So to make the most of the Summer before returning to part-time study I went on holiday this month. Hurrah! I knew I wanted to incorporate a first time journey on Eurostar and from there it became a trip to Paris, Florence (on an overnight train) and onto Viareggio in Tuscany. Much fun it was but this is a sewing blog so let me focus on that.
I see owls everywhere, do you?
I researched the bloggersphere thoroughly for info on fabric shopping in Paris and thankfully there’s much guidance here, here and here. So while there I went to Montmartre, the location of the beautiful Basilique du Sacre Coeur and numerous fabric shops. The first two – Marché St. Pierre and Tissus Reine were the largest fabric shops I’ve ever been to. Floors and floors of all types of lovely material. I was overwhelmed by the choice and so with no particular bargains to be found I had the sinking feeling of being too early in my sewing adventures to fully appreciate all the delights before me and make wise purchases.
I visited all the fabric shops in the locale that I saw. Some were stronger on home furnishing fabrics, another a haberdashery with some fabric. The busiest shops were the two ‘coupon’ stores. This is where pre-cut fabric is sold in 3-4m and priced up ready to purchase. Again lots of choice but more affordable this time. These shops were very busy, clearly popular with the locals so I joined the hunt for bargains. I bought these:
The red and pink check/plaid on the left is 100% cotton and cost 18 euros. The middle one is a much brighter green cotton print than my camera phone has captured. it’s quite bold and I do have my doubts about it. It was 15 euros and the third is a neat woven cotton ideal for a smart skirt, a smaller piece that the others this was less than 10 euros.
In the shop were I bought the red and pink fabirc there was a wonderfully colourful range of tweeds. Lovely to touch and screaming Chanel style suit! I decided to buy some on my next trip when I’ve more sewing experience. That’ll be something nice to look forward to.
I did research fabric shopping in Florence and two websites mentioned an amazing fabric warehouse called Gori Tessuti. It didn’t seem far away so worked out a route from central Florence by bus. It was beautiful – huge room full of rolls and rolls of fabric but dear reader, I couldn’t buy any of it. The blogs I’d read failed to mention it was wholesale/traders only! Oh the woe. There was fabric as far as the eye could see:
I left emptied handed but chuffed at my navigation skills (got to and from central Florence without any problems). I didn’t see any other fabric shops in Florence as the warehouse was the only place I had planned to visit.
Fabric shopping in Paris was lovely and Florence a disappointment but really this was a small part of the trip. I did so much – went to the top of the Effiel Tower, joined the scrum to see the little Mona Lisa, Michaelangelo’s statue of David and ate plenty of gelato to name but a few things. It was a lovely holiday.
The Eiffel Tower
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo di Firenze