Sew 365 – All stitched up!

Jane Milburn celebrates 365 days of upcycling natural fibresWhat an amazing experience. To do something repeatedly for a whole year and come out the other side with an entirely fresh perspective.

It has been challenging and lonely at times. The reward is the transformative journey of honouring the commitment I made in December last year to upcycle existing clothing every day. And daring to start a conversation about resewing clothing and textiles.

Hats off to the professional makers and designers of clothing which I admire from afar and I am proud to be part of the Fashion Revolution.

In the same way we have become conscious of food, it is time to become conscious about where clothing comes from and ask more questions about where, who and what it is made of, and consider the true cost of our clothing habits. My personal choice is to seek out pre-loved clothing from local op shops and use creative methods to adapt them to suit myself. That way, my clothes have a good story to tell about how they came to be.

This Sew it Again journey began with the History Skirt I created to use lace scraps leftover from my mother’s sewing of clothes for myself and my sister Jo as children. I’m wearing that skirt in the photo, above, with the celebration bunting I’ve made as Sew 365 – celebrating the end of a year which is actually the beginning of sew much more!

This may be the end of the 365-day commitment to daily sewing and sharing with #sewitagain – but I will continue posting here and encourage you to get in touch and share your upcycling stories and photos about how you changed ‘this into that’.

For me, 2015 brings a broader conversation about ways to dress with conscience #dresswithconscience, upcycling being just one of those ways. I’ll focus on strategic activity with Textile Beat workshops and talks and seek a broader world view on creative upcycling and reuse of natural fibres. Meanwhile, Happy New Year and thank you again to all those who helped along the way in 2014!

Oh, and the story of the Sew 365 bunting. It was made from a swatch of silk curtain samples which I  picked up at a Billinudgel, New South Wales, op shop a few years back (rescuing natural fibres is habitual). After making bunting with Julie Hillier the other day, I was inspired to sew some celebration bunting of my own (see photos below).

First I had to cut the sticky tape edging off each of the samples, peel off the ID tag and use eucalyptus oil to remove some recalcitrant sticky stuff, then cut each sample into two triangles. I used scraps of calico to create backing triangles for each and create the edging tape to sew them together. It was a bit of a mission and I’m thrilled to give those beautiful silk samples a second life as Sew 365. The bunting has a great creative reuse story about how it came to be and will be useful at celebration parties like lunch tomorrow and an upcoming family event in March! Stay tuned … you can follow me on facebook twitter pinterest and instagram

Bunting made from upcycled textiles