Handmade travel wardrobe: Sunny Buenos Aires!


I’m so excited, everyone. Today, Kenn and I are off on a vacation to warm and sunny Argentina! I have never been to South America at all before, so this is a real treat. We’re renting a lovely little apartment in the Montserrat neighborhood of Buenos Aires, and probably also taking a little trip to Uruguay, to check out Montevideo. And perhaps wine country, if there is time. Anyone ever been?

I love traveling, but haven’t left North America in about two years, so this is extra exciting. But as much as I love to travel, I really hate to pack.

This time, I thought I’d try to pack a mostly handmade wardrobe. I put together these outfits to help me decide what to bring, and it was really helpful! I made most of these clothes this year, over the Spring and Summer, and it’s great to dig them out again, especially since there are several things I never even posted about.

Above: vintage cameo brooch, lace cardigan, The Lonsdale dress, OPI nail polish in Monsooner Or Later (my favorite bright warm red), The Authentic Bars, Cafes, and Restaurants of Buenos Aires, DV by Dolce Vita Sandals

Above: Floppy straw hat, linen daisy dress, MAC Vegas Volt, Smythson notebook, DV by Dolce Vita Sandals, a bottle of Malbec

Above: Linen blouse (originally from J. Crew, I got it for $4 because the buttons were falling off), vintage sunglasses, vintage silk scarf, Kork-Ease Deborah, gingham shorts (made earlier this year)

Above: vintage navy polka dot scarf, white/navy sorbetto tank, lilac pique shorts (made earlier this year), Kork-Ease Deborah, vintage sunglasses, GELATO! I hear Buenos Aires has great gelato.

I’ll also be bringing two beeeeautiful new dresses I just made from my upcoming Spring patterns. But I can’t show those to you yet, unfortunately. You’ll just have to keep an eye on my vacation photos when I get back!

PS: The blog will still be going strong while I’m gone. Caitlin and I have queued up some fun posts.

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.

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Comments 30

Kerry kestrelfindsandmakes.blogspot.com

What a cute holiday wardrobe! I’m defintiely excited to see the new dresses too.

Have a great trip!

Gail gksagenda.blogspot.com

Wow! This is so inspiring!

Have a fantastic vacation!

Abigail dressmakerscurve.wordpress.com

Hello, I’ve been reading your lovely blog for a while but this is my first comment. I hope you have a wonderful time in Buenos Aires – it’s my favourite city in the world (but I do live here)!

Let me know if you’d like restaurant recommendations or a tour of the fabric district!

Ashley-refurl refurl.blogspot.com

Fantastic travel wardrobe, have fun!

Dani Cruz maismagenta.com.br

Hey! I live in Sao Paulo, pretty close to Buenos Aires, and haven’t been there yet. Have a nice trip! I hear it’s a beautiful place to be :)

BTW, i asked your book for xmas :D

A Sewn Wardrobe asewnwardrobe.blogspot.com

You will look hot on vacay! Obsessed with your Lonsdale. That fabric! Have a great time.


Love the wardrobe! My former tango band played there a few times, and I would suggest a visit to the San Telmo flea market. Practice up on your tango dancing (NOT ballroom style!), and go to La Cumparsita. Enjoy! The people are super friendly and warm.

Amanda symondezyn.wordpress.com

Oh I am so happy for you and envious !! LOL. Buenos Aires is definitely on my travel destination wish list!

Thank you for the info on those awesome shoes… i’ve admired those!

I swear my heart skipped a beat… two new spring dresses…. ah the anticipation! Haven’t even got my fall patterns in the mail yet… something seriously wrong with me LOL.

Have fun, you deserve it ^_^


Have a lovely trip!!!!!,,SO nice that you are taking so many hand made things,,that is the cutest dress w/ the insertion! I used to do a lot of lace insertion , if anyone wants to find out more , the Martha Pullen school and Company do a lot of that, this is how I learned years aga,, \it is surprisingly easy but yes,, a bit tedious,,,,,however a seamstress can always find a way to use those tecniques other than chidrens clothing~ this dress is a great example of it and come to think of it,,,,I have some vintage daisly too! Happy vacation to you!!!!

Amanda D. sewinintherain.blogspot.com

These photos just made me want to book a trip somewhere warm! Love it, and can’t wait to see the new dresses! I have family in Colombia, the people are so warm and the food is so tasty – I’m sure Buenos Aires will be wonderful.

And I hope you’ll be releasing a shorts pattern one day, I love both of yours :)


Have an amazing trip! Argentina is just wonderful! I would also recommend that if you steer going over to Uruguay, take the fast one hour ferry to Colonia. It is a small town with both Portuguese andSpanish architecture, and it is amazingly charming.. You can then take a short bus ride to Montev!ido from there. Seriously, d, n’t miss it! You just need a half day our so to see it, so do fit it in.

Have an amazing trip! Argentina us amazingly beautiful. I lived there for two years, and I can’t wait to go back!


