Material Mama Podcast Show #26 ~~ Women in Labor

Show #26, Women in Labor

You can listen here:″

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A discussion with my friend, Anne about life, podcasting, sewing, women in the labor force as well as in actual labor (we met in LaMaze/childbirth class which you will hear about). Anne is an amazing writer. She is working on her master’s in English Literature and wrote a wonderful paper about women in podcasting, and we talked about why she chose this topic for the symposium.

Sorry about the lawn mowing sound in the middle. Life happening, you know? 🙂

Links we talked about:

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me
Pride and Prejudice
Grammar Girl
Jumping Monkeys
Annie’s Quilting Stash
Alex Anderson Quilting Podcast


Handmaid’s Tale

Free buttons for you!

Please use these, by putting them on your favorite picture storing site and link to:

My first drafted dress pattern, free to you!

This is the first dress I made custom for my girls. I’m offering the pattern for free if you’d like to give it a spin! It’s a fairly simple A Line dress, with or without sleeves. You can use ribbing on the collar and armholes or you can serge, and fold under.

You can use these patterns as you wish, I think they are pretty self explanatory. If not, Here’s the sew along in .pdf form, and in html.

Use a knit fabric, and these fit about 3T-5.
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I’m getting ready to start teaching again next week. I’m only scheduled for a 20% gig which means I teach one day a week. However there is a lot of start up time and things to get done so I can be cleared for duty by next week. I’m trying to get a new podcast out as well, hopefully this week.

I’m doing a lot of denial sewing, I’ve made like 8 of these dresses, they are super duper easy. I used some ready to wear concepts that I loved to draft these myself. You can make as many as you want, and they are wonderful to embellish! Have fun and I’ll ‘see’ you soon.

Hey, if you’re reading this why don’t you give me a call on my voice mail only line at 1-775-593-5136 and let me know what you’re working on and what you’d like to hear more of on the podcast!

Here are my samples of what I’ve done with this pattern.  Click for larger views:


As jammies — I found if I cut it and don’t do much topstitching, they turned out as really easy nigthgowns!  Using fabric with ‘tossed’ pictures also are good for night time wear.


As tops — I just cut them where I wanted them to fall.  One turned into sort of a swing top, the other a more a line top.  By cutting the front bodice below the chest, it looks more RTW (ready to wear)  in my opinion.  This first one I just serged the openings and straight stitched them down.  I you had a coverstitcher these would be even faster LOL:



Fun in the Summer!

This is more mama centered, but I’d think anyone would have fun doing these activities.

Make your own jello type dessert! I found this recipe at Taste of Home

Make your own jello flavors!

4-6 servings
15 min 15 min prep
1 envelope knox gelatin (or 1 Tbsp.)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
3/4 cup sugar ( or10 packets of sweetener)
1 teaspoon unsweetened Kool-Aid (to taste)

Put 1 cup water on to boil.
Sprinkle gelatin into 1 cup cold water.
Mix in sugar (or sweetener) and 1 tsp Kool-aid powder.
Stir until thoroughly dissolved.
Add boiling water and stir.
Adjust amount of sugar and Kool-aid to taste.
Chill until firm.

I got some fun ice molds at Target and they were tons of fun! Quite yummy and it’s nice to know you can make your own food. Speaking of summr and making your own eats, how about making your own marshmallows to scarf down around the campfire? When I was a single mama my oldest and I would toast them in the fire place.

I found a recipe at How Stuff Works and another one at Martha Stewart

Makes 24

  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 4 unflavored gelatin, (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 Teaspoons)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar





    1. Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil; set aside.
    2. Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees.on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.
    4. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
    5. Sift 1 cup confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners’ sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares. Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

One of my favorite go to books is the Tightwad Gazette. They have the BEST section on making muffins. I’m one of those mamas dismayed at the cost of breakfast cereals. The more children you have the faster they go. She breaks down what we eat for breakfast and what it costs. The muffins are very flexible, and I’ll ask for permission to reprint it here. Until then, check out her wonderful compendium here:




Playdough. What is more fun to play with, especially when you can eat it w hen you’re done playing? Wash hands first of course! Peanut Butter Playdough has always been a favorite around here. You can find more fun art ideas for kids or yourself here.


Sewing…. I just finished my duct tape double, and I LOVE it! I made a perfectly fitting skirt for the beach in no time flat. I’m only sorry I didn’t do this before.


I finished up some summer jammies for my little girls, using a Japanese fabric “sleeping beauty” which you can find on Etsy sometimes.



I’ll be updating soon!!! I’m working on a new podcast this week, so I need to get back to work.


Thank you for all the kind words and support, I really really appreciate knowing someone is out there listening!

Material Mama Podcast#21

Welcome friends!

There are many ways to listen

Click here to listen to the podcast:

Or you can use the direct link to all podcasts or right click this link to save to your computer to listen to later, or to put on your mp3 player.

Direct Subscribe Link for Mac’s, click here Material Mama Podcast

If you go to iTunes, and you can’t find my podcast, do this. In iTunes on your computer, click on Advanced menu. Select “Subscribe to Podcast”, and paste this into the dialog box:

Show 21 notes

Leave me a voicemail question or comment by telephone: 1-775-593-5136

Got a Mic? Record A Two-Minute Question or comment. Click here to leave a message

Thank you to Andrea from Wanted Web Design for coming up with my new banner on my site! I love her work, check it out if you’re interested in any graphic work!

Etsy contest — thanks Katie for pointing it out to us! Etsy and Instructables have come together for this contest. You sew something and then create a tutorial for it. They have 3 categories:

• The Sew Helpful Award — goes to the most useful thing that helps others in need;
• The Sew Hybrid Award — goes to the best combination of sewing and technology; and
• The Sew Educational Award — goes to the best Instructable tutorial.

What has sewing taught you? I wrote an essay on what it’s done for me.

Update on SWAP sewing site

Neat book swap site — Swap paperback books for FREE –

Fun new sewing light for just 6.99 at Ikea:


New book purchases. I’m interested to see which company is faster. Amazon Japan or YesAsia. This is what I ordered:

From YesAsia. Free shipping, these books were 11.99 and 20.99 respectively. Because I bought from them before I got a 15.00 credit so this was a very good deal:

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From Amazon Japan. 11.26 each. I had a credit from them since I shopped there before, .90 so my total with shipping was 48.84. Ordered May 21, arrived May 24th via DHL:4579110544457911132X

I also found an eBay seller with good feedback that sells cuts of Japanese and other imported fabrics that are just tdf! I’ll post a picture when they arrive 🙂

Jayme, jayme jayme! We love your bodice pattern! Check this page out for samples of what you can do with this fun pattern.


I made some Jayme style tank dresses, but I used the most recent Ottobre (3/07) check out #9 , you can use the front piece as a Jayme bodice 74-110 cm.  It worked perfectly! I love this fabric, I got it at Sewzannes. I used the FOE (Fold Over Elastic) you usually use on diapers, it was thicker and more sturdy. I attached it with an elastic zig zag stitch.

I had to put tee shirt on under as it was cool in the morning and I still wanted them to wear these for Mother’s Day LOL

rags01.jpg rags31.jpg
Rags: Making a little something out of almost nothing

I found this super awesome book at the thrift store. You may have seen it in the pile of ‘treasures’ last week. Well I finally cracked it open and honestly, I’m amazed. This book is wonderful! I read a fairy tale, The Little Laundress. I have been trying to get in contact with the authors to beg them to put it back into publication, or perhaps I can do it for them. Who knows. Now, you can scoop up this book for less than five bucks, I say do it now if you have any interest!

I like to use receiving blankets that are doubled to make matchy outfits for the girls. I can often find them on deep discount or at thrift shops for a song.

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Sewing for Boys

Have you used the free Ottobre tank pattern? I’d LOVE to share your pictures and results with my listeners. Please send me a link or the pictures at: materialmama at gmail dot com and I’ll share it like I did with the Jayme bodice pattern. If you don’t have it, here it is. It’s a .pdf file so it may take a moment to open.

This just in! Check out this great article about women sewing at home. Way to go Marcy and Hayden!

Material Mama Podcast #15

Yikes! I just heard a section where it sounds like I’m on some major Valium. Let me remix that and re up load it. Sorry!!!!! Here is the correct one:

Welcome to show #15

Or click here to download the mp3 podcasts directly

Today I chatted about: The Puyallup SewExpo,, is coming to town again and with it all the speakers, vendors, innovators, authors, and instructors from around the sewing world. My understanding is that this is the largest sewing world event of the year in the country and possibly the world for home-sewists.

Listener Mary suggested SewBaby as well as Lamington Lane . I also have gotten them off ebay, from Serena, and Luscious Labels.

Listener Amy was wondering:

Something interesting I have learned about myself is that Spring makes me sew. My machine can be dormant for long stretches but something about April causes me to make a skirt, dress, or something else to wear. I wonder if any of your listeners have noticed they also have seasonal stitcher’s itch (and if so, what season?).

Alex Anderson was also chatting about it on her podcast, I think it was #50. I really enjoy her podcast, she interviews very interesting shop owners and more! Whether you quilt or not, take a listen. Her most recent podcast is about how to buy a new machine.

So far my podcasters challenge is going great! Sage Tyrtle mentioned it on her podcast, Quirky Nomads. I know we can be so divided on political opionions but I am so pleased that we can come together as mothers and humans to give even a little love and hope to a child. Thank you Sage!!!!!

If you’d like another great sewing podcast to listen to, check out Alex Anderson’s podcast. While she does focus on quilting, I think there is a lot to learn from her sewing experience and she has a great voice for podcasting!

Check out the free Ottobre tank top for a fun addition to the summer wardrobe for the kids. If you’d like a direct link to the .pdf version, click here.

Sister Diane from Crafty Pod is knitting up in Second Life and I’m thinking of logging in again.

Here is my ‘brand new’ serger!

This week’s review, Sewing with Sergers: The Complete Handbook for Overlock Sewing by Pati Palmer and Gail Brown

Need some Valentine’s Inspiration? Check these out: fold an oragami heart, make bookmarks, the goodie-bag ideas, Paper CD sleeves for Valentine’s cookies, Heart Garland, easy sewn fortune cookies

Sewzanne’s Fabrics is offering a discount to Material Mama listeners. If you use the coupon code MM5, you’ll get 5% off your total order! Plus they discount shipping if you’re ordering just patterns.

Please check out Lisa’s great dolls here. She is a true artisan! I have two of her dollies and my girls are in absolute love with them. I can’t wait to purchase more. Hurry, they won’t last I’m sure!!! Here are my girls opening up thier special orders from LaSageFemme:

Help support this podcast

If you get a moment, please leave me feedback at iTunes. I appreciate and read each one!I sell sewing advocacy items and I also have a PayPal donation link here. :: :: Free Shipping at :: :: Shoe Buy shoes up to 65% off!!! :: Free Shipping Shoes

Top Selling Books up to 50% OFF! Click here for your favorite eBay items Introducing Weight Watchers(R) TurnAround(TM)!

How a bobbin works

edited to update:

I did not create this picture.  I thought it was clever.  I realize it’s not perfect.   Thanks for understanding.

No, I can’t change the graphic.  If you’d like to and email to to me, knock yourself out LOL

You can see the more recent updates at my new blog, here:


Wow, I got a bunch of new comments! Sorry, I just noticed them and approved them. Apparently it was on Craft Magazine, as well as Crafting Daisies and Dvorak’s site.  I am not sure where the graphic came from, it was sent to me a long time ago.

So, thanks for listening and for sharing!

Those of you wanting me to change or explode the design, I’m sorry, but I’m just a sewing mama that podcasts about parenting and sewing, I’m NOT a graphic designer or engineer. I thought it was interesting to share with my listeners. If you’d like to do a more complete graphic, feel free. I don’t go much past creating graphics using PhotoDraw.

I don’t have a ‘sweatshop’ machine or industrial one, just a Singer Ergo 3. 🙂


I had no idea how this worked until I found this little gem. I still wonder why they can’t make a machine that will take another spool of thread, thread it around so one can use that instead of having to wind bobbin after bobbin…..

No, I can’t change the graphic.  If you’d like to and email to to me, knock yourself out LOL



WOW! I’m going to be in the next Sampler

If you haven’t heard about it, RUN over to Home of the Sampler and take a look.

The Sampler is a marketing & promotional tool for indie businesses. Each month, indie crafters, artists, shops, zines and record labels who run web-based businesses send samples and promotional materials to a contribution pool. All the samples are photographed, posted to the site and then are portioned out, put in little packages and sent off to Sampler Subscribers, other Sampler Contributors and members of the Media!

I heard about it on Crafty Pod, and have fallen in love.  What an awesome idea!  I’m going to try to purchase a sampler set today, but next month I get to contribute!  Whee!