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„I wanted to sketch my sewing ideas“

Hello sewing peeps! Today it’s not about me sewing garments. For once I did something what is normally part of my day job as journalist: I interviewed Erica Schmitz. (Erica who? No idea if English speaking people realize, how ordinary the name ,Schmitz‘ for German speaking folks is. But trust me, this Schmitz woman is someone you need to know more about. Especially if you like good ideas, that will make your sewing adventures easier and more exiting.)Meet my friend Erica, founder and creative head behind MyBodyModel. The American had a simple AND brilliant idea (these are the best, right?). Right now she is working on an app that will allow you to create unique fashion sketch templates of your body. This sort of drawing is called croquis (pronounce cro-kee). I was so fascinated by Erica’s idea that I decided to grill her about it 🙂

Erica, could you please tell us more about your idea?

Sure! I got the idea for MyBodyModel a couple of years ago, when I wanted to sketch my sewing ideas and couldn’t find any templates that look like me.  I learned that the industry standard for fashion illustration is a figure that is 9 or 10 head-lengths tall. I myself am about 7 head lengths tall at 1.65 meters, and most people are between 7-8 head lengths tall. I noticed that some sewing bloggers make their own sketch models by tracing over photos of themselves. I tried tracing paper, apps on my tablet, and combinations of the two to get the best result. It was a lot of work! I thought that there must be an easier way. So I decided to make it happen. Because we all make clothes for real bodies, and every body is different!

What will MyBodyModel web app be able to do?

It will be a made-to-measure croquis generator. You will be able to go to the website and enter your body measurements. The app will generate a croquis image (body outline sketch) that is made to your measurements. You will be able to preview your croquis and adjust your numbers if needed. Once you’re happy with your croquis, you will be able to save it in your MyBodyModel project library by creating a free account. If you want to download your croquis, you will be able to purchase different download formats.  If you like to sketch on paper, you can print your croquis from PDF. If you prefer to sketch digitally, you can upload your croquis image into your favorite sketching app or illustration software.

Is the app for hobby sewers or rather a tool for professionals?

MyBodyModel is designed both for hobby and professional use. You will be able to purchase and download as few as 1 croquis if you sew only for yourself. If you design or sew for clients, you will be able to pre-purchase a package of multiple croquis downloads, at a lower cost per croquis. In the longer term, I want to offer subscription-based pricing for professionals. This way you will be able to make and download a certain number of croquis per month for a monthly fee, based on your number of clients.

Have you thought about pricing yet?

The MyBodyModel web app will have a download pricing model. You will be able to make croquis and save your measurements and croquis in your MyBodyModel account at no cost. If you want to download your croquis, you can choose and purchase the right download package for you. We will have different download packages including PDF, jpeg, and vector images. I haven’t finalized the pricing structure yet, but I want to have different pricing levels available to fit a wide range of customer needs and budgets.

Will there also be a online version, like I want a croquis of my body, I pay once, type my numbers in and tadaaaa get a download?

MyBodyModel will begin as a web-based application with an online croquis builder. You will be able to to type in your measurement numbers and preview your croquis, and make any adjustments if needed. You will pay only if you want to download your croquis as an image file and/or PDF. In the near future, I also want to offer a mobile app. I have exciting plans for the mobile app, but they are still top secret for now! 😉

You are crowdfunding via Kickstarter. The feedback is overwhelming and there are still three days left. What wishes do people have?

I did surveys and focus groups with garment makers to figure out the minimum features that MyBodyModel must include to be a viable product. The response from the international sewing community has been incredible! So many people are excited about MyBodyModel and are eager to start sketching on croquis made to their own measurements. People have many wishes for the app, but one of the most important ones we have heard is to include metric measurements for the croquis builder, and to include A4 paper size for the PDF downloads. If possible, someday I also hope to have the site translated into other languages including German, with help from my friend Bettina. (Ha! That’s me :D) The more funds we raise, the more features we will be able to include. We have an amazing team of volunteer testers – including experienced sewers, knitters, and designers – who will Alpha test MyBodyModel, before the Beta version is released. Our Kickstarter backers (= people who help funding) will have early access to MyBodyModel Beta.

Beta version? What does that mean?

„Beta“ means it’s not a perfect finished product. It’s like sewing a muslin – sometimes you need to make a test version to figure out what adjustments need to be made for a perfect fit. Getting early feedback from our backers will be crucial to help us iron out any wrinkles that need to be addressed prior to the official launch.   As for the Ceta-version… I have a long wish list and exciting plans for expanding our offerings, one step at a time.  I would love to offer male croquis in addition to female croquis. Including pre-teen croquis is another exciting possibility.

I love your idea. I know that many fellow bloggers, sewers, knitters and so on feel the same about MyBodelModel. How can we help?

Here are three quick ways:
1. FORWARD this blog post to anyone who may be interested!
2. Re-post any of our posts on Instagram – Facebook and/or Twitter! #mybodymodel
3. Join our Kickstarter at whatever level is doable for you! More than 600 makers and champions of body-diversity have backed MyBodyModel so far. THANK YOU for helping us make MyBodyModel come true. Join our Kickstarter, get early access to MyBodyModel Beta, and help us make it AWESOME. We reached our initial goal (woo-hoo!!) and now we need only a bit more to reach a point were every contribution will be DOUBLED with a 1:1 match from Maine Technology Institute!

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