About ModularME

ModularME is powered by Ministry of Handmade.

Based in Brisbane, Australia, Ministry of Handmade has a 10 year track record of offering excellence in creative textile workshops including sewing, lampshade making, upholstery, embroidery, fabric printing, basket coiling and more.

Founders, Julie and Maurice Hillier, have a passion for passing on handmade skills. They believe we all need an antidote to the busyness of life, that working with your hands and creating something new, grounds us and helps calm our minds.

The ModularME Story

Julie Hillier is the creator of ModularME.  Here is her explanation of how this unique sewing system developed:

I am a maker from way back in the last century….ha ha! Seriously though, I have been sewing for as long as I can remember! Sewing is my thing! My tonic, my joy, my love! After a circuitous career in a range of quasi-creative pursuits, I found myself opening a sewing studio in 2012. We called it Ministry of Handmade!

Since then I have taught LOTS of people to sew clothing, accessories and soft furnishings. While accessories and soft furnishings are fairly straight forward, people seemed to struggle more with clothing. Let’s face it, making a cover (dress or top) for a body, is a lot different to make a cover for a cushion!!!

People were struggling with:

    • What shaped garments suited them
    • How to fit their own body shape
    • Sewing garments that suited their own personality and lifestyle
    • How to take a basic pattern, master it and then reinvent it creatively to look different
    • Selecting patterns that matched their skill level

So, the seed of an idea stated to germinate!!!
What if I could create a simple pattern for a top, that someone could sew quickly and easily? Then, what if I started teaching how to turn that top into a dress, how to make the sleeves longer, how to add a roll collar, how to add pockets? Boy, I got excited! I still have my original sketches of my concepts, jotted in a notebook while on a camping holiday on a quiet Queensland surf beach!

So, the Simply Sewn Top was born in 2017. In quick succession, using my base pattern, I made ten different tops using fabrics I already had. (#tentopsintendays).

Gathering momentum
The base pattern has been used for lots of workshops since then and the project has gathered momentum.

The concept continued to grow and take on a life force of its own!! And in 2022, we launched ModularME Sewing Adventure. It is way more than a pattern, it is a pattern system! (That little seed has turned into a sturdy plant that is growing branches and reaching for the sky!)

Our pattern system is designed to help people learn to sew, step by step, technique by technique…building confidence and skills along the way!

Our modules, enable makers to modify the pattern to suit themselves…add sleeves, add pockets, add a yoke, add buttons, add colour blocking…..the variations are literally limitless. And every garment created will be unique and original…..just like its maker!

And we are super proud that we have completed the bulk of the project in-house, even installing our own video recording studio.

Lampshade making workshop

ModularME and Apple Pin Cushion

ModularME Sewing with Bernina

ModularME original sketches and ideas

ModularME Video Recording Studio with Julie

ModularME Development Sites5 Year Development

Since the development of Simply Sewn in 2017 until the launch of ModularME Sewing Adventure in 2022 the pattern for the top and a few simple modules had been available globally as digital files. In that five year period we achieved the following: 

  • more than 1900 customers
  • across 20 countries

About Us

Who are we?

Julie and Maurice met while they were studying Architecture and Industrial Design at Queensland University of Technology last century and have been partners in life and work ever since.

Julie has been sewing for as long as she can remember. The daughter of a dressmaker, Julie jokes that she learned to count by sorting the contents of the “button tin” on the floor of her mother’s sewing room. Over the years she has also studied design, knitted, crocheted, made quilts, recovered lounge suites, renovated four houses, made furniture, refurbished lampshades, made curtains, done clothing alterations for boutiques, spun wool, assembled short runs of garments for award winning fashion designers, themed events and published books.

With a practical problem-solving mind, great hands-on skills and a creative flair for construction projects, Maurice provides the back end support for the workshops, manages logistics of everything from stock to cashflow and ships out orders. He also has a well-earned reputation as the baker of the home-baked treats that accompany each workshop and also looks after the vege garden, the chickens and the hives of native stingless bees!

Our values

The magic of creating

We believe:

  • that everyone is hard-wired to make and create
  • that sewing your own clothes can be simple and fun!
  • in the magic that happens when people lose themselves in that space where time stands still …when their heart is singing and their hands have a purpose.


We believe that learning skills builds confidence. Greater self-confidence helps us feel empowered to have more control in our lives. This builds us up. We feel good about ourselves and often take on a more positive view of life.

When we feel empowered and confident in making our own clothes we automatically become decision-makers.

We can decide:

  • the look we want to create (style and colour)
  • our fabric choice (buy new, use existing, repurpose other clothing)
  • which fibre to create with (natural, sustainably sourced or petrochemical based)


We believe in the responsible use of the earth’s resources. We choose quality, durability and recycling instead of succumbing to sometimes cheaper and more convenient options that ultimately produce more landfill.

Here at ModularME HQ we embrace a lifestyle that treads lightly on our planet and its resources. We:

  • have a vegetable garden
  • raise chickens
  • keep native bees
  • compost our green waste
  • have installed solar panels and water tanks
  • use handmade or recycled furniture and furnishings wherever possible

ModularME Video Recording Studio with Julie