Samantha

I’m a 33yo sewist living in the North East of England, I was born in Stockport and most of my family are located there, being away from them gives me lost of extra time to practice my crafty things. I mainly sew garments but do like to dabble in small soft toys and utility pieces. I’m disabled and have chronic health conditions, I learnt to sew during a period of recovery from a brain infection and found solace in learning a new skill when lots of things had been taken away from me.

What influence does music have in your life as a creative?:

I love to listen to music whilst I’m sewing to help create a happy space, I find when I’m happy and positive my creativity and concentration flows better. My favourite thing to do is have a little dance around wearing a half finished garment in the mirror, its great for helping me see fit issues, get a feel of the garment, how it moves and how it’s coming together. I do tend to listen to a specific genre depending on my mood and what time I’m working on. If it’s something more difficult that requires my full mental attention like pattern drafting, I love to listen to classical piano music. When I’m feeling slightly frustrated by thing outside of my creativity I lean towards heavier rock music.

Tell us about your playlist:

This is a collection of some music that makes me smile from lots of different genres that I listen to, the songs might have a personal connection that remind me of a happy moment or just upbeat and happy.

Joanne Yusuf

I am SAHM to three children on our current homeschooling adventures, living in Seattle, WA. Pre Covid I worked as a Mindfulness Lead Facilitator at a local Pre School. I like to sew on a whim where ever my creative mind wants to lead! It is challenging for me to stick with sewing plans and sewing a capsule style wardrobe, because my thoughts might change one week to the next. I really enjoy sewing jeans, and the occasional maxi dress with big sleeves.

What influence does music have in your life as a creative?:

Music has always played a role in my creativity. As a young person growing up, I could rely on music and writing to be my form of escapism and self expression. My style in music has changed much like my style in clothes, but I gravitate toward deep lyrical rhythms, moody melodies and instrumental sounds.

I find Jazz to be incredibly relaxing and I can get into the zone of my creative soul while listening. Some days I might need more energy so I put on my beloved Reggae and other times feeling inward and will listen to moody folk style music. I will also resort to podcasts, my husband’s political news in the background, or the sound of silence.

Tell us about your playlist:

I created a mix of everything that represents me to the current day. I named this mix Soul Vibration because it keeps me in high vibration energy and puts me in a soulful mood. I can dance to while ironing, sipping tea and stitching, allowing myself to be in the creative flow. As mentioned Jazz is really hitting that sweet spot for me, sometimes I will just exclusively keep Jazz radio going, particularity loving the new Jazz Artist Christian Sands. However I combined some of my favorites to mix the mood.

Kathryn Formoso

I am a 4th grade teacher living in Philadelphia and I have been sewing for about 6 years. I taught myself to sew on a very old machine while I was on unemployment. From there got an internship with a small lingerie/swimwear company in Brooklyn. I moved to Brooklyn for two years and the internship turned into a Head of Production job where Iearned most of what I know about sewing.


I mostly work with wovens which is great because I only have a straight-stitch industrial Juki so I don’t have anything fancy on my machine (not even zig zag). In the past I’ve sewn any and everything and now I am working to really think about my wardrobe and what I need. I like useful, everyday wearable clothes. I am really into the Dawn Jeans right now. But also thinking about making a porch swing so I am distracted. Also knitting socks.

What influence does music have in your life as a creative?:

I listen to a lot of different kinds of music and I always have it blasting while I am sewing. I think it motivates me…I wouldn’t say it helps me concentrate but it does help me get into the work that I am doing. I change up what I am listening to often because I have the bad habit of letting playlist play on repeat for HOURS while I work and then all of a sudden I can’t stand listening to those songs anymore.


My partner is a musician and there is often a lot of music in the house. We have a practice space in our basement where some bands play (not since the pandemic). I have a lot of respect for musicians especially because that is one thing I KNOW I could never do. I am not musically inclined in any way. I’ve tried.

Tell us about your playlist:

This is the music that I am listening to right now. A lot of the bands are from Philadelphia because there is SO much good music here. My brain is fairly scattered, creatively speaking, therefore my playlist is pretty diverse in genres because while I am working I need the change in pace.

