Reflections on 2014

Happy (almost) New Year, my friends! It’s that time of the year, so I thought I’d do a reflections post. Instead of rounding up everything I’ve made (gag—not this year, I’ve made too much), or try to draw any conclusions or do a lot of soul-searching, I thought I’d instead just chat about the underlying themes that I noticed ran through my blog this year.

The year of the dress

I had no idea back in early January when I sewed my first Emery dress that it would turn into the unofficial Year of the Dress