In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator to create a vector T-shirt!
How to Create a Vector T-Shirt Template and Apply a Pattern to It With Adobe Illustrator
1. How to Draw a T-Shirt With the Mesh Tool
Let’s learn how to use the Mesh Tool while creating a photo-realistic T-shirt!
Begin by drawing the shape of half of a shirt with the Pen Tool (P). Fill it in with
Create a copy of the shape! Put it aside—we will need it later.
Let’s start using a Mesh! Take the Mesh Tool (U) and start creating a Mesh grid on the object by placing nodes. Afterwards, select the nodes on the top left edge of the shirt and change their color to
Add some more nodes, as indicated in the screenshot below, and color the bottom two-thirds of the shirt with
Continue similarly, now using these colors:
Create more shadows and folds in this step, using these colors:
Add some more Mesh nodes and apply the final colors:
Add a final fold with
#BCBCBC and now create a reflected copy of the object by right-clicking, and then choosing Transform > Reflect.
Choose Vertical reflection and click Copy instead of OK.
Put the two copies together as well as you can—make sure the mesh nodes in the middle line up. You can Group both objects (Control-G) for ease of use.
Next, let’s draw the sleeves! Draw an outline and save a copy for later. Continue using the Mesh Tool (U) with these colors:
Apply finishing touches to the sleeve with:
Draw the inside of the shirt with these colors:
Save a copy of the outline of the shape!
Draw some more folds with:
Draw the outline of the shape and save a copy of it for later.
Finish off the shirt by coloring its collar using these:
Now, put all the elements together! (Create the second sleeve by recreating Step 5).
Our shirt is done!
2. How to Apply a Pattern to the Shirt
Draw a sample pattern made with red (
#E81010) stripes on a white background. You can use any other pattern you want!
Grab the copy of the outline we made back in Step 1, create a reflected copy and, using the Pathfinder panel, Unite both shapes into one.
Place the pattern we made before over the top of the white shape. Select both and, after right-clicking, choose Make Clipping Mask.
Grab the other copies of outlines we made in the previous section of the tutorial and add them to our shirt pattern. You can Group them.
Next, take the Mesh T-shirt and, in the Transparency panel, change the Transparency mode to Multiply. Place the Mesh T-shirt over the top of the pattern and it’s ready!
Our T-shirt with the pattern is done! You can apply any other pattern you’d like in exactly the same fashion.
Awesome Work, You’re Now Done!
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I’ll be extremely happy to see your results in the comments below!