Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans in Grey Corduroy

I've made another pair of jeans! This was one of the main sewing goals that I had in mind at the start of this year. The ginger jeans that I made a couple of years ago are sadly now too small. I don't mind too much as I got a lot of wear and joy out of them and it also gave me the excuse to make a new pair of jeans. I particualarly wanted to make the Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans which I have loved ever since the pattern came out. I recieved both the pattern and this fabric for Christmas, leaving no excuses for not getting on and making them.

Although I was able to enjoy wearing my ginger jeans for some time, I made the unforgivable mistake of using rigid denim for a stretch denim pattern. My experience with sewing has increased a lot since and this time I wanted to get the fabric and pattern right. I could have made the Ginger Jeans again using the right kind of fabric, but my style has also evolved over the past couple of years. Now, I much prefer wearing 'Mom Jeans' to skinny jeans so I cannot emphasize enough just how perfect the Dawn Jeans sewing pattern was for what I wanted. Ready to wear jeans are always a nightmare size wise, and I wanted to have a jeans pattern that I had tried and tested so that it fit perfectly. Also, the Dawn Jeans come with four variations - how amazing is that?! I made view A with a tapered leg for this pair but can't wait to make the wide-legged version too. 

Because they're designed to be a classric high-waisted rigid jeans pattern, the Dawn Jeans have a button fly. I don't mind the button fly detail and particularly like the visible button fly version, but like I mentioned in my post about my Lander Pants I find adding buttons unecesary unless they're adding to a design feature. This isn't just about having to sew the buttonholes, I find it much more practical to have a zip fly over a button fly when it comes to wearing the jeans too. Luckily, there is a sewalong avaliable which covers inserting a zip fly. Like most zip fly techniques it isn't as good as the Closet Case Patterns fly insertion tutorial, but works well all the same.
I love adding secret details that only I can see and pocket bags are perfect for that. I had this cotton fabric in my stash (left from when I enjoyed making tote bags!) and it matched my fabric perfectly. 

Now onto the complications... I had two main fitting issues when it came to making these jeans. The first was fairly straight forward to solve as it's something I have to do with all trouser patterns - taking a triangular wedge of about 1" either side out of the centre back seam. This is pretty easy to do and makes a big difference to the fit due to my sway back. It does mean that the back yokes don't quite line up but it's an almost perfect alteration other than that.
The second issue was much harder to solve and I was pretty tempted to give up on these jeans because of it! I spent quite a long time trying to decide which size to cut. My waist put me in a size 4 but my hips were in a size 8. I considered grading between sizes 8 and 4 but decided that the change between the sizes would be too much. In hindsight, I probably should have done this anyway. In the end I decided to cut a size 6, thinking that I could take in the waist (which I did do at the centre back) and that the fabric at the hips would stretch with wear. The sizing at the hips actually ended up being pretty much spot on, but when I tried the trousers on for the first time the legs were way too tight. This isn't something that has ever happened to me before and I was quite surprised that it happened. At this point I'd been sewing for a few hours and to try the jeans on and find that they were too small was incredibly frustrating! I put them down for about a week (giving them the occasional death stare) until I felt ready to undergo the incredibly boring task of unpicking the side seams and inner leg seam. The side seams were fine to unpick as they were just basted in place but the inner leg seam had been finished with two rows of topstitching! Having to unpick that was honestly slightly heartbraking. I re-sewed the entire thing using the tiniest seam allowance possible, about 1/4" instead of the 1.5cm initially used. But hey, at least it was worth it in the end!

The fabric is a big part of what made these jeans successful. I loved this fabric as soon as I saw it in Fabric Land. It's a gorgeous dark grey/purple colour and is a really great quality corduroy. It's one of those Farbric Land scores, good quality fabric for a fairly low price. I did initially want to use denim to make my first pair of Dawn Jeans but the corduroy worked really well and now that I've established the fit I'm willing to spend a bit more money on good quality non-stretch denim for my next pair.

Looking closely at this photo, you can see that I haven't bothered to trim all the threads along the side seam - those are left over from the mamouth unpicking task I had to do! It wasn't until I put the finished jeans on for the first time that I realised how much I love them. I was initially worried about wearing the colour but actually I think it's really very wearable. I am so happy with the fit of these jeans, after spending so long getting the fit right it's nice to have a successful outcome. The pattern is such a brilliant design, I love how high-waisted these jeans are and I can't wait to make another pair.


  1. Wonderful job! I am so proud of you for unpicking those stitches and making these jeans work! I can't tell you how often I unpick clothes I sew even though I mostly baste first. They were well worth it!

  2. These look fantastic! What a great outfit and grey is one of my favorite colors. I use to make my swayback adjustments at the CB seam, but now I have found it easier for me to just move that adjustment over a couple of inches. What I do is take my pattern and cut it about an inch and a half (slicing down into the pattern from the top edge) and just overlap those edges. For me, I overlap it 1/4 inch which takes out a half inch (total of an inch for the pants fit). This way it doesn't change the CB seam at all. Maybe that would help you too. Your pants sewing skills are amazing! You have learned so much, so fast!

  3. I use a denim pattern that I make exactly the same mods on and I am 47! The waist always has a strange bent to it after I have altered the yoke so much but to get the waist to hip ratio is difficult other wise. But true, true the legs at the upper thigh area are too tight then. You have made a great job of these and I have just ordered some stretch denim for my isolation. Plenty of time to fiddle - but hopefully not unpick. Great Make. Jo xxx

  4. Your jeans look great. All that hard work paid off.

  5. These are soo cute!! Great Job!