Make Nine 2020 – It’s Dawning on Me

I’ve gone a little bit out of order here. As of yesterday I have a shiny new second pair of Dawn Jeans so I’m sharing them whilst my edits and the experience are fresh in my mind. I said previously I wanted to make these as my old ready to wear pairs had seen better days and they never really seemed to fit me.

I made my first pair of Dawns in March in a blue (slightly) stretchy denim from Likesewamazing which I bought at the shops 1st Birthday Party! I had a voucher from my Grandparents for Christmas and I knew this would be a perfect use (my Grandparents are very supportive of my creativity). I cut the pattern as a straight size 6, regular length as my waist is 27(ish) inches and my hips are 37(ish) inches and I started sewing!

I really enjoyed making these jeans. I went high risk for my first attempt and selected golden yellow for my topstitching. Making my Dawns helped me to realise I really love topstitching. I put my initials on my back pockets because I can and I wanted something a little personal. I wouldn’t have been able to do such neat (in my opinion) topstitching without the straight stitch foot that came with the Singer 201k. It really helped me to visualise the spacing.

One error I made on the first pair is not grading my seams enough. This made it REALLY hard to do the button hole. I almost cried at sewing club when it wasn’t working because I was so frustrated. However, I eventually got the buttonhole completed, hardware on and have a pair of jeans that I love! BUT I knew I could make the fit even better….

Enter the second pair of Dawns! Having assessed the fit and sent WAY too many pictures of my (clothed) crotch and backside to @Measuretwice.katonce I had a vague idea of where I could make the fit better. I identified these using the Closet Core Patterns fit guide for the Morgans.

  1. Sway back adjustment due to the wrinkling at the top of the back
  2. A flat pubis adjustment due to the wrinkling at the front
  3. A low butt adjustment due to the wrinking at the bottom of the back

I made a toile of these edits in some non stretch stripe denim I’d had in my stash for years, maybe a decade? They were a tad tight around the thigh so adjustment number 4 was identified.

4.Full thigh adjustment

This pair were made in some non-stretch denim from Stof Stil which, was bought for me by my Gran for my Birthday. It’s taken me 3 months to work up the courage to start making these adjustments(!). For the sway back, full thigh and low butt adjustments I made edits to the back pattern piece (see below). For the flat pubis I made adjustments whilst sewing to make the front inseam slightly deeper.

I chose not to put my initials on this time and my back pockets have a starburst and compass style of designs. I put these together using Microsoft publisher on an A5 size sheet and the design is 12cmx12cm square. This was then transferred onto the pockets using wax paper and one of the tracing wheels. I didn’t get the compass one quite straight so I slightly fudged it so the topstitching didn’t overlap.

After I’d sewn together the yoke and the back legs I realised that my pockets weren’t even. Some days I would accept this but I couldn’t this time so I unpicked and re-stitched. I was a lot happier with them the second time round.

One construction tip I have is: when you have sewn your inseam DON’T TOPSTITCH YET. Baste the side seams together and check for fit. This way if you aren’t happy with it you don’t have to unpick 3 lines of stitching and potentially some overlocking you only have the side seam and the initial inseam. I didn’t have to unpick but this is part of the reason I said ‘meh’ it’ll do to the first pair on the fit.

Once I’d fitted them I ploughed ahead with the rest of the construction. I have had a minor ‘Sewing fail’ as one of my belt loops is on inside out but I’m living with that. I also had trouble with the button hole again, despite having graded my seams much better this time. However, they are together, fitted better and I’m thrilled with them. I finished with a Pink Coat Club ‘This took ages’ Label because I spent time on this project and did unpick topstitching I wasn’t happy with several times.

For my photoshoot styling I have attempted to add some entertainment by emulating some vintage jeans adverts. Photography is another of my passions and I enjoy mucking about with the camera.

Things I like

  • Incredibly thorough instructions
  • Fun options for topstitching
  • High waisted and flattering cut
  • Regular length hits me in the right place without having to chop loads off

Things I don’t like

  • I often forget to put a label in until it’s too late
  • Buttonholes on thick denim are very tricky
  • Bartacks on thick denim are tricky too

Enjoy sewing, you can have jeans that fit, topstitching is surprisingly fun!

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