|Paris purchases: notions, leather scraps and zipper, patterned elastic|
First stop was Entrée des Fournisseurs - La Mercerie Parisienne at 8 rue des Francs Bourgeois, near Place des Vosges.
I was hoping to find some woven trim to use as embellishment on a top I want to make but despite the lovely trims and ribbons in this shop, they didn't have what I wanted. But I did find some patterned elastic. I have a pair of RTW jeans (Levis, I think) that have patterned elastic sewn onto the inside of the waistband, and I think it helps to keep the waistband from stretching out or gaping. When I saw the checkerboard elastic I thought I'd try that treatment in pants or on a skirt waistband.
On my way to my next stop, just north of the Pompidou Center, I came across a lovely little shopping arcade called Passage du Grand Cerf. The stores in it are artsy-boutique places selling old items for decorative purposes or newly created art pieces. I of course spied the knitting and fabric store: Lil Weasel.
The knitting store on the left side carries a nice selection of yarns as well as embroidery threads and notions, but nothing grabbed me, and I'm trying to curtail my "travel yarn" anyway. They have a fabric store on the right side of the arcade but it's mostly fabrics for quilting or making baby things, neither of which I was interested in. But I still enjoyed browsing!
Leaving the arcade and walking toward my next stop on my list, I started seeing fabric being sold everywhere. I realized I was in the garment district of Paris, or what remains of it.
|Lots of stores with names ending in "tex"|
My next destination was Sajou at 47, rue du Caire. Sajou was originally a haberdashery founded in 1828, specializing in embroidery, tapestry, bobbin lace, crochet and weaving. The store eventually closed but was re-launched in 2005 to sell these items once again with reproductions of the original designs from the 19th and early 20th centuries. I've always been enticed by their goodies but I think they're a bit pricey and the shipping outside of France is steep. A wonderful friend gave me a pair of their scissors, which are very, very nice, and I was eager to visit their store in Paris.
It's an overload of Sajou when you walk in. So many things to look at, so many things to covet. I wandered around the compact store for a long, long time. So long that other customers came, browsed, purchased and left. I was waiting for Madame to question why I was there so long. But she probably quickly figured out I was an American tourist, or at least "not French", and left me to my browsing. I eventually settled on a few items that will be a gift: quilting needles, ribbon adorned with fleur de lis, and a small tin of pins. I bought the thread organizer for myself. Cat and dog winding yarn? A monkey sewing? How could I resist such an image.
My honest opinion of the Sajou items is that except for the scissors (and I can't speak for the thread since I don't embroider and haven't used it), the reproductions of the images is what you're buying. I don't know that the needles or pins are of high quality, though they look fine. The prices are a bit high I think - 8 Euros for my thread organizer, which is just heavy cardstock with holes...and that silly image of cat, dog, and monkey printed on it (back side too). I do think the store and the merchandise is more for tourists or aficionados of period haberdashery. The storage boxes they sell look nice but they're just small cardboard boxes with a reproduction image pasted on them - for 18 Euros. Still it was fun to visit, fun to browse. I like my thread organizer and I'm certain the recipient of the other gifts will like them too.
Onward to my last stop - the fabric shops in Montmartre. I always have to visit Tissus Reine and Marche St. Pierre Dreyfus and the other fabric shops that dot the streets near Sacre Coeur. I didn't take a picture of the fabric stores, but here's one of Sacre Coeur. It was a nice day but a little chilly.
I was a bit surprised to find the fabric shops were crowded. Lots of people - mostly women and not all of them appeared to be tourists. I heard a lot of French spoken. I chuckled to myself when I saw a guy standing outside Reine, waiting and holding onto his wife's (presumably) Reine bag. I also saw a guy sitting on a chair inside, reading a book, probably while his companion shopped. It made me smile because my husband is as patient with me when I'm fabric shopping in Paris.
Despite browsing quite a bit, I didn't find any fabric I had to have, which was a little disappointing but probably a good thing since I have good size stash of fabric already. I did find some small scraps of leather in a bin outside one store, selling for a Euro each. I plan to use them for bound buttonholes or welt pocket details. There are two thicker pieces that I plan to use to make a coin pouch (with that zipper I bought).
I'll leave you with some more images of Paris.
|Sunset, Eifel Tower, and brides.|