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Topic: Plus Size Croquis and Fitting Advice Appreciated  (Read 37480 times)
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« on: October 12, 2010 01:08:40 AM »

I am still a very new member of this fantastic forum. I've been coming here for a year or so and decided I should stop lurking and start participating.

For my first attempt at an interesting post I would like to share my personal croquis or technical sketches. The sketches were made from tracing the outline of a photograph then I added some shading for depth and realism. I'm not sure if this is classified as brave or stupid, but you know what? I'm ok with how I look. I would prefer to keep it as a link to an image, rather than embed it for two reasons. First, I'm still too new to post it as an image. Second, I'm fat. If for whatever reason you're offended by larger physiques... don't click the link.

My Plus Sized Croquis: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4110/5074095929_fe0373898b_b.jpg

If anyone with a similar figure wants to use them as a base for their own plus size design sketches- knock yourself out. It should print out on A4 in landscape mode. My only request is you don't claim the original image as your own.

My other motivation for posting this is to solicit advice about pattern adjustments. What I see and what other people see may differ. This are the fit or physique problems I see when I look at that picture.

- A well defined but very high waist.
- Low protruding belly.
- Wide and flat, kind of angular (?) seat.
- Broad back with rounded, sloping shoulders.
- A much higher bust than I thought I had.
- Chicken drumstick thighs.

Am I on the right track?

I went through college and did fashion design ten years ago. Sadly, they had to stick to "the norm" as far as fit went. Standard size ten patterns for standard size ten dress forms and standard size ten models hired for end of year fashion shows. I remember doing some basic modifications, but nowhere near enough to cater to hard-to-fit figures.

If any of you curvaceous craftsters have tackled fit issues you will probably sympathize with horrible shapeless patterns. I'd like to get the bulk of the block/sloper fitting issues sorted before I start making patterns again.

Looking forward to feedback!

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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2010 05:52:32 AM »

It's so nice to see a human figure in a croqui!   Cheesy

Looks like the figure is a "pear" or "hourglass" because of the well-defined waist.  What I would call a beautiful female figure, personally, not "problems."  Smiley

My only real input for patterns is to concentrate on playing up the best feature which is the defined waist. 

Anyway, I just want to offer encouragement, mainly.   Smiley

"We can have anything we want, because we can make it." - RovingAnarchist

« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2010 08:43:40 AM »

 Grin Thank you for the positive affirmations. I'm happy I decided to go through with making a personal croquis. If you can handle seeing yourself as you really are, it is an awesome tool to find the most flattering styles. Just grab a camera, wear some tight clothing, take some photos and trace the outlines.

I've got another link to the croquis in action, minus the shading this time. I gathered the technical sketches of some of the commercial patterns I like and overlayed them on to my figure. They're all kinds of warped and distorted to fit the form but you can see some of the fit problems (it's ok to call them problems  Wink ) that appear with my figure type. These are mostly dresses, a few tops and a couple of skirts. Pants are my worst nightmare... so I'll skip them for now.

Link: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4088/5074961297_53569d0bc2_b.jpg

I did that as a time waster but got a bit carried away by how many patterns looked different "on" than I thought they would. I tell ya, sometimes our self image- the one in our head- likes to lie to us! *giggles* Some of my favourites look horrible on (to me), and my least liked ended up looking fabulous.

I agree with you, Ludi, about being somewhere between an hourglass and a pear. I think Trinny and Susannah call it a "cello". More on the bottom than the top, but the waist is still there... it's just moved north and forwards. Wink
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2010 09:14:15 AM »

Wow, that's very cool!   Cheesy  Do you mind listing out which are your favorites "on"?

My immediate first impression favorites are:

« Last Edit: October 12, 2010 09:15:36 AM by Ludi » THIS ROCKS   Logged

"We can have anything we want, because we can make it." - RovingAnarchist

« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2010 10:17:04 AM »

Styles I would gladly go through with:

B5384- That would be one heck of a bombshell outfit for a business look.
B5317- I am hankering for a 50's dress. If the pleats were done right it would look much better than the distorted image you see now Wink.
V8548- For a winter coat, I like the stovepipe neckline and the higher waist.
V8390- That's a pretty "safe" style for knits and very simple to make.
V1194- For a more formal look, made in a nice thick and drapey modal.

Styles that made me say "holy moley!":

M6166- Pixie hems on seam lines... good lord, nooooo!
B4657- Way too much going on with all those gathers. It would probably make a decent fairy/princess/costume look though.
V8296- I thought I would like that skirt, but the asymmetric lines and bias cut made me gag. >.>
V8658- The horizontal seam lines point to the "problem" zones. The raglan sleeves make my smaller top half even more obvious.

