Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

The Dawn shorts // Megan Nielsen

I’ve made the Dawn jeans by Megan Nielsen once before (see it here!) and whilst I love the overall look and the appearance of the fit, I never found them quite comfortable to wear. That’s the trouble with a fitted jean in a non stretch denim! I’d made View A which is the tapered leg and it never had quite enough give/ ease in order to be able to move easily.

That being the case, I had planned on trying to make the other views which all had much more ease through the leg which I thought would make a big difference!

There was lots of thinking about what to version to make and more importantly, what fabric to buy and use! In the end, just due to need, I opted to make the shorts and used a piece of selvedge denim from the stash (it was from The New Craft House from a couple years ago!).

I’ve been a bit remiss about making shorts in recent years (and I mean proper shorts that I can wear out by the way not the elasticated pj shorts I wear around the house!) and I always regret it by the time the hot weather makes an appearance. This year was the year to rectify this! It probably helped that I joined in the Online Sewing Weekender this year and needed a project for the day!

View D is the shorts pattern of the Dawn jeans. It and is a cut off version of the wide pant leg. I made a size 14 grading to a 16 through the leg (for my chubby thighs!).

I’ll be honest, I didn’t look at the instructions at all to make these. I decided to do my own thing for the construction because I wanted to make them relatively easy to adjust should I put on/ lose weight. I was inspired by looking at men’s trousers which are made with an adjustable back seam so they can be easily altered! Such a useful thing that’s just not used at all in womenswear!

To do this, I cut my waistbands with a centre back seam, adding 1.5cm here. I used the lovely selvedge edge of the fabric here so I wouldn’t need to finish this edge. I also eschewed the traditional topstitching on the centre back seam so that there would be less to unpick when it can to any adjustment! In theory I would be able to very easily adjust the centre back seam and if needed, I could (with a little more difficulty) adjust the side seams too by unpicking the waistband from the centre back.

To get everything where it needed to be I had to finish each pant leg including topstitching the waistbands on both sides before sewing up the centre back. It felt weird to do as that’s always the final step! Worth it though as it achieved what I wanted!

Ignore the mask poking out of the pocket – if just worn these out!

The fit probably still needs some work – I’m still trying to figure out what my body needs! Sometimes it looks great whilst at others, I’ve got odd wrinkles and folds all over the place!

Pant fitting is no easy task!

That being said, these Dawn shorts absolutely fit what I needed in my wardrobe and I’m sure I’ll get plenty of use out of them! (I was lucky enough to be able to take photos before the sun went away!).

About Me

Related Posts


  1. Why have I never thought to do this?! I delay making things when I’ve put on weight because it feels wasteful and then feel like I don’t do enough sewing! Such a good idea and these look fantastic. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. That adjustable back seam is a great idea. You know the other detail I have seen on men’s pants that I want in a pattern? A waistband that looks normal but actually has hidden elastic inside so it automatically adjusts. I thrifted a pair of men’s pants so I could figure it out, but then got distracted by other things. Oh well. I think these turned out great. You did an excellent job!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.