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Argentina and Uruguay


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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I thought I’d share a few photos from our December trip to Buenos Aires. It was an amazingly beautiful city.

Just as I’d been told, the ice cream was pretty amazing. I’m not even a huge sweets person, but I think we ate it 3 or 4 times on our trip. So good.

We usually rent apartments when we travel, instead of staying in hotels. It’s usually cheaper, you can stay in more residential areas, plus you get a kitchen so you can cook and shop and get more of a sense of local life. In this case, we found a gorgeous little apartment to stay in. It had a few quirks, but the ambiance couldn’t be beat.

We also took the ferry over and spent a couple days in Colonia, Uruguay. After the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires this pretty little seaside town was like a vacation within a vacation.

Finally, I wanted to tell you a little about the fabric shopping I did in BA! The kind and generous Abi offered to show me around a bit, so we headed off to shop in a fabric district that honestly rivals New York. There was a LOT of fabric, much of it beautiful, and notions shops absolutely everywhere. I was truly impressed.

Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera as I was tired of lugging the thing around and equally tired of being cautioned that it might be stolen, so you just get a few iphone pics.

That picture on the top right there? Lingerie elastic in every color! Amazing! Why can’t I find that here?

This is the fabric I bought. It’s a gorgeous tea-colored embroidered fabric with scalloped edges. The seller called it “broderie anglaise”, but I think broderie is technically an eyelet fabric, no? Anyway, I am so excited to make something with this in the Spring, it is so pretty. It also really says Buenos Aires to me, echoing the beautiful ironwork you see everywhere.

You can see all my photos from the trip on Flickr.

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 50


What beautiful photographs, it looks like an amazing holiday. Love your black and white stripe dress. And that fabric that you picked up in BA is to die for!!!! CANNOT wait to see what you make!

Michelle Bannon

Gorgeous photos! Love the architecture, scenery & your dress. Another city on my list to visit. Maybe a Collette Patterns trip in the future?


Ooh, that would be lovely.


Wow…I want one of those vintage telephones…the fuschia one please!


gorgeous pics… so colourful! Really captures a feeling of being somewhere so different :) I love that fabric, you must be having a tough time deciding what to make from it – the possibilities are many :)


They really are. But we have a pattern coming out that plays very well with border prints / edged fabrics like this, so I think that’s what it will be. :)


Wow, the green & sunshine in these pictures make me so jealous – it looks so lovely & warm there! I’m so tired of the cold/grey weather here… and I’m in Nashville, which has *barely* had a winter. Can’t imagine what other areas are dealing with!

Anyway, I loveeeee these pictures. Everything looks so beautiful & I’m dying over the notions/fabrics. And the colors – what a colorful city!


We have about 8-9 months of grey skies here, so this was a real treat. I even got a little burned!

Katrina Blanchalle

Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photos. I visited BA many, many years ago and it was one of my favorite places in the world. The colors, the beautiful people, the mix of cultures, the pretty neighborhoods, the delicious food; everything is still a wonderful memory. And your pictures have refreshed it beautifully. Glad you had a wonderful time there!


Wow! What an amazing and inspiring trip! I can’t wait to see what becomes of the embroidered fabric. Thanks for sharing!


That white broderie fabric looks like a modern version of a broderie Marseilles that we saw at a medieval manor in Cornwall. I’ve been searching for something similar to it but as true broderie Marseilles is hand made it’s super pricey. I can only assume that broderie means embellished because broderie anglais does have the embroidered stitches around the eyelets and broderie marseilles has embroidered stitches creating a raised pattern. Well scored though, I’m not at all jealous!!


Yes, I think you’re right. I think Broderie Anglaise litterally means “English Embroidery”?

I’d never heard of Broderie Marseille, but after googling it just now, it looks gorgeous! It looks like it incorporates trapunto or something? Really lovely.


Yeah, broderie anglaise literally means “English embroidery” but it’s never been very strictly applied to just English work, or even a terribly specific style. It’s a fairly general term for whitework – embroidery with white thread on white fabric, often with pierced or cut eyelets or other lacy holes, but not necessarily. Broderie anglaise was really popular in the mid-19th century, and apart from your fabric being an off-white rather than a true white, I’d say it looks generally like a broderie anglaise style of embellishment. What an extremely nifty find! (I did my undergrad thesis on historical clothing & textiles; I have a lot of tidbits about this sort of thing floating around in my head.)


Very interesting! There was actually a pure white version for sale as well, but I went with the slightly tan.

Thanks for the info, really informative.


Wow. I think I want to go just for the atmosphere and fabric shopping now!


