Before I went on the trip, I did some research on craft shopping. Townmouse has a great post on variety of shops in Paris. Due to time constraint, I decided to focus on hitting one cross-stitch shop and one knitting shop, so I can stock up on great French patterns, rarity in the US. I was not going to concentrate on buying supplies (yarn or fabrics) because they are super expensive and about the same as they are in the US.
Anyway, a 15-minute metro ride from Point Maillot to Bastille took me to Le Bonheur des Dames, possibly the greatest cross-stitch shop in the world
Le Viaduc des Arts, 17 avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris
(Metro Bastille or Ledru Rollin)
It was very tiring for me to go up and down the metro station with my big belly and I had to stop a lot to catch my breath but as soon as I saw the shop, it was like discovering an oases.
It is a lovely shop selling mostly cross-stitch kits, patterns and supplies plus some Liberty Fabrics. The shop has a very nice atmosphere and the owner speaks a little english. I love every single books and kits that they sell there, very very chic and French. I wish I could clean up the entire store but I only bought four books. I could not afford the kits (which occupy majority of the shop), they are tres tres expensive. Starting price for a kit is 28 Euro and it can go up to $130 Euro depending on size, I was hoping they will sell me just the patterns but they don’t. Great eye candy though and if you are interested, you can shop online. Here are some kits that I like just to give you an idea
If you live in the US, you should feel very grateful that craft supplies are a lot more affordable in this side of the pond. For example, a DMC floss is priced starting from 1.50 Euro in France, you can get it for 33 cent at JoAnn. Regardless, here are my hauls
To tease you a bit, here are some of the patterns from those books
The second shop that I went to was Le Bon Marche at Left Bank (Rive Gauche), which really is an upscale department store
Le Bon Marche
4 Rue de Sèvres
75007 Paris, France
01 44 39 80 00
Metro Sevres- Babylone and as soon as you exit the metro, the department store is right in front of you
The haberdashery section is located on the third floor and as soon as the elevator door opens, you feel like you just enter a craft heaven. It pretty much occupies a third of the floor, jam-packed with yarn, fabrics, notions, craft books and kits. All of them are laid out beautifully. Here are some photos
Here is Rowan counter. Basically, each yarn brand has its own counter, manned by specific assistants. Other counters include Phildar, Debbie Bliss and some other yarn brands that I have not heard of. No indie yarn and no fondling for sure, which is why it is more fun to yarn shop in the US
BTW, taking photos were apparently not allowed, the security guard came and scolded us 😦
I did not have a chance to go to the fabric districts in Montmatre but check out a recent blog post from Fantastic Toys. Yeah, it was too bad that I did not make it there because I really love that neighborhood and Sacre Coeur.