Clear and detailed construction sketches are the name of the game for a technical designer. If the image can’t tell you most of what you need to know, (I believe) it’s not a very good image.
I do all my sketches in Adobe Illustrator… and I love it so much I even illustrate in Illustrator in my off time.
Good fit is essential. A good technical designer has to be an excellent patternmaker, even if they are not the ones correcting the pattern. As a technical designer you need to look at a garment and understand where exactly that dragline is coming from so that you can either fix the pattern yourself, or communicate the pattern correction clearly to your vendor.
If the style is only needing some spec revisions, I’ll generally let the vendor take care of those corrections. But anything involving overall balance or shape, I’d prefer to do this pattern correction myself to ensure that we get an approvable product as soon as possible. Doing balance and shape revisions myself also ensures consistency in fit for the customer between one product and another.
I currently work in Gerber’s Accumark v. 8.5. I prefer to do all of my pattern corrections digitally in Gerber’s Pattern Design program.
At Eileen Fisher Inc. I work on missy size small, then also create the petite (PS) and women’s (1X) versions of the style. This is my favorite part of my job, as it challenges me to think of how the style would fit and flatter a different body type and proportion.
At Abercrombie & Fitch I worked primarily on men’s size medium styles, occasionally helping out my teammates on Abercrombie kids product.