I spent the last week in Paris with my mother, a trip she had long wanted to make. As my employer decided generously to add one extra week of holidays to everyone in 2015, I thought it would be a good chance to use the extra week for the purpose of accompanying her and also discovering Paris for the first time.
I must say if you ever plan to go to Paris in spring, do it in April-May. Currently it was nastily cold! There is something about the cold in warmer climates – during the years I lived in Cyprus and Greece, I was also always cold in winter, especially indoors and fell ill once every year. This rarely happens to me here up North!
It was also slightly early because the trees were still leafless, which surely had an impact on my visual impression of Paris. It just means another trip has to be planned!
Thankfully, I had just finished a mustardy-yellow skirt to brighten things up.
The pattern is from BurdaStyle October 2011 issue, model 119A and B mixed together.
I cut size 38 at the waist and smoothed to size 40 at the hips. The fabric I used is from my trip to Portugal. I don´t know the composition if the fabric, but it is a weird one, dense and heavy and quite elastic lengthwise. I had just enough fabric for the skirt, as the pockets are self-lined and pretty big, requiring a lot of fabric.
Sewing this weird material was a pleasure, although it got tiresome at the waist, where I needed all my strength to press the basting needle through the layers.
The skirt is unlined and i did not finish the seam allowances, since the fabric doesn´t fray at all and it would only have added extra bulk. The waistband is also hand stitched from the inside.
I really love the shape and extravagant size of the pockets. The buttonholes are only stitched, not cut through and the buttons are sewn onto those.
Traditionally, I had done some homework on fabric shops in Paris and luckily there is a whole district of fabric shops of all sorts right on the base of the hilltop where the spectacular Sacre Coeur church sits.
Some of these shops are specialized on Halloween and other carnaval fabrics, others are selling everything in coupons of 3 meters, others have a bit of everything. I didn´t see anything too special or too expensive, the prices are rather low.
The most interesting one was perhaps Tissus Reine, a huge store with a large variety of fabrics from Liberty cottons to curtain and furniture fabrics, also a wide range of notions. The ground floor is dedicated to dressmaking fabrics and they have used smaller than human size dummies for decoration, who are dressed up in clothes made of the fabrics that are for sale.
The other one, Les Coupons de Saint Pierre, is bigger online than in reality. They are selling everything in coupons of 3 meters, including silks. I spotted some beautiful pieces of bright yellow and green silks, but most of this was good fabric waisted for weird prints – like tiny Chinese working on ricefields or strolling with sunshades, However, I managed to find a piece of beautiful silk and paid just 20 euros for the whole 3 meters!
Here is what I got:
The first is a microfibre fabric that looks a bit like suede, I am not yet sure whether it will become a jacket or a minimalistic dress one day. The second one is a 3 meter coupon of cotton for a summer dress and the last is the silk fabric coupon.
The notions include shoulder pads, cover buttons and 3 shades (grey, dark blue and black) of jersey bias tape, something I have not seen before.
What I loved about Paris was the remarkable Musee d´Orsay, which will be one of the main reasons for my return and also the cheese and wine :)