Garment Construction in Fashion Designing

Garment Construction in Fashion Designing

Shubham Anil Jain
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited
Bangalore, India


As it is universal truth that, clothing is one among the most important three basic needs in every human life. A dress satisfies social and emotional needs but it is worn on body and it becomes part of our physical being. So, when it comes to construction of a garment or clothing, it is considered as a beautiful art, which requires skill of sewing which is essential to convert the design on paper in to garment. Garment construction is basically a technical accomplishment that particularly requires the knowledge and skills of basic sewing techniques— application of stitches, seams, darts, gathers, pleats and edge finishing, etc. It’s appropriate application in garment construction is necessary for a good quality product. Garment construction has both technical and design issues, the designer can choose where to construct lines like pockets, collars, plackets, sleeves and how to finish edges and how to produce volume and structure in order to create a good look and experience for the wearer.

garment construction

Tools and Equipments Required for Garment Construction:

1. Needles:
It is seen that, a good sewing needle is slender, so that it can pass through the material easily. Generally, a long eye is easily and quickly threaded. Numbers 7 to 9 are a good size for general hand sewing. No. 10 is preferred particularly for fine sewing. Separate packages or a package of assorted sizes may be bought.

2. Thread:
Generally when it is about the cotton thread is numbered by figures, as 60 or 80; and the rule is higher the number, the finer the thread. Silk thread size is indicated by letter, as A or B, the latter being the coarser. One should always remember that, while selecting the size of thread for a particular use, match as closely as possible the size of yarns in warp and filling of fabric. For colored fabric, silk or mercerized sewing cotton is usually used. Select thread of the same color but slightly darker than the fabric, as it works up lighter.

3. Pins:
Pins made from steel are sharp pointed slender pins, are easily inserted in fabric and leave little trace when removed. Blunt or rough points mar fabrics. Pins should be kept in a box or a pincushion that has been stuffed with hair or scraps of wool.

4. Tape Measure:
A tape is used for accuracy and convenience purpose, and made of firm material with metal tips on each end and plainly marked on both sides, with the numbering beginning at opposite ends.

5. Shears:
Generally, cutting shears 7 inches or more in length, with sharp, smooth blades, are essential to straight even cutting. They should be of a size that best fits the hand of the worker and the type of material. They should be used only for dressmaking.

6. Scissors:
Small scissors are handy for clipping and cutting threads and for hand work.

fabric cutting

7. Tailors Chalk:
This may be used for marking. It should be tried out on a sample of material to see if it will come off easily before it is used on the fabric.

8. Notebook and Pencil:
A notebook is convenient in recording points of information, as measurements or directions. This, along with a pencil, can be kept in the sewing container.

9. Table:
When it comes to cutting table should be large enough to hold the full length of the fabric. The entire pattern can then be laid on the fabric and every part of the garment provided for before any of the cutting is done.

10. Pressing Equipment:
Since the success of the .finished garment so often depends on pressing all the way along the line, an iron in good condition, a clean, well padded ironing board, and clean press cloths of different sizes and weights should be easily available.

11. Sewing Machine:
While all sewing machines are primarily the same, each make has some differences peculiar to it. For this reason, everyone who uses a sewing machine should know the parts of that machine, what these parts do, and their proper care.


Elements of Design in Garment Construction:

1. Line:
Line is defined as a distinct, elongated mark as if drawn by a pencil or pen. There are three different types of line: 1) Straight, 2) Curved, and 3) Jagged. When used in clothing, line can suggest movement or rhythm while directing the eye from one part of the body to another. Further, line can draw attention to a specific part of the body or emphasize a specific detail in a garment. For example, a topstitch used on a pair of designer blue jeans draws attention to the seams throughout the garment focusing attention to the length of the leg and/or the pockets of the jeans. The direction of lines used in clothing or textiles can be 1) Vertical, 2) Horizontal, or 3) Diagonal.

2. Shape or Form:
The silhouette or overall outline of a garment or other item is called as shape. When a designer is creating a garment, how it is cut out and the construction techniques used impact the shape or form of the final product. When an individual is walking down the street, the image seen from a distance is considered his/her shape, form, or silhouette. The shape or form of a garment can be used by the wearer to draw attention to or away from various parts of the body.

3. Texture:
When it comes to the texture of a clothing item, is determined by the fiber content, yarns, and method of construction used. The surface quality of a garment is defined as texture. Finishes can be applied to clothing during the manufacturing process that also change the overall texture or feel of a clothing item. There are many kinds of textures such as rough, smooth, dull, shiny, firm, crisp, fuzzy, bulky, nubby, soft, shaggy, flat, harsh, sheer, loopy, furry, scratchy, delicate, sparkling, and fine.

