Vintage Rhodoid buttons at La Droguerie

Right on the Button


Have you noticed that posts about buttons on social media elicit a flurry of comments about grandmothers’ button tins or jars, fond memories of special buttons, buttons that made certain cardigans and dresses special favourites. It seems that buttons really do “press our buttons”,and we are, like the late Steve Jobs, fond of the perfect button. (Of course he was fond of an entirely different sort of button, but we understand the sentiment.)

Buttons have been special since fashion became fashionable. Not only useful for fastening and making clothes fit, buttons were signs of wealth – status symbols, where the rule of the day was the more buttons the better.

While these days we are not so heavy on the buttons we all know that the right button is worth the hunt. Paris isn’t short of fabulous button purveyors and in our Stitching up Paris guidebook we’ve given you a sample of button heaven in the heart of Montmartre’s fabric district.

Now we’ve got three more button addresses for you to stash in your notebook:

Buttons Paradise
15 rue St Guillaume
Paris 75007

Metro: Rue du Bac or St Germain 

For the English version click the Anglais button at the top right. The blog posts are particularly interesting and cover a range of topics including fashion tips.

Open: Mon, Tue & Thurs 2pm to 7pm, Weds & Fri 10am to 7pm, Closed: Sat & Sun

Sandrine Mettelal’s fabulous boutique is just off boulevard St Germain on the Left Bank. In fact, it’s not far from the new location for France Duval Stalla’s fabric store that we mentioned in our last post. It’s also just a short stroll from the fabulous department store Le Bon Marché and any number of delightful cafes and refreshment stops.

File 14-06-17, 12 18 51 PMAs well as a beautifully curated range of luxury, vintage, contemporary and top-selling buttons you will find stunning button jewelry and buckles. Just to whet your appetite further,  Sandrine has shown Barbara a selection of fabulous vintage buttons including some made of snail shell that were designed by Lucien Weingott – who worked with Schiaparelli.

Sandrine is an experienced connoisseur of buttons and provides excellent advice for choosing buttons.

File 14-06-17, 12 18 14 PM

Musée de la Nacre et de la Tabletterie
51 rue Roger Salengro
Méru 60110
(English translation button top right)

Open: Everyday except Tuesdays 2.30pm to 6.30pm

Meru postcards on mailbagThe Mother of Pearl museum is housed in a 19thcentury button-making factory in the town of Méru. For a (half) day trip out from Paris take the train from Gare du Nord to Beauvais-Le Tréport via Persan stopping at the village of Méru (about 50mins from Paris). Consider taking a taxi from the station to the museum; my map App advises it’s 1.1km away, approximately 15 minutes walk.

The museum is open daily from 2.30pm to 6.30pm (except Tuesdays). Please check the Hours and Access information on the website under the tab “Useful” for annual closing dates and any variations to these opening hours.

There are guided tours, in French, that will give you an idea of the working conditions in the old factory; harsh! There is a boutique on site – after all you might like some little souvenirs to remind you of your expedition to Méru.


Mireille Boutonnières
21 rue des Petits Carreaux (3rd floor)
Paris 75002

Metro: Sentier (exit rue des Petits Carreaux)

Open: Monday to Friday 8am to 2pm

File 16-04-18, 1 53 05 PMIf you are on the hunt for buttons, chances are you may want buttonholes too. Here is a great address for stress-free buttonholes made tout de suite and it’s right in the centre of the fashion capital where rue des Petits Carreaux becomes rue Montorgueil (featured in Neighbourhood Notes page 73 Stitching up Paris guidebook).

Drop in to this tiny workshop, the entrance is right next door to Starbucks, between 8am and 2pm any weekday and Monsieur Mireille (junior) will make buttonholes, covered buttons, eyelets, and popper buttons for you on the spot at a very reasonable price.  What’s more, you’ll likely see a genuine side of Parisian sewing life: young men and women with their cosplay outfits, independent fashion designers, young sewists with their tote bags, and clever seamstresses bringing their latest self-made winter coats, all of them know the best address for stress-free, perfectly professional finishing touches.

You’ll need to have the placement of the buttonholes marked on your finished garment, know the size of the buttonhole you need (take your buttons) and your piece of fabric chosen for covered buttons.

As always, bon voyage!

PS: the fabulous vintage Rhodoid buttons in the top photograph (and the single button picture) are from La Droguerie in Paris.

La Clarière in Paris has vintage mother-of-pearl buttons and gave us the old French Post bag.





Update your Paris address book

Since we published Stitching up Paris there have been a few changes of address that bring some exciting shop expansions.

We’ll continue to keep you right up to date with new or changed addresses by posting updates here on our blog and on social media.  Stash these away for your next trip to Paris because the stitching scene just keeps getting better and, as we’ve noted before, “Paris is always a good idea.”

La Bien Aimée – now at 89 avenue d’Italie, Paris 75013

Nearest Metro:  Tolbiac or Maison Blanche

Open Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 6pm

Still as bright as sunshine and beautiful as ever, but with even more space for La Bien Aimée’s highly coveted hand-dyed-in-Paris yarns,  Aimée’s new shop is located on the busy Avenue d’ Italie at number 89.

This new store and expanded dyeing studio is still in the same neighbourhood of the 13th arrondissement as the sister store L’Oisivethé (at the corner of rue Butte aux Cailles and rue Marie Jego), and is about a 10-minute walk away. This means you can still call in to La Bien Aimée for some new yarn before walking on to Wednesday knit night at L’Oisivethé to begin casting on.


France Duval-Stalla – now at 72 rue Mazarine, Paris 75006

Nearest metro:  Mabillon or Odéon

Open Tuesday to Thursday 11am to 7pm

Located at number 72 rue Mazarine, tucked cosily at the back of a pretty little courtyard, France Duval-Stalla’s new boutique is well worth a visit, and not just for the chance to stroll around the Left Bank neighbourhood, perhaps window shopping nearby on beautiful boulevard Saint Germain and stopping at one of its famous cafes.  The new boutique itself is more spacious and there are ever more elegant fabrics and trims – look out for the gorgeous sparkly elastics. France Duval-Stalla offers a programme of demonstrations and classes, which are in French but the teachers often speak English, as do the sales staff.


Le Bonheur des Dames 

We hear that Le Bonheur des Dames embroidery boutique at avenue Daumesnil is closing in early April 2018. Their pretty little boutique in Passage Verdeau (number 8) remains open and is as delightful as ever. A visit to the covered passages of Paris is a must-do.



Weber Métaux

We posted about the change of address for Weber Metaux here.

Remember, always check social media for any changes to opening hours for all stores before you visit. Most boutiques update their Instagram and Facebook accounts with any changes. It is common in Paris for opening hours to change seasonally, or for special occasions and events, and of course many boutiques close for a few weeks in the summer holidays.

Bon voyage!