My husband's raincoat came back from our low-rent dry cleaners the other day with a broken button and sadly, if there ever were extra buttons sewn into the inside lining, they are long gone. So stay at home mom, femme de foyer that I am these days, I set off on a cross town journey for a replacement. And actually, it didn't turn out half bad since it gave me an excuse to finally visit le Marché St. Pierre, fabric central at the foot of Montmartre.
I didn't bring my sewing machine with me to Paris. In truth, I didn't use it all that often back home but it did come in handy for Halloween costumes and the odd this and that. It's my mom's old machine, brand new around 1967, and I didn't think it would take too kindly to being run off a transformer. Honestly, I haven't really missed it all that much; I've just crossed sewing off the list of possibilities.
Le Marché St. Pierre is not really a market; it's more of a district. Just around the corner from all the heinous souvenir shops lining the hill up from the Anvers métro stop, it's one fabric store after another, some just holes in the wall, others offering five full floors of silks, toiles, cottons, wools, and all the notions your heart might desire.
Every color silk imaginable.
Toile de jouy, natch.
Awesome stripes so you can pretend you live on the Côte d'Azur.
Couldn't resist this shot. It wasn't the best store but the reflection couldn't be beat.
It took two stores before I found the right buttons, not before fingering lots of fabrics and dreaming, completely unrealistically, about whipping up some curtains or reupholstering my living room or making fabulous striped pillows for the deck furniture we don't have. The lady at the cash register wanted to be sure I knew that the two-button card I'd picked out would cost almost 5 euros. "Damn straight," I was thinking. I wasn't about to go home empty handed. I just hope the dry cleaners does a better job next time around. At least I have one button in reserve.