Styles that surprised me:

V8323- Quite a tight v-neck but could be good for workwear.

M6202 is a plus size pattern, no wonder it's flattering on. I'm not listing it as a fave because I can't think of a good bottom for it, other than jeans. Not that there's anything wrong with that! I am on the fence about V8612. I loved it until I saw it "on". I have a feeling it would be quite "boxy". Both in fit and in the style lines.

After saying all that, I'm still open to suggestions about fit and style lines. If you're brave enough to pick out your most and least favourites, and list why you chose them, I would love to hear what any of you have to say.
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2010 02:25:30 PM »

I'm not sure that I've seen a Croquis before, but this is really cool and useful.  Thank you for sharing.  My body type is a little narrower in the hips (more hourglass I guess), but this is still really helpful to get an idea of what these styles would look like on me too.

Here are my opinions.  I have no training in sewing or fashion, but I like to shop Wink and have been told that I have nice taste, so take it with a large grain of salt.

I'm going to disagree with you on B4657.  Yes, there is a lot going on up top, but it serves to balance out a larger bottom and forces the eye up.  I think this style makes the most balanced silhouette.  Maybe there is a way to achieve the same effect while editing out some of the gathers to suit your taste better.

V8633- Since you have a defined waist, play it up.  Although I would change the neckline because that high neck would drive me crazy.  I like the wide waist band, though.

I agree that V1194 would be a great look in the right material.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010 02:26:31 PM by OrangeKnickers » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2010 05:57:03 AM »

Thanks for the feedback OrangeKnickers (love that nickname by the way!). There's no need to add salt when reading your opinions, I'm trying to cut back on my intake anyway. Wink

I think the reason why I didn't like B4657 was because the suggested fabrics were chiffon and georgettes. All I can think of is a mother-of-the-bride look in some pastel green floral print. It reminds me of my mother, or even worse, my grandmother! When I look at it I think it should be worn with a big hat and sensible shoes. I'm having a giggle over what a monstrosity it looks like in my head but believe it or not, I also agree with what you said about how it balances my figure out.

I went back in to Photoshop and this time I went back to basics. I sketched the outlines of a fitting shell (aka sloper, block) just to see what fit issues I might encounter.
Link: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4092/5077640417_0e73d809a1_b.jpg

I think the most interesting view is from the side. In order for the side seams to really be at my "side" the front pattern pieces will have to be quite a bit larger than the back. I think the bust darts should be angled lower at the side seam in order to nip it in a bit more at high waist. I don't think the vertical darts will be enough.

Why am I being so fussy about fit problems? I've been away from this for too long and I need to talk it out before starting. Hopefully other people might find it useful. Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2010 06:21:13 AM »

This is the most fabulous idea, ever!  I have to ask, how do you fit the dresses to your shape?  Is it just photoshop manipulation?  Or do you draw them out?  I would really love to learn how to do this...

Sewers are for ninja turtles--seamstresses are for sewing Wink

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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2010 08:21:16 AM »

Hi Ailsynn.

To get the commercial patterns to fit the croquis I just transform the heck out of them in Photoshop. Free transform, scale, warp, inflate, perpective and liquify if pieces don't fit where they should. I just keep going until the bulk of it fits. If you don't have Photoshop, GIMP has similar features. GIMP can do basic transformations (scale, perspective and so on) but it's missing the "warp" option. It does have iWarp though, which is similar to liquify in Photoshop. Just remember to work in layers, duplicate them before moving on to another step so you can go back if you mess up.

To make the croquis I took a photograph and traced the outline with the pen tool. Paths are much cleaner and quite easy to work with once you get into the swing of things. The last image of the fitting shell (block, sloper, whatever) was also done with the pen tool. Photoshop is what has distracted me from dressmaking for the last couple of years *lol*.

I'm almost certain I've made this sound so quick and easy, but it's not. It's HIGHLY addictive though. If you're the type of person who likes to tinker until you get the results you want I would encourage you to try. I remember when I started. I knew nothing and I loved every minute of learning what all those tools do.

Adding another link to a dress I want to make. It's a Mod 60's inspired dress. This time I've knocked it up a notch. It's still based on the front view of the croquis but it's all shaded and purrrty. What do you reckon?

Link: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4067/5077971829_8f240222b8_z.jpg
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2010 10:18:46 AM »

B5534 stands out to me as especially flattering.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010 12:04:09 PM by peppersaskatoon - Reason: clarification » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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