Monday, March 12, 2012

Consulting the Croquis

My croquis took form one night when I didn’t feel like sleeping. Hello, miniature Katrina!

Boiling it down to a few lines really helps. The fact that the legs comprise half the figure's height accounts for my life-long struggle to find RTW pants that are long enough.

More importantly, the croquis’ waist is slowly being swallowed up by the rising hip and the sinking bust which are so common among ladies of a certain age.
Compared to the figure illustration in Vogue Pattern Magazine (not a real fit model, I hope, but helpful for illustration purposes), we can see that there are going to be some adjustments required in the chest/bust, the waist, the hip, and pretty much all points between. If I’d remembered to give the croquis a mouth, she would ask for a better-fitting bra, which might counteract the droop and make the waist slightly more visible.

In any case, my little figure has already been a great help in wardrobe planning. She says NO! to high-waisted pants. Here's why:

Remember this incredibly cute pants pattern? I love it!

Here is the line drawing:

Here is the line drawing on the croquis:
Oh, dear. Not good, unless I add underwires and cups to the top of the waistband and call it a jumpsuit.

It’s disappointing that I can’t wear this exact style, but what a relief that I didn’t put in hours of effort to make pants that would look bad.

This style of lower-waisted, wide leg trouser, on the other hand, works well with the figure’s short waist and slight pear shape (as long as she balances it on the top).

To my surprise, my little creation turned out to be well worth the effort. I recommend making yourself a croquis if, like me, you have trouble deciding on styles or visualizing what something will look like on you. (Or if you just want to try things on virtually. It's fun!)

For very good instructions on making a croquis from a photo, go to LladyBird(GIMPshop) or oonaballoona (Photoshop - see comments section). I have trouble following instructions, so I sort of winged it and ended up with the uneven lines, but I know others have made much neater (and more stylish!) versions of themselves.

Have fun!



  1. What a fabulous idea! I have never made a croquis, but I bet it can be pretty helpful, particularly for pants. I have really long legs also, which have always presented fit issues for me. During my days in the work force, I lived in suits from J Crew; the pants and jackets both come in long lengths, and I like the lower rise.

    Your second choice would be my pick as well; low rise and wide leg styles are both flattering and modern.

  2. I've admired those mini-me drawings but thought it would be really hard to do one so thanks for those links.

    Also thanks for the giggle about giving your croquis a mouth to ask for a bra fitting! I've been grappling with bra fit issues myself this week.

  3. Fascinating! I've been attempting to "quantify" my body type recently, but I keep getting inconsistent, confusing, and/or counter-intuitive results. Maybe I'll try this. (Do I need photoshop skills?)

    As for the whole idea of what you can or can't wear, I'd take that with a grain of salt. If you love how something looks on you, wear it! But if it looks unflattering and you can't figure out why, well, then that's where this knowledge could be very useful. For example, one body type thing told me I should never wear a belted waist. But I like how they look on me, so I'm ignoring that.

  4. Hi Anita, much of this experiment came about because of my insistence that I didn't like low-rise pants. I guess if I'd been more open-minded I would not have been wearing my pants up around my ribcage for so many years! LOL

  5. Hi Snippa, who knew that someone with a small bust (me) would need to pay attention to the bra? I didn't, and it wasn't until I saw this that I realized something needed to be done. Another good reason for this little exercise!

  6. Hi Anne, I too tried more different systems and theories of body type than I can count, but still could not figure out why a tall person could not get things to fit properly (look good) around the torso.
    This tool really helped me get a realistic image of myself and understand my proportions. Now I understand what a long-legged, short-waisted, A-shape is!
    For making the croquis, I wouldn't say you need "skills" so much as you need access to some photo tool like PS (I have PS Elements), and the patience to adjust and refine your image through several revisions.
    Have fun!