What’s Your Sewing Style?


While I sew, I love to have some type of noise happening in the background. Sometimes it’s music, sometimes it’s podcasts (Serial is back!!), and let’s be real, sometimes it’s Netflix. Recently, I started listening to audio books, which I am loving! I use Audible, and a fun feature in their app is that you get badges for your reading “accomplishments”. Here are some examples:

  • Daily Dipper – “You’ve listened to books for at least 7 days straight!”
  • Marathoner – “You’ve listened for at least 5 hours straight!”
  • Night Owl – “You’ve listened to a book for at least 8 hours at night.”
  • Weekend Warrior – “You’ve listened for at least 10 hours total on a weekend”

And it goes on…

This got me thinking about how these badges can apply to sewing. Swap out listen with sew and it works! I think we all have our own sewing accomplishments and our own sewing style. Personally, I am a “Marathoner” through and through. I like to have hours set aside for sewing. Often I will cut out 5 projects at a time to prep for a marathon sewing session. I very rarely sew in short spurts, even though I wish I did. I think I would accomplish more this way (Lauren is a great model for this). I am also a “Night Owl”. I love staying up late and often sew well into the night if I’m on a roll.

So I’m curious, what is your sewing style? Do you like to sew in little chunks of time, or long sessions? Do you sew on weekends or evenings, or both? Do you relate to any of the badges above? Would you add any?

Follow up question: What do you listen to while you sew? Any audiobook recommendations? I loved Big Little Lies and The Lake House.

P.S. This is not a sponsored post! I just really like Audible.


55 Responses to What’s Your Sewing Style?

  1. Alison January 7, 2016 at 6:29 am #

    I try to work a little each day, but I know that doesn’t always happen, so I set aside Wednesdays for me to spend all day on sewing (or weaving). I spend about an hour cleaning up and putting away things in my sewing room (I’m a bit messy and don’t clean up after myself after each project), then set about business. I try to get big projects done, like cutting everything out, so that I can do a few minutes at a time the rest of the week.

    I listen to music or podcasts while cutting out or tracing patterns, but I usually like it pretty quiet when I’m actually sewing.

    • Carrie DeCaria January 7, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

      I watch (listen to) the Hallmark Channel! I also like listening to podcasts. My favorite audio books are by author, Haywood Smith – The Red Hat Club and The Red Hat Club Ribes Again are hilarious! My sides hurt, I laughed so hard!

  2. Ciara January 7, 2016 at 6:41 am #

    I hate cutting, so I cut out a bunch of projects at once so I can get it out of the way & move on to the fun stuff. Then I just sew when I can fit it in. I have a three-year-old daughter, so I have to work around her demands for snacks, stories, trips to the library, etc. I get a lot done during her naps (though I’m worried she is in the process of giving up her nap & I don’t know what I’ll do then!). Sometimes on weekends I get sucked into projects while my partner is with our daughter, but it’s better for me to sew in shorter bursts because it’s so physically taxing to sew for eight hours straight. Sewing isn’t my job; I don’t want to wake up feeling achey & sore because I spent the day before at the machine.

    I’m a big podcast listener while I sew. Right now I’m really into “Stuff Mom Never Told You”. Their episode on “the hidden lives of fashion bloggers” made me think a lot about sewing bloggers.

  3. Ashley January 7, 2016 at 7:13 am #

    Lately I try to sew for at least 1 and a half every day, I work 6 days a week, so I only get one good sewing day! I usually end up watching Doctor Who while I sew, and that’s mostly because I’ve seen every episode. If I put on something new, I get sucked into that instead, and if it’s music, I end up having a dance party with the dogs! I agree with Lauren, though, having my own dedicated sewing room has made a world of difference!

  4. Sewer January 7, 2016 at 7:32 am #

    Marathon Night Owl. I don’t have a dedicated sewing space so sewing either requires going to another space or creating a mess in the house. Once I’m there or set up I sew for a long time.

    I like silence. If I do listen to something, I usually listen to Public Radio, or if on a deadline, a speeded-up song created for people doing cardio.The fast beat keeps me going through the night or on little sleep.

    I really don’t like audio books. I don’t care for someone else’s voice in my head, someone else’s pace, and if I need to go back to listen to something it’s a pain in the neck.

  5. Kristin Thurber January 7, 2016 at 8:16 am #

    I have a TV IN my sewing room with a DVD player. It doesn’t get cable but I have HuLu and Netflix.
    The only time I like silence in the sewing room is early in the morning. At all other times all I want to listen to are movies I have seen before (usually more than once). Or TV show reruns. For some reason I want the noise, but I don’t’ want it to engage my mind. If I get engaged then I stop sewing and watch the tv. Somehow, I think, it helps me focus to have some background noise. Without it I feel…maybe lonely?
    When I was in college I would go to a busy cafeteria to study and was able to block out all the activity around me. If I went to the library, every person who walked by got my attention away from my studies.
    If I need to take a nap, I take what I call a ‘Harry Potter Nap”. I put in a Harry Potter movie (all of which I have seen a million times), lay on the sofa and immediately go to sleep. When I wake up I can gauge exactly how long I have been asleep by where to story has progressed to.

    • Angela January 13, 2016 at 11:49 am #

      I know I’m replying late.. but I loved your post! I do the exact same things! Want to have something in the background, and fall asleep for a nap to some show I already know. LOL!!

  6. PsychicKathleen January 7, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    I love to sew in great blocks of time like a whole morning or afternoon or late afternoon into evening and it doesn’t matter the day but my favourite is to wake up in the morning and realize I have nothing “booked” and I can just putter with my sewing as long as I like :) I love to put my favourite movie into the blue ray player and have that going on in the background so I can stop and maybe do a bit of handsewing at my favourite bits. That’s a perfect sewing day for me :)

  7. zilredloh January 7, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    Happy New Years!

    I love sewing in large blocks of time. It honestly makes me sad if I only get 30 minutes in an evening to sew – makes me feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. That being said, of course there are days where I am not able to sew. But I feel happier sewing in large chunks than small ones.

  8. Nelba January 7, 2016 at 9:40 am #

    If I could, I would sew until something is completed – however long that took. Not at night, though. Any time during the day. Reality is that, for me, sewing is a hobby which has to be fitted in around the needs of a young family. So the time I have available varies, and I just sew whenever I can until I’m interrupted. When I trace patterns or cut out fabric, I use the big table in the dining room or the kitchen table and watch movies with the children. I like listening to music or watching TV while I sew, but some peace and quiet is fine too…

  9. Annette January 7, 2016 at 10:00 am #

    I sew whenever I can. I prefer big blocks (2-4 hours) for sewing. I do take breaks, little mistakes can lead to disaster. I like to sew slow and take time to try different methods and embelishments.

  10. Elle January 7, 2016 at 10:02 am #

    OOOh I am a Marathoner/Weekend warrior ALL the way! I live in an apartment with limited space (Chicago girl here), so I have a set up that is totally collapsible/portable. Every time I sew I set up my collapsible table, my table top ironing board, my machine, etc. in the living room and then when I’m done I collapse it all down and put it away again. It’s just enough of a hassle that when I set it up, I go ALL IN for hours or a whole afternoon. I always binge watch Netflix in the background, no shame.

    Speaking of, does anyone have any good recommendations for good period dramas on Netflix that don’t have subtitles? I love Call the Midwife, etc., and I like The Time In Between but I can’t do a French seam while reading subtitles, it just ain’t happening.

    • Donna K January 7, 2016 at 10:59 am #

      “The Tudors” and “The Borgias”

    • sus January 7, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

      Wives and daughters
      Catherine cookson dramas
      All the Jane austens!

      I do same time also watch reruns of all 8 series of bewitched!

    • Liana January 12, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

      Larkrise to Candleford
      Parade’s End
      London Hospital
      Duchess of Duke Street
      The Buccaneers
      The Paradise
      Mr. Selfridge
      To name a few period pieces.

      Loved watching The Time In Between!!!

  11. Tee January 7, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    I see just about everyday. Sometimes it’s on 2-3 hits firing the week. On Fridays I sometimes take a cat nap I. The evening and get up and sew into the wee hours. I’m off every other Monday and try to make this an exclusive sewing day! I have the tv on while I see occasionally I turn to a music channel.i love TCM and Law and Order!

    • Tee January 7, 2016 at 10:33 am #

      I “sew”

  12. Heather McCowen January 7, 2016 at 10:39 am #

    4 year old wrangler here with a full time day job, so it’s in small chunks. As I was finishing my handmade Christmas presents at the last minute before hopping a plane from Chicago to Seattle, (Hi Elle – I’m in the South Loop!) making the 2nd Cypress Cape, my husband was able to take my son on train rides so that I could get chunks done. Getting to sew for 4 hours straight was heaven!!!!

    One of my personal rules is that I cannot keep sewing past 10:30 pm. Every time I do, I make a mistake that involves the seam ripper and extended bouts of cursing.

  13. Amos January 7, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    I love and prefer sewing in large chunks of time. But on the days I work, I try to squeeze in at least a half-hour in the evening while the husband watches TV in the next room. On my days off, I play the previous two nights’ episodes of The Daily Show on my iPad because I don’t have cable. The rest of the time, I play music. Loudly.

  14. Catherine (Watougou) January 7, 2016 at 11:01 am #

    Happy New Year everybody! I wish I could sew in big blocks of time!…But I realized that if I wait to have time, with a 4 years old boy at home, well… I never sew nothing! ;-) Thus, I sew as soon as I have some time, even by very small sessions. And I distribute the activities according to their noise, not to disturb the neighbors! Otherwise for the audio books, I adoooore! I listen to them at night in case of insomnia not to wake my husband. But while I sew, it makes me loose my concentration and I noticed that sometimes I lost the thread of the narrative and I have to return behind and I waste so much time… Thus, I rather listen radio with music and information or sound of TV.

  15. Donna K January 7, 2016 at 11:06 am #

    Since I am retired, I have lots of time. I usually head to the sewing room almost daily and work for 4to 6 hours at a time. If I get tired, nothing will go right.
    I’m so fortunate to have my own room just for sewing. It’s only fair since hubby has 3/4 of the basement for his shop. I can leave a mess and close the door.
    I listen to music on Internet radio or my own collection. I haven’t tried audio books yet. I will give it a try.

  16. colleen January 7, 2016 at 11:15 am #

    I sew all weekend. My daughter is grown and has a weekend job so we don’t visit her often right now. My husband likes to go off on his own adventures and cooks on the weekend (I’m really very lucky). During the week, I usually don’t sew but read sewing blogs and order fabric, etc. I usually spend weekday nights hanging out with husband and knitting. I get all my knitting done at night; I never substitute sewing for knitting!

  17. Karen January 7, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    I like to sew in bigger chunks of time and I like it to be completely quiet. Seems there is so much noise in our everyday lives that I like to turn everything off when I sew.

  18. Sarah January 7, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    Another marathoner here! Though I usually set myself a deadline to finish up by about 9.30pm (after my neighbours banged on the wall one time when I was sewing at 11.30). I’ve also been known to forget to eat and sew through mealtimes – one particularly memorable time was when my husband was away on business and I’d been sewing all day. He came back in the evening starving and there was absolutely nothing in the house to eat and all the shops were closed! Oops! I’d made great progress on my Minoru though! :)

  19. Sarah January 7, 2016 at 11:24 am #

    And also a great fan of audiobooks. Finished listening to Bleak House by Charles Dickens recently on youtube. I’ll check out audible though :)

  20. Lana January 7, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

    I’m a occasional marathoner. I literally get lost in my work! I can’t stop. It’s completely addictive and soul quenching. And yes, I forget to eat, too. #ultimatediet The only thing that generally stops me is….needing a new bobbin fill up, thread change, a row of stitches thats needs to be undone (simple things but enough to give it a break). But this is after 5-6 hours.

