Look! A Mini-LT! (and a tutorial to make your own)

10 Jan

Look! I made a creepy line-drawing of myself!
mini LT!
Isn’t it just the cutest thing you ever did see? Ok, maybe not… it’s kind of creepy lol.

I was inspired to make one of these after reading chapter 2 of the Colette Sewing Handbook, A Thoughtful Plan. It is suggested that you make your own croquis to aid with planning out future sewing projects.

This is not normally something I would use – garments look sooo different on a bunch of stylized croquis than they do on normal ol’ bodies, plus, I’m pretty ~aware~ of how my body looks – so I didn’t see much of a point. But now little mini-me’s are popping up all over the internet, and I’m a sheep at heart so I took some pictures and drew out my own. Mine has a little outfit (bathing suit?) because I feel a little creeped out at the idea of a nakey me floating around the internet.

The book suggests printing your picture & tracing around the lines to create the croquis – which is fabulous, but I don’t have a printer at home and I was a little skeeved at the idea of printing out a picture of my undie-clad body on the office printer (or at Kinko’s! Oh God!). Hence, the all-digital LT.

And guess what? The process was pretty easy, so I made a bunch of screen shots so I could share the tutorial with you 🙂 And the best part is, you don’t have to have Photoshop 🙂 I used GIMPshop, which is a FREE software that is very similar to Photoshop (except free). Yay!

First, you are going to want to take a picture of yourself – in something very form-fitting (like leggings or a tank) or just undies. My actual picture was taken in a tank top and undies, hence why I picked a different picture for the tutorial 🙂 But you – you are going to want to wear something that shows your shape!

Some photo tips that I wish someone had pointed out to me:
– Stand in front of a plain (preferably light) backdrop. The less noise you need to edit out of the background, the better! This also makes it easier to see where you figure ends & where the wall (or whatever is behind you) begins.
– Make sure the camera is pointed straight at you, and not at an angle. My first croquis did not heed this warning, and as a result, she hashad very short legs (Had. I deleted her lol). Apparently I take my pictures at slightly MySpace-esque angle, which is great for outfit photos but not so great for croquis.
– Ensure that there is plenty of light & use a flash if necessary! It doesn’t matter if the picture is “blown out” or you are making a derp face – we are just dealing with the lines here, anyway.

Ok, so you’ve got your picture – tutorial time! These pictures are also located on my Flickr in their own set if you feel so inclined. Click through any picture to make it bigger if you need to!

I decided to use this clover picture as an example, saving y’all the pain of viewing an undies shot. You are all welcome. And again, I’m using GIMPshop. It’s free! And please note that I am by no means a professional when it comes to digital image manipulation – I just kind of hacked my way through until I came up with something suitable 🙂

Step 1
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Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
Step 7
Step 8
Step 9
Step 10
Step 11
Step 12
Step 13
Step 14
Step 15
Step 16
Step 17
Step 18
(I know, it should be “Croqui” not “Croquis,” my bad. I did not realize until it was TOO LATE!

I made myself wear the Pastille dress:
mini LT pastille
In the future, I will be drawing the actual clothes with a pencil & a piece of paper. It is hard to adjust the lines of the garment in GIMP to correspond with the lines of my body.

At any rate, I’m excited about my new little friend 🙂

Now – go print out a million little images of yourself & draw up a new wardrobe! Yay!


51 Responses to “Look! A Mini-LT! (and a tutorial to make your own)”

  1. symondezyn January 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    I love your little mini-me… mini-you i mean 😛 and the fact that it’s modest – how sweet ^_^

    I was skeptical about making one as well, for the same reasons as you – I know my body and what looks good on it… but just for laughs and giggles I’m willing to try just about anything so perhaps I’ll be parading my own mini-me around soon! LOL

  2. Stacie January 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    I was intrigued by this chapter, but never got around to doing anything. Thanks for the tutorial. Do you think it is or will be useful to you?

