Liberty en Strasbourg

I had the opportunity to visit Strasbourg over the free weekend. It is a very beautiful town and houses a very beautiful historical centre – the Grande Île – which was the first city centre to be classified entirely as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (Wikipedia, 2012).

One of the attractions of the historical centre is la magnifique Notre-Dame Cathédrale of Strasbourg. There are also many cafés and salon de thé around the cathedral where you can chill during the afternoon. And we did just that – ice cream and limonade on a hot afternoon!

Before we left the hotel room, we found out from the provided travel mag that Strasbourg is well-known for their gingerbread and traditional cookies. We located a few of such speciality shop had ours from Coco LM, located at rue du Dôme. You can either purchase the pre-packed or mix and match your favourite flavours, which they charge by weight.

Besides the main city centre, we made a trip to the very scenic La Petite France, just south of the Grande Île where the Île river winds through half timbered townhouses. It is one of the prettiest sights in France, so far! La Petite France also reminds me of Beauty and the Beast. Could this be the poor provincial town where Belle came from?

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While making our way to La Petite France from the main town/shopping area, I came across La Droguerie, a sewer’s/knitter’s heaven! They are well stocked with a variety of Liberty prints (both by metres and fat quarters), accessories parts, yarns, buttons and other notions. I’m not too sure of it is cheaper to get Liberty prints in France but those prints which I fancy were from 20€. Liberty bias tapes are also available at 2€/metre as well!

I spent a while in the store but walked out empty handed. Liberty prints were out of my budget (but now I regret not splurging on just 1 metre), and the notions didn’t catch my eye. After some googling, I found out that La Drouguerie has a few stores across France, including Paris and other major cities. For sewing and knitting fanatics who are planning to visit France or happen to be in France, you may like to check out them out!

Tissus en Troyes

Ever since I learned how to sew, fabric shop is one of the first items on my to-find-out list every time I travel. My first overseas purchase was in Muar, Malaysia, which is well known for their fabric shops. Then was Kluang and Hanoi, both of which houses their respective fabric shop and market. This trip to Europe was no exception.

I found quite a number of shops in Berlin, of which I only manage to visit Kumasch. It is owned by a Turkish and the shop owner/assistant does not speak English. I am not very well-versed with the various fabric names and types in German so I tell them apart by the labels on each roll of fabric and touch. You can ask the shop keeper the cost by using the calculator. I didn’t buy anything because nothing catches my eye and the fabrics are really expensive. Taxes on non-food products in Europe are as high as 19% which eventually translate to high retail prices.

Fabric shopping in Troyes is slightly more exciting because it is slightly more affordable and the shop is much larger. There is only one fabric boutique in Troyes, Ellen Décoration. Besides fabric, they also retail upholstery fabrics, trims and such. They have a grand total of 4 shops, each of which is a specialty store of the variety of items they offer. All located near each other. A point to note: the sales assistances do not speak English so please arm yourselves with basic french vocabulary about fabrics!

I was rather disappointed by the selection of dentelle they offer because it looked otherwise on their website. Despite so, they are quite well stocked with a variety of fabrics. After some digging through every single roll and much contemplation, I finally decided on a piece of à la impressionist silk and a high fashion Dior number which was well-hidden in basket full of high fashion fabric at the back of the store. I also bought lots of buttons to add on to my collection. Too pretty to resist!


I hope to check out the fabric district in Paris during my final weekend before I head home. Bonne chance to me!

Buttons;


These reminds me of Marc Jabob’s Daisy


Hey, that’s my header!

and Chanel’s camelia.

This week’s theme at Sew Weekly is Buttoned Up – using buttons decoratively or functionally. I was so reluctant to give it a miss because school work was rather heavy this week and there was no time to conceptualise a design perfect for my lovely buttons. I am also sewing my cheongsam for Chinese New Year next week (should have installed decorative buttons for them!!!). Though I do not have a project to share, here are two of my recent additions to my collection of buttons. I bought 3 of each without having an exact idea of how/where to use them in my sewing projects. Maybe a couple of shift dresses with them as decorative buttons. Or functional ones on blazers and such.

Back to more readings, lesson plans and getting ready for next week’s theme!