Flats And Specification Drawings

A variety of terms are used to describe the drawing of a detailed garment specification. Flats, working (or technical) drawings, specs (or schematics) all describe the diagrammatic styles of representing an item of clothing. They are two-dimensional drawings of garment construction, showing front, back and side views with technical descriptions. They also show design details such as topstitching, trims and pockets. This style of drawing is most often used to accompany a fashion illustration, giving the viewer more information about how the garment is made to back up its visual description. We saw (on p, 75) how the Hats interpreted the illustration. Without them, it would be difficult to imagine the shapes that make up the outfit. Some designers actually work out their design roughs in this way if they find it easier to design ranges flat, rather than on a figure, in order to consider technical aspects as they work. The image (facing page, top left) shows a series of flat designs, created on computer, accompanying an illustration.

Drawings for Hats should be clean, sharp and precise. This style of accurate drawing is difficult for those who like to draw freely using sketchy lines. Practise drawing clothes from your wardrobe and, to enhance your understanding of your own designs, from your design roughs, too. You will learn about the construction of garment details by drawing them. In particular, practise drawing more complicated details such as trouser seats, collar revers, pleats, pockets and unusual sleeves.

The simplest way to produce a flat is to sketch a garment in pencil, then draw over the top in black ink. For this purpose, buy a set of fineliners made up of three different nib thicknesses. Use the heaviest to outline the garment, the medium line for the garment structure and the finest to emphasize the details. The working drawings (facing page, top right) for a coat have been created in this way, its seams and topstitching clearly identified on both the front and back views. A detailed sketch shows a close-up of the collar construction and the button positioning hidden beneath the lapel. Notice that the proportions are of a realistic body size—scale and accuracy are important for the purpose of this type of drawing and exaggeration is not appropriate.

In industry and the commercial world, the details indicated in the flat are also shown in a more precise version known as a spec (specification), or schematic, drawing. For this, a garment's correct specifications are mapped out to the last millimetre. Accurate measurements are added to the drawing, along with details about lining, trims, threads, fusing and fastenings. A sample specification sheet used in factories (such as the one on the facing page, below) will even have meticulous details about darts, pleats, pocket placement, pattern matching, hems, buttonholes and pressing. Compiling this information on a sheet, with a detailed spec, means a sample machinist is able to make a ovided.

Creating the design from an illustration would be almost impossible, with the machinist having to make crucial decisions about the garment construction that could differ from the designer's ideas. Specs provide a safety net for all and eliminate the possibility of error. They are also vital in the costing process. From a spec, it is possible to work out all the materials required to make a garment and cost its production accordingly. Much of this information is compiled using a computer system often known as CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacture). CAD/CAM systems speed up many of the manual-design procedures and operate specialist-manufacturing machinery efficiently. Specific training is required to be a CAD/CAM operator, but with every detail of the garment logged, it should be simple enough for the garment to be produced anywhere in the world.

6x30mm 4-hole buttons

Top-button placements: Drill 130mm and 30mm from front edge 540mm from lower hem edge 80mm spacing

Vertical welt pockets: 120mm length

5mm topstitching and reinforced

Top of welt placement: 560mm from lower hem edge 150mm from front edge


Bag 160mm x 160mm Flap 65mm x 65mm

Lower pocket edge placement:

110mm from hem

Distance 130mm from front edge



Fusible Interlining



Supplier B Fabric Code 400/T24

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  • vala
    What are specification drawings fashion?
    3 years ago

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