My makes

Mademoiselle Gus PM patterns

Mademoiselle chante le Gus | Pm-Patterns blog tour

There is nothing wrong with my spelling, in case you were wondering, just a bit of French.  It’s also a little nod to a song that sends me back to my childhood (I’ll add the video at the end) and I thought it made for a cute pun – keep on reading to see where I’m coming from.

So why am I turning Francophone on you all of a sudden?

Well, it’s because I am taking part in my second ever blog tour (the activewear one a few weeks ago was the first) for a new to me French pattern company, called Pm-Patterns. I have waxed lyrical about how much I love Indie French patterns and so when I saw the call for the blog tour, I jumped right on it. I was very pleased to be chosen, so here I am sharing my make with you.

So let me tell you more about Pm-patterns… (and make sure you read until the end for a Giveaway!!)



Plan B cardigan | Simplicity 8217 Review

Having a plan B is always my way of dealing with difficult situations. What’s the worse that can happen and how can I deal with it? Sure helps to take care of anxiety.

And I have to say I was getting a bit anxious about making this pattern already. This is part of a collaboration with Simplicity, who kindly sent me a few patterns to review. No pressure, Alex! When I chose the patterns, I thought I’d be clever and choose a coat, to give me the impetus I needed to stop procrastinating and make a darn coat already. I started early January, with all the goodwill in the world, but I kept running into all kinds of obstacles. I had planned to publish a post at the end of January and here we are, beyond mid-February and still no coat. And I’m afraid that, for various reasons, that one might be a write-off. Funny thing is that I realised just what went wrong only when I made it again in cardigan version.

Anyway, I had to figure out a really quick project with that pattern, with fabric from the stash, preferably, as I’m trying not to buy any more unless I must. I had used a bit of this grey jersey fabric to make a cardigan for my little niece and it’s been delivered and loved instantly three weeks ago when I was in Denmark. So I had it on my mind and, as it usually does, it clicked and plan B came together (plus inspo from Michelle at That Black Chick). It was a bit of a dash to sew and photograph it at the weekend, – man, I hate winter short days – but thanks to my long-suffering husband, all is well that ends well.

So let me tell you more…


Sew my own activewear? This girl can! | Sew Your Own Activewear Winter Base Layer + Book review

Readers, last week I started running! And I made my own activewear. Now there are two things you would not have caught me dead saying – or attempting, for that matter. In both cases, it was easier than I thought. It was just a question of finding the right person to hold my hand while doing it. And in both cases, I found just that.

For running, it’s this lady called Laura (not even sure it’s her real name), who is the voice behind NHS’s Couch to 5k programme. No idea who she is, but she must be some sort of miracle worker to get me to start running. Readers, I am the opposite of a gym bunny, I used to totally dislike any form of exercise. Now, I’m not saying I am a fitness addict, but I am off the sofa and doing the programme (week one, so far) every other day. I even wake up at stupid o’clock to get it done before I go to work.

Now, I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but 6 am in the UK in February is pretty nippy. So you need something to keep the cold away.

That’s where Melissa, from FehrTrade comes in. Melissa has been the activewear queen for a long time now. Well, she kinda needs to, she runs marathons and all that, plus representing the UK at the World Transplant Games, she does need a fair bit of kit. At the end of January, she released her book, Sew Your Own Activewear, where she is sharing all her knowledge with anybody who is looking to do the same – make their own kit that is, not run marathons (though I’m sure she will have a tip or two for that as well).

I have been invited to take part in the blog tour to review the book, for which I also chose to make a project – a winter base layer top –  so here goes for both.


Right back atcha’ | Vogue V1531 Review (in collaboration with

I almost called this the killer dress, but I realised I have said this before very recently! What is it with me choosing maddening projects when I really don’t have the time to faff around, when I have about one hundred other deadlines and I honestly rather be sewing something else? Because I’m a sewing masochist, that’s why!! I have read the reviews on Pattern Review about this one, so I knew people said it was hard. It’s Vogue Designer, right, so what else can it be, it comes with the territory, of course it does. But we all get a bit tunnel visioned, don’t we? And boy, do I ever (PTSD flashback to the cherry dress from the Sewing Bee *slaps forehead*!).

