Material Mama Manifesto

Material Mama’s Sewing Manifesto

Anyone can learn to sew.

It’s an age old art, whether by hand or by computerized machine; repurposed thrift store finds or $50/yard designer fabric.

It unites us all.


  1. Love and respect my seam ripper
  2. Encourage smaller, boutique pattern designers
  3. Sew, repair, customize items for my family as needed and time permits.
  4. Be upfront with others that I may not hem, alter, customize or create for them.
  5. Understand sewing does NOT save money. (although I might not share this with my significant other)
  6. Love my stash. Visit it, pet it, appreciate it, and listen to it.
  7. Learn to hear praise and compliments about my sewing and say “Thank You”.
  8. Not play down my accomplishments in sewing, even if it’s learning to turn on a machine or thread a needle.
  9. Sew gifts for those who appreciate them
  10. Be proud to show my one of a kind, properly fitted, custom tailored garments.
  11. Know mommy made clothes make my child feel special and loved whenever they are wearing them.
  12. Sew because I have to, it’s a part of who I am
  13. Occasionally toss an item across the room in frustration.
  14. Forgive myself.
  15. Ask for support when I need and want it.
  16. Listen to my heart about MY fabric choices, pattern, style and cut.




  1. Feel I need to purchase even ONE Big Three pattern
  2. Support companies that sell their patterns on junky paper, with improper fitting, with outdated and overly complicated sewing techniques.
  3. Support pattern companies that do not support me in finding well fitting, and comfortable
  4. Feel forced to put advertising on my children without being paid for it (Name brands splashed all over clothing)
  5. Feel pressured to defend my beautiful stash
  6. Feel pressured to repair, customize clothing for others
  7. Dress my 4 year old like a hooker to keep up with current fashions.
  8. Support sweat shop labor
  9. Allow my stash to control me and how I feel. I am always in charge of Stash.
  10. Listen to any negativity about how sewing is outdated (it’s classic, and classic never goes out of style)
  11. Throw anything heavy at someone who tells me “wow, did you know that sewing clothing is getting popular again?”
  12. Sew for anyone who might not appreciate it, or sees it as inferior to store bought. It’s their loss.
  13. Endure cheap, poorly made and poor fitting Ready to Wear (off the rack clothing)
  14. Deny that sewing feeds my soul.
  15. See myself as competing with Wal-Mart, Target, etc. See myself as couture, custom family fashionista along the lines of Hannah Andersson, Gymboree and Michael Kors.
  16. Engage in negative self talk or berate my skills to myself or others.
  17. Assume that the big box stores (JoAnn’s, Hancock’s etc) will be able to tell fabric from scrapbook paper much less help with fit.

Copyright © 2006, All Rights Reserved Feel free to share, with this copyright information intact. Happy Sewing Mama!

2 thoughts on “Material Mama Manifesto

  1. Thank you for your wonderful podcasts! I made my way over here via either CraftSanity or CraftyPod (my life is too cluttered sometimes!)
    Really enjoyed the manifesto…must print that out and post it proudly. Had to laugh out loud at the line “sewing doesn’t save money…don’t tell your spouse” as he once asked me that…
    Don’t forget…to allow yourself to repurpose or simply throw it out! Kind of like the anti-clean-plate-club but for sewers.
    Just purchased some back issues of Ottobre from SewZannes.
    Again, thanks, and can’t wait to listen to #3 while sewing today!

  2. Oh! I love love love Craft Sanity and CraftyPod! I was so bummed when they took a lot of the summer off. I love to listen as I declutter.

    I love Suz, glad you found something you like. I need to pull out some Ottobres to make my girls some undies, thanks for the reminder!


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