4. Color:
Color is the element that provides individuals the chance to express feelings, create illusions in appearance, and can bring overall excitement to a personal wardrobe. Experts have found that different colors can symbolize different moods, feelings, cultural practices, or as communication tool. For example, blue is a calm color associated with comfort and security, red communicates excitement, passion, or anger, yellow is cheerful, representing prosperity and a bright or sunny disposition, and purple can be used to showcase loyalty, power, or even mysteriousness.

Basic Principles of Garment Construction:

1. Functional Design:
Sometimes, with clothing and garment it is impossible to separate design and fit. The main objective of garment is that it needs to feel comfortable. It needs to provide adequate room to move, while still maintaining its shape, or form. So, while selecting the fabric it needs to be of a suitable weight and appropriate for the garment. Even, there is a symbiotic relationship between the materials chosen and the method to construction. Functional design is really about appropriateness. It actually deals on how the garment physically works and performs. Some may be quite obvious, for example, uniforms for police, firefighters and physicians. They all need specific protection for their unique job. Of course, all clothing, with the exception of a concept piece, needs to be functional to actually be worn.

2. Structural Design:
The structure of a garment plays a very important role, and is everything that holds the garment together. When it comes to the fabric, the seams, shaping and everything that goes on between the outer fabric and the inside. It incorporates a number of different elements depending on the desired look that you want to achieve. A garment which has been nicely made and neatly finished will wear better over time; it will also sit better on the body. Sometimes when a garment is not finished correctly small details will not seem to hang nicely on the body, a collar won’t roll quite the right way, a neckline won’t sit quite flat or a lining will bunch up in the wrong areas.

3. Decorative Design:
Decorative design generally refers to the decorative surface finish, but it is often eye catching and draws to a garment. Details such as buttons, bows, trim, embroidery, prints, pattern and color. These ornamentations can be paired to enhance a design or to subvert it. Their purpose may be completely decorative, but is always carefully considered. As is often the case, the beauty of a garment isn’t in the “decorative element” but in the lack of embellishment. Working within a minimalist framework, a mix of clever pattern cutting, strong construction skills and correct structure can sometimes be just as innovative and modern as any surface design.

Garment Construction Plan:

1. Preparation:

  1. Study of the pattern.
  2. Comparing the body measurements to the pattern and make any necessary pattern adjustments or gradation.
  3. Prepare the fabric by straightening the grain line.
  4. Prepare the layout of the fabric and pattern pieces. Pin (or use weights) fabric to pattern when you are pleased with the layout.
  5. Once it is checked that you have all of the necessary pieces laid out correctly on the grain, double check again to confirm before cutting.
  6. Mark all of the construction details.
  7. Then, staystitch each garment section.
  8. Interface each area as suggested in the pattern.
  9. Stitch and do pressing of all darts, tucks, pleats or gathers.

2. Shaping:

  1. Prepare and manage all lining or underlining.
  2. If there are any style lines such as a yoke or princess seams, pin and stitch.
  3. Sew the center front and center back seams.
  4. Prepare and apply style details such as tabs and pockets.
  5. Baste the shoulder seams.
  6. Baste the side seams and inseam.
  7. Try on for fit. If you are pleased with the fit, go ahead and stitch the shoulder, side seams and inseam. Remove basting.

3. Finishing:

  1. If sometimes, zipper is needed, insert it.
  2. Finish the inside seams.
  3. Set and sew the hems
  4. Add the closures-buttons, buttonhole and snaps..
  5. Complete any other hand finishing.

Throughout each step, have the iron and pressing cloth ready.

As all know, clothing construction is the process of creating different varieties clothes with a customized fit and style. It includes designing and sewing, knitting, weaving, or other methods. It can be done by hand, using a loom, or by using a sewing machine, depending on the type of garment that needs to be created. Clothing construction has been around since from the ancient times. It has been used in various cultures to make clothing for men and women. Making clothes is a long, complicated, time-consuming process and has to be done carefully.


  1. Advanced Garment Construction Guide, October 2020, Publisher: Woodhead publishing India in Textiles Pvt Ltd, ISBN: 978-81-936446-4-5
  2. Garment Construction, Prepared by Edna M. Callahan, Edith Berry Extension Specialists in Clothing, The Ohio State University
  3. Lang, J. (1993). Creating architectural theory: The role of the behavioral sciences in environmental design. New York Van Nostrand Reinhold
  5. Little Stitch Studio: Sewing Classes, Camps and Workshops,

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