Join Robin Schneider for an in-depth discussion in this video Making a zipper brush, part of Illustrator for Fashion Design: Drawing Flats.
In this movie, I'm going to show you how to make a zipper brush. A zipper brush can be as elaborate as this one or a simple zipper which is closed here or a simple open zipper. All you need to do is draw a path with the Pen tool and then find your zipper brush, click on it and there you have it, a complete zipper with stop and seams and stitching. Let me show you how to make these two simple zippers and as you play around with the Illustrator and get more comfortable with the program, you can build yourself an elaborate one.
I'm going to close this layer and turn on this one. I've got a jacket here that is in need of a zipper so let's go ahead and make one. The zipper size I need for this jacket, and it should work for you too is very, very small. We're going to start by making a rectangle with the Rectangle tool. So select it, let's get in this layer so it'll let us draw. So I've got the Rectangle tool, I'm going to click once on the page. So we'll type in a Width of .75 and a Height of 3 points, click OK and it's a very tiny little rectangle.
We want to change the Stroke Width to .25 and make sure it has round corners and caps and you can also do that up here in the Control panel. This is all we need for our open zipper. We'll switch back to the Selection tool, select it and make a brush, click on New Brush, select Pattern Brush and click OK. We'll name it Open Zipper and we need to adjust the Spacing. It'll need to be 100% so there's room for the other half of the zipper to lock in place with this one and click OK.
Now while we're here, let's make the close zipper also and then I'll show you how to use both of them. To make the close zipper, you're going to copy this zipper and just move it over and down a little bit. So you can do that by holding your Alt or Option key, dragging the zipper over and moving it down just a little bit. So now I have my two close zipper teeth. I'm going to select them, click on New Brush, select Pattern Brush, OK and this brush doesn't need any spacing so we'll just click OK.
I didn't name my zipper brush so let's go back and do that. We're going to double-click, type in zipper, Z-I-P-P-E-R, and click OK. In case you haven't noticed by now, I just want to point out that all brushes in Illustrator are created from left to right, same way you would read. It doesn't matter if you draw the line from down to up or up and down or side to side, the brush will follow the path that you draw.
But to create the brush, it's really important that it's always created from left to right. So let's go ahead and zoom out and apply the zipper brush to this jacket. I'm going to select the path that I've already drawn for the zipper, we'll go down to our close Zipper brush, which is the one with the two teeth and click on it and there is the Zipper. But it's still missing one thing and that's a zipper pull. So I'm going to open my symbols and grab the zipper pull.
In the next movie, I will show you how to make one of your own, but we're just going to place it right here and now my jacket has a zipper complete with a zipper pull with one click of the brush. Let me show you how to use the open zipper. The open zipper can be used this way. We'll click, click and then click straight down and I'm going to apply the open zipper. Let's go back to my brushes and click on the open zipper brush. I want to make sure it has no fill and now I can select the zipper and reflect it so double-click on Reflect, Vertical, Copy, let me zoom in a bit, and now with my arrow key, I'm going to nudge this zipper over so it overlaps the first set of teeth and then I'm going to nudge it down one click so I get a closed zipper with a little bit open at the top.
Now I can go back to my symbols, grab my zipper pull and move it into place, which is going to be a little bit lower and now I have a partially open zipper. I hope that you'll enjoy making brushes and find them a huge time saver.
- 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
Skill Level Intermediate
1. Getting Started: Overview of Basic Illustrator Tools
2. Drawing a Basic T-Shirt
3. Drawing a Button-Down Shirt
4. Drawing Skirts
5. Drawing a Blazer
6. Creating Custom Brushes
7. Creating Custom Symbols
8. Drawing Pants
9. Drawing Croquis
10. Presenting and Sharing Your Flats
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