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But how will it look on someone my size?
Preview that style on a plus-size croqui...here's how
LizJ58
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LizJ58
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Date: 12/18/13 10:43 AM

I was waiting till I could get my blog going in order to post this, but since it doesn't look like it's going to be a priority any time soon, I decided to go ahead and post the instructions here!

Typically, for us larger, curvy women, we have to imagine how a pattern will look on someone close to our size. Or go and find a RTW style that's close to the pattern. But there's a way to visualize the style that typically only takes a few minutes.

One approach to this idea is in Colette's Sewing Handbook. I haven't read the book, but here's what I came up with on my own.

What you will need:

1) A photo editing program that includes layers and allows for at least some resizing of individual layers. Photoshop is the king, of course, especially because it can do WARP, not just resize, perspective, and skew. However, Photoshop Elements, Gimp, and some other programs at least allow for scaling individual layers, and will meet the minimum requirements of what you'll need (Gimp is free, and Elements is about $60).

2) A digital picture of your fabric, taken with the fabric laying flat, not in perspective.

3) The line drawing of the pattern you want to visualize. More on how to get this image in a later post.

4) A croqui (figure drawing) that is close to your size and proportions. More on how to find this in a later post.

So...if you're interested and ready, follow me, and we'll get started.
-- Edited on 12/18/13 11:36 AM --

------
- Libby with a "y" not an "ie"
(People who know Richmond will get this!)

"Sewing is not a hobby, it's a journey."

LizJ58
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LizJ58
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Date: 12/18/13 11:25 AM

Let's go over how to get that basic body image - the croqui. There are several options:

Option 1) You don't even have to use a line drawing. You could take a picture of yourself in underwear, swimewar, tank top and shorts, etc. The pose should be full length, full frontal, as close to straight perspective as possible, legs straight and together, arms straight at sides slightly away from the hip.

Option 2) You can take Option 1 further by creating a line drawing based on your photo. A couple of links to get you started:

http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/easy-croquis-with-gimp

http://rhinestonesandtelephones.blogspot.com/2012/02/sew-colette-personalized-croquis.html

Option 3) Find an already-created croqui that is close to your own body dimensions. Do a Google search for "Plus-size Croqui." Note: if the image creator does not specify that the images are free for you to use, you should contact them and ask permission.

Once you have a croqui of your choice, open the file in your image editor. If not already on the drawing, draw a line (or use a ruler guide to indicate) the approximate fullest point of the bust (and if yours is lower than the croqui, you might want to lower this line), as well as the waist, hips, and a vertical line for center front.

Apparently there a movement to create realistic croquis - see this site
-- Edited on 12/18/13 11:34 AM --

------
- Libby with a "y" not an "ie"
(People who know Richmond will get this!)

"Sewing is not a hobby, it's a journey."

Annette Wright
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Date: 12/18/13 3:20 PM

I'm looking forward to following your instructions. I have a croquis already, I even think it's in my profile.

I am not a good drawer, and everytime I try to draw on the croquis it looks like something a child might do.

This will be fun.

------
Annette
http://needlesnails.blogspot.com/

LizJ58
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LizJ58
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Date: 12/18/13 4:14 PM

Thanks, Annette.

On to the fabric picture. You want a flat image of the fabric, and if there's a print you should try to get an image that shows at least one full repeat of the pattern.

There are multiple ways to get this image, but if you're taking your own picture, one good way is to tape a swatch of fabric to the wall, at about your eye level.

Keep this image file handy. You'll be using it later.

------
- Libby with a "y" not an "ie"
(People who know Richmond will get this!)

"Sewing is not a hobby, it's a journey."

LizJ58
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LizJ58
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Member since 10/31/13
Posts: 802
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Date: 12/18/13 4:30 PM

Moving on to the clothing itself.

It's not difficult to do a freehand sketch on tracing paper over a printout of your croqui. You can then take a photo or scan the clothing image. If you're using this technique, pay careful attention to details of the design and make an educated guess where they would fall on the croqui's body. Waist line, fullest point of bustline, total length, the cut of a sleeveless arms eye, sleeve length, etc. Also make an educated guess regarding ease, and how that might effect the look of the garment. Consider the stiffness of the fabric...a peplum, for example, is going to look very different if it is created in a jersey vs. taffeta! The first fabric would be in soft folds close to the body, the second would create fullness.

