27 December 2014

Good Reason for Bad Blogging - Bonjour! (Part 1)

I LOVE to travel.  So when my friend said she was thinking of going to Paris or Spain in December, I said that I'd go with her and that we should do both!  I mean, why fly all that way if not to see both countries.  After all, they do share a border!  

As soon as school was over and grades submitted, I was OUT.  We left on a Monday and returned late on Christmas day.  We spent four days in Paris and five days in Barcelona.  It was a great trip and we travel well together.  We both liked doing the same things and had no problems getting around each city.  

Let's get on with the deets and pics!  First up is Paris.

Day 1:  Our flight left early Monday evening and arrived in Paris at 8a local time.  We stayed at the Hotel Eiffel Kennedy - a really quaint and small building 15 minutes from the Eiffel Tower.  Simone was our main point of contact and was extremely helpful to us during our stay.  She spoke French slowly so that we could understand and always answered our questions.  If anyone plans to visit Paris, I highly recommend this hotel.  It is VERY reasonably priced and conveniently located to the metro.

When we arrived at 11a, our room wasn't ready since check-in was at 2p.  So we went to our first site:  the Eiffel Tower.  

The rebel (read:  crazy person) that I am, I embarked on a journey to climb the stairs of the tower.  Jet-lagged, sleep-deprived and nibbling on a Hershey's bar, I did it!  I made it to the second floor (narrow middle part) after walking up 700 steps.  My friend decided to take the elevator and I was almost with her until I heard a teenager say, "YOLO."  That was all the motivation I needed.

The steps are numbered to help you keep track of how far you've walked (i.e., remind you of your craziness or no-longer-youthfulness.)  I do not regret my decision, though I was all kinds of sore for the next few days. =)
This is a picture from the second floor.  To reach the top, you have to take the elevator.  Here are some views from the top:


 My friend and me
Later that day, we walked down the Champs-Elyseés and ate some really good macarons.

Day 2:  Our second day in Paris was the busiest and museum-iest.  We went to the Chocolate Museum (drooooool), Notre Dame, Museé D'Orsay, and The Louvre.  

chocolates of the world

Throughout the museum were cute little diaramas to help explain the history of chocolate to children.
 Too much chocolate = dentist appointment.  Hah!

 Notre Dame on La Seine

One of Paris' love-lock bridges.  So.  Many.  Locks.  We both wondered how many of these relationships were still going strong.

This was actually a great time to visit The Louvre.  The museum wasn't too crowded and we were able to get good pictures of everything we wanted to see - including The Mona Lisa and Vénus de Milo.  Usually both of these areas are jam-packed with people. 

Day 3: In searching for the Paris Sewer Tour, we accidentally went to the Catacombs of Paris.  Oops.  This underground region was an old mine that was converted into the final resting place for the inhabitants of several cemeteries. Bones, stacked from floor to ceiling, went on for what seemed like a mile underground.  It was interesting, but...yeah...bones.  Everywhere.


Next stop was the fabric district:  Le Marché Saint Pierre.  This is where you can find fabrics of all types as well as notions and dressmakers.  Fabric can be bought by the meter or in bundles (les coupons) at a fixed price.

I bought two pieces of fabric:  a purple pleather and a black pleather.  My friend wore the cutest black pleather pleated skirt, so I wanted one of my own.  The pleather I bought is of good quality and has a bit of crosswise stretch.  I don't like pleated skirts on me, but a circle skirt should achieve the look I want.

top:  right side
bottom:  wrong side
11€ per meter

This 3-meter cut cost 5€, including tax.
I read somewhere online that the Moulin Rouge was near the fabric area.  We walked a few blocks up...um...some street and found it.

Day 4:  On our last day in Paris, we went to the Palace of Versailles.  The grounds of the palace are MASSIVE!  It took us 30 minutes just to walk to the living quarters of Marie-Antoinette.  Given the time of year, the grounds didn't have any flowers.  Plus it was cold, windy, and raining.  But it was still a nice site to see.



Conclusion:   I had a wonderful time in Paris.  Getting around the city using the subway was incredibly simple.  I really enjoyed the city and will definitely go back.  If anyone is considering a trip, I think this is a good time to go.  Although the weather isn't always nice, the major sites are not crowded and prices are very affordable.  

Up next:  Part 2 - five days in Barcelona.

Until next time,  peace!


14 December 2014

Wrinkles Update & New McCall's

Thanks for your suggestions on what to do with my wrinkled shirt fabrics.  I haven't tried washing all of the fabric yet, but I did wash the in-progress stiff teal shirt.  The results do not look promising.  I think the fabric is just too stiff and the wrinkles are here to stay.  Plus I did something crazy:  I washed the partially-constructed pieces without thinking about the unfinished seams.  Yup, ravel city.  

The other teal version seems to respond better to extra pressing.  The fabric isn't as stiff and doesn't look half as bad as the other one.  I'll keep working on it.

In other news, did you see the Spring McCall's patterns?  Squeeeee!!!  I've never been so excited to buy patterns that I will likely not sew until they're out of style.  Oh pattern addiction - how I love thee so.

My must-haves:

This is like the Cake Patterns Tiramisu without the drama.  That foolishness totally turned me off of Cake, so I am happy to have an alternate.

I heart shirtdresses!  Plus it has shoulder princess seams!!  The stripes are giving me a migraine, though.

I don't know about the wide collar - it might look like awning covers on the twins.  The pattern has potential, though.

Like!!  I'm not a big fan of camo, but I would definitely try it with this pattern.

I pictured both Nakisha and Candice rocking this one.  So I'm jumping on the bandwagon before it leaves the station.

I love this top, but hate the fabric choices.  This top is only going to look right in something floaty, so I have to get over it and give georgette a try.  I can feel the frustration rising!

I'm totally blaming this purchase on Nakisha.  Her Vogue pants are faboo and she's made a good point about front and back princess seams on pants.  I hate angled pockets on me, but I'm willing to give them a try if my pants will look like hers.

My maybes:

I am on the fence about this one.  The sleeves are cut-on and there are bust and waist darts.  The print is pretty hiddy, too, but that doesn't deter me.  I'll have to think about it.

I like the idea, but the neckline is chokingly-high.  On a full bust, this is not always a flattering look.  I'll have to see others make it up before I decide.  This has the real potential of being uni-boobalicious and that's not a good thing.

So what are your picks?




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