I have been out and about though, nose along the floor, trying to find the best simple pleasures Paris can muster. One of the places that I always make a beeline for when I’ve got thumbs to twiddle and a spring in my step is the Marché Saint Pierre up in the 18th (so a mere stone’s throw from Granny Flat HQ), usually with the ‘project!’ beacon sounding almost annoyingly loudly in my head.
Now markets in Paris normally peddle a fine array of fruit and veg, but the Marché Saint Pierre is quite unique in that the only apples you will find are on the swathes of fabric it specialises in. And we’re not really talking about a collection of stalls here, rather a concentration of fabric shops over a few streets at the foot of Sacre Coeur.
Whatever sewing project you’ve recently dreamed up, there is no point whatsoever in heading anywhere in Paris than here. Not only will you find a massive selection of fabric in all colours and textures, but buttons, cotton, lace, zips, and any type of table or bed linen that your own little corner of Paris might require. In short, if it isn’t here, then the sewing gods haven’t invented it yet.
For the adventurous and/or skilled, a trip to the Paris’ fabric HQ will satisfy all of those creative urges to create a brand new wardrobe or a revamp the upholstery in your apartment. I certainly have high designs on the former (though sadly not much skill), instilled in me from a young age as I galavanted through my formative years dressed in a variety of unique and colourful outfits handmade by my supremely talented mother. Though this was the 80s mind you, remember the matching mother and daughter double-breasted gold lamé party shirts, Mum?
If you fancy yourself as a modern-day Coco Chanel, bored of wearing the same-off-the-peg fashions as all of the rest of ’em, then all the inspiration you could need is here. If the ideas bank is running low, a trip to Reine, one of the main shops in the quarter, is essential – they make complete outfits for their doll models scattered around the store which may get the inspiration flowing.
If you’re like me, and full of good intentions but lacking in the execution part, then some new cushions for the click clack is a manageable project. Just step away from the gold lamé though, that’s all mine…