My First Dawn Jeans

I can definitely see why the Dawn Jeans pattern by Megan Nielsen has been so, so popular with basically everyone who has made them! It is honestly true love! I had some more denims set aside to make more Ginger Jeans, but (spoiler alert) I made more Dawns instead!

I made the size 4 with the straight leg option. The waist and hip measurements for the size 4 are exactly my measurements (26″ and 36″). I seem to remember (it’s a while since I traced the pattern) that there are different leg length options – I defo did not make the tall length, lol! I am 5’3″ for reference.

The fabric is some really nice dark non-stretch denim which my friend gave me from her late mother-in-law’s stash. I think it had probably been folded waiting to be sewn for a while as there were lines like this every so often. Luckily I fitted all the pattern pieces around the lines.

It’s quite a nice, soft denim and it feels really comfortable to wear. And because I had so much you can definitely expect more garments made from this denim (it’s like the mustard corduroy that NEVER RAN OUT – suit, dungarees, cleo dungaree dress,)

I did make some fitting tweaks. These were kind of meant to be a wearable toile but the fit was pretty good straight out of the packet so they’re more than that now! I did baste the jeans together to check the fit and I took an extra 2cm off the back seam (tapering off to the normal seam allowance 20 cm down from the top of the yoke). I took an extra 1cm off the crotch seam on the inner leg seam, tapering from mid-thigh. I also did a 5cm hem.

I should have taken some close up shots of some of the details – duh! I measured the pocket placement for the back pockets once the jeans were basically constructed to make sure they were at optimal placement for my particular bum!

The thing I especially love about this pattern is how high the waist it – it means these are as comfortable to sit in as to stand in! The waistband also tapers inwards perfectly for the shape of my waist. You couldn’t really see in the photos of my Ginger Jeans, but the waistband sits slightly away from my waist.

The buttons look like they’re struggling a bit here (lol), but the jeans don’t feel too tight – I think it’s just the nature of a button fly compared with a zip fly.

I did contrasting jeans top-stitching on this pair, though I don’t use actual top-stitching thread as my machine doesn’t like it, so it’s just normal thread. This means the stitching doesn’t stand out as much as it might, but I’m okay with that to not have the nightmare of trying to get my machine to sew with topstiching thread. I tried it for my denim Moss skirt and it did not go well so I vowed to not use it again!

Another detail I like about the construction of the Dawns is that the belt loops are sewn into the waistband seam at the bottom (and then top-stitched at the top) whereas with the Gingers they are top-stitched on at the top and bottom, and they just don’t feel quite as secure (or look quite as nice as you can see the raw edges inside the loops).

I don’t know why I didn’t tuck my t shirt in, by the way, and was just holding it out of the way!

When I made my Morgan Jeans I got the button placement wrong – I put them in the middle of where the button holes were, but that means the fly (which is obvs supposed to be hidden) is slightly visible. The Dawn pattern, though, tells you to put the buttons to the inside of the buttons holes (if that makes sense) so the fly remains hidden. I still put off attaching the buttons for a couple of days though – anyone else feel the need to psych themselves up to attaching jeans buttons?

I have worn these jeans a couple of times since I finished them and they are really comfortable. I think they have sagged a bit at the bum, but that’s to be expected with non-stretch denim I think.

If you don’t like seeing jeans, btw, you’re going to get bored in the coming months as I’ve got 3 more pairs planned/ made!

 

 

My first Ginger Jeans

I made jeans again! It’s been a year since I made my Morgan Jeans, and they have been the only jeans in my wardrobe that whole time. But even after realising making jeans was doable I still put off making more for ages!!! And I don’t really know why – well I do know why. I wanted some more fitted, skinny/straight legged jeans and I’m by no means an expert on fitting trousers so I was scared! I’m sure you can all relate!

So here they are! Luckily the size 4, which I made, fitted fairly well straight out of the packet. I actually had to retrace the pattern because I’d traced the size 6 or 8 (I can’t remember – though I made the Morgans in a size 8) because I’ve lost an inch from my waist and hips sometime in the last year – I think from going from an office job to being on my feet, first at a fabric shop and then at a bookshop. The size 4 matched my waist and hip measurements perfectly so I was hopeful they would at least fit on my body!

I did make some fitting tweaks as I sewed these up – as the pattern suggests, I sewed up the main pieces to see how they would fit and any changes I might have to make, before all the seams are sewed, finished and top-stitched. I would definitely recommend this if you want to see the vague fit before you put in all the work of making the jeans fully! It’s like the lazy person’s toile!

Before I cut the jeans out, actually, I shortened the legs by 2 inches at the knee. Closet Case drafts for someone who is I think 5’6″ and I’m 5’3″ so I knew the legs would be too long – I could have just shortened them from the bottom like I did with my Morgan jeans, but then you get the ‘knee’ half way down your calf instead of shortening the pattern piece on the lengthen/shorten lines.

