Clothes Making Mavens

By Clothes Making Mavens

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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

Episode Date
Podcast Ep031: Sewing, Body Image, and Mental Health
As both a sewist and a full time psychologist, Charlie from This Blog is not for You" gave us an inside look into just how our hobby benefits our mental health. Many of us have felt the positive environment of the sewing community, but it can be hard to pinpoint why sewists are so nurturing, encouraging and accepting. We dive into some real advantages that we have in negotiating the sometimes fraught landscape of self image and body image. And an added chat with Amy from Making Marilyn, Emulating Elle, on how sewing is integral to her mental health.
Apr 30, 2019
Podcast Ep030: What Shannon wants pattern companies to know about their fat, queer customers
An interview with the talented Shannon from the With A Rare Device blog! Not only does she contribute to the sewing community with her stunning garments she creates for her and her partner, but she admits to being somewhat of an activist for the queer, trans and non-binary community.
Mar 04, 2019
Podcast Ep029: What we loved, hated, and learned in 2018
Lori and Helena charged through 2018 with high hopes and big dreams, but didn't quite make their goal of not purchasing clothes for the entire year. Both still learned a lot from their experience, and they share their findings. But they didn't learn half as much as our returning guest Emily, who checked back in for a wrap up of her journey to learn how to sew during this year long challenge! And Barbara's personal challenge of trying out smaller Indie patterns reveals some gems and an appreciation of some great drafting and pattern testing.
Jan 22, 2019
Podcast Ep028: Alex of Sewrendipity on the Great British Sewing Bee and Sustainable Sewing
Alex of Sewrendipity is our guest. We love her style and you're going to love her energy! She tells us what it was like to be a contestant on the Great British Sewing Bee, her thoughts on crafting a meaningful wardrobe and sewing sustainably, and much more.
Dec 20, 2018
Podcast Ep027: Advice to our younger sewing selves with Cennetta Burwell of The Mahogany Stylist
Whether you've been sewing for 2 years or 20 years, you don't know what you don't know until later. This episode we talked to Cennetta Burwell of The Mahogany Stylist about her enduring love of sewing and what advice we would give to our beginner selves if we could go back in time. With so many years of sewing experience, and currently teaching private sewing lessons, Cennetta proved full of knowledge and passion for the craft.
Nov 29, 2018
Podcast Ep026: A Ready-to-Wear-Fast Confession and Q&A with Barbara Emodi
Helena, Lori and Barbara sat down to empty out what has been swirling around our sewing brains recently. We've all been doing a lot of sewing and we had a lot to talk about, including a shocking confession! We took the opportunity to pepper Barbara with a few tricky questions and got even more great tips than usual, including the over-arching philosophy of sewing proportions that clarified a million little sewing decisions for us!
Oct 18, 2018
Podcast Ep025: Emily Hallman Designs in Color
One thing that we love about Emily Hallman is that she knows her style! Her blog and especially her Instagram feed is a party for the eyes as she organizes her sewing into "collections" that tell a strong color story and mix and match in such a pleasing way.
Sep 06, 2018
Podcast Ep024: An Interview with Marcy Harriell of Oonaballoona
In this interview with the fabulous Marcy Harriell of the Oonaballoona blog, Lori and Helena got the scoop on Marcy's exciting new project, where she combines her comfort in front of a camera (she is a working actor) with her flair for fashion and sewing. Marcy stars in the new Bluprint (formerly Craftsy Unlimited) show entitled "Re:Fashion" where she takes basics or thrift store finds and gives them that Oonaballoona flair that we all love so much.
Aug 13, 2018
Podcast Ep023: Sewing Community IRL
In this episode, we reached out to hear some different perspectives on the question of "What do in-person sewing community meet-ups contribute to your sewing experience?" Lori and Helena recap their fun experience at PR weekend, then we hear from Mimi G, sewing and blogging superstar. We also reached out to three of our new friends from PR weekend to find out what they thought, and our Maven Barbara shares some thoughts.
Jul 15, 2018
Podcast Ep022: Sustainable Sewing with Kate Ng
Lori chats with Kate Ng of about sustainability. What does sustainability mean when it comes to sewing? What practices can we adopt and which fabrics should we look for if we're concerned about the impact our hobby has on the environment and on working conditions around the world? Kate has some great insights and tips on the topic.
