Digital Fashion Sketching: A Grayscale #MakeNine

Although you may remember Reiko from her vibrant Ashton dress hack, she chose to design her 2022 Make Nine in grayscale, for coloring in as each garment is completed. Read on to see how Reiko digitally sketched her sewing plans with a free drawing app on her iPadusing only shades of gray.


As I was planning my Make Nine for 2022, I looked back on my Make Nine from 2021. I knew that I wanted some things to be different and some things to be the same.

In 2021, I used black and white technical drawings for my list. I loved the way that these looked when collaged with the full colour photos of my completed makes. I also focused on techniques and broad categories of garments rather than specific patterns. I think that this made the Make Nine more achievable.

In 2021, I also discovered fashion sketching thanks to MyBodyModel. I wondered how I could incorporate sketches into my Make Nine for 2022.  

Working in the free Autodesk Sketchbook drawing app on my iPad, I started by choosing a gray to work with. There are so many grays it was hard to choose! I ended up using the gray that I always use for sketches in the app, Copic N9 or RGB 77/74/74. I used my chosen gray as a base and created lighter and darker versions by adjusting the “lightness.” I made my grayscale croquis using MyBodyModel and started sketching garments. I immediately saw how dramatic the grayscale sketches looked and I was hooked!

A grayscale sketch of the 
Concord T-shirt by Cashmerette with color blocking paired with shorts that Reiko created on her MyBodyModel croquis using digital fashion sketching techniques on her iPad.
Grayscale sketch of the #ConcordTShirt by #Cashmerette. Colour blocking inspired by one of Lucy Liu’s outfits on Why Women Kill.
Reiko adjusts the lightness of a selected color on a grayscale sketch of the Upton Dress by Cashmerette that Reiko drew on her MyBodyModel croquis in the Autodesk Sketchbook app on her iPad.
Adjusting the lightness of my selected gray color to draw a grayscale sketch of #UptonDress by #Cashmerette on my custom croquis by #mybodymodel.

I even had a gray fabric that I had already inserted into one of my sketches!

A grayscale sketch of the Hovea Jacket by Megan Nielsen Patterns in a cotton linen canvas from Spool of Thread paired with slacks that Reiko created on her MyBodyModel croquis using digital fashion sketching techniques on her iPad.
Grayscale sketch of the Hovea Jacket #MNhovea by #MeganNielsenPatterns. Fabric is a cotton linen canvas from #spoolofthread. I added the fabric using the method taught in MyBodyModel’s “Digital Paper Dolls” online class.

When you’re working with this amount of grayscale, things get repetitive quite quickly. I used the opportunity to explore the different tools available in the Sketchbook app. To simulate corduroy, I started by filling the garment with a darker shade of gray, then I switched to a lighter shade and used the ruler to draw perfectly straight parallel lines. It’s subtle, but I like it.

Reiko uses the ruler tool in the Autodesk Sketchbook app on her iPad to draw lines simulating corduroy on a grayscale sketch of the Georgie Pinafore by Jennifer Lauren Handmade that Reiko drew on her MyBodyModel croquis.
Using the ruler tool to draw lines simulating corduroy in my grayscale sketch of the Georgie Pinafore #JLHGeorgiePinafore by #JenniferLaurenHandmade.

I even used a “Half Tone” pattern brush in Sketchpad to create a patterned “fabric” for this swimsuit sketch.

Reiko uses the pattern library in the Autodesk Sketchbook app on her iPad to select a "half-tone" pattern brush to use on a grayscale sketch of the Ipswich Swimsuit by Cashmerette that Reiko drew on her MyBodyModel croquis.
Using the pattern library in Autodesk Sketchbook for my digital sketch of the #IpswitchSwimsuit by #Cashmerette.

This is my completed #makenine2022:

Reiko's completed Make Nine wardrobe created in grayscale on her MyBodyModel croquis using digital fashion sketching techniques. Patterns, from left to right, top to bottom: The Upton Dress by Cashmerette, the Georgie Dress by Jennifer Lauren, the Ipswich Swimsuit by Cashmerette, the Sweet Sixteen Bralette by Bra Makers Supply, the Concord Shirt by Cashmerette, the Jenny Overalls by Closet Core, the MyFit Underwear by Apostrophe, the Hovea Jacket by Megan Nielsen, the Serpentine Hat by Elbe Textiles.
Patterns, from left to right, top to bottom: The Upton Dress by Cashmerette, the Georgie Dress by Jennifer Lauren, the Ipswich Swimsuit by Cashmerette, the Sweet Sixteen Bralette by Bra Makers Supply, the Concord Shirt by Cashmerette, the Jenny Overalls by Closet Core, the MyFit Underwear by Apostrophe, the Hovea Jacket by Megan Nielsen, the Serpentine Hat by Elbe Textiles.

I love the way it turned out! My plan is to insert full colour drawings of my finished makes as I complete them. 

Reiko's completed Make Nine wardrobe created in grayscale on her MyBodyModel croquis using digital fashion sketching techniques displayed on her iPad surrounded by fashion sketching and sewing tools on a brightly patterned fabric background.
My Make Nine may be in grayscale, but I still love color! I can’t wait to color in each item as it’s completed.

Want to try creating your own digital #MakeNine? Learn the basics of digital fashion drawing on your tablet with MyBodyModel’s “Digital Paper Dolls” class at Illustrated Style School!

1 thought on “Digital Fashion Sketching: A Grayscale #MakeNine”

  1. I love this idea and am going to try it for my MakeNine2022! I usually do my “paper doll” outfits in color, but so often change direction or fabric choice, so this would be perfect!

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