After wearing these Real Deal Jeans* for several weeks, I realised I hadn’t blogged them! The fabric is stretchier than the pattern requires, so I added in some elastic to the waistband to stop it stretching out of shape. I didn’t stretch the elastic as I added it in, so it will hopefully hold the shape without pulling the waist in at all.
The pocket bags are a plain black polycotton I found in my fabric stash, and although the length of the jeans looks a little short in these photos, I wanted to ensure I could comfortably wear them barefoot without standing on the hem.
I made these from the grand total of 1 metre of fabric, so they were a cheap make – I do need to practise the zip, as the waistband isn’t entirely level but they’re really comfy to wear and that slight error on the waistband isn’t really all that noticeable when I’m wearing them!
I’ve had enough of soggy bags when I’ve been out for a walk in the rain, so I thought it was time I tried sewing one in a showerproof fabric. I spotted this laminated cotton with a nifty quilted picture printed on it at Mibs Fabrics, and thought it’d be ideal. I picked out an airtex mesh for the lining, and because that obviously has holes in it, added in a sew-in interfacing just to strengthen the lining a little.
The mesh was an experience to sew, having never used anything like that before! I found that backing it with interfacing also helped my eyes, as being able to see the dark table through the holes in the fabric was starting to get challenging.
Originally I was going to add a zipped pocket to the front flap, but I made a mess of the sewing on that, and had to improvise. Thankfully I had just enough fabric left to cut a (slightly short) replacement panel, and salvaged some of my mistake piece to make a basic patch pocket with a flap closure instead.
I think the flap works better for a bag that’s likely to get caught out in the rain though, as in theory the rain should just run off the flap, and not end up in the pocket itself!
I didn’t bind my seams with any waterproof tape, so I know the bag won’t be 100% waterproof, but I’m hoping it’ll be a great deal better than my usual bags bade from canvas!
If you were to tell me a couple of months ago that I would have made a pair of socks, I’d have jut laughed and pointed out that I never got the hang of knitting in the round… it wouldn’t have dawned on me that sewn socks were even a thing!
But they are, and I’ve tried making a pair!
The front looks quite accurate, but I think I need to work on the heel insert a little more – the base of the heel looks quite rectangular to me, although that could just be down to the recipient’s feet not quite being the same size as the socks!
My next pair will be without the heel insert, to see how comfortable that is – I don’t usually wear heel-less socks, but if they’re comfy then it’ll be a much faster sew!
I was lucky enough to be chosen as a pattern tester for the amazing Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans and couldn’t get my fabric prepared fast enough!
The Dawn Jeans come with four options – tapered, straight, wide, and shorts. Originally I was going to make the shorts, but decided in the end to try the wide leg jeans.
These jeans are meant to have a vintage feel – kind of classic Levis, so I chose some reasonably heavy denim which had a slight give rather than any real stretch.
As I mentioned on Tuesday, I don’t use topstitching thread – I know, dreadful isn’t it! When I bought my sewing machine, the shop manager enlightened me that if you use particular stitches, you can get the effect of topstitching without needing to invest in specific thread.
I prefer the look of the triple straight stretch stitch out of the options I have, and it means I can liven up my jeans without needing to buy in lots of specific thread too!
Dawn is drafted with a high waist, which I didn’t alter at all. It actually hits at a comfortable level for me, despite being only 5′ 1″, which meant I didn’t have to try and work out any alterations – yay!
Unlike other trouser patterns I’ve used before, Dawn’s pocket bags are actually sewn inside out, so the right side of the fabric shows on the inside of the jeans. Using the same fabric as the inner waistband means they blend nicely – and the inner waistband also gave me a chance to add some fancy stitching too:
Strictly speaking, the inner waistband is meant to be denim, but I was trying to squeeze these jeans out of a metre of fabric, so I only had enough for the outer waistband! I also didn’t have quite enough for a proper hem, so I added some bias binding around the raw edge to prevent it from fraying, before sewing the hem.
I took in the width by a few inches on the legs, as they were a bit too wide for me! But overall, these jeans are a great fit, didn’t require much alteration other than the width (and that’s down to personal choice anyway), and I’m just waiting for the weather to get a little cooler now, so I can wear them!
One pair made, but why stop at just one?
Buoyed on by my success with those, I decided to try a straight leg pair. These are made from a lighter weight stretch denim, but I’ve stuck with the same size as my previous ones. I did have a bit of a disagreement with the button when it came to hammering it in place, but other than that, these are also really comfortable!
I wanted to do something different with the pockets on these, so this is actually glow-in-the-dark embroidery thread! I had a semi-disaster with the interfacing I’d put on the back of the pocket – I managed to melt it over the iron – so I added a lining to the pocket, to hide the gummy interfacing and also to prevent the stitches getting caught on the inside.
Again, I used the same fabric for the pocket bags and inner waistband, but this time I doubled up on the inner waistband fabric to make it stronger.
I doubt I’ll be making a tapered-leg pair, as that isn’t a style I wear, but I’m planning on making some shorts for next summer if I can find some lighter weight denim, or maybe a linen blend fabric!
So what are you waiting for? Head over to Megan Nielsen, and check out the Dawn Jeans!
Pattern: Dawn Jeans by Megan Nielsen Fabric: Wide-leg jeans – non-stretch denim from Sewing Studio Straight-leg jeans – stretch denim from Mibs Fabrics Inner waistband & pocket bags – polycotton from Fashion Fabrics