Me made jeans

AD | As a brand ambassador for Husqvarna Viking I received the sewing machine feet I talk about in this post for review.

Over the years as my confidence and skillset improved I have made a conscious effort to buy less RTW clothing. There are many reasons for this, but that is a conversation for another time. I used to have a particularly bad jeans buying habit and would think nothing of buying three or four pairs of jeans per year because I thought the ones I bought last year were “worn out”.

My finished jeans

That said, I have never attempted to make a pair of jeans, purely because I haven’t actually needed any before now.

At the time of writing I think the last pair of jeans I bought was in 2016 and the most loved pair of jeans I have were bought in either 2014 or 2015… anyway that pair are very nearly worn out. They are faded, they feel very thin, they have a stain I can’t get out on the thight and I managed to rip off one of the belt loops on a door handle. Apparently the locckdown diet made my hips a bit wider than I realised.

So finally the time to make a pair of jeans was upon me. I knew I would make some one day and I stashed away 4m of denim along with all the notions I needed when I closed the shop. For the pocket fabric I had some Cotton and Steel fabric I used to make a top with that never had much wear.

After much thought I decided to make the Dawn jeans which is meant for non stretch denim, the fabric I had however had a 1% lycra content. A couple of people on Instagram thought I should just go with the denim I has as their Dawn’s could have done with a touch of stretch in them.

Dawn Jeans by Megan Nielsen

Based on my measurements I cut a size 12 and I graded out to a 14 at the hip and back to a 12 for the leg. As I’ve mentioned before I’m 5ft9 and I often add length to the leg and rise in trousers, but decided not to here. The finished measurements looked ok and I just wanted to get them done as I expected I might have to make some fitting adjustments and a second pair to get them right overall.

I found the process a little daunting because you have to do a lot of the work before you get to the baste fit stage. The pockets, fly and inseam including all the topstitching too. The instructions however are great and I particularly liked the space at the beginning to write down the settings you’ve used for topstitching and each step tells you when you need to switch between top stitching and regular thread.

To help me make my jeans I used two additional feet provided by Husquvarna Viking as part of my brand ambassador role. They are the narrow zip foot and the left edge topstitch foot.

Narrow zip foot

I found the narrow zip foot to be very helpful in getting close to the zipper teeth, and much easier to use than the one that came with the machine and the extra length on the foot helped keep everything in place.

Left edge topstitch foot

The left edge topstitch foot was also very helpful. This foot is thicker on the left side and thinner on the right side so that when topstitching things such as pocketd. The pocket can be butted up the the thicker left edge of the foot which keeps the foot steady and level ensuring even stitching all the way around.

I’m very pleased with how all of the topstitching went and as you can see here I ended up installing rivets. I used my Prym Vario pliers and a set of Prym rivets. They make a big difference and I found the back pockets needed them to secure the top corners.

As for fitting, it was a lot easier than i had anticipated. The only adjustment I made was to take in the thigh around 1cm from the bottom of the pocket down to the knee and that was it.

Not they are still not perfectly fitting, but they are wearable and that is a good outcome for me considering I’d resigned myself to making two pairs at the start.

So the things I would need to change for another pair.. add length to the rise. I think I would try just 1cm in the back as they do ride up my bum a little bit.

I would also need to have a think about the waistband. It is very snug and I could do with a little bit of extra room there. Its perfectly comfortable whilst standing and walking, but when it comes to sitting I’ve unbuttoned them. I don’t know if it’s the interfacing that I’ve used bit it feels quite rigid. I’m hoping with wear that it might give a little.

So, what do you think? Have you tried making jeans? I would recommend the Dawn pattern if you’re thinking about it. I really enjoyed making them and will make more in this style in the future when I need them.

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