I will likely post some quick blogs about things I’m learning while teaching myself how to use Browzwear apps. “Browzwear is the leading provider of 3D fashion design software for clothing development and merchandising solutions.” I tested my knowledge on the May Jeans since these were my latest make.
Avatar and Sizing
I selected the plus-size avatar Sofia for my experiment and adjusted her measurements to match the measurements for size 22 on the May Jeans (high bust 43.9″, bust 47″, waist 39.2″, and hips 51″). Note that I made a straight size 18 for my body, so the avatar does not match my body at all. The app comes with several industry-standard avatars that make things easier.
Let’s quickly review the alterations I had to make to fit my body because they are the same alterations I made on the digital avatar. First, I needed to ensure the center grainline was centered at the knee. The back piece was really far off. Then I went through a whole ordeal with a laser level to determine my body’s center grainline and used that to adjust the pattern. I needed to move the torso towards the side seam for both the front and back. These are the exact same alterations I made on the 3D avatar.
The original jeans (left avatar) try to create a silhouette with a large gap between the inner thighs while trying to defy gravity. You can’t defy gravity, we know this, but you can try, and you’ll just be left with draglines and tension on the bias. The legs of the jeans are being pushed out from the hips with grainline placement. To prevent the legs from collapsing at the knee, the wide flare look is accentuated by offsetting the grainline at the knee. Gravity takes over if you center the knee (middle avatar) and the lower legs hang straight. If I adjust the pattern pieces to match the center grainline with the avatar’s body (right), then draglines disappear.
You can really see the forces at the hem from the bottom view. A hem should be mostly circular at the ankle, but in the original version, you can see the extreme pressure causing the front side seam pushing backward. Even after centering the knee, some swaying left-to-right makes the hem more ellipsoid in shape and not circular. It’s not until you fix all draping issues does the the hem look right.
I hate pointing this out, but even the ad photos for the May Jeans show that if you forever stand with your legs splayed apart, the jeans might “fit”, but if you stand like a normal person, those pesky draglines will appear. Look at the wide stance. I can mimic the look with my avatar if I just move her legs wider.
Measuring Pressure On the Body
The cool thing about the app is that I can look at fabric tension (not shown) and pressure on the body. I’m showing pressure on the body because it shows fit issues better.
On the original pattern, a massive line of extra pressure is placed across the thigh along the true bias (45 degrees). There’s also extra pressure around the inseam at the knee and, interestingly, on the diagonal up and down.
So not only is this added pressure, but the pressure is twisting on the diagonal. If you are like me, you know the feeling. The jeans feel tight across the thighs, you’re constantly picking wedgies from the front and back, and you constantly fidget to untwist the legs. I also find this fit issue particularly sensitive to any body changes because it quickly increases the pressure on your body with fabric that’s already distended and strained.
Properly fitting jeans with a relaxed leg should be tight around the torso, and that’s it. You might have some contact at the knee and calf, but only single pressure points, not multiple ones along the diagonal.
The plus-size avatar had to make the same alterations I made for myself to remove draglines. You have to ask yourself whether you prefer style over function. There’s nothing wrong with the May Jeans because they are designed to achieve a particular look. I am very sensitive to clothes against my body, so I always choose fit over the look. I love my May Jeans once I adjusted the pattern to drape with my body and not fight against it.
I’ll definitely be providing lots more analysis of patterns as I learn how to use the Browzwear apps. I find it a super helpful tool for studying patterns on different bodies with different postures.
Thank you for your blog. I appreciate your deep dives into sewing techniques.
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