Thursday, June 10, 2010

Paris Popcorn, ribbons and 'Paris: Made by hand'

A couple of days ago, I was wandering through Paris, guided by a tip I got from the wonderful and resourceful Nirit Sumeruk (aka parispopcorn), a beautiful girl about town, who works as a journalist, writer and TV presenter in the city of lights. In her blog she writes about what's hot and fab in Paris, reports from the fashion shows and events she attends, the designers she meets, and the fun she has. Needless to say that she is an absolute delight!

When we met for coffee a few weeks ago, we chatted about the beauty and quality of artisan made things (ok, I admit, talking about Hermès started it off), and she told me about this great little book 'Paris: Made by hand', which features 50 artisans/ateliers in Paris, who make everything from raw silk umbrellas, clothes, speciality paper, jewellery, ceramic, hats, fabric blossoms and hand woven fabrics, the list is endless! Many of these ateliers count the 'maisons haute couture' amongst their clients, and most offer bespoke services. Last year, Nirit did a lovely piece about the book on her blog, along with an interview with the author, Pia Jane Bijerk. To find out more, please click here

Since then, I never go on a trip to Paris without the book, and on the three hour train ride, I mark the shops and ateliers I'd like to see. I needed to source some ribbon, and to my delight I found a couple of 'merceries' (dressmakers and sewing stores) featured.

My favourite one turned out to be 'Ultramod', located in the charming 'rue de Choiseul'. The shop is split into two boutiques, situated right opposite each other. One for sewing supplies, and the other one for hat making and ribbons. The day I visited, a street marked was bustling right outside the shop, and to get from one store to the other, the SA and I had to weave through the market stalls, shopping basket in hand.

Here the main boutique, founded in 1890, and dedicated to sewing supplies

and across the street, the hatmakers paradise, where you can admire Monsieur's wooden hat moulds, his handmade hats and collection of hat pins, find specialty ribbons or choose between a large collection of beautifully coloured plain ribbons, made from natural materials.

2-3, rue de Choiseul
75002 Paris
Tel. 01 42 96 98 30

A selection of some sample ribbons I bought.

Looking forward to explore the other shops and ateliers!

For info on how to buy 'Paris: Made by hand', please click here


  1. Oh fabulous post MaiTai - just my kind of thing - thanks for the info and I must try and get the book!!

  2. Hurry to the bookstore, dear Scarf Addict! If all fails, WH Smith in Paris stocks it too (in english), conviniently located just off the Place de la Concorde, in the rue de Rivoli no 248. Good luck!

  3. Lovely! I'll definitely pick up this book for our next Paris trip.

  4. Thank you for the info on the book, MaiTai. I so miss Paris... It's always a pleasure to read the posts in which you share your visits to the City of Lights.
    I loved the pics with the colorful ribbons. I think ribbons and buttons are another great way to give " a little something more" to an otherwise rather simple piece of clothing. And they make me feel like a kid in a candystore ;-P

  5. Thanks you so much for your wonderful posting.
    I love these kind of books and ordered one for me already :-)

  6. Wonderful! This kind of shops make such a difference when visiting a city and unfortunately they are getting so rare these days. And yes, it is like being a child in a candy shop, only better, because it spoils your phantasy....
    Although the next trip to Paris is a little while away I'll get me the book, just for browsing purposes.
    Thank you very much for sharing the nice things.

  7. Dear MaiTai, What a lovely post, you transported me to the the "soul" of Paris. No matter where you are, the heart of a place is with the artisans, their history, craft and indeed - soul. Waiting to see what you have in mind for the ribbons!

  8. Loved this book. It crossed my desk a few weeks ago and I had to let it go so I'm waiting to get it back. is a real gem. It's such a great site for discovering the Parisian's Paris - especially the various exhibitions around town. And of course a particular post from April 26th was a real treat.

  9. This is an absolute delight!! Thank you for sharing dear MT =) I was just speaking with a friend the other day about checking out a leather artisan in Paris in a week or two! Hugs to you xx

  10. Thank you so much, dear Maitai, for sharing this kind of information. The ribbon shop is so charming and I have already ordered a book :-)))
    Can´t wait to read it!

