Navy Blue Stretch Dawn Jeans

This is my final pair of lockdown jeans, so if you’re sick of hearing about jeans, you get a reprieve now! This is another pair of Dawn Jeans – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I don’t see that I’ll really ever need another jeans pattern.

I made the size 4, as with all my other pairs, and took a wedge out of the back seam of 2cm as I have with all the other pairs. I took them in on the thighs, like with the black pair, but I left them a bit looser on the lower legs to make sure I could get them on and off!

 

The fabric was also from Fabric Godmother but when I pre-washed it there were loads of streaks on the denim – maybe where it had got folded up in the washing machine. I washed the fabric when I bought it a couple of years ago so I was worried it was from sitting in my stash that it had the marks. I washed it again just before cutting the jeans out and the marks were still there unfortunately. But when I’m wearing them I don’t think it’s super super obvious.

As with the black pair I decided to do matching top-stitching instead of contrasting jeans top-stitching as I’ve had various pairs of skinny navy trousers over the years which don’t look like jeans so I kinds of recreated those.

I really do prefer how the dawn jeans look with a zip fly instead of a button fly as they sit more flush and don’t have the gaping issue, even though these are pretty tight! Though the denim has a nice amount of stretch so these are really comfortable to wear.

You can kind of see the streaks in this photo – pale marks on the fabric. You can’t see them from a distance and I honestly don’t notice them when I’m wearing them, so it doesn’t really bother me.

The stretch in the denim means that these jeans, while they look really tight, are still comfortable to sit in! I find my ginger jeans aren’t as comfortable to sit in and they put pressure on my knees a bit to sit in – but these don’t have that problem! Hurray!

I’m still on furlough from my job in a bookshop and I expect to be until the end of the scheme – it remains to be seen if I lose my job at that point! I spent the first few months of lockdown sewing all the things I planned for my wardrobe for years (and I have a few projects still to share) but I’ve kind of run out of steam for sewing for a while! I think I did a year’s worth of sewing in 3 1/2 months so it’s not really a surprise, though I have sewn a couple of things recently – and remembered how much I really do like sewing! Maybe now is finally the time to make my first quilt since my wardrobe is pretty much set for a good while now!

Light Denim Dawn Jeans

I’m back with more jeans! This might be my favourite pair, though playing favourites with the jeans I’ve made is like picking a favourite child!

The only thing that maybe stops this pair of Dawn Jeans (what other pattern would it be, lol!) is how much the button fly gapes when I sit down. I do prefer how the pairs I’ve made with zips fit and look when I sit so that’s something to remember if I make another pair (not that I need more jeans at this point 😂).

The jeans are also just a little too tight on my thighs when I sit down. I definitely fell into the trap of fitting the jeans only standing up! But the denim will stretch with wear I think. Speaking of the denim it’s from Sew Me Sunshine (she still has it in stock here) and it was a dream to sew with. It’s relatively thin but that means I’ve been able to wear these when the weather’s been a but warm (whereas trying to wear my black skinny Dawns was not great in a heatwave!).

As with my other pairs I made the size 4 and took off 2cm off the back seam, grading to the normal seam allowance 20cm down, as I’ve done with the other pairs.

I made the straight-legged version of the pattern. I do kinda want to make the wider-legged view because I really like my Morgan Jeans but I wore them yesterday for the first time in ages and the pockets are tiny and I prefer a higher-waisted fit.

I spent quite a lot of time fiddling with the fit on the back, because (for want of a better phrase) they creep up my arse! But this has already slackened as I’ve worn them a couple of times. I fiddled with the fit on the back seam, letting it out a bit, and fiddled with the crotch seam and the inner leg seam and none of it seemed to make much of an improvement so I went back to sewing it as the instructions said. If I had more experience and expertise in fitting I’d probably have know what to do but meh. They look fine now they’ve stretched the tiniest bit.

I took up a 5cm hem, again, as I’ve done before.

The jeans look pretty wrinkly in these photos but they feel like they fit really nicely on my body so I’m not so bothered about how they look.

You can see how the fly gapes a bit here. It doesn’t gape as badly with my other pair with the button fly but I guess it’s because the denims are different – I know other people say you kinda have to fit each pair of jeans individually unless the denim is identical because even a slight change in fabric can make a difference as to how they fit!

I do slightly wish I’d sewn a pattern on the back pockets, but I’m always just thinking about moving onto the next step so it didn’t even occur to me to do it!

Are you tired of hearing about my jeans yet?! I think I’ve got one more pair to share after this – I’ve slightly lost track to be honest, lol!

I’m still on furlough but I’ve slightly lost the impetus to sew any more – also I’ve sewn so much of my stash and so many of the garments I’ve wanted in my wardrobe for literally years. Maybe this gives me an excuse to buy more fabric 🤔

 

 

Black Skinny Dawn Jeans

After sharing all my many, many shirt, now comes the sharing of the multiple pairs of jeans I’ve made while being furloughed (5 in total for those keeping count!)

This is another pair of Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans. I bought this lovely (and really quite stretchy) black denim from Fabric Godmother absolutely ages ago and was going to make Ginger Jeans, but after finding I much preferred the fit of the Dawns I changed my plans.

I made the size 4, as with my first pair. I took the same 2cm off the back seam before putting on the waistband.

Because I was planning for these to be Gingers, I had already bought a zip and luckily you can follow the sewalong for the Ash Jeans on Megan Nielsen’s blog for how to install a jeans fly instead of buttons. Thankfully it’s super easy! And I think I prefer zips to buttons generally when it comes to flies – I find buttons gape no matter how well you’ve installed them.

The other adjustments I made to the fit of this pair was to make the legs more skinny than they straight leg version I made the first time. Also with this denim being stretchy, I knew I’d have to check the fit from scratch. I did start to write down how much I took off the legs – 2cm off inner leg seams, grading to 4cm at the crotch and taking in the outside leg seams too to make sure the seams still went as vertically as possible down my legs. I initially took them in too much at the ankle and couldn’t get them on and off so I had to let them out a bit! Lol! Good job I kept trying them on!

I did a 5cm hem again for this pair to get them to just about sit on my ankles – I particularly like how they look with my Birkenstocks.

I used my first pair to figure out where to put the back pockets – so much easier once you’ve done it once than to keep trying to twist around to see your own arse in the mirror!

I decided to do matching black top-stitching instead of the standard mustard jeans colour as I had a pair of rtw black skinny jeans years ago with matching top-stitching.

I’m not gonna lie, btw, I’m pretty pleased with the fit of these jeans – I’m sure it’s not perfect but it’s better than pretty much every pair of rtw ones I owned in the past!

Maybe if I make some more jeans (though I think for now 6 pairs is enough for my wardrobe!) then I might do a fun top-stitching design on the back pockets.

I’m so glad I had enough time while being furloughed (though the longer it goes on the more I’m worried whether I’ll have a job to get back to at all) to really have the time to make jeans. It always seemed too complicated and involved to want to do during one or two sewing days, so I’d often pick something easier to complete in a shorter space of time – though, of course, jeans don’t take quite as long as I feared!


 

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!