Tag Archives: History Skirt

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.

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Sew 221 – Coming full circle

Jane Milburn wears upcycledOur journeys through life are all different, yet most are trying our best at being and doing, playing and working at the level of consciousness on which we’re operating. We look after hearth and home, support our family and friends, and reach out to career networks and opportunities.

This year I’ve come full circle. Like a homing pigeon – I’ve been out there and now I’m coming back to base. I’m applying everything I’ve learned through various career roles and professional development opportunities to create a homespun campaign to shift our thinking about what we wear.  Continue reading

Sew 183 – Yay, half way post

Audrey in her history skirtOn a young woman’s cloth shopping bag I recently noticed this saying: I am not a shopaholic, I am helping the economy.  Well, at least it was a recyclable bag even if the message is questionable.

We have been conditioned to believe that buying more stuff is good for us and society when clearly that’s not the case. We live in a world with finite resources and it known that over-consumption on all levels is impacting our health in obvious as well as subtle ways. But some people make money out of encouraging over consumption.

As one gets older, and hopefully wiser, it is interesting to reflect on our purpose in life and what we might do (beyond purchasing) to help make the world a better place. Continue reading

Sew 177 – History in the making

Sew 177 by BevHere’s the lovely and productive Bev in the History Skirt she made at our Biloela REfashion workshop which is still delivering dividends, including #upcycle number 177 of 365 in the Sew it Again year.

Although I have a few more days left to enjoy in Kuala Lumpur, I’m already planning for my next workshop Creative Chop and Change on July 12 which is being hosted by the Queensland branch of the Australian Textile Artists and Surface Designers Association – you can book here if you are interested in being mindfully creative with rejects from your wardrobe. Continue reading

Sew 173 – History skirt with local touch

Jane Milburn history skirtWhen in Malaysia, do as the Malaysian people do. Dressing for local conditions is practical and respectful. I don’t always wear a head scarf here, but it is certainly good to pack a few so one can blend into the local streetscape. I made this blue cotton scarf from a five-metre length I picked up at a Warwick op shop a while back. It had been in someone’s fabric stash then discarded before they did anything with it. It was lovely light loose-weave cotton which is quite hard to come by, so naturally I snapped it up and stored until I had a use for it. It was just a matter of cutting a length about 1.75m long, folding over lengthwise then sewing together while leaving a gap of about 8cm so it can be turned inside out to become a scarf. Good for sun protection, mopping a perspiring brow, and to dress as do many locals with the hair covered.  Continue reading

Sew 169 – Gorgeous zero-waste skirt

Creative reuse of waste garmentsAt a global level people are beginning to question the way we dress, where clothing comes from, and whether it is made with ethical and sustainable processes.

As there is rising interest in home cooking and food growing for health and wellbeing, there is a pressing need to rethink our approach to textiles and fashion. Fast food and fast fashion are convenient – but not necessarily sustainable or good for us and our planet.

My model for a social and environmental shift includes empowering individuals to reimagine and recreate their own wardrobe collection by creatively chopping and changing existing clothing to suit themselves.

Instead of global generic bland brand dressing, this shift involves local, individual unfashionistas branding themselves through sustainable, ethical eco-clothing as part of a REfashion Revolution turning waste and reject clothing into something to wear with pride. Continue reading

Sew 167 – Skirt with upcycle history

History Skirt by FayThis history skirt may have a few minor imperfections but there is none other exactly like it in the world. Created by its owner Fay, it is based on an original concept developed by Jane Milburn as a way of reusing cast-off clothing and waste textiles to make garments with stories to tell about where they came from.

This skirt was made with skills and energy invested Fay at a Biloela Arts Council upcycling workshop she organised in central Queensland which saw me (Jane) fly-in and fly-out this past weekend with support from a Regional Arts Developing Fund grant.

How exciting to be reusing materials that would otherwise languish in cupboards or eventually be dumped to create something unique and wearable that can be endlessly patched, mended or adapted further – adding even more character to the story of how it came to be. We individual unfashionistas interested in sustainable, ethical eco-clothing are bringing on the REfashion Revolution turning waste and reject clothing into something we wear with pride. Continue reading

Sew 164 – Rice-cum-library bag

Upcycled rice bagWe’re cutting down on rice consumption in our household and only occasionally buy a 10kg bag. Instead of throwing out the tough plastic bag, I recognised its potential as a bespoke library bag.

I’ve rediscovered the library as a great source of inspiration. We can borrow for a month then extend for a month (if no one else has placed a hold). That’s plenty of time to absorb any book’s offerings I reckon. And the Brisbane City Council library e-catalogue is such that you order on-line and be emailed when the book’s ready for pickup at your local. Fabulous service #teambne. I’ll be using my new library bag to return my books this morning before flying to Biloela this afternoon for our weekend History Skirt workshop and the regional launch for our homegrown #REfashion Revolution.  Continue reading

Sew 157 – Upcycled jumper poncho

Upcycled Jumper ponchoThe fabric of my career includes earlier work with the Rural Press Club network which is a great forum to discuss how farming and agriculture feeds into the health of society.

While the specific topic of this morning’s RPC breakfast at Tattersalls was rural health services, I loved catching up with Margie Milgate about her ideas around bush paleo and paleo agriculture – doubly so after watching The Men Who Made Us Fat on ABC TV last night.

We can learn a lot by reflecting on where we’ve come from, how things used to work and complementing modern-day practices with practical old-fashioned solutions –  because almost everything old seems to eventually become new again.  Continue reading

Sew 112 – History skirt revisited

Coral and brown wool history skirtIt would be interesting to know how much time we spend each week attending to our clothing requirements in terms of trying, buying, preening, storing, washing and perhaps sewing, resewing or mending.

Over Easter I had a spring clean of my wool wear with southern winter approaching and was pleased to find most in good order and only two moth/silverfish munches to be found.

With Fashion Revolution Day April 24 asking Who Made Your Clothes? it is particularly interesting to look closely at the labels and reflect on who originally made the clothes I’m now upcycling.

Who made your clothes

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