    • LLADYBIRD January 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

      I think it will be useful – I can pair separates and see how they look on the croqui. And it will be nice to stick on my fabric board for a visual reference of what I want to sew up next!

  3. Amanda January 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Kudos to you! And thanks for the step by step process on some sweet free software. That’s what I’m taling about! I must admit the idea of a croquis is still kinda freaky. I’m not sure why but it just is for me… Shall give this a bash though!

  4. Immi January 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Thanks for the tutorial! That’s what I always wanted to know!

  5. cowroad January 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    What an interesting idea! Now how do you add the colette patterns to your croqui?
    Thanks! 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      I just outlined it as before & copied+pasted it over the croqui. Obviously it doesn’t exactly mirror my shape (it’s just the line drawing) and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it, so in the future I am just going to print out my croqui and hand-draw everything on 🙂

  6. Sophie January 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    This is so great, thanks for that tutorial!

  7. Sandy January 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    I don’t think it’s creepy at all. Thank you for the tutorial!

  8. Judith January 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Ok, so I am off to lock myself in a room, don the skin-tight clothing and try this myself…and then the fit of giggles (amidst the tears) will start…and they say a camera never lies…

  9. Amy January 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    For some reason I enjoy seeing everyone’s self images pop up in their sewing blogs recently. Hopefully that’s not too creepy. They just seem so fun and practical.

  10. ms. modiste January 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Thank you for putting this together!

  11. Marie January 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    There are so many mini-me’s appearing on loads of blogs, nice work ;o) Its really great that you shared a ‘how to’, because I’ve been tempted to try this, but didn’t actually know how to do it. Thanks!

  12. Barbara Lamar January 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I’ve had the Colette book for several weeks now, but I’ve put off doing a croquis, because it seemed like too much trouble for questionable benefit. But the more I think about it, the more useful it seems. Your tutorial has inspired me.

  13. Heather January 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    I just casually flipped through that section of the book because I ate a little too much over the holidays. AND i just ate a cooking. Geez.

  14. Heather January 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm #


  15. flyingchange January 11, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    The croquis I’ve seen have been pretty neat-looking, and your tutorial is great! The croquis still seem like busywork to me…. but now I love GIMPShop, I’ve been using the GIMP since my last laptop died and I can’t afford to buy Photoshop again, but GIMPshop looks less mind-boggling!

  16. Law January 11, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    This is a really useful tutorial thanks! My boyfriend is pretty good on photoshop so i plan to rope him in when i make my croquis, but if he takes ages getting round to it i will definitely use this.

  17. Jane January 11, 2012 at 3:30 am #

    This is REALLY useful Lauren, thank you. I’m a plodding old dinosaur when it comes to both computers and manipulating photography – I thought I’d never be able to make a croqui. Now all I need to do is strip off and I have my very own! Hoorah. x

  18. Elisalex January 11, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Great tutorial thanks! I’ve been waiting for the Christmas, um, bloating to go down before doing my own croqui… And how amazing would it be to make a whole little cardboard cut-out wardrobe of one’s makes to plan outfits on one’s own little self?!

  19. Scruffybadger January 12, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Coo! This is super helpful Lauren, thank you. I’ve been waiting for someone to teach me gimp, but I think this will get me started. I’ve got so many ideas … Ill be able to try new hairdos, draw the effects of an exercise programme without having to lift a finger! What awesomeness!! Thank you 🙂

    • Janice January 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

      Thanks for the Photoshop tutorial! I don’t have access to a printer other than at work and it would just be too weird to print out my leotard/tights-clad body there. 🙂

      • Mia January 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

        Just thought I’d share if you ever plan on making another croquis (and, I think it is “croquis” and not “croqui”–it’s a French word that translates to “sketch”), there is an easier way to cut out your figure from a picture. It called using a layer mask. Here’s a tutorial: http://puteraaladin.blogspot.com/2008/08/tutorial-layer-mask-in-gimp-for.html

        Creating a mask is kind of like making a selection, so once it’s created, you can select the area and paste it onto another layer and delete the original layer.

