Behind the Scenes with Marisa Lynch


Are you familiar yet with upcycling goddess Marisa Lynch?

If you don’t know her by name, you may recognize her for her blog, New Dress A Day. Stuck in a creative rut, one year Marisa decided that she would turn one ugly old dress into a chic new outfit every. Single. Day.

For a year.

For $365.

We couldn’t not have her film a class with us.

Behind the Scenes with Marisa Lynch

Marisa and Wes

Where do you live?

Los Angeles.

Do you have any adorable pets/kids/life partners we need to know about?

My sewing machine is my child.

How (and when) did you get into sewing?

I actually learned how to sew in middle school — back when Home Ec was still a thing. Half the year we took Home Ec, and the other half was spent on “Technology.” It was so dated; we learned things like “How to Plan an Apartment.”

So weird.

What’s the toughest part of sewing and tailoring clothes?

It’s a constant learning process. Challenges crop up as I progress. I often get to a point where I don’t like the way something doesn’t look right, so I have to figure out how to fix it. It’s actually a pretty cool route to take on a project.

Marisa with Bridesmaid dress

What advice would you give beginning sewists/upcyclers?

One thing people always get nervous about is cutting fabric. But you have to! Go for it! If that’s tough for you, buy a cheap piece from a thrift store and cut it to shreds.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I watch lots of old movies — I love the Turner Classics. I’m the nerd taking pictures of the screen with my phone. I adore Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich. The gals.

I find travel very inspiring too. (I just got back from Bali).

Oh, and I love fashion magazines. I pull out ads and spreads that I like all the time.

How do you make time to craft?

I don’t sleep.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

I really enjoy finding new indie artists on Etsy. One of my favorite is Nan Lawson.

What are your favorite materials or tools to work with?

Working with vintage, I tend to work with a lot of polyester. I used to hate it but it’s new fave. And I really love anything with a great texture, like velvet or intricate beading. Really, anything with character.

What is your most favorite thing you’ve ever made?

In my first year of blogging, I found this decrepit wedding dress with one arm. It was in bad shape, but I saw the potential. It was polyester and lace so I dyed it. The polyester didn’t hold the dye that well, but the lace came out beautifully. I turned it into a boho summer dress and wore it to the Hollywood bowl and I got so. Many. Compliments.

I love that project because I took something that was definitely not made for day-to-day wear and made it really versatile.

Best and worst/hardest parts of filming a class:

The toughest part for me is the precision and continuity required in all the steps. If I’m at home and I don’t like the way something’s turning out, I can just start over. Or turn a mistake into something else. But if you’ve been filming that project for the last four hours…not so much.

Marisa on set

Be honest – how much fun is it to film these Creativebug classes…or at least getting to hang out in SF for a little while?

So fun. I love it.

I’m very comfortable in front of the camera because I actually worked in casting right out of college and did a lot of line reading with actors. I also did a sketch show called Gratuity Not Included with a bunch of waiters and man, that is a really great way to get comfortable in front of people.

But now I have to tell you about my most famous television experience.

I was on Supermarket Sweep with a friend in 2001 while I was in college.

And we won.

We won $5000.

Marisa Lynch

Okay, last question. Where can we stalk you online?


My website.