Santiago all sewn up
Tragically I failed to furnish you with an installment of Fashion Barometer Friday last week, but I was using my time wisely. I had to make a flying trip to Santiago to, among other things, get a piece of paper stamped by five different government offices (this is why most people stay happily in their countries of origin, I imagine, and why immigrants all over the world deserve our compassion).
Zip shop, Rosas
While I was there I took some photos to document my hard-won knowledge of the sewing shops of the city to provide you with a Sewing Tour of Santiago, as I have been meaning to for some time. I hope this will assist any dressmaker expats who make Santiago their home, be that ever so small a number.
Santiago’s most famous fabric district is Independencia, where on Avenida Independencia and surrounding streets you can find a ton of fabric shops worth looking in. I didn’t take any photos of this area for this post because I rarely shopped there. The shops on Independencia mainly cater for women’s fashion fabrics and don’t have much in the way of natural fibres, which is my preferred medium. I sweat a lot.
Rosas sewing machine shops, Santiago
Let us begin at the beginning. Rosas with Bandera is where you can buy your sewing machine, and have it fixed once bought.
Casa Suez, Rosas
Rosas is also the best place for all notions, sewing magazines, and jewellery making accoutrements, if that is your desire. Above, Casa Suez, is my favourite notion shop. They have the widest variety of threads and much of my other sewing shop knowledge came from them.
Just a block east you will find the Galerias Las Flores and Las Rosas, which are home to random craft shops which hold random craft lessons, and a whole lot of buttons. This is where you can buy pattern paper and lingerie notions.
Back down Banderas, also where all of Santiago’s best and cheapest second hand clothes shops are, there are a fair few places that sell fabric by the kilo. I found some lovely stuff in the Telas x Kilos shop above, so don’t be put off by the piles and piles of fabric.
Found on Catedral 1115 with Banderas, Casa Olivari is the best of the best. Lots of lovely cottons, fine shirt fabrics, and wool. Unfortunately it was shut while I was there, so you’ll have to make do with this dull photo.
Comercial Leo at 1132 Rosas is the fabric shop I patronised during my batik phase. They have a wide range of undyed cotton and canvas, as well as quite a good collection of notions. And they’re really lovely people.
Speaking of batik, there is a mall up in Vitacura called Pueblo del Ingles which is home to Santiago’s only batik shop The Batik & Silk Co, and quite a few art supply, knitting, and tapestry shops too. It’s crafty. It’s a pain in the arse to get to, but it, like me, you have an overwhelming urge to batik, then it’s there.
Most the shops mentioned here are only open during the week and till around 2pm on a Saturday, hence the photos of shuttered shops. This will be a familiar moan to anyone who lives in Latin America, but really I do think it’s nice that people get some time off, even if it stops me buying a reel of thread at inappropriate hours!
For the knitters among you, there are wool shops around 21 Mayo and Diagonal Cervantes. Also, a nice fountain and loads of fortune tellers and prostitutes.
There are a fair few other notion shops scattered around. Cordoneria Alemana is at Merced 788, and there are some in galerias around Tobablaba metro, as well as one in the Tobablaba metro underpass.
The only pattern shop I ever found in Santiago was Moldes Patrones, which has two shops and a website.
I think I must stop here, as this post is very special interest. It took me more than two years to find all this out, and I am sure I don’t know it all. If there’s anyone who wants to know more then do leave a comment. One of the hardest things about being an expat in a new country is having to learn everything from the beginning again, and having all this knowledge to waste – much like all the quotes from 90s films that will take up space in my brain forever.
Posted by abinadressmaker on February 14, 2012