    Love the idea of listening to audio while you sew. I also do this when I go for a longer run! Multi-tasking at its easiest. :)

  21. Nakisha January 7, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

    Well, last night for example, I went to bed at 9 p.m. No, I don’t wake up super early…usually 5:45 a.m. – 6 p.m. I just need LOADS of sleep! Lol!!!!

    So no night owling over here.

    I do both. Sometimes I can stay in the sewing room for 5-6 hours at a time. But usually, I take advantage of little bits of time here and there and get lots done that way.

    e.g., I may cut out and pin pattern pieces together after work and then sew the seams while dinner is cooking. And then take another small chunk of time to press and so on.

    I don’t do audiobooks and can sometimes watch a favorite movie in the background. Or i just listen to music.

  22. Diane January 7, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

    I like to have silence when I sew, or do anything that requires concentration. I literally get lost in my sewing and 2 hours has gone like that! I prefer to sew in a decent chunk and so plan to give myself 3-4 hours set aside for sewing. My concentration starts to wain after this time and so I can’t go all day or all night.

  23. Becky January 7, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    I’m late to the party, but I just discovered the Craft Lit podcast. There are nine years of books on there. I’m listening to Sense and Sensibility. Thanks to Heather, now I get all the Austin-era jokes!

  24. Gail January 7, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

    I LOVE Audible too! I’ve listened to several of Debbie Macomber’s series, as well as Nicolaus Sparks. I also listen to sermon podcasts AND the Chronological Bible (can hear several days in one sew day). Otherwise, it’s KLOVE.

  25. Sally-Ann January 7, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

    I like to find a really old movie, say from the 40s, 50s or 60s – one that I have seen before. That way I have background noise, I know what’s going to happen so I don’t have to be focused on the movie and can set aside the 2 hours to sew.

  26. Elle C January 7, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    Elle-My recommendations for period Netflix shows: North and South♥, Foyle’s War, Death Comes to Pemberley, The Bletchley Circle, and even more if you use Hola.org to change your country.

    I am currently trying to sew for minimum 20 minutes every day, but also marathon sessions when possible, but I never sew after 8pm, I get really stupid after 8 apparently.

    I ALWAYS have the TV on when in the sewing dungeon.

    • Rachael-Lynn January 31, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

      I love listening to Audible while knitting and sewing! The only badge I have yet to manage to obtain is the Dabbler…not sure how to get it. I have been re-listening to the Harry Potter series (my all time favorite) since it was recently been released on Audible (THANK YOU JK ROWLING!!!!) But I have over 75 books in my library. I also enjoy watching netflix or movies (I have a TV?DVD player/cable set up in my sewing room.

    • Rachael-Lynn January 31, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

      @Ellie C I LOVE North & South, Foyle’s War, and Bletchley Circle!! Have you watched Land Girls or Bomb Girls? I have an obsession with WWII England. Such great fashion. I haven’t watched Death comes to Pemberly but its in my Netflix queue. Outlander is also good. I listened to the entire series via Audible. Have you seen Cranford or Wives and Daughters (or just anything by Elizabeth Gaskell or Jane Austen)?

  27. Sox January 7, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

    I sew with whatever time I have -bits-and-pieces or long sessions.

    I listen to Audible too. Carl Hiaasen is being played right now.

  28. Jen B January 7, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

    About a year ago, I started using some of Lauren’s (Lladybird’s) sewing strategies. I sew whenever I can and I have a (mostly) dedicated sewing space. I’ll sew in the morning before work. Sometimes I’ll finish a project in the morning then wear it to work that day.

    If I have a lot of time set aside for a sewing session and I’m by myself, I’ll listen to sewing and crafting podcasts like Seamwork radio and While She Naps. I just discovered While She Naps so I have quite a few episodes to catch up on. Otherwise I’ll listen to some playlist on Spotify.

