Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Paris Ethical Shopping Guide: Free'p'star

Free'p'star is one of many little vintage shops that are scattered around Paris, but judging by the fact that it is always swarming with shoppers, it's one of the better ones! The shop has a really odd layout, with two mezzanines on either side that you have to climb up a ladder to access. At the moment, one side is piled high with boots at €5 a pair. If I remember correctly, there was a rather cool pair of platforms up for grabs.

Like many shops in the city, there is a basement too, containing lots of sale items - adding a nice literal dimension to the term 'bargain basement'. Don't be put off by the narrow spiral stairs!

Before researching this post, I was unaware that this shop is actually one of three bearing the same name - which is great news, although I haven't yet visited the others! They are all in fairly close proximity, scattered around the bustling Marais area in the 4th Arrondissement. There is a little map on the Free'p'star website so you can go on a little vintage 'crawl' if you have a spare afternoon.


8 rue Sainte-croix de la Bretonnerie, 4th Arrondissement
61 rue de la Verrerie, 4th Arrondissement
20 rue de Rivoli, 4th Arrondissement

Sadie xxx

Monday, 18 February 2013

Montmartre in the Snow

Just a few poorly-timed (late!) photos of Paris in the snow. I had a friend visiting and we decided to brave the icy slopes of Montmartre to get a few of those snow pictures that occupy far too much of the internet at this time of year.

Still, it's Paris. In the snow.

With added scouts:

Sadie xxx

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Paris Ethical Shopping Guide: Guerrisol

For the ultimate thrifting experience, vintage fans should head to one of Paris' many Guerrisol shops for a good old afternoon of rummaging. After picking up a shopping basket at the door, battle your way through the seasoned Parisian thrifters (people who simply want cheap clothing and hipsters alike) to grab a spot at the edge of one of these huge clothing 'bins', and delve to the bottom to see what treasures you can unearth.

For those are aren't big fans of the vulture-esque 'bun fight' method, there are plenty of shirts and jackets hanging up around the edges, and no shortage of that much-coveted peterpan collar or grungey denim jacket.

The quality and condition of the clothes varies wildly. Previously, I've been surprised to see paint-splattered shirts with giant holes in the armpits cosied up to cashmere jumpers and Comptoir des Cotonniers dresses.

Prices fluctuate throughout the week - sometimes everything is €5, other times it drops to €3, with shoes and frilly 80s wedding dresses (!) selling for a little more. Saturdays are mayhem, but if you pop in during the week you can browse at your leisure.

See this post for a little outfit sourced mostly at Guerrisol, as well as Lyzi's super cute pink skirt found when we met up for a day last summer for shopping with Ella!


19, avenue de Clichy, 17th Arrondissement
96, boulevard de Barbes, 18th Arrondissement
45, boulevard de la Chapelle, 18th Arrondissement
17, boulevard Rochechouart, 9th Arrondissement

For more information: Guerrisol Website

Sadie xxx

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Elbow Patches: Repairing my favourite cardigan

The other day I was pretty sad to discover that my favourite cardigan EVER had developed a rather large hole on the right elbow. Before I even had time to get fully upset, another hole sprung up on the other side. I never thought I'd ever have a genuine need for elbow patches, but there you go. Excessive head-on-hand-lecture-listening has taken its toll on this little thrifted favourite.

I popped to a little haberdashery to see what my options were. I nearly went for some teacher-esque corduroy ones, but settled on these faux-suede ones instead. Ridiculously, they cost more than the cardigan itself (£2 vs. €3.50!) but to me, it's well worth it! The cardigan should have been a lot more expensive - it's made from cashmere, and originally from Jaeger!

If you look at this photo, you can see how thin all the surrounding fabric is...

Attaching the elbow patches 
Using iron-on elbow patches is pretty self explanatory, but I needed to deviate a bit from the instructions! Firstly, I had to sew up the actual hole, just to make the surface a bit more even. I also decided to make the patches a bit smaller by cutting off the edges (but leaving the pre-cut sewing holes in tact!). I think these patches are also designed for men's jackets, so are a little too big for women's cardigans.

When positioning the patches, I marked out where the tops and bottoms should go with pins, then made sure they were completely symmetrical before pinning the actual patch on to the cardigan.

Then all you need to do is iron them on, and for extra security, you can also sew around the edge!
Repairing old favourites is a great way to be a bit more environmentally friendly. The rest of the cardigan is fine, but cold elbows are no fun!

Sadie xxx