  20. Patricia Clements January 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    Thank you so much for the tutorial.

  21. Rachel W. February 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Love the tutorial! I’ve been struggling to make my own croquis. It’s the height (or angle?) of the camera that keeps getting me: my tracings always end up with really short legs and a really wide belly. The other attempt made my head look apple-sized. I know I have those traits, but jeez, not to that extent! Do you have any idea on how tall my camera tripod should be/what bit of me my photographer should be focusing on to get the ‘truest’ proportions? We’re hypothesizing that it should be eye level– what do you think?

    • LLADYBIRD February 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      I totally hear ya – I had the same problems with my first attempts at getting a good photo. I ended up setting my tripod height to about my belly button, made sure it was pointing straight ahead, and then backed waaaaay up to make sure I got my whole self in the picture 🙂 Hope that helps!

      • Rachel W. February 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

        Ah, great! Glad to hear that someone else was having the same problem. I suspect that we weren’t backing up far enough, so I’ll try that next. Thank you so much! 🙂

  22. Tee March 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. I will try this very soon!

  23. estee March 16, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    Thanks a lot for the tutorial. I made my own and was shocked at to what I actually looked like. It’s very different then seeing pictures. I used photoshop elements 9 and used layers. It was so easy with your instructions. Thanks!

  24. thong leotard April 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    There’s certainly a great deal to learn about this topic. I love all the points you’ve made.

  25. whatsupwiththebirds April 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    This tutorial was great! I had the best time making this croqui, except for making the actual photo, but things got better once the image was desaturated 😉
    As a finishing step, I vectorized the drawing through one of those free vectorizing websites. It’s the best ‘drawing’ I made in ages 🙂

  26. Anonymous June 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I spent (a few) hours yesterday cursing gimp or rather my lack of understanding of gimp. With your detailed instructions I now have 2 beautiful mini-me’s of my own!

  27. Anonymous June 16, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It’s always helpful to read through content from other writers and use something from their sites.

  28. Steph A October 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Thank You!! This is just what I needed to get my croquis done!! About a year ago I started the laborious process of removing the background from a photo and shelved it! But, last night I stumbled upon Oonaballoona’s post on the same thing from Feb 2012 (she linked to your post here). I’m DONE! It took quite a few hours to get to the line drawing, but I’m soooo happy to have it. When I addded the head-height proportional lines delineating body sections it was interesting how it confirmed my suspicions about my own proportions.

  29. Anonymous November 21, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    May I simply just say what a relief to find an individual who truly understands what they are talking about over the internet. You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people ought to check this out and understand this side of your story. I can’t believe you aren’t more popular because you most certainly possess the gift.

  30. dramaticimpulse June 26, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I’ve used croquis to help teach theatre students about costume design (I’m a generalist), but it never occurred to me to make one of myself. You’ve inspired the first post on my new blog.

  31. Kat April 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Hmmm I really appreciate your hard work with the tutorial.
    But I really don´t like the programm that you linked.
    When I installed it, it installed some things to my browser ( some crazy search ) and it set yahoo as my startpage AND delete all my tabs. 😦
    Don´t use it, it is viral!

    • LLADYBIRD April 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      I’m sorry you had a bad experience with GIMPshop 😦 It sounds like you downloaded the program and allowed it to make changes to your browser – a lot of softwares do that; they always want to install some sort of toolbar or new search engine or whatever. I always read through the installation to make sure I’m only installing what I want on my computer. I haven’t run that particular program in a long long time, so I didn’t realize it was adding stuff when you downloaded it.

  32. sweetvanessaleigh October 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    This is AWESOME, being a big beautiful girl I made my own croqui in a pattern making class I was in, but this is even better! Great tutorial, THANKS!

  33. Susan October 24, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    I had some problems with the program making random changes to my PC. But it worked well later. Thanks!


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