I've decided to talk about portfolios here before we get too far along into the design process because I want you to get into the habit of assuming that there will eventually be someone who is going to want to view your work in some capacity or other. Remembering this as you work should help you to eliminate sloppy design habits and keep you focused on your goal - doing your best work.

Those of you who plan to go professional should take pictures of everything you make including boards, sketches, technical drawings and projects. It's a good idea to keep the background of your photographs plain. You don't want anything to take away from the art you have created. You also want your portfolio to be visually clean unless you have a distinct style which allows your work to appear cluttered as in the case of some fiber artists.

If you do not have a studio or space is otherwise limited, you can lay your projects on a clean table or floor cropping out everything but your project. You will need to stand directly over the project so the photograph will appear as though you were standing in front of it. Boards can be tacked to a wall as can sketches or tech drawings. If you have a dress form or mannequin use it but make sure the background is bare. Potential employers are not interested in how cute your living room is or how much stuff you have in your workroom. You will appear unprofessional and homey. A blank wall or a professional backdrop is best.

Always include a resume and examples of your best work. Choose examples that cover the range of your talents and expertise.

Creating a professional portfolio is not scrapbooking. Potential employers are interested in your creativity but only as it relates to the business of fashion. Do not use cutesy page embellishments even if you are designing children's clothes unless you actually designed the embellishment yourself and it is a usable garment input. In that case it should go in a page sleeve. Leave the stickers for the scrapbookers.