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Hello friendly members! As I was sitting at my sewing machine one day and listening to my Irish music from a variety of artist like Lisa Hannigan’s cd “Sea Sew,” I began to wonder if I was the only one who listened to music while sewing. So my question is… Do you listen to music when you sew? If you do listen to music when you sew what type is it and what artist? Do you listen to it loud or do you prefer it to be soft background music? Please feel free to tell me I am nuts for listening to music and that you find it distracting!


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    Aug 12, 2009, 09.35 AMby Hedda Nilsen

    You’re definitey not nuts!

    I don’t listen to music, my background noise is potentially even more distracting, I put on TV-series DVDs. Preferrably something I’ve seen lots of times before so I don’t really have to watch it to know what’s going on. I think it has something to do with that I sew to relax, and the noise stops me from feeling “too focused”, like I’m doing a job or something like that…

    If I don’t have access to my DVDs or a way to view them I’ll listen to classical music. I definitely prefer it soft, if it’s too loud I’m afraid I’ll focus more on the music than the sewing action and that’s a sure way of getting an intentional piercing through my finger…

    2 Replies
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      Aug 13, 2009, 12.28 AMby hannnc

      Wow thats exactly what i do! I have my laptop and sewing machine on my table, and i watch DVDs of Tv series which i have seen before so i dont have to pay 100% attention to it.

      At the moment i’ve mainly been watching Gilmore Girls.
      Otherwise i have music, to whatever volume i’m in the mood for, but i’m an addict for TV series during sewing right now :)

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      Oct 6, 2010, 12.06 AMby nettie

      I do this, too!! I usually “watch” Coupling, which I’ve seen so much I don’t really have to look at the TV.

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    Aug 12, 2009, 11.12 AMby thecuriouskiwi

    I always have music on no matter what I am doing and definitly while sewing :) sometimes I use it to relax me if the sewing is getting tricky so I play something quiet and then once I am underway I crank up something with some beat to sing away to (I absolutely can’t sing so I sew constantly to cover the noise of my singing :) haha) My wonderful hubby put speakers in my room so I can play anything I want from our collection in our computer via our home network, it makes me happy, so you are not alone :)

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    Aug 12, 2009, 11.17 AMby themedusa

    If I’m tracing, cutting out patterns or doing a lot of pressing I listen to podcasts like This American life, Cast on, Craftlit, Filmjunk. If I’m running my machines they are too loud to actually hear what people are saying so then I’ll put on music. The Amelie soundtrack is especially good to put me in a postive mood and get through those tricky sewing bits.

    1 Reply
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      Oct 29, 2009, 01.51 PMby kayla-day

      Oh I love that soundtrack too! Never fails to perk me up. Not only is it great for sewing to, but also walking around town to work…makes everything seem so beautiful!

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    Aug 12, 2009, 03.00 PMby wzrdreams

    I’ve been watching/listening to DVDs (on my computer, next to my sewing machine) also. Right now It’s Buffy and Angel. I also watch/listen Hulu; My So Called Life was just added, and ALF!!!

    When I have nothing to watch/listen, then I usually listen to podcasts or music.

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    Aug 12, 2009, 03.44 PMby buzzybee

    When I am immersed into a sewing project I usually forget what goes on around me. It’s not that I can’t concentrate with music on in the background, it’s just that I don’t even think of putting on any music. When I think of it, it has to be mellow. I like Jazz or Gregorian chants. Katie Melua is nice.

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    Aug 12, 2009, 04.50 PMby julietta

    I always listen to the radio while sewing. Every once in a while I also put on an audio book, mostly those made for children and that I listened to when I was a child. Preferably the three investigators, their audio books are quite popular in Germany even for older people like me ;-)

    1 Reply
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      Aug 12, 2009, 04.58 PMby buzzybee

      Oh, was für eine gute Idee! Die alten Hörspiele aus meiner Kindheit würde ich auch gerne mal wieder hören. Habe mittlerweile allerdings weder Kassettenrecorder noch Plattenspieler. Vielleicht findet man ja das ein oder andere mittlerweile als mp3?
      Here in english for Netiquette-reasons:
      Oh, what a good idea! I’d love to listen to those old plays from my childhood again. I don’t own a cassette tape player or record player these days, but perhaps some of these things can be found as mp3 these days?

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    Aug 12, 2009, 07.41 PMby marcy harriell | oonaballoona

    absolutely! it’s usually jazz (instrumental), because my husband’s a writer, and music with lyrics distracts him when he’s working! we had to find something that worked though, because without music, i just slow to a halt— much like that movie with de niro, what was it… oh yeah, awakenings. right now jimmy smith is on. if i’m alone and the lyrics ban is lifted, it’s steve miller band, ingrid michaelson, john legend, beirut… but i love jazz, and i prefer it because it means my husband and i are in the same room :)

    great post, i love hearing what everyone listens to!

