Home again

Well, I’m back from Paris!

I ended up not buying nearly as much as I thought I would, which is great :) I spent more money on food, and didn’t go shopping that much. Most of the time was spent walking around, talking and enjoying being on vacation. I would’ve liked fabric for the Lucille Dress though (since the patttern arrived while I was away) and the bustier. I’ll just have to find something here or when I go to NY in August.

I found 3 fabrics: a tweed-like fabric (with the exact “design” I wanted! little V’s), a red cotton-lycra fabric with a bit of stretch, and nautical print viscose!

And they weren’t expensive either :) I got all three from the “coupons de saint-pierre” shop, where you get three metres for either 10, 20 or 30 € (there was a beautiful teal silk for 30 € but it wasn’t on my list and I wanted to avoid “impulse” buying). Mine were 10, 10 and 21 € (the tweed was on sale from 30). So I have 3 meters of each so hopefully I’ll be able to make more than one thing from each of the fabrics!

I went to the Porte de Vanves fleamarket and (even though I was a little late, most of the stands were closing) found 3 magazines from the 50ies (I will be posting lots of images from there as soon as I get around to scanning them) and a few vintage sewing notions, including some embellishments for the bustier:

I love the safety pins! And the nylon bias tape in the old plastic packaging. first I thought I wouldn’t use the bias tape, but I took it out to feel it, and it so soft, thin and delicate! I’m not really a fan of bias tape, but I really like the feel of these!

So much sewing inspiration in these old magazines! And I love looking at the old ads, it’s interesting to see how advertising changes and adjusts to whatever lifestyle people find desirable. I think advertising is a good “mirror” of society, it let’s you get into people’s minds. I think that’s why I like Mad Men so much, because the whole advertising industry is just a great perspective to look at a certain era (especially the 50ies and 60ies).

If you’re ever in Paris, go to this flea market! Take the metro (line 13) to “Porte de Vanves” and when you get out, it’s really close (Avenue Georges Lafenestre and Avenue Marc Sangnier). It’s small but I like it better than the famous Clignancourt one. That one’s so touristy and last time I went there, there was so much cheap crap.

So since I didn’t find everything I need for the bustier I might put that project off for a while (after I get back from my trip to the states in august), and will instead be using the red fabric I bought, and a mint colored fabric from my stash to make two dresses.

the patterns arrived! I might even use the sheath dress pattern for the red fabric

this is a cell-phone picture of all the things I bought:

the most expensive thing was the “flowerbomb” perfume. I’ve been wanting it for a long time but it’s so insanely expensive in Switzerland… the rest is all cheap stuff from vintages stores (plus a pair of shoes that was on sale and is probably not great quality, but I like them a lot).


Going to Paris!

Tomorrow morning (very early) I’m taking the train to Paris! It will be my 6th time in Paris, so I’m going to try not to buy more than 1 garment and instead focus on buying fabric and notions for projects I have planned:

  • Pale pink stretch fabric (at least 50% stretch) for my Embellished Bustier
  • Boning for the Bustier
  • Embellishments for the Bustier
  • Red lace for the Red Lace Dress
  • Lining fabric for the red lace dress (either a little lighter than the lace or a little darker, to make it stand out)
  • a nice metal chain to finish the Muff I made for my mom last christmas but couldn’t finish because I had too much else going on… (haha, she’ll be so surprised!)
  • Blue and white striped lightweight knit (to make a “copy” of my favorite sandro shirt, cause I’m wearing it to death)
  • Tweed for a Chanel-like Dress
  • Fabric for the Dark Green Dress
  • Fabric for the Red Dress
  • Little plastic animals for an awesome DIY Toy Animal Rack (check it out!)
  • Zippers

These are in the “if something catches my eye”-category:

  • Fabric with a cool print for the Lucille Dress (no idea what I want it to look like, just going to see if I find anything)
  • Blue and white striped jersey to make a basic bodysuit (to wear with skirts and jeans)
  • Jacket or Coat fabric
  • A trim for the underskirt of my floral dress

Ok, I know that’s a loong shopping list, but I’m counting on not finding all of this stuff. Which isn’t so bad, because I’m going to New York in a month to visit family and friends, so I’ll be able to shop in that fabric district too :)

You might have heard this before, but the Montmartre quarter, right at the base of the steps to Sacre-Coeur, is the best place to go fabric shopping! The first time I went I was a little overwhelmed (that’s why I’m making a list now :)), there’s so much to choose from!

Another place I’m going to look for stuff is the Bazar de l’Hotel de Ville (or BHV). On the lowest floor there’s all this stuff to remodel your home or build stuff and they also have tons of little hooks, handles and closures for bags. My favorite thing about this corner is that the parts are loose in little wooden boxes, so you can pick them out from there, and that process makes me feel like I’m in one of those “by the pound” candy stores :) I might buy some handbag handles here, because I’m not a fan of fabric handles, and these notions are hard to get in Switzerland. Switzerland may be beautiful, but it’s not the most DIYer-friendly country (at least not when it comes to sewing or advanced jewelry making).

As for packing, I want to pack as many “me-made” items as I can (while still leaving room for all that fabric! phew…) :)

Well, I’m off to clean my room and pack!

Almost forgot: Happy 4th of July! We celebrated last weekend with the Swiss-American Club :)