In Progress: Croquis of Me!

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In and among some other sewing I have been doing (some paid work for other people), I have been dabbling with making croquis of myself. I have been thinking about it for a while (ever since some blogger wrote a series of posts on making croquis from photographs), but when Steph mentioned the Golden Ratio in a post on pant length last month, I decided the time had come.

That last sentence probably doesn't make any sense. Here's my idea: if I can have croquis of my own body and its proportions then I can experiment with clothing designs and try to establish garment proportions that will "work" on my body. I always try to pay attention to comments on proportion made by other short sewing bloggers. There's Summerset and Juebejue and Sharon and Yoshimi (at least, I think Yoshimi is short - she is often wearing platformed heels...) and Elaine - to name a few. I am not always able to translate their comments into reality on myself. My hope is that the croquis will help.

I can't find the series of posts some lovely sewing blogger made on fashioning croquis. (If you know who it was, please let me know!) Here are two ways I was able to find that describe making croquis of yourself. Both methods have you begin with taking photographs of yourself in snug-fitting clothing or just underwear. I do not own Photoshop, so I went with the print out the picture and then trace the outline routine. The first time I tried to do this, I had a lot of difficulty figuring out where my waist, bust, etc. were located. Sounds pretty silly, but looking at me straight on, I have a rectangular shape. (I also wore a shirt that was a smidge too big and had too many wrinkles.)

I thought about this a bit then changed clothes, got out my huge roll of elastic ($2.99 for the whole thing and I think it will degrade before I use it all), cut off a few lengths, and tied them on my body at my bust, waist, hips, and each knee.

Then I had David take photos from other angles. I rotated the elastic so that the ties would not show.

And then, due to the lateness of the hour, I got a little silly.

I printed the photos with my housemate's laser printer and traced them in pencil with my daughter's tracing paper. Now I need to go over the lines with a fine black pen and make some photocopies. I could even put together my own journal like this one you can buy from Hokey Croquis!

Parting Shot: Leaning Tower of Sarah?
David was checking the pictures as he took them, and asked me if I was standing up straight. I was. I asked him why and he said that it looked like my torso was out of line with my legs. Now, I have known since high school that one of my hips is significantly curvier than the other, but this was new. To illustrate it further, we fashioned a plumb line out of one of the pieces of elastic and David's house keys. Check this out, the line goes from my nose to the middle of my chin, between my breasts, right over my belly button and then along the side of my right leg!

I don't know what I will do with this particular information, except maybe take it with me to a chiropractor or massage therapist and see if they can even me out!

Comments (6)

On the side pic, it looks like the hips elastic isn't quite horizontal either. Most probably a placement thing rather than a body thing.
Before you try adjusting everything for the plumb line for your right leg, let me point out that in the top, official, picture you are standing so the plumb line is down the other leg :-). It's easy to decide that your body is one way or another from a picture, but posture is just a habit. Your habit may be just standing on one leg or the other rather than squarely between them. I have it too :-).
It's no big deal. I actually am happy I figured out that one reason I was often getting stepped on in crowds was that I was letting one leg trail out, so people actually didn't think my foot was out there from looking at the top of my body, now I keep the off-weight foot closer to me and don't confuse people any more. But what I really mean to say is that it's good that you're aware of how you stand, that you try to balance it so you don't give yourself scoliosis from always being in the same position, that you stretch accordingly. But not necessarily that you make your clothes to cast that postural habit in concrete..
Apart from that I do think a croquis can be helpful, let you weed out the most outlandish ideas from the list of things to make. The same could be accomplished with a bit of industrial espionage at the store, trying on new styles before you make them, if you have on hand enough stores that carry new styles. But it won't necessarily help you much with petite proportions..

A croquis always seems like a nice thing to have and a hard thing to make! Good luck with yours.

Interesting idea! I am curious to know if it really does help with determining styles. I do not have a 3D mind, so looking at flat drawings doesn't actually help me figure out how I'll look in something.

Yeah, we shall see if it helps. I can still trick myself into thinking something will look good when it doesn't.

At least I'll get more practice sketching!

Yes, I noticed that about your alignment immediately when I saw the rear view picture. It's almost as if someone picked up your torso and moved it over a smidge. This will definitely help you if you decide to draft your own patterns and may explain why some pants don't fit as well.

I find it pretty funny, really. It's also one of the reasons RTW pencil skirts never fit properly.