Tag Archives: Casey

Sew 358 – To guides and mentors

Jane Milburn wears upcycledWhen we think of creativity, most think of art with a capital A, when really it is about having a sense of festivity, fun and playfulness. One of my academic friends said the sense of play is what she most enjoys about Sew it Again because we need more creative play in our lives and workplaces.

In her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron quotes Stephen Nachmanovitch: “Creative work is play. It is free speculation using the materials of one’s chosen form” and C. G. Jung: “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”  Continue reading

Sew 356 – Thanks for web support

Liz Jumelet wears upcycledKnowledge is power. And knowing people who know stuff, is pretty useful (and powerful) too. Today I thank the people who’ve given me website, social media and IT knowledge and support during this year – I couldn’t have done it without you.

Sew it Again is a labour of love run on ‘the smell of an oily rag’ for greater good, aided by volunteer effort. Technically speaking, you work from a place of good intention and the universe provides. There was that tricky spot halfway through the year though, when my laptop screen failed and it was a juggling act for a few weeks while my son Casey got my new laptop up and running. Obstacles, challenges and road blocks to get around.  Continue reading

Sew 316 – Making a difference

Jenna wears upcycledWhen we slow down and use traditional home-sewing skills to repair and refashion clothing that already exists in the world, we are practising slow fashion. This is the opposite end of the spectrum from fast fashion which thrives on high turnover, continuous and conspicuous consumption of newly made fashion clothing.

Slow magazine recently posted a story about the Sew it Again project, while another thoughtful magazine Womankind has a great article about the merits of meaningful creative practice. Womankind says that the story of making something may have disasters and triumphs along the way, but it brings meaning to our lives.  Continue reading

Sew 283 – Creating a hemline curve

Jane Milburn wears upcycledThe innovative Undress Runways is back in Brisbane tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing upcycled looks on the runway.

Undress Runways supports ethical and environmentally-friendly sustainable fashion – including ‘no-waste’ collections, ethical production, ‘food dyed’ garments, natural fibres, and unique pieces made from off-cuts.

The Undress Runways website has these simple tips on how to be sustainable:

  • Consume less, use what you have
  • Upcycle old garments you no longer wear
  • Choose garments of organic/recycled fabrics  Continue reading

Sew 255 – Crochet rug to shawl

crochet blanket upcycled as shawlOne-third of my laptop screen went on holidays a fortnight ago and it has been downhill ever since. Not worth fixing screen says computer man. Son Casey called on to help select new laptop (MacBook Air) and the tortuous process of getting files, systems and programs in sync.

Meantime the old-old laptop previously pensioned-off due to hot flushes that may, or may not, have resulted from being dropped on its head (off a bus rack while travelling) has acquitted itself well and got me through until today when, magically, the new laptop became fully operational. THANKS CASEY and here’s wishing this laptop a long and happy life.

Another bit of excitement this week was a visit from image consultant Rita Noon, whom I wrote about a few weeks ago in Sew 231. After purchasing Rita’s e-book Get Dressed Not Stressed, I decided it was worth going the whole hog and arranged for a body proportion analysis based on actual measurements (no disguising the chocolate-biscuit habit!).  Continue reading

Sew 253 – Valuing vintage fur

vintage furI remember seeing Fur is Green advertisements when visiting Canada and the United States in 2009 and thinking it was clever marketing. The Fur Council of Canada campaign maintains that fur is a natural, renewable and sustainable resource. It claims synthetics, by contrast, are generally made from petroleum (a non-renewable resource), which is not consistent with the sustainable use of our environment.

The campaign website said: At a time when the true ecological cost of “cheap”, mass-produced, disposable “fast-fashion” is just beginning to be calculated – think millions of tons of poor-quality fibers and short-life garments filling up landfills – the naturally durable and recyclable qualities of fur makes more sense than ever.

Max Lily and CaseyNow that I think about it, perhaps the seeds for this 365-day Sew it Again project were sown back then because this message resonates through my ongoing reuse of natural fibre clothing that already exists instead of buying cheap new synthetic stuff. (BTW, here’s a favourite photo, right, of my lovely children Max, Lily and Casey in Montreal during that 2009 trip to visit Casey while doing part of his engineering degree at McGill University).

Anyway, fur fashion is a polarised debate as Leon Kaye explains it in this Triple Pundit article. I am squeamish about animal suffering for people’s pleasure but I grew up on a farm and work in agriculture so I have a pragmatic approach to eating meat and wearing animal products. We have laws to ensure animals are treated humanely and we expect them to be enacted.

Jane Milburn and Keelen MailmanI don’t believe I would go so far as to buy a new fur coat – yet was happy to purchase this vintage fur in a Launceston op shop when I visited Tasmania a few winters ago because it reminded me of a fur coat my great great Aunt Winnie once owned. And it was only $20.

Living in Queensland, we have to guard against pest incursions (silverfish, moths) during summer months because there is nothing more traumatic than seeing a treasure munched. Therefore, I store this fur with bags of cloves in the pockets and in a flat fully-sealed plastic hanging bag. This storage technique may not be ideal but the fur emerged intact to become Sew 253. It does not have a label but the coat is so beautifully constructed, I wondered if the original lining had been replaced. Either way, all I did was fix the hand-stitching on one section where the lining had come away from the fur and it was good as gold. Here’s me in Sew 253, after book club at my dear friend Kay’s, on the banks of the Brisbane River my Australian Rural Leadership Program buddy Keelen Mailman wearing Sew 74.

vintage fur lining restitched

Sew 201 – Men’s dash of splash

Casey wears upcycled shirtA few men – including my sons – have been asking whether I’m upcycling men’s clothing. I’ve mended men’s clothing, but here’s the first creative effort.

This upcycle is a resew of two men’s shirts that were the same brand and size, so the button fronts match exactly. I’d fabric-painted the white shirt (which had a stain) many years ago when the children were little and we did t-shirt painting workshops with friends. I don’t think it was ever worn, partly because it just looked like a painted shirt. I’d kept it as a memory and the cotton is still crisp.  Continue reading