I love music. I own a lot of music, in a huge range of genres. My collection is, to say the least, random and eccentric. I wouldn’t say I know a lot about music, I rarely even know the proper name for songs, and I certainly don’t know anything when it comes to making it, but I still love it.
My life has theme songs: certain pieces of music that play in my mind when I do certain things.
Here is my soundtrack to sewing:
I didn’t grow up listening to classical music. For some reason the classical radio station in Hawaii picks the most depressing, morose, dirgelike (and possibly just flat out dirge) classical music. So I thought classical music was dire. Then, working in a costume shop in the Bay Area when I was at university, we sewed to the San Francisco classical radio station, and I discovered that actually, classical music (and baroque music, and romantic music, and impressionist music) are all awesome. So awesome that in retrospect I’m impressed that the Hawaii station managed to find so much bad classical music.
I still sew to the San Francisco classical music station, particularly for historical sewing. Radio NZ plays fantastic classical music, and I listen to it in the car, but well, I’m a creature of habit and a romantic. Listening to KDFC reminds me of the skills I learned, and the fabulous people I worked with. Plus, the ads keep me connected with the states, both for good, bad, and bafflement.
2. And just to show you how random my musical choices are: And another one bites the dust – every time I finish a spool of thread (and since I use A LOT of thread, I hear this song in my head A LOT)
3. There is a hippie song that goes “For every problem there is a simple logical solution. For every mountain there is a road not hard to find. These situations were made for us to conquer / for the betterment of all mankind.” It had lyrics about renewable solar energy being the solution to coal emissions and petrol running out, etc.
When I’m teaching sewing and a student says “What do I do! It’s not working!” I hear the chorus of that song in my head, because with sewing machines, every problem does have a simple logical solution. Have you threaded the machine properly? Have you put the bobbin in properly? Did you put the foot down? Are you on the right stitch? Yes to all of these and it’s still not working? Congratulations! You have a 1% of sewing problems problem!
I can play the tune in my head. I am SURE it exists. Only not according to YouTube, or the internet, or anyone I’ve asked. Which is pretty amazing, because everything exists on youtube or in google at one point or another.
I finally had to go ask my parents about it, and it turns out that it is by one of my father’s favourite bands, Spirit, and it actually dates from 1990 (which explains why some of the lyrics are so modern) and I’ve found it on the internet. So you can go listen to it. And suddenly, it has so little relation to the reason it plays in my head!
4. Vampire Weekend’s The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance is the perfect song for sewing tailored shirts too, all pinstripes and pure Egyptian cotton. I always feel pleasantly wicked sewing to it.
5. And finally, the ultimate sewing love song. Avalanche City’s You and I.
Listen closely at the 1:20 mark.