Jun 17, 2018
Podcast Ep021: Passing the Mic to You
We are passing the mic again to hear listener's stories. Prompted by our monthly questions, Michelle, Andie and Pauline allow us into their sewing rooms to hear about their proudest moments, embarrassing items, and what they are working on now. And we are once again joined by Barbara, who is back from her travels and has a long list of to-sew items herself!
May 26, 2018
Podcast Ep020: Sew with the Flow
When we sew garments, we're sewing to fit our bodies. But women's bodies change often -- at least once a month. So we're Sewing with the Flow on this episode: sewing for menstruation and menopause. Lori & Helena talk with Erin Van Handel of the sewing blog Sie Macht to talk about garments and accessories that might make us feel comfy during that time of the month. We hear from Erin Beauchamp about her successful quest to sew the perfect period underwear. And Barbara Emodi drops some humourous wisdom on the subject.
Apr 15, 2018
Podcast Ep019: Fast Fashion Fasting
Helena and Lori discuss their recent adventures in Mood and LA fashion district when they finally met for the first time! They also discuss some of their thoughts about taking on the RTW Fast challenge for 2018. You'll also hear from another RTW-Faster who is only just learning how to sew! And Barbara Emodi weighs in with thoughts on the need for speed and fast fashion.
Mar 14, 2018
Podcast Ep018: Pick a Challenge or a Sewalong!
We thought, while the new year is still fresh, that we would highlight some of fun Challenges and Sewalongs in case you wanted to jump in with us! We have 3 mini interviews to share, a primer on interfacing from our expert Maris, as well as a fun segment by our newest contributor, Barbara Emodi.
Feb 13, 2018
Podcast Episode017: Let's hear from you!
We asked you to get in touch and let us know what you get up to when you're not sewing, why you love to sew, and what's on your sewing table right now, among other things. We hear from Naomi of Spare Room Style and her sister Miriam of Create Hope Inspire, Shannon from Adventures of a Young Seamstress, Amy from Almond Rock & Love Sewing Magazine, and Manju from Sew Manju.
Feb 02, 2018
Podcast Ep016: Barbara Emodi from Sewing on the Edge
Lori and Helena talked holiday sewing with the hilarious and enthusiastic Barbara from Sewing on the Edge. We discuss sewing gifts and also Barbara's book, SEW ...The Garment-Making Book of Knowledge: Real-Life Lessons from a Serial Sewist, which is available for pre-order now. Show notes -
Jan 06, 2018
Podcast Ep015: Friends Talk Sewing, and so should you!
Inquiring minds want to know! What do you do when you're not sewing? What's on your sewing table right now? These questions and more will be answered by Hila from Saturday Night Stitch, Sasha from Secondo Piano, and hosts Lori & Helena, too. Maven Maris joins us to drop some wisdom about when to follow pattern instructions and when to throw caution to the wind and do it your own way. Listen in to find out how to add your voice to our next podcast! <a href="">Check out the Show Notes</a>
Dec 19, 2017
Podcast Ep014: Deepika from Pattern Review
An interview with's fearless leader, Deepika Prakash, about the resources you may not be familiar with on the community-driven site. With her heart full of love for sewing, Deepika facilitates a wonderful community of passionate sewists that offer help, encouragement and knowledge for everyone. She also answers the burning question "What is it like to work in an office stocked with every pattern imaginable?"
