How to Design Your Own Clothing on a Computer Mannequin

Written by patricia smith michaels
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How to Design Your Own Clothing on a Computer Mannequin
Computer-aided fashion design (expensive fashion with fur image by Ivonne Wierink from

Computer-aided garment design involves choosing a garment, selecting a design program, entering size measurements, choosing colour and style elements and printing the final garment and pattern. Computer-aided garment design programs can be PC- or Web-based and oftentimes are very specific to the type of garment being created. For instance, there are garment programs that are used to create all types of wedding gowns. Some garment programs allow users to dress a virtual mannequin with clothing pieces while others let users enter the garments' measurements and characteristics. Most garment programs give a computer view of the final garment, its construction specifications and printouts of the garment's pattern.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Garment-design software
  • Garment measurements
  • Printer

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  1. 1

    Decide on the style and type of clothing to create. For instance, it could be men's, women's or children. Decide on what garment to design. For example, the garment could be a shirt, trousers, a dress or suit.

  2. 2

    Find a garment design program that is PC-based or Web-based to create the clothing. Select a program based on ease of use, cost and program output. Some garment design programs are specific to the type of garment. For instance, there are Web-based programs for creating dresses, children's clothing and men's suit.

  3. 3

    Calculate the necessary size measurements of the clothing. For example, necessary measurements for trousers would be the inseam, waist and length.

  4. 4

    Enter the construction specifications for the garment into the program. Also, enter the desired colour, size and shape of the garment. For instance, to design a shirt, specifications for the collar, sleeves and body of the shirt need to be entered into the program. Some programs allow users to drag parts of the garment onto a virtual mannequin and then adjust the measurements.

  5. 5

    Print out the garment specifications. Some programs give you a virtual view of a garment while others allow you to order or print a finished garment pattern.

Tips and warnings

  • For general clothing design of all types and sizes, select a design program that handles various sizes and types of garments.
  • When designing specific clothing such as a wedding gown, choose a program that is specifically for that type of the clothing.
  • If a professional garment pattern is desired, choose a program that allows you to order the finished pattern.
  • Keep in mind that computerised garment design programs cannot provide enough options for designing quirky, one-of-a-kind clothing. While garment design programs can be used to design trendy, hip clothing, unique clothing should be designed by hand.

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