Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Paris Fabric/Notion Tour

I had the good fortune on my recent trip to spend part of day with a delightful woman named Barbara who provides a service entitled Barbara dabbles in many fiber arts – from sewing clothes to knitting. She offers to act as a guide for anyone interested in seeing the ‘fiber’ side of Paris. Whether your interest is coutourier fabric, yarn, beads, patchwork or embroidery, Barbara will design a tour for you, based upon your interests.

I already had explored the more well-known larger fabric stores on my own in previous trips and really wanted to find some new places to browse. When I found Barbara’s website, I knew I had found someone who could help me find some smaller stores specializing in notions, beads, fabrics, etc.

We exchanged a few emails about my interests. She came up with a tentative itinerary and we arranged to meet at a Metro stop near where I was staying. We had a great time!

Her website promised ‘no pressure’ to buy and that was absolutely true. From flea market to store after store, Barbara guided me along, helping me to make any purchases I wished, but generally just letting me take everything in. She has lived in Paris for over 30 years and knows it well. Jumping on and off metros, we basically circled the city.

Along the way, I got to search through piles of buttons at the Puces de la Porte de Vanves flea market, admire the most beautiful wool and linen fabrics for clothes you could imagine at Rue Herold, and we finished off at a patchwork store, Inès, which featured not just some very familiar lines of American cottons but an impressive array of Japanese fabrics.

Here is another store that we walked by - it was simply a clothing store but check out the store windows. Those are all antique sewing machines!


  1. I love the photo of the store window full of sewing machines! Your tour guide was a huge help. I just read Rick Steve's book "Travel as a Political Act". I think you would enjoy it. Your website and blog look great!

  2. Hi Jeanne,
    I did read that book and did love it. I actually did one of his tours to Rome last year. And, I use his guidebooks all the time. Thank you for your comments.