The best part of working in this industry is meeting creative, like-minded friends. We are thrilled to work with Joan Hawley from Lazy Girl Designs. Get to know this lovely lady; you’ll definitely want to become a Lazy Girl!
We hope you enjoy this peek into the super-creative, fun and sew-inspired world of Lazy Girl Designs!
QT: Tell us a little about you and your company
Joan in her happy place!
Lazy Girl Designs is absolutely an extension of me and my rocky, semi-successful, journey as a sewist. It’s not that I’m not accomplished. It’s that I learned different things from my sewing experience. Being tall, I made my own work wardrobe for years. I even made a wedding dress for a friend. That was all great. But I love to sew for sewing’s sake. And I no longer need a closet full of office attire. I think fabric crafting should be fun. So now I like to make things. They aren’t quilts, apparel, or home-dec. It’s the in-between stuff like bags, accessories, etc. Little, fun, functional, gifty, easy-to-make, feel-good creations.
QT: How did you get started in sewing/crafting/making?
A Home-Ec class in the 7th grade started my sewing passion. I remember the feeling of excitement when I was at the store picking out my first pattern and fabrics/supplies. It was like building my own puzzle. Working my way around the store, selecting fabric first, then trim/notions, and finally thread. It was like a scavenger hunt in which I decide what to collect or find. I was building something as I shopped. As the contents of my shopping cart grew, I could see the finished project in my mind. I was working my way toward bringing that project to life with each acquisition from around the store. What was this first project that set me on a course to today? It was a two-piece, red, terry jogging suit (pants and a zip jacket) with white trim on the pants and sleeves. I made it. It fit. I loved it. I was proud and empowered…and also very red.
QT: What inspires you most?
I am like a dog with a bone when something inspires me. It’s all I can think about. I forget to eat, I can’t sleep, I’m stuck until it’s done. I love this pursuit of the final creation. For me, inspiration and intrigue are everywhere.
Where the Lazy Girl magic happens!
QT: What’s the worst sewing experience you’ve ever had?
Oh, let me tell you! I call these sewing scars. The worst was a project that stopped me in my tracks – after I bought everything needed. It was a two-piece suit. The pattern had 19 pieces for the jacket, and suddenly, every seam felt like an opportunity for me to fail. That sounds awful, I know. But when you’ve argued with projects and broken up before finishing, you don’t want to go down that road again. We invest time, love, and money and don’t want to be crushed. And for me, those negative feelings become attached to that project. I can’t bring myself to go back, pick it up again and finish.
QT: Have your ‘sewing scars’ shaped your pattern line?
Yes, absolutely. Due to my own sewing tragedies, I keep my projects within a safe playground. And I think the journey should be as enjoyable as getting there.
Here’s my framework:
– No binding, piecing, or hand work
– No more than five fabrics
– Require supplies found in your basic fabric shop
– One new tip, trick, or technique to build your skills
– If you can cut and sew a straight line, you can make anything I design.
A place for everything….
…and everything in its place! 🙂
QT: How do you decide on a project for a new pattern?
When designing or considering a pattern, I ask myself: Do I need it? Can I make it? Can I innovate the construction? Can I teach something in the project? Is it fun? Will my Lazies enjoy the journey as much as the finish?
QT: What drives your passion for designing patterns: color, print or silhouette?
I’m completely driven by the symphony of where function, construction, beauty, and learning meet to create an enjoyable journey. It’s like a really good movie that has strong characters, great acting, an amazing story line, and beautiful scenery. I love when something hits all the high notes and draws me in.
QT: Sewing sounds like a philosophical pursuit for you…
Yes! My extra big nerdy-ness is showing. I find it fascinating that our daily lives are filled with stitched things. Shoes, furniture, car interiors, clothes, accessories, books, etc. Everywhere you see (or don’t see) a stitch – it was sewn. The world is humming with the whirl of needle and thread, everywhere, all the time, making things for us. Stitching is a universally basic building block. Something is being stitched right now.
QT: Do you speak another language?
I’m fluent in fabric-crafting as a language. Fabric, thread, buttons, zippers, interfacing, etc are our words. It’s up to us to construct sentences and dialogue with these components. When I see something interesting that sparks question marks, I see it in my fabric crafting ‘words’. I ask myself if I can do that in fabric. What does that look like? Can I build it? How would that work? Could it be a launching point for something else?
QT: Give an example of your fabric-speak…
My Button Boats project is a perfect example. I follow food bloggers and saw an interesting food tray on Instagram. It didn’t speak to me, it yelled at me. The blogger was showcasing sushi but all I saw was the architecture of the food tray. I thought the structure was really cool and I just knew I could think of fabric as architectural components (Lego blocks, Lincoln Logs, Jenga). I combined my fabric and interfacing to create firm sheets as building materials. They had fabric on both sides, like a sandwich. Simply cut the size and shape needed, then combine to make things. Cut, stack, sew, embellish. It’s a new building block. I designed a whole collection of patterns made using these sandwiches. All of that came from a picture of sushi yelling at me.
QT: What types of stitching do you like to do?
There is a great big buffet of fun awaiting every sewing adventure, whether you are dreaming, buying, making, collecting, sharing, or learning. The universe of sewing is a 24/7 non-stop party. Grab a big plate, belly up to the buffet and discover what makes your soul sing. From time to time as a stitchy person, you’ll wear different hats or experience different elements of sewing.
QT: What type of sewist are you?
I call myself a ‘thinger’. I make things. I’m a little sew-y, a little quilt-y, but mostly I make things. I started Lazy Girl because there weren’t any projects for people like me. I felt there must be others looking to play in the areas between apparel sewing, home dec, and quilting.
QT: What else has your love and attention?
I love testing a new recipe or cooking tool. If there’s a dog nearby, I need to smooch on it and that usually happens. All the neighborhood dogs know where Aunt Joanie lives. When dogs get loose in the neighborhood, they often end up at my door.
QT: What advice would you give to a newbie to sewing/crafting?
Don’t be shy, find your sewing community, decide what brings you joy and run toward it. Find your local quilt shop, go in and say ‘Hi’. Tell them you are new and ask for tour of the store. Find out about projects, classes, supplies. Ask friends if they sew and let them know you want some guidance. When deciding on a project, I usually ask myself ‘How wrong can I go?’ What’s the worst that can happen? It’s just fabric and time.
QT: What’s your biggest fear?
Running out of the supply I need. I’ve been there. It’s not fun!
QT: Finish this statement: To me, success is…
…enjoyment. That says it all.
We just love everything about Lazy Girl Designs!
Introducing, the newest pattern from Lazy Girl Designs: Banana Bag
This will become your new sewing obsession! Who doesn’t love a little grab & go bag?
So pretty – featuring our QT Fabrics – Hayden!
We want you to be able to make these pretties yourself!
Head over to our Facebook Page tomorrow, Friday, April 13, and look for the Hayden/Lazy Girl Designs Giveaway!
You’re one step away!