  11. MT, what a fantastic post - thank you for the photos and this book! I just ordered it from Amazon. Big hugs to you - Joanne

  12. thanks for the lovely picture. I love the colours of the sample ribbons you bought.

    I will find that book ^-^

  13. Delightful information... I always appreciate your unique posts. Thank you for the website address and book information. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  14. Just love your wonderful surprises and so happy, that your life and blog is not all about designer items, but "priceless" joie de vivre. Those pics of your excursions are always my favourites and they make me feel as if I was there right along with you. best to you, <3, HM

  15. Heaven on Earth !! what a fabulous treasure trove !! I shall have to make a special trip to Paris just to visit 'Ultramod'.I can imagine the fun you had and love the ribbons you bought! The book is amazing and I shall make certain to pick up a copy! Hoping to see some of your creations from your purchases! Thanks so much for all the fascinating information, Amou.

  16. Deja Pseu, booksnchocolate, Lublusu, angolfa, Rosekirk, Valencia, DD, manuela, Joanne, casiewbao, SMR and hairmess ~ it is always such fun to share with you, and so nice to hear you enjoyed the travelogue. Thank you for your sweet comments xx

    Deja Pseu, booksnchocolate, Lublusu, angolfa, Valencia, manuela, Joanne, casiewbao and SMR ~ have fun with the book, and even more fun on your next trip to Paris!

    booksnchocolate and angolfa, ITA with you on the candy store analogy! A place like this is truly inspirational, and it is a real treat to see so many colours together closely, and to experiment with different combinations. I could spend hours there!

    Lublusu ~ a warm welcome to you!

    Rosekirk, you are so right re the ‘soul’ of a place, and visiting those places become later the most special memories.. And ah, the ribbons! We’ll hopefully see in a few weeks what’s up with them! ;-)

    Dear Valencia, and she is the sweetest person too! I love her blog, and always find something special there. Thank you re the 26th <3

    DD, you must tell us all about the leather artisan, and what’s more, what you have got planned! :D

    Dear manuela, the book will be such a nice companion on your next trip, have a fun read and a wonderful time exploring!

    Hugs to you too, dear Joanne x

    You’ll love the book, dear casiewboa! Happy you like the ribbons, aren’t the colours just the prettiest <3

    Dear SMR, and I always appreciate your lovely comments, thank you my dear. Have a great week ahead x

    I wish you would have been there right along with me, dear hair-mess, it would have certainly doubled the fun! But in a way, you gals are always with me anyway, hugs! Really happy you enjoy the mix here. Here's to 'priceless' pleasures, and to the precious and special memories they eventually become. <3

  17. Dear Amou, I feel like going back tomorrow, lol. Wouldn't it be fun to find us browsing the place together, and meet a few more of us there.. what a party it would be! Have fun with the book, and a wonderful time in Paris when you visit next x

  18. Dear MaiTai, Thank you so much for sharing your treasures. And thanks to you, my list of places to visit in Paris is happily growing - which I hope will be someday soon! There are no objects more beautiful and heartwarming than ones made by hand. Thank you for taking us on your journey - your beautiful posts truly make us feel like we're are right there with you! <3

  19. Thanks for the mention of parispopcorn, will definitely check it out


  20. I could not agree more with you on handmade things, dear Scarf Enthusiast, whether it is cookies, bags or anything else! Happy you enjoyed the post, and I hope you will be able to make the trip to the city of lights soon <3

    You are very welcome, She Wore it Well, have fun on your next trip to Paris!

  21. Oh Maitai, have not been too well lately, it was great to be logging on more again now, thank you for such a lovely recommendation, the Ultramod looks like a wonderful place to visit.

    I am sure I will be reading through your blog again and again if my Paris plan comes true next year, your information is really wonderful, thank you.
    Sam (Iceearl)

  22. Dearest Sam, so sorry to hear that you have been unwell, and very much hoping that you are feeling better now. Hugs! So glad you enjoyed the post, and crossing my fingers for your Paris trip next year. Take care x

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