Whether you’re designing fashions for yourself or others, it can be difficult to tell exactly what the outfit will look like until it’s finished. The finished garment may look different than it did in your head. Many tools can help with designing fashions, and one of those tools is a fashion design template.
Fashion design templates allow designers to see how their designs will look on different body shapes and sizes. Fashion design templates can be purchased, but there are plenty of free fashion design templates online. Some are 100% free and some have a free trial, but all have different features depending on the source you use.
In this article, I’ll explain what a fashion design template is and how to use it if you’ve never done so before. Then, I’ll go over where to get free fashion design templates online and the key features of each so that you can compare and contrast which one is right for you.
What Is A Fashion Design Template?
Fashion design templates are essentially outlines of the human body that come in different body shapes and sizes. They allow you to see how your design will look on different body types and plan details such as belts, draping, or other aspects of the clothing. It gives a more realistic look to the outfit rather than just drawing them on regular paper.
Sometimes you may have a great idea for an outfit, but when you make it, it doesn’t turn out how you’d hoped. Fashion design templates make creating your design illustrations easier so that it turns out exactly the way you wanted it to. You can plan potential accessories and hairstyles on them as well.
Some fashion design templates aren’t necessarily outlines of the human body. Instead, they provide outlines and silhouettes of different types of clothing to help you create your design in the first place.
This is especially true with many online programs that don’t provide the human body templates themselves. But once you’ve used clothing templates to create the designs, you can then transfer them to one of the body templates.
How Do You Use A Fashion Design Template?
Fashion design templates are not difficult at all to use. You can use them to help bring your guides to life with just a few simple steps.
Remember that the templates come in many different body types, but they come with different poses, along with front, back, and side views in some cases. The first step to using them would be to choose which “model” and which “pose” you want to draw your design on.
You can always print the template and physically draw on it, but many online programs come with tools that allow you to draw your design directly on the computer. It’s up to you what you choose to do. Some people may prefer to draw the design by hand.
If you choose to draw your design by hand and the template is something you downloaded online, you have two options. You can always reprint the template each time you want to use it, or print it once and use marker paper to trace over the template.
Next, color your design. This is where using marker paper to trace the images has its advantages because it allows you to blend colors more easily without bleeding. When coloring your design, you can color in the skin tone and hair on the figure to see how your designs will look with different hair colors and skin tones.
When coloring your design, add the base color of the dress first, then any shading or folds in the fabric. Finally, draw any prints, textures, or other details that are part of your design. Add accessories as well, if applicable.
Note that if you’re using a computer program for fashion designs, it will involve playing around with the different features and functions. Each program is different as far as how it works but may come with tutorials to help you create your designs.
Where Can You Get Free Fashion Design Templates Online?
There are plenty of online resources to help fashion designers create their designs. Many programs are completely free, while others have a free trial followed by a paid subscription after the trial is up.
The websites and programs below are the best ones for creating fashion designs online. They either have downloadable templates or allow you to create your designs directly through their software program. I’ll explain how each one works and point out some of the key features that you’ll get with each one.
1. I Draw Fashion
I Draw Fashion offers free downloadable fashion templates in various poses and body styles. You can download the templates with or without hair and facial features, but some are exclusive for “Club Members Only.” It’s free to become a member, and I Draw Fashion also offers free tutorials on how to draw different types of clothing and faces and hair.
There are even tutorials provided on coloring your designs.
I Draw Fashion offers a paid masterclass and books you can buy. But if you’re just there to download templates, it is 100% free. This is a great resource for beginners to fashion design or those that want to hand-draw their design using a variety of templates.
2. Fashion Design App
Fashion Design App is an app that you can download to your phone or tablet. It doesn’t so much provide free downloadable templates, but the app does allow you to select basic shapes of garments and add your own details to them directly through the app.
This app also has a feature where you can draw your own designs via the app. Once your design is complete, then you can download it to your device or email it to yourself. At that point, you can print out the finished design.
Pret-a-Template is another app that you can download to your phone or tablet. As of right now, it’s only available in the Apple App Store, but it’s free to download and select features are free as well, but gaining full access to the app requires a paid subscription after a 7-day free trial.
Pret-a-Template offers various templates for fashion designers to create their designs directly on their devices. It even includes templates for children’s clothing as well. You can apply colors and patterns to your designs and even hairstyles. There are also tutorials and you can organize your designs into different folders. Try out the free trial, and if you like it and are willing to pay, this is one of the most popular online fashion design programs.
4. Virtual Fashion Basic 1.0
Virtual Fashion Basic 1.0 is online software that is free to download. It allows you to create 3D garments on different models using different textures and fabrics. It also has a draping simulation that helps ensure the clothing hangs the right way. You can also create patterns from your designs.
5. Clo 3D
Clo 3D is a downloadable fashion design software that allows you to create high-quality and realistic 3D images of your designs. It’s a great tool to help you visualize your sketches in 3D once you’ve created them and there are even dress forms in different shapes and sizes that you can try out your designs on.
Once you’ve tested your designs, you can create 2D patterns of them. This software does cost, but there is a downloadable free trial so that you can try it before you buy it.
6. Tailor Nova
Tailor Nova is an online fashion design software geared toward DIY sewists and fashion students and clothing manufacturers and even well-established clothing brands. It’s free to create your designs using their tools and customize them using specific measurements. You can download the design once you’re finished.
With a paid subscription, Tailor Nova allows you to create and visualize your designs in 3D instead of 2D like you get by downloading the template and drawing it yourself or even by using other online programs. They’ll also configure the sewing pattern for your design which you can purchase after your design is complete.
Edraw is not exclusively for fashion design but it can be used to help you draw or create your own fashions. This free software has templates and fashions that you can try out, or you can draw your own using their existing models. It may take some time to play around with it, but it’s easy to use once you know what you’re doing.
Snapfashun doesn’t offer free fashion design templates of models that you can draw your designs on, but it provides templates and sketches to help you illustrate the clothes themselves. It’s not free, but there is a free trial available to try it out before you buy.
Snapfashun includes different libraries with thousands of sketches that can be altered, resized, and manipulated. Examples of the libraries include menswear, womenswear, children’s wear, and costumes.
Browzwear may be a bit too advanced for beginners, but it’s a great tool for those with more experience or those who want to create multiples of their designs. With Borwzwear, you can create 3D renderings and images of your designs based on specifications, change the colors, add logos, etc.
Browzwear also allows you to easily create patterns from your designs and there are even features to help you with merchandising and marketing your clothing. Once you have more experience with fashion design, this is a great and free program.
Valentina does not necessarily provide fashion design templates, but it is free software that allows you to create sewing patterns based on measurements and rearrange those patterns based on other measurements. This is a great tool for beginners and once you’ve created your designs using a downloadable template or another pattern, this software can help you draft the pattern that you’ll use to create your design.
Fashion design templates make creating your designs easier as it allows you to see how they would look on an actual model. There are some templates that you can download if you prefer to draw your designs by hand, but there is software that you can use to digitally create your designs.
The templates might be completely free or have a free trial followed up by a paid subscription. They’re great tools to have, whether you do fashion design as a hobby or as a career.