The One with the Dawn Jeans

Hi everyone,

How you all holding up? Is the crazy over yet?

I’ve had a weird relationship with sewing during this time; fits and starts of creativity. Luckily with one of my “I need to make something” bouts I decided to finally sit down and make the Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans I cut out in November! (yikes!).

Late in 2018 I made my first ever pair of jeans; the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case patterns. I loved them and knew I wanted to make more jeans but as in my usual magpie style, rather than making more of the ones I worked hard to fit, I got distracted by the new kid on the block – the Dawns!

I was always a HUGE fan of wide leg jeans (with thighs like mine you kinda have to be) and I fought the skinny jean movement for a VERY long time. As with most of us though, since joining, it’s been my go to jean cut for god knows how long. I’ve also been wearing high waisted for quite a while (perfect place to hide that gin belly no?). Seeing the Dawn pattern made me remember my love of being able to move my legs so I knew I wanted to make them.

As always, I made a toile – good sewist ;). I cut a straight size 10 and they fitted pretty well but I definitely needed to make some changes though.  So, as always, I called upon the services of msjennmakes.

We got together and made my necessary alterations – luckily it was way fewer than the Gingers! We shortened the rise (I wanted high waisted, not Simon Cowell!) and of course the length (5ft 2″ remember). We also increased the width in the front thigh to give me some more room #thickthighssavelives.

Oh and as there was gaping at my waistline we decided to use the  ‘me-size’ waistband I had drafted during my Skirt Skills course with the wonderful Brooks Ann Camper.

Check out the difference – curvy girl problems or what?!?

On to the real thing (just ignore the 5 month break m-kay). I had scored some AH-mazing retro looking rigid denim from a local thrift store months and months ago and had been saving it for jeans. I think it set me back $5 for 2.5 yards! I decided to stick with the retro style/feel and do a dark blue top stitching and had hardware left over from my previous adventures into jeans making so this was a nice thrifty project for this uncertain time.

For my ginger jeans I decorated my back pockets with some mountains on one pocket and a compass on the other as an ode to my love of hiking. This time I decided to go bigger but build on that idea – I settled on the Asheville skyline with the Blueridge Mountains in the background! I managed to find a simplified illustration of it online and used that as my guide. I’m SO happy with how they turned out.

Gratuitous bum shots to follow….

Due to having made a toile, the construction of these jeans went relatively smoothly and reminded me that I love to work with denim and get a lot of pleasure out of top stitching. Megan Nielsen’s instructions were the perfect level of enough detail but without going on too much – my fave! Plus you do all the hard stuff (fly, pockets) right at the beginning.

Unfortunately once I got to the waistband the problems kicked in. I’d used the pattern waistband piece as a guide to cutting the length of my more curved one from my skirt block so I didn’t try it before I cut it out. Turns out, it was too short! What is even weirder is it wasn’t my fault – the MN pattern piece itself was too short! I mentioned this on Instagram and another sewist said she’s made multiple dawn jeans and had this problem on them all, so perhaps the scale got screwy on the at home print out? Anyway, don’t let it put you off the pattern, I’d just say be sure to measure the top of your pattern and compare it to the pattern piece before you cut out your precious denim.  Luckily I had enough to cut new waistband piece but I hate wasting fabric!

Once I rectified that you’d think it’d be smooth sailing from there on out right? WRONG! My first button hole I attempted using top stitching thread. My machine was not impressed, leading me to have to spend almost an hour unpicking it (bleurgh).  Then despite having interfaced both waistband pieces, when I hammered in my button and tried it through the button hole, it ripped right through the waistband (nightmare!).

I walked away for a day, came back, patched the hole and tried again. The patch is super ugly but luckily other than in this photo it’ll never be seen! 🙂

Take 2 was a success and I was finally done!

They felt super 70’s, especially when I put them on with my Lotta from Stockholm clogs so I decided to roll with it and made this Brady Bunch-esque t-shirt from a remnant I found in Joanns and some scrap ribbing. I used the Alina & Co Panama tee, cropped it, straightened the side seams and added ribbing for that ultimate retro look.

I really love the denim I used – even if the fade is a little uneven in places – and the rise is perfect now. If I’m being honest, they are a little snug right now (still totally wearable) but I think that is probably due to all the quarantine beer – oops – and I’m working to rectify. It definitely feels weird being in wide legs again but I’m hoping I’ll get used to it – taking the pics of me wearing helped remind me why I used to love wide leg jeans.

The current trend on instagram that I’m loving is the hashtag I’mnot2d, people are posting videos of them actually moving in the clothes so people can see how they fit/move with them. I decided to get on board, even if it is really weird to see myself on video. So here they are being taken for a walk down my street:


Well, now you’ve seen my funny little walk I’ll leave you with it.

Here’s hoping when my next blog post rolls around the world is a better place.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *