Put on your walking shoes please. I'd like to take you on a tour of my favourite craft shops in Paris.
It seems that craft is primarily a right bank thing.
I didn't visit all these stores on foot. I got between B and C by metro, and E on a velib with Will. But here is what I found. (Click for a larger view of the map.)
A: Le Bonheur des Dames, Le Viaduc des Arts, 17 avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris
(Metro Bastille or Ledru Rollin)
This shop is worth a visit for its shop fittings alone. The lovely big display tables are full of all things to do with embroidery and cross stitch. This was the shop recommended to me by Shannon of Petits Details. If you enjoy cross stitch, this is your mecca.
About 20 minutes walk from here is point B on my map:
Entrée des Fournisseurs, 8 rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003 Paris
(Metro Saint Paul)
This shop is easy to miss if you're not looking for it, because it is off the street in a pretty courtyard. It's just moments from the beautiful Place des Vosges though, so lots to see and do in the area.
This pretty store is worth seeking out. There is a lovely array of braids and buttons, as well as fabrics (including Liberty of course) and books. The thing I love about the Parisian craft stores is that the trims are all natural fibres. 100% cotton ric rac and grosgrain and Swiss cotton entres-deux and other lovely items.
At this point you will probably be weighed down by a parcel of lovely craft books (stay tuned and I'll show you mine in a future post), so you might want to jump on the metro. Take the metro to Les Halles.
C: La Droguerie
11 rue du Jour, 75001 Paris
(Metro Les Halles)
This is not one of my favourite craft shops, but if you're into knitting or crochet, I think you'd best swing by. It's very popular judging by the number of people in the store. I think it is somewhat of a Paris institution as it has been around for many years and is quite well known. But as it is quite close to point D, you may as well take a look.
D: Des Fils et une Aiguille
1 rue Chabanais, 75002 Paris
(metro Pyramides or Palais Royal)
I do like this shop and have visited it on each trip to Paris. It has a pretty selection of cross stitch braids and canvases, lovely ribbons and trims, and a good bookshelf of craft books (which I emptied somewhat). There is a velib station just outside this store if your feet are getting sore.
E: Marché St Pierre
2 rue Charles Nodier, 75018 Paris
(metro Anvers - prepare to walk uphill from the metro)
This little area at the heart of Montmartre has a grouping of fabric and haberdashery stores. Described as the "kingdom of tissues" on its website, Marché St Pierre has many floors of fabric.
Their table of toiles was rather enticing. I made a few purchases on their linen floor.
In rue Charles Nodier you can wander from store to store to find more fabric, trims and all things craft. Reine, a few doors away, has an extensive Liberty selection at about 60% the price we pay for it in Australia. This store had half sized mannequins above all the display tables of fabric. Each mannequin was outfitted in a dress made up of the fabrics on that table. Someone has been very busy sewing mini clothes. It was worth a look.
On the left bank, you can visit the top floor of the beautiful and upmarket department store, Le Bon Marche, for their haberdashery section. It's busy and stocked with lovely things. Further down rive gauche near Notre Dame is Le Rouvray. This is a patchwork store owned by an American woman. I haven't been there in about 10 years so can't say what it is like now. It was quite American in style from memory, but did have some pretty French toiles.
So there you have it. I hope you find this post useful. Does anyone have any other favourite craft stores in Paris?