RDC Alphonse Trousers

As I’m sure you know by now, I am one of the spoiled receivers of the Sew Hayley Jane monthly sewing subscription boxes. If you weren’t aware, let me give you the lowdown. It’ll be brief, so if you want more info, I’ll make sure to include plenty of links to her website within this post.

There are three kinds of subscription boxes (mini, classic and luxury) – each month has a theme, and all of the lovely things inside match to that theme. Inside all of the boxes, Hayley also includes her new magazine, which comes with great suggestions for what to make with the contents of the box, exclusive interviews, and the article I have written about what I made with the fabrics from the previous month.

We also figured, why not post my article (I suppose article might not be the right phrase, but let’s go with it because I can’t think of anything else right now) about what I’ve made on my blog too? So, without further ado, here is what I made with the lovely light blue chambray from the February Classic Sew Hayley Jane box. If this whets your sewing subscription box appetite, please click this link to go and check out Hayley’s site.

This month’s box brought with it a lovely pale blue lightweight chambray, with the classic heathered-look that chambray is known to have thanks to its contrasting colour warp and weft yarns.

Determined to soldier on with my 2019 pledge to make more separates, I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone this, and sew up a pattern which has been on my to-make list since before I even knew it existed – the Alphonse trousers by Republique du Chiffon. This was to be my first pair of trousers with a fly front, so I was a little bit nervous. I was told not to be, but in hindsight, I think that my nerves were entirely justified, because that part took a fair few goes.

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Quick word of warning for those of you who are lazy like me and don’t bother tracing out your sewing patterns – the RDC patterns do take quite a bit of prep. As is standard for French patterns, the pieces overlap and therefore need to be traced, and you need to add your own seam allowance, which is suggested at 1cm instead of the usual 1.5cm that we’re used to.

Once I’d traced, seam-allowanced (definitely not a phrase, but let’s just go with it) and cut out the paper pattern, and my chambray was pre-washed (important step), I was ready to go. Because of the nature of the fabric, there is no apparent right side which means it’s important to take care to mark out the wrong side from the right one. The easiest way to do that was to use the tailor’s chalk included in the box this month to make an ‘x’ on the wrong side.

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So, it came to following the translated instructions from RDC. Admittedly, a few of the more fiddly elements did need re-reading, but that was probably more down to the construction methods being unfamiliar rather than any issue with the translation.

It was all smooth sailing until I got to the fly. I really don’t know why I had so much trouble getting my head around the idea! I watched quite a few different videos on YouTube, hoping that they’d bring some kind of lightbulb moment, but I didn’t have much luck there either. I had attached the fly facing and one side of the zipper with no problem, but the other side just didn’t want to make much sense to me at all. In the end, and after being unable to arrange to meet up with my only local sewing friend, I decided to improvise and hand sew the other side of the fly, which definitely wasn’t what I was supposed to have done, but appears to have worked so far. Maybe I should hold off saying that until my first proper wear of the trousers, though!

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On the whole, the pattern sewed up without a hitch, but it’s definitely not one that I would recommend to use until you’re comfortable sewing fly fronts. My plan is to get another trouser pattern with a fly front which holds your hand through the construction a little bit more, but once I’ve figured that out, I’ll definitely come back to this pattern to make another pair of Alphonse trousers.