People, this dress is hard! Or it was for me. I spent waaay too much time on it, some of it my fault, as I made stupid mistakes, but the rest it was this blinkin’ pattern! Now don’t get me wrong, the design is awesome! But there is something about Vogue Designer that always seems to me like scratching your left ear with your right hand going around your head (it’s a Romanian phrase, sure won’t make any sense to anyone who is not Romanian, so don’t worry too much). I’m sure no one ever actually hand-stitches in factories where the designer clothes are made (haute couture excluded), so why in the name of all that is good about sewing, are they making us do it! I’m sure there are tips and tricks in the industry on how to construct stuff without having to pick up needle and thread. Only hemming gets a free pass, as I never really mastered the blind stitch on the sewing machine.

Ok, rant over.

On to the dress… There are a few exciting things going on here, like the collaboration with, which provided this beautiful fabric for me to review.


Wearing a big hug | Wearologie Nivis Crop Top (review + discount code)

My dad told me that when I was a child, I used to walk up to ladies on the street and pet their fury coats. It was the 80s, so there were a lot of those going around, and I was 5, so it was cute, not creepy, but the point of the story is that pretty much all my life I have been attracted to soft, pettable materials.

And that is still the case, many many years later. I love soft fake fur, fleece, minky, that thing that fluffy dressing gowns are made of,  you name it, I want to just lovingly stroke it.

So of course that the last time I visited Abakhan with my friend Simona, who is a lucky devil for living 10 mins walk to the Bolton shop, I just could not stop myself from getting this piece of stripy micro-furry stuff (no idea what it’s called), like a faux fur, but with short, soft, lovely hairs. I have no idea if it mimics any real animal, but as soon as I laid my hands on it, I could not care less. It was less than a meter and I had no idea what it could be made into, but I just could not let go of it. So I brought it home with me.

But, what to make with it?


Sophia Dress from Burda Style Magazine Vintage Special

If a dress could kill you | Burda Vintage Special Sophia Dress

This does sound a bit overdramatic, doesn’t it? Well, maybe a tad.

But no other dress I ever sewed, except my wedding dress, put me through the wringer quite as much as this Sophia Dress from Burda Style Magazine Vintage Special. It took a long time, a lot of head scratching and a lot of swearing to turn from pattern+fabric into a dress I can slip into. And all for just one wear…

Was it worth it? Well, read on and tell me what do you think…



Why Vogue V9075 will always be my TNT| #sewcialistsTNT

Before I started sewing, if someone mentioned TNT, I would think of bombs and explosions. You know, trinitrotoluene, the stuff that is used to detonate things and would show up in cartoons, usually blowing up Wiley Coyote. How misguided I was…

In the sewing world, TNT actually stands for Tried’n’True patterns, i.e. a pattern that you have made loads of versions of and has stood the test of time, fit and wear, to become a wardrobe staple.

Why are we talking about this now?

November is TNT month over at the Sewcialists, the online sewing community. So I wanted to give you my take on them as well. Join the conversation with #sewcialistsTNT.


Colour blocking, the best way to scrap bust |Burda Style Boxy top (08/2017 #112)

A few years ago, in a moment of insanity, I ordered a big lot of scuba remnants off eBay. Now, all seasoned sewists know that a remnant lot will most likely be random pieces of fabric, that most of the time cannot actually be used for anything useful.

Well, somehow, I forgot this little details. And I clicked ‘Buy now’ without thinking anything of it. And, surprise, surprise, when my order arrived, there were indeed random pieces of scuba, in various colours, none bigger than about 40×30 cm and some even smaller.

I am definitely of the ‘waste not, want not’ persuasion, so for the past couple of years, I have been working my brain to figure out what to use these pieces for.


The presser foot I never knew I needed | Kimono sleeve dress with tulip skirt & pleather trims

I don’t know about you guys, but I find it quite hard to define my style in a few words. I try to go for modern minimalist, but not sure if that always comes across.

However, I can easily tell you what my signature look is. Anything with a little bit of pleather on it.  Man, I love faux leather and I could literally add it on to anything! Case in point, the pleather sleeves here and here, the pleather chiffon dress here, more pleather inserts here and more sleeves here.

