Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans
Posted on Saturday the 22nd June 2019 by Wanderstitch
RTW jeans are the garment that I struggle the most with, fit-wise. I can never get a pair that fits my waist and my hips. The obvious solution would be to sew my own, right? Well, yes, but making jeans seemed scary.
I decided to get over my fear when I saw the Dawn jeans pattern - they were the exact same style as the one pair of Mom jeans that I'd managed to find that fit me well (and I was wearing pretty much constantly). If there was ever a jeans pattern that I should sew, it was these.
You get four different styles in the Dawn envelope - tapered leg, straight leg and wide leg jeans, and then some jean shorts for those of you that are brave enough! The cut of the jeans is narrower at the waist and larger at the hip, so there should be less grading for us girls with a bigger waist/hip ratio. I have a 10-11 inch difference between my waist and hip, which usually means I have to grade about four sizes, but I only had to grade between two for these based on the measurement chart.
The Dawn jeans give you the opportunity to use some hardware - proper Jeans Buttons and also Rivets - these really take your handmade jeans to the next level! I even used the template for the leather patch that's provided to sew one on the back of the jeans. You'll need a hammer for both the rivets and the buttons. The rivets were actually much easier to install than I thought they would be - an Awl is an essential tool here though to pierce the hole through all of the layers of fabric, especially on the back pockets as you're installing the rivets through not only the jeans body and the pocket body but the folded pocket seam allowances as well.
An overlocker will help you finish the edges of the fabric, but it's not essential - you can just as easily use a zig-zag stitch on your regular machine. I used a scrap of Liberty cotton for the pocket bags, just to give it an extra bit of jazz on the inside!
If your machine doesn't handle topstitch thread very well (make sure you use a Topstitch Needle!), you can always use a triple stitch with regular thread - bear in mind this is pretty tricky to unpick though, so do a test run on some scrap fabric first before you go full steam ahead on your 'real' fabric!
I wasn't sure whether the marked pocket placement would work for me, so I left off the pockets until I was happy with the fit of the trousers and tried out different placements while wearing the trousers. I've no idea whether my final placement was anywhere close to the recommended placement - I'll check that next time! I made no adjustment to the leg length - I'm 5'5", for reference.
I'm really pleased with the fit of these - I would have liked a little bit more room on the thigh, so perhaps would go up another size for the next pair. Don't feel restricted to what you think 'jeans' material should be though - you can use any medium or heavy weight material! Mine are made from Corduroy Fabric, but you could also use a thicker linen and just leave off the hardware.
The instructions for the Dawn jeans are excellent - very thorough, always making it clear whether you should be using regular thread or topstitching thread - so if you're nervous about sewing jeans, I can thoroughly recommend the Dawn pattern as your first step!
Go for it :)