Ministry of Handmade – Julie Hillier

Julie Hillier finds such pleasure in making things that she has turned it into her life’s work – creating the Ministry of Handmade as a family business to share skills and the joy of making.

Julie Hillier in Audrey dress horizontalShe has sewn just about everything … jeans, pants, dresses, tops, coats, children’s clothes, bow ties, men’s shirts, men’s trousers, quilts, curtains, doona covers, pillows, tents, hats, bags. She’s recovered lounge chairs, dining chairs and worked on other upholstery projects.

“As a sewing teacher I am very one-eyed about sewing! I view it as a basic life skill like cooking, knowing how to hang a picture on a wall, how to grow things in the garden and make simple repairs to household items that are broken. As someone who has never followed fads and trends, I have always set my own style with my clothing and tried to minimise what I spend on my wardrobe by being a maker,” said Julie, who is based in Brisbane Queensland.  Continue Reading →

The Slow Clothing Project 2016

Jane MilburnAfter more than a decade of ‘disposable’ fast fashion, there’s growing interest in ethical and sustainable clothing with a good story to tell.

The Slow Clothing Project is about people choosing to make or upcycle their own clothes – read our maker stories here.

The Slow Clothing Project aims to spark a national conversation about clothing use and reuse by creating a digital collection of stories and garments handmade by local makers. The focus is on natural fibres, textile reuse and making our own, where possible. The garments – made between February to November – each tell a different story about mindful and sustainable resource. These stories reflect 10 actions to enable us to thrive in a material world. Continue Reading →

WOW Brisbane does slow fashion

Textile Beat founder Jane Milburn was invited to present a WOW Bite session at the recent Women of the World Festival in Brisbane. Below is an extract from her speech.

Today you are either wearing natural-fibre clothes – or more likely plastic clothes derived from petroleum or coal. Only 1/3 of new clothing is natural and 2/3 is synthetic, according to Food and Agriculture Organisation figures. It’s changed from half and half two decades ago. I’m wearing natural fibres that I’ve refashioned – turning a $4 wool blanket from the opshop into a poncho. This is my style of slow fashion – there are many other ways.

Jane Milburn of Textile Beat Continue Reading →