So you would have thought that I got this pleather sewing down to a T.

Well, you would be wrong! I only realised last week that I have been making my life harder than it needed to be for no good reason.

Let me tell you what I learned that changed it all!


Embracing the autumn palette | Burda Style Oversized V-Neck Jumper

My train arrives in Manchester at 12.30 on a very cold, but sunny Saturday in January 2017. I am literally chomping at the bit to get off the train. With a brief, absent-minded kiss to my husband, I rush as if hypnotised out of the train station. Never mind pedestrians, traffic, Saturday tourists. I am dragging my minuscule suitcase after me at an incredible speed. I almost run, filled with giddy excitement. It feels almost like a date, my heart rate is up, my cheeks are flushed. And finally, I arrive…


Seamwork Astoria in green ribbed jersey 2

Simple make for when everything else is chaos | Seamwork Astoria

My living room floor is currently covered with the ENTIRE content of my sewing room! It’s complete CHAOS! (Psst, don’t tell my husband, he’s away for a few days and I hope to have it all back to perfection before he gets back). And it all started with getting my eyes checked and having pupil dilation drops put it.

Wait, what?

Lately, I have been thinking about overhauling my sewing room more than I do about new sewing projects. I am really grateful to have a sewing room – our spare bedroom – but that leaves us with the issue of where do our guests sleep. Currently, it’s an airbed on the sewing room floor. I have been working my brain for ages to figure out how to put in a better sleeping solution. Well, try as I might that’s not happening, but I am getting a built-in wardrobe to tidy things up a bit. And I am shuffling things around to make a bit more room on the floor for a bigger air bed. Not ideal, but I will have a really nice sewing room.


Black & White Triangle Back Blouse | Burda Style Magazine 2016-04-114

Sometimes you just need a short and sweet little make in your (sewing) life. Something that sews up quickly and it’s also satisfying, and if it happens to be a wardrobe filler, well, then, that’s a Brucie bonus. You would not believe that this little top ticks all those boxes, buy my oh my, it so does.  I had a completely different idea when I first picked up this pattern but in the end, I just left it as it was and super happy with it. (more…)

DIY fashion Strapless dress with high-low hem Sewing Blogging

Italian job | Esplanade bra hack into high-low strapless dress

Like the last of the summer wines, the last of the dresses I’ve been sewing for the summer are making their way on the blog. Even if they do come with the sprinkling of goose bumps for accessories…

I’m so happy to be showing you one of my favourite makes of the year, which brings back amazing memories of my wedding in the Caribbean and another awesome wedding I attended in Italy in May this year. This is a hack of the Esplanade bra pattern from Orange Lingerie into a glamorous dress. Also, I have tales of jeopardy and crazy last minute sewing, so keep on reading to see how it all links together.


High-low shirtdress with bell sleeves| Sew Sew Def Katie Dress Review

When I first saw Mimi G wearing Sew Sew Def Katie dress, I was immediately in love! And I knew I must make one right away. Then came the perfect excuse too: the #SewTogetherforSummer Instagram Challenge that Sarah (from Sew Sarah Smith), Monika (@rocco.sienna) and Suzy (@sewing_in_spain) have hosted earlier in the summer. I did finish it like Cinderella by the stroke of midnight on the 21st June to take part in the challenge and wore it the very next day for my birthday. But what do you know? Yet another project that I made ages ago and did not get a chance to photograph.

Why, you might ask? Well, because this dress is blinkin’ cursed! Allow me to elaborate…


Red Knit Jumpsuit | McCalls M7444 Review

I feel that I definitely did not make enough jumpsuits this year! And as you guys know, I absolutely LOVE them. I had planned this one for ‘Jumping into June’ challenge, but I didn’t even get close to finishing this one in by then. So here I am showing this red knit jumpsuit in mid-August, but with my track record and the backlog of unblogged projects, this is really not too bad.

So, as I was saying, I’m a sucker for a new jumpsuit pattern. And I was looking for a new summer TNT pattern for a while, as an alternative for my all time favourite pattern, V9075. I have been following Nikki from Beaute J’adore for years now, so when I heard she is releasing a range of patterns for McCalls, I was intrigued. M7444 got on my radar and after umming and erring for a while, I bit the bullet and bought it in a sale.