I also made some other fitting changes to the legs while I was sewing them up. I sewed the outside leg with a 1cm instead of a 1.5cm seam allowance as the legs ended up super tight! Luckily there is extra length in the waistband so I could still fit the waistband on without having to lengthen it.

Having worn these jeans a few times since I finished them, the waistband could have been curved a bit more as it every so slightly stands away from my body, but the plus side is that it does make them still comfortable to sit down in!

I did have plans to make some more Ginger jeans and if I did I would definitely deepen the front pockets! It’s the same for the Morgan jeans, but they’re really shallow. And if I wanted super tiny pockets I could buy rtw jeans! I can’t even get my whole hand in them!

Despite shortening the legs before I cut them out, I did still have to do a 3cm hem! I didn’t trim the excess off, I just folded it up 1.5cm twice.

I waited until the jeans were basically finished to place the back pockets – I’ve seen loads of people on instagram do this and it seems sensible, rather than following the guidance on the pattern piece as every bum is different and you want the pockets to be in the right place for your particular bum!

Having made a couple of denim skirts ages ago (one for my sister and one for me) I knew my sewing machine doesn’t love top-stitching thread (or I don’t know how to correctly configure it for it to work!) so I used normal thread in the right colour. It means my stitching doesn’t stand out as much as if I used top-stitching thread but it’s worth it for the lack of headaches and tantrums which would be inevitable if I tried to use the thicker thread!

The fabric was from Birmingham literally years ago! I just looked it up – I bought it in 2014 I think!!!!!! Wow! Ridiculous! I bought it to be a wearable toile for the Ginger jeans and it has definitely worked for that, but I don’t think it had to wait for as long for me to find out!

I’ve finally been bitten by the jeans making bug I think – I made another pair alongside these (coming soon to the blog) and I have 3 more pairs planned, 2 of which are cut out and ready to go. Don’t be like past me, don’t be scared to make jeans!

 

 

June Makes and July Plans

Well, another month has come and gone! I made a few things in June; after a quiet May, my sewjo definitely returned. I did spend a couple of weekend days cutting out lots of projects (as I like to do every couple of months) so I’ve got lots of things ready to go when I have time to sew. Yay! Future me will be happy with past me!

I mostly made 2 garments for myself in June, including my black Roberts Collection dungaree dress, which I still love.

The ‘mostly’ part of my finished garments is my greyish blueish melilot shirt. I’ve finished it apart from the buttons, because my sewing machine does not enjoy sewing button holes, meaning I don’t enjoy sewing button holes! I might get some snaps or something instead, as I’d have to buy buttons anyway. Any thoughts?

The final thing I finished this month was a penguin pyjama case for my nephew. After the success of the monkey one for my niece, I made another one!

And now onto my plans for July – these are all things I’ve already got cut out, yay!

The first is for when it gets hot again in the UK – though it’s actually been quite warm since the weekend, which is good! It’s a stripey In The Folds Collins Top. The fabric is left over from a banksia top I made years ago, and required some tetris to get all the pieces to fit. Luckily I wanted to have the stripes going in different directions, otherwise I definitely would not have had enough fabric!

I’ve cut out the lovely Robert Kaufman fabric I bought from Guthrie and Ghani in Birmingham into a Colette Aster blouse. I do have buttons for this one, so I’ll have to suck it up and sew the button holes.

My final definitely plan for this month is a Sew Over It Anderson Blouse from the amazing Coral crepe I bought, also from Guthrie and Ghani.

I actually have a week off later in July, so my main project for that week is to actually finally make a start on making Jeans. I have now pre-washed both my denims, so it should be all ready to go, though I haven’t traced the pattern yet!

Have you got lots of summery things on your to make list at the moment?

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April Makes and May Plans

Well, another month has come around! I can’t believe how quickly this year is going – is that a sign that I’m getting old?

I didn’t manage to blog much in April, but since I had a week off work, I did manage to make a few things! I sometimes find I either have time to make things or to blog about them, but not both. Does anyone else find that?

Hopefully you’ll have already seen the triumph that was my first pair of trousers! If not, you can read more about them here.

I also made a denim Moss skirt, pretty much like the one I made for my sister – I made mine from the leftover fabric from hers. I added the hem band, though, whereas hers was just a lengthened version of the mini length. I like that they ended up a little different.

I also made one of my #2017MakeNine, a Marianne Dress. It looks much better on my body than it does on a hanger! I’ll take some photos and blog about it in more detail soon. I think this might become one of my go-to patterns for jersey shift dresses. It’s a really lovely shape (though not on the hanger!).

Eagle-eyed readers will spot I didn’t quite make everything on my list that I had planned to make in April. This is partly because I’ve been making my Dressmaker’s Ball dress, which has taken a surprising amount of time – I don’t seem to have made much progress the last couple of weekend days I spent sewing, but I’m pretty much at the point of hand-sewing the hems and a couple of other little bits and pieces.

