So, January is pretty rubbish. I’ve been feeling a bit down recently with the cold, wet weather in Scotland and the loooooong wait til payday. So to cheer myself up a little I’ve been listening to quite a lot of podcasts while I’ve been pottering round the house. I love Desert Island Discs from BBC – so many insights into really interesting life stories. In the last couple of days I’ve listened to feminists, chefs, actors and activists each chatting about the 8 songs they’d want to have with them if they were stranded on an island. Of course, I listen to other podcasts too, and so I thought it might be fun to talk about the sewing podcasts out there, and ask for recommendations for any good listens.
To be honest, it’s only in the past few months that I’ve really begun to listen to podcasts. I had been vaguely aware of them years ago when iTunes was first a thing, and the BBC began to publish weekly round ups of their shows. I hadn’t really paid much attention then, and assumed that, like iPods, podcasts were a thing of the past. How wrong I was!
I’m not sure what prompted me to try out podcasts, but I think it was something to do with me wanting to listen to audiobooks as I don’t get enough time to read as I could like. Somehow, that led me to podcasts, and like most people, I found the first series of Serial, and straight away I was hooked. I listened to it over a weekend, whilst sewing of course, and soon set out to find more.
Like many sewists, I love to put on an episode of one of my favourite podcasts as I sit down to sew. The advantages of listening to podcasts whilst sewing over watching TV series is that you use yours ears to listen, and your hands and eyes to sew. TV generally requires you to watch the images on screen, and so doing it at the same time as sewing just creates a distraction from one or the other – it doesn’t really work as you can’t look at two things at the same time.
I also find sewing to be quite a lonely hobby. Although I’m a prolific user of social media, and in particular my sew slow sarah accounts, in practice, much of your time sewing is spent alone. Podcasts provide that bit of company for me, and whether the topic I’m listening to is sewing-related or not, it’s always enjoyable to listen whilst sewing.
At first I found it difficult to find podcasts relating to my interest in sewing. I found a lot of sewing-focused podcasts with simple searches, but soon found that most are made by and for quilters. I’m very much a garment maker – I learned to sew at a dressmaking class, and haven’t really tried other forms of machine knitting. I also found a couple of blog posts online about garment making podcasts, but these were from quite a number of years ago, and lots of the recommended shows had stopped broadcasting.
There’s good news though, as due to the creation of some great new podcasts in the last few months, as well as recommendations, I’ve found quite a variety of great sewing-related content that I thought I’d share in case anybody else is in the same position as I was a few months ago and searching for a good sewing podcast
Here’s a list of some of my favourites…
Love to sew podcast is undoubtedly my favourite. Hosted by Helen of Helen’s Closet, and Caroline of Blackbird fabrics, the podcast is like sitting with your friends chatting about sewing. They’ve covered topics like fabric and pattern stashes and have interviews with wonderful people from the sewing world, like Jen Beeman of Grainline Studio, Christine Haynes and Kelli from True Bias. A new episode is released every Tuesday, and the hosts just ooze love for sewing.
I recently discovered Clothes Making Mavens. Like Love to Sew, there are two hosts in the podcast, and episodes vary between chat between the two hosts, and interviews with figures from the sewing industry. The episodes are not as regular as Love to Sew, but the hosts are always very honest about their attitudes to sewing – a recent episode on sew-jo had Helena and Lori chatting about how both had lost their sewing mojo, and giving tips on how to get this back.
Sewing out Loud is a weekly podcast and is hosted by mother-daughter team Zede and Mallory Donohue. This is an especially good podcast for discussing specific techniques in depth – the hosts are really knowledgeable and discuss lots of different options. Like Clothes Making Mavens and Love to Sew, the conversational format works really well.
There are some really great podcasts which although aren’t recording right now, have a great archive to work your way through:
Threadcult is a really wonderful podcast, made by journalist Christine Cyr Clisset, who clearly has a passion for all things fabric, design and sewing related. Each episode focuses on a particular person in the fashion, home sewing or creative industry. The research put into each episode is so clear, and there are some really interesting guests, and topics, on the podcast. I loved working my way through each episode, and I really hope Chrisitne makes more in the future.
Seamwork Radio is another great podcast which no longer seems to be publishing episodes. Each episode features an interview with a person whose life has been transformed by sewing. Most, but not all, work in the home sewing industry. Of all podcasts I listen to, I feel this is the most quiet and understated, but it’s also the one which I have the most significant emotional responses too – if you haven’t already listened, I really recommend that you do.
Rachel at Maker Style is a bubbly and fun host, with a great archive of material. She’s still active in the podcast industry, releasing episodes in series rather than every week. She runs mini series on particular topics, such as blogging. Her episodes are informative and fun, and highly recommended.
Of the more quilting-focused podcasts, I have listened to quite a few of Modern Sewciety and While She Naps, especially episodes interviewing some of the indie pattern makers such as Wendy Ward and The Fold Line.
I now listen to podcasts at any opportunity – on my daily commute, when doing chores at home, and of course, when sewing. I listen to a real mixture of topics too. There are so many podcasts out there, on such an array of topics, I’d love to hear about your favourites – sewing related or not!