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!

 

 

5 Things I Learned from Me Made May 2016

mmmay16Did you take part in Me Made May this year? How did you find it? I think this was the year I enjoyed least – the first 2 years I took part I was so excited to have enough me made clothes to be able to take part that I really enjoyed making an effort to wear my me mades and find ways to make them work in my wardrobe. I wonder if it was because for the first 3/4 of May I wasn’t working so it felt odd to get slightly dressed up – I feel like most of my me mades are smart/casual. But then conversely when I did get some temping work I found it hard to dress for a smarter office than I’ve worked in before.

My pledge was “I, Amelia of www.sewingmachinations.wordpress.com, pledge to wear at least one me-made garment 5 days per week. I will also try to finish off 3 garments I have cut out and make a completely me-made outfit for a wedding I’m going to at the end of May.”

I definitely completed the days of the week part – there were only 4 days when I didn’t make something me-made (sometimes I wore the same outfit 2 days in a row, in case you think there aren’t enough photos below :)). I did finish the outfit for the wedding – you can see the full post on it here. And I did technically finish 3 garments I already had cut out, though only 2 of them made it to the blog and only those 2 got worn, so I would call that a partial success.

Here are 5 things I realised while taking part in #mmmay16.

1  I freakin’ suck at taking selfies/ photos of myself in my clothes – like really really suck. In my defense I don’t currently have a full-length mirror and I felt bad asking The Boyfriend to take a picture every day. Also I kept forgetting until I’d got ready for bed!

Day 1 insta Day 2 insta Day 3 insta
Day-4-insta-square Day-5-&-6-insta-square Day 8 insta

(clockwise from top left: royal blue coco top, navy blue rushcutter, flowery plantain +
mustard yellow victoria blazer + taken in trousers, blue spotty archer,
breton plantain + refashioned victoria blazer, francoise dress)

2  It was much harder to dress for office work. I’ve been doing some temping since moving and it’s the first time I’ve had to wear office-type clothes – I’ve always been in quite casual jobs where I could wear jeans and trainers.

Day 9 insta Day 10 insta Day 11 insta
Day 12 insta Day 13 insta Day 14 insta

(clockwise from top left: flowery banksia, refashioned parrot shirt,
refashioned shirt dress, pink stripey banksia + black simplicity 2451 skirt,
refashioners refashioned shirt, turquoise coco top)

3  Conversely I don’t have much casual me-made things – for weekends and the weeks before I started temping.

Day 16 Day 17 insta Day 18 insta
Day 19 insta Day 20 insta Day 22 insta

(clockwise from top left: navy blue rushcutter, aztec print linden,
gingham violet blouse,
flowery plantain + mustard yellow victoria blazer +
taken in trousers, 
blue spotty archer, blue stripey laurel

4  I don’t have much warm me-made clothing and this year was unseasonably bloody cold through most of the month.

Day-21-square Day-21-b-square Day 24 insta
Day 25 insta Day 27 insta Day 28 & 29 insta
Day 30 insta Day 31 insta

(clockwise from top left – ending in the middle: lace dress for wedding,
mustard yellow victoria blazer, coco dress, green tartan gbsb
boyfriend shirt
, orla kiely-esque laurel + black victoria blazer,
breton plantain, black victoria blazer + refashioned freemantle
coat
, blue flowery scout tee)

5 I need to make some bottoms, especially trousers. All my photos are of tops or dresses – and mostly where there aren’t bottoms shown, it was a pair of rtw jeans from Primark about 10 years ago or a part of rtw skinny trousers from New Look about 8 years ago!

melilot-shirt-patternSo my plans are to sew some more smarter things for office working, including the Deer and Doe Melilot shirt which I just ordered – I have some perfect floaty fabric already in my stash. I also am going to order the Guise Pants pattern I think and maybe (once I’ve finally made some Ginger Jeans) use the Ginger pattern to make some smarter looking skinny trousers, by not doing the top stitching or adding the hardware – I think this will work, watch this space! I also bought some stuff in the sale Colette had recently – the Aster, Astoria and Zinnia which I think will all work well for office wear.