So my other plans for May are pretty much the ones I didn’t get around to in April:

My boaty Carolyn Pajamas

Hopefully some jeans

And I do have one addition, which I hadn’t planned before – a Roberts Collection dungaree dress from some black textured mystery fabric I got at the fabric swap at the first Sew Brizzle meet-up.

I think that should be enough for one month, especially since I’m probably going to make something for my nephew’s birthday too – so pretty inevitably I probably won’t make everything here, but I’ll do my best!

I’m also taking part in Me Made May again this year, so you can follow my progress over on Instagram if you’re interested to see how I wear my homemade wardrobe in my actual life. My pledge is to wear at least one me-made item each day through the month of May, though I imagine to manage it there will be quite a few repeats! I also am hoping to refashion something this month as I used to do it quite often, but haven’t done any in ages, but I have a whole loads of garments ready to be given a new lease of life!

Are you taking part in Me Made May? Will I see you at the Dressmaker’s Ball? I’m really quite excited about it, but also a little nervous – I’m glad some of the ladies I know from Bristol will be there!

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Fabric shopping in Birmingham

Last Saturday I went with some of the ladies I met at Sew Brizzle to go fabric shopping in Birmingham. I was sad to have missed the bigger meet up the previous week but in a way it was nice to go in a small group as it gave me the chance to chat with everyone (which I didn’t manage to do the time I went to a big London meet-up).

Here we are outside Guthrie and Ghani. Thanks to Sarah from Like Sew Amazing for the photo – she remembered to take pictures when I didn’t! A very kind man took this picture for us 🙂

From left to right: Karen, Amy, Me, Sarah, Ruth and Jen.

Our first stop was Fancy Silk Store. I felt a little overwhelmed when we first went in as it’s deceptively big – and has an upstairs – and I couldn’t take everything in! I did spot that they had reasonably priced denim and after we’d been around some other shops, we circled back and I bought some stretch and non-stretch denim for Ginger and Morgan wearable toiles.

This is the stretch one – it has a nice flecked weave and looks a little like linen, but is thicker. It was £6.99 per metre and I got 1.4m.

And this is the non-stretch. I did want something a bit lighter for my Morgans, but this will do for a practice. It is a little lighter than the stretch one. It was £7.99 per metre and I got 1.6m.

After this first shop we headed into the rag market, where there are loads of fabric stalls, inside and out. I had made the mistake of not taking out any cash as I thought if I did I wouldn’t buy anything! But I did have enough to get some black and some white cotton twill (I think it was twill and not drill, anyone know the difference?!).

I’m planning a 60s style colour blocked Tilly and the Buttons Megan Dress. I bought 2 metres of the black and one of the white, and it came to £12 in total (so £4 per metre). I bought this fairly early on and for some reason it weighs loads, so I got pretty sick of carrying it around by the end of the day – I was glad I waited until the end to get the denim!

After the rag market, we all got on a bus and went to Moseley to visit Guthrie and Ghani. I was not-so-secretly hoping we would go there, and I’m so glad I was with people who knew how to get there! I just followed 🙂 I could easily have spent a small fortune in Guthrie and Ghani – you can tell everything is really good quality. And the shop is so pretty!

I decided to treat myself to a couple of patterns which I wanted – the Ebony Tee and Dress by Closet Case Patterns and the Guise Pants by Papercut Patterns.

They have a really great selection of remnants and I couldn’t help picking up a couple of them. I just loved the pattern on this Robert Kaufman cotton. It’s navy blue, though it looks kind of black in the photo. It seems to be called Storm Drown, and I can’t find it anywhere online so I guess it’s not available. This bolt end was 275cm x 90cm and was £15.50. I’m hoping there will be enough for a Colette Aster blouse.

I also couldn’t resist this gorgeous mustard loopback jersey. The photo doesn’t do the colour justice, nor how soft it is. It’s honestly one of the softest fabrics I’ve ever touched. It was £6.50 and there’s only 155cm x 40cm so I’m not sure what I’ll be able to make, but I had to have it.

The final thing I bought from Guthrie and Ghani was this coral crepe fabric. It has a lovely drape and a slightly mottled texture and I got 1.7m of it at £10.50 per metre. This is one of the more expensive fabrics I’ve bought, but the Anderson Blouse I’m planning to make will still only cost £17.85 which is pretty good for a blouse made of such nice fabric!

The last fabric shop we went to was Barry’s. I would have no idea how to find it on my own, but it’s definitely a hidden treasure!

This is another shop that is very, very full of fabrics and I think you could easily spend 4 hours in there and still not see everything!

I did manage to find one treasure, thanks to Jen (Gingerella). It’s this nice blueish-greyish cotton and I bought 2 metres – I can’t remember how much I paid, though. I think I’ll make a short-sleeved Melilot Shirt for when the weather finally gets warm!

So there we go, that’s my haul for a day’s shopping. Not too bad I think. Have you been fabric shopping in Birmingham? Did we miss anywhere good?

 

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