The dark nights are drawing in, with spring a distant memory. I often wonder how they managed in the past, sewing on an evening, but I suppose they would sew in the day more frequently rather than being chained to a desk. Getting the children to thread needles before they were sent to bed was one problem solved but excessive burning of candles was expensive.

Reader table lamp, Argos

So, what can we use these days to make evening sewing easier? Having collected my first pair of reading glasses recently I’ve realised that I’m needing these more for sewing as it gets dark. The obvious thing to do is increase light. There are many types available from standard lamps to clip on spotlights. I love a daylight bulb which gives natural light. It all depends on your space and seating but there is a solution for all.

Clamp table light

I’ve had a standard lamp with a daylight bulb over the last couple of years and use it every night. It sits behind my sofa, so is unobtrusive but placed exactly where I need it. I have also found, as a bit of an added benefit, that the daylight bulb has helped combat the ‘winter blues’. Something that has become more recognised by health professionals over the last couple of years.

Table lamp

Now is the ideal time to add a light to your shopping list for the Autumn quilt shows as there are usually some traders selling a large variety from table-top versions, clip-on spotlights to standard lamps. It can be useful to see the different varieties out there as some come with a magnifier which may be handy. You can try them out at the shows.

If you have trouble sewing at your machine then how about light strips that adhere to the underside of the arm to give brilliant lighting as you sew?

LED strip lighting

Hand sewing? What about a head torch? The light is directed exactly where you need it. This tip is also great for camping trips where a little sewing in a darker tent can be made easy.

Whatever light source you decide on I do have one tip – if your daylight bulb starts flashing or not working properly it may just need replacing. I thought there was a wire loose or a fault with my lamp when in fact it was just the bulb on the way out.

There are many suppliers from local hardware shops to the on-line giants but work out what you need, and where you may use it and get sewing, even on the darkest of days!