flat.

See, a garment flat on the table is wider than it appears on a human

, so if you draw your flats to scale, they will certainly be wider compared to their length (yes, proportion, proportion, proportion is the word when you’re designing shapes!)

Summing it up:

The narrower figure can be more useful for a presentation that wants to communicate how the clothes look on the figures, while the flats drawn to scale , which are wider, are more accurate and give adequate room for including design details.  As usual, you should choose your method based on the purpose intended for the flats you are creating.  You can ask if you are working for someone else if they want the flats for tech or for illustration.

When I first started freelancing in fashion design houses,

…I found that the best way to work flats was to always ask whoever I was working for for flats from last season, and use those flats as a foundation/guide since each house has their own style.  If you think the quality inferior to your own, then it’s a great opportunity to improve them for them!:0)  If they’re better than you’ve ever done, now you have a great example to follow!

The best tools/ art supplies for creating fashion flats and technical drawings by hand are Micron or other felt tip pens.  

We’ll cover a range of different techniques for representing your design concepts in full color in my online and self-paced Fashion Course Program.

The below flats were all created TO SCALE. Notice the different proportional appearance from the other flats higher up in the post.

fashion flats to scale from samples Laura Volpintesta 1998Laura Volpintesta fashion flats to scale 1998


Laura Volpintesta fashion flats to scale 1998Laura Volpintesta fashion flats 1998LAURA VOLPINTESTA fashion flats to scale 1998

Here’s a Hint:

In Fashion Flat Sketches,it’s really all about the HPS (High Point Shoulder) length, and the sweep.

But you don’t know what those are?

Basically, the length is the measurement from the HPS (located at the side neck: the highest point on the garment’s body length. Measure from this point to the lowest point of the garment hem to determine the maximum length of the garment.

Meanwhile, the SWEEP is the width of the garment at the hem.  Once you have these two measurements, you can draw up a flat to scale in 1/8 or 1/4 scale from the original by sketching out a frame as wide as the sweep and as tall as the HPS length.

I hope this is helpful for you!  Please share, and sign up, to stay connected!

COMMENT BELOW and let me know what you think!

Remember, working flats to scale is a wonderful way to truly be able to fit all of the details in to your flat, for an exact record of a design.

DRAW YOUR FASHION WOMAN FOR REAL!  No body distortion needed to illustrate a beautiful female model.

What do you want to do, love? How can I help?

Share your questions or comments here!


Laura Volpintesta, signature, Fashion Illustration Stribe fashion school




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  • Start sketching for the sheer sake of tapping into your innate creativity. This is where YOU begin and the magic will flow if you give it the time, love and attention.  There is NO art quite like fashion!