Thursday, January 9, 2014

Fabric Shopping in Paris

Why didn't I take more photos? I'm so mad at myself! Other than that, I had a great time walking around Paris with Christelle today. We headed to the Montmartre area of Paris where there is a "fabric district." From our metro stop we walked up the hill toward Sacre Coeur and took a right at the base of the basilica's gates.

I was totally distracted in the first shop because we struck up a conversation with a transplanted Kiwi...a quilter from New Zealand living in Paris. We had a grand time talking with her and finally headed out of that shop after the workers started giving us dirty looks. Can you imagine workers of fabric store in the U.S. doing that? It certainly didn't entice us to part with any cash there.

The shop next door was great for clothing fabrics, Tissus Reine. I got yelled at for taking photos...what is up with that? More horrible customer service. are the photos the shop is so worried about being viewed by...the general public?

The store is full of half-sized mannequins that are dressed by couture students. I particularly liked this feather skirt...I should have bought some of that feather the colors! I just don't have many occasions for feather dresses.

There was a good notions department on the first floor which we Americans would call the second floor. Christelle found some adorable Eiffel Tower scissors that had to come home with me. And I found a set of colored chalk refills for my mechanical pencil at a great price for Paris, $9 Euros, $12 U.S. I found my stash of white chalk refills just minutes before I left the apartment to meet Christelle, so she got to keep her refills. But she also brought me a couple of charms for my santa ornaments...I am missing some charms so she has been helping me look for them.

There were several other stores we walked through, one, Marche Saint Pierre, was six floors of fabrics. But very little for quilters and overall...I think a good JoAnns would serve any kind of sewer better in the long run. I think it is very sad that Paris doesn't have a better selection of fashion fabrics...and certainly the prices are discouraging for the quality. 

After our fabric adventure we got on the metro and headed to an area closer to my apartment to try out a lunch spot Christelle thought I might like, Restaurant I'le de la Reunion. She is a good listener because I will definitely be dragging Bryan there someday. It was spicy island food. Simple entrees of meat in a spicy sauce with a side of rice and spicy condiments. We are always looking for a different flavor and this place had the added benefit of being gentle on the wallet. We were on the late side so we were getting pushed out the door at 2 p.m. Many restaurants close for several hours between lunch and dinner.

We then headed to some dress shops Christelle wanted to check out for sales. Many small Paris shops close for a two-hour lunch. Both shops Christelle wanted to visit were on the same block but not opening back up until 2:30...and of course they were both late opening back up. Christelle found a great sweater...yes...I should have taken a picture! One of the shop owners had a long conversation with French...about me! Basic information was discussed....I'm from Alaska and living in Paris for five years. When we got out of the shop Christelle told me the lady said I would be sad to leave Paris...or something like that. She probably thinks Alaska is a cold and scary place...well I guess it is right now! But I am more than happy to go back to my life in Alaska. There are five fabulous quilt shops within an hour of my home and now those Alaska fabric prices look like screaming deals!

Before we knew was time for Christelle to catch the 4 p.m. train. We managed to dodge the rain for the most part. We are already making plans for our next outing!


PeggyinNO said...

Sounds like you had a great time, except for being screamed at for taking pics!! SEW glad you got those scissors!! I LOVE them! I love reading about your Paris adventures!

Caroline Ingalls said...

I guess this shop lady never left her Parisian block!
Any ways thanks again, I had a great time!

audrey said...

What an experience! You are making the memories for sure.:)

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

LOL - oh what a time you had - I bet the shop owner has never been out of Paris and thinks the countryside is a scary place. I think Alaska is beautiful even if cold! glad you have someone to wander around the city with - so much more fun than hanging out by yourself!

Cocopatch said...

Have an other day with Christelle will be nice, sure! sorry for the customer service, it's the same with French women, grrr....

Michelle said...

I am disappointed by the way you were treated in the fabric stores. Do you encounter that often in Paris? If so, do you think it is because you are American or is it a general demeanor towards everyone? I went to several fabric stores in Oahu when we visited. One store's employees in particular were rude. The reviews on Yelp said to expect it. I actually thought the (multiple) reviewers might have caught them at a bad time. After leaving I felt I knew why the reviewers were unhappy with the service. It seems strange they didn't want you to take pictures. We take pictures everywhere. I'm sorry they were like that towards you. Thanks for filling us in on your day! I look forward to hearing more about your life in Paris. :)

Anonymous said...

French people is so impolite..grrrr !
I know Christelle and it's a really good chance to have fun with her..! :)