Eli

I’m French, and I live in California. After years working as a consultant in web agencies and sharing my enthusiasm for computers, internet, and websites with seniors through volunteering, I discovered a passion for thread (and fabric, and patterns!). I’ve always loved fashion, clothes, textures, and colors, but for a long time, I was reluctant about learning how to sew. Now, I enjoy working on a project a bit challenging and then, shift the focus with something more simple. I like how sewing allows me to take the time, to be thoughtful about what I’m making, and create something that I completely own.

What influence does music have in your life as a creative?:

Music is my companion. It helps me to set the mood, to stretch between sewing sessions, to fuel my creativity, to energize, to take a break, or relax. There is no day without a little bit of music. Depending on the need, music styles can stretch from Beethoven to Metallica. Depending on the mood, it can be very loud on my headphones or quiet, in my sewing space, to create an ambiance.

Tell us about your playlist:

For this playlist, I wanted to create something that reflects different energies in one place. I thought about the waves, their sounds, and the way they made me feel when I lived by the ocean. Those energies or moments are also a reflection of a certain period of time, an event, or a momentum. Like a wave, those moments come and go, in an eclectic way.
So, like a wave, there are 3 energies on this playlist;
– the formation: to set the mood, to clear the spirit
– the spread: when everything gathers, ideas are blooming, things are being created, the maximum energy
– the surge: when the energy decrease to make space for the calm
Hope you like it as I did enjoy creating it!

Tracy Wai de Boer

I’m a writer and devoted creative who is always making, creating, repairing, projecting, and thinking deeply. I’ve always loved clothing and the way it allows us to express ourselves. I make versatile, functional, hardwearing, beautiful clothing that is fun and focussed around natural fibre. I love sewing because it is life-changing, life-affirming, rebellious, and empowering.

What influence does music have in your life as a creative?:

Music – similar to clothing – allows me to imagine who I might be. It shows me levels of myself I never knew I had. Music allows me to feel both free in my body and grounded at the same time. Good music makes me feel more human – more connected to a deep range of emotion and experience. Listening to music while I sew is one of the happiest places on earth for me. In this space I feel completely contained in my creative bubble, and my mind wanders – I’m able to work though creative ideas (for my writing or other art forms).

Tell us about your playlist:

This playlist is made up of a variety of music that has a similar feel or tone to me. Even though the songs and artists themselves are quite diverse over space/time, I feel like they “go together” for me. Many of the artists in this playlist are those who inspire me. Many of the songs in this playlist are ones I listen to while I sew and I am excited to share with others.

Aneela Hoey

Making has been an integral part of my being for most of my life. These days I mainly work as a creator of sewing patterns for pouches and organizers. I produce my own independent patterns as well as having written several books on sewing/embroidery. I’m also a sometime fabric designer (Moda/Cloud9).

What influence does music have in your life as a creative?:

Music has always occupied a space alongside my making because songs/lyrics offer perspective which opens up my creative thinking. It produces the right kind of environment to make me feel excited by the possibilities. I find listening to music mostly helps me concentrate because it blocks out all of the other noise in my head. I always listen to it when I sew or work on illustrations. The only time I might switch it off is when I’m writing pattern instructions and need a clear head.

Tell us about your playlist:

My musical choices are always instinctive, if I like something, I like it. Simple as that. Music at its best feels like home, like something that has always been a part of me and my thinking.
My sonic tastes apparently favour the following
– Songs that are composed of several different parts, joined together with changes of pace throughout
– Achingly sweet and jangly indie pop
– Music that offers some kind of nerdy (guitar or other) wig out in the middle
– Kitchen sink pop/rock with descriptions of the everyday ordinary that echo my own experiences
– Singers with regional accents and use of slang
– Lyrical characterisations and storytelling

Kate Stanton

I’m a writer/editor who works in the media industry. In my spare time I sew and read up on pop culture and celebrity gossip. Though originally from the US, I’ve lived in Melbourne, Australia for about 9 years with my lovely husband.

