Nora Meets the Maker(s): Katy & Laney
by Kollabora Follow

posted 5 years ago

Friends that make together, stay together! Case in point - one of our fave DIY BFF duos, Katy & Laney. Whether they're hanging out in twinsie playsuits or working on their own individual projects, we love how each bring their unique style and talents to this dynamic sewing relationship.

We strayed a bit from the regular Meet the Maker structure and let Katy and Laney improv with each other and we can't wait to hop on a bus to Boston and grab coffee with these talented ladies!

Our names are Katy Patzel and Ashley Laney, but you may know us as Katy & Laney

Our DIY weapons of choice are...

Katy: Seam ripper. I’m always altering or frankensteining patterns so very often things need to be ripped out and redone or adjusted.

Laney: Sewing machine and shears – be afraid, very afraid!

When we're looking for inspiration...

Katy: I definitely seek inspiration from the usual sources blogs (my new favorite is Tales of Endearment),, and pinterest. However, my style has always been strongly influenced by my surroundings. In high school I made many vintage dresses inspired by thrifted outfits my sisters wore. Now I have a wonderful group of ladies that I sew with at Grey’s Fabric and Notions and I am always stealing color pallets and detail ideas from their lovely creations.

Laney: I second all of what Katy just said, and I like printed editorials too, my favorite is Lula.

After a long day of making things we like to...

Katy: Pass out. I’m often sewing after work late into the night.

Laney: Have some tea, read a book, and hang out with my cat.

Katy: Classic.

Laney: I’m going to sound like a crazy cat lady.

Katy: My suspicion is most of us sewists are, deep down.

We got started making when...

Katy: I began sewing in high school when I realized that clothing patterns included instructions. How hard could it be right? Famous last words! Then again I did teach myself to sew so there must have been some wisdom in my madness.

Laney: When I was 12, I am self-taught as well.

When we think about starting a new project...

Laney: I try to focus on a specific design element to base the project around such as a fabric I love or a silhouette I want to achieve. I also try and keep in mind how often I’ll wear something, for what occasions, and how I can style it. I want to be sure it’s versatile and will fit well in my wardrobe.

Katy: I usually have a to make list of projects in my head at all times. It is much too long to ever complete or remember for that matter. The fact that I forget half the projects I dream up helps me to edit I suppose. Projects move up and down the list according to my mood. The lucky project that happens to be at the top of my list at the time another is completed usually wins due to good timing.

Laney: If I wasn’t a (desperately seeking employment) environmental attorney I would be a ground water hydrogeologist…Or a librarian … or a fine arts restorationist…

Katy: Ohhh I want to be a fine arts restorationist! Hmm instead of a biochemist I would do something sewing related (one track mind here). I suppose that means stitching for a designer, or working at a fabric store, something sewtastic.

Laney: I guess I get to have a dream job in the meantime, working as a sewing instructor at Grey’s Fabric and Notions!

Katy: Haha good point. I guess I do too. Lucky us!

The first thing we do when we wake up is:

Katy: Stumble to the shower

Laney: Pet Apollo, my super snuggly orange kitty.

Katy: Aww he’s such a lover

Katy: The BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, the 1995 version with Colin Firth, can cheer me out of any bad mood. Need I say more?

Laney: Amelie, predictable I know.

Katy: That is a great movie.

Laney: Every girl our age loves it!

Our favorite words are...

Laney: Phantasmagoria

Katy: Mwaaa?

Laney: I learned it reading Don Quixote. It means a series of real or imagined continually shifting images.

Katy: Well I’m going to sound real smart now, my favorite word is poo. I guess I use it more often as a suffix. For example nappy-poo, drinky-poo, stinky-poo. It makes everything cuter and is incredibly addicting. Many of my friends have started using the –poo suffix. I’m also guilty of using it as a term of endearment, Laney-poo.

Laney: awwww...

Our least favorite words are...

Katy: Menses

Laney: Yeah, eww. What is my least favorite word…hmmm…pretentious (you can’t say it without sounding it yourself).

I most relate to...

Katy: People who sew. I love to talk about fabric. Don’t even get me started.

Laney: San Francisco.

Our favorite artists/designers/makers are...

Laney: Alice and Olivia, Alexa Chung, Hermes…

Katy: Hermes, yah you did.

Katy: Anything couture by Riccardo Tisci for Givency, Stella McCartney, Vuitton Resort Collection 2013, Valentino (the shoulders on those dresses make me want to die), and Alexander McQueen.

Laney: My favorites are so girly next to yours.

Katy: Ha! That’s just cause I’m so tough ;)

Our favorite things about making are...

Laney: The act of creating something; seeing something I designed and envisioned made real.

Katy: I love dreaming up projects. When Laney and I get together I’m usually talking a mile a minute and bombarding her with new project ideas, style lines, color pallets, etc.

To us, DIY means...

Katy: Sweat, blood, and tears. Well so I’m kidding a bit, but they have all happened. I suppose DIY is about the process for me. I enjoy working with my hands and building things.

Laney: I’ve experienced all those as well! For me it’s about self expression. Creating or changing something to be how you want it to be to make it a reflection of yourself.

The first things we made were...

Katy: A tote bag. The classic gateway drug for sewists.

Laney: A star shaped pillow out of orange velvet for my best friend in the sixth grade (worst idea ever).

Katy: Or best! When do I get a velvet star pillow?

Three words that describe us...

We thought we’d answer for one another

Katy: Three words I’d use to describe Laney would be: clever, sweet, and elegant.

Laney: Three words I’d use to describe Katy are: vibrant, thoughtful, and fun.

Katy: Aww shucks

Three words that describe my work...

We thought we’d answer for one another

Katy: Ashley’s work is chic, classy, and fancy. I’ve heard Ashley describe her style and, by association, projects as librarian chic; which makes me smile.

Laney: I’d describe Katy’s work as: colorful, edgy, and flawless. I am continually amazed by her pattern matching and clever details and embellishments.

Best creative advice we ever received was...

Laney: “Don’t fret my pet” from the sagacious Sarah Grey.

Katy: “Make it work,” coined by Tim Gunn. I’m a hard core Project Runway nerd.

One fact about us that’s embarrassingly awesome...

Katy: I watched Clueless so many times in middle school that I could probably still recite the entire script from memory. “Whatever!”

Laney: I love puns more than a person really should. I find them so delightful. It’s the secret to winning my heart, really. A guy could easily pick me up with a pun.

Our DIY secret weapon are...

Katy: Patience, I get so excited about projects when I dream them up that I want them NOW! Unfortunately, rushing and cutting corners can make garment construction take longer or worse cause you to ruin a project. I’ve had to learn that one the hard way.

Laney: A good iron – pressing is so, so important when sewing!

The biggest DIY mistakes we ever made...

Katy: This isn’t so much a mistake as a dirty little secret. My fabric stash no longer fits in it’s designated steamer trunk. I’ve been piling it around my sewing room, but with visitors in town I’ve begun throwing it in garbage bags and hiding it in back of closest. My precious!

Laney: Agreeing to make someone’s wedding dress. The dress turned out beautifully but we never set a price or payment arrangement so I ended up gifting it to her because I couldn’t reasonably charge her for the amount of time spent on it.

Our next projects are...

Katy: A red romper from a 70s McCall pattern. I be rompin.

Laney: A Belladone dress from Deer and Doe using a cotton with an iris floral print and hot pink piping.

Discussion 3

  • Taliema commented 5 years ago

    Soooo good! Like it.

  • TheMissLinds commented 5 years ago

    you guys are too cute! come to NY and hang out with us!

    Katy & Laney replied 5 years ago

    It's a date!


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