What’s old is new again on Jane’s beat

By Kristian Silva, Brisbane Times

Jane Milburn photo by Alison FrancisThrough her social enterprise Textile Beat, Jane Milburn turns old jumpers into new skirts, old jeans into rara skirts, alters men’s shirts to fit ladies, and re-works 1980s jackets with shoulder pads to suit modern tastes.
Jane will be showcasing Textile Beat’s work – and passing on a few skills of her own – during the Green Heart Fair in Carindale on Sunday October 13.
“Sewing has gone a bit by the wayside,” she said. “It’s not something people think they can do anymore. Knitting is back in vogue but sewing isn’t.”
Jane says the pieces created by Textile Beat are an example of “upcycling” – adding value to an existing piece of clothing by transforming it into something new. In some cases this means four different fabrics are stitched together to create a single item.
“It’s creative – to me it’s artistic. It’s a bit of a statement about sustainability. They do look unusual, but that’s part of their attraction,” she said.
In a consumer-driven world, Jane and her Textile Beat colleague, Ele Cook, believe their project provides an alternative.
They hope to run upcycling workshops in Queensland and New South Wales over the coming year.
“In op shops, there are a lot of garments that just need a little mend, a button replaced, or the hem altered … there is so much opportunity in op shops.”

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