What influence does music have in your life as a creative?:

I used to have “hobby shame” because I didn’t do much creatively outside of my day job in media. I tried for a long time to be musical — with little success. I once bought drum set on impulse (I barely touched it, but it looked really cool in my room!), and I spent several years in guitar lessons. I still can’t really play a thing. It was almost a relief when I found sewing. Finally, I could do something besides go to brunch and watch TV! These days I use music mainly to lift my spirits, or to set the mood for a day of crafting. I never sew in silence; I think it’s too lonely a hobby to do without background noise. It’s almost like having a friend in the room. I’m never picky about genre; I’ll sew along to anything from The Flaming Lips to the Jonas Brothers. I think music helps me focus, and reminds me when I’m frustrated that sewing is supposed to be fun!

Tell us about your playlist:

This is the stuff I actually listen to a lot while I sew. I realised only after compiling this playlist that it’s random as hell! How on earth does someone go from Waxahatchee’s ‘Lilacs’ to Ruben Nez’s ‘Hay Que Luchar’, an upbeat Latin tune I randomly heard on an episode of ‘Queer Eye’? But I think this playlist is a rollercoaster of genre and mood that reflects the chaotic energy I bring to a sewing project — super-pissed about uneven gathers one minute and peacefully blind-stitching the next. There’s also heaps of Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton and other Americana classics (‘driving down a highway’-style music). I’m an expat, so that type of music is comfort food to me. I’m also a huge believer in the power of a perfect pop song: try NOT to dance to Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Want You in My Room’. Plus, the four key changes in Beyonce’s ‘Love on Top’ will heal your soul.

Jo

Hi friends! My name is Jo and I like bubble tea and petting other people’s dogs. Growing up I made my parents very disappointed by telling them my dream was to own a pet-friendly bubble tea cafe-slash-boutique that was also a bar by night. (Boozy bubble tea is a thing now!! They stole my idea!! I’m tellin ya!!) Years later I did the impossible and somehow disappointed them EVEN more by 1) not becoming a real doctor and also 2) accidentally falling in love with a very handsome, very not-Chinese agnostic and moving to a whole other country. Thing 1 was my fault but thing 2 definitely not on account of him being so handsome.

I make garments to play dress up in real life. Why be just little old me when I could be a femme fatale old-Shanghai lady gangster? Or a 80s Wall Street gazillionaire sunning on the deck of his playboy yacht? Though sometimes I don’t play a character but dress for a concept – like a glamorous floral cloud or a soft flaky pastry dream. (I know I’m sounding more cracked the more I go on about this but TELL ME you haven’t once wanted to look like an elegant French dessert) And other times it’s not even a concept and I’m just consumed by, say, a raging desire to wear checks or neon green. It seems mental but it’s what keeps me ticking! Finding what I wanted in my size (with short enough sleeves for my tiny T rex arms) was too hard so I had to make my dress-up dreams come true myself!

What influence does music have in your life as a creative?:

Music does NOT help my creativity. The good Lord made me with just enough juice in the old walnut for tunes or thoughts but not both. If I’m trying to imagine out a new project I’m usually sitting very still or lying on my bed looking at nothing as my brain drags the idea around behind it like a sulky toddler. Every other time of day, yes to music. Yes to upbeat music that gets me out of bed and yes to bangers in the car and for two glorious weeks I played the Rocketman soundtrack repeatedly for all 8 hours of the workday leaving my colleagues wondering if they should kill Elton, me, both, or themselves.

Sewing is another matter. My handsome agnostic lives 2 hours away and our weekends are spent cooking and hiking and watching Netflix and just generally pretending we still live together. I only really have sewing time after work, which means I sew when I am tired and lonely and need to clear my head. So I don’t listen to anything that evokes strong emotions or memories (when I listen to DNCE’s Cake By The Ocean I can smell the exact smell of my Leith Street flat), and because of the aforementioned limitations of my walnut, nothing overly discordant or challenging. I am that one woman who can’t multitask and I get headaches if I’m having to focus on too much conflicting stimuli. Given that my day job is essentially a high stakes art project performed on live people I have made sewing a gentle, forgiving, meditative process – a soft and mindless time that calls for soft and mindless music. Sometimes I listen to an audiobook if I’m not doing anything overly complicated but generally I look forward to my quiet evenings of slow, thoughtful creating, with gentle music to wash away the worries and cares of who I am and what I do.