Raglan tunic dress in lilac crepe | Burda Style 10/2014 #127

As I wrote in my previous post, August is #TributeMonth in the #sewcialists world. I wrote on the Sewcialist blog about 5 inspirational bloggers and instagrammers, 5 ladies whose style and attitudes I love. But there are so many more sewists I get inspiration from. So I want to dedicate my first post in August to some more of my favourite sewists.

As you already know, I love Burda Style Magazine, in spite of the copying sheets bonanza and dodgy instructions, so I take a lot of inspiration from sewists like Mokosha and Chris from Said and Done, who bring Burda designs to life in so many inspiring ways. So this particular project is a tribute to Mokosha, Chris and all the ladies who sew a lot with Burda. Mokosha made this very pattern here and here, in two very different fabrics. Thank you, ladies, and here’s my version.


Sometimes you just have to go back | Vogue 9186 hack

You guys, the summer seems to be holding on in London, and it’s absolutely amazing! Nothing makes me happier than hot, long days and balmy summer nights. And wearing summer dresses and other delightful projects that I get to only put on a few days a year. And because I only get to enjoy them for a short time, most of my summer clothes are stored away for the majority of the year. But that’s ok, it’s even more fun to unpack the summer wardrobe and rediscover clothes you almost forgot you had.

Though sometimes there’s a downside… Things I loved last year just don’t work for me this year anymore. Sometimes I just pass them on, and sometimes I can actually be bothered to do something about them.

This is what happened to this particular dress. You might remember it from last year, the pattern is a rather peculiar asymmetric shape that I had also added a few modifications to as well. Well, when I put it on one day the other week, I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. But it’s a really lovely fabric and I quite still like the shape, it was just the elastic gathering didn’t work for me anymore, it felt really constricting.


How I spent my summer sewcation on unselfish sewing |RTW copy Tulip dress in jersey

I’m sure you guys have learned by now that I am probably the most selfish sewist ever! I HATE sewing for other people! I don’t like how hard it is to get hold of them for fitting, how they always want things I quite dislike (ditzy florals, beah!) and how in the end, I have no new item to add to my wardrobe. Selfish, I told you! Plus half of them are blinkin’ ungrateful! With one exception: my sister. We are virtually the same size, so I don’t really need her for fitting, I can just take my measures. She is always suitably impressed and grateful. And she wears what I make for her. Even so, I still procrastinate like the dickens when she asks me to make her something.


Variations on a theme|McCalls M7542

I am embracing #YearoftheSleeve, at long last! As you might remember, I am still on a retail fast (only one emergency pair of trousers bought since 1st Jan 2015), so the only way to access trends and fashion is through sewing my own. Flutter sleeves are everywhere this year, both in shops and in our very own sewosphere. And McCalls made it all easier with this pattern, M7542, a simple top with a lot of sleeve variations, that can be a great starting point for all sort of yummy designs. And so I jumped on the bandwagon and bought the pattern to have a play myself. I was really gutted I didn’t get around to actually entering the competition, but there were some great winners that provided loads of inspiration.


Green Rib Sheath Dress | Burda Style 11/2015 #114

As I was planning this post, I was thinking that yet again, I am being very weather inappropriate. This is because of course I’m behind on my blog pictures and did not post this when I actually made it. Then again, what’s new? However, when I stepped outside to take the pictures it felt well suitable, it’s really nippy in London. So, let’s pretend we’re in the Southern Hemisphere and it’s autumn rather than summer.


First attempt on the ballet wrap top | Seamwork Elmira Review

Hey guys, I’ve got the post-holiday blues! You might have spotted on IG that I was in Tuscany in Italy last week. I know it’s now almost a cliche to rave about how amazing it is, but it really is. I had been dreaming of going to Florence since I was 14 and got an A+ for my essay on Lorenzo the Magnificent in History, but this was the first time. And I was truly blown away! I absolutely adored Florence, in spite of the hoards of tourists being spewed out of tour buses and the ridiculous queues for anything remotely interesting. But perhaps the best parts met us when we stepped out of the cities, in the Chianti countryside, with vineyards and rolling hills and the most beautiful light anywhere!


