This post has been sitting in drafts for quite a while… Garment progress and pattern announcements have been superseding it for a few weeks now, but with a massive sewing space spring cleaning in progress, and a long stretch of skating costume commissioned sewing ahead of me, I thought I’d do a post not so much about what I’m making in the sewing room, but what I’m listening to while I’m in there.
There are certainly a variety of opinions on this topic – tv, Netflix, YouTube, podcasts, audiobooks, music, or silence – I can honestly say I’ve tried them all, and for me podcasts have won for listening preference. I was doing YouTube/Netflix/tv for a while, but it didn’t really work out for me. I think the problem is that all of the shows I’m watching right now are either visual eye-candy or they are so reliant on visual storytelling that I can’t keep up with what’s happening while I’m trying to focus on sewing a good seam. YouTube is a bit better – I don’t have to focus like I do with a show, but I find myself getting distracted from the actual sewing when I find a good video, or listening to a two hour declutter ramble that, while oddly meditative, isn’t really enriching my mind that much. Audiobooks are similarly problematic for me – I can’t hear them over my serger, and when I’m trying to parse out Burda Speak I lose track of the story. Podcasts, though, have that perfect balance for me – I can listen, but I don’t care if I lose a few words here and there, and there aren’t any visuals to distract me from the tasks at hand.
Although I’ve been listening to podcasts while sewing for quite some time now (at least 5 years?!?!), I’ve found that podcasts about sewing have only recently been more readily available. If you want to know what other podcasts I listen to (mainly about books and nutrition/health) let me know in the comments and I can do a follow up post, but today I’d focus on my ever growing list of favorite sewing related podcasts.
Podcasts currently being produced:
I really enjoy the Clothes Making Mavens. They don’t publish as regularly as some of the other stations, but they do focus on garment sewing, and they cover a lot of interesting topics. Their guests and interviews have been really interesting and insightful.
This is one of the longest running sewing podcasts that I’ve followed. I love the interview style – the questions are quite probing and the answers quite thoughtful. This show does tend to be more quilt focused, but it does sometimes cover garment sewing, indie designers, etc. I do enjoy the frequent discussions about art vs. craft, and what that means for everyone using a home sewing machine.
This is one of the newer podcasts, but it is great! The sound quality is phenomenal, and the topics are great for beginning sewists, but should be interesting to more advanced listeners as well. There are lots of useful tips for the modern sewists – I found the episodes on pattern and fabric stashing particularly good. The vibe is fun and light, and I look forward to each new episode.
This podcast hasn’t updated recently, but I enjoyed burning through the available episodes. There is more of a focus on how to run a business/blog/social media account with a sewing focus, which is an interesting and unique perspective.
This podcast is so new it was announced and launched after I’d started working on the initial draft of this post! I’ve enjoyed watching Gabby’s YouTube channel because she has such an enthusiastic energy, and since she is a musician I’m sure the sound quality will be quite good. I’ve yet to listen to a full episode, but I’m looking forward to it.
This is another new podcast that has only recently been started by Thread’s Magazine. Interestingly, I would classify most of the other podcasts as being run by younger to early middle aged women, but this podcast has the voice of experience talking. The first episode with Kenneth D. King was a great listen, so I’m looking forward to more from this station.
Another podcast that hasn’t been updated in quite a while, Thread Cult was fascinating because the interviews were often with textile artists, manufacturers, or historians. It was a very informative show, and I value it for the educational aspect. It may need to move to my Pod-faded list soon, but if you haven’t heard of it, it’s worth going back to older episodes to take a listen.
Podcasts that have pod-faded:
This was one of the most highly edited podcasts, and consisted mostly of the biographies and stories of sewing bloggers from around the web. I really enjoyed the backstory/biography aspect of it, and hearing how such different life events turned people onto sewing.
I loved this podcast! The topics were interesting and informative, and some of the later episodes were particularly well researched. Episode 78 about the Pattern Company History is particularly good.
Only 12 episodes, but lots of great interviews with some of the indie pattern designers and sewing bloggers.
Probably the earliest sewing podcast I listened to. At this point the material is quite dated – I enjoyed this podcast because it felt like a news update about goings on the sewing sphere. I really enjoyed hearing other people’s opinions of the Burda World of Fashion and the general life updates and fun banter. The Slapdash Sewist and Miss Celie’s Pants have been some of my favorite blogs since I learned that sewing blogs were a thing (we are talking back in the Way Old Days, like when The Selfish Seamstress was still writing), so, of course, this was probably my favorite of the OG sewing podcasts.
Podcasts I have tried but no longer follow:
The premise of these shows sounded cool, but when I listen it really feels like one long advertisement. The podcast is produced from the audio from a Facebook live video, and often I think the video portion is key to understanding or caring about what is being said. I listened to a few episodes but quickly grew tired of the topics and feeling like it was a 30 minute commercial.
This podcast is much more quilting focused than any of the others I listened to. I found myself skipping over this show in preference for the other podcasts in my feed, so I stopped listening. I’ve found myself interested in listening to quilting topics when the questions are more introspective, but I think this is podcast is a little too pragmatic on the quilting topics for me. I’m sure a quilter might feel the same about some of the garment focused podcasts I listen to as well, so it’s nothing bad on the podcast, just a preference and personal interest thing.
Ok, to be totally transparent, I have only listened to a sample of this podcast, but it was so good, and there are so many interesting topics to their long list of episodes that I felt I had to include it in my list. I’ve only recently discovered this show, but I’m looking forward to listening to some of the backlog (after I get caught up on my favorite shows, of course).
I enjoy learning about fashion history, but to be entirely fair I sometimes have a hard time with the audio on this one. The hosts are a bit quite, and prone to giggling fits, which can make it a challenging listen. The information covered is great though. I haven’t listened in a while, but I’d love to try one of their newer episodes and see if the audio quality/host experience has improved at all.
Another new one that I’ve just discovered. It gives an interesting perspective from the RTW side of fashion that I think we as home sewers don’t often consider.
I haven’t listened to many of these episodes yet, but I find the mix of fashion and fashion history interesting.
I very much enjoy their look at fashion history and extrapolating to how it affects the fashion present. Episode 3 about Women in Pants is particularly good.
A podcast on ethical fashion. I think as a global community we are growing ever more aware that everything we do has an impact, and I’m enjoying an industry perspective on this.
Sadly, this podcast has not only pod-faded, but is no longer available on the web that I can find. I love this show though! It was great – costume designers from screen and stage gave wonderful interviews. The entire podcast was amazingly inspiring.
And that’s my list! I know there are other sewing podcasts out there – many I’ve listened to samples and it just didn’t make me bite. But I’m sure I’ve missed something – there is just too much stuff going on in the world to keep track of it all. I hope we can get some good ideas in the comments. What do you all watch/listen/not listen to while sewing and why is that your prefered background noise? Feel free to share listening ideas, and if you know of any great sewing podcasts I’ve missed feel free to leave suggestions in the comments as well! Also, let me know if you’d like to see my non-sewing podcast list in another post. As I said, I’ve only recently started listening to many of these shows, so most of my podcast listening experience actually focuses on very different topics. In any case, happy listening and happy sewing!