Parikha Mehta

Sewist & knitter

I’m an engineer working in intellectual property, and I’m also a photographer. I make clothes for fun because I can’t ever pass up a chance to try a good puzzle, which is what garment construction feels like to me. It’s deeply satisfying to wear clothes I made myself, and the process is also a wonderful lesson in patience and forgiving my own mistakes; it’s been good rehabilitation for the perfectionist in me. Making clothes is something that’s been passed down to me on both sides of my family. My grandmother and I talk often about how neither of us can just sit still and do nothing; it must be genetic.

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

Music is a huge part of my daily life, and has been pretty much as long as I can remember. From the moment I got my first alarm clock radio as a kid, I just wanted it on, all the time. To this day, music is almost always on in our house; we enjoy listening together, but we each also retreat to our own sounds at times. I love having a huge library of music to choose from, to always be able to pick the perfect sound to reflect (or cure) whatever’s on my mind at that moment – in this way, I think, music is a real gift to those of us who live more in our heads than we do out loud. I’m luckily married to a really big music nerd, so there’s never a shortage of sounds to choose from or discover. Music also helps me concentrate when I need to focus on reading something complex for work, or when I’m editing photos; that’s when I’ll pull up a classical or lo-fi playlist on Spotify.

I don’t listen to music when I’m knitting–that mostly happens in front of the TV or when I’m talking to other people. I always listen when I’m sewing; I look forward to it as a rare opportunity to absorb a full album from start to finish, especially one that tells you a story when you consume it as a whole, or music that has a lot of subtle, moving parts that don’t come through when you hear it through a speaker. Sewing is one of the few activities where I’m able to truly focus on what I’m hearing, and it’s not like knitting where I’m like “oh, I’ll just do one row and then put it down”; I’m sitting down at the machine for at least 30 minutes to an hour, which is the perfect amount of time to get lost in a series of songs that were made to go together. I prefer to listen through earbuds; it’s incredible how much more you can pick up and appreciate in a song when it’s basically sent straight to your brain like that, instead of being diluted through the air before it hits your ears.

Tell us about your playlist:

In no particular order, here’s a sample of albums I’ve enjoyed hearing recently, and ones I find myself continuing to come back to over time. The list spans a range of moods & genres, so hopefully you’ll find at least one thing that speaks to you.

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Sounds for Sewing

Khruangbin – Mordechai
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
Interpol – Antics
Gorillaz – Song Machine
Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams
New Order – Singles
Bartees Strange – Live Forever
Mark Ronson – Late Night Feelings
Le Tigre – Le Tigre
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell
Fiona apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters
Nada Surf – Let Go
Beach Bunny – Prom Queen
Waxahatchee – St. Cloud
Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Missy Elliott – Respect M.E.
Wilco – Summerteeth
Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love
LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
Cautious Clay – Blood Type
Charles Bradley – Changes
Yola – Walk Through Fire