HelenHelen's Makes13 Comments

Welcome To My Closet

I have always loved clothes, and I am the first to admit that my collection is a bit unruly.  As a teenager my bedroom was always covered in a thick layer of garments and fabric, to the point where it would sometimes be difficult to open the door.  I have since learned the value of picking up after myself and I have been better about buying and keeping only the items I adore.  Recently I have fallen back into a long-time love of sewing, and I am excited to say that embarking on this ‘new’ adventure has already brought more joy than I could have imagined.

My mother taught me to sew when I was young, and I have many great memories of making projects with her.  We would go to the fabric store and I would run my hands over all the bolts, feeling the textures and weights with my fingers.  I can remember the first set of pants I made (bright turquoise with a drawstring waist) and the first top I designed for myself (a one-shoulder crop-top, totally nailed it).

In high school, I loved my home-ec classes.  Of course I never wanted to make the garments that were in the curriculum, but thankfully my teacher, Mrs. Orchard, was endlessly supportive and encouraging of my desire to create my own designs.  She helped me make both my graduation outfits, a black wrap shirt for my convocation and a dark blue draped dress for my grad photos – we even made the yearbook!  I took sewing from grades 8 through 11, and two self-directed blocks in grade 12.  I had so much fun in those classes, whipping up outfits to wear the next day at school.


I considered studying fashion design after graduating from high school, but I ultimately decided to take a general design studies program which led me to a career in graphic & web design.  With the hectic schedule of working part time and going to school, I fell out of touch with sewing.  Years later, I was gifted a sewing machine when our neighbour was moving out of town which gave me the opportunity to start up again! After a few projects I was hooked, and it has now become a regular creative practice that I am so grateful to have back in my life.

There are many wonderful, inspiring, creative people who are taking the time to construct their own wardrobes.   I would like to share my journey here and hopefully inspire others to try sewing.

Thanks for following along!



About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

13 Comments on “Welcome To My Closet”

  1. love sewing too though love sewing for my grand babies the best…. It is wonderful to have a hobby that you can pick up anytime….though I have to say I could start my own fabric store with all the stuff
    I have….. Ps I use to work with your mom!!!

  2. I just found your blog and I’m so excited to read more! I love the intro post. So, many bloggers focus on a standard bio (which is fine) rather than their path to becoming a sewing blogger.

    1. Thanks, Amanda! There have been so many people who have helped me grow my love of sewing, and it is really nice to share that journey. I’m glad you are enjoying the blog!

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  4. I am a returned sewer too – after almost a 40 year hiatus 🙂 I loved sewing in home-ec and kept up with it until university just took up too much time and energy! For my 60th my husband suggested a sewing space for me and I was more excited at the notion than I can find the words to express. That was 2 years ago and I am more excited and enthused than ever. The home sewing world has completely changed (as you can well imagine!) with technology – machines, blogs, patterns, fitting everything is so different and so much better! Thanks for putting so much work into your blog.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad you have come back to sewing after all these years, it must be so thrilling to get going again. The sewing world is so much fun with all the online connections you can make! I highly recommend you try using instagram, too, the sewing community is very active there. It’s a great place to share your makes, too!

  5. Isn’t that funny, I comment on your lovely layout then get to this page where you tell his you studied graphic and web design! Well it shows, but then good taste usually shines don’t you think?! So happy to have discovered your blog, love ya work!

  6. Helen, I love your story! What a talented young lady. You were so blessed to have a teacher who believed in you and supported your passion. I’m sure she was so very proud of you at that time. I wonder if you’ve kept in touch with her? You have created a lovely blog and I’m so happy to call you my sew sister. Blessings to you.

  7. After seeing oodles of beautiful versions of your Blackwood cardigan, I had to jump on the bandwagon and get the pattern! I’m another returning-to-sewing sewer – after being away for about 25 years – and also a fellow Canuck, albeit expat. Looking forward to following along with your makes and patterns.

  8. Just found your blog, and I love your story! One of my biggest wishes is that I could go back in time and get started sewing in high school (or earlier :), but I guess I’ve just got to make the most of every day with fabric that I’ve got! Thanks for your inspiration!

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