MyBodyModel – a custom croquis

Hi! The Kickstarter campaign for MyBodyModel just began this week. What is it? Well, it’s a web app to create custom body templates based on your own measurements. MyBodyModel is the brainchild of Erica Schmitz, a sewist who wanted to be able to visualize how a particular style or pattern would look on her body.

MyBodyModel - sample sketches

If you go to the Kickstarter page here, you can watch the video about MyBodyModel and read about its mission “to create body-positive design tools for garment makers and designers.”

MyBodyModel - Kickstarter campaign to create custom croquis based on your measurements

Ericka is raising funds to develop a Beta version of the MyBodyModel web app. And here’s the kicker, if she can meet her fundraising goal of $20,000 by August 24, the Maine Technology Institute will match that amount – up to $25,000. Wow.

Here’s what the Kickstarter page says about perks: “All backers will get early access to the MyBodyModel Beta website. You will be able to make and download your own croquis, made to your measurements. You can print your croquis on paper, and sketch your designs by hand. Or import your croquis image into your favorite sketching app or illustration software.”

There are also free downloads available to backers, including  seven real-body prototype croquis.

And last but not least, I’m honored to be one of Erica’s testers. She contacted me via Facebook last month about helping to test the application. She told me that she’s been following my blog for years. (Always nice to hear that!) Then she told me about MyBodyModel and asked if I would be interested in helping to test the app to see if it’s generating accurate sketches. It sounded like a fun project so I said Yes. I’m not getting paid to be a tester or to write this blog post. I think this is a great idea so this is my way of supporting it.

I’m thrilled to be one of ten sewists and knitters who will be testing the app!

MyBodyModel - testers

And I even know one of them! Melizza of Pincushion Treats, who used to live in the Bay Area. I met her back in 2014 when I first took over as the organizer for the Bay Area Sewists meetup group.

Here’s the official list from the MyBodyModel Kickstarter page:

1.Tiahna at Ammonlane  / 2.Lauren at Lladybird  / 3. Mindy at TheGeekySeamstress [photo credit: Aperture Ashley] / 4. Martha at GariChild / 5. Emily at SelfAssemblyRequired / 6. Megat CookinandCraftin / 7. Chuleenan at CSews / 8. Melizza at Pincushiontreats / 9. Mary Aliceat WellSewnStyle and Alice Alexander [photo credit: Alex Roman] / 10. Leah at MsCleaver [photo credit: Bristol Ivy]

As of this moment, MyBodyModel as raised more than $8,500 in two days! Visit the Kickstarter page here to find out more and to donate to the campaign.

MyBodyModel - custom croquis based on your measurements

Q&A with Designer Christine Haynes

Derby Dress pattern (photo by Bob Lake)

This month Christine Haynes launched her new pattern line, which kicks off with two lovely patterns for summer weather: Derby Dress and Chelsea Dress.

You can order them on her website on this page and soon you will be able to buy them in shops around the country. After they ship, Christine will put a store list on her site so everyone knows where to find them locally.

I interviewed her via email earlier this month.

How long have you been working on the patterns and what made you decide to embark on this project?
I have been working on this since the fall of last year. I knew I didn’t want to do another book right now, but really wanted to continue releasing designs into the world. I decided last summer to do a Kickstarter campaign and when it was funded in the fall, I got going on it!

How much money did you raise via Kickstarter?
I raised just over $6,500 through Kickstarter, which is almost enough to pay for all the expenses to launch the first two patterns.

Christine Haynes

How long did you give yourself to raise the money?
I selected the maximum time limit, which was 60 days.

Did you think you’d be able to meet your goal when you decided to use Kickstarter?
Honestly, I had no idea if I’d be able to raise my goal or not! I thought I could, but there was an element of doubt from launch to funding, 24/7.

In your book Chic and Simple Sewing, there are no zippers or buttons on any of the clothes featured in the book. Will any of your upcoming patterns have any buttons or zippers?
Absolutely! My book was really all about removing the fear of sewing garments for beginners, so I didn’t want them worrying about fit and difficult details like darts and such. But these patterns are for levels beyond absolute beginners, so in the first two patterns there are details like facings, collars, princess seams, buttons, gathering, and more! But don’t worry, they aren’t super difficult. [Update: The book is now out of print. You may be able to find used copies on Amazon.]

Chelsea Dress pattern (photo by Bob Lake)

What advice do you have for aspiring designers who want to create a line of sewing patterns?
Have a clear vision, more money than you think for funding it, and take your time to get it right! I am a bit frustrated that it’s taking longer than I thought it would, but I want them done right!

What inspires your designs?
I am really inspired by the 1950s and 1960s, but I never want to look like I’m wearing a costume. It’s a very fine line! I try to go away every year to just be, exist, and live. This allows me to do a lot of observation and clears my head from the clutter of daily life. It’s my most clear time to sketch and think of new designs.