Clothes Making Mavens
Clothes Making Mavens
Clothes Making Mavens
Clothes Making Mavens is a sewing podcast about handmade fashion. Helena and Lori discuss their favourite pastime--sewing clothes--and talk to other people who are also passionate about sewing. For information and episodes, visit
Podcast Ep041: Sewing Phases
The podcast begins with our statement against anti-black racism. We talk about how the sewing community has a racism problem, and we offer our podcast as a platform for black sewists if they wish to talk about these issues and others. If you are interested in this, drop us a line at our website at We then go into the episode we had recorded previously in which Lori and Helena, along with Joy Correspondent Hila and "Font of All Sewing Knowledge" Barbara, discuss the various sewing phases we've been through. The fit-and-flare dress phase? Check. The sew someone's entire bridal party dresses phase? Mercifully short lived, but check. The phase of Magical Thinking (aka forgetting that it takes WORK to transform that pattern you just bought into an actual garment)? Check. The sewing beautiful gowns for fancy parties we never get invited to phase? Also, check!
Jun 3, 2020
1 hr 1 min
Podcast Ep040: Leila and Jess of Muna & Broad
Muna and Broad is a new indie pattern company that specializes in making patterns in sizes that start where most other patterns end their sizing. We talk to Leila and Jess of Muna and Broad about why they started the company, what impact it's having on size inclusivity in sewing patterns, how they manage to work together from opposite ends of the planet, and why the beginner's feeling of "being totally free to really suck" is so amazing.
May 3, 2020
57 min
Podcast Ep039: What's Happened to the Big 4 Pattern Companies?
Our Font of All Sewing Knowledge Barbara laments that the Big Four sewing pattern companies (Vogue, Butterick, McCalls, and Simplicity) aren't what they once were. Has the art and craft of pattern drafting taken a turn for the worse? The Mavens weigh in on what clues to look for to assess how well a pattern might be drafted before you cut your fabric, and talk about their favourite indie pattern alternatives to the Big Four. Inevitably, we find ourselves complaining about taping PDF patterns together, so we explore the emerging practice of using a projector to trace patterns directly onto fabric. Lastly, our Joy Correspondent Hila asks us to imagine what our 'dream sewing life' would look like, and tells us how to help make it happen through mood boards. A note for our listeners: We've chosen to carry on talking about sewing without reference to COVID-19. We hope this provides you with a bit of respite from the harsh realities of the world right now. Stay home, be kind, and stay well.
Mar 29, 2020
52 min
Podcast Ep038: Sewing in Japan with Emilia Bergoglio
Helena and Lori chat sewing with Emilia Bergoglio, whose minimalist style and sustainable approach are informed by not only Emilia's Italian heritage, but also her current life in Tokyo.
Mar 7, 2020
52 min
Podcast Ep037: A Mavens Extravaganza!
We decided to start the year with some fun by getting ALL FOUR Clothes Making Mavens together to talk about our plans for the new year. We found that we all have different ways of approaching our sewing project planning! Planning can be fun and inspirational, or suck all the fun out of our creative endeavors. How do we make it work for us? And can Lori guess everyone’s planning style off the top of her head?
Feb 4, 2020
1 hr 5 min
Podcast Ep036: Montoya Mayo
In this episode, Lori invites you to join in the #SlowFashion2020 challenge, our Joy Correspondent Hila recommends some great sewing-themed books for you to slow down and enjoy, and the Mavens chat with Montoya Mayo about her bold and colourful wardrobe that features plenty of Ankara fabric.
Dec 23, 2019
1 hr 4 min
Podcast Ep035: sewing, micromastery, and life
After a filling each other in on a few life updates, we get down to what we've sewn lately. Helena had some fails to share and then we move on to talk about more successful projects. We also hear from a listener on her new mantra for sewing up her stash, and the lovely Hila joins us for a fresh perspective on Micromastery. It is an inspiring way to rekindle or continue our sewing mojo when life gets in the way.
Nov 16, 2019
48 min
Podcast Ep034: Sewing for a Good Cause
Sometimes we like to use our sewing superpowers for good. In this episode, we share ideas for how our passion for sewing can help more than just our own closets. First, Barbara shares her enthusiasm for helping new sewers fall in love with our hobby. Then Lori and Helena interview Pam Damour and Loriann Payne about their trip to Huánuco, Peru to teach beginning sewing skills with Pam's non-profit Sewing with a Mission. During that unforgettable experience, they met and taught sewing to many women, while Loriann's husband offered much needed repairs to sewing machines. We also share many other ways we can contribute with our sewing skills to several different causes closer to home.
Aug 20, 2019
59 min
Podcast Ep033: Confessions of a Serial Stasher with Psychic Sewer Kathleen
After the impromptu pledge of no more fabric buying live on last month's episode, both Lori and Helena have taken another look at their stashes. There are a lot of ways to look at those piles of fabric we inevitably collect as sewers. How do we feel about it, how do we manage it? We asked Psychic Sewer Kathleen about her stash habits, too. We also dove into how Kathleen's psychic abilities play out in her life, profession and in her sewing. And our Joy Correspondent Hila pops in to spread a little, well, joy!
Jul 19, 2019
1 hr 3 min
Podcast Ep032: Sewing, Stashing and Traveling
Pull up a sewing machine and grab a cuppa and get your sewing chat on! Lori & Helena catch up on what they've been sewing, their trip to Portland, Oregon to hang out with 98 of their best sewing friends, and more. They also find themselves accidentally committing to a fabric buying fast for the rest of the year! Barbara Emodi checks in with tales from Tulsa, and we introduce a new correspondent who's on a mission to bring you sewing joy.
Jun 6, 2019
1 hr 9 min
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