Fabric shopping in Paris (Pt II)

Posted on: July 22, 2008

– my tips and purchases

So, I only had a chance to make a couple of fabric purchases whilst in Paris. I perused a couple of small stores just near the courtyard with a carousel, at the base of the stairs which lead up to the Sacre Coeur. I don’t think my boyfriend would have been very impressed if I lost a few hours in one of the huge fabric stores… but there’s always next time!

P7203665-500, originally uploaded by mooimadeit.
I was charmed by the recurring classic deer motif on this fabric. It feels like it is wool, but is still light and not too heavy. I am thinking of making it into a little jacket
– perhaps a capelet style jacket. Maybe some piping or snazzy buttons could be a nice embellishment without going too overboard seeing the pattern is so detailed already. What do you think?
Paris Fabric, originally uploaded by mooimadeit

This one feels like silk. I might end up hanging onto it for a while because I just don’t feel I have the skills to sew such a fine material yet. But I couldn’t help myself from purchasing it – it just looks and feels so luxurious, this photo really doesn’t do it justice. I’m envisaging something like a draped halterneck style dress. Hopefully I have enough fabric for it! Or even a draped halterneck style top could be nice for summer and be dressed up or down.

I purchased both of these fabrics from

7, Rue de Steinkerque. Paris
Metro: Anvers

Even though the handful stores I entered in Montmartre were quite small, they were still somewhat rather overwhelming – absolutely packed to the rafters with fabric! It wasn’t exactly the the most browser friendly environment. One store just had everything kind of flat packed on top of each other so you could only see a slim sample of what a fabric looked like and it was very difficult to get out for a proper inspection. And truly, fabrics were precariously piled right up to the ceilings. There are a few photos of some of the stores on Flickr if you search for ‘Paris fabric’ but I wasn’t game enough to take photos while I was there.

GALERIES DES TISSUS was a little nerve wracking, in that the gentleman behind the counter, who I assume was the owner — an extremely well dressed and refined looking older man, asked me what I was looking for and then proceeded to shadow me around the store. I can be bad enough at making decisions about fabric as it is, without someone peering over my shoulder! And in truth I didn’t really know what I was looking for – whatever caught my eye, but I didn’t know how to tell him that other than ‘I don’t know’, so I just told him ‘cotton’ for dresses.

He showed me a range of cottons and pulled out a few to show me. And when I was looking in other areas of the store he told me what the fabrics were made of and that they weren’t cotton – I was beginning to feel a little daft. But then I remembered reading a post somewhere describing probably this exact gentleman and how they too were a little unnerved that he was following them around the store, and I realised this was obviously completely normal and he was just being helpful and attentive.

Handily, they measure fabric per metre in France, as they do in Australia. And I loved that this store was so old school, and tiny, that they didn’t have a big cutting table with a ruler on it to measure and cut the fabric. Instead, he had what looked like a very old yard stick, but the length of one metre, which he used to measure my fabric . He hand wrote himself a receipt of the purchase which he put on one of those spikes behind the counter and went to serve the next customer and I was so surprised to hear him speak fluent Japanese when he recognised that was where she came from!

Paris Fabric, originally uploaded by mooimadeit.

This fabric I picked up from a quilting store I chanced upon in the Latin Quarter called:

Le Rouvray
3, Rue de la Bucherie
75005 PARIS

They had some exquisite quilts there, I would have loved to have purchased one if there was an easy way to cart an entire quilt with one across Europe! The fabric was in a bargain bin and marked down to 2 Euros per metre or something crazy like that.

In addition to a great range of quilting fabrics they also have homewares – cushions, quilts, birds cages, pillows and a whole assortment of quilting tools as well. I’m not a quilter but loved it all the same, I’m sure a quilting fanatic would have gone nuts there! And handily for me they speak fluent English there, in fact sounded like they were American.

They were asking me what I was going to make it into and suggested perhaps a bathrobe. Um… I was thinking something more along the lines of a cute little summer dress? Those birds are so cute!


Just wanted to add I have since found this fantastic post on Sweet Sassafras about vintage shopping in Paris. Storing it here for my next Europe trip! Look here.


6 Responses to "Fabric shopping in Paris (Pt II)"

These are lovely fabrics and are swaying me towards visiting Paris soon! Thanks for the details of shops too. Your description of the hovering refined gentleman reminds me of a store in Berwick St in London – full of tweeds and shirting fabrics – with a very similar, intimidating old tailor! 🙂

Ooh I absolutely must make time for some fabric and market shopping in London next time I am there. I was too busy camping at Glastonbury this trip!

How loveleeee, I’m sew jealous. You should make that LeRouvray quilt they give the free pattern for, on their website using your fabric you got there, that would be a very unique souvenir.

Learning to quilt is on the TO DO list!

[…] the past, making a bodice block so I’m sure I can do it! I think it would be perfect for the quaint Victorian deer-motif fabric I picked up in Paris (heehee I admit it, I still get a real kick out of saying […]

Thank you so much for this post/your blog! I’ll be in the city in about a month, but no one I knew (who claims to know Paris) knew of a single fabric shop. Now I know where to go – ain’t teh Internets grand? 😉

Ooh-la-la, fabric is so easy to pack…

Thanks again!

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