Dawn Jeans and Floreat Top

Hello, friends! I am so excited about this post! Did you see that Megan Nielsen released 4 new patterns yesterday? After I did my blog post about my scalloped Harper shorts she offered me the chance to sew some of her new patterns. I literally gasped when I first saw the Floreat pattern. The dress on the pattern cover is so gorgeous! I knew I wanted to try that pattern and I also decided to sew the Dawn jeans.

The Dawn jeans are a high waisted style that is designed for non-stretch (rigid) denim. They come in 4 views: a tapered leg, a straight leg, a wide leg, and shorts. They also come in 3 lengths: tall, regular, and cropped. The pattern is designed to be a button-fly, but there are also instructions for how to do a zip fly and an exposed button fly. Those are some incredible options available in one pattern!

Meg states very clearly in the instruction booklet that this pattern is drafted to be high waisted with minimal ease through the hip. It is well documented here on Fa Sew La that I am very scared of pants that are really high waisted, but I am trying to be brave about it since that is clearly where fashion is headed at the moment. I did make a quick muslin of the shorts since I was planning to use my treasured olive Cone Mills denim for the final jeans.

I made the muslin up to the point of adding the waistband. My muslin was a size 12 graded to a 16 and it was indeed snug through the hips. I thought the rise seemed good where it was hitting me before adding the waistband so I made the decision to lower everything by 3/4″. I lowered my rise by cutting a line perpendicular to the grainline a few inches above the bottom of the fly and at a similar place on the back piece. Since I was lowering the waist and I get pretty wide pretty quickly below my natural waist I decided to cut a size 14 graded to a 16 for my final jeans. (I also had to adjust the length of all of the fly pieces since they are sewn on and not cut on. I took the 3/4″ off of the button fly piece at 1/4″ increments in 3 places between the buttonhole markings so that I wouldn’t have to adjust the placement of the buttonholes at all.)

This was my first time making jeans with sewn on fly pieces. I wasn’t sure how I would like it since I’m used to the cut on method that some other pattern designers use. I didn’t mind this method at all but I did find that the bottom of the fly area was pretty bulky with the extra seam allowances there. I hammered that area to flatten it out before I attempted to topstitch the bottom of the fly. (Always hammer from the inside of the garment because sometimes the hammer can make the fabric sort of shiny and I’ve also had the hammer shred my fabric which was completely devastating!)

I always baste my jeans together to check the fit and this time I did that after I had the front and back assembled since I’d made a muslin before cutting. I decided to sew the side seams at 3/8″ instead of 5/8″ from the top of the leg to just under the pocket to give myself some more breathing (sitting) room. The jeans are still pretty snug but this denim seems like it’s got enough give to stretch as I wear them. I also found that the front crotch was a little short for me. Usually I have the opposite problem so this was a novelty! I set the front crotch piece 1/4″ in from the back piece when I sewed that seam to give myself a little extra room. Next time I make these jeans I’ll lengthen the front crotch 1/4″ and I might lengthen the back crotch a little bit, too.

It’s probably pretty obvious but I sewed the wide leg version of the Dawn jeans. I saw a pair of olive wide leg pants on a mannequin at Target a few months back and I was planning to try to hack one of the jeans patterns that I already have to create my own version of the pants. When I saw that this pattern had a wide leg view I knew I needed to make them out of this fabulous olive Cone Mills denim that I bought from Imagine Gnats. I cut my Dawn jeans 2″ past the cropped length on the pattern pieces since I wanted these to hit right at my ankle. They were long enough that I was able to use a 1.25″ hem and get them to be the length I wanted. I love a deep hem on wide leg pants!

There are a few things that I would do a little differently in the sewing process next time. The other button fly jeans I’ve made have the button fly piece recessed 1/4″ from the front of the fly. I tried to recess this piece but was only able to move it back about 1/8″ or the fly topstitching wasn’t going to secure all of the pieces that it needed to and it was going to be too close to the buttonholes. Next time I think I’ll widen the sewn on fly and fly extension pieces so that I can recess the button fly piece more.

I would also suggest interfacing the fly piece that the buttons get hammered into. I didn’t do this and mine feels a little flimsy. I chose not to interface the waistband on my jeans since everything was feeling a bit snug on my baste fit. I forgot to interface the small area where the button is attached on the waistband. Those areas come under a lot of stress so I think they’re better off interfaced. One more suggestion for the button fly is to transfer the markings to the opposite side of the fly piece. I had off white thread in my bobbin and olive in the top. After I assembled the fly I realized that the bobbin side ends up on top and my off white thread is what is on the top of the fly. It’s not a huge deal but I wish I’d had olive thread on top and bottom when I sewed the button holes!

