Thursday 1 September 2016

A croquis! - a great way to see if a style will suit you.

Hi everyone,

Have you ever heard of a croquis?  A croquis is a sketch of a proposed garment.

A great way to personalise a croquis is to create a drawing of your figure in silhouette and then you overlay sketches of garments you are considering, to see if they will suit you.  That way you can avoid expensive and time consuming mistakes creating a garment that really isn't you.

I have been wanting to use this technique for ages, but never really knew how.  Then recently I saw a short video on the Threads Magazine website.  You will need to subscribe to the Insider Content to see it, so for those who don't have that, I will try to explain how to do it.

First of all you take a photo (or get a trusted friend to do it for you) of yourself in your undies or a tight fitting leotard.  Put your hands on your hips so you get a clear view of your side shape.  This will show your silhouette.  Print the photo and using thickish tracing paper draw the outline of your shape with a pencil.  Once you are happy with the results (of the drawing, not your figure!) then use a marker pen to make the drawing permanent.

Then you can either draw your own designs in pencil over the croquis or, as I do, test some pattern pictures to see how I will look in them.

As you know, pattern pics are of tall skinny models and the artistic drawings are even worse!  So this is a great way to see how they will really look on YOU.

So how do you translate the tall, skinny version onto your croquis?

Firstly, you'll need to scale the pattern picture to match your croquis size.  So if your croquis is say 20cm tall then you have to make the pattern pic 20cm as well.  You will make an enlarged photocopy. The percentage increase is simple to calculate:

  • Say the pattern pic is 9cm tall and the croquis is 20cm.  
  • Just divide 20 by 9 and you get 2.22.  
  • Multiply that by 100 and you get 222. 
  • That is the enlargement percentage you will use on the photocopier - 222%.

Now you have the pic and the croquis the same size.

The next thing to do is to trace the pattern outline onto your silhouette.  You do this by dividing the pattern image into 4 sections: the upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left.  You trace the outline of the pattern to match your silhouette at the shoulders and the waist and hip area.  You'll have to make a few adjustments for your own figure and then you just fill in the gaps.

Here is one I did from a Marfy pattern.  You can see how the dress changed proportions to show how it would look on me.  I still like it so it will get made (one day!).

This one is a Burda dress.  I like the style but thought the neckline was wrong for me, so I tinkered with it and I'm happy with the new design.

Try doing your own croquis - it's great fun!  Let me know how you get on and please feel free to ask any questions you may have.