|The Seine in Paris|
|Paris streetscape in the sun|
|The Hostellerie du Marais, Paris|
On our first day in Paris we were up early and visited Notre Dame Cathedral before the queues had even formed. Mr UpSewLate and I enjoyed it, but the kids pronounced it pretty boring!
I'd left a note in French on the apartment doorstep and some of our bags were still there too, so we had a few trips back and forwards to check if the manager had turned up and to make a contingency plan with the hotel, and then spent a lot of time popping into Tabacs trying to get a Lebara sim card to fit our mobiles so we could try to contact the apartment's owner in America - the rest of the day was spent trying to sort things out, and trying to visit places that were closed (the Pompidou Centre, the Musee Picasso). Anyway, by the evening we'd spoken with the right people in America, a new "manager" had been lined up, and we'd been let us into the apartment.
|The Pompidou Centre in Paris - closed on Mondays|
|Mr UpSewLate relaxing in the Shakespeare & Co, Paris|
|Famous habitues from the Shakespeare & Co, Paris|
|Building facades around Place des Vosges in Paris|
|Place des Vosges in Paris is very popular when the sun comes out!|
|Looking out from Place des Vosges Paris|
|Derain painting in the Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris|
|Matisse painting in the Musee de l'Oarngerie in Paris|
|Formal plantings in the Tuileries gardens in Paris|
|Outside the Passage du Grand Cerf in Paris, where you'll find Lil Weasel|
|Interior, Passage du Grand Cerf in Paris|
|Atelier Brunette and Sarah Jane cottons from Lil Weasel in Paris|
|Burda 9482 leggings as PJs, front view|
|Burda 9482 jogging pants as PJs, front view|
|Burda 9482 jogging pants as PJs, side view|
Both PJ pants were made using Burda 9482, which includes patterns for leggings (made for my daughter), jogging pants (which I made for my son), and a chunky looking hoodie and high necked long sleeved top in kids sizes 4 - 14. I made the striped leggings in a size 6 width and approximately a size 9 length, and the green jogging pants in a size 8 width and approximately a size 11 length. These patterns are so easy that you don't really need the instructions, and so I'm not sure if they included a pattern piece for the elastic - but I always just measure the elastic directly on my kids' waists as the last step in finishing up PJ pants. The leggings have no side seams, so there aren't many places to match up the stripes (do you recognise the fabric? It's leftover Jaywalk fabric from my competition dress!). They look a little tight, but my daughter is happy with the way they feel - if I make them again I'll make them looser. And if I make the jogging pants as PJ pants again I'll take them in, even though they're already looser than my son's RTW PJ pants. I'm not convinced by the cuffs, but when I made another blue pair with a regular hem (shown hanging from my picture rail) my sewing machine was playing up and mangled the stitching...
|Cuffs on Burda 9482 green jogging pants|
|Mangled regular hem on blue Burda 9482 jogging pants|
On Thursday we walked around the Marais, and then trekked over to the Jardin du Luxembourg. We had yummy lemon gelatos, played a family match of handball on unused basketball courts near the kids playground (which was unfortunately a bit young for my two), resisted the pony rides, then sailed a boat on the Grand Bassin pond. The sail boats are terrific fun and definitely worth the few euros it costs for a half an hour. You choose your own sail boat (we chose Australia, what a surprise), and you're given a bamboo pole with which to push it. Once your boat is on the pond, the breeze will blow it around, sending you racing to the other side, it'll come perilously close to the ducks, and it'll crash into other boats, and maybe even get itself attached to another boat!
|Kiosk in the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris|
|Sailing boat ready to launch, Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris|
|AU and UK sailing boats get stuck together, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris|
|Sailing a boat in the Jardin du Luxembourg is more fun than you'd guess...|
|Sailing boats in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris|
|Reluctantly returning the sailing boat, Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris|
And after lunch break back at the apartment, we headed back out in the late afternoon to go to the Eiffel Tower. [Although you can of course just go there and line up and wait, if you buy your tickets online ahead of time you get to go straight up the tower when it's your time - a lot easier.] Last time I came here I'm pretty sure I walked up, and it was a long scary walk, but this time we got the lifts up (not too scary) and walked down (only a bit scary). The views of Paris from the top level are brilliant, as you'd expect, but the queues to go up and down between the 2nd and 3rd floors were unpleasantly crowded - I know this is heresy, but next time I might look for alternative views!
|Approaching the Eiffel Tower in Paris|
|Looking up from the Eiffel Tower, Paris - it's a long way up!|
|View of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower in Paris|
|Rooftop view from the Eiffel Tower in Paris|
|A view from the Eiffel Tower in Paris|
On Friday morning we just faffed about, but in the afternoon we took the kids where they really wanted to go - Oya, Jeux a Jouer! Oya is a game-playing shop in the 13th arrondissement. Their website is unprepossessing, but it's a really fun place to go with family or friends. You get a table, and one of the staff comes and talks to you about the games you enjoy, interests, ages etc, then recommends a few games to choose from. The person looking after us spoke excellent English, and showed us several games we'd never seen before. We chose a game called Indigo - a tile laying game that with 4 players benefits from some teamwork :). You pay to play at Oya (5 euros per person per game tried, and we played several rounds of our game), but I think you can also buy games here, and it would be a fun place to spend a rainy day. I really liked that our staff member discouraged my kids from choosing a branded game; he advised that these games are NOT usually the best...
|Playing Indigo at OYA in Paris|
On the way home, I decided I wanted to pop back to the fabric shops around rue du Sentier. My recollection was that this was where General Diff was located, but turns out it's round the corner on 44, rue de Clery. I got there about half an hour before closing time, and checked out the basement specials (nothing that interested me, but I did get a photo) before perusing the fabrics on the ground floor. The shop is very crowded with bolts of fabric and prices aren't marked, so I soon found myself chatting with M. Max, the owner, as I enquired about various silks. And then it was nearly 6pm which should have been closing time, but Max asked if I wanted to see the fabrics upstairs. Yes please! (If you get the chance, you should take it!) To get upstairs you have to leave the shop and be let in nextdoor, then climb a few floors of stairs. A door is unlocked, and shazam! before you are several rooms, less crowded than downstairs, and far more sumptuous than what you've seen on the ground floor. Max showed me amazing silks, linens, wools, crepe de chines... and matched up fabrics to photos of the original runway garments they were made into. There were Issey Miyake pleats (how do they make that fabric?), wild Lagerfeld wools, Chanel silk/ wool tweeds, Swiss laces, Dior and Lanvin silks, stunning linens, wool crepe de chines, and every type of amazing fabric and designer I could have dreamt up. There was a lot I really wanted, but I ended up with two 1.5m lengths only; a hot pink heavy Dior silk, and a very heavy (double layer?) Lanvin silk with an oversized floral pattern loosely woven into the fabric. I think the pink will be a simple dress, and the floral will be a simple jacket - nothing fussy, as both fabrics are stars.
|Lanvin and Dior silks from General Diff in Paris|
|Statues in Paris|
I'll blog again soon about our time in Spain - and some kids swimmers (mine didn't work out).
See you soon!
- Gabrielle xx