    I share a hobby room with my boyfriend so if he’s there while I’m sewing, he’s in charge of the music. Sometimes we’ll listen to podcasts like Radiolab or Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

  29. BrittanyE January 7, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

    I’m addicted to a few podcasts in addition to serial. Invisibilia, Snap Judgment and This American Life. I also finished a really good book I recommend listening to called Circling the Sun. A historical fiction about Beryl Markham who was a real life record breaking aviatrix.

  30. Michelle M. January 7, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

    I don’t have as much time as if like for seeing these days, but when I do it’s usually for an hour or two in the evening. And I almost always listen to Catholic radio while I’m stitching. I love experiencing the beauty of the Mass or the rosary, or simply listening to a show about the faith… All as I sew along. It’s wonderful!

  31. Stina P January 7, 2016 at 11:05 pm #

    I prefer to sew in blocks – about 2 hours, with some mini breaks, and then a bigger break for food or coffee and another 2 hours. I’m not good at sewing in the evening, both because of lack of daylight now during the winter, and because my brain is more tired. So most of my sewing is done during weekends and other days off.

    The past year or so I’ve preferred it to be quiet; with an exception every now and then for some music, Seamwork radio by Colette or the Swedish radio show Stil (=Style). Before I went into this quiet mode, I’ve listened to 18 novels about Phryne Fisher, you know the female 20’s detective. Very addictive.

  32. Sonia January 8, 2016 at 7:04 am #

    Definitely a marathon/weekend sewer in recent months. It’s fun to make something at the weekend, then wear it during the next week, season perfect. I use the kitchen table to sew, so I can cook and be near family at the same time.

  33. Nikki January 8, 2016 at 7:50 am #

    I am a cross between a Marathoner and a Night Owl. I prefer to have hours available to sew and often sew well into the night.

    I prefer to watch a good, OLD movie or even some trash reality shows that I can just listen to in the background. This is merely for entertainment!

    Great Post!!


  34. Kelly January 8, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    I work full time, so I usually sew on weekends, or if I have days off. I loooooove audible! I devour books this way, and have gotten my 11 year old son hooked on them too! My favs are thrillers and sci-fi. Right now I’m listening to the Atlantis Gene and loving it!

  35. Hannah January 8, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

    I used to def be a marathon sewer, like to get whole projects done in a day and slave until they we’re complete, sometimes at the cost of a good finish!

    After reading some blogs about using snatches of time to work on projects, and because of the time factor, I don’t always have whole days going spare, I started working on parts of a project, putting it down and coming back to it. This works quite well and means I get a lot more sewing done.



  36. Kat @ House of Lane January 8, 2016 at 4:35 pm #

    I would definitely be a weekend warrior! It is when I seem to get most of my free time. I would love to have a few hours to focus on sewing but it is hard with my kids at home. However, I do try and be a Daily Dipper if I can. Especially if I am working on a big project that requires a lot of hours. Then it doesn’t seem so massive.

  37. Angelina January 9, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

    I listen to audio books a lot while I’m at work. I use the Overdrive app that links to my local library network.

  38. Billy's mum January 9, 2016 at 10:37 pm #

    I also like to listen to podcasts or audio books while I sew. There are lots of fantastic audio books out there. All of Liane Moriarty’s books are good but I particularly recommend ‘What Alice Forgot’. You might also like to try Monica McInerney and I agree with Stina P’s recommendation of the Phryne Fisher books by Kerry Greenwood. Kerry Greenwood also writes another series set in the present day that I would also recommend. The first in the series is called ‘Earthly Delights’. I would also recommend that you try books by Marian Keyes and also Freya North. I hope you enjoy these.

    • Michael Stonebridge January 10, 2016 at 11:56 am #

      Audio books are the best. The only problem is I tend to get lost in my sewing and missing long sections of the book I’m listening to. I’ll “snap out of it” and realize the book has been playing for the last 10 minutes and I haven’t heard a word!

  39. Alice January 10, 2016 at 4:24 am #

    I cut out several projects at a time, and then grab chunks of time when I’m able to. I love listening to audible, and Liane Moriaty’s books are great. I have really enjoyed books which are a series, so you can keep listening to the familiar characters while you sew. Susan Hill has a good detective series if you like crime – audible has good recommendations based on what you’ve already listened to.