Love, love, love your blog, clothing & attitude!
Am looking for a 2012 vacation spot & have never considered South America. Can’t wait to hear all about it! Plus I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the postman with a signed copy of your book! Happy Travels!

raquel from florida

Buenos Aires is my favorite city in the whole world! I lived there for three wonderful years and my DD was born there. Go to the cafes, if you like your coffee strong ask for a cortadito, if you like it easy ask for a “lagrima”. Eat a “tostado”: a ham a cheese sandwich, really thin and wonderful or “facturas” (delicious pastries ). Go to Recoleta, San Telmo on Saturday morning (there is an antique fair, with tango dancers and lots of beautiful things), Puerto Madero (great restaurants there). Go to San Isidro by train (El Tren de la Costa) and if you have time go to Puerto de Frutos in Tigre (outside Buenos Aires by train). Uffffff! what else?….the shoppings: Paseo Alcorta, Galerias Pacifico in Calle Florida, Unicenter in Martinez. Buy to bring for family and friends some “alfajores” and “Havanets” (Havanna Brand please). Have fun !!!!

raquel from florida

I forgot: ice cream gelatin style from “Freddo” The Best!

raquel from florida

Sorry I meant gelatto style

Leah strugglesewsastraightseam.wordpress.com

All of your outfits are adorable, you are going to look so chic! I did research in Argentina during college and I stayed in Buenos Aires the entire time. It’s a little macabre, but I adore the La Recoleta cemetery where Eva Peron and everyone who is (was) anyone is buried in above-ground crypts. I’m strange that way. I also loved Palermo, just walking around and enjoying that part of the city. All of Buenos Aires is fairly magnificent, and my god is it cheap. The garment district is actually pretty cool, it’s also the Jewish quarter and it has the only kosher McDonald’s outside of Israel. I’m not saying you should eat there, I’m just sayin’. Have a wonderful trip!

Miss Crayola Creepy misscrayolacreepy.blogspot.com

Vegas Volt is my color!!!

Have lots of fun and take lots of photos!


You’re going to have a great time. I second a visit to the Recoleta cemetery, especially at dusk. The Isaac Fernández Blanco museum has a great collection of colonial Latin American art. And I’m not sure if you’re a meat eater, but if you are, you will revel in the grilled beef. It is the quintessential, Platonic essence of beef without which life on earth wouldn’t be quite right. :) Also try the “submarino”–a glass of warm milk served with a small chocolate bar on the side–you immerse the chocolate in the milk and stir to make your own hot chocolate. “Alfajores” are sinfully rich cookies with a dulce de leche filling. And you have to havecoffee late at night at one of the million cafes in BA–porteños, as the residents of the city are called, love to meet there at all hours.

I highly recommend a day in Montevideo. It’s like a step back in time and it has some gorgeous remnants of Art Deco architecture and some good antique stores too. It’s not as wealthy or polished as BA, but it has it’s own charm. You take a high-speed catamaran from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, and it’s fun to arrive in a city that way.

Have fun and take lots of pictures! Porteños are super stylish, so I’m sure you’ll get lots of ideas for future patterns and the styling of your current ones.

Katie M unconventionalkatie.blogspot.com

I spent a couple weeks in Brazil six years ago and my heart is still there! I would love to return to South America to visit Brazil again, as well as other countries. Have a great time!

MB itunes.apple.com

Gosh, save some room for the amazing vintage clothes that they’ve got down there! Seriously. Pack light, you can always more clothes on the road. I look forward to your vintage finds. I predicts lots of pretty buttons, fabric, and hats!

Aileen Cahill knittingneels.com

Hey, I’m just back from South America on my honeymoon. We spent over a week in Buenos Aires (among many other places) and I think you’ll definitely enjoy it – but it is very different to north america. It’s pretty awful for shopping but utterly amazing for eating. We ate our way through Palermo and used Trip Advisor for restaurant recommendations – it never sent us wrong.

As for Montevideo, I say give it a miss and go to Colonia instead. You can get a high-speed ferry for a little bit extra (1hr vs 3hrs) and go for the day. It’s a world heritage site, wonderfully preserved, and full of little shops to poke around. Montevideo is just another run-down, 2nd world city with not much to see, unfortunately.

The best things about Buenos Aires are the steak, the wine and the ice-cream – enjoy them all :)

Melissa Alexandar singinsweetbird.blogspot.com

Are you kidding me?!! I’m so happy for you to be going somewhere sunny :) I love your wardrobe choice! So chic like vintage Hollywood. Those lilac shorts look super comfy.


I really love the daisy dress, is it a Colette pattern? Great style!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

It’s actually the Licorice dress (from the book), but I omitted the collar and just added a wide ruffle around the neckline instead!


I love your travel wardrobe, thanks for sharing! Your make of the Lonsdale is so appealing. I love the pattern the way its drafted, but I always dream of it with a straight skirt! I suppose I need to make it twice – one each way. Have a great vacation.


I hope you have a wonderful vacation. I loved your post it made me want to run away and have an adventure! I simply adore your shorts and would love to see you publish this pattern, do you have any plans for this???


Love both pairs of your shorts!


Have fun in Argentina! My husband is from Buenos Aires and my father in law just moved back there two years ago. He says it’s gotten more dangerous just walking around there than he remembers from years ago, so be careful too!


Forgot to say, I love love love that Daisy dress! I just got your book the other day and saw some lovely yellow daisy eyelet fabric at the fabric store yesterday and put it back because I didn’t have a project in mind for it…now I just might have to go back and get it and try a variation of the daisy dress!


I love the shorts too! Any chance you’ll publish them?

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