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Analyzing Your Own Proportions Article

sewslow67 | Posted in General Discussion on

I went to the Threads on-line extras to print a copy of the Croquis from issue 141, (page 39) and only the tiny copy was there …and the original, larger one with a grid had been removed from the Website already (at least, I sure couldn’t find it).  I am so disappointed, as I had wanted to try it out using my own proportions.

Does anyone have a copy of the original one that was on the Website?  And …would anyone be willing to share it with me?  I would be so grateful if you would.

Thanks, dear sister sewers.



  1. JeanM | | #1

    Are these still too small?





    1. sewslow67 | | #2

      Oh my, Jean; that is just perfect.  Thank you so very, very much.  You are an angel.  Now I just hope I can figure out how to get the proportions right, but that shouldn't be too difficult as the article seemed to explain everything quite well.  Did you do yours already and, if so, how did it work for you? 

      Thank you again.  I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.  You made my day!

      1. JeanM | | #3

        Well, your words made my day!  I remembered seeing these at CraftStylish and just went there and did a search.  (Hope I remember to do that when I am looking for an article some day.)

        I have not used a croquis, but others here have and maybe they will comment.

        1. sewslow67 | | #6

          I haven't used a croquis before either, so this will be an interesting exercise.  Like most other gals here, my figure has changed in the last 50-years (chuckle), and I want/need to make some adjustments in the style of clothes that will (hopefully) be more flattering.

          I'm aging like my mother did ...who finally tried a padded girdle for her bum.  It was so funny though, as it slipped down when she walked (she was SO flat) and she and I laughed until our side ached.  Needless to say, she gave up on that very quickly.  I absolutely adored my mother and it's fun to think about all the great times we shared.  I sure do miss her.

  2. cafms | | #4

    The grid from the last issue is still there.  It looks small so you have to enlarge it to print out.  Check here.  https://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/5149/find-your-best-silhouette  If you click on the small box with the blank grid it will come up and under it is "enlarge" which makes it bigger.  I made mine page size by copying it to Word and deleteing the margins on the page so I could print it full page size.  The lines are a little blurry on the printed copy.  Now I just have to get a picture to fit it. 

    I've actually done a full size drawing (got my husband to trace around me) in the past and then used my head length as the measuring tool to see what my proportions were.  I had a class using the technique.  It was very interesting and  I would like to do it again since my shape has changed.  I need to get the book out again and reread it.

    1. sewslow67 | | #5

      Good information and very helpful.  I've done what you said except I can't seem to get mine to enlarge to page size on Word.  I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I can only get it to enlarge from the Threads Website.  It's actually large enough, but sure would be nice to get it to be as large as yours.  I deleted the margins too, but that didn't seem to help stretch out the lines to the edge of the paper.  Any thoughts?

      Thanks again for your help and suggestions.  I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #7

        Hello Friend! When you go to print, go to the printer page setup! Makes sure you have the printer set to print to full page. Some printers override the settings on the word program, and will still print within pre set borders. Cathy

        1. sewslow67 | | #8

          Hey Cathy!  Thanks for the tip.  You have been on my mind a lot recently, and I think it's time for me to send a PM to catch you up on the happenings here.  I'll get that done in the next few days as I'll be off to Portland this coming weekend.

          Pumpkin goes in to be spade tomorrow morning, and I'm in great angst about it, as I am suffering for her already.  They will also remove her dew claws, as they weren't snipped off by the breeder when they should have been. 

          Also, her baby teeth on two uppers and two lowers are sitting solid right next to the adult teeth ...and don't want to seem to even get loose, let alone fall out.  I've never seen this happen before, so they will have to deal with that too, but probably not tomorrow as it might be too much of a shock to her little body.  More later ...

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #9

            Yeah, been a bit out of touch with people for the last little bit. Nothing wrong, just getting caught up with catching up! Nice to be off the sofa for a bit. It is getting a bit of an imprint from my behind! Of course, started to feel good and overdid it! Bit of a setback, but a knitting ripped turned to crochet afghan remedied that! Will PM ya later! Cathy

      2. sewelegant | | #10

        I was able to enlarge it to a full page so have sent it as an attachment.

        Hope it helps.

        1. sewslow67 | | #12

          This worked out great.  Thanks so very much.  I really appreciate your help as well as everyone else.  What a great group of gals to always extend a helping hand.

        2. KharminJ | | #13

          Hi Ladies!

          Here is my version of the blank "Golden Ration" grid, for using with your own photo or outline. I spent wa-a-ay too much time fooling with Word to get to this - glad to be able to share it!


