The Front View Croquis

The 10-heads front view croquis

The front view croquis is not very exciting.  She has little attitude and no pose to speak of.  But this 10-heads croquis is the easiest one to trace over and use for quick sketches of your ideas.  Since you do not have to deal with a pose and attitude, you can concentrate on the details of the garment.  The 10-head croquis is the popular size used today.  The 10 1/2, 11 or 12 head croquis is very elongated and better suited to someone who likes to handle a larger sketch.  I hope you enjoy using this croquis.  She may be reused and circulated freely.  Please provide a link back to this posting.

I show a resulting sketch in the next section.

I uploaded the full size scan so the detail lines are visible. 

Sketching over a croquis

You do not need expensive art supplies to start fashion sketching your ideas with a croquis.  The most important things to have are a good light and, if possible, a drawing table.  If you do not have a drawing table, you can improvise by using a smooth wooden board which you can place over a book so that it tilts towards you.

I buy my tracing paper, #6, #2, #HB2 pencils, erasers, paper clips and other supplies at my local 99 cent store.  Graph paper is also very helpful if you can handle looking at all the little squares.  It is a great aid in keeping lines straight and ensuring accuracy of details like darts and pockets.

As soon as you remove the sketch from the croquis you get a good idea of the combination of elements will work or not.  Here you can see the hairstyle I sketched is not appropriate for the Chinese style dress in the sketch.  I also thought that the drop shoulder short sleeves might look nice but would impede movement of the arm.  I wanted to find something else so I kept sketching…

I ended up with something different than what I started with but am happy with the development.  The short kimono sleeves are comfortable and balance out the sheath skirt of this two piece dress.  Or it could be a couture blouse with skirt designed to look like a one piece dress.

To add interest you can add a sense of texture to the sketch and create the look of a rendering of a fabric.  This is a shortcut that helps further the idea.  Here I used a paper doily put under the tracing paper.  I used a crayon to color over the sketch.  Only a little of the surface impression was made so I’d have to find something better.  From experience I’ve learned that sandpaper, wickerware chairs, thick netting and other bumpy surfaces have the potential to create an interesting look when colored over.  The key is to keep the pattern small so that the pattern doesn’t overwhelm the small scale of the whole sketch.


7 thoughts on “The Front View Croquis

    • It took me 2 years before I could use a croquis effectively. The best way is to pick up on it IF you feel like it. When the feeling is there so is the concentration. If it isn’t then leave it be. I’m just resuming sketching after 8 months of nothing. I’ve been too stressed at work and just couldn’t focus on this.

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      • That’s interesting – i will have a try. I thought I knew the style I wanted but I don’t think it’s right now. I bought 3 metres so my choices are wide. I need to use every possible option

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      • Honestly, Norma, I think the way we feel inside influences the work of our hands and minds. I’ve learned not to fight my inability to draw or sew when I’m cornered by distractions and problems. I don’t get sad because I can’t draw or sew. I deal with the problem so it gets out of the way. Usually if I’m hard pressed my sewing and sketching are horrible. My figures are very crooked and look so silly!

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      • Yes, I think I’ll follow my usual policy of leaving the fabric out and looking at it. Usually that suggests something.
        More positively I have seen a jacket pattern from By Hand London. I plan to make a jacket from the roll of linen & dye it. More in my next post

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  1. P.S. I’m glad you have a lot of fabric to work with. It gives you more freedom of choice. One way that might help you develop an idea is to look over basic line drawings of bodices, sleeves, and so on. Sometimes you can try putting them together to see if they work for you. If not at least you’ll know sooner rather than later.

    Here are some links:

    Basic dress shapes

    Basic skirts and neckline shapes

    Basic Sleeves and Collar Shapes


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