Charlotte’s Shopping Guide to Paris
This weeks stripethemed mini blog series continues and after we kicked off with yesterdays Look book we are feeling un petit peu French around here. We will be adding shopping guides to the blog and we thought why not go a bit further a field this time with Paris(have you seen our free sewing city guides yet?) We came up with a list of a few places and knew that Charlottea.k.a. @english-girl-at-home had recently visited so we asked for her favourite shops and she very kindly obliged… in fact she sent over this fab blog post, already written up! So without further ado we hand over to Charlotte for her favourite shops in the city of love.
Ah Paris, renowned as a global centre for art, fashion, gastronomy and – amongst sewists – fabric shopping!
There are a multitude of shops of interests to sewists in Paris, and I discover somewhere new every time I visit. A few recommendations are below, but you are sure to find some favourites of your own just wandering around.
My new favourite is Malhia Kent. Malhia Kentweave fabric for pret-a-porter and couture, but it’s also possible for sewists to buy direct at their store on the Viaduc des Arts(near the Bastille and Gare de Lyon metro stations). Fabrics are approximately €30 per mere cut from the bolt, but the store also stocks a large selection of coupons (pre-cut lengths) at €10 per metre. This is a great store for really unique woven fabrics. While visiting the Viaduc des Arts also make sure tocheck out the haberdashery supplies (including Cloverproducts, and some lovely ribbon) in embroidery specialist Bonheur des Dames.
First stop for most sewists is the Saint-Pierre area at the base of the Sacre-Coeur. The area contains numerous fabric and craft shops, the largest of which is Marche Saint-Pierre. On my most recent visit Sabinerecommended Sacrés Couponsas her favourite shop in the area. Sacrés Coupons actually have two shops close together, so make sure you don’t miss the larger shop.
A similarly large cluster of fabric shops is found in the Sentier area, in the streets between the Sentier and Bonne Nouvelle metro stations. One thing to note is that – unlike the shops near the Sacre-Coeur – many of the Sentier area shops are aimed at trade buyers and so require you to buy a larger than normal minimum length of fabric. This can vary between 1 to 10 metres or a whole bolt, but it’s worth popping in the shops and asking them to advise. As an indicator, the more trade-focused shops tend to have less fabric on display / have the bolts wrapped up.
For haberdashery supplies it doesn’t get much better than La Droguerie which just celebrated its 40 year anniversary, and is centrally located right by the Les Hallesmetro and shopping centre. For knitters, La Drogueriealso stocks an impressive range of yarns, including plant based yarns. While in the area you can also visit Mokuba, thisJapanese brand has perhaps the most stylishly presented ribbon selection you will ever see. While in Paris, you also need to visit Maison Sajou, another French haberdashery institution which produces a beautiful range of products including high quality French thread.
Paris also has a number of modern haberdasheries which stock indie sewing patterns alongside modern fabrics. Predominant amongst these is Anna Ka Bazaarwhich is owned by the same team who design Atelier Brunette fabric. Lil Weaselhas two shops opposite each other in a lovely arcade, one stocking sewing supplies and the other knitting.
In order to inspire your next sewing projects (or once you’ve filled your case to maximum capacity and need to stop shopping), Paris also has a number of great fashion museums.
The Palais Galliera Museum of Fashion, holds extensive collections of clothing (18th century to contemporary), accessories, drawing and photography, but, due to the delicacy of these collections, the museum doesn’t have a permanent collection on display so check before visiting whether the museum is currently open for a temporary exhibition.
The Museum of Decorative Arts, which is housed in the same palace as the Louvre, has a varied mixture of collections (furniture, toys, etc.) which includes textiles. Like the Palais Galliera, the Museum does not have a permanent textile collection on display, instead running regular temporary exhibitions.
The Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation run tours of Yves Saint Laurent’s studio. The studio can only be visited on a guided tour, which takes place once a month in English or weekly in French.
Paris tapestry factory Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins also run behind the scenes tours, but only in French.
And finally, while in Paris do stop for tea in the salon of the Cinéma du Panthéon, the interior of which was designed by Catherine Deneuve. Originally opened in 1907, the cinema specialises in independent films, and also has a great cinema book shop.
Thanks so much to Charlotte for sharing all her favourite places. Next time we are in Paris we will be checking these out!
Charlotte blogs as English Girl at Home and also organises the #SewBrum meet up, which is at the end of October. All photo credits Charlotte Powell.