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Tips & Techniques > personalized croquis

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Posted by: Tonya
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Posted on: 2/22/03 8:30 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 23 people   
Web site/URL: photo
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February/March 2003 article of Threads magazine had an article on sketching fashion ideas with a "croquis", a body outline with waist, bust, neck, and princesslines dotted in for accuracy. Since I look nothing like their skinny hipless croquis, I made my own (which can be seen on the URL link above) with the following method:

I had DH take a digital picture of me in my foundation garments (you should have seen the strange look on his face with that request, lol) and then opened it in Paint Shop Pro. I created a new vector layer, and on that layer I traced around my body shape and added the appropriate lines. I then deleted the picture layer and was left with just the outline. I resized it to fit on an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper and printed out a few copies to sketch with.

A word of warning - you won't get a very flattering image of yourself. I seem to remember the teacher in high school art class explaining that artists draw the human form 8 head lengths high rather than 7 like we really are because the change from 3-D to 2-D makes the form look shorter and squatter than reality. That's what I'm comforting myself with at this point, hehe. It's most likely possible to stretch the figure a bit with the computer program to look better, but I'm afraid I'll do it too much and end up pretending I'm a fabulous leggy model, lol. Besides, if the design looks good on this figure, it will look even better in reality, right?

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9 Comments
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Debbie Lancaster said...
Thanks for the tip, Tonya. A point you didn't mention, but which will make a big difference in the result, is to make sure that the camera lens is absolutely 90 degrees to the ground, and the height of the shot is somewhere around your navel. Otherwise you'll end up with a weird perspective. Using a short telephoto lens and standing as far back as possible to shoot the photo will give the least distortion.
2/22/03 10:38 PM
Tonya said...
Excellent point, Debbie. I tried to get DH to make sure the center was somewhere around my waist, but we don't have/didn't use a tripod to make sure it was perpendicular to the ground. I may re-do it when I have that ability. Thanks!
2/23/03 9:17 AM
Lisa Laree said...
Thanks for the tip, Tonya! We just got a digital camera for Christmas; I hadn't thought about using it to make a croquis. I'm one of the worst artists in the world; I don't know if I can really use one or not, but it will be neat to try. Your croquis looks very nice!
2/23/03 11:43 AM
Jules/Vancouver BC said...
now THAT's a cool idea - I'll have to get the husbandperson to take some R-Rated shots - and I'll let him to the PSP work too (he's better at that program than I am!)
2/25/03 6:23 AM
Rustybobn said...
I just did this on Sunday afternoon! I drew a line at the top of my head and the bottom of my feet and folded it in half. My center point is somewhere just below my hip line--isn't it "supposed to be" near your waist?
2/25/03 11:16 AM
Debbie Lancaster said...
Actually, Rusty, the mid-point really is somewhere south of your hips (depending on how you're proportioned), but the reason for choosing a point somewhere near your waist to shoot the photo from is that it provides the least distortion for the area from the head to the knees. Below the knees isn't usually so important for sewing, and having the head in proportion is mainly a matter of aesthetics.
2/26/03 11:22 AM
Margaret said...
I just wanted to say thank you for this tip. I finally got around to using it, and it's really helped me. I did it a low-tech way, by using a lightbox and tracing the photo with pen to make an easier-to-see version. Now, every time I am thinking about buying a pattern, I trace it over this sketch using the lightbox. Not only has it helped me avoid some disasters, it also has shown me that some patterns I thought were "iffy" would look better than I thought. Thanks again!
6/26/03 11:17 AM
Sew Confused said...
Excellent idea! I think I'll give it a try...after a stiff drink to fortify me for the ordeal.
12/26/07 5:18 PM
Gendun said...
Wonderful idea, thank you! And thanks to the commentators below who added additional insight. :)
4/20/12 9:10 PM
 
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