Favorite projects from 2013 Wrap Up

bestof2013Here we are almost at the end of another year! 2013 was a very busy year for me and my blog. I made so many projects: clothes, crafts,  and home DIY projects. I even made a few jewelry projects, something totally new for me. I have enjoyed taking a little time off during this Christmas after all of my business. A little rest is just what the doctor ordered.

There was some fun socializing done with other bloggers this year and I really enjoyed getting to know some of my colleagues in this new medium. It’s nice to meet a few of you in person, finally! In June, I met up with a nice group of sewing bloggers for a weekend of fabric shopping in Los Angeles, and to attend Jess from Me Sew Crazy’s Girls Night Out dinner. I had fun helping to figure out where we would all eat and showing some out of towners our fun fabric shopping city. In September I attended The Sewing Summit where I made some great contacts, and met new sewing friends.

I opened an Etsy shop and sold my vintage fabric kids and home designs at a few craft fairs. And I realized that I DON”T like sewing clothes for money and don’t want to do that anymore.While I love sewing for myself and the girls, I have to be in the mood to make something or else I just hate doing it and it becomes a hard way to make a buck. As a matter of fact, it almost turned me off to sewing forever and I needed to take a long sewing break after the last craft fair in early December. But the good thing is you never know what you really want to do until you try it.

I toyed with the idea of starting a pattern line and also learned that that doesn’t really interest me either.  I just don’t have the desire to learn the program required, and frankly, I’m not very detailed when it comes to placing notches, labeling things perfectly, etc. But I do love showing people how to make patterns for themselves and will continue to have more pattern making DIY tutorials on ye old blog. One thing I am excited about is writing about sewing and crafts. I have a few magazine articles I will be writing for Sew News magazine next month and will be contributing at The Sewing Rabbitt as well as at Mod Podge Rocks.

On the technical front, I switched from Blogger to a self hosted WordPress site and am still ironing out those kinks and pending hours how to figure stuff out. It’s like starting blogging all over again!

One thing I noticed this year is I started to make myself less and less clothing, as I was accepting to do guest posts and pattern tours for lots of kids projects. The truth is, while I love sewing for my kids , I really want to get back to sewing for myself this coming year and am looking forward to sharing lots of fashion sewing projects and tutorials with y’all!

And now onto my favorite projects from 2013!


I really liked how this peplum top and these floral pants turned out !gigitrainstop1PRPLAY

This Little dress I made Genevieve from a men’s shirt and a 1942 embodied my love of vintage looks for little girls who aren’t big enough to have a say in what they wear yet. If I could I would have my girls running around looking like Shirley Temple all the time! isabelletribaldressThis tribal minidress I made for Isabelle was  fierce. Her friends really wanted me to make them some too, a sign of success when sewing for teens. I was like,”Sorry I only bought two yards of this fabric, girls!” As you can see the Shirley Temple phase is a short lived one . You should have seen this one with her little blonde curls and old fashioned dresses when she was little…So cute.


cakeplatetute2This Vintage Plate tiered server I made for a friends baby shower tea party was so pretty, I thought!

patyrockdancetitle1Inspired by an LMFAO song, this  wild outfit was fun to design for Gigi. We had a lot of fun down in Venice Beach on this photo shoot. If you’ve never been to Venice Beach, one of my fave spots for rollerskating and people watching, come check out my post. We got to meet the cast of Freaks that day.TheJasmineThis little chambray dress ended up being worn to death bu Lily last summer.sailorskirttutorialI loved this skirt on Lily and wrote a tutorial for it.framejewelrywoodI made these earrings from Mod Podge Melts…..DIY Earrings

These tribal leather earrings were fun to make and so easy!manlyapron3For Father’s Day I made this apron for my dad…chambray4

I designed this dress for Gigi.

negroni2Sewed this chambray Negroni for my husband….patchwork cabin etMod Podged my medicine cabinet…..armachairslipcovertutorialShared how to make this slipcover...windowpanelsand made these curtains for Lily’s room.DIYgalaxyshorts

Isabelle shared these cute handpainted galaxy cutoffs…hiltonmegigi….and we took a trip to Mexico to celebrate twenty years being married. Wearing handmade dresses.

gigipiedpiperThis dress made from Liberty of London fabric for Gigi turned out to be her favorite item of 2013. She still is wearing it, although it’s too short so she wears it over jeans and with a T shirt under it.

First Communion Dress in silk taffeta

I sewed this silk dress for charity….and learned how to make tucks.Martha stewart decoupaged jars

I created lace bottles and mason jars for the holidays…madmendress4My self designed and draped Mad Men dress is one of my favorites of the year and this was such a fun photo shoot, evoking my Sew Country Chick style perfectly.  Everyone needs a photo of themselves that makes them feel this fierce!

Well, I don’t know if I will be quite this productive this next year. Maybe I will slow down a bit and spend more time on the details of things. Sounds like a plan!

How about you? What are your creative plans for the new year?

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  1. says

    So many great projects here! I need to make something for my hubby. Your Negroni looks great! I also love your dresses for your anniversary trip!

  2. says

    I love that you always figure out exactly what you want! I’m still figuring out my plans; nothing is definite. I’d like to learn illustrator and pattern draft, but not until we’re in the new house. Too little space here!
    I sort of agree about sewing for money. It’s not the same. I do want to focus on my etsy shop though…I’m thinking hair bows, doll clothes…who knows.
    My sewing goals are to sew through my stash, use up my scraps, learn to install a zipper fly, sew something for me once in a while, make slopers for me, draft a few patterns, sew more advanced patterns…big plans:)
    My favorite project of yours is the Liberty of London dress, but my favorite photos are your oldest daughter (beautiful!) and the one of you w/ thr rake!
    I’m excited to see you’ll be sewing for yourself. (Lots of tutorials?!) I learned how to draft and sew off a size 8 dressform. Maybe that’s why I have such disasters trying to sew for me. I didn’t have trouble sewing for models, lol! Do you know where I can get a custom made dress form? Pro quality. I guess I should learn some adjustments too. Blah.

    Happy New Year!

    • Justine says

      Good plans Amy! Work hard at the shop and it will do great! Have you thought about using an adjustable dress form? I have a pro dress form in size 8 but my measurements are a little different. I’m smaller in the shoulders but bigger in the waist so i pad it and reduce the shoulder to fit me. I will be doing a lot more ladies tutorials this year. I’m burned out on kids sewing!

  3. cindy coven says

    My plans are to try to make a clothing item a week. Kind of like “52 dresses” only I plan on using your website as inspiration. Your dresses will become my skirts and tops. You are probably 1/2 my age, but you are definitely my inspiration. thanks and keep stitchin cindy

  4. says

    A VERY productive year, Justine. Yes, the Shirley Temple phase passed way too quickly. My favourite of all your makes, is the Liberty of London dress. You really do take fabulous photos with awesome backgrounds. The garden in the first photo with you is beautiful!!! I love to take a stroll through that garden. I’m guessing it’s yours. I did absolutely NO sewing for me in 2013, unless you count mending clothes… aiming to rectify that this year, but then again, I said that the year before, too. Kids’ sewing always wins out.

  5. Judy says

    Oh such wonderful garments and crafts..You are such an inspiration Justine.. Love your blog.
    I love that you do all kinds of things, and try new things..
    I so understand your not enjoying the Etsy shop sewing… I did it on ebay, and almost got myself
    to “hate sewing”..It is not the same as sewing for our kids and grandkids..
    Happy New Years to you and your family. Happy sewing too.