Focusing my Knitting Project Ideas with My Body Model Paper Doll

With so many knitting patterns and yarn choices out there, it can be hard to choose – And even more difficult to predict the end result. Guest blogger Victoria shares how she uses her custom sketch templates from MyBodyModel to visualize & focus her knitting project ideas, paper doll style! The result: beautiful and versatile knitted garments that complement her personal style, her body, and her wardrobe.


I was very intimidated by garment knitting. With a taste for luxury hand-dyed yarns and a fat body, the investment of time and money was significant. I was terrified that either it wouldn’t fit, or wouldn’t suit me, or I wouldn’t know what to wear with it. I eventually dove in with a well-regarded, simple pattern, some inexpensive yarn in a solid neutral colour, and a knitting group full of support. I came out with a wearable garment, and was so proud of myself.

Now I had the confidence to knit garments with “the good yarn” – but I was still second-guessing every option and struggling to make decisions about my knitting project ideas:

  • Would I wear this colour more than that? 
  • This colour is utterly divine, but what would I wear it with? 
  • Will this pattern look the same on me as it does on the model?

I found a solution in the humble paper doll. A frugal children’s toy for hundreds of years, more recently it has been elevated to an art form by talented artists who create elaborate designs and outfits. Now, knitters and sewists are using them to plan their outfits and creative projects.

I went a step further and used my body model croquis to make a paper doll – one that accurately reflects the size and shape of my body – and also to design planning templates for both knitting and sewing garment project ideas. Together, these tools let me plan outfits that mix my handknit and handsewn items into my wardrobe, and plan future projects to make sure they get worn.

Victoria is planning her knitting project ideas using fashion sketch templates that reflect her body shape to make a paper doll.

I started out with a simple croquis and just added a little colour to the skin – I wanted to keep it minimal so that the clothes would be the stars. Then I quickly moved on to drawing garments I already had. I was drawn to my favourites, some of which I had bought new, some preloved, some hand knitted or sewn. I did some basics – denim jacket, black leggings – and some statement pieces.

Victoria uses her new MyBodyModel paper doll to test outfit combinations with garments and pieces that she already owns, like this denim jacket and red dress.
Having fun with my new paper doll and testing outfit combinations with garments that I already own
Experimenting with new styles and outfits on MyBodyModel personalized paper doll helps to plan out knitting and sewing ideas, like this black and white polka dot peplum top worn with  black leggings!

I’d recently finished knitting a cropped cami top that was wildly outside of my usual style; I’d had no idea what to wear with it, but experimenting with options on the doll soon gave me a few ideas. I was finally able to show off the finished item to my knitting group.

Sketching out knitting and sewing projects on MyBodyModel fashion templates helps Victoria to visualize how outfits will look - like how great this cropped mint green My Little Secret cami knitted top would look great with black Winslow Culottes!
Victoria's completed knitted crop top in mint green, from sketch to finish! This is the My Little Secret Crop Top by Jessie Mae.  Drawing knitting project ideas on MyBodyModel paper doll helped ensure a successful project that would look and feel like her.
My Little Secret Crop Top by Jessie Mae, knitted in Mothy and the Squid Superwash Sock in Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream, worn with black Winslow Culottes by Helen’s Closet

I found that the act of drawing each item made me pay more attention to it – where exactly does the hem hit? How wide and deep is the neckline? Does it bunch up when I wear it, or lie flat? What scale is the print? What shade is the colour? I wanted to get it as accurate as possible.

Testing outfit combinations with my green Crumb cardi by Andi Satterlund on her body model paper doll. "Trying on" garments and outfit planning with MyBodyModel fashion sketch templates helps Victoria visualize what her knitting projects will look like on her body.
Crumb by Andi Satterlund, knitted in Drops Air in Forest Green

As I put different pieces together, I had an immediate visual giving me a good idea of what the outfit would look like – not just in general, but on my body – and I found I was considering the specifics of each garment in detail.

In short, drawing them all out made me really notice and appreciate the items I already have.

