Making a Personal Croquis

Have you used a personal croquis? Last year I decided I was going to make one. This is one of my UFOs that I’m completing this year. If I’d had any idea of how much fun I would have, I’d never have put it off!

To me, a croquis is a basic drawing used to see how clothing will look on a body – in this case, on my body.

Adjusted Hourglass Figure

I think croquis are a great concept, except I don’t look like them, not even the hourglass ones. You almost never see a croquis with shorter legs! You definitely don’t see them with a little more padding than they need, or with curly hair! I found the image on the right online and played with it to give her shorter legs, more curves, and curly hair!

I have to say, I’ve been having fun with my curvy curly girl.

Digital Paper Dolls

Here she is trying on a couple of outfits.

Here she’s wearing the top from McCall’s 7538. The original is below for comparison.I’ve been wondering about this pattern because of the emphasis at the waist. There’s a fine line between defining a curvy girl’s waist and looking like Jessica Rabbit.

Here she is with the same pattern, but wearing one of the dress options.

I’m not loving this dress on her. It makes her hips look even wider.

However, this dress shape is from the same pattern. I can see right away this is a better shape for my curvy curly girl.

For all three of these clothing images, I copied the image from the web, played with it in Photoshop to remove the background, layered it over a photo of my girl, then adjusted the height and width to fit her figure. It sounds like a lot of work, but it only took a few minutes for each image. I found it rather fun. It really is like playing with digital paper dolls.

It was also very helpful in seeing how the dress design would look on my shape.

Beautiful Croquis

Gwen, a fellow blogger, goes beyond a simple croquis outline and does an illustration of herself in the garment she plans to make. I love it! Here’s an image from Calm Under Tension (used with permission).

Isn’t this fabulous? I marvel at Gwen’s drawings as much as I admire her makes. Gwen is a fellow lingerie-maker, so I know you’ll love her blog too.

Personal Croquis

Where did this whole desire to make my own croquis even get started? I received an email with this video. This is a great tutorial that takes you through the steps to create a personal croquis. It’s on the Threads website. The video goes through the whole process. I love seeing how something is done rather than reading how.

Making a croquis has been a goal of mine since this tutorial came out, so I finally did it. Here’s the beginning of mine.

In the video, the next step is to learn to draw your figure out, much like Gwen’s above, and draw the dress, or clothing on it. Here’s the final image from the Threads’ tutorial.

Yes, this is very much like what Gwen is doing. I may try it at some time, but I have to admit, I’m pretty happy playing with my digital paper doll and using the simple outline. It does exactly what I’m wanting as an outline.

Here’s my very basic croquis. She’s my measurements and my proportions, which I was quite surprised to find out were very close my curvy curly girl above. The curvy curly has a more exaggerated waist, and her legs are longer. I gave my croquis nicer curly hair, which resembles mine.

This last image gives me a really good indication of how that same McCall’s dress will look on me. I like it! Happy creating!

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16 thoughts on “Making a Personal Croquis

    1. Thanks, Donna. I play with the image a little in Photoshop. It’s a little technical, so I’ll post a mid-week tutorial on how I do this. There may be other programs available that will do the same thing.

  1. If you’re a photoshop queen, I read a tutorial on making a croquis using a photo of yourself – you wear slim fitting clothes and stand against a white wall, then upload the photo and either blank out everything or use an outline tool and then subtract the image so you have a totally personalised one! I don’t think I’d have the skills to play with it in photoshop but sounds like you do!

    1. Liz, I did hear about that. However, it was so easy to simply trace an outline from the photo too, so that’s what I did.
      I’m posting a tutorial mid-week on how I did this in Photoshop. It’s really not hard, and rather fun! I believe you can do it!

  2. What a great way to go about this. And I like Liz’s suggestion, too. I am quite intimidated by Photoshop. Here is one more reason to get over my fear 😉

  3. This is fabulous! I did it a few years ago and really found it so helpful. Its time to do it again as I’m not the same shape these days.

  4. This is going on my project list! I am short waisted with little waist definition so it’s often hard to imagine how garments on willowy models/illustrations are going to look on me. And I agree, that McCall’s pattern looks perfect for your figure!

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