Since I was waiting for the new sewing thread shipment to come in, I started some doodling. Of course, I started sketching in my hot looking sketch book with croc cover (see DIY over here). But since my black bag is almost finished it is also time to collect my intellectual property and save my design digitally. Therefore we need to know how to design Illustrator. Of course, you can use any other program you like to work with. Although with Illustrator you will make dimensionless vectors which you can scale larger and smaller if you decide to make a mini bag or a maxi bag of it without losing quality.
One of a kind in Illustrator
A one of a kind bag is, of course, unique, special and could be high valued. Though when you are the one who made it and it really doesn’t match with your new pair of heels or that amazing dress you just bought you might want to make that perfect bag again in another colour or in suede. But what if you have thrown out the original malls and forgot how to sew it together? Then it might be useful to have a digital copy of it. Combining the real craft with digital developments is what I think is the best combination of the two worlds as you can read here. But how do you make your designs digital?
I use Illustrator and a scanner for that. I can make a digital version of a sketch to see the amount of leather I will need for a certain design or I could make it digital to save it for those ‘first world panic attacks’ of matching colours or structures. Both versions will be discussed here so see for yourself what you are looking for.
The Sketching type of person.
Are you the type of person who is doodling all day long. Then you probably first have drawn your designs. To make such designs you will need some imagination and construction visions. When you draw down the design you have to make sure you can visualise the 2D structure of for example a bag from the 3D design you originally start with. So think of each panel you need, the zippers, the rivets, the sewing margins, the desired height and width. Depending on, if you already have found your piece of leather you would like to work with you could think of some other matters. Think also about the weight the certain amount of leather will have or space it will need to turn the bag for example inside out (blind stitches).
When you have your sketches ready it is time to digitalize.
- Scan your designs.
- Adjust the white balance to filter all the noise out of your drawing and end up with black lines.
- Convert the image into paths.
- Adjust any lines which aren’t converted correctly
- Resize it to if you like it to ‘ real sizes’.
- Add any measurements, colours etc. to help your future you reminding of the correct design.
The trial and error type of person
When you are more the type of trial and error you could follow this method. Probably do you like to just feel the paper mall in your hands and glue the pieces together to create your design? Although when you finally finished your design it will be a little more difficult to make it digital. Even though when you follow these steps you will be just fine!
- Cut your design into pieces (ouch that must hurt a little but don’t worry)
- Mark the matching edges with numbers
- Scan all pieces onto your computer
- repeat step 2-6 from the method above
- Place all the different parts together and combine the paths
Make a separate folder for all your designs and store them carefully. That wasn’t as difficult as you first might have thought. From now on, scan them right away before you throw by accident any of your paper malls away.
The black bag is now fully stitched as you could have seen on my Instagram account. Now, the only thing left are the edges and then some final pics! Follow @florineleatherandstyle to stay up-to-date.