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My Sewing Story with Lynn Brannelly

Lynn Brannelly is from Los Angeles, a celebrity stylist and costume designer for film and television. She came to our attention in our sisterMAG Patterns Instagram community. In sisterMAG No. 62, she shares her personal »Sewing Story« and talks about her journey to handmade fashion. Get to know Lynn here!

My Sewing Story

with Lynn Brannelly

Lynn Brannelly is a Los Angeles based celebrity stylist and costume designer for film and television. In our new series »My Sewing Story«, Lynn talks a little bit about her journey and path to handmade fashion. Get to know her here in sisterMAG!

What was your first contact with sewing? Do you come from a family of sewers?

My mother and my maternal grandmother sewed.

When and how did you start sewing? Are you self-taught or with a course?

I started sewing when I was eight years old, self-taught. So I have been sewing for 46 years. I sewed professionally for 10 years, self-taught custom apparel, and working as a professional costume designer for film and television. I returned to college when I was 35, pursuing my BFA in Fashion Design. I moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and became a union costume designer full-time. In the mid-’90s, I created the Intel Bunnyman costume, which was their advertising icon for several years and was in all their print, commercial, and Superbowl spots. This costume is a permanent archive in the Smithsonian institution as part of the 125th anniversary of the business in America exhibit. So I’ve been sewing professionally for almost 30 years. I’ve been on Instagram for two years as @lynnwardrobesews creating content and pursuing being a sewing brands influencer and educator. I am currently a brand ambassador for @BERNINAUSA. In real life, I am still a costume designer for film and television here in Los Angeles, California.

What was your intention for why you started sewing?

I have always loved fashion, obsessed really. I’m the second of six children in my family, and I learned very young that if I wanted something, especially something I’d created in my mind, I would have to be the one to make it happen. So I made all my Barbies clothing from all the scraps of my mother’s projects. My Barbies’ wardrobe was quite glamorous, and it makes perfect sense to me that I became a costume designer.

What was your first ever self-made garment?

A wrap-around skirt, at eight years old. Simplicity pattern #7771

What is next on your to-sew list?

My list is like my Netflix queue. ;) I’m almost always working on three things at once and getting inspired and adding to the list all the time. At this very moment, though, a neon sequin mesh gown, a machine embroidered linen bohemian vibe blouse, and I just dyed a Mandala Shibori dyeing technique on silk chiffon. I love fabric dyeing.

Where do you find inspiration for your sewing projects?

I find inspiration in the most random places. I’m inspired the most by vintage fashion designs. My favorite fashion era is the 1970s. Sometimes I’m inspired by a simple detail I see in fashion and will build an entire look around it. I’m inspired all the time by sewists and designers on social media.

What are your favourite sewing channels?

As a #sewover50, YouTube and social media are newer to me. I was already sewing professionally when the internet was invented, so I can’t say I have go-to favourites. I love an excellent sew-a-long, though, even if it’s something I already know how to do. I find something about it so soothing that @brittanyjjones is my favorite sew-a-long »voice«, so I’d say her channel.

What is your favourite fabric?

Man, this one is tough. I love fabric and love challenging myself with unconventional materials as well. My favourites change seasonally. The same is true with colour. So here are a few:

Rayon Challis – I love its drape.

Rayon silk velvet – again, its drape, and it has such richness and depth to it.

I love sewing with embellished fabrics (that’s the costume designer in me coming out), sequins, embroidered fabrics, feathers, leather, and types of vinyl.

We noticed Lynn in our sisterMAG Patterns community because she tried out one of our sewing patterns. We love her version of our homewear jumper with extra-long sleeves (No. 60-2)! Check out the pattern here: