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How-to

Do You Have a Soundtrack for Your Sewing?

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In addition to the WWII thrillers I love to listen to while I sew, I recently discovered author Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels. Good stuff!  

I’ve never cared much for sewing in silence. For many people, quiet is an aid to concentration, but for me, an album, an audiobook, a movie or miniseries is a welcome background to working on a project.

I can even look at a project and have a recollection of the accompaniment – there’s the dress and skirts that took up the entire BBC Jane Austen collection: “Mansfield Park,” “Emma,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility,” and “Persuasion,” on VHS, no less! They were a long-ago Christmas present and I keep a videocassette player just so I can watch them again and again. Of course, they have been updated again and again, and there’s a more recent collection on DVD that includes “Northanger Abbey.”

My other favorite type of sewing soundtrack is far from Jane Austen on the literary spectrum. I love international espionage thrillers! Just about anything by Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, or Clive Cussler keeps me fascinated. The only difficulty is sometimes I get caught up in the plot and have to stop and listen until the downed English fighter pilot makes it past the German checkpoint.

Lack of noise can be it’s own distraction. I find having music or movies can help me to concentrate on the task at hand. We’ve talked about it here at Threads and we’d love to know what you like to listen to while you create. Share your favorites with us and with your fellow readers!

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  1. regal80 | | #1

    I always like to zone out to Stevie Wonder...followed by Michael Jackson or Aretha Franklin, but I seem to get more done to Stevie :)

  2. fashioncat | | #2

    I can't sew with out music! AT 40 -70's replay on Sunday nights, 80's techno pop when I am designing, creating-doing my fashion thing. Routine hemming and mending-oldies-like Frank Sinatra oldies-great to sing and sew with.
    Music is always on in my shop.

  3. User avater
    TheKiltmaker | | #3

    I have a rather eclectic taste in music. I usually have something on the radio or a cd or cassette.
    Being a child of the 60s and 70s and tail-ender of the first wave of BabyBoomers..........
    It may be Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Styx.
    Or it may be classical, or Celtic. Being a piper as well as a seamster, I will listen to pipe bands on cd. Simon Fraser University band from British Columbia have to be about the best.

    Regards aye, and lang may yer lum reek.

    T.

  4. scrapslady | | #4

    I also enjoy listening to audiobooks while I sew. Almost anything will do except audios from the Hank the Cowdog series by John Ericson. I laugh so much at those, I can't see to sew!
    Sewing without a book is the pits for sure!

  5. ustabahippie | | #5

    I like to hear live human conversation while I'm home alone sewing. So I always listen to NPR, although sometimes I'm in the mood for Mozart, if it's a difficult project!

  6. Possum5 | | #6

    Sewing can be backbreaking work--sitting hunched over for hours at a time. So, I program my IPOD to Shuffle and when a song by Family Force 5 plays, I have trained myself to jump up, mid-seam, and dance until the song is over. Exercise and fun all while accomplishing my many sewing projects!

  7. Elaray | | #7

    I must have background noise when I sew! My first choice is an audiobook. Fortunately, my local library has a large selection. I've listened to book I would probably not have "read" otherwise. My second choice is public radio. I love listening to "Weekend Edition - Sunday" on Sunday mornings.

  8. enaj42 | | #8

    Here in South Africa, we have Solid Gold on 702 TalkRadio at the weekends and on public holidays. That is my favourite sewing time, belting forth the old 60's and 70's classics while I do battle with a zip or something much more creative!

  9. sosimonita | | #9

    If you're stuck in your studio (living room) for say, three months without time off, I suggest podcasts. After discovering The Bowery Boys I listened to them talk about the history of NYC for hours each day. It was comforting to let my mind wander through the city I was desperately missing while trapped in a Rapunzelesque work tower. Other podcast suggestions: WTF with Marc Maron (*skip the first 10min), the archives of This American Life, Stuff You Should Know, The Moth, Ricky Gervais. Netflix also has a lot of comedy on demand for those very special 16-18hr work days/80hr weeks. Louis C.K., Patton Oswalt, etc.

  10. Suzaan | | #10

    When I sew and my husband make his jewelry we listen to a playlist he made on his laptop that usually include Neil Daimond, ABBA, BZN, Queen. Whith this music we can work for hours.

  11. hazelpethig | | #11

    I usually listen to audio books while I sew. Everything from Jane Austen to P.G. Wodehouse. When I hear the book again, it reminds me of the project I was working on

  12. Pipermom89 | | #12

    I will either listen to Pandora radio (anything from Keith and Kristin Getty station to Bach to Billy Joel), or a Librivox.org recording of older books

  13. Glitter_Button | | #13

    While sewing in my room it's a must to have a Disney movie on especially Princess and the Frog. I guess maybe the music, the characters and the wonderful costumes keep me going.

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