Tuesday, February 2, 2016

La Friperie, the second hand shop

I love the fact that my life in France is constantly changing and I’m still discovering new and exciting things, even after eleven and a half years. I mentioned before Christmas that I had serious bag envy after spotting this gem, designed purely for the purpose of transporting a quiche or a tarte to a picnic or shared meal. It is chic, stylish and oh so French and in my opinion can only enhance the experience of an outdoor social event.

French Village Diaries shared meals sac à tarte
Sac à tarte

Some French friends overheard my enthusiasm and the next thing I knew plans were afoot to start a small village sewing group, with the sac à tarte as our first project. We are all enthusiastic, we all have our own sewing machines and I’m hoping they have enough knowledge (and patience) to guide me gently. I would love to be able to sew. As a child I have fond memories of knitting, pom-pom making and cross stitch sewing, all under the guidance of my Nan and I loved it. I also have memories of Mum trying to teach me how to use her sewing machine, but alas we didn’t get very far and I think tempers frayed quicker than the material. I foolishly thought that as Ed got older I would have more time to take up sewing as a hobby, but my village life is a busy life and Mum’s sewing machine has now been sat in our dining room gathering dust for more years than I care to remember. I’m hoping 2016 is going to be my year of the needle.

What we all needed was some pretty material for our bags, ideally in two contrasting colours. A date was made for fabric shopping and this morning at 7.30am we set off on our adventure to what I thought was going to be a fabric shop, but I was wrong. We were in fact about to discover the weird and wonderful world of la friperie, a large warehouse stacked with second hand clothes and materials, all sold very cheaply by the kilo.

French Village Diaries la friperie
My friperie summer dress

Loosely sorted into areas of trousers, tops, dresses, skirts and more, some of the piles of clothes were taller than I am. We tip-toed daintily around the edge, lifting, looking and sorting, however some bold ladies (obviously professional sorters) were clambering on the clothing and digging deep for that something special they hoped was hiding at the bottom. I was probably the least vigorous rummager, but I still found a beautiful lined summer dress, that is the perfect fit on my short frame, not something I find very often. At around 1€ it was a real bargain.

French Village Diaries shared meals sac à tarte la friperie
Friperie fabric for my sac à tarte

In the fabric bin we all found something that will make some of the prettiest sac à tartes in the area and my friends, more accomplished seamstresses than I, also bought material and wool for their other projects. Watch this space for more updates on how my sewing skills are coming along. I promise to share the good and the bad of my journey, but I’m determined I will be the proud owner of an original sac à tarte in time for the summer. I'm also sure that won't be my last visit to la friperie.

French Village Diaries shared meals sac à tarte la friperie
Friperie fabric for my sac à tarte
This post has been linked to the Lou Messugo #AllAboutFrance blog link up. Click here for more great posts about France.

Lou Messugo

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