I love the colette sewing handbook. First let me point out that it's amazingly well thought out and quite beautiful. Also it has awesome tips on everything from fabric selection, to fit, to making a personal croquis. Now now, if you're like me you're thinking of croquettes, I promise the two are completely unrelated.
A croquis drawing is quick and sketchy drawing of a live model. Croquis drawings are usually made in a few minutes, after which the model changes pose and another croquis is drawn. Esp. used in women's fashion designing.
You can find hundreds of croquis templates online for free. The only downside is that often the proportions are very skewed and elongated.
I know that for me, and almost every other woman alive, that's not going to match up very well for my body. I sew primary for myself, so having something that's more "me" would be ideal. They're fairly easy to make. You take a photo of yourself in tight fitting clothing, or if you're braver in your birthday suit. Print it out and set those tracing skills to work. You can now sketch out patterns or ideas for sewing projects and see how they would work with your body shape.
The hard part is being honest with yourself. I know that my body isn't really conventional. My torso is as long as my legs, my arms are on the shorter side, and if ever they're were a good example for stocky I'm it. But knowing these things makes sewing your own wardrobe all the much easier. Sure I'm shaped like a brick, but now at least I can compensate for that. Being honest is the first step in great fitting ladies.
Without further ado, here's my own personal croquis.
It's not so bad I suppose. Plus it gives me a legit reason to play paper dolls as an adult.