    I love books, but never have time or the stamina to read in the evenings. I love sewing, but not in silence, so this is a win/win in my world.

  40. Laura January 11, 2016 at 8:11 am #

    Right now I’m working on my second Cambie dress, I sewed for 4 hours on Saturday and an hour on Sunday. I also sew after work if I have no other plans. Still learning new tricks, practicing, so I’m trying to use most of my free time to sew. (offtopic: Looks like I did a better job with understitching armholes area on my Cambie dress #2, but still not perfect to my taste :))

    I sew with “Friends” on Netflix – I practically memorized the show long time ago, it keeps the good atmosphere going and doesn’t distract me.

  41. Lori January 12, 2016 at 3:17 am #

    I used to be a Marathoner/Night Owler who used TV as background noise to sew by but now am more of a Daily Dipper who likes the quiet or just the sounds of life around me. My hubby works hard all day and I like to spend the evenings just being with him and my son. I have a 17 month old son who likes to unplug my machine (love him!) so I get more done when he’s asleep but he is an unreliable napper. My dairy farmer hubby suggested I get up with him at 430am when he goes out to milk. I was initially reluctant and then I tried it and found that i loved it. The house is completely silent and I can just work away until hubby comes in for breakfast or the baby wakes up. I often will trace a pattern one night before bed, cut it out the next and then sew in the morning. I find I don’t like to “waste”this golden time with tasks like patterns and cutting fabric out. Sewing really early in the morning I feel like I get something accomplished and I do get about 1-2 hours in a block of time so it’s quite lovely. But have not been able to get up lately because my son has been sick and coughing several times in the middle of the night keeping me too sleep deprived for early morning sewing.

  42. Mariah January 13, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    I work full time, have three kids and have a small fiber farm. I’m a busy, busy woman. However, I try to be very organized in my sewing, and spend a lot of time working to get TNT patterns and sticking with them. I usually end up spending several hours on adjustments and making a muslin or two on projects. I am also very organized to efficiently use my time. I have a queue of serger only/almost all serger projects (Renfews are up there on this list). I have a queue of sewing projects that are exclusively on the sewing machine.

    I prioritize my lists with what I need in the wardrobe and a little bit of what I want to sew. I usually get a couple hours (if not more if I get up early!) on the weekends. I try to eek out a few minutes most days — usually after the kids go to bed and someone kind of needs to be supervising the going to bed and not messing around.

    I watch/re-watch a lot of things Sherlock, Murdoch Mysteries, Supernatural, Outlander and Pitch Perfect. I will also listen to audio books if it’s mindless sewing a TNT pattern where I’m not reading a lot of instructions

  43. Elena Knits January 14, 2016 at 2:07 am #

    I usually am a Weekend Warrior, but I try to do bits also during the week when I have time.
    I love audiobooks. My first was The Martian and it’s superb. R.C. Bray is a GREAT narrator. I totally recommend it.

  44. Kylie Wroe January 16, 2016 at 12:23 am #

    I love a long sewing session and look forward to free weekends I can devout entirely to it but I do try to get bits done here and there if I can.
    I love listening to the radiolab, criminal and sword and scale podcasts and have recently gotten into audible myself too – I love it! Currently listening to the girl who saved the King of Sweden – soooo good. The narrator is perfect!

  45. Joen January 19, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

    I’m a cross between a Weekend Warrior and a Daily Dipper. Sometimes I sew all weekend, and other times I cut out a few projects so that I can sew after work during the week. Lately I’ve been a Weekend Warrior.

  46. Catherine February 19, 2016 at 2:32 am #

    I sew in as large chunks of time as possible. I’ve been known to plan a week of sewing because I’ve got a week off from work, then freel really cross because it’s not enough time! I only really have the skills to do fairly simple patterns and I prefer to do something I can finish in a weekend, so that it doesn’t hang around. I love the feeling of creating something new to wear that evening or the next day. My favourite listening is either BBC Radio 6 or The Archers Omnibus on Radio 4.

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