          1. sewslow67 | | #14

            Wow; another great help with this exercise in getting a personal "golden ratio" to our own fit and design challenges.  Thanks so much for accepting the challenge and sharing it with all of us.  I do so appreciate your thoughtfulness.  Great job!!!  ;-)

          2. KharminJ | | #21

            Funny thing is, I didn't really see it as a challenge at the time - I just wanted it in a usable format - the project simply expanded to fill more than the time available! I'm really glad that others can use it, too.Bright Blessings! Kharmin

          3. JeanM | | #15

            I wouldn't even know where to begin to be able to do something in Word.  Thus, I'll just say Happy Birthday, Kharmin J.  Have a good one.

          4. KharminJ | | #20

            Thanks, Jean! I love your answer to the age line on the profile page! Kharmin

      3. cafms | | #11

        I hope the other posts were helpful to you since I may have gotten it to enlarge by a fluke.  I go messing with things like the margins and then it is messed up for my husband which is not a good thing but this time it worked out.

  3. JGFLO | | #16


    Re: Find Your Best Silhouette
    I have just read the March Threads article on perfect proportions. I have also just read all of the email comments by readers being frustrated with the complexity of charting your own body. In the early 1980's I created a body proportion system which I sold to over 1900 colleges, universities, high schools and vocational technical schools throughout the United States and worldwide. The system worked and brought satisfaction to tens of thousands of women. The system is easy to use by entering 14 body measurements (horizontal and vertical) into computer software. The resulting personal, detailed printout takes the guesswork and anguish out of style selection. The system was so successful that I sold it to an educational publishing company which still markets it. I would love to help each of you, and can do so if you contact me for details. Gail Florin. [email protected].

    1. User avater
      bevaau | | #17

      Will this work?I copied a photo of myself onto a copy of the Threads magazine chart - and this is what I got!Am I a seriously weird shape - or what?There is no way my bustline will ever be (was ever?) anywhere near that line!!Any comments?

      Edited 2/20/2009 1:56 am by bevaau

      1. KharminJ | | #18

        Don't fret, Bev!They didn't make it very clear in the article, but the whole thing is based on the distance from the crown of your head to your chin, so try reducing your photo (or enlarging the graph, whichever is easier) so that the first section at the top lines up with your head. Keep the top of your head where it is and set your chin on line 1. The other lines *should* fall into more-or-less order from there. The variations are what we're looking to find. Don't worry about where exactly your feet end up - I think most of us will be floating somewhere above the 8 line!<p>Cheers! Kharmin

        Edited 2/20/2009 1:44 am by KharminJ

        1. User avater
          bevaau | | #19

          Thanks so much. That is probably it! (I am short I know that - so I must be short somewhere else!!)

          1. nikkisewz | | #35


            When I drew a lot of the editors here in the office, many people were above the 8 head line.

            One mistake I made when I was initially drawing the grids was that when I measured the head length in the photo, I included too much hair. This made the head length too long and made everyone seem drastically out of proportion. When I took away the bit of hair from my measurement, a lot of people fell perfectly into their height proportions.

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #36

            Thanks for the pointer! I had not considered Hair Height! Cathy

          3. nikkisewz | | #37

            Another thing to keep in mind is the angle of the photograph.

            I'm 5'9" and when I photographed other coworkers that were shorter than me, many of their proportions became a little skewed. It wasn't a whole lot, but when you're working on a project like this a little measurement mistake can go a long way.

            The best angle I figured out was to be at belly-button level with the camera. Eye level was too high and made everyone too short in their diagrams.

          4. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #38

            AAAHHHH! I would automatically have shot the picture at nose level! Go figure, pun unintended! I would never have thought to take the pic from mid-level! Great hints. Thanks. Cathy

        2. User avater
          bevaau | | #22

          OK - I tried again but this is even worse!!I must have a very big head. LOLWhat do I do with this?
          (I find it interesting, fascinating even, but am not sure, at all, what I should do with it.BevA

          1. KharminJ | | #23

            Oh My! and Hmmm! too ~ now I've got to play with it some! ;}From the comments on the Online Extras page https://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/5149/find-your-best-silhouette, many folks are getting similar results! What I'm getting from those comments, and from my own measurements, is a couple of things: 1) The "waist" line is actually intended fall at your bellybutton (my #3 does - the narrowest part of my torso, and my elbow, is about an inch and a quarter higher than that) thus 2) It would have been very helpful to see this graph overlaid on a PHOTO instead of a drawing!Given the incomplete information, I gotta say that I don't really know what to do with this - I agree it's interesting, but...?K