(In saying all of that I do listen to a God awful lot of Eminem. I know I know all that blather about gentle and meditative and slow but there is a regularity to the cadence of his voice which I find oddly soothing and it DOESN’T make my head hurt for some reason. I’m not saying I have all the lyrics memorized but I will say that I’m bloody good at karaoke.)

Tell us about your playlist:

I don’t listen to this playlist specifically, but it should give you some idea of what’s generally playing when I’m sewing. It’s designed to be shuffle played. The overarching theme of this song collection is ‘Sounds that Don’t Give Me a Headache’ so it would be easier to list what it is NOT about: string instruments, overly percussive songs, irregular tempos, any kind of house, and very specifically early 2000s pop punk (don’t get me wrong I spent many blissful years Panicking at the Disco and I found Charlotte excellent not merely Good, but it doesn’t jive with focused tasks).

And of course I aggressively overthought this little list of songs despite a very clear instruction to NOT overthink it. There’s too much piano in here, does that make me seem too Asian? But will the real piano virtuoso Ling Lings denigrate my selections as tasteless and pedestrian? Actually, is it not Asian enough? Does having Kau Ilhamku and Belaian Jiwa in there make me seem charmingly connected to my roots or does it seem forced and false, a desperately obvious and obviously desperate attempt to reclaim a cultural identity I no longer fully possess? Will people NOT from Malaysia like it? Also there’s rap in here, but it’s only from two white guys and both their names start with M, what’s up with that? Was Eminem a safe choice? Does liking his music mean I support normalizing the themes of violence against women and homophobia he espouses in his earlier works? (I don’t and as far as I understand it, neither does he now) Should I assemble a more diverse troupe of rap-making individuals just so people won’t think I support white appropriation of black culture? What about Cardi or Nikki? Or Doja Cat? Does she count? But they all make my head hurt? And so on.

So I invite you to, I guess, not overthink it the way I did. Enjoy the repetitive piano and covers of showtunes. I’ve chosen two of the more benign Eminem tracks with, as far as I can ascertain, no wife-beating and very little mentions of his dick. Also I’ve added my favouritest Macklemore track on account of there being nothing more truly satisfying as making something candy coloured while bawling out BITCH I’M WILLY WONKA over and over as a testimony to your own hyperinflated sense of creative genius. But in general I hope you have a mellow experience. Zone out. Go to your happy place. Make pretty things. It’s all good fam, it’s all good.

Faith St Juliette

I am a wife, mom, military veteran, and substitute teacher. I started sewing as a child, but never kept up with it. I started sewing again in 2012 after leaving the military and needing a creative outlet. I love to sew clothes, but am always finding something new to learn.

What influence does music have in your life as a creative?:

Music has always played an important role in my life. It helps me to express myself and gets my thoughts flowing. I can’t work in silence, so music is often playing as I sew. It helps me to stay focused, as I have a tendency to jump from one thing to the next. Music also keeps me motivated as I work. Sometimes when I have no sewjo, I will go in my sewing room, put my playlist on, and Often, the sewing juices start flowing.

Tell us about your playlist:

My playlist is like me, non discriminatory. I love all kinds of music, as long as the lyrics pull me in.

Julie Scheers

I live in Belgium with my husband and 2 children. By day I work an office job helping freelancers with their administration. Many of them are makers themselves, and I love to help them out with their paperwork. By night I get to create myself. I cook, garden, thrift en repurpose,… basically make all sorts of things but I always return to sewing. I remember making attempts at sewing since I was a kid but the combination of having nobody around to teach me and being pretty impatient resulted in me making a lot of unwearable things. Only when a started following a sewing course in the evenings about 10 years ago I started to make things I could actually wear. I now only sew or thrift all of my clothing.

What influence does music have in your life as a creative?:

Confession time: I watch reality tv during sewing and rarely listen to music when I’m making something. Reality tv works the best for me to zone out. Music is reserved for moments when I get to listen more intentionally, when I want to feel a certain way, when I feel inspired or when I want to move my body.

Tell us about your playlist:

This playlist is composed out of songs I could listen to over and over again (hence the title of the playlist). I get in certain moods and frantically start looking for tracks to match that mood, but these songs work every time. A lot of them are tied to a memory or they are songs I obsessed over once and kept listening to on repeat, resulting in them transforming in a sort of soundtrack for that period in my life.