Join Robin Schneider for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating symbols for drawstrings and lacing, part of Illustrator for Fashion Design: Drawing Flats.
In this movie, I'm going to show you how to create draw strings like this. These kinds of details are one of my favorite things to do, because they look so elegant and professional on a project. They also look like they took hours to make when I really only spent a few minutes on them. So let me show you some of my techniques. We're going to start by using the Pencil tool. So go ahead and grab the pencil, and it works just like a pencil, just click and drag. And what we're doing is drawing the draw string. And I'm going to make another one for the other side, and I think we'll do ours with a bow.
I'm going to go ahead and draw a couple of bow pieces. I don't like this little one so I'm going to select it and delete it and make another one. While we're at it, we need a couple of pieces to make up the knot. So let's zoom in a little bit closer and again with the Pencil tool, I am just going to going to make a couple of little crescent pieces that kind of look like pieces of elbow macaroni or little commas, and we're going to use those in a bit.
This one is a little bit long though so I'm going to make it a really short and stubby piece of macaroni. We'll select all of these pieces and we're going to make sure that they have round caps and joins and the Line Weight in this case, we're going to make two points. Make sure they have no fill and we're going to change this from strokes to objects. So go up to Object and select Expand. Now we have a couple of choices. We want to expand the stroke, but not the fill.
So you're going to turn off fill, leave stroke selected and click OK. Now we've got objects instead of paths. We're going to switch the Fill to White, the Stroke to Black, and change the point size of the stroke to 0.5, so they're more delicate. Now we can take the different pieces and combine them. They all want to meet at the center where the knot would be, and let's go ahead. I'm going to rotate one of these a little bit, so they are not completely on top of each other.
And I also like to take one of the strings and move it on top. So I'm going to select it, right-click, Arrange>Bring to Front. So now, they have all these pieces on top like so, all we need is the knot and the knot is just these two little pieces. Let's see, we'll put that like that, I'm going to select them, group them together and put them right on top, but we need to bring them Arrange>Bring to Front so they're on top of everything.
Let's turn that around a little bit. I'm not loving my knot today. I actually liked it better I think when this was is in the front. You can rotate the knot to find a better place for it to sit, but I'm not really in love with this one. I actually think it only needs one of these pieces to make it look good. So I'm going to select one of them and place it here and actually I think that works better. So adjust the knot, you may need to move a couple of pieces around to get it situated the way you like it.
This looks like it will work for me, so I'll select it and let's make a symbol out of it. Click on New Symbol, we'll name it Draw String and click OK. Now there are a few other things you can do with this. I'm going to break the link to the symbol, and I'm going to pull out my two little loops and save this as a draw string without a bow. So New>Symbol, we'll call this Draw String 2, click OK and now I have a version with a bow and without.
We can get rid of these pieces now. Now there are lots of other things you can do with this technique. We've already done our eyelets, so let's incorporate the eyelets into the draw string. I'm going to drag out one of my eyelet symbols that I made earlier. Make a copy of it and drag it over a bit. We're going to use the same size that we used for the draw string. So I'm going to take my Pen tool and I'm going to draw a path that goes straight across from one eyelet to the other. Change the Stroke Weight to two points, which is what we did and round caps and round joins, no fill.
We're going to go up to Object, Expand, again only the Stroke not the Fill. Click OK, change the Fill to White, the Stroke to Black, 0.5. Let's nudge this up just a tiny bit, so it's in place, perfect! And now, I'm going to group this together and go ahead and define this as a symbol as well, eyelet with, click OK.
Now let's finish up this pair of pants I have down here, because what they were definitely missing was a draw string. And if you made all these symbols, you're ready to go. I'm going to delete this, so here I have these sweat pants that need a draw string. All I need to do is grab this piece, my eyelets with string, and grab either the knot with the bow or the one without and I'm all set. There are a few other things you can do with these pieces now that you've made them.
You can also create lacing. You can take this piece, duplicate it or drag out more. But if you duplicate it, you can keep it aligned better. And then of course pull out one of the draw strings and move it into place and you've got lacing. You can also take a piece, and I'm going to rotate it 45 degrees, click OK. Now I'm going to reflect it, vertical copy, and now I've got lacing like this.
So we'll take it and we'll make a new symbol. I'm not going to take the time to label it right now because I want to show you as much as I can, but drag it down and duplicate also. So there's another style of lacing you can do with this technique. There's so much you can do now that you know how to make the pieces. So have fun with it.
- What is a flat?
- Scaling, rotating, and duplicating shapes
- Simplifying and mastering the Pen tool to get you up and running quickly
- Drawing shirts with sleeves, collars, and placket details
- Drawing skirts, trousers, and jeans
- Using custom brushes to add stitching and trim quickly
- Creating and using symbols for buttons, zipper pulls, and drawstrings
- Drawing and rendering croquis with faces and hair
- Creating professional quality layouts