(updated July 19, 2019)
Do you listen to podcasts when you sew? I love, LOVE, L-O-V-E podcasts and I consume a lot of them! I work from home to design sewing patterns for my halfmoon ATELIER label, so as long as I’m not writing anything, I get to listen to podcasts all morning long while my babes are at school. Podcasts even turn the more annoying household tasks - dish-washing, laundry, etc. - into pleasant moments for yourself. Call me crazy, but I truly believe that listening to podcasts can inspire us to be better human beings. They open our minds and create such a connection to humanity that you can’t help but feel a least of bit of compassion for everyone.
For a few years, I mainly listened to craft podcasts. But lately I've been leaning more towards general interest and story telling podcasts. So here you have it - my top-3 podcasts listed first, then a list of many others that I enjoy and recommend.
+ Death, Sex + Money
This is an amazing story-telling podcast with a fabulous female host! The running theme behind this is that death, sex and money are inherent to life but are “often left out of polite conversation”. Anna Sale will also have you laughing and crying and gripped by each and every interview.
It's a podcast about crime...but not the way you'd think. They look at all different types of crimes - even those you may not think of as terribly "criminal" - and the context within which decisions were made to constitute a crime. It's really interesting and a very nuanced look at crime.
UnErased is about the painful and destructive history of conversion therapy in the US. There are not very many episodes, but it is really well done and is truly captivating.
+ The Dream
This is another podcast that is only a set number of episodes, which is unfortunate because it's so good. I totally binged this one. It's about the world of multi-level marketing (aka. pyramid-schemes).
+ The Cut on Tuesdays
This is about a whole bunch of different things and basically gives a female view on it all. Although I'm not doing a good job of making it sound enticing, it's really good!
+ The Dropout
Here's another one to binge-listen. I had forgotten about Theranos but was quickly reminded when I started listening to this. It's about Elizabeth Holmes' drive and ambition to make her mark on the world...but mostly to make money.
+ Tiny Desk Concerts
This is such a lovely way to be introduced to new music. Known and unknown bands with all different music styles come and play behind a desk in the office at NPR. Love it!
+ Sold in America
This podcast will jumble the ideas you may (or may not) have about what is means to sell sex in America.
+ Missing & Murdered
Why do indigenous women go missing and get murdered at such high rates? And why aren't they found? The two seasons of this podcast go looking for two women who went missing and dig deep into what may have happened.
+ Love to Sew Podcast
This is, without a doubt, my very favorite! With only 19 episodes under their belt, this is still a pretty new podcast, but Helen and Caroline are killing it! You know that feeling you get when you meet somebody new, but you feel like you’ve known them forever and it just clicks? That’s the feeling I get with this podcast. I feel like Helen and Caroline are here with me and we’re all chatting and laughing along together and I wish the interviews could go on forever. If you love to sew clothes, then these ladies will have you looking forward to Tuesday morning all week long!
+ While She Naps
Abby’s podcast focuses on interviews with creative business owners. Her focus is largely on the quilting and softies industries, but she is such a good interviewer, and the discussions are generally geared toward the business aspect and creative process, so it is a real joy to listen to!
+ Maker Style
Back in 2017, I got to talk sustainable sewing and business with Rachel on the podcast. As somebody who loves podcasts so much, this was super exciting for me! Rachel had been quiet on the podcasting front for quite awhile, but she's back now and has released a few good episodes over the past couple weeks.
+ A Coffee with Makers
Kimberly from Straight Stitch Designs (and a good friend of mine!) hosts this fun podcast. While she's part of the sewing community, she talks to makers in the broader making community about how they started making.
+ Dear Handmade Life
Nicole and Delilah are the creators of an amazing annual conference – Craftcation! After dreaming of going to this conference for a couple of years, I finally attended for the first time in 2017, and have been three times now. I can genuinely say it changed my life. Similar to the focus of Craftcation, this podcast focuses on building creative businesses.
+ Elise Gets Crafty
Elise is definitely a pioneer in the creative podcasting world, with nearly 150 episodes at this point! She generally releases an episode on a weekly basis, but that does waver sometimes. No matter, it’s always fun to listen to her interviews with small female business owners in a wide variety of creative fields.
+ This American Life
The classic podcast of podcasts! This podcast really is for everyone, whether you’re American or not. It is storytelling at its best about all the big and little moments of everyday life.
+ The Longest Shortest Time
If you’re a parent, you know from this title that this podcast has to do with parenting. But it is done SO well, and it is not just for parents or women. Hillary Frank is the host and I really enjoy her interviews. She brings stories that will move you to tears of joy, of deep sadness and of absolute hilarity – all parts of being or having parents. And, really, that’s all of us.
I particularly loved the first season of this podcast. They take a current event, and go deeper.
+ First Day Back
The first two seasons of this podcast were really good. I would really recommend going back and listening to both seasons. They are so interesting. The first focuses on trying to get back in to the workforce after being a stay at home mom for so many years. The second season will really expand your mind – it’s on the first day back to life outside of prison.
+ How I Built This
Wonderful interviews on the background story behind how businesses got started. As somebody working hard to build a business from nothing to a sustainable source of income, I find these stories both very interesting and inspiring.
+ How to be a Girl
This is another podcast that has been dormant for several months, but for which I highly recommend going back and listening to all the episodes. Are you a parent? Do you have a boy or a girl? What if that little boy or girl comes to you and tells you that everybody’s got it wrong. Your son is not a boy, but a girl. He is certain that he is a she. How do you raise and support your little girl in a way that she is able to express herself as who she is, without being hurt by people who feel she should be a boy?
+ More Perfect
O yay, o yay, o yay. This is a really interesting podcasts that researches the background of U.S. Supreme Court Decisions.
Obviously a spin-off of the best-selling books of the same title, Freakonomics podcast is hosted by Steven looks at “the hidden side of everything”. Essentially, they use principles of economics to look at human behavior and to see how intelligent, or not, our decision-making is. Always fun and interesting!
Do you listen to podcasts? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!
Great list of PODcasts…..can I also recommend Wardrobe Crisis by Clare PRess ( Australian Vogue’s sustainability editor) ( similar to Kestrels )……….I love “Love to Sew” but sometimes I need something a bit more “sarcky” in which case I listen to “Sewing Out Loud” by a very confident and competent mother and daughter dispensing advice from years in a commercial sewing business who aren’t afraid to say what they think!( playing their podcast at half speed in my car is one of the things guaranteed to cheer me up…its as though im the taxi for two very inebriated sewists returning from some dystopian sewing convention!)
I love the Happier Podcast (on habits and happiness) and Crafty Planner podcast (predominantly quilting, with some garment sewing). Thanks for the post – I love seeing what others are listening to!
Thank you so much for including my show in this excellent list!
Thank you so much for your comment, Shelagh! I am familiar with some of the podcasts that you mentioned, but I look forward to trying out the other!
Great podcast suggestions! I love listening to them for all the same reasons. I get addicted and will be excited to go for a drive or a time when I can sneak in a listen to a podcast. I love the Love to Sew Podcast too! Fills my soul. I wish there were more episodes.
I like the suggestions you had, I will check them out. I also like RadioLab, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, and Serial. Serial is super addictive!
Great post. Thanks