One of my Make Nine goals for 2020 was to try out the My Body Model app, which is a way to create a customized croqui for creating fashion illustrations and flats that are specific to your own body.
I absolutely love the idea behind this business. Going through an apparel design program in college means that I was taught to use a traditional croqui, which, as some of you may know, is very unrealistic. The traditional croquis are intentionally altered to be more of a stylized representation of the female body, with extra height, and extra long legs. The formula for drawing a croqui involves using nine heads as a base for getting the proportions correct. Take a look at this photo to see what I mean.
These are some pictures from my Fashion Illustration course in college. We used a textbook appropriately titled "9 Heads", for obvious reasons. In the book, they claim that a realistic croqui would be 8 heads tall, but that the preferred fashion illustration is 9. And both of those are without feet involved.
I don't know about you, but even 8 heads high seems a little unrealistic. Personally, I'm more of a 6 to 7 heads high shape. And at a height of 5'4" I don't think I'm all that abnormal.
All this to say that I've always found fashion illustrations rather unhelpful to my sewing, even though they can be beautiful works of art. I've mostly stuck to drawing flats, without a figure at all, because I'm usually more concerned with the sewing details of a garment than the more stylized impression that some illustrations give. But using something like My Body Model is a gamechanger! Using your true to life proportions in a design sketch can actually help you get your proportions right for your finished garment. And you can more easily picture what a certain style of garment will look like on your own body before putting in the sewing time. I love this idea, and I'm not sure why I haven't been doing this for years!
My Body Model is a very user friendly way of getting your more accurate croqui. You just have to enter in your measurements, and the app does the work for you. I put in 23 different measurements to get my custom croqui, and each entry is accompanied by a helpful visual of how exactly to measure that part.
One of the things that I especially love about My Body Model is the fact that you can preview your custom model without needing to spend any money. So that you only buy if and when you are satisfied with the drawing. You can also save different profiles on your account, so you don't have to start from scratch if your measurements change, or if the app gets updated. Which it does! They are continuously coming out with new features and options, like a hand on hip pose, or an option to omit the bust, or ways to visually adjust key parts of the image, like your bust or your hips.
My Body Model Review
Once I had my basic shape right, I spent some time trying out the adjustments to see what looked most like my body. I specifically had trouble getting the bust right. There are options for adjusting the bust span, and also the bust height. I tried some of these out, but wasn't sure if they were really what I was looking for. I even looked at omitting the bust as an option, and just drawing them in myself, since my boobs don't visually extend past my sides. If that makes any sense.
The option on the right is probably the closest to my actual shape, but I think what was getting to me was that my armpits looked so high. I ended up just going for the straight forward measurement model, without any additional adjustments. But it really got me thinking about the shape of my body, and made me very curious how My Body Model would actually line up with my true outline. So I decided to do an experiment!
I took some awesome mannequin posed photos of myself, and then used Adobe Illustrator to create a "body model" from my photos. (It took much much longer than putting in 23 measurements BTW) Here is how they turned out:
Some of the main differences that really helped to make the model look like ME:
- Feet! It's funny how much of a difference that alone made. My real feet are very wide, and the MBM ones are quite small looking.
- Bust area. Now you can see what I was trying to accomplish with the adjustments. Inside my body frame, but without the upper section of the boob drawn in I guess? I think the narrower upper bust adjustment on MBM would have been the closest after all. Hindsight.
- Lumps. MBM creates a smooth curve down my sides, and in reality I have some dips and lumps and rivets going on there. Same with the slope of my shoulders.
- Calves. I guess my calf girth is more to the inside in real life?
- Width. I'm actually wider than what my measurements allude to. So I look smaller across on MBM.
Is My Body Model a perfect representation of my actual form? Of course not. There's no way that 23 measurements could actually portray that. But when you compare it to a 9 heads fashion figure? It is night and day. The small differences between my illustration and that of MBM? More like morning and midmorning. If that's even a thing. The time it takes to get a finished outline though, that's pretty significant. My Body Model is quick and easy, and I've already found it to be useful in my sewing planning!
Here's what I'll leave you with: some beautiful sketches I made of myself using one of my new croquis. I'm curious to know if you can even tell which one I used.
creative business owner. designer. hoosier. crafter. runner. sewer. swing dancer. outdoor enthusiast. entrepreneur. wife. material hoarder.
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Madeline Stage email@example.com
"Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."
- Earl Nightingale