These jeans literally fit me like a glove and I’m loving the wide leg shape! As I said the fabric is a non-stretch Cone Mills denim. It’s such a fun color and I love the 9 oz weight. It became super soft after I washed it and it’s definitely going to loosen with wear. I used matching topstitching thread for my jeans and a silver button fly kit from Closet Case patterns. (These are the best! They have two sizes of buttons– a large one for the top button and smaller ones for the button fly. The smaller buttons make getting into and out of the jeans much quicker!) I chose not to use rivets and added some contrasting bartacks. I love doing this on my handmade jeans!

Are you still here? I’ve said so much about the jeans and I haven’t even gotten to my Floreat top. I made this as a wearable muslin before I dive into the amazing dress view. It turned out to be a totally wearable top and has been upgraded to actual top that I am proud to wear. This is the cropped view made in a size 10 graded to a 12 at the hips. I think I could have gotten by with a straight size 10 since this is an a-line top with lots of ease at the hem, but this fabric is flowy so it works well as is.

I made my usual forward shoulder adjustment on this top and I also did a 1″ full biceps adjustment. The sleeves are still pretty slim on me, even with the adjustment. Next time I’ll widen them a bit more. I also have a small amount of pulling in the upper bust area of the front piece. I think I need to modify the front piece a little bit before I make the next one to give myself a bit more room there.

The neckline of Floreat is finished with a facing and the pattern includes a really cool all in one facing for the sleeveless versions of the top and dress. It came together really quickly for me and was really fun to sew.

Isn’t that assymetrical hem amazing? I love it so much! This cropped length is perfect with the high waist of the Dawn jeans. I made my Floreat from Geneva tencel rayon that I had left over from my Gypsum skirt. It’s a great fabric for this style since it’s lightweight and has great drape.

I’m so excited about my new outfit and I know I’ll be returning to these patterns again in the very near future. I want to try the tapered leg view of the jeans and I have the perfect denim waiting in my stash. I also happen to have some pink denim stashed away so come next Spring I’ll probably re-create the pink pair that is shown in the pattern listing. Wahoo! I’m excited to try the Floreat pattern in the longer blouse length with long sleeves. I think it would be great to dress up jeans or with those slim black pants I’ve been talking about making for years now. (One day I’ll get to them!)

Thanks for reading!


p.s. The Dawn jeans and Floreat top/dress were provided to me by Megan Nielsen in exchange for a blog post.The opinions expressed are my own.


18 thoughts on “Dawn Jeans and Floreat Top

  1. Love the jeans! I’ve made two jean jackets (one a traditional denim and the other a mustard yellow) from the cone mills denim and I love how substantial the fabric is. One of these days I’ll venture into making myself actual jeans…. Thanks for sharing your makes!


    1. Thanks, Emily! I have seen that mustard colored cone mills denim and it’s so pretty. I bet your jean jacket is amazing made from it! I hope you do venture into jeans eventually. It’s so fun and so rewarding!


    1. Thanks, Linda! It was fun to use colored denim for these jeans since all of the other jeans I’ve made have been dark indigo. I agree that it’s great that there are different styles of jeans patterns out there now. It’s fun to experiment with various silhouettes!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am in awe of your skill. The jeans look so well made and thank you for sharing all the useful tips. The green works so well with the top and shows you styled. A lovely read. Have a a great weekend.


  3. These are so cute and flattering on you! All your little tweaks worked great! I am just watching you make all the pants and working up to have the bravery to take the plunge. I really appreciate all the detail. So helpful!! Julie


    1. Thank you, Julie! I really hope you do take the plunge into pants/jeans. They are so doable if you just take them step by step. When you do jump in I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have!


  4. Your outfit looks so awesome! I have this same olive denim, but have to get up some major courage (& time) to make a jeans muslin first. I love the color and the weight of the denim! The top is so fun too. I bought this whole set of patterns, but haven’t made any up yet. Can I ask how you would adjust the front of the Floreat pattern to eliminate the puling in the front armhole? I get that same issue frequently in bodices/tops. Thanks!


    1. Thank you so much! I hope you’re able to get your olive denim sewn up soon since it is so nice to wear. I definitely think that buying the set of patterns was a good investment. I really want to make the other two soon! As far as the front of the Floreat— I think I will first try filling in a little section of the front arm curve, maybe adding 3/8” so that the front is a bit wider. I don’t think it would be a hard adjustment but I might need to play around with it a bit to get it right. I hope that helps!


  5. What a stunning outfit! I ‘m so glad you made the wide led version and with your own special touches. I really get excited by learning from pattern testers! Your front line work is so important! AND your finished product is amazing! I admire your length to hit right at the ankle! It is perfect! So flattering! Your material is also gorgeous and inspiring! I can definitely see this style in my life…at some point! I am a big ole newbie! First jeans ever! I am so excited!!! I love the Floraet! I have a great sloper for tops! And that hem is the most amazing part of this pattern!!! Thank you for this awesome post! 😉


    1. Thank you, Danita! It really hasn’t been too long since I made my first pair of jeans– just a few years. I was addicted to it after I made my first pair and I bet you will be, too. It’s so fun and so rewarding. I’m so glad you liked this post!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s