Fashionary Review

Saturday, 24 May 2014

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fashionary womenswear sketchbook

I first heard about Fashionary when I was looking through Instagram and someone had posted their Neon Lights sketchbooks, and anything that shiny will grab my attention. Fashionary is Fashion, Dictionary and Diary put together, and they produce tailor-made sketchbooks (and a few other things) for fashion designers, and after looking through their website, I wanted to buy it all. I did somehow manage to control myself and only bought 4 of their products, which I will be reviewing. They are made and produced in Hong Kong, delivery is free to anywhere in the world and didn't take too long to arrive (to the UK).


fashionary womenswear sketchbook template fashionary womenswear sketchbook details

Their sketchbooks are the main thing that attracted me to Fashionary. As a fashion designer, the one thing I struggle with the most is my fashion illustration. I can never get the proportions right, even when I attempt to trace templates, they never seem to look right and as a perfectionist, this drives me crazy! With the Fashionary A4 sketchbooks, a very fine dotted outline of a figure is pre-printed in the book so you can draw straight onto it. If you like producing creative sketchbooks, the figures are so lightly printed, you can draw over the top without feeling like you need to use all three figures. The book is split into 20% dictionary and 80% figure templates. I was expecting the dictionary to be the same old references like you'd see in other books, but these pages are really useful! You can check out their website to see all the pages available, but my favourite is the pattern and flat drawing sheets. It's really annoying when there's a certain type of design you have in mind and you can't picture it in your head, you can just flip to the front of your book and you'll have 5 pages of drawings and information to help you. I also love the monthly calendar and catwalk schedule so you'll never miss a thing. At the back of the book is a pouch so you can put any loose cuttings or fabric samples. I absolutely adore this book and the only downside is the price. It comes to around £17 (depending on the conversation rate), and I complete sketchbooks like they're going out of fashion, so I think I'm going to have to use this book for a certain project. You can download the figures off their website to see if you enjoy working with the scale.

fashionary womenswear neon lights sketchbook details

I have also brought the Mini Neon Lights sketchbook, which is exactly the same as the A4 but obviously mini, and comes in a pack of 3. I wanted something I could put in my bag for when I travel incase a moment of inspiration pops up. I was going back and forth on whether to buy the A5 or the minis, but I chose the minis because even though the figures in both are the same size, in the A5, there are 3 figures on one page and only 1 in the Minis giving a larger area to design on. It also comes with perforated pages, easily transferred to another sketchbook. Like the A4, it comes with a dictionary; body measurements at the front and fabric dictionary at the back. I'm not going to lie, I think the fact they have a holographic cover made me want to buy it more, but I will still get a lot of use out of them.


fashionary womenswear panel figure flat template set

This was the 'do I want it or do I need it' kind of buy. As I had brought the minis with the perforated pages I thought maybe this was the same sort of thing but in a loose sheet form. Me being me and having no self-control when it comes to buying things, I bought both panels as a set (buying them as set worked out cheaper ok, don't judge me). The figure and flat panels are best suited for those who don't like to be restricted by a sketchbook and would prefer to design and then stick them into your sketchbook, or if you're trying to put a collection together and want to see how one garment works alongside another, or even if you have finalised a collection, and want to display them on a wall.

It comes with 9 pages per set and 8 panels per set with perforation on each side. The figures panels have a front view on one side and a side view on the other whereas the flats has two front views one side and one back view on the other side. Like the sketchbooks, you can download and print a sample to see if you're able to work with the design. Having it double sided makes it harder to practically use both sides but it gives you an equal option on which you want to use. There is space around the figures and flats to allow enough space for fabric samples and notes. When I'm doing flats/specification drawings, the final designs are always drawn out on Illustrator, so the flat panels are good to complete and scan in, making it easier to trace and understand proportion. After seeing them, I don't regret buying them and excited about decorating my bare walls with designs.


fashionary tape measure

Now, this is a blessing sent from the Gods at Fashionary. I wish I had this while I was making my collection last year. It has been marketed as 'The World's 1st tape marked with body measurements', with 57 body measurement marks (women's cm and men' inches), and it's so perfect as you don't need a model or mannequin to use it! I know while I was at University, during peak times of the year, having a mannequin to yourself was a privilege, and even now once finishing and not having full access to a mannequin, this is a great alternative. Just say you're creating a blouse and want to add sleeves, you'll place the top of your tape measure at your shoulder point and follow the tape down until you get to the point marked as 'Sleeve Length' and you've got a perfect length for sleeves.

It comes with a really easy to understand cardboard index indicating all the measurements (front and back) and how it coincides with this body. There is also a version on their website incase you loose this one or prefer it larger so you can jot down your own notes. Most standard mannequins come without legs, arms or a head, but with this tape, those measurements are included so they can help you visual those sizes you are missing. There are only two downsides to this product; you can only use cm and it only comes in size 10. I know when I use American pattern cutting books, they always use inches, and with a standard tape measure this is ok as you have the option to use both sides, but with this tape measure, the inches is dedicated to the mens. This can be a problem and you might have to pre-convert the measurements from the pattern into cm. With the sizing, it is mentioned on their website that it's handy for 'individual fashion brands and final year fashion students' but if you just want to use, say a size 12, then this product might not be right for you. Seeing as this was only launched last month and Fashionary are welcome to feedback, I think they'll be able to come up with a creative way for all to be happy with this tape measure.


There is nothing negative I can really say about Fashionary. Buy it and you'll love it as much as I do.

Once I start using these products, I'll be posting pictures up to hopefully give you some inspiration. Let me know in the comments below if you own any Fashionary products, of if there are any you'll be purchasing.