Three years ago I bought a sketchbook filled with page after page with the faint outline of a body model in it, a fashion design planning body model called croquis. It is designed to help sketch out sewing plans. I’ve used it for lots of things but for often I’ve gone so far as to glue swatches of fabric next to quick sketches of what I plan to sew for the year. It was a handy way to visualize what I wanted to make. Recently, however, Erica from My Body Model asked me to try out her app, which creates a real body croquis based on actual body measurements. I was very excited to oblige. I’ve wanted to try out My Body Model since I first heard about it. I figured it would be nice and handy to have a real body croquis for my sewing planning.
I didn’t know that it would leave me in tears. That’s exactly what happened though. I sat my sketchbook croquis side by side with my actual body model and was stunned to tears. They were mostly happy tears but also tears of recognition and a tinge of sadness. How could I be using such an unrealistic image of a body to help me plan what I want to make? If you follow me on Instagram you have already seen this image but if not, CHECK IT OUT!
On the left is my original croquis, on the right is my real-life body model. As one lovely commenter pointed out on IG, my real body model only illustrates how ridiculous this ‘fashion’ version really is. Look at that thing? How do those legs even hold up a real live woman? How was I using this image to help me plan ANYTHING? What is she doing with her hips and what is up with her collarbone? I could immediately see how destructive it was to be using this image to think about what I want to create and wear. It brought out instant tears, you guys. Instant.
So I planned a whole outfit using my real body. And, I love it! It is my body model everyday wardrobe and while it’s relatively casual, it’s very much a celebration for me.
I made three things: one pair of denim Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Patterns, a Super Basic Tank from Halfmoon Atelier, and a Marmalade Jacket from Waffle Patterns. They were created for me…in my body the way my body is. The real-body croquis helped me decide that I was going to like the length of the jacket. My hesitation was that it wouldn’t look good with my wide hips. The drawing seemed to look alright, though. So I went for it.
I have, of course, made Ginger jeans before in green. You just can’t beat a good fitting pair of basic jeans and a basic tank top. So, I took the opportunity to fill in those blanks in my wardrobe. It was the Marmalade jacket that was the real labor of love. This jacket is fully lined with hidden snaps, a gathered front and gathered back in a nice black twill. The best part is I lined it with precious Liberty of London fabric. Yes. I used up some good stuff. This body deserves it.
I know that I will get so much wear out of these three items and I love that their genesis came from such a fabulous, happy place.
I can’t wait to keep using my real-life croquis and I wholehearted encourage you to try it out. In fact, Erica has nicely agreed to give all my readers a discount! Wahoo! So, use the code AHAPPYSTITCH for 15% off the app but it’s only for this week! So give it a shot quickly.
My Body Model is also running a month-long outfit of the day challenge on Instagram. As she puts it:
“The aim of the challenge is to get more people comfortable with drawing on their personal croquis on a regular basis, sharing their drawings, and supporting each other in our body-positive style exploration and design process. So that this challenge can be open and accessible to everyone, using MyBodyModel croquis is not required, but they do need to be realistically proportioned croquis of our own bodies – No unrealistically proportioned fashion croquis! ”
Note: I was given credit that allowed me to try out the app free of charge but my opinions about it are real and honest. If you are a visual person that likes to use croquis to plan your sewing projects I really think this is a game-changer. It’s a radical act of self-love to see yourself as you are.