The perfect pair of vintage style denim has been on my to make list for a while now, but I have always found a reason to out it off. I think the thought of getting the fit right has been putting me off, and the amount of work involved in the construction process. Which was all very silly as in the end the fit was great and the construction was very enjoyable!
I knew I wanted to make the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen. The instructions were fantastic and everything was really clear and easy to follow.
I got a tan cotton canvas from The Dab Hand pop up shop to test the fit first. I made the cropped wide leg view and made my standard adjustment of adding 1 inch to the rise. I had a bit of trouble with the fly construction of these (i.e. I didn’t cut all the right pieces and had no fabric left!) and they were a little snug around my hips so there is some pulling at the front.
This served its purpose in the end as I knew I would need to grade out at the hips for my final pair. I made a size 10 waist, graded to a 12 at the hip and back to a 10 for the legs. For my next pair I will take 1/4 inch from the rise as I think this could be causing the slight gape at the back.
I made 2 pairs at the same time. Both denims were light coloured so I could use the same threads for both. It made the process a lot quicker and gave me lots of practice with my topstitching. I am lucky to have 2 sewing machines so had one set up for topstitching and one set up with normal thread, which again sped up the process.
If anyone is nervous about making jeans I have a few tips for you. Start with a cotton canvas or twill and don’t worry about using topstitching thread. It is a lot quicker and you don’t have to deal with so many layers of thick fabric. For my toile I added all the topstitching but in a regular thread. This gives you the opportunity to practice but any mistakes won’t be noticeable.
If want more than one pair, batch sew. If I had just made the one pair I know it would take months before getting around to making a second pair. These jeans are going to be in regular use now so having 2 pairs makes it easier rotate them!
And take your time. It is easy to break the process down into manageable blocks so just focus on one step at a time.
Another benefit to making jeans is adding the hardware… perfect for releasing some stress!
Next up for me will be a black pair and maybe a classic navy too. I would like to try a zip fly too so I will add that to my list. If this is something you would like to try don’t be intimidated, I have enjoyed the process from start to finish so much!
Have you tried making your own jeans? Did you enjoy it?