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    Aug 13, 2009, 09.40 AMby ichigogirl

    Oh, I agree with Oonabaloona; without music I slow to a halt… however I’m usually stupid enough to turn on the telly instead (works fine as background noise sometimes, more as a distractor from doing anything useful at all most of the time…). When I listen to music it’s mainly through spotify nowadays, sometimes rock, sometimes electronica, sometimes just a wild mix, like this one: spotify:user:ichigogirl:playlist:5cNdUi0Yt7Z82IXbXE1qAG (copy and paste into the spotify search-box, if you have spotify). I have loads of other lists too, sorted by mood/type of music, this is mixed-up-short-version… :-) Aaah, I love the internet….!

  • Missing

    Aug 13, 2009, 10.25 AMby laurenp

    I am a huge music fan, but I shant go into that now, but weirdly enough (and I’m not a metal/industrial fan at all) I love sewing to Nine Inch Nails. I find it makes me more productive, and I seem to concentrate more on what I am doing. If I put on tv or dvds, I just end up watching them and sewing really really slowly. My housemates find it very amusing that I can do something so calm like sewing to such harsh sounds, but I like it!

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    Aug 13, 2009, 06.15 PMby marcy harriell | oonaballoona

    spotify? sounds cool! speaking of loving the internet, there’s also pandora, which is fantastic— i think i’m several years behind the times but if you don’t know about it, go now…. you type in any artist, band or song into the search box and it creates a “radio station” that plays that artist and artists of that ilk. i’ve found so many new bands that way. and there’s only, like, one ad every twenty minutes or so. you can give a thumbs up or down to the song playing so that pandora learns what you like:


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    Aug 14, 2009, 03.03 AMby sew4my3

    Hey everyone! I feel so much better now that everyone has shared what music you listen to or in some cases Television. How impressive is the variety of sounds that keeps our hands moving on the sewing machine! Thank you oonaballoona for sharing the website! If anyone else happens to think of something new to listen to please feel free to share. I love listening to new music!

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    Aug 15, 2009, 12.25 AMby ana555

    i love to listen to music and sew. i guess i work well with distractions and i love to sing along. i listen to metal/death metal/speed metal etc… NIN is very easy on the ears. i listen to alice in chains alot. the mans voice is heaven. it’s just to bad how he ended up. when the family is around i listen to it as background when i’m alone i crank it. type o negative is a nice goth type band. i love his voice too! lacuna coil is good too for the vocals. stone temple pilots, rasputina, i could go on!

    1 Reply
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      Aug 16, 2009, 10.05 AMby sew4my3

      I have to say, you are defiantly beyond me with your variety of music and good for you! I too like Stone Temple Pilots but save their music for cleaning around the house. He-he I can only imagine how quick you must finish your projects with metal music playing! Thanks for sharing!

  • Missing

    Aug 16, 2009, 08.04 PMby fiefje

    My favourite bands to listen to while using my sewing machine are Envydust, My Dying Bride and Alice in Chains. When drawing patterns or basting I usually listen a lot to Scout Niblett, Magnolia Electric Co., Current 93, Cat Power, Okkervil River.

    Pandora.com is awesome, it’s just a shame that people from outside the U.S. can’t listen to it. I really miss it.

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    Aug 16, 2009, 11.02 PMby erdronen

    I totally listen to Pandora! Usually either that or watch tv reruns on my computer (If I had a tv in my sewing room, that would be my preference- in fact, that’s the limiting factor in the amount of time I spend sewing!). And I agree with Carillia, it helps it feel like less work and more play. Gilmore Girls rocks hannnc! :) My music preference is along the lines of Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Ingrid Michaelson, Colbie Caillait… somewhat mellow. Also, I love standards! Michael Buble, Frank, etc. Usually if something too fast or crazy comes on, I have to skip it, especially if I’m concentrating really hard. Nothing too distracting, even if I like the song!

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    Aug 17, 2009, 01.21 AMby littlepinkbutton

    Not to worry, Bella! You are not nuts. I listen to music all the time. It is far better than just listening to the hum of my machine and serger. I used to have the television on in the background but I actually find THAT distracting and it really slows me down. I will only keep it on if I happen to be sewing at an hour in the day which I have a reason to watch television (say, during the evening news). Otherwise, all it takes is a certain sentence or commercial and I am looking away from my project. TV definitely slows me down.

    I like to listen to jazz, bossa nova or any “dinner type” or cool lounge music. My favourite overall has to be older jazz from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. But I will listen to more recent artists like Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux or Melody Gardot. I love listening to classic jazz ladies like Blossom Dearie (love her), and Etta James. I like the vibe of the older jazz because it makes me feel chic, yet domestic, peaceful, yet energized… I hum or sing along and before you know it, I am finished my project.

