Sunday, July 11, 2010

Paris shopping, part one: a little about the fabric district

While I swear most of my trip was spent sight-seeing or working, somehow quite a bit of shopping got wedged in there too!   Sewing supplies were what I most wanted to have as souvenirs: for years to come I'll remember this trip as I incorporate them into things  I make.  So, visiting the fabric district in Paris was high on my to-do list.   

The fabric district is located in the Monmartre area, in the shadow of Sacre Coeur, which sits on the top of a hill overlooking the rest of Paris.   Sacre Coeur was also high on our to-do list (and probably our favorite monument in Paris) so we headed for Monmartre on the second day of our trip.   We arrived very early, and had Sacre Coeur almost to ourselves for a few minutes.  If you have been to Paris, you know how rare it is to be anywhere that isn't jam-packed with people, so the solitude was a treat in itself.

After seeing Sacre Coeur and exploring the area behind it (where there are are lots of artists ready and waiting to do portraits)  we headed down the hill into the fabric district.   There are lots and lots of shops, but most of them are fairly small (though so packed with merchandise it spills out onto the street!)   I only went into a few, as I was more on the lookout for trims and notions rather than fabric, and it seems that those aren't sold in the same stores in Paris.  Many of the stores seemed to specialize in a type of fabric: home decor, silks, etc.

I found some notions (more on those in a later post) but I did end up buying one piece of fabric as well, from Paris Tissus.  They had a few bolts of Liberty of London cotton lawn for the great price of 15 euros a meter, so I could not resist buying a few meters.  The print is not extremely Liberty of London-ish -- it's a little looser in style, and has less detail than what I associate with the brand.  But it *feels* like Liberty of London lawn, so I think it probably is. And I love the colors!

I discovered another treat in a Monmartre-area grocery store: these waffle-cookie things.  These seemed to be very common in both Paris and London, and in London you could sometimes buy freshly made ones too.  Soooo good!  


  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I have never been to Paris but have always dreamed of it. My husband lived in France for a year and one of these days we will go together.

  2. My husband and I had been talking about going to Paris together for almost 20 years -- it took my job sending me there to make it happen, but it was an amazing trip!

  3. I wasn't prepared for that wave of nostalgia! I used to live 10mins walk behind the Sacre Coeur and visited the fabric shops at least once a week (even though I never had any money in those days - hmm wonder why!) Lovely to see your photos, hope you had a wonderful time.

  4. Oh, I can only imagine how fabulous that must have been! I remember seeing some places for rent behind Sacre Coeur and thinking how expensive the rent must be!