Planning Your Sewing with Illustrated Style School

Photo collage of four garments: From top let to bottom right: An oversized black sweater, a black skirt with oversized pockets and elasticated waist, a gray skirt with oversized pockets and elasticated waist, and and oversized mauve sweater.

It has been almost four weeks since I broke my foot. I am lucky that I have experienced no pain at rest (pressure on the broken section, however, has made me see stars!), and I have the sick time from work to keep me home recovering properly. I cleared with my doctor that I can sew with my left foot, but there is a lot that goes before the actual sewing of a garment, and I didn’t feel like testing any boundaries. I want this foot healed, and I want it healed right.

I have been occupying myself with a lot of computer work, TV, music, and reading. A few months ago, Illustrated Style School (created by Erica Schmitz, the brain behind MyBodyModel) had a sale on its online fashion design courses. I purchased two courses, Paper Dolls for Grownups 1 and Digital Paper Dolls 1 (you can still bundle both courses and get a 30% discount!). What better time to explore these courses than right now? 


If you don’t know what MyBodyModel is, I am so happy to be the one to introduce this to you. MyBodyModel is a croquis template created based on your measurements. You enter your measurements, and the app creates a personalized croquis that you can use to design your garments. You can get a free preview before you buy the real thing. 

MyBodyModel was about to meet its untimely end in 2022, when Erica Schmitz, the creator of the app, announced that the app was closing its doors permanently. You must be like, why are you telling me about this awesome resource if it’s gone? Well, it isn’t! Cashmerette purchased MyBodyModel, and now you can go there and get your personalized croquis.

Paper Dolls for Grownups 1

Image of the graphic for the course Paper Dolls for Grownups 1 by Illustrated Style School

I started my journey into fashion drawing with Paper Dolls for Grownups 1. This is an introduction to fashion drawing. Erika Schmitz is the instructor for both classes. This course will help you create paper-and-pencil clothes from your MyBody Model.

Even though I knew I was not going to go the paper-and-pencil, I wanted to start from the very beginning. I am glad I did. Erika provides a thorough walkthrough of how to create paper clothes that have lots of detail. This is the course where you will learn how to transfer all of the design features from the flat drawing to paper clothes that fit your MyBodyModel. 

Digital Paper Dolls 1

Image of the graphic for the course Digital Paper Dolls by Illustrated Style School

In this course, you will learn how to use an app—Sketchbook, a free app you can download for iPad and Android tablet—to create your drawings. It is assumed that you have taken Paper Dolls for Grownups 1 and know the basics of fashion drawing. The focus here is on how to use the app.

I downloaded Sketchbook, paid $1.99 for extra resources, and was ready to draw! Erika does a great job explaining how the app works. From importing your MyBodyModel into the app to adding hair and creating your clothes, the class flows at a pace easy to follow. 

By the end of class, you will know how to work with layers, add fabric as color for your drawings, and use more advanced tools like copy and symmetry to streamline your design process. I am super excited about the idea of adding fabric to my palette of colors.

My Plans

This year, I am not trying Make Nine again. I love the idea of structure, but the reality of it can never survive my oh-shiny disposition. There are a few themes I want to explore—work goth, sewing with silk, experimenting with shapes—and I am giving myself the flexibility to work within them. 

For my next two projects—while I am still wearing a boot—I chose two beginner patterns, The Cape Sweater by Rebecca Page and the Pocket Skirt by Peppermint Magazine. I am going to make them more my style by sewing them in black (hahaha! Easiest and fastest way to make it goth!). 

For the cape, I’m using this fun poodle knit fabric I got from Joann. For the skirt, I hope I will have the courage to use an even more fun rayon-linen fabric that I got in Brazil a few years ago. It has embroidered cacti all over! Cacti are goth, right?

Do you draw your sewing projects? Do you prefer paper and pencil or a drawing app? Let me know in the comments below.

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