(Our Paris Navigo travel cards)
Me and Phil spent last week in Paris. While we were there gay marriage was legalised, with France becoming the 14th country to legalise gay marriage.
It was only the second time we’d visited Paris, so there was lots we wanted to see. Amongst the sites and galleries we managed to squeeze in some shopping. This post outlines some recommended shops and will be followed by a more general photo post showing some of the inspiring colours, patterns and shapes I photographed whilst in Paris.
At the foot of Sacre-Coeur (near the funicular and off Bd Rochechouart) you’ll find Paris’ fabric shop district. Once you get near you can’t miss it as you’ll spot the colourful rolls of fabric lined up outside the multitude of fabric shops. The largest of these (and the largest fabric shop in Paris) is the Marche Saint-Pierre, which is visible from the steps of the Sacre-Coeur.
If you don’t find a suitable fabric in Marche Saint-Pierre, there are many similar shops located in the surrounding streets. In these stores you’ll find Liberty fabrics, as well as a wide selection of fabric types (printed cottons, felt, toile, lamé…).
For designer fabric brands (Michael Miller, Kokka, etc) and just for the pure joy of it, visit Moline Mercerie. Moline Mercerie is a truly lovely shop which stocks a full range of haberdashery supplies including lots of buttons, ribbons, books and patterns.
I was very good and restricted my shop to some offcuts of a couple of the lovely fabrics they stock.
In the streets around Sacre-Coeur the focus is largely on fabric but you’ll also find shops stocking knitting and embroidery supplies, and cute boutique shops.
Embroidery fans should also visit Bonheur des Dames located in the Viaduc des Arts (near the Bastille and Gare de Lyon metro stations). The Viaduc des Arts is a row of beautiful glass fronted shops but the majority are only used as displays for artists and businesses so there isn’t much shopping to be done.
While in France don’t miss the chance to check out the wide selection of craft magazines available.
(Craft magazines in a supermarket – you’ll find lots more in a decent newsagent)
I purchased two Burda magazines while there (also available in English and a number of other languages, but I couldn’t resist getting them while there to read on the metro).
If you haven’t bought one of these magazines before they are well worth a look. They contain a huge range of patterns so there is bound to be something you’ll like. The patterns inside range from easy (pyjama trousers) to mid-difficulty (reprinted vintage dress pattern). A few pictures of the patterns on offer, and the instructions and pattern pieces are below.
I did eye up some other sewing magazines but they focused more on children’s clothes or some (like Simplicity) seemed aimed at an older audience.
I’ve long loved the Album comic store chain. As children/teenagers me and my brother used to look out for Album shops when holidaying in France with our parents. The very best place in Paris for comic shopping is on and around the Boulevard de Saint Germain (near Notre Dame) where there are three Album and two Pulp comic stores.
More generally, Faubourg St-Antoine, previously a furniture-maker district, (the end nearest to Opera National de la Bastille and Bastille metro) has a number of home ware stores (Habitat, Muji, Maisons de la Mode) as well as high street fashion (Petit Batou, Kookai, Gap, etc).
(Petit Batou catalogue)
The streets around Centre Pompidou (Rue Rambuteau, etc) are good for cheap eats and high street shopping, and it is generally a bustling neighbourhood with shops open late – no doubt influenced by the Centre Pompidou’s late opening hours.