    1 Reply
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      Aug 19, 2009, 10.18 PMby mayadaughterofsun

      Wonderful choice of music, I must say:))

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    Aug 19, 2009, 11.10 PMby littlepinkbutton


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    Aug 24, 2009, 09.17 AMby katexxxxxx

    I have my ‘suburb irritator’ in the sewing room – CD and tape player with radio: Not big enough to be a ghetto blaster! ;) I also have my digital radio, but I usually listen to CDs.

    WHAT do I listen to? Hm… At the moment there’s a right ole mix of almost everything from Richard Thompson and Jethro Tull (old hippy, me!), through Runrig, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, military bands (I love a good military band – especially the Scots regiments and the pipers!), Shostakovitch jazz suites, Mozart, Beethoven, and I’m waiting for my son to put together a collection of Nickleback for me.

    Hm… Has the Giant Mutant Ninja Teenager nicked all the Led Zeppelin? As well as The Goons and I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again?

    Bit ecclectic in our tastes round here…

    1 Reply
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      Aug 20, 2010, 07.11 AMby nessys

      Kate – your description of your “suburb irritator” made me give a hearty LOL!!!! And mentioning the “Red Hot Chili Pipers” – just gorgeous!! I too like the Goons – but they’ve stopped playing it during daytime here.

      My husband calls my little music maker my “tranny” (what older folks used to call radios here – ie short for transistor radios). These days that shortening has a new meaning and could be confusing!!

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    Aug 24, 2009, 05.56 PMby msaniva

    Nope not at all i cant sew unless i haved music thats hoe i ignore the phone and people act like u cant hear them.. espcially when ur in your zone,, an all sewers know that once u loose that mojo u gotta walk away.. so my answer is yes listen to whatever your heart and ears love..!

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    Aug 25, 2009, 07.06 AMby davee09

    i love watching reruns of friends when i sew! it just keeps me laughing and enjoying sewing at the same time!

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    Aug 25, 2009, 08.10 AMby victors

    Radio 2 usually for me. Sometimes cds’ but nothing too energetic as it can intefere with my pace! anything from Tony Bennet to metallica.

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    Aug 25, 2009, 04.28 PMby sew4my3

    Bit ecclectic is right, KateXXXXXX! Isn’t it wonderful that people with so many different taste can come together in a community? I love it!

    Also, those who watch TV while sewing is beyond my skills. I would have bloody fingers if I did that! Kudos to your skills!

    This is very interesting! Keep the comments coming!

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    Aug 25, 2009, 05.47 PMby oscarthegrouch108

    i don’t have a stereo in my sewing room :( but sometimes i turn up the tv real loud and listen to xm’s octane station.

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    Aug 25, 2009, 07.47 PMby tapegirl

    I like to listen to internet radio while sewing (radio paradise, click’n’rock, alternative channel). I also listen to my collection of mp3’s on the laptop.

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    Sep 2, 2009, 08.27 AMby katexxxxxx

    Today’s playlist inclides:

    Karine Polwort Jethro Tull Davy Spillane Christy Moore Runrig…

    I’m in a folk/rock/Celtic mood today…

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    Sep 9, 2009, 04.14 PMby florean-fortescue

    I go through quite rapid and erratic musical phases, lately I listen to things like Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra (today Mildred Bailey) they’re quite calming and inspirational I find. Often though, I’ll listen to a podcast or even put a favourite movie on in the background! But I have to have something to listen too at all times when sewing or drawing.

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    Oct 9, 2009, 06.55 PMby lorio79

    Sewing actually gives me the opportunity to listen to audio books. I love books, but don’t have the time to devout to reading so audiobooks is the way for me and with sewing, I “shoot two birds with one stone,” so to speak!

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    Oct 9, 2009, 08.43 PMby hstorm799

    I like to put in my earbuds; it makes it so much easier to concentrate on sewing and not on the kid’s cartoons, barking dog, or ringing phone. I turn it up really loud so that I can pretend I didn’t hear my hubby asking me “what’s for dinner?”!!! I put my iPod on shuffle and usually end up listening to a mix of Radiohead, Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, and Tricky. Also, loving Robots in Disguise; they make my head bob. lorio79, I’m always reading as well, think I’ll try loading up an audiobook next time.

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    Oct 11, 2009, 05.25 PMby allygally

    I listen to my ipod— sewing and music are my two escapes in life. I tried audio books but I was always having to rewind them because I’d get involved in my sewing and miss something important! Same with TV… As long as it’s not something that takes a lot of attention, I can have the TV on in the background, but I tend to get too enthralled in my sewing to really pay attention to a complicated plot.

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    Oct 12, 2009, 12.37 AMby sondriecohe

    I always listen to music, sewing or not. Can’t be without my tunes, lol.

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    Oct 12, 2009, 11.23 AMby miss-g

    I listen to music when I sew. Yesterday it was The Weepies “Say I am You” and “Hideaway” while I sewed a black jersey top. There was lots of frustration and unpicking involved – I needed somthing a bit soothing.

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