Last month, Megan Nielsen asked if I’d like to try out one of her new patterns before its official release. I’ve been a big fan of her patterns for years now so I of course jumped at the chance. From the four new patterns, I selected the Dawn jeans. Jeans have been in my sewing queue for a long time and I just always seem to postpone making them so this was just the thing I needed to make a pair. By the way, the Wattle skirt was a close second. I have a red and white striped fabric that would be PERFECT for it.
The Dawn jeans are a vintage high-rise style designed for non-stretch denim. The pattern includes four views and instructions for three different fly closures. I decided to make the straight leg version (view B). I cut a size 10 at the waist and between a size 10 and 12 for the hips. Using my previous experience with Megan’s patterns and a couple of quick muslins, I decided to lengthen the rise by 1.75 inches. For reference, I’m 5’11” with a long torso and my measurements are roughly 28.5 waist and 39.5 hips. I also cut the tall inseam but decided to go for a slightly cropped length. So I hemmed these with a wide hem of about 3.5 inches. I figure if I change my mind about the length, I can still lengthen them.
The instructions for the Dawn jeans are fantastic. They are very detailed with lots of tips and great illustrations. I’ve only sewn jeans once before (see them here) so I don’t have a lot of experience with jeans construction. But, I felt like I was in good hands with these instructions. I also consulted Megan’s Ash jeans sewalong which was fantastic. There’s not currently a sewalong for the Dawn jeans because it’s a brand new pattern but there are a lot of construction similarities with the Ash jeans so it is very helpful.
Following the advice of Closet Case Patterns (I have her jeans making ebook which appears to no longer be available), I waited to stitch on my back pockets until later in the construction. I was particularly nervous about the placement because I had added so much height to the rise. I ended up lowering the position of the back pockets by .75 inch and I’m pleased with the placement.
The fit is great everywhere except for the back yoke where I’m getting some pooling. If I make this pattern again, I think I’ll need to do a sway back adjustment or something to smooth out that part. Also, if I were to make these again, I made add an additional button to the fly. I think that would stabilize the fly a little more and decrease the amount of pulling at each button. This pulling on the buttons seems to be really common though as I’ve seen it in a lot of photos of pants with this style.
The fabric is a non-stretch/rigid denim from The Fabric Store. They gave this fabric to me back when they still had their shop in LA. I don’t think they have this exact fabric currently in the shop but there are two similar ones: a rigid 12oz denim and an 11oz denim with 2% lycra. This fabric was great to work with. It behaved just as a denim should. I got about 3 yards of this fabric and I was able to cut out this pair of jeans and a pair of Lander pants and have just a few scraps leftover.
To go with this classic dark denim and vintage style, I decided to use an equally classic gold yellow topstitching thread. I bought this thread from Taylor Tailor back when I made my first pair of jeans. This is the topaz color and one spool has lasted a long time. I also have the bright gold which I think would look good on some grey stretch denim I have in my stash. For this project, I switched back and forth between a denim/jeans machine needle for the seams and a topstitching needle for topstitching with this extra thick thread. The topstitching needle has a larger eye to accommodate the larger thread. I am not a patient person so all the needle switching and topstitching was tiresome for me. But! I love how it looks.
Also, my machine was only somewhat cooperative. I have a very cheap Brother cs6000i that I’ve had for a quite a few years and it gets the job done on a regular basis. But this project had me thinking that it’s time for an upgrade to a machine that can handle a bit more. If you have recommendations please let me know in the comments. I’ve been thinking about a new machine for a long time but in my typical fashion it takes me a long time to decide on a big purchase.
I’m super excited to have these jeans as part of my wardrobe. I love the super high waist style and relaxed leg. The rigid denim will definitely be a new style to wear as I’ve only been wearing something with stretch for years now. It will be interesting and fun to see how they mold to the body and stretch over a few hours of wear. I think they will be great for wearing to work and I hope to get a lot of use from them. By the way, in these photos I’m also wearing a Lou Box Top which is one of my patterns and you can find it in my shop. :) Thank you Megan for giving me a sneak preview of this pattern. I love it!
Disclosure: I received this pattern and fabric for free but all opinions are my own. I only partner with companies that I believe have great products and services. Thank you for supporting me, this blog and the companies with whom I partner.