Roberts Collection 2

I think the 3 Colette patterns could, depending on fabric choice, also fill the other gap I have – relaxing weekend clothes. Apart from jeans I don’t have many items that I would wear just for slobbing around the house – and certainly not any I’ve made. And sometimes I don’t want to wear jeans, especially if I’m feeling bloated and am sitting down a lot – say at my sewing machine – I usually end up undoing the buttons just to feel comfortable. I have Marilla Walker’s Roberts Collection and I think this could really help me out with this hole. If you have any suggestions of patterns to sew (I’m too slow at knitting to knit any) warm clothes, I would be thrilled to take them off your hands. Also what fabrics are warm? I feel like I usually don’t take that into account and then end up too cold or too hot a lot of the time – usually too cold as a) I like in Britain and b) I’m cold-blooded I think.

I’m wondering if I should make a pledge for what I will have achieved by next Me Made May, to keep myself accountable!? Nah. I don’t want a whole year’s worth of sewing mapped out for me – what about all the pretty new patterns yet to come out!

 
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Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-thumb 2 Fix It: Taking in the Waistband of Trousers thumbnail Black-Victoria-Blazer-thumb 2

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A Belated Me Made May Round Up

How did you find Me Made May this year, if you took part?

This was my second time taking part and I definitely felt the difference in the amount of garments I had to choose from! I didn’t even get a chance to wear everything I have made. I decided to wear me-mades on 5 days of each week, basically at work as I am still working towards having a good casual wardrobe for weekends and I am still yet to try sewing with jersey! Maybe I should sign up to Tilly’s new online class?

Sorry if you follow me on instagram – you’ll have seen these all before, but in case you haven’t…..(sorry for the crappy, blurry selfies – I hate taking selfies!)

Day 1: Tilly and the Buttons Mimi Blouse + Black By Hand London Victoria Blazer.

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Day 4: Refashioned High-Necked top and Refashioned Coat to BHL Victoria Blazer

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Day 5: Grainline Scout Tee with self-drafted collar.

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Day 6: Blue and White Striped Colette Laurel Dress.

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Day 7: Colette Violet Blouse.

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Day 8: Pink Stripey Banksia + Blue Simplicity 2451 Skirt.

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Day 11: Refashioned Shirt Dress.

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Day 12: Refashioned Peter Pan Collar Dress.

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Day 13: Refashioned High-Necked top + Black Simplicity 2451 Skirt.

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Day 14: Refashioned Parrot Shirt.

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Day 15: Flowery Grainline Scout Tee.                             MMM15-Day-15
Day 16: Refashioned Ugly Skirt into Grainline Scout Tee.

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Day 19: GBSB Boyfriend Shirt.

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Day 20: Tilly and the Buttons Francoise Dress.

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Day 22: Pink Spotty Grainline Scout Tee + Black Victoria Blazer

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Day 26: Emery Dress by Christine Haynes.

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Day 27: Refashioned Mustard Corduroy Shorts.

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Day 29: Refashioned Ugly Skirt into Grainline Scout Tee + Bright Yellow Butterick Skirt (worn to a ceilidh!)

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I think I must have forgotten to take pictures on some days because I’m sure I wore my other Banksia top and there don’t seem to be enough pictures, but I definitely wore me-mades on 5 days of each week! I definitely forgot to take a picture on the last day, when I wore my Orla Kiely-esque Laurel and my black Victoria Blazer (again).

The things I learnt from Me Made May were:

1. I hate taking selfies – I took about 20 each time, just to get one I liked! Documenting the month is definitely the least fun part for me!

2. There are still some me-mades that I have never worn/ don’t like wearing, but wear because I made them (my 2 Elisalex Dresses [1 + 2], my Miette cardigan, Gertie Bow Tied Blouse and my first dress, New Look 6000). These tend to be the things I made earlier on in my sewing, so hopefully this means I’m getting more of a handle on my style and what I like wearing and not being seduced by patterns which look great on other people but aren’t really me.