Pinkie & the Rib |Vintage Simplicity 8977

I’m finally getting around to posting about a little dress that I made ages ago (I’m sure you’re seeing a pattern here…). I took picture last weekend, while enjoying the fantastic weather we had in London. In hindsight, good call, Batman, because it went back to being freezing here (although quite sunny) and those toes would not have lasted in sandals even for a few seconds. And I had it in my head that this dress requires chunky heels. I feel like I’m impersonating Mimi G while wearing this dress and you can’t do Mimi G without the heels.


Culottes jumpsuit in rust knit | Vogue V9075

Guys, beware! The jumpsuit season chez Sewrendipity has begun! Again! Yes, that’s a few good months to go until #JumpIntoJune hopefully kicks off again. But as I was saying in my previous post, sometimes a fabric + a pattern just equal love, and you have to go for it! And I do love my jumpsuits, and as a matter of fact, my culottes too!


Sheath dress in embossed scuba | Seamwork Ida

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You know how sometimes you’ve had a piece of fabric in your stash for a while and then you see a pattern and they were just meant to go together? This is what happened in this case. I was browsing the Seamwork website just before Christmas, as I had some credit to spend and I saw Ida. She really spoke to me, and then I remembered that I had this piece of embossed scuba in my stash, so the decision to get it was a no brainer. And it turns out to be such a quick make that a few days later, it was ready to wear during the Christmas party season!


An off shoulder tunic in navy taffeta | Hot Patterns Metropolitan Urban Gypsy Blouse

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Hey guys, look who’s back?

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s been a bit quiet on the blog lately. We have actually been closed for holidays, and if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you would have seen some pics from South Africa popping up. And of course, I was not organised enough to schedule any posts while I was away, so you got radio silence.


Comfy and stylish asymmetric winter tunic | Vogue V9186 (hacked)

The Brits talk about the weather ALL.THE.TIME! This may be a stereotype, but it’s nonetheless, true. And before I moved here, I could not for the life of me understand why. But, after years of dealing with the mad, sad, bad, unpredictable English weather, I talk, and think, and worry about the weather as much as the next person.

So, of course, my wardrobe (and especially my newly crafted handmade wardrobe), needs to adapt and reflect my new meteorological reality. True, in Romania, we get -10 and even -20 degrees (that’s Celsius), but you just pull out the one mega thick jumper and moon boots for those few days, and then you’re back to your stylish regular schedule. Well, here, it’s never that easy. It’s never super cold so you can bring out the heavy artillery, but neither is warm enough for just a top or dress.

So, the question is, what do you wear when the temperature is neither here nor there?

Let me introduce the snuggly tunic with a stylish twist. We’ve got asymmetry, turtleneck and pockets! Nuff said!


An unstructured wool coat |Butterick B6244

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I know I’m being controversial, but I’m close to being fed up with Christmas with 3 weeks to go. Which is why I am a bit in two minds about this project. I do feel a bit Santa Claus-y all wrapped up in this big piece of red wool. And that is definitely not a look I’m going for here. But it was quick and easy to make, it’s fairly warm AND the fabric was from Oxfam, nuff said! Too bad I don’t get to wear it until spring, this is definitely not a winter coat, my friends!  (more…)

80s throw-back culottes |Simplicity 3135


You have no idea how happy it makes me to finally write a post that’s about something I actually made! This is a very long overdue one, that I only just managed to photograph now. I’m telling you, sewing is a breeze, is the taking pictures that’s the killer! So really glad they are making an appearance on the blog at last.

As you might have seen here, I do love my culottes this year! I actually made this particular project in spring, but the weather got really warm before I got a chance to document them. They are really warm, so out they come again in this chilly weather we’ve been having in London. But I did get to wear them loads, so happy to report on how they fared in user tests as well.


One-way, multi-ways, infinity |Fine Motor Skills Alayne Romper


I am so tempted to start this post complaining about the weather, but I just won’t!  Trying to keep calm, get on with it and start sewing autumn projects. When I’m home, that is, which seems to look a lot like never. I’m living out of a suitcase of a few weeks now, travelling abroad and in the UK for work and leisure, and a few more trips still to go. So, I can only dream of snuggly warm clothes while still struggling to take pics of the last bits of summer makes.