Amy Bornman

Pattern designer / Maker

I started sewing right after I graduated from college because I began to feel very anxious among all the uncertainty and I needed somewhere to put my energy. I started with quilting, and started dabbling in self-drafted clothing and bags. Once I started, I couldn’t stop! All Well, the sewing pattern company I run, grew from that passion. My collaborator Amelia and I produce sewing patterns that are made to be super hackable and intuitive, focusing on skill-building and encouraging confidence in sewists. It’s work I truly love, and it keeps me always learning! In my personal sewing practice, I still love making quilts the most.

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

When I work, especially when I’m sewing, I’m always listening to something — often podcasts or audiobooks, but also so much music. I’m constantly making playlists that rotate with the seasons. In the mornings and when I write it’s usually piano solos from artists in the eighties and nineties, then in the afternoon or when I’m doing more active work where I’m up and moving, it’s usually a mixed playlist of all sorts of music, usually pretty mellow music, lots of singer-songwriter and indie songs. When I’m settling into a long project where I want to really focus, I love to listen to full musicals and sing along, loudly. Throughout high school I did pretty intensive training in musical theater and planned to try to be on Broadway someday. Obviously that didn’t pan out, but I left that period of my life with an encyclopedic knowledge of musical theater, and dozens of full librettos memorized. My most focused and content state is definitely listening to a musical and sewing in tandem.

I grew up dancing too, and I really love to dance as a way to get back into my body if I’m starting to feel out of sorts. It’s a super personal and often private practice for me, to try to shake off bad feelings with movement. I have a mini project on instagram called All Well Dance Break (#allwelldancebreak) where I film some of then dances and note the song I’m dancing to. In almost all of the dances I’m wearing clothes that I’ve made. Music really informs this practice — often an All Well Dance Break will begin organically when I’m listening to a song that makes me want to move. Lots of my music is linked to dance for me, and the movement and the music inform and embroider each other with meaning.

Tell us about your playlist:

Like a patchwork quilt, this playlist is like lots of different fabrics cut into pieces sewn back together. Some musical theater (I went for the most neutral ones in my repertoire!), some indie, some piano, some Joni Mitchell, etc. Through all of the songs, tying them together, is a sense of movement. These are all songs I want to and do dance to, frequently. Even if it’s just a foot tapping or head swaying back and forth while I sew, for me movement and making are intertwined, and these songs reflect that connection — much like the quilting stitches in a quilt.

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patchwork ~ music for making and moving

  1. Forests – Tom Rosenthal
  2. Death with Dignity – Sufjan Stevens
  3. Random Rules – First Aid Kit
  4. Chainmail Maker – Tiny Ruins
  5. Silent Side – The Staves, yMusic
  6. Omar Sharif – Katrina Lenk
  7. Cactus Tree – Joni Mitchell
  8. Why We Tell the Story – Once On This Island Storytellers
  9. Jonathan – Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek
  10. Blues Run the Game – 2001 Remaster – Jackson C. Frank
  11. Middle Of My Mind – Tom Rosenthal
  12. Strange Beauty – First Aid Kit
  13. River – Joni Mitchell
  14. Nothing’s Gonna Happen (Demo) – The Staves
  15. Slack Jaw – Sylvan Esso
  16. Answer Me – Adam Kantor, The Band’s Visit Original Broadway Company
  17. Holding the Contradiction – The Brilliance
  18. Big Bad Good – My Bubba
  19. You Can Close Your Eyes – James Taylor
  20. Myriad of Troubles in the Old Blue Sea – Tom Rosenthal
  21. Pass Me By – Peggy Lee
  22. Back In My Body – Maggie Rogers
  23. These Days – Nico
  24. Asleep on the Train – Tom Rosenthal
  25. Busy and Important – Tom Rosenthal
  26. The Greatest Gift – Sufjan Stevens
  27. I Will Smile When I Think of You – J.E. Sunde
  28. Bitter with the Sweet – Carole King
  29. Reasonable Man – Tiny Ruins
  30. PARAD(w/m)E – Sylvan Esso
  31. Bleecker Street – Simon & Garfunkel
  32. Appetite – The Staves, yMusic
  33. If You Need To, Keep Time On Me – Fleet Foxes
  34. Ethio Invention no. 1 – Andrew Bird
  35. Help Me – Joni Mitchell
  36. The Long And Winding Road – Remastered 2009 – The Beatles
  37. Time Does Not Bring Relief – Hannah Corneau, Carmel Dean
  38. Me at the Museum, You in the Wintergardens – Tiny Ruins
  39. The Works of My Hands – J.E. Sunde
  40. Laurie and Jo on the Hill – Alexandre Desplat
  41. Everything Is Free – Gillian Welch