Nov 10, 2017
Podcast Ep013: A Tour of Sharadha's Closet Full of Handmades
Sharadha of has made herself a million-dollar wardrobe on a dime-store budget. Having spent way too many hours fawning over Sharadha's blog, Instagram account, and YouTube channel, Lori finally decided to just invite herself over to Sharadha's place to have a look in her closet in person! Sharadha was happy to give Lori the personalized come have a peek in Sharadha's closet and join in our conversation. You can find photos of all the pieces we talk about in the podcast over on Sweet Shard's blog at
Oct 20, 2017
Podcast Ep012: The Literary Sewalong with Melanie from Following the Thread
Lori and Helena invited Melanie from Following the Thread to chat about her idea for a Literary Sewing Circle. We will be reading a book and sewing a garment that the book inspires. There are so many possibilities with this sew along idea and we had a great time discussing it! Show notes are posted here:
Sep 08, 2017
Podcast Ep011: Athletic Wear with Dawn from Two On Two Off
Clothes Making Mavens is a sewing podcast about handmade fashion. In this Sew Small Talk episode, hosts Helena and Lori chat with guest Dawn of Two On Two Off ( about sewing athletic wear. Show notes are posted here:
Jul 18, 2017
Podcast Ep010: Michelle Morris of That Black Chic
Lori had a chat with one of the most daring and innovative sewing bloggers out there; Michelle from She designs, sews and photographs her garments with such an artistic vision that we can’t help but admire her work. Michelle dives into the how and why of her amazing creations during this interview, as well as her exciting plans for a future sewing magazine that includes diverse perspectives on sewing, but with an emphasis on fashion sewing while learning and trying new things. Show notes are posted here:
Jun 16, 2017
Podcast Ep009: Sewjo
Here is another Sew Small Talk between Helena and Lori – but neither has been sewing much! Does your sewing output sometimes slump? They wanted to overcome this lack of SewJo (sewing motivation) and gathered some tips and tricks to try themselves and hope maybe these ideas could help you overcome your lack of sewjo, too. Lori fills us in on her exciting trip to Africa and the moving reason for her trip. Warning: this episode gets a little graphic as we discuss the horrifying details of Female Genital Circumcision that is currently practiced in many parts of Africa. It may raise some questions with younger listeners. Lori’s awesome students are helping to educate us all on what is happening and, more importantly, how AMREF Canada (African Medical Research and Education Foundation) is changing the practice. And Lori unexpectedly found some sewing joy in Kenya, too! Show notes are posted here:
May 10, 2017
Podcast Ep008 Madame Tifaine
Lori chats with Tif of about her year-long ready-to-wear fast, why she did it, and what she learned along the way.
Feb 16, 2017
Podcast Ep007: Sewing Contests & Sewalongs
Helena and Lori chat about sewing contests and sewalongs; listeners give us their take on what makes something look handmade and whether that's a good or bad thing; and Maven Maris gives her tips on hand-sewing. Show notes are posted here:
Nov 13, 2016
Podcast Ep006: Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow
Clothes Making Mavens is a sewing podcast about handmade fashion. In this episode, Lori interviews Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow ( We chat about finding your personal style, taking better pictures of your sewing makes, and Gillian's fun "Sewing Dares" that have us all fearlessly asking her to peer into our deepest sewing hearts and dare us to sew something outside of our comfort zone. Show notes are posted here:
Sep 26, 2016
Podcast Ep005: Inspiration Overload
It seems that neither Helena nor Lori suffer from being uninspired - they both say the world provides more inspiration than they can handle! In this episode they chat about all the ways their lists of sewing projects grow long, longer and longest. We also hear from several listeners about their proudest sewing moments. We loved the contributions! Maris Olson, our resident sewing teacher, gets passionate about trying all those different sewing feet your machine probably came with. They can really elevate your sewing! Show notes are posted here:
Sep 11, 2016
Podcast Ep004 : Lori of Girls in the Garden
Clothes Making Mavens is a sewing podcast about handmade fashion. Helena interviews the prolific sewing blogger Lori VanManaan, who sews beautiful garments and bags for herself, her daughters and now her little grandson. She contributes to the Mood Sewing Network and, so she has access to beautiful fabrics and the latest indie patterns. We talk about her wonderful podcast Sew Forth Now, which was one of the first podcasts specific to garment sewing. We talked about the amazing guests she had on and what helpful information they offered so generously. I hope this interview inspires you to check out her old episodes as well as Lori’s current creations on her blog. Show notes are posted here:
Aug 25, 2016
Podcast Ep003: Fabric Zeal
Fabric Zeal - What do sewists talk about when they get together? Fabric! Helena and Lori find so much inspiration in fabric and they bet you do, too. This month they talk about their favorite fabrics to sew with, where they buy their treasures, the exciting possibility of designing their own, and challenges they've encountered. They also introduce a new regular contributor to the discussion, Maris Olsen from Show notes are posted here:
Aug 06, 2016
Podcast Ep002: Lauren of Lladybird
Clothes Making Mavens is a sewing podcast about handmade fashion. In Episode 2, Helena interviews one of the online sewing community's most popular bloggers: Lauren Taylor of Lauren talks about how she got turned onto sewing, how she's able to make a supplemental income from doing what she loves, and what makes her so mad that she could talk about it for hours. Lauren also wants to know if you think she has an accent! Show notes are posted here:
Jul 19, 2016
Podcast Ep001: Introductions
Clothes Making Mavens is a sewing podcast about handmade fashion. In our inaugural episode, Helena and Lori introduce themselves and the podcast, talk about how they got started sewing, then they dig into some Proust questionnaire questions (some with a twist!).
Jun 27, 2016