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Tips & Techniques > How to make a croquis (outline of yourself)

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Posted by: rivergum

About rivergum starstarstarstar
Member since: 12/17/06
Reviews: 149 (tips: 2)
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Posted on: 12/25/07 5:25 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 30 people   
Web site/URL: photo
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A croquis is used to try different garments and gauge if they suit your shape. I use the line/technical drawings of patterns superimposed on my croquis like this. If you are artistic, you can print out the croquis and draw your designs on top.

There are various instructions on how to make a croquis in blogs etc (google to find them), but I made mine using Photoshop. To make the croquis pictured I took a photo of myself in my underwear (that's the scary part, I hope no one ever gets a hold of this, lots of blackmail potential!) and deleted the background. I then ran the photo through a variety of Photoshop filters to get the a number of croquis that appealed to me. Here is another one I liked.

Croquis 2

The effect is much softer and more flattering than a silhouette and looks better with clothing.

If you do not have access to Photoshop, there will be an online version soon where you can process your photos for free, I believe. There is also a free alternative at (NAYY). Upload a photo to try it out, then go to 'Create' and 'Effects' to try out different filters. The pencil sketch filter in 'Artistic' and the posterise filter in 'Misc' look like a good start to me.

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jmosew said... (3/20/14 9:18 AM) Reply
Wow, I know this is an old tip but it is a great one! I'm definitely going to try this.
Gendun said... (4/20/12 9:12 PM) Reply
Great info, thanks so much!
cousue said... (10/26/10 9:15 PM) Reply
I'm also interested in learning if there's a way to import photos of a fabric using Photoshop or Illustrator. The image would be inserted into an outline of the proposed garment.
SueC56 said... (10/6/10 2:56 PM) Reply
Also the croqui distinguishes face from hair, which can make a difference in the way clothes look. We aren't all one color, most of us anyway. :)
quathy said... (5/27/08 7:21 PM) Reply
Wow- Thanks!!! This is so helpful! I was so inspired that I got the camera out and made one right away! Wish I'd read this last December!
Lorna1 said... (2/3/08 3:50 AM) Reply
This is my best tip for a very long time. It will revolutionise the way I work - thank you so much.
goldenthreads said... (12/30/07 10:52 PM) Reply
What a great idea. I want to do this (very scary). I'll probably come back to you with questions. I've added the line drawings of the patterns to my SEWING PLAN, so I have projects identified for the next ten years or so (LOL). It would be nice to anticipate problems before I spend a lot of time creating bad garments for me. I'll probably come back to you with questions. The nude Photoshop picture is going to be an exercise in bravery!!
rivergum said... (12/27/07 11:16 PM) Reply
jmielkeyost, I use the line/technical drawings from the pattern websites to try out the style on my croquis. My rule is that I have to make the line drawing big enough to cover all my bits, such as hips and thighs and shoulders/boobs. If this makes the garment look enormous it's a bad choice. The middle dress on the top in my example is not good for me, as cute as it looks on the model. The first one on the top is the best and the rest are ok. I have made up the first one and it does look good. I'll do a review when it's finished, i still have the hemming and neck to do.
Joan in NM said... (12/26/07 12:58 PM) Reply
I have never used a croquis. How did you create the clothing images that you used, and how did you decide which silhouettes to use?
Grammy Gin said... (12/26/07 12:35 PM) Reply
Thanks for the tips on making this work. ;-)
Danvillegirl said... (12/26/07 7:57 AM) Reply
Good tip. I have just starting using Photoshop Elements. So this will give me an opportunity to play with various effects you can use.
vasallese said... (12/26/07 6:35 AM) Reply
Thank you very much. Now I think I know how to do it.
RuthieSews said... (12/26/07 5:45 AM) Reply
I am guessing that this would work best if in the original photo you wear flesh tone underwear? I am going to give this another try :-)
Aless said... (12/26/07 3:25 AM) Reply
Wonderful info.,Frantic. I'd got as far as photos in dark 'things' and chickened out! Will give it another try with picnik.your way seems much more achievable.
Leslie in NZ said... (12/26/07 0:26 AM) Reply
Thank you for this tip. I had no idea how to do this, but you have made it sound easy! I will be giving this a try soon!!
rivergum said... (12/26/07 0:01 AM) Reply
deleted duplicate
rivergum said... (12/25/07 11:56 PM) Reply
mommietothree0, to superimpose the line drawings you first right-click on the line drawing on the pattern website and select 'copy' from the menu that appears. You then paste it into a file in Photoshop (Control N), select only the ootline of the line drawing and paste it on top of your croquis in Photoshop. The pasting will create a layer on top of your croquis and you can move the line drawing around to suit with the move tool (top icon on the tool bar). You can also make the drawing larger or smaller by clicking on it with the move tool and dragging the corner.
mommietothree0 said... (12/25/07 9:36 PM) Reply
I love this idea and would like to try it. How do you superimpose the line drawings of the clothes. Do you scan them into your computer? I'm not completely computer iliterate, but pretty slow.
Shura said... (12/25/07 9:30 PM) Reply
This is a great idea! I've thought about making a croquis off and on but trying to do a life-sized silhouette seemed like a lot of trouble - this seems really do-able. Thanks!
Shura said... (12/25/07 9:29 PM) Reply
This is a great idea! I've thought about making a croquis off and on but trying to do a life-sized silhouette seemed like a lot of trouble - this seems really do-able. Thanks!
KempCorr said... (12/25/07 5:59 PM) Reply
I've been meaning to do this. Thanks for the hints about Photoshop.
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