Micheline adds sewing planner pages to her bullet journal with rubber stamps that she made with her body model custom croquis! Read on to see how she designs and plans her sewing projects with her body model stamps.
I like to draw but making a well-proportioned drawing of myself seemed difficult and time consuming. Working past preconceived notions of my body and translating that into a two-dimensional drawing was daunting. Repeating it over and over again seemed like an impossibility. When I saw the MyBodyModel app
and realized that I could have an unlimited amount of models that were a true representation of my body I couldn’t wait to get started.
I used to agonize over patterns and design changes. I would roll ideas around in my head for far too long. I would ask questions about length or sleeve options or patch pockets or colour blocking or… the list goes on. I rarely settled on anything with conviction. Either I would go with my gut and hope for the best or I would flip-flop between ideas until I lost interest in the project altogether. After downloading my body model and working through my first sheet of 8 models I was hooked. It was addictive. I could swap sleeve lengths, change style lines, neck lines, whatever I wanted without investing anything but a few minutes of time. I could move on with confidence in my choices, easily leaving behind ideas that weren’t working and tweaking the ones that were until they were just right. It was quick and easy and best of all, they looked like me.
Then I started to see that I had a growing pile of loose sheets. I needed to figure out a system for keeping them tidy. They contained too much good information to simply toss away. I use a bullet journal for everything else so it made the most sense to find a way to get the drawings in there. I thought of folding the pages and taping them in. I thought of cutting them into smaller pieces and glueing them flat. All of the ideas I came up with seemed messy and time consuming. That’s when I thought of turning My Body Model into a stamp. I could add as many models as I wanted to any pages that I wanted and do it in the blink of an eye.
I thought that if I was going to the trouble of getting stamps made it would be worth spending a little bit of time tweaking the arms and legs to better represent my body. I placed the MyBodyModel pdf into Adobe Illustrator and used that as a guide for redrawing it. Once I was happy with it, I duplicated it and adjusted it to create a back view. I made all of the line weights 0.5 point and worried they would be too fine for the stamp to hold and too fine for the ink not to bleed all over the place. I worried for nothing. The stamps are working exactly how I had hoped.
I made a small version of the front view so I can fit twelve on a page. At this size I can easily work through concepts and comparisons. I also made a large version with the front and back view on the same stamp. I find that size great for drawing the final version of a garment and incorporating more detail. With both stamps finalized, I saved them individually as eps files.
I searched the internet for a company that could make rubber stamps out of images and found London Rubber Stamp
in Halifax. I’m so glad I did. They were friendly, knowledgeable and fast. I emailed the files on a Wednesday and they were ready for me on Friday. They would have happily shipped them but I was going into Halifax anyway so I just picked them up. London Rubber Stamp charges by the surface area. The small one cost $23.50 and the large was $33.50. I think it was money well spent.
Ink pads are available in a lot more colours than they used to be. I settled on a grey ink pad but still found it too dark. To adjust the intensity I just stamp it on a scrap of paper first and then stamp it in my journal. It’s dark enough that I can still see it but light enough that it doesn’t compete with the drawing.
After reading through the experiences of other people who’ve used the MyBodyModel app
, it seems we all agree that it’s a transformative experience. There are so many ways to use it, whether digitally with pdfs, printed out of your printer at home or stamped into your sketchbook, it’s just a matter of finding the way that works best for you. Once you do, there will be no stopping you.
Editor’s note: How cool is this idea?!! I can’t wait to try it myself. Have you ever had a rubber stamp made from an image? If so, what was your experience like? I’d love to put together a list of online companies to share here on the blog. If you have a recommendation, please let us know in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Micheline is a former graphic designer who recently turned her love of sewing into a career. She now has her own business doing alterations and custom sewing in the picturesque, seaside town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. She still loves spending time making her own clothes. Micheline can be found on Instagram @stitchmerchant and online at stitchmerchant.com.