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 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!

 

 

Wardrobe Architect Week 4: Proportions and Silhouettes

This week’s Wardrobe Architect is about finding out what silhouettes we like to wear. It builds on last week’s assessment of the shapes of garments we like to wear and puts them together to make outfits, which emphasise or hide different areas of our bodies by ease or length. The idea is that we will come up with some key silhouettes we like, which will become the templates for what we sew and what will hopefully become a capsule wardrobe.

I came up with a few ideas for outfits I like to wear – some are smart, some are casual, some are for Winter and some for Summer. I found pictures that were the shape of garment I was looking for, but not necessarily the colour. All image sources can be found on my Wardrobe Architect Pinterest board.

1.Skinny jeans, loose top, cardigan flats.

1.b Or the above outfit as a bit more casual with trainers and a different top.

2. Pleated Trousers with a loose shirt, jumper and flats

2.b Then there’s a more casual version of this with boyfriend jeans and trainers.

3. Short skirt, tights, slightly fitted top/shirt (tucked in), cardigan, flats or ankle boots.

4. Loose shift dresses, tights, cardigan, ankle boots.

5. Fit and flare Summer dresses with sandals.

 

I could swap out sandals for shoes or trainers and lose the cardigans and jumpers for more Summery versions of the outfits. Living in England we don’t have much of a Summer usually – a couple of weeks if we’re lucky – so layers are usually the way to go when it’s warmer.

I’ve found this week really helpful in terms of working out a capsule wardrobe! I’ve been feeling recently that I have lots of clothes and not much to wear, and I carry on making things but still think I have nothing to wear. This exercise will definitely help me pick what to make so that I have lots of combinations I can put together into outfits I actually like and feel are ‘me’.

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