Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Paris: Part 1

Reine (Hans pronounced it Renn) is a 4 story fabric store that I read about on Pattern Review and that Karen let me know about also. You can see their name running down the side of the building. I only bought 2 pieces of fabric there. I couldn't afford their satin which was about 50 euros so I bought some satin-like polyester (the crazy striped stuff, below) and a piece of stretchy jersey (on the right). Each floor catered to different types of fabric. There was a drapery/upholstery floor, and I know the top floor had wools that were very nice but I'm not a wool person so I passed them up.

Here is the main floor with miniature mannequins wearing dresses made from the fabrics on display. I was naughty and peeked at the insides of some of them and was surprised to note that the hems had been fused into place (with steam a seam or stitch witchery or whatever)! I liked that because I hate hemming and if their stuff looked as nice as they did using that technique then I might do the same thing. Why not?

At Reine the 'help' didn't want to be helpful and they stomped around the store with their scissors slung over their shoulders while purposely ignoring us. I wasn't sure if I was to take my fabric to a cutting table or let them cut it at the bin where I found it as I had witnessed both practices being performed. When Hans (in very good French) asked for help, one of the ladies barked something back at him and he told me that she said someone would be right with us.

She fibbed.

It appeared that two of the ladies had a little feud going on and each felt that they were working harder than the other (Aha! It seems that women working with women equals fight, no matter what continent you're on!). After a few minutes of watching them zip around pretending to be busy and doing absolutely nothing Hans dared to ask for help again. The translation was, "We see you, we know you're there, and you can just wait." That's when I said I certainly didn't need to be treated poorly and that we should leave.
Of course I said it out of ear shot of the scissor wielding ladies.

Eventually they directed me to a table, cut my fabric, told me to go to hell (I think) and we were on our way.

A lovely lady wearing a pretty little coat...

...and a very patient man.

Below is outside of the store, out on the street, but these are not their fabrics. These are from a home dec fabric store. Outside at one point I told Hans to "Stay right where you are! I don't need to lose you!" And some man who spoke perfect English (and obviously hasn't shopped with Hans) remarked, "Don't you think he's too big to lose?"

Below are 2 pieces of silk that I bought at a little shop that's on the main drag. I've placed a business card on one print and my change purse on the other so that you can see that they really are 2 different prints as they are very similar. They are the equivalent of 1.5 yards each and ended up costing 75 euros. Ouch.

The next fabric (below) are nice stretchy jerseys. The black and white is a little heavier than the rest. The last one has some very pretty, shiny gold printed on it and when I remarked that I liked it, the little shopkeeper who looked like an absent minded professor became alarmed and made sure that I understood that it wasn't real gold!
He also told Hans that Hans had a very honest face and a good heart. He then told me that I had a good heart, and were we married?

I will add my comments to pattern review's store reviews for those of you who might get there one day.

Upon my return to the states, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Angelia gave me an E for Excellent award for my blog. This is much nicer than the E's (the same equivalent as an F) that I used to get when I was in school. I'm ashamed to admit that in the 8th grade I got one in Home Ec.

Are you really surprised?

But it was such a nice thought and I do appreciate it! Thanks Angelia.

I will pass this on to a non sewing blog; Mary the Resident Alien. Her writing is very entertaining and as a traveler she understands my pain.

And Laura from Laura's sewing room. She has such vast sewing knowledge and doesn't hesitate to share. If she ever goes on a world wide instruction tour I will be the first to sign up!

To be continued, Paris Part 2


Angelia said...

Your fabric is beautiful!!! I can't wait to see you make something with it.
And it sounds like you guys had a smooth trip... no drama!!!!

What now?? Back to the dress you were working on or something new????

laura said...

I'm going to finish hemming the dress I started working on right before the trip. I was trying to figure out how to hem it (it's pointy in the front and back) and now that I've seen the fused hems at Reine that's exactly what I'm going to do!

connieB said...

What a wonderful trip - it brought back memories of our trip to Europe a few years ago - but dragging a husband and 5 teenage girls to a fabric stores would have been sure to cause a mutiny!
Tell your husband he is a dear!

LauraLo said...

Oh my that's some adventures. Pay so much for the fabric and be treated like that... god. The fabrics are beautiful and I can't wait to see what you make them.
Just a little warning: those fused hems come apart in the washing (I don't know how they behave in a drier cause I don't use one). You just press them together again and they'll be fine. From my experience after 5-6 washes, they won't fuse back as they used to and sometimes they come apart in some places while you are wearing them. But I guess you can fuse some witch stitchery again on them, on top of the old one.
And thank you so much for nominating me for excellent blog, I feel very honoured!