            Edited 2/20/2009 3:33 am by KharminJ

          2. User avater
            bevaau | | #26

            I am beginning to think they didn't overlay a photo on the grid because they would get a result something like mine! (Unless they used a model who was 5'9" and perfectly proportioned, of course.)BevA

          3. Josefly | | #24

            I hope you forgive me for getting a chuckle out of your experience. Yours is the first attempt I've seen to fit a real body to the grid, and now I'm wondering if it's worth the effort to try it myself. I see no other solution for you, Bev, but to grow another 8 inches - from the neck down. LOL.Seriously, though. I think it's very hard to take a photo of yourself properly, without it being distorted somewhat. Think about how a camera held high and aimed downward distorts the length of the body; same if it is held low and aimed upward. I think you'd get truer results by actually measuring the lengths of your body parts, and comparing your proportions to the proportions, not the actual lengths, on the grid. The next step is comparing the widths. I don't really see a good way to do this without an actual tracing of the body, as was described in an earlier "croquis" article in Threads.Joan

            Edited 2/20/2009 11:30 am ET by Josefly

      2. jane4878 | | #25

        If I remember my art classes--the classical Greek female figure has the bust halfway between the elbow and the shoulder.  Of course that doesn't apply to those of us over 30.


        1. Teaf5 | | #33

          Oh, thank you for that reference to "the classical Greek figure"!  Whenever I catch sight of my more-rounded-than-before mid-section, I will endeavor to see myself as "classical." 

          And your memories are correct; art class figure proportions are far more accurate than whatever most pattern companies are using--for any age!

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #34

            Teaf, you just triggered a memory for me! Back in the early 80's when I was in college taking fashion sewing and drafting classes, each and every student ended up lowering the bust point on all the patterns and on the master pattern for the slopers! All of us were late teens to mid twenties at the time. We also had the full gamut of figure types as well. Most of us had to raise the armscye as they were too low as well! I still raise the armscye, and lower my bustpoint, only further, tee hee Cathy

      3. JGFLO | | #27

        It is much easier than this ladies.....I will try to find the time to explain this. Give me a day or so. Gail Florin

        1. Josefly | | #28

          Gail, it will be lovely if you can shed some light on this. I look forward to your further comments.

          1. JGFLO | | #29

            I will try to respond in a couple of days on the gatherings web site.

          2. User avater
            bevaau | | #30

            "I will try to respond in a couple of days on the gatherings web site."I don't mean to nag but has this 'extra explanation' appeared anywhere yet?Is THIS the 'Gatherings web site'?I have been watching and waiting as I really want to understand this whole concept. (I enjoy maths and the proportion idea appeals - but I am not at all sure how to put it on my body!)BevA

          3. sewslow67 | | #31

            You've got the right Website; but no response in weeks, and I think we are all waiting.  I just pray that this lady is not ill ...and that she just got busy, but will respond when she can.

          4. JGFLO | | #39

            Hi Ladies. So sorry to have taken a month to get back to all of you. I had to make a trip to AZ that took longer than expected and when I returned last weekend I had an accident with my finger and a heavy door--10 stitches and on week later I can type a bit with my broken finger. The problem with me being able to help you is this: I sold the copy rights to my program and now they tell me I can't offer free advice that is proprietary to the program. I am so sorry about that. The name of the product is Your Ideal Silhouette. I can send you a measurement chart and information on how to take the 14 measurements. You would mail back the completed chart to me and I would have the owner of the software run your measurement through the program to produce a personal 8 page printout of all the best styles for your horizontal and vertical proportions in order to create your ideal silhouette. I would also enclose an illustrated shopping guide. The information is classic but the illustrations are not "fashion forward." They are basic line drawings. Since there is a charge involved I will need to have you email me directly if you are interested and I will tell you the cost. I don't think I can give that to you on the threads web site.

      4. Teaf5 | | #32

        "Weird shape?"  No way--you have a very nice figure!  Nice proportions, so you probably don't need any "tricks" to achieve a flattering line.

        That bustline is seriously out of touch with anyone's reality, as are most bust points on patterns.  No one's bust is above her armpits, not even my 20-something, size 4 B-cup daughter's! 

        Mine is about two inches below my armpit, even with a well-fitted, well-supported bra, and two or more inches below the bust point on patterns.  So bodice patterns tend to have way too much material in my upper chest area but way too little in the middle 1/3.

        Although you probably wouldn't want to post it on the internet, a photo of yourself in tights and a snug top would more closely match a line drawing for the purposes of defining your shape.

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