3. I definitely need to make some skinny jeans/ trousers, probably from the Ginger Jeans pattern.

4. I definitely need to conquer knits, so I have more comfortable, casual clothes for weekends and days when I don’t fancy dressing up.

5. It felt like a lot of effort to wear a dress as I cycle to work now. But when I actually put on the dresses, it was fine, so I think I can afford to wear them more often, especially as the weather warms up!

I did enjoy taking part in Me Made May as it does force me to look at what I have in my wardrobe and to not just put on shop-bought skinny trousers and tee shirts. Did you enjoy taking part? What did you learn?

Me Made May 2014 Week Four

It’s now June, so here is my last chunk of Me Made May photos. Out of the last 10 days, there were only 2 on which I didn’t wear anything me-made. So one main thing I’ve learned is that I have more me-made clothes that I thought, as I’ve managed to out-do my target every week – I’ve worn 5 things instead of 4 as I thought. There were some things I didn’t wear – I knew I wouldn’t wear either of my Elisalex dresses (1 and 2). I’ve got some time off work coming up and I might try to alter them in a way that would mean I would wear them. I’m thinking adding some pockets, letting out the bodices, maybe removing the sleeves and possibly taking up the hems. I’ll see if I get around to it! I also didn’t wear my bright yellow Butterick skirt. It was kind of warm for a weekend, but over all in May it wasn’t super warm here and I don’t like the way this skirt looks with tights, so I can only wear it when it’s warm enough to get out my pasty legs. I have also worn my yellow and pink cardigans A LOT! I do have other clothes, but they’re bright so I’m more drawn to them than my black/ navy/ beige ones! My main feeling is excitement that I don’t have to take any more outfit photos – I think if I do it again next year, I’ll take pictures of the clothes before I put them on, as some people do.

Day 22: Parrot Shirt refashion and Black Simplicity 2451
with pink H & M cardigan.

Me-Made-May-2014-Day-22
Day 23: Black Banksia
with black skinny trousers from New Look and yellow cardigan from H & M

Me-Made-May-2014-Day-23

Day 24: Grainline Scout tee with Collar
with navy New Look skinnies, yellow cardigan H & M

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Day 25: Pink Banksia
with black New Look skinnies and pink H & M cardigan (again!)

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Day 27: Navy Simplicity 2451
with grey striped Primark vest and navy loose top and grey peplum cardigan, both from M & S for Christmas. (Quite a frumpy, shapeless outfit looking at it!)

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Day 28: GBSB Boyfriend Shirt
with skinny Primark jeans and pink H & M cardigan (again!)

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Day 29: Blue Spotty Grainline Scout Tee
with navy skinny New Look trousers and beige H & M cardigan

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Day 30: Refashioned (and free) H & M dress
with old black H & M cardigan

Me-Made-May-2014-Day-30

Me Made May 2014 Week Two

My round-up is a day late because I managed to take all my photos and then my camera battery died so I couldn’t get the pictures off the camera to blog them. Wow, first world problems much! Again this week I managed 5 outfits, and I still have quite a few things I’ve not worn yet. I feel, though, that my outfits are still getting a little boring because I’ve realised I wear pretty much the same thing most of the time – skinny trousers/ jeans with a blouse/ loose t-shirt. This will hopefully lead my sewing in the future in terms of making things I will definitely wear.

Day 8: Refashioned shirt dress into a shirt.
with black skinny trousers from New Look and (another) H & M cardigan.

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Day 9: My first, pink Banksia and blue Simplicity 2451.
with another H & M cardigan and navy tights.

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Day 10: Refashioned mustard corduroy skirt, from shorts.
with black Primark jumper, collar/necklace was a Christmas present so I don’t know where it’s from, and a goofy expression!

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Day 12: Red Miette cardigan
with navy knit dress from H & M and bright red tights!

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Day 14: Green refashioned high-necked top
with navy skinny trousers from New Look and H & M cardigan.

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I’m not sure what I’ve learned after the second week of Me Made May, except that it really is a pain to take a photo of myself every day!