Monday, March 4, 2013

Sewing Inspiration: sketching

There are probably a lot of us who sew who are afraid of sketching. Personally, I can't draw worth crap, even though I've always wanted to learn. For our first wedding anniversary (first anniversary is PAPER mind you!), my husband bought me a sketchbook, some pencils, and a book about learning to draw. I was honestly moved to tears, it was so sweet and personal (by the way, I highly recommend the book!). I worked my way through about half of it before life got in the way and I stopped. I learned that drawing is something I CAN do, but I do need pretty regular practice. I hope to get back to that book and finish it, someday.

It took me a week to draw my own hand.

In the meantime, I do sketch my sewing projects. I like working my ideas out of my head and onto paper. Many times, my mind feels all kinds of cluttered until I can get something into a physical form. I have a tendency to forget stuff if I don't write it down. I had to go to Kroger twice this weekend (in the same day) because I didn't take the time to make a list of what I needed! Fashion sketching allows me to make a sort of "sewing grocery list" and to figure out which projects I'm really in love with, and which ones I can tuck away for later. I also like to match up certain fabrics from my stash with certain patterns (by drawing a rough recreation of the fabric on a line sketch), so I don't forget why I bought something and what my intentions were for a certain fabric.

I have tons of drawing supplies after my excursion with learning how to draw, but I really wanted a sketchbook just for sewing ideas. I found the perfect candidate online, called the Fashionary. It's a sketchbook with pre-drawn figures, so all you have to worry about is drawing clothes. There is also a section with all kinds of useful fashion information like drawings of different collar types, a list of fashion labels, a fabric care symbols guide, etc. They offer different sizes as well as a men's version.

You can order it online from their website (linked above), with free shipping, or from Amazon. There are a ton of things to like about this sketchbook. My husband bought me one for my birthday last week, and I adore it. I recommend that you check out their website for all the deets (and for FREE printables!). I have to stop talking about it, otherwise this post will just turn into an ad for them!

Back to sketching as inspiration. Obviously clothes are a visual component of our personality, so it helps to create a visual representation of what you are planning to sew. I enjoy busting out the colored pencils and working through different color ideas. I also like to have a pencil and paper with me at all times so I can sketch ideas as they come. One time I was at my parents' house and saw a lampshade that immediately brought to mind a dress idea. It sounds crazy (and the drawing probably looks that way too), but I quickly sketched it and now have that idea for later. I'm always on the lookout for ideas in the clothing that other people are wearing, too.

If you don't sketch your ideas, I encourage you to get a little blank notebook and pencil to keep in your purse, or on your desk. You never know when they might come in handy, and you may even like drawing. There are also lots of books out there about fashion drawing. Anyone else out there tried the Fashionary? I can't wait to fill mine up with all sorts of ideas.


  1. Thanks, I am going to order in now and try it out. And you are right about writing down your ideas. Ideas are fleeting .... paper is permanent.

  2. Marina, the sketchbook is definitely a great tool. I hope you like your Fashionary, let me know how it works out!


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