There’s a sense of reckless abandon as a beginner sewist. Though I’ve been making clothes for just over three years, I still see every garment as a chance to test my skills and every mistake as a valuable learning curve. Don’t get me wrong, making mistakes with newly-bought fabric can be heart-breaking but the only way is up, right?! This is the attitude I adopted for my second attempt at jeans making. My first pair of Dawn jeans hadn’t quite gone to plan (read my review here) but the good thing is, I felt more au fait with the construction and pattern instructions second time around.
I opted for view A – the tapered leg – which is the most fitted of the styles included in the pattern. To determine my size, I referred to the finished garment measurements and made a size 8 throughout (I’m 34″ bust, 28″ waist and 39″ hip). The jeans are quite close fitting but will stretch over time, if you are between sizes I’d recommend sizing up, you can always take the jeans in if the fit feels too loose.
There are a few elements in the construction that I felt more confident with second time around. Firstly, pockets. I used my heavyweight denim for the pocket bags initially but this made them feel heavy to wear. For the pocket bag, it’s easier to use a lightweight fabric and it’s also a nice opportunity to add a pop of colour to the inside of your garment and use any small pieces of leftover fabric you have.
The pattern includes instructions for a traditional button-fly closure but you can also find instructions for inserting a zipper fly online. I used a button closure on my previous Dawn jeans but find these can be a little fiddly to fasten – my Singer machine also struggles to sew buttonholes – so I decided to add a zip. There is a sewalong for the Dawn jeans on Megan Nielsen’s website which l would fully recommend, particularly for constructing the button or zipper fly.
You can add a nice finish to your jeans by adding topstitching in a contrasting thread colour. Now I’m not blaming my equipment but I broke one and dented another needle during this make so I didn’t want to pressure myself into achieving straight topstitching. I used matching black thread which still gives the desired effect but hides any wobbly lines! I decided to leave out the bar tacks, belt loops and rivets, I wasn’t being lazy (promise!) but I’m not planning to wear a belt and I’m a slow sewist so any little shortcuts here and there are welcome.
Do you press your garments as and when the patten instructs? If so, I applaud you and will be doing the same from now on! After you’ve attached the outer waistband piece, you’ll need to press the seams before placing the other waistband piece on top of this. The second waistband piece covers the exposed seam on the inside of the jeans so it makes a huge difference if pressed well before sewing.
I used this 14oz black denim fabric from Fabric Godmother. It holds its shape well while also feeling pliable enough to move and feel comfy in. As this was a heavy-weight fabric I used Prym Jeans needles which are more durable than regular machine needles and thus useful for sewing denim.
Thanks for reading 🙂 x