Last year I was sent a complimentary Hokey Croquis fashion sketching notebook as a thank you for being a contributor to the BurdaStyle book, and I never quite got around to telling you about it. Not because the product isn’t nice, but mostly because I haven’t done much drafting or designing until now where Ive needed to make my own tech drawings!
Hokey Croquis is a very sturdy, nicely designed, spiral bound notepad with pre-printed female croquis (those are the little drawings of female silhouettes), which you just draw your designs on top of. Then, you can scan in the page, fiddle with the contrast on your computer, and their lines disappear.
HC have really paid attention to the little details here – the book closes with a nice, pink ribbon, and included with the book are some classy stickers to customise the cover. I’ve noticed that Fashionary.org have a similar croquis notebook for sale, but they also have some free pdf downloads, too. I’ve not had a chance to try their book, but the croquis included in the pdf are a bit small for my liking. I think they’re great for getting a bunch of ideas down without wasting precious, thick pages in a book, but for making the final tech drawings, I think the larger, HC forms are better.
Anyway, back to my Hokey Croquis book, which I think works really well for documenting self-drafted designs! I used to be really good at drawing, but I fell out of practice over the years and I found the light guidelines to be super helpful in making my tech drawing for my shirtdress look halfway decent. I just drew my design using a regular ol’ pencil (and I definitely needed the eraser at points)!
Then I played with the brightness and contrast in Photoshop to make the guidelines disappear, added a white background, filled in a few of the lines where they’d disappeared, and added a bit of shadow. Finally, I put my new tech drawing on top of a photo of my Prada shirting and added my pattern details! Et voila!
I could’ve cleaned this up even further in Photoshop or Illustrator to make it 100% even and professional looking, but as I’m not selling my pattern commercially or anything, I couldn’t quite justify the extra time in this case!
Hokey Croquis notebooks sell for $19 (Sorry, there used to be a UK supplier but they don’t appear to stock them anymore), and Fashionary’s books sell for $24.
Edit: I think I wasn’t clear in my purpose for using these croquis – I am not interested in discovering which styles suit my body (there are some great solutions for that in the comments!). I was using these croquis purely as an aid for drawing tech drawings for drafted patterns and giving others a better idea of what the pattern lines are.