I have so much sewing and embroidery eye-candy to share with you today. I’ve been sorting through my pictures from Paris a few weeks ago. While I was there I found the most beautiful French embroidery shop, Sajou, full of uniquely French embroidery projects and products. Plus a few other shops with classic French style (and souvenirs) in the charming St. Germain (Left Bank) neighborhood of Paris.
The current Sajou shop, inspired by vintage French notions, embroidery and other haberdashery is a historic name in French embroidery. Originally named for founder Jacques-Simon Sajou, the company was founded in the 1840’s on Paris’ Île de la Cité. The brand survived under various ownerships until it disappeared in 1954.
The Masion Sajou brand was revived by Frédérique Crestin-Billet, a prolific author of French embroidery books and collector of vintage haberdashery items, in 2005.
Sajou specializes in vintage-inspired embroidery and cross-stitch patterns used in samplers and cushion covers. All of the designs feel classically French. This traditional design says “Bed Chamber of the Queen at the Petit Trianon (Versailles)”
Their designs also included amazing samplers – this one showing the history of of the Sajou brand, logos, embroidery floss, trademark embroidery scissors, buttons, ribbons, etc.
Other sampler options were part of their Museum and Heritage collection, highlighting pieces of traditional French history such as the Bayeux Tapestry, Versailles, Napoleon & Josephine, and Chenonceau Chateau (castle) or other French heraldry motifs (below).
Sajou also includes it’s own custom line of haberdashery (notions) – all of which are made in France – including embroidery scissors, specialty threads and cotton fabrics, and some high quality cotton yardage – many using some of the original Sajou motifs and branding.
Every detail in the shop was absolutely delightful. I was heart-broken to hear that the large brick-and-mortar shop that was opened in 2013 had to close in 2020 because of the global events. But SO grateful this smaller version survives.
AND Sajou has a wonderful online shop where you can explore and see more of their offerings. They also have a blog, Instagram and You Tube channel with videos (in French) demonstrating beautiful embroidery techniques.
The current Sajou shop is located at: Bon Marché Rive Gauche (Left Bank), Store 2 – top floor (in the Housewares Building) at 38, rue de Sèvres, 75006 PARIS.
The Housewares building of the Bon Marché is attached to the Fashion/Clothing building by a skybridge. It’s a large department store that is made up of individual shops and there is LOTS of eye candy! And a food market too.
Near the Bon Marché in St. Germain is this more contemporary fabric and notions ship, Frou-Frou, at 31 Rue Saint-Placide, 75006 Paris.
It was Mother’s Day the day after we stopped by and I love the French Happy Mother’s Day sign in the window. Also, how simple but cool is that embroidery idea for a t-shirt?
In addition to fabric Frou-Frou had lots of notions, ribbon, buttons, etc. for all kinds of sewing projects. They have been in business since 1946 and you can read more about Frou-Frou here.
More Paris – St. Germain Shops
A few more delightful, very French shops in the St. Germain neighborhood:
Marin Montagut is a French illustrative and water color artist. His shop features his delightful designs on porcelain, glass, and other tableware as well as beautiful textiles, pillows, wall art and stationary.
His designs are inspired by traditional French and Parisian styles and they are très charmant. A wonderful place to get a one-of-a-kind Paris souvenir.
And the shop is full of inspirational design and other eye-candy.
Marin Montagut is located at 8 Rue Madame, 75006 PARIS – not far from Luxembourg Gardens which is also beautiful and WELL WORTH a stop (and a good place to rest your feet) in the St Germain neighborhood.
Marin Montagut also has a small shop in the Bon Marché near Sajou if you only have time to hit one stop.
If you’d like a look at some extra-posh French home goods, be sure to pop in Astier de Villatte.
A little out of my price range, but an inspiring shop with some gorgeous staging. Don’t you love that tile floor?
One other less expensive but very French spot worth popping into: Rougier & Plé – an arts and crafts shop, kind of like a local Michael’s. We stopped in the location in the Saint Michel neighborhood – on the border of St Germain and the Latin Quarter, just across the river from Ile de la Cite – but there are locations all over the city.
This shop was recommended by my friend Melanie Collette- and I’m so glad she did! The store was full of regular craft supplies, but it also carried some fun and affordable Paris and French goodies that made great souvenirs – like this zipper pouch and a beautiful Marie Claire craft magazine.
It’s fun how just buying inexpensive, everyday items in another country become great souvenirs and reminders of a trip abroad. The glass jars on the left are the empty yogurt containers from the grocery store. As with so many things in France, simple, classic design on everyday objects are so lovely. I washed out the jars, brought them home and they are perfect, handy storage containers for my sewing notions.
Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom has a great post about simple, inexpensive everyday French items that aren’t available as readily here and make great souvenirs or gifts for someone back home.
We stopped at another quintessential, historic St Germain spot – the Cafe de Flore for lunch on our way from the Musee D’Orsay, heading toward the shops listed above and Luxembourg gardens. It was a great afternoon.
This is definitely not a definitive list, but hopefully a good jumping off place as you explore crafting and sewing shops in Paris – particularly the St. Germain neighborhood on the Left Bank of the river Seine.
At the same time, I’m sure I missed so many more things! Part of that comes with traveling with 5 other women (2 daughters, 2 of my sisters, and a niece) not all of whom were as excited about sewing and fabric shops as I am. 😉 They were good sports though and between the 6 of us, we still hit so many fun, new-to-us spots and restaurants.
The neighborhood for most of the ‘fabric district’ of Paris is Monmartre, near Sacré-Cœur cathedral. I did not get to explore that area this trip (only 3 days in the city, again with 5 other women, and I just had to prioritize my time.)
That said, I don’t typically buy fabric when I go to Europe (even at Liberty of London) because the cost of fabric there is so much more expensive then here in the US. (And, to be honest, I already have more fabric than should be allowed.)
I am SO glad I was able to stop at Sajou in particular because that shop was so visually enjoyable, inspiring, and uniquely French. Not like anything I have near home. My only regret there is not bringing home a souvenir from Sajou. Again, slightly pricier than things here in the US, but so unique to Paris that I wish I’d at least bought a cross-stitch pattern. I may end up getting one online.