Or you can download the line drawing of your prospective design. It's a straight right-click-save-as on the McCalls/Butterick/Vogue patterns site, but on the Simplicity/New Look/Burda site you have to select the line drawing, click on the "Print" link, cancel the printing dialogue box, and then do the right-click-save-as. You could also take a picture of the pattern envelope back, or even the instructions if the line drawing is repeated there, but if using the envelope, I would recommend removing the pattern and taping the envelope flat to a wall and taking a picture similar to the technique I mentioned for the fabric swatch.

At this point, you will have all the pieces parts to move forward! Make sure all your images are available to you on your computer.

-- Edited on 12/18/13 4:35 PM --

------
- Libby with a "y" not an "ie"
(People who know Richmond will get this!)

"Sewing is not a hobby, it's a journey."

LizJ58
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LizJ58
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Virginia USA
Member since 10/31/13
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Date: 12/18/13 5:22 PM



At this point, I open my croqui image in my image editor. It will be the base for a multi-layer image file.

Next, open your fabric image as a new file in your image editor.



Copy the contents of this image file and paste it into a new layer over your croqui image. Resize the fabric layer till the fabric pattern or texture looks about the same size in relation to the croqui that it would be to you in real life!



Next, you'll need to repeat the pattern as large as you'll need for the garment you're visualizing. Simply duplicate the fabric layer, and move the fabric image on the new layer so that it extends the print's pattern.

I find it easiest to tile the fabric image layers in a row, and then merge those layers. Then I can duplicate that layer to extend the width.





At times, you may not have enough of a repeat to get the fabric tiling exactly right. Don't worry about it, just get it as close as you can, and focus on getting the print at the right size in comparison to the croqui.

Merge the fabric layers together and then hide this layer (in Photoshop and Elements, click on the eyeball to the left of the layer.

------
- Libby with a "y" not an "ie"
(People who know Richmond will get this!)

"Sewing is not a hobby, it's a journey."

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 12/18/13 8:14 PM

I'm interested to watch this progress, as I've always been a little skeptical of the hand-sketched croquis. How can you know they're accurate? I do them to test out costuming concepts, but that's more for color combinations/trim placement, etc. I'm not sure I'd trust myself to get the style lines + proportions correct in a way that would accurately reflect how the finished garment would look on my actual human body. But computer layering seems like it would be closer to reality, for some reason.

***
If you're not proficient enough in your photo-editing software (I have Photoshop, but have no idea how to merge or do layers), JennaF posted an excellent step-by-step tutorial on using Photoshop to develop capsule wardrobes. I can't find it at the moment, but I KNOW I saved it, because her instructions were so good!

------
~Gem in the prairie

Annette Wright
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Date: 12/19/13 8:51 AM

I've done all the steps so far. I have never been very good at understanding layers and though I use GIMP for simple photo editing I've never used much else.

Looking forward to the next steps.

------
Annette
http://needlesnails.blogspot.com/

LizJ58
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LizJ58
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Date: 12/19/13 10:34 AM

Annette, it's great that you've managed all the steps so far. You may not be a pro at photo-editing, but you managed to duplicate and merge those fabric layers, right? And you did so in Gimp, which I'm less familiar with than Photoshop and Elements. Our next steps will involve those techniques as well.

Just a tip about that fabric layer...you may want to go ahead and make a duplicate of this layer, in order to have an untouched copy. Then just turn it off by clicking the eye next to the layer name.

------
- Libby with a "y" not an "ie"
(People who know Richmond will get this!)

"Sewing is not a hobby, it's a journey."

LizJ58
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LizJ58
Intermediate
Virginia USA
Member since 10/31/13
Posts: 802
Send Message

      



In reply to stirwatersblue <<
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Date: 12/19/13 10:47 AM

stirwatersblue, I have used this technique to determine whether or not I wanted to consider putting a trim on a garment (I'll likely post an example later).

Seriously, I recommend that you learn about layers. They are a big part of what makes image editing programs so awesome!

------
- Libby with a "y" not an "ie"
(People who know Richmond will get this!)

"Sewing is not a hobby, it's a journey."

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