knit | look | sew

The Nicholas Building

May 28, 2015

Thank you dear readers for your wonderful advice on sock knitting fastly (as Our Dear Girl used to say). All the patterns you recommended have been gathered together in my Ravelry favourites section using the new bundle feature…best ever sock resource!

2015-05-28 19.42.51Now one good turn deserves another, so I thought I would share with you a very special part of ol’ Melbourne town, should you visit one day.

IMG_0528The Nicholas Building is a Melbourne institution but it is very easy to miss or forget about for years, then remember it has the very thing that you need.

Nicholas_BuildingImage by Stephen Bain, 2009 Wikicommons

Those police cars were still there when I popped in last week, six years after this pic was taken!

Built in 1926, on the corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Lane, it was very splendid once. The architect was Harry Norris but the building is named for the building company who made it.

Influenced by the design of commercial buildings in America, the Nicholas Building adopts a Renaissance palazzo form with mannered Greek revival styling in its facade treatment. 

I have no idea what that means but it is rather grand although somewhat faded now. The Nicholas Building used to be a significant commercial building, there was a Coles on the ground floor and lots of offices. Now, it full of artists and artisans and tiny specialty shops.

IMG_0529That was the ground level, now up the stairs.

IMG_0534Beaut wee corners down dark corridors.

IMG_0533This is the directory for level two.

IMG_0539Here we are.

IMG_0535Buttonmania! Its front doors belie the treasures within. Look at this!

IMG_0536It is the kind of place where you tell the proprietor, Kate Boulton, the kind of button you are looking for. You describe it in words or take in the garment with you. Then, something very magical happens. Kate considers for a moment, says ‘I think I might have something that would suit’, goes to a drawer, pulls out a tiny bag and shows you the exact buttons you need. First time! The customers after me had a similar experience. It is witchcraft I am sure.

I also needed some grosgrain to face a steek but all I could find were polyester ones which seemed a shame to put on wool. So I popped in to L’uccello, a haberdashery emporium of sorts.

IMG_0541They had vintage grosgrain made of cotton in exactly the shade I needed…

IMG_0540…of course they did!

IMG_0543I also bought some vintage silk taffetta ribbon for a stowaway gift for Our Dear Girl.

IMG_0531On the way down the sad old stairs, I browsed in a second clothes store and found a ladies’ wool kilt from Scotland. It fitted and as we all know, that is destiny…so I bought it.

IMG_0544Do pop into the Nicholas Building if you are in Melbourne town. Street level chain stores obscure the marvellous experience awaiting you…but you know that now!

Next post, I will show you what I did with the wee green buttons and grosgrain.