DIY Raw Denim (aka Higher Standards part 3, Megan Nielsen Dawn + tutorial)

Last week I shared my completed Megan Nielsen Dawn jeans, which I altered to show off the selvedges of the Japanese denim I used (from Fashion Fabrics Club, but sold out--I know because I bought the last remnant!). Today I'll show you how to make this change to whatever pattern you are using to make your pants. I had a copy of the Ash Jeans (straight leg view) printed out so I'm using that, but you can use whatever pattern you want.

A note before we begin: there is a reason that jeans are not drafted this way to begin with, and it's because your legs are not shaped like this! If you make this change, do not expect your jeans to fit "sewing blogger perfect." We are valuing showing off selvedges over perfect fit; in the same way that we sewers obsess over fit and notice fit issues that normal people wouldn't, denim people will notice all the weird wrinkling and think: "ooh, nice, those must be selvedge." Check out these jeans by well-loved and well-respected purveyor of selvedge denim, A.P.C.:

Any sewer would look at those lower legs and immediately start brainstorming fit adjustments! That's about as good as you're going to get in selvedge denim though, since you don't actually have a lot of control over the fit--the outer seam is totally fixed (selvedges, remember) and there's only so much you can do just by changing the inseam.  (This leg adjustment also changes the angle at which the jeans legs exit the crotch, so you may find you need a few tweaks to the crotch once you've tried your jeans on.)

First we need to find the widest part of the hip. To do this, extend the grainline to the waistline of the leg pattern piece:

Trace your size.

Use your ruler to find the widest part of the hip: the part of the curve furthest from the grainline. (Don't forget to look at your size.)

Extend that line down to the hem, parallel to the grainline. It will cut through the larger sizes.

When you get to the bottom, square off your pants hem.

The outer seam is done! Now moving on to the inseam changes. First, measure the distance between your new straightened outside seam and the original seam (in your size). At the hem, mine is 1 5/8".

Continuing up the leg, measure at intervals.

We've added a bunch to the outside, now it's time to remove it from the inseam. At each point that you measured distance between original and straightened outside seam, take that much away from the original inseam. So, here at the hem, I added 1 5/8" to the outside of the leg, I am measuring 1 5/8" from my size of the original inseam. Mark a dot there.

Once you've made all your dots, connect them together. The new leg should be taking shape!

Continue up the leg towards the crotch. When you get to the crotch point, taper to nothing--even though you may have a little bit of difference on the outer seam.

You can see in the photo below that there is a slight difference in original vs. selvedge outside seam at the level of the crotch but we really don't want to change anything in the crotch (anything at or below the ruler in the photo below), so just taper to nothing at your size's crotch point. Crotch crotch crotch. Sorry.

Round off all your dots with a french curve or by eye and you are done with the back leg! Do the same with the front and you'll be ready to sew! No changes are required to the other pattern pieces. I do suggest making a muslin before diving in--you may want to make a few tweaks to the fit. It's also possible you decide fit is more important to you than selvedges and you can't bring yourself to accept leg twisting etc. etc. It's up to you! If you do end up following this tutorial, though, let me know! I'd love to see how your jeans turn out!


ps: now that i have these ash pieces all done i guess i might as well use them right?

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial. I've been thinking about making my own selvedge denim for a long time, and you've inspired me to go for it! Oh, and your finished jeans look awesome, as well! Fashion Fabrics Club does still have some selvedge denim still, albeit different colors and weights.



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