My completed green Crumb cardigan  by Andi Satterlund, from sketch to finish! Victoria tried on outfit combinations with MyBodyModel paper doll and loved how it would look with this printed dress.
My completed green Crumb cardigan by Andi Satterlund, from sketch to finish! Victoria tried on outfit combinations with MyBodyModel paper doll and loved how it would look with this blue Montana Midi Dress by Style Arc.
Crumb by Andi Satterlund, knitted in Drops Air in Forest Green, worn with red RTW dress and blue Montana Midi Dress by StyleArc

This naturally led me to reconsider my queue of knitting and sewing project ideas:

  • Were these garments things I was going to wear often?
  • How would they work with these pieces I already have?
  • Was I going to unintentionally create “orphan” pieces, destined to languish on a hanger because I had nothing to wear with them?

Once again, my body model croquis was the answer. I put together a template for each of my knitting and sewing patterns, making sure that my croquis was printed on these at the exact same size as my paper doll.

Now when I want to plan a project, my first step is to sketch the shape onto a project template to check how it might suit me. If it looks good, I can go ahead and work it into my wardrobe.

Here’s the beautiful part of the planning process: I can try on the garment, before I’ve even finished planning it, to see what it might work with in my wardrobe. Because my paper doll’s garments are the same size, I can lay them on the project planning page and see how they look together.

Using a MyBodyModel paper doll helped Victoria to plan out knitting and sewing projects, including patterns and which yarn to use. She was able to see which colors she could coordinate, whether they should be solid, or speckled, etc.
Emma (Version B) by CocoKnits Sweater Workshop, shown with swatches of Chunky (superwash merino) by Giddy Aunt Yarns in Litha and Blackcurrant Jam

By seeing which items of my existing wardrobe work well shape-wise, I can make a more informed choice about what yarn to use to knit. I can see which colours will coordinate in a way I like, and whether it should be a solid, semi-solid, or speckled yarn, for example.

And then it all comes together.

Knitting project in progress using MyBodyModel paper doll! Victoria is making Zaftig Tee by Sheila Toy Stromberg, knitted in by Black Cat Custom Yarn Everyday Sock in In The Navy.
My latest WIP (Work in Progress): Zaftig Tee by Sheila Toy Stromberg, knitted in by Black Cat Custom Yarn Everyday Sock in In The Navy

For more knitting inspiration, check out these posts:


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With so many knitting patterns and yarn choices out there, it can be hard to choose - And even more difficult to predict the end result. Guest blogger Victoria shares how she uses her custom sketch templates from MyBodyModel to visualize & focus her knitting project ideas, paper doll style! The result: beautiful and versatile knitted garments that complement her personal style, her body, and her wardrobe.

8 thoughts on “Focusing my Knitting Project Ideas with My Body Model Paper Doll”

  1. Pingback: My Body Model – Victoria Marchant Knits

  2. Fantastic! Thanks for your examples. I have had similar struggles with what I’ve knit. I stuck to just cardigans for a while, because I didn’t want to spend time on an orphan, either. I love that I was turned on to My Body Model by Sew Liberated’s Meg. It has been a HUGE help in my finding my style, experiencing before purchase, and rocking my wardrobe! Now I have proof a pattern and colors will work before I even get started.

  3. Pamela Shadle Flores

    This is just wonderful. And your knits are amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever made something that actually fit me, but you have encouraged me to try again. And I’ve already started giving my current wardrobe the paper doll treatment! Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. That’s so kind, thank you Pamela! I love that you’ve made your own paper doll, that’s amazing. I hope it helps you to find your way into garment knitting and you have many years of making your own clothes!

    1. What project planning journal are you using? From what I can see in the photo’s, it looks very thorough.

      1. Thanks so much Cynthia!

        My planner is a Filofax brand Notebook with pages that can be taken out and moved around. I created my own Knitting and Crochet project templates incorporating my croquis and printed them at home.

        I have similar templates (without the croquis) available as a free download on my website.

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