Glad you had fun! Colonia looks absolutely lovely, I might have to make a trip over there myself. Looking forward to seeing what you make from your souvenir fabric,
Abi x


You should! It’s touristy of course, but really very pretty. I have a soft spot for little seaside towns, touristy or not. :)

Thanks again for being my tour guide, Abi!

Miss Crayola Creepy

Those colors! So inspiring!

Rachel W.

What an amazing trip! The photos you took tell such a story! Buenos Aires seems such a vibrant, thrumming-with-life place. That first photo of the little woven souvenirs reminds me so strongly of Abby Franquemont’s descriptions of growing up in Peru and watching the local handweaving/textile industry inexorably orient itself towards tourism. She has some fascinating stories over here, if handspinning and ethnography catches your interest:

And oh, your wonderful embroidered fabric! I was thinking of trying to find something white and embroidered or lacey to use for a Taffy blouse, so I can’t help being a touch envious! (But then, bias-cutting that fabric would waste your wonderful scalloped edge!) It’s the perfect spring fabric, whatever it turns into!


Thank you for the link, that sounds fascinating.


Such a shame that when I was in BA 5 years ago I wasn’t sewing.


All of the COLORS! Amazing. Were those brilliantly colored telephones for sale? I don’t think I could have left without one of them if they were!


Yes, and that was only a few of them! They were all over the place at the street markets and antique shops we saw.


I just keep coming back to stare at the phones… If only I had the money to fly to Argentina, I’d buy a whole bundle!


Gorgeous photos! Thing is, I’m going to be there in May and would just die to know where the fabric district is! If anyone could provide some directions – id be eternally grateful :)


I’m afraid I don’t know exactly where everything was, but I know the subte stop was Corrientes, and Abi and I met at the corner of Lavalle and Pueyrredon. You can see fabric shops from there all around, but someone who lives there might be able to give you more specific directions than that. :)


Hey! The area’s called “Once” and like Sarai said your best best is to go to the subte station Corrientes and walk down Lavalle from there. And I’m always up for another trip to the area if you want company!


Hey! I live in BA, Argentina. If you need a guide, I’m here! Besos Ceci


Beautiful cars ! Are they still driving with them ? I don’t know anything about those countries, very interesting and charming. Thank you !


There were a lot of old cars in Colonia. Some were being driven, some seemed to be mostly street decor, with plants growing out of them. One restaurant has an old car that’s been converted into an outdoor dining booth.


I Love the photos but have to admit that I Really wanted to see those shorts you made! That’s for sharing your holiday snaps.


Sorry that was thanks for sharing your holiday snaps.


Looks like an amazing holiday! Am loving Colonia- it looks gorgeous!


Aaah just what I needed to keep my South American wanderlust happening. Beautiful pics, and the fabric shopping sounds very exciting.


Such beautiful photos, and that dress is stunning on you!


What lovely photos! Looks like a fantastic trip! :)


Wow! That looks like an amazing place. And what awesome fabric you picked up. Can’t wait to see what you make out of it.


Oh those photos are gorgeous! Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself!! And I swooned at the old cars.


Did you make your stripped dress? I feel like it looks familiar but I’m just not placing it! Thanks for sharing with us!


Oh, wow! What a feast for the senses! Amazing!

I really think that pink phone is perfect for CP HQ – it can be the pattern hotline! ;)


My dearest friend is from Argentina and I remember her visiting me when I lived in Berkeley and she said that Berkeley, with all its winter blooms and lushness and draping vines really reminded her of Argentina. I definitely see what she means in that gorgeous photo of the courtyard (although it’s Uruguay). So beautiful. And, why don’t we have the same goods everywhere in the U.S. I hate that we have to go to these huge marketplaces for the world of drygoods. I’m happy to online shop all I want but here in North Carolina, we’re still fairly limited to a few good fabric shops.


Ooh and aahs! Thanks for sharing, Sarai! Apartment stays are so much better. As you noted, it’s a great way to get a feel for a neighborhood, and cook! I’m loving your dress, and all of that lingerie elastic.


Hi Sarai,
Your photos are very lovely and you are beautiful with your nice dress!
What a nice country!
Have a good evening!


Wow, great photos! Looks like the weather was good. The textures and colours are great! Thanks for sharing!


Awe, it’s so cool to see a post about Argentina! I’m from there but I’m living in California.

Hope you have a great weekend! ;D


Jesse Lu

Ooooh… I am finally reading through the blog after months of being away, and these pictures from your trip are so wonderful. They make me ache to visit Argentina and Uruguay even more than usual. Thank you for sharing. :)


Amazing! Im from Buenos Aires and it looks so much pretty in your pictures!

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