SewDirectory

Here’s a compilation of sewing resources for the towns and countries I have lived in… I guess it’s a bit of a random assortment, but hopefully it’ll be useful if you find yourself living in one of these places too!!

swiss2

1. GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

In my experience, Switzerland is not the easiest place to find beautiful fabrics and sewing supplies. To make matters worse, order more than 50CHF of goods from abroad and you are liable to be hit with a substantial tax. With all this in mind, whilst I was living in Switzerland, I was on a fairly constant lookout for shops in the Geneva area and Swiss suppliers who sell online. Read More

France2

2. FRANCE

I don’t have a lot of experience fabric shopping in France, apart from Mondial Tissu (above) and the odd hour squeezed in to a Paris holiday (there are several great guides to Paris fabric shopping here, here and here)

However, there are lots of lovely French online resources out there. And if you are based in Switzerland my advice would be to befriend someone living over the border to receive your packages, to sidestep pesky import taxes. Read more

uk23. LONDON/UK

There are plenty of other bloggers who’ve done far more exhaustive listings  of UK resources (see for example Tilly, Katie, Karen and Kathryn). BUT since I regularly get asked by friends where to go, here’s a little list just for you! Read more

rwanda2

4. KIGALI, RWANDA

Now we’re getting niche eh? Yep, in March 2015 I moved out to Rwanda for a year and shipped my sewing machine with me. Read more

15 thoughts on “SewDirectory

  1. What a lovely blog and a great list of resources! I live in Geneva too and I sew quite a bit – I’ve made Elisalex a couple of times and have the Anna waiting to be made up also 🙂 Like you I’ve had difficulty finding affordable fabric here but have managed to get around it picking up stuff when I visit Paris or Milan or even Zurich, and of course ordering online… I had no idea about Mondial Tissus Annemasse and now I can’t wait to visit! I’ve been in A. Gras and scurried out just as quickly, and I know about Alja but I find their hours bizarre and have never managed to get there when they are actually open… the rest are all new to me, so thank you!

    If you’d like another sewing friend in Geneva or ever want to browse through a (shamefully large) pattern stash, do get in touch 🙂

  2. Just remembered another Swiss online resource you should absolutely add to your list: Buttinette. They have a very good selection of clothing fabrics including printed cottons, denim, and jersey, and their prices are affordable (well, for Switzerland anyway…). There are also occasional deals to be had in their “Restposten” section. The customer reviews (in German though) are helpful, and shipping is fast and reasonably priced. I have ordered from them and would do so again; just need to sew a bit of my stash first! Here is the link to their fashion fabrics (they also sell other kinds of fabrics for quilting and upholstery): http://basteln-ch.buttinette.com/shop/gruppe-CH-de-BU/28000-28100-28110-28111/Bekleidungsstoffe.htm

    • siobhan4285 says:

      Hi Adwoa 🙂
      Thanks for your lovely comments and for the Buttinette recommendation, I’ll add it to the list! And a real life meet up would be so nice. Maybe we could round up some sewing enthusiasts and do a group trip to Annemasse or something.
      Thanks so much for stopping by.
      Siobhan
      p.s. just had a quick glance at your blog and it looks amazing – all those beautiful typewriters! Will go back for a proper look later today…

  3. Peggy says:

    I can so relate to your fabric shopping experience. I lived in Geneva in the 1980s and, seeing all of the swiss fabrics at stores in Berkeley/SF, I thought I would be moving to fabric nirvana. However, like you, I found out quickly that there were very few fabric stores in Geneva. In fact, the only place I found that carried fabric was a department store downtown. It had a great selection but was very expensive, even back in the days when the exchange rate was 3SF/1$. Very quickly I decided to pack up my machine and get out the knitting needles, since yarn shops are on every block. Two years later I considered myself an “expert” knitter, but sewing still did, and still does, hold my heart.

    • Siobhan says:

      I know it’s so strange isn’t it? Last time I was home (London) I found a couple of really beautiful fabrics and when i looked up the designers they were Swiss, but they don’t seem to sell anywhere in Switzerland (least not the Geneva area)!! You’re right though, there are definitely more options for wool/yarn. Maybe I should give knitting a go 🙂

  4. Catherine says:

    Bonjour Siobhan,

    Just wondering how do you get to Mondial Tissus? Is it accessible by bus or tram from Geneva? I don’t own a car in Geneva. Merci..

    • Siobhan says:

      Hi Catherine,
      I’m sorry, I’m not sure how to get there without a car. It’s on a big industrial estate just outside of Annemasse (opposite a little airfield). We usually book a Mobility car (https://www.mobility.ch/en) for a couple of hours to get out there.
      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  5. Hi,
    I just found your blog and I like it very much! Congrats!
    I just opened a new online shop and I would love if you can add it to your list.
    The name is http://www.tissuandco.ch — and I carry fabrics, pattern, notions, etc. from all the contemporary brands out there: By Hand London, Tilly and the Buttons, Colette, Atelier Brunette, France Duval-Stalla, Merchant & Mills….
    The store is in French and English, German to follow soon.
    You can contact me directly at contact@tissuandco.ch, through the site or facebook page facebook.com/tissuandco
    Thanks a lot!
    Ana

    • Siobhan says:

      Hi Ana
      Thanks for stopping by and linking to your gorgeous shop, I’ve added it above and will no doubt be placing an order soon!
      Happy new year to you and yours
      Siobhan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s