2022-11-27 06:23 AM I updated this blog to include more photos and descriptions to address some questions I received.
As I was working through the courses at Browzwear University, I got to the lesson about changing fabric type. The app comes with hundreds of fabrics, and they had a standard stretch denim that I could use to study the Closet Core Ginger Jeans pattern. I had a very hard time fitting the Ginger Jeans years ago, and I wanted to see if my new method of assessing grainlines would work?
Avatar and Size
I bought the Ginger Jeans before extended sizes were available, so I can only go up to a size 20. I adjusted the avatar to match the measurements for size 20 (full bust 46in, high bust 44in, waist 39in, and hips 48in).
Fit and Style
Before I assess fit, I wanted to get a realistic idea about the style of skinny, stretch denim jeans. I put together a quick blurb on Tumblr.
Here is an example from Megan Nielsen’s Dawn jeans for how the lower leg is graded across sizes. As the sizing increases, the same amount is added to the inseam and side seam at the horizontal knee level. The middle of the knee level stays the same across sizes.
Conversely, here is how the lower leg is drafted on the Ginger Jeans. The larger sizes add more and more room to the side seam than the inseam at the horizontal knee level. The middle of the knee level shifts as the sizes increase, and this doesn’t make sense.
If I draw a line from the middle of the hem up to the knee (black line), the pattern adds more to the side seam than the inseam. The center of the knee is all over the place for the sizes. On the front, size 12 is closest to the center, but for the back, size 0 is the closest to the center. I don’t understand why different sizes would result in different knee alignments? That’s why the drafting doesn’t make sense.
If drafted like the Dawn Jeans and many other patterns, the middle of the horizontal knee level should be the same across sizes. For example, if the pattern was originally designed for a size 8, you would expect the middle of the front knee to be +0.14 and the middle of the back knee to be +0.04 away from the center grainline for all sizes.
The first thing I did was to make sure the center grainline bisected the knee. Next, I adjusted the center grainline placement at the hip because even after fixing the grainline at the knee, the pant legs were not straight on that avatar. Because of the skinny leg, determining grainline displacement at the hip is a little harder. The skinny leg prevents the legs from swinging. I had to guess when draping on my avatar, but here’s some guidance. I knew the center grainline was too wide for the front compared to the avatar. In the end, the grainline was only 0.177 inches too wide and, in the grand scheme of things, probably not worth adjusting.
I repeated the guesswork for the back pattern piece as well. The back pattern piece needed more adjustment. The grainline was 0.675 inches too narrow. I recommend moving the center grainline by only 0.25 inches if you use this pattern. Small adjustments are going to have significant results.
The original jeans (left avatar) has an issue with the pant legs twisting. You can see the grainline is not centered at the ankle. With the center grainline fixed at the knee, you can see the grainline is still not centered at the ankle/heel. I think using my laser-level method would be hard with skinny jeans like this, but hopefully, with this avatar, you can see that the center grainline can sometimes be too wide for one piece and too narrow for another.
The final pattern will still have wrinkles under the butt and behind the knee. That’s the style of skinny jeans. There’s no way to remove those and keep the narrow leg of the skinny jeans. Next I plan to provide some guidance to adjust patterns if you have a posture where your knee doesn’t line up with your ankle and hip.