Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hi CO&K readers! My name is Marisa Lynch and I’m a DIY, crafty, lover of upcycling, vintage fiend, pop culture obsessed, sewer who can pretty much always be found flea marketing/thrifting/garage sale-ing during the day on Sundays before shutting down the weekend over HBO/Showtime TV at night. I started a blog called New Dress A Day (newdressaday.com) in 2009 where I made 365 outfits each day for a whole year for $1/day, only using pieces found on thrifting excursions. Oh, and I like long walks on the beach too.
Tell us a bit about the book?
New Dress A Day is a book that will hopefully inspire people to get creative with their wardrobe, by making new garments out of vintage throwaways, thrifted items, or things hidden in the back of your closet! I give a bevy of methods to complete these wardrobe transformations from sewing to fabric gluing, making it accessible to all levels of craftiness. Ultimately it’s about making things yourself (yay DIY!), feeling good in your skin, not having to break the bank purchasing clothes, and making it work. Yep, Tim Gunn’s mantra has become one that I live by. ?
What was the inspiration behind it?
The book was inspired by my blog of the same name, New Dress A Day. I started the blog for a few reasons - I got laid off from my job, I was about to turn 30, and I was in a complete funk - creatively and physically and I needed a creative, and sanity saving, outlet to get me out of it. I went to the movies to see Julie & Julia and was completely inspired. That was what lit the fire for me!!
Which is your favourite project?
I LOVE costumes and Halloween – that was such a fun chapter putting together! I think my Pretty in Pink re-do, copying the prom dress that Andie made in the movie, was my fave. Don’t think I didn’t repeat “What about prom, Blane” over and over and over again during our shoot!
What is your craft space like?
I have a little craft nook with a desk, my sewing machine, all my supplies in bins, current dresses that I’m working on, and a few inspiration boards covered in magazine tear sheets. There’s actually a mirrored swiveled door that acts as a partition and easily opens and closes to separate the space. I live in a 1920s style apartment with tons of little nooks and crannies and this part feels super 007. James Bond, watch out…this girl has a sewing machine!
Have you always been creative?
I’d say I’ve always been creative. I’ve always loved writing and making things from the copious amounts of doodled letters to my pen pals (yes, pals – I had about 5 or 6 around the world) to painting ceramics and making earrings out of fishing line, hot glue, and rhinestones. My mom was a home ec major in college, when that actually existed, so she’s a total Martha Stewart type. I grew up watching her cross stitch and craft so I’m guessing I took it all in through osmosis.?
When did you first start crafting?
I began sewing in 7th grade - Home Ec class is where I really learned how to use a sewing machine. My favorite crafty memory is the prom purse I made with some fabric and ribbon I scored at Fabric Bonanza (now that is a blast from the past-shocked that I even remembered the name of that place!). I hated all the typical prom options and found a DIY page in Sassy Magazine on how to make little purses. It was amazing - I just came across it again and patted myself on the back.?
Who are your crafty heroes?
I LOVE Amy Sedaris. She’s my dream crafty friend. I’d love to make cheese balls and aprons with her!! Martha Stewart has always been someone who I’ve been inspired by, even as a kid. Watching her show and reading her magazine – I’m taken to this perfect, dream-like, craft world. I’m constantly finding amazing blogs full of crafty genius and of the current crafty gals who I think are awesome, I love Sonya Nimri, Maegan Tintari, the Honestly WTF gals, Mr. Kate, Bri Emery, Kirsten Nunez, Erica Domesek, Aunt Peaches, and Geneva Vanderzell.
(Oh, and if the question was about other non-crafty authors, if you’re looking for those too are Amy’s fabulous brother David Sedaris, Michael Chabon, Chuck Klosterman, Sloane Crosley, Nick Hornby, Jeffrey Eugenides, Judy Blume, Dave Eggers.)
Where do you find inspiration?
I look at many things for inspiration – I have tons of magazine subscriptions, so I’m always going through and tearing out sheets of things I love. I’m addicted to watching celebrities on the red carpet and definitely get inspired when I see garments worn at the Oscars and premiers. I also love watching old movies and could spend days watching Turner Classics – I’m always taking pictures of the screen to save looks that I love. I’m also a total people watcher ??
What's next for you?
This is the exciting part – I’m just going with the flow right now, continuing to broaden the blog and working on some fun TV and online video projects!
GO FROM THRIFT-SHOP CHEAP TO RUNWAY CHIC EACH AND EVERY DAY!
Based on her wildly popular blog of the same name, guerrilla seamstress Marisa Lynch shows you how to easily (and affordably!) transform your wardrobe from frumpy to fabulous! With just a snip here and a stitch there, your basement bargains will rival anything in designer collections. Yes, with a little imagination—and DIY tools like needles, thread, and safety pins—you too can update an outdated castoff. Inside you’ll discover how to
• ace the sewing basics (remember: safety first!)
• create DIY designer look-alikes
• cut Flashdance-inspired sweatshirts
• make an old, tired muumuu a smashing must-have
• give bridesmaid dresses a second life
• dye your way to a vibrant new wardrobe
• whip up accessories in seconds
• style the same dress seven different ways
Complete with colorful before-and-after photos, fun sidebars, and even a groovy sewing song playlist to get you in the zone, New Dress a Day proves that you don’t need a sewing machine or a big budget to turn unfashionable trash into stylish treasure.