November was my ten-year blogiversary! I didn’t get around to celebrating it at the time, so I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and see what was happening on my blog a decade ago this month.
Well, the answer is, TIlly and the Buttons “One Week, One Pattern (OWOP)”! Anyone remember that?
At this point, I’d been sewing garments for exactly 2 months, so that fact that I had enough versions of any pattern to wear for a week really tells you how hard and fast I fell for sewing. I’d learned to sew as a kid (thanks to my mom, who just taught a 7-year old family friend to sew recently). I’d sewn as a teen but really lost my confidence about using patterns for some reason. I moved back to Canada in summer 2011 with yards of Japanese quilting cotton determined to relearn, and in late January I made my first indie pattern – the Colette Sorbetto, natch! (If you were there, you know how wildly popular that pattern was for beginners.)
The point of One Week, One Pattern is to spend a week wearing the same pattern every day. It is supposed to help you get the most from your favourite patterns, and get creative about how you style them. I chose the Colette Peony dress, which was the second pattern I sewed after the Sorbetto tank. The shiny blue one was my muslin, I remember, made from thrift store fabric. Of course I skipped the zipper because, duh, I was born lazy.
I didn’t know much about fitting at this point, but I do remember that by later versions I was taking up to a 5″ wedge out of the centre back. Honestly no idea why! Did I need a swayback instead? Was I sewing the wrong size? Baby Gillian didn’t know or care.
You might be wondering what my coworkers thought about me wearing the same dress three days in a row… well, at this point I was a supply teacher working at different schools every day, so nobody knew. This style dresses was my favorite way to try to look pulled-together and professional as a young teacher, but also be able to sit on the floor or run at a moment notice.
My goodness, can you tell I loved a colourful cardigan? Purple, pink, terracotta and green, and tomorrow, cyan! This was the start of figuring out my colour palette, and I have very clear memories of making this graphic for myself in April 2012:
This was the first dress I ever made which made me feel perfectly myself. The fabric was precious to me – two coordinating quilting cottons I’d bought in Japan, with a denser print on the bodice and a scattered print for the skirt. I loved this print so much I bought backup yardage, which later because curtains in my first Canadian apartment with Jamie.
This version was sewn with more care (hello, invisible zip and closer fit!) but also with more creativity. I cut extended shoulders on it and turned them into little cap sleeves, and finished the bodice edges with bias binding instead of facings. You can see it better here. Honestly, I’m still quite impressed with myself. Not bad for two months of sewing!
You know what is coming next, right? I’m doing OWOP again! I’m hoping you can help me choose which pattern to focus on:
- Helen’s Closet Jackson Pullover is the obvious choice: I’ve got sweatshirts, t-shirts, and a dress version, and it was my favourite pattern of 2021.
- Helen’s Closet Ashton tank is another option, especially if the weather is magically nicer next week. I’ve got cropped and long versions of the tank, plus a dress.
- Wild card! You pick, and I’ll wear it, as long as I already have three versions or more of the pattern. I’m happy to be dared to make more.
My One Week, One Pattern will start this Sunday and I’m aiming for 7 days of wear. I’ll share every day on IG, and do a round up here. Please feel free to join me for all of part of the week if it sounds fun!