Adobe Illustrator for Fashion Design: Ultimate Guide with Free Tutorials (2nd Edition)

Whether you want your first (or next) job in fashion design, or you want to grow your career as a freelance fashion designer, Adobe Illustrator is required. This guide is full of free step by step tutorials and templates so you can learn quickly!

If you asked me today, I’d tell you I’m an expert at Adobe Illustrator for fashion design.

But if I’m honest? I wasn’t always this good. And the beginning of my fashion designer journey was rocky.

I’ll tell you more about my story later. But I want to talk about more important things first.

If you want to work remote as a freelancer, or you want to get a job (or keep your job) in fashion, you have to be proficient in Illustrator.

Since you’re reading this guide, chances are you probably already know that.

So let’s talk about how this step by step guide will help you learn.

What’s Included in the Ultimate Guide to Adobe Illustrator for Fashion Design?

Here’s a 10,000 foot overview of what you get in this guide. Jump to the part that you need the most, or read it all, chapter by chapter.

CHAPTER 1: What Software Do Fashion Designers Use to Draw?

Any guesses? Yep, it’s Illustrator. Here’s why AI is king and why most brands don’t use “industry” software like NedGraphics, Colour Matters or Kaledo.

CHAPTER 2: What Version of Illustrator Do I Need? How Does That All Work?

Illustrator CS and CC debunked. Here’s how to figure out what version you need…and if a subscription upgrade is required.

CHAPTER 3: What Do Fashion Designers Use Adobe Illustrator For?

MOST of the fashion design process is done in Illustrator, from sketching to coloring and repeating pattern design to presentation boards. This is exactly how it’s used, with examples.

CHAPTER 4: How Do I Know So Much About Illustrator for Fashion Design?

My Illustrator skills landed me my DREAM FASHION DESIGN JOB…even though I didn’t go to fashion school and had no industry experience. This is my story.

CHAPTER 5: 5 Myths You Believe About Illustrator…and Why Proficiency Is Closer Than You Think

Designers like you get stuck in Illustrator because they believe things that Simply. Aren’t True. A lot of your hangups? They’re in your head. Here’s how to overcome them.

CHAPTER 6: What’s the Best Way to Learn Illustrator fast (and maybe even FREE)?

Your 6 options to learn Illustrator (with pros and cons). Here’s how to choose the best option for you. (Hint: fashion school is usually the worst option.)

CHAPTER 7: Free Adobe Illustrator Tutorials for Fashion Design

37 of my best handpicked tutorials on:

  • Getting Started: The Beginners Series
  • Sketching Fashion Flats
  • Recoloring Your Designs & Managing Colors
  • Seamless Repeating Patterns
  • Technical Fashion Design
  • Fashion Brushes

Who is this Ultimate Guide to Adobe Illustrator for Fashion Design for?

This guide is for you if you’re:

  • A total beginner trying to break into fashion…and don’t know where to start
  • Old school and sketch by hand…but know you need to get up to speed
  • Know your way around Illustrator…but feel like everything takes FOREVER
  • Designing your own fashion line…and don’t want to outsource the sketching

Fair Warning: If you’re lazy, this guide won’t work for you. You can’t just read through it, watch the videos, and then *poof* magically be proficient.

You’ll have to practice. You’ll make mistakes. And you’ll learn.

We’ll talk about all these things…and we’ll talk about the best way overcome these challenges.

The good news? You’re here. Which means you’re already halfway ahead of all the designers who haven’t found this guide.

Just kidding. I’m not into competition like that. If I were? I wouldn’t give all this stuff away. So, if find this guide helpful and know someone else who would too? Be a pal and share.

In the meantime, I’m really excited to have you here.

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Go to Chapter 1 Chapter 1: What Software Do Fashion Designers Use to Draw?