How to… Make a Personalised Croquis

sewing plans

I sketched my autumn sewing plans on a croquis I made from a photograph, and lots of people wanted to know how I did it, so here is the long-awaited tutorial.

For obvious reasons I didn’t want to publish a photo of myself in my underwear, so for these tutorials I am using this image found via googling swimsuits. You will need to take a full length photo of yourself in tight undergarments, standing naturally in your normal posture. It might be a bit alarming, but once you have made your croquis you can delete the original photo! I’m going to show you how I made my croquis on CorelDRAW; if you have different software you may have to explore to find the same settings.


Import your photo into CorelDRAW and convert it to a bitmap (still colour at this stage).

2Select Contours -> Find Edges
Play around with the level to get just enough detail for sketching, but not too many heavy lines. The level may depend on how dark your photo is.

34Now convert to a black and white bitmap, like in step 1.

5To make the image paler, change the transparency. On CorelDraw transparency is the wineglass type icon. Make sure the transparency is set to uniform, and adjust the intensity (approx 80% should produce a grey that is barely there – you need to be able to see the lines, but they should be very feint so they don’t ruin your sketches)

cut and pasteNow you can crop any remaining background out of your image, and cut-and-paste as many figures as you want on a page; 3 or 6 to a page gives a good amount of space around the figures for notes and doodles.

Print your croquis and start sketching!

sketchAs you can see above, the printed croquis is very feint and just visable when sketching, but starts to disappear once it is coloured in. I have totally changed the hairstyle on the central figure, but the original lines fade into the background, so you can be as creative or realistic as you want!

If you make any croquis or sketches, please link below as I’d love to see them!




6 thoughts on “How to… Make a Personalised Croquis

  1. Awesome, great help! I don’t have Corel Draw though. Wonder does this work in Adobe photoshop or another program? I know there are a few you can download for free on the interwebs, 🙂 but I don’t know which ones are good.

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