My sewing library grew quite a bit over the holidays. I was able to purchase lots of books via Half.com and Amazon's used books along with buying some e-books for my Kindle. One of the books I've been exploring in more detail is Fit for Real People by the sewing duo Palmer & Pletch. Within the book there's a chapter on examining your shape. This was a real eye-opening experience when combined with the idea of creating a personal croquis or personal line drawing.
Instead of having someone draw my outline against butcher paper (which would be tough since my DH is working and my dog is too short to measure me -- yep, that's the only reason my dog isn't useful in this situation) I used a photo that I took whilst wearing an elastic ribbon around my natural waist. The photo was taken with as little distortion to my proportions as possible. Then, I used Photoshop to trace my outline and mark the requisite points on my body - neck base, shoulder joint, waist, groin, knees, etc. I printed it out and then proceeded as the book specified... whoah.
the croquis... and revelations
I learned that I carry my left shoulder higher than my right! I had no idea I did this. I made a note to watch my posture. Based on the photo and observation, I have a lengthy "crotch depth" because of the distance between the crotch and the waistline. And here I thought I had a short waist. I also learned that although my measurements indicate I'm an hourglass figure, I'm really visually more of an inverted triangle (again based on the book). So, for now, I'll use this croquis to help visualize what clothing styles are flattering, and maybe on a free weekend me and a trusty friend or two can try out the more accurate wall-tracing method.
Here's a croquis sketch for two upcoming projects: the free JJ Blouse from BurdaStyle and Clover from Colette Patterns.