Stitching up Paris

I have taken long service leave from my teaching position this year. Much of the year I have travelled. I will feature over the next month some of the interesting and fun textiles related activities I have done. I am starting off with one of my favourite adventures. It was called, Stitching Up Paris. This was one day in my travels that I was really looking forward to. My individually tailored ‘stitching up Paris’ tour!!! Barbara had come highly recommended and I was looking forward to being picked up at my hotel and whizzed around Paris on the Metro by a ‘local’ to a selection of fabric haunts. I was not to be disappointed. My companion for the day was New Zealand born Barbara. French women have a reputation for looking so chic in that very understated and minimalist way. After 25 years of living in Paris, that ‘je ne sais pas’ quality has rubbed off on Barbara, i could see this as she arrived my hotel. after a bit of a discussion to confirm my interests, we were off. I am going to describe my day to you and put up some fun photos of the day but i am not going to publish the addresses of the place Barbara took me to. That wouldn’t be fair to her business. Also, half the fun, is being able to relax with Barbara at letting her show around Paris. So do book a tour with her. Our first stop was as if I had gone back in time. The business we visited is only open for a few hours in the morning. Originally, the shop had opened as a supplier of accessories for all kinds of leather goods ie. horse saddle pieces, travel goods, buckles for belts, clasps, hangers and closures for bags, and purses etc. In fact, the business still services its locals, as a gentleman came in looking for shoe findings for shoes he was repairing, while we were there. From the outside, the store looked from another era and very humble indeed, but inside, its a treasure trove. With the two of us in the reception area of the store and it was crowded. Started in 1946 by the proprietor’s late husband, Madame had started working there when she was 16. Now in her early eighties, she still can’t leave even though her son is now working there too. The proprietor showed me handbag frames that were made in France. She brings out small cardboard boxes from the back of the shop, behind a partition for you to look at. She lamented that her supplier had now retired and she would not be able to get more stock of these handcrafted bag findings. Did i make a purchase? of course i did! It was a live vintage experience. mother and son

mother and son

mother and son

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