19 February 2012

Nicholas Building, Melbourne

On Friday I had the fun of a trip to the City.  Melbourne is filled with fabulous alleyways and  arcades, and I found myself, through good planning but not quite enough browsing time, outside the Nicholas Building in Swanston Street.  The Cathedral Arcade runs through the ground floor, and you must look up when you're there to see the stunning glass roof.

This iconic building, completed in 1926, is home to a number of small artist studios, designers, makers and businesses.  The lifts remain some of the last in Melbourne to be operated by a person, and are charmingly decorated with personal momentos such as photos, postcards and silk flowers.  There is such a special feel to the Nicholas Building, with its history and beauty and, quite possibly, its hidden secrets.

My mission was to visit the second floor and to seek out three particular businesses, Buttonmania, Kimono House and, top of my list, l'uccello, which stocks vintage haberdashery and fancy goods, as the business card states.  I knew I was in for a treat when I spotted the entry to l'uccello.

Kim, the owner, is delightful and while there was a bit of a rush of customers she had time for everyone and made the visit to her store special.  There is a blog l'uccello which only teases and taunts you with her constant supply of new and beautiful products and fabulous class lists.

I think if I was still working in Melbourne this would definitely be a regular haunt.

Buttons, threads, vintage French linen, fabric ... treasures, everywhere you look!!

And how could I possibly leave without making an ever-so-small purchase?  A "crafty fat quarter", a metre of a divine pink and blue-bowed ribbon and a packet of Sajou thread cards featuring vintage cyclists!!  Even the packaging was gorgeous!

If you find yourself at 37 Swanston Street, pop in for some crafty goodness, look up at the arcade's roof and breathe in the essence of the Nicholas Building.



  1. Why don't I know about this shop. Is it the Flinders Street end of Swanston?

  2. Yes, Flinders Street end. Well worth a visit!!

  3. Oh dear. You see, I walk through town most days on my way home from university and now you've given me somewhere else to stop and dream. I have never heard of any of those shops - they look wonderful! Will be checking them out this week for sure. p.s. next time you're in Melbourne, you must let me know and we could meet up for a cup of tea - maybe at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms :-)


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