Rediscovering Sketching

I have been sketching, thanks to Brooks Ann Camper’s Skirt Skills course. Below I dive into what I’ve done, but I want to record some big picture thoughts about the process here.

  1. Using the custom croquis tool forces me to go more slowly and be more deliberate when I’m sketching.
  2. Sometimes I like to be fast and loose! I’ll still sketch wild looking, elephant garments* when that’s where I’m at. But now I have another option. *see below
  3. Both my watercolor workbook and Brooks Ann’s process emphasize warm ups to get into the creative mindset. And the warm-ups feel so relaxing and loosening.

Sketching out clothes I want to wear / sew isn’t new to me, but I’ve never used a custom croquis tool to sketch clothes relative to my particular shape before. (I was aware of these custom croquis tools thanks to Social Sewists of Wardrobe Social/Jennifer Wiese, but I hadn’t tried it yet.) I like the loose and free feeling of my unstructured sketches:

Wardrobe dreaming with quick sketching.

But sometimes the sketches look more like animals than clothes:

These puffed sleeve shirts will always be elephants in my heart.

And so I was excited to try out the custom croquis method. It was easier and faster to do than I expected. I took lots of undies images using my nifty new bluetooth smartphone camera remote (it cost $7 and makes self photos SO much easier - glad I have it now, wish I’d gotten it sooner) and picked one to start. I airdropped it to my laptop, cropped, printed, and within a few minutes I was sketching my body outline and letting the ideas flow:

The first sketch that emerged.

For the first few sketches, I just drew whatever was in my head. I had spent 10 minutes on Pinterest saving whatever skirt images caught my eye earlier that day, but I wasn’t looking at those images for the first few sketches:

Sketches two and three that emerged. I especially like the lines on the skirt on the left.

I know that I will make something simple and fitted through the waist/hips for my first design, but I’m also enjoying the freedom of sketching whatever comes into my head.

Exploring color and styles freely.

An A-line wax print idea inspired by Brooks Ann. I feel drawn to the A-line shape, but I'm not deciding yet.

That’s what I’ve sketched so far. I find it very relaxing to sit down with my picture, trace off my image, and make an idea physical. As a side practice, I’ve also been working with this Watercolor Workbook by Sarah Simon. I typically spend about 30 minutes with this book after our toddler goes to bed. It’s providing much needed quiet time after our little whirlwind slows down.

Quiet time with watercolors. The first flower.

The second flower I painted. I like to play with the colors. It would be nice to have a finer tip brush for details.

And flower 3. I like the visible progression of techniques and am happier with the color mixes.

I don’t really have any goals for the watercolors other than to play with color and have some quiet time.