Sewing in Bucharest

Bucharest doesn’t really have a sewing scene. Patterns are hard to come by (Thank God for PDF patterns!) and fabrics range from sequined polyester to sequined spandex. I usually bring one big suitcase back from my annual visit stateside filled with notions, fabrics and other necessities. Planning your sewing for a year ahead is frustrating and inevitably a massive failure. But it seems that sewing arts might be making an inroad.

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This past weekend at a heritage building known as “The Ark”, which was originally the commodities stock exchange built in 1898, hosted a sewing/styling expo called #Creativo. It offered free classes in sewing, paper pattern alterations, draping and styling. A variety of companies hosted the event. Atelierele ILBAH hosted the sewing class my friend and I took out of curiosity. Being that I already sew, I assumed I would get frustrated as it was just a little intro to get people a taste of sewing to tease them into signing up for courses. But I really wanted to be part of the first sewing event of its kind in Bucharest. Also we don’t speak Romanian so we figured it might be challenging and language barriers always make for great comedy.

Once the organizers found they had two English speakers on their hands they made sure we had a translator at the ready. Romania is pretty old school as far as education goes. The instructor didn’t pin, measure, or press. The instructor is the authority and her word is law. I bit my tongue, cringed, and went with it. Until I wanted to top stitch a hem and was promptly removed from my machine. The instructor took over and that was that. I could not be trusted with making an envelope pillow.

IMG_0810Sewing is seen to be a skill to learn to start a business. As this being a promotion for their certification course it was certainly not the jovial vibe of sewing events in the states. But I’m thrilled to see that this craft is edging its way into the city.

The event also had sellers. I was especially excited to see Fabrix Studio there as they stock cotton, even some beautiful locally produced cotton for traditional embroidered shirts. The women working the booth were super friendly and excited about growing their business that’s unique to this area.

The well-known Prym notions was also on hand and had very personal service. The woman running the booth promised to get me a copy of the massive catalog as they are in English. Hopefully that all works out as I’m eager to get my fasteners for summer overalls and dungarees for Gus.

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Neoprene, satin, splatter paint and ruffles? Why not? Romanians are definitely not shy about their style! Here’s hoping home sewing takes off here. I’m ready for knits and jersey to ride the wave in!


We have pillow cases!!! I also got to sport my new Anya skirt in public. Yay for sewing!!!