One of the things I love the most about sewing is shopping for the fabric, the patterns, and the accessories such as zips, threads, buttons, ribbons, lace, etc. The trouble is that I usually buy way more than I need. But then again do we EVER really NEED the fabric/clothes/shoes/bags we buy?!
Talking about shopping I have always wondered how other sewers shop. Do you buy the pattern first and then the matching fabric? Or the other way around? Or do you use a different creative process? I must admit I do both and also a lot of the time I suddenly have an idea for something I want to make and then go looking for everything I need from the pattern to the fabric including lace, ribbons and other bits and pieces.
The main place to shop in Paris for everything we sewers need is called le marché Saint-Pierre. Historically it was a market just at the bottom of the Butte Montmartre where tourists from all over the world go to visit the Basilica of the Sacré Coeur.
Initially the only shops were Dreyfus and Reine (owned by two major merchant families) and then the entire neighbourhood developped into what we know today: dozens and dozens of stores that sell dress and furnishing fabrics, and every sewing notion you can imagine.
When I was a student (and could still enjoy that precious thing called time!) I would wander around the streets of Montmartre on a weekday when the crowds were not so bad and go searching for the perfect lace or Liberty print that I had in mind. It is an endless source of treasure!
Reine, which is over 100 years old, is one of my favorites and the most beautiful. Do you see all the dressed-up mannequins in the photo below? The clothes are made especially and change every couple of months. The designs are always really gorgeous. Unfortunately the staff are absolutely obnoxious so if you go there to shop be prepared and please don’t think it is typical of Parisian service!
This part of Montmartre is an interesting neighborhood in itself and is worth taking a stroll through. You will come across fashion designers looking for the perfect fabric, tourists climbing up to the Sacré Coeur for a breathtaking view of Paris and outlandish dress-up stores run by the area’s large North-African community. Half the stores you come across also look like the photo below which is awesome for costumes parties! If you are spending Halloween in Paris this year then this is the place to shop 😉
As promised, here is a selection of my favorite stores in the Marche Saint Pierre area:
Address: 5 Place Saint-Pierre, 75018 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 46 06 02 31
Opening hours: Monday 2pm-6.30pm
Marche Saint Pierre
Address: 2 Rue Charles Nodier, 75018 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 46 06 92 25
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6.30pm
Les Coupons de Saint Pierre
Address: 1 Place Saint-Pierre, 75018 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 42 52 10 79
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-7pm
Address: 7 Rue Seveste, 75018 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 42 64 69 96
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 9.30am-7pm
Address: 3 Rue Charles Nodier, 75018 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 46 06 14 66
Opening hours: Monday 10am-7pm
Of course do not hesitate to just walk into other stores you like the look of. Many have wonderful hidden treasures! If you have another favorite store do not hesitate to share in the comments.
Next to come of course: a post on where to shop for fabric in New York!