S1. EP10. Pattern Making and Constructing the Long Coat Kimono Bikini Cover-up Sewing Pattern

S1. EP10. Pattern Making and Constructing the Long Coat Kimono Bikini Cover-up Sewing Pattern

In this episode, we look at the next garment in our range of bikini cover-up sewing patterns. This time we focus on the Long Coat which is essentially a skinny kimono with a chevron hem, waist tie, long sleeves and made from a gorgeous Japanese Ikat cotton.

To start, we take Francesca’s measurements, enter them into PatternLab to draft her made to measure basic sewing blocks. Once the Lab has drafted the basic blocks, we then transfer them to Adobe Illustrator and pattern cut the basic blocks into the finished kimono bikini cover-up sewing pattern. The pattern making process only takes about half an hour, since the pattern is quite simple. Once we have our finished pattern, we print it in full scale using our PDF print template. The print template separates the bikini cover-up sewing pattern up into individual A4 pages which can then be printed and stuck together to create the finished full-scale paper pattern. Once printed, we then construct the garment, hang it on a mannequin and assess the design. We don’t have much time until the holiday, so this time we go straight to finished fabric without first constructing a toile. Either way, the finished result is fantastic and a great addition to Francesca’s holiday wardrobe!

In this tutorial we do not show the pattern making process, instead we give you an overview of the finished bikini cover-up sewing pattern. If you would like to know how we drafted this pattern from Francesca’s made to measure blocks, then navigate to the bottom of this blog post. There you will find the pattern making tutorial in full. 

 

Gallery

The Long Coat Bikini Cover-Up Sewing Pattern – Pattern Making Tutorial

Want to learn how we drafted Francesca’s made to measure Long Coat bikini cover-up sewing pattern using Adobe Illustrator? Great, watch the below tutorial to see how. We show you in detail how we transformed Francesca’s made to measure basic sewing patterns or basic blocks into this gorgeous skinny kimono style, using a few basic additional measurements and Adobe Illustrator as a pattern making platform.

 

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S1. EP9. Some Exciting News – Indigo Robe Fabric & Bikini Cover-ups!

S1. EP9. Some Exciting News – Indigo Robe Fabric & Bikini Cover-ups!

We’ve got some fantastic news! We’ve finally got the gorgeous Lily print fabric back from Fashion Formula! We sent off the print about two days ago and it’s just come back, which means we can now start making Francesca’s Indigo Robe. Not only that, but we’ve finally booked a holiday! We wouldn’t normally mention it but to celebrate we’ve decided to design and make a series of gorgeous bikini cover-ups for Francesca, before we leave at –the end of the month.

 

Francesca’s Indigo Robe – Lily Print Fabric has Arrived!

Earlier in the week we contacted Fashion Formula and asked them to print 3 metres of our custom designed Lily print so we could start construction on Francesca’s Indigo robe. Two days later we received our print and it looks gorgeous! We opted for a high sheen satin, picked from their extensive collection of fashion fabrics. All in all it cost around £57 for the print so roughly £20 p/metre. There is one slight issue which was completely our fault- he scale of the print is slightly smaller than Francesca requested. However, it still looks fab. As we’re running the Edinburgh marathon over the weekend, I have asked a Tosca, an excellent machinsit and samplist to make the dress up in our absence so it’s ready in time for our holiday on the 29th! So more images of the finished garment are still to come. In the meantime, here is a close up of the print and that high sheen satin from Fashion Formula!

Bikini Cover-Ups for Corfu!

Ok, so let’s crack on, there is soo much to get through! Since we’ll be going away on holiday in just under a week, it seemed important to get the ball rolling with our collection of Bikini cover-ups. We printed a few fashion templates, courtesy of Prêt-à-Template and put pencil to paper. Once the preliminary sketches were created, we imported them into Adobe Illustrator and created some precision digital illustrations. We then added colour and fabric scans to bring them to life. We chose a selection of Japanese Ikat cotton from The Cloth House, located on Berwick Street London- check out their website, they have a wealth of gorgeous fabrics to choose from. Here’s a close up of the fabrics we sourced.

Japanese Ikat cotton is a great material to work with. It drapes well and is effortless to sew. The most fascinating thing about Ikat cotton is the patterning. The individual fibers are dyed before the weaving process begins. This creates a striated pattern effect that is impossible to achieve with print. You can read more about it on Wiki here.

sHere are more polished version of our Bikini beach cover-ups created using adobe Illustrator. 

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The Poncho Bikini Beach Cover-Up – Pattern Making Tutorial

With our collection of beach cover-ups designed, we set about creating the pattern. We used Francesca’s individual measurements, added them to a profile in PatternLab,  selected the relevant basic blocks in the Lab and minutes later PatternLab created them for us. We downloaded them as an e-pattern and imported them into Adobe Illustrator ready to transform them into our finished Poncho sewing pattern.  45 minutes later we had created our pattern ready for construction in our chosen fabrics. If you want to see the pattern making process then scroll to the bottom of the post and watch the full video. 

Learn Digital Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator

Love the concept of pattern making in Adobe Illustrator CC? Great, why not take a look at our courses. We show you exactly how to use the platform, the various tools you’ll need and where to find them.  It’s completely FREE so why not have go?

The Finished Garment

Once the pattern was created and the fabric cut, it took around 2.5 hrs to construct this simple yet gorgeous garment. We’ve added some pics for you to take a look at! Let us know what you think in the comments below. Do you like the fabric choice? What would you have done differently?

Pattern Making tutorial –  Kimono/ Poncho cover-up

Want to know how we created the sewing pattern for the Poncho bikini coverup showcased in this week’s episode? Great! Check out the video tutorial below to learn how. We show you how we transformed our custom fitting, PatternLab, basic block into this gorgeous yet very simple pattern using Adobe Illustrator.   

 

S1. EP8. The Final Toile of Francesca’s Indigo Robe

S1. EP8. The Final Toile of Francesca’s Indigo Robe

In this episode, we take one more look at Francesca’s original Indigo Robe pattern and make the adjustments detailed in the fitting session from Episode 7. We shorten the sleeves, widen the cuff, create a cross-over neckline, draft a smaller chevron panel on the back and front (more in proportion with her height) and completely redesign the skirt to create more fullness at the back and sides. We also add 30cm to the back to create a train that falls onto the ground. The overall look is far more dramatic! Once the adjustments have been made we re-sample the Indigo Robe in Calico fabric and see the results in our final fitting.

This video blog provides a basic overview of how these changes have been made to the pattern in Adobe Illustrator. If you want to see a more in depth view of these changes, scroll down to the next video.

What is a Toile or Sample and Why is it Such an Important Step?

A toile or sample is an early version of a finished garment made up in cheap fabric so the design can be tested and perfected before the final garment is constructed.

Making a toile or sample from your initial pattern is an IMPORTANT part of the design process. Constructing a finished garment, without toiling first, could lead to unforeseen issues with either the fit or design proportions of the finished garment. Both episode 7 and 8 detail the process of toiling to perfect the finished design. 

Often Calico material is used to make the initial toile. Calico is a very cheap fabric cost as low as £2.50 per meter. Unwashed, calico is a structural fabric that is slightly stiff and works well for suits, jackets and other structural garments. Washing Calico causes the fibres to soften and shrink, creating a far softer draping fabric that works well for dresses, shirts, and other non structural garments. Calico comes in a range of thicknesses or weights. The weight of calico used to toile depends on what type of garment you wish to create.

Marking with pen or pinning the toile allows you to alter the garment, or record what changes need to be made. This is then transferred to the pattern and a new toile is made with those changes. This process can take multiple toiles depending on how much the garment needs to be changed. 

Toiling can be a good way of discovering how the garment should be constructed or in what order the panels need to be joined to create the finished garment. Your toile will also help you work out and test fastenings, closures  or any other complicated design details. 

Making adjustments to Francesca’s Indigo Robe – Pattern Making tutorial

This video expands on the above video blog and details the process of transforming Francesca’s existing Indigo Robe pattern (created in S1. EP7+) into the FINAL robe pattern/toile. This is not a detailed tutorial about the pattern making process, instead it is more of an overview of how we made the adjustments to her original Indigo Robe pattern. Once we have finalised the robe pattern we will create a full length and in depth tutorial that can be used with your own made to measure PatternLab blocks. 

 

Learn Digital Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator

Love the concept of pattern making in Adobe Illustrator CC? Great, why not take a look at our courses. We show you exactly how to use the platform, the various tools you’ll need and where to find them.  It’s completely FREE so why not have go?

S1. EP7. Creating An Initial Pattern & Toile – Indigo Robe

S1. EP7. Creating An Initial Pattern & Toile – Indigo Robe

In this episode, we update our existing mood boards and fashion illustrations to display the textile prints that we created in the last episode. We also get Francesca’s feedback on which design and print combination she prefers for her robe. We then start the pattern making process by creating the relevant basic blocks using PatternLab and Francesca’s unique measurements. We then imported the made to measure basic blocks into Adobe Illustrator and start to draft the initial robe pattern. Finally, we make the first toile to assess the design aesthetics and fit of the garment ready to begin the final finished pattern of Francesca’s robe.

Establishing which design we will pattern cut and toile up

Unfortunately, we were not able to get Francesca in to review the final design presentation on video. However, we did manage to send the design boards to her via email once they were completed.

The presentation boards consisted of the original mood boards, a selection of four designs (strongest from the entire range), a selection of custom textile prints (that we created for the project) and finally a variety of designs that showcased the prints and designs together. We then asked her to make her selections.

 

We created this board to display the final four designs which were by far the strongest out of the entire collection. We asked her to pick her favorite from this lineup. She selected Dress D (highlighted with black square)

Once the design had been selected we applied four of our favorite custom prints to the illustrations to give her an idea of what the finished print might look like on her design. She then chose D4 as her favourite. (highlighted with black square).

Once the print had been chosen we resized the print to give four options to choose from. The print is largest on the left and smallest on the right. She loved option D4ii (highlighted with black square).

Design Presentation Download (PDF)

Want to see the whole presentation as it was sent to Francesca? Click the button below to download and view the PDF.

Learn how to design textile prints

Learn how to create your own floral source imagery and turn them into high-res, full-repeat, digital, textile prints for digital printing on to fabric.

Final Design

Once Francesca had decided on the design, print type and print scale, we sent her the final, full-size, fashion illustration to give her a good idea of what her robe might look like. This allows us to draw a line under the initial design process and start the pattern cutting and toiling stage of the project. 

Learn Digital Fashion Illustration

Follow our in depth video tutorial and learn how to create digital fashion illustrations in Adobe Illustrator

Pattern Cutting Francesca’s first robe toile

This video expands on the above video blog and details the process of transforming Francesca’s made-to-measure basic blocks (created using PatternLab) into the initial robe pattern/toile. This is not a detailed tutorial about the pattern making process, instead it is more of an overview of how we created her pattern. Once we have finalised the robe pattern we will create a full length and in depth tutorial that can be used with the your own made to measure PatternLab blocks. 

Learn Digital Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator

Love the concept of pattern making in Adobe Illustrator CC? Great, why not take a look at our courses. We show you exactly how to use the platform, the various tools you’ll need and where to find them.  It’s completely FREE so why not have go?

S1. EP6. Creating textile prints for fashion design

S1. EP6. Creating textile prints for fashion design

In this tutorial we use the source imagery (lilies and palm fronds) created in the last episode (S1. EP5), to design and build a series of professional, full-repeat, digital prints in Adobe Photoshop. First, we’ll import our source imagery into Adobe Photoshop and add it to a new print document. We’ll then scale, arrange and transform the flowers (source imagery) into an aesthetically pleasing print layout. Next, we slice the print layout up to create a full repeat print and then explore the use of filters, hue, saturation and colour layers to create the finished textile print. Finally, we’ll show you how to resize the finished print and save it ready to be digitally printed onto a textile that suits the project and Francesca’s robe.

To follow this tutorial you will need Adobe Photoshop CC and you must download our “Selected source images” pack. You can also visit our previous tutorial to get your hands on even more source imagery!

Creating your own textile prints

Creating your own textile prints can seem pretty daunting. It’s a job or skill in itself and people are paid a lot of money to create textile prints for commercial projects. I was a print designer for many years before we launched PatternLab and created 900+ prints for both individual clients and high street retailers. It’s a wonderfully creative job that can be very rewarding, especially when you see your textile print used to make a gorgeous garment. Creating your own textile prints might seem unattainable at first glance, but the process is actually quite simple.

This tutorial aims to give you an insight into how textile prints are created in Adobe Photoshop so you can then develop your own. It focuses on the key tools, processes and creative concepts behind print design. Once you have insight into these tools and processes, the only limitation is your own imagination or creativity.

We’ve broken the tutorial up into several key steps or stages. This would be a very long blog post if it went into detail for each step, so instead we have provided a little excerpt of what you can expect to learn in each step.

1. Selecting your source imagery.

In S1. EP5. we created over 200 source images of our lilies and palm fronds. This is quite a lot and we can’t use every single image in our textile print. We need to whittle it down to around 20 – 25 images and select only the most aesthetically pleasing ones. Once we have selected our final source images, they are added to a folder on our desktop so that they are easy to find and use.

You can download our final selection of source imagery by either clicking one of the images below or using the download button. The pack contains all 23 source images used in this tutorial.

2. Creating an initial print layout

Once we have selected our source images, we open up Photoshop and create a new document roughly 60 x 60cm and with a resolution of 360dpi (dots per inch). Next, we open our source images in Photoshop and cut (using the magic wand tool) and paste each flower into the new document. Finally, we start to scale, rotate and arrange them (using the free transform tool) into an aesthetically pleasing print layout.

3. Creating a full repeat print.

Once we have a beautiful print layout, we need to transform it into a full repeat print. We do this by cutting the print layout into two pieces, an upper piece and a lower piece. We then swap these pieces so that the existing lower piece now sits at the top of the print and the existing upper piece now sits at the bottom of the print. This rearranging of the upper and lower pieces creates a vertical repeat. To create a horizontal repeat, we use the same technique but this time swapping the right piece with the left piece. We then add or reposition the flowers in the middle of the print to close up any large gaps that might have appeared after rearranging the pieces.

4. Using colour layers and hue & saturation

Once the full repeat print is created, we can start to get creative. We enhance, or mute, the natural colours of the flowers using the Hue & Saturation tool to create a more classic style. We then add some additional colour layers and paint effects to create hyper-real or dramatic colour effects over the underlying flowers.

5. Using filters to dramatically change the original print.

Adobe Photoshop comes with an extensive range of filters (found in the filter gallery) that, when applied dramatically, change the aesthetics of the original print. Filters include: watercolour, glowing edges, poster edges, grain and much more. These filters can be used individually for subtle changes or in combination to create greater changes to the print. The effects of each filter vary and hundreds of different prints can be created using these filters alone. It is possibly the most interesting and creative part of the print design process. We also discuss what effect image size and resolution has on these filters.

6. Adding a palm layer

We’ve focused on creating a repeat print using just the lilies or flowers, but how do we add a new palm frond layer beneath the lily layer? Using the same technique as in steps 2 and 3, we create a fully repeating palm frond print in a separate document. We then cut and paste it into our lily print, resizing it to fit the existing lily repeat using the free transform tool. Once the palm layer is in place we can then enhance it by changing the hue and saturation and adding yet more colour layers (step 4). This creates a more dynamic print and gives us more to experiment with. Once the colour layers have been added we can then apply a range of filters to further develop the entire print.

 

7. Scale, sizing, and correction using your home printer

Once we have created our finished print, we need to check the scale of the print. We do this, by printing a section of the print on our home printer at 100% scale (not scale to fit). This will give us the exact size of our print and the size of the elements within it. We can then reduce or increase the image size of the print, in Adobe Photoshop, to get the correct scale or size.

We also need to check the colour and brightness of our print, since a computer screen is not always accurate. To do this, we use the same technique. We print, check and, if necessary, adjust the exposure or brightness of the print in Adobe Photoshop.

When it comes to the colour and brightness of your print, your computer screen and printer might not always be correct. It’s essential to send a test strip containing your print, in a range of different brightness/ colours, to the textile printers. When the strip comes back, you can then select the specific print with the brightness/ colour that works best and use that print when requesting the full material order.

 

8. File type, size and resolution of your finished print.

Saving your print as a file seems pretty straightforward but we need to consider the file type, size and resolution. Each textile print company will have their own specifications. We have chosen to use Spoon Flower as we’ve heard great things! They specifically ask that you save your print in one of the following formats: png, jpeg, giff or tiff. They also ask that the file be less than 40MB and has a resolution of 150dpi max.

Downloads

Creating prints can be a time consuming process, especially when you are new to Adobe Photoshop. To help speed things up, we have created a few important artworks for you to use when following this tutorial. Each print artwork was created at important key stages in the design process. Downloading and using these artworks will enable you to practise or experiment with each stage of the tutorial.

Lily repeat

Lilies on black background in full repeat with no layers or filters.

Palm repeat

Palm fronds on black background in full repeat with no layers or filters.

Lily & palm repeat

Lilies and palm fronds on black background in full repeat with no layers or filters.

Lily & palm repeat

Lilies and palm fronds on black background in full repeat with multiple layers but no filters.

Finished prints

After an hour or two of experimenting with various layers and filters, here are a few of the textile prints that we came up with. We’ll add them to our mood boards and fashion illustrations of Francesca’s robe and present them to her for review. Once she’s picked her favourites we’ll use PatternLab’s made to measure basic blocks and patterns to pattern-make the finished garment!

Textile print template pack

Want to print your digital prints in full scale and full repeat on your home printer? Use our Textile Print Templates to create multi-page PDFs which can be stuck together after printing.

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