Fashion Illustration: How to Sketch with Vikki Yau

on July 29 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 3 Comments

Vikki Yau has lots of tools for design and fashion illustration at Fashionary, including the new Fashionary Tape Measure (marked with body measurements!). Vikki’s popular Fashionary Sketchbook has been available at retailers like Mood Fabrics and Urban Outfitter since 2008; it’s the first fashion sketchbook tailor-made for fashion designers and includes templates, measurements, pattern drawings, fabric info, etc. (Check out some of the page images for more on the complete fashion dictionary.) Vikki is often asked how she creates her fashion illustrations, so she’s sharing step-by-step tips for her tools and process when she draws, plus a link to free template downloads. Take a look at Fashionary for more, including the Fashionary blog.


Take 10 minutes to draw an illustration for your sewing project! Many of my friends have requested that I create a tutorial on how to draw a proportional figure and a fashion collection. Here I am with a chance to share my first sketching tutorial with you!

Wondering what do you need to get started? Here are my secret tools: sketchbooks, pencils and a markers set will do! To color fashion sketches, I used markers, watercolor and color pencils.

Let’s start with my favorite one, fashion markers. I suggest Touch Twins markers from Korea and the Copic markers from Japan. I used both of them because I use many different colors. You can make yourself a color palette guide like this which definitely makes you draw faster.

A sketchbook is a necessity for starting your sketching. I have used Fashionary for five years and it is my essential sketchbook. Six dotted outlined, slim figure templates are visible enough for quick sketching; it’s visible enough for you to draw in proportion, yet it’s faint enough for you to think and sketch outside the outlines. The orange color dots do not be appear after scanning. Therefore, you can present your works nicely, just like the effect of tracing over a template or photo. Download the free templates here.

My collection is about geometric paradise, so I choose these two lovely fabrics from Pink Chalk Fabrics.

My first idea is a little peplum tight-fit dress with square neckline, and a plunge notch cut out. After you confirm your design and fabric, start sketching! Here is my fashion illustration break down, step by step:

Step 1: Use 2B and 4B pencils to sketch the basic outline of your ideas.

Step 2: Apply first layer of markers with tip brush and draw the fabric patterns.

Step 3: Make shading and adding second layers of the marker, especially the folds and shadows.

Step 4: Finish it with a black outline; my best partner is the Pilot Drawing Pens 05 and Fabercastell PITT Artist Pen, soft brush. It only takes 10 minutes to complete these steps.

My second design is a crop top in triangle pattern fabric, with cut away shoulders and pencil skirt with pleats. I
followed the same sketching steps…

Here are my finished sketches! I hope you enjoy this. Try out some of my sketching techniques for your upcoming sewing projects!

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3 Responses to Fashion Illustration: How to Sketch with Vikki Yau

  1. Ginger says:

    Thank you. I have always wanted to be able to do this. My ideas fly through my mind and never onto paper.

  2. Shelly Anderson says:

    Lovely sketch with lovely tools!! I am not good at drawing fashion figure and the tool is a god send!!

  3. WOW! Like…really WOW! Thank you so much for this post! It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for some time! And these aren’t just tips…it’s a how to from tip to toe!

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