Thursday, March 4, 2010

All for the Want of a Button

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.

9 comments:

debbie in toronto said...

wow I'd heard about that street but didnt' see it last time..next time I'm going there for that toile...perfect for pillows...

Jessica said...

Ohhh I'd need a whole new set of luggage to get everything home (or ship it i guess). You should see my fabric stash now and the selection around here isnt that good lol

Can I just say you're living my dream? :) I've always wanted to live overseas but too close to the family to live an ocean away.

Laura said...

love the photo of Montmartre!

Starman said...

I've only been there on Google Street View. €5 seems a bit much for two buttons, but I guess if you need a particular kind, you were lucky to find them.

The Armchair Parisian said...

On my last visit to Paris with my mother, we spent a great morning combing through these shops, looking for anything we thought we just couldn't go home without. I can't say I saw much in the way of fabric that excited me more than anything I could get at home, BUT, I did spend 65 Euro ~ that's right 65 ~ on buttons!

Cameron said...

Those fabrics look amazing! It sounds like you had a delightful shopping trip.

Cameron

Pink in a sea of blue said...

Love your blog and the last photo of Monmartre. I remember going through these shops with my husband a few years ago.

Anne said...

Thanks for all the nice comments, folks. And Starman, I agree with you that 5 euros was steep but just thinking about wandering all over town to find something cheaper had me reaching for my wallet.

Halloween Costumes said...

LOL cute post. I would be in heaven! I just love fabrics. I would just go crazy. That is a very cool picture. I'm glad you took the time out to take that. I really enjoyed it. I have yet to Paris. I want to so bad.

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