Completed: Black Dawn Jeans

11 Dec

Hello everyone and welcome to my third installment of Operation-Jeans-Drawer!

Black Dawn jeans

This time, I’m sharing the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen. This is another great jeans pattern that, again, has some major differences from the other 2 that I previously shared. I don’t like to say that I have a “favorite” jeans pattern – since they are all so good and serve different purposes! – but right now, I gotta say, this is the one that is getting sewn the most in my studio these days. I shared the first pair I made at last year, and they still get lots of wear (they’ve truly broken in beautifully). I’ve actually made the shorts several times this summer, but this is only the second time I’m sharing the pattern here on this blog.

Black Dawn jeans

So, again, I can’t really compare these jeans to the Ginger or the Claryville since they are very different – but I’ll tell you what their key features are:
BODY TYPE: I don’t think these are necessarily designed for a specific body shape? I will say that they fit me pretty well straight out of the envelope. I did not make a muslin, just cut according to my measurements on the envelope.
FIT: These are slim-fitting, rigid jeans with a high, high waist! Like, the rise will completely cover your belly button (I love it!). If this is not your jam then this definitely is not the pattern for you lol. They aren’t a true “mom” jean – the legs and hips are a little more slim fitting than that – but they do have that suuuuper high rise. I should also add – the standard size pattern comes in sizes 0-20, and there is also a Curve range that includes sizes 14-30! Yay!
FABRIC: You want rigid denim for these! No stretch whatsoever! The good news is it means you don’t have to interface anything except maybe the fly facing (yup, I don’t interface my waistband! Not even at the button hole! Fight me!). The not as good news means that these are not gonna be the most comfy jeans you ever wear. I don’t mean to say that they are uncomfortable… I just mean, you can’t do, like, yoga in them (I can, and have, done yoga in my Ginger jeans lmao). I would not say the jeans are tight so much as they are restrictive. I hope that makes sense. Think pencil skirt vs circle skirt. I love them and I wear them all the time but I will be damned if I wear these on a 5 hour cross country flight, you know what I mean? Also, there is no law saying you can’t make these with stretch denim (def size down tho) but why? Just use a stretch pattern, save this one for those cool rigid denims, twills, and corduroys that you don’t know what to do with!

Black Dawn jeans

So, with that out of the way – here’s my newest pair! I wanted some black jeans because I made black shorts for the summer (also with the Dawn pattern) and I got a surprising amount of wear out of them. This fabric is a rigid denim from Darrell Thomas Textiles, which I bought when I was there this summer for a Jeans Workshop. When I say “rigid,” I mainly mean denim with no added stretch. A little bit of mechanical stretch is good. I have learned that I don’t like the suuuuper rigid denim that does not stretch at all; I find them hard to move in (granted, most of my moving involves a lot of squatting and crawling around the floor so maybe that doesn’t apply to you lol). Anyway, this is a nice denim and no I don’t know the weight! I felt it, it felt good, I bought 2 yards.

Black Dawn jeans

Black Dawn jeans

My only grief with this style of jean is the time that it takes to properly break in. Ugh! Like I said in my previous post, washing them a lot up front does help quite a bit. But you do still have to wear them around and get the wrinkles to soften up and have the denim mold to you body. One of these days I’ll woman up and sit in a bathtub full of warm water with the jeans on and let them dry that way. I’m not brave enough quite yet to try that tho lol. Please don’t be scared of my talk about the breaking in… it’s really not that bad, and it is ABSOLUTELY worth it. But if you make these jeans and they are super uncomfortable… that’s why! Give them some time (and WEAR THEM!) and they will soften up quite a bit.

Black Dawn jeans

Anyway, this denim wasn’t too bad as it was already pretty soft. I washed it three times before I cut it (I always do this with new denim) and that helped a lot. As you can see in these photos – it does relax out (compare these to the Dawn Jeans in my first post and you’ll see what I mean. They are the same size, those were just more fresh!). What you’re seeing is a pair of non-stretch jeans that I wore for probably a week without washing. They don’t bag out so much as they just relax. Yes, there are wrinkles under my butt but they are there to help me move. Otherwise I don’t think I’d be able to sit in these things haha.

Size-wise, I made a straight 4 but ended up letting the hips out a little. I think my hips are more in the size 6 range now, which makes sense (when I originally made these, the size 4 was fine but since then I have gained weight and also had to let my original ones out lol). I also reduced the height of the yoke by 1″ because it was too tall for me – I just ended up with a 1″ fold right in the middle when I put them on, so I cut it off the top. Finally, I also adjusted the pocket bags on this pattern. They are CRAZY deep. Like… I understand wanting deep pockets (I guess, I dunno, I don’t really use my front pockets) but with pants this tight they are absolutely fucking useless. I just cut the bottom curve off so now they are straight. Mainly it was really annoying trying to push them back into place after using the bathroom, and not being able to reach the bottom. They were THAT deep. Absolutely useless.

Black Dawn jeans

Black Dawn jeans

Black Dawn jeans

I kept these pretty simple, with black topstitching thread, black rivets and buttons (matte black from Blackbird Fabrics and I love them!), and a black leather back patch. One of the back pockets actually has a design topstitched in it (yes it’s the TCB lightning bolt, thanks for noticing) but it’s quite subtle. I am hoping that over time, as the jeans are washed and started to fade and crinkle, the design will be more noticable. We shall see! Oh, and you can’t really read the tag in the back pocket, but it says “You Can’t Buy This” Ha!

Black Dawn jeans

Black Dawn jeans

Black Dawn jeans

Forgot to say – this is the slim leg version, with the short inseam (and yes they are actually hemmed in these photos haha). This pants pattern comes with 4 different leg versions – skinny, straight, wide, and shorts – but I’ve only tried this one and the shorts. I have plans to make a pair of cropped wide-legs out of some corduroy, but we’ll see when I actually get around to it (not anytime soon now that I can’t leave the house without socks on haha).

Black Dawn jeans

Anyway, that’s it for this post, as well as for this series of “Lauren Talks About Her Favorite Jeans Patterns While She Also Revamps Her Pants Selection”! I have one more pair of jeans/pattern to share, but I need to sew them first (it’s been a busy month!). Hoping to get that accomplished before the end of the year, we’ll see!

Have you sewn jeans yet? What’s your favorite pattern?


30 Responses to “Completed: Black Dawn Jeans”

  1. Aileen Bartels December 11, 2019 at 2:45 pm #

    These look great on you! I’ve never sewn jeans before, but they are on my sewing bucket list for 2020. Of the three patterns you’ve written about here, I’m most attracted to the Claryville. I like that they have extra room in the calf.

    • LLADYBIRD December 12, 2019 at 2:04 pm #

      Yeah, the Claryville is nice because it has that extra room in the calf and hips!

    • Anonymous March 13, 2020 at 2:26 pm #

  2. Becky December 11, 2019 at 3:32 pm #

    The fit on these is FABULOUS. The rear view looks like the pattern was based on your body. I am really impressed. I have not made jeans yet. I’m kinda off the denim train, but may try these in twill. I hate breaking in rigid denim. Thanks for reviewing this pattern. I love mom jeans.

    • LLADYBIRD December 12, 2019 at 2:05 pm #

      Thank you! I’ve been really happy with this pattern and I think the fit is pretty spot-on for me. I agree that breaking in denim sucks but the end result is so worth it – or you can skip ahead and make them in twill, no breaking in required!

  3. indigorchid December 11, 2019 at 3:55 pm #

    I am really enjoying this mini-series! Love the highlighting of the central features of the patterns you’re using, which feels super useful for picking out the right pattern for me, and my fabric, when I am ready to make my first pair of jeans.

  4. Beckyjopdx December 11, 2019 at 5:05 pm #

    dayum gurl, you booty is fiiiine. The idea of the tone-on-tone thread+pocket design, then it reveals as it fades is brilliant. I’ve made the Gingers… and the Persephone.. those sorta count as jeans right? I’ve got the Morgans in my queue (eventually) but I’ve been thinking I may need some of these Dawns too…. I’m loving the super high waist and I really, really don’t want to draft jeans. Hmmmmm. Maybe I’ll have to see which ones your teaching at Josephine’s this year and tag along… 😀

    • Beckyjopdx December 11, 2019 at 5:06 pm #

      *you’re. the booty keeps me from spelling correctly.

    • LLADYBIRD December 12, 2019 at 2:06 pm #

      Thank you! Why draft jeans when you can buy a pattern that already does the work for you, that’s my stance! We’ll be sewing the Gingers at Josephine’s this year buuuut if you wanted to bring the Dawns and work on those I wouldn’t turn you away 😉 (ONLY you, don’t tell anyone else I said that lol! Everyone else has to make Gingers! :P)

      • Beckyjopdx December 16, 2019 at 7:08 pm #

        lol I maaay just take you up on that!

  5. Marie Fink December 11, 2019 at 6:05 pm #

    flawless as usual, but I really think these are my favorite/

  6. hearthie December 11, 2019 at 6:59 pm #

    I deeply do not want to have to make my own jeans, but … if I have to? I think you just showed me what I need. Thank you!

    • LLADYBIRD December 12, 2019 at 2:07 pm #

      Yay! Then my mission has been accomplished!!

  7. Alice December 11, 2019 at 7:49 pm #

    Have you really sat in a bath tub with your new jeans on? I have never tried that, but my mom said she would then go for a bike ride in them. When she was a teenager. Back in the early 40’s.
    I made my first pair of jeans back in ’68 in high school. Yeah, I know, I’m older, and still love sewing. After hs I got to wearing the big #1 brand, which I will not name, for good reason. After NAFTA they threw Americans under the bus, closed up shop here, put everyone out of work, moved to Mexico cuz it was cheaper — then immediately raised the prices. So ever since I’ve had my own little boycott going.
    Since then I’ve shopped different brands but am now ready to make me a righteous pair of jeans. So I appreciate your reviews of different patterns. Thanks for your research.

    • LLADYBIRD December 12, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

      LOL I have yet to do the bathtub trick but I have considered it! The idea of hanging around in wet jeans all day does not sound appealing though haha.

      • Alice December 13, 2019 at 11:35 pm #

        I can tell you from unexpected experience (beach and river) that it is not fun. You just want to get them off but they cling to you so much and it’s a struggle to get them off wet. So you wait.

  8. Emily December 12, 2019 at 8:20 am #

    I have actually worn my Dawns on a cross-country flight! I wanted to break them in.

    • LLADYBIRD December 12, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

      Jesus, woman, you are a warrior! I bow to you! haha!

  9. Kat December 12, 2019 at 8:30 am #

    These turned out fantastic and fit you really well! One day I will get brave and try to make pants. Just purchased the Morgan jeans pattern…2020 goals.

  10. Gertrude Welsh December 12, 2019 at 1:55 pm #

    Love these, especially the black rivets and buttons. I have made jeans but not perfected yet. I am an old grandmother and I like comfy jeans. LOL

    • LLADYBIRD December 12, 2019 at 2:09 pm #

      I agree with you, comfy jeans are the best! That’s why most of mine are stretch. Sometimes I’m willing to take one for the team and wear something a little less comfy, in the name of LOOKING GOOD hahahaa

  11. Hailey December 20, 2019 at 10:57 pm #

    Another great pair! I’m hoping to make a pair of Dawns sometime this next year. The Ginger jeans are my go to, but I have to say that nothing fits through the butt and hips like the Birkin Flares. I modified my pattern for more of a boot cut fit and want to try a pair of skinny jeans next. The Birkins are designed with 4 inches of negative ease at the hips vs like -1” in the Gingers and I really love the look it gives.

  12. Beth December 21, 2019 at 1:29 am #

    Good to see your post. Haven’t gotten any in a really long time (I can see I’ve missed several). Don’t know why…. Anyway, this looks like a really great and versatile pattern. Jeans this year? Maybe so! And, your comment about getting into the tub with your jeans on made me laugh. Our babysitters did that all the time with new jeans back in the ’50s! Have the Merriest of Christmases!

  13. stitchinginspace December 27, 2019 at 7:17 pm #

    The post bathroom pocket fix is REAL (and before you button them back up . . . cuz it ain’t happening after). I will definitely be following your advice and shortening those babies for the next pair.

  14. Astrid January 13, 2020 at 9:23 am #

    These look amazing! I’m not a fan of really high waists (I have a short waist so it just sits a bit weird – but this is tempting me to try some and just reduce the height a bit. Question – what temperature do you wash your denim on as part of the 3-part prewash? I have only made 1 pair so fair and after I ironed the pieces flat following the basted fitting they all shrank!! I only prewashed once on 30, so I’m guessing I was too nice to the denim 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 13, 2020 at 9:25 am #

      you should always prewash the same way you plan on washing the finished jeans. I usually do warm or hot for the first wash (I generally wash my clothes in cold but just in case they accidentally get a warm wash in the future!), then cold for the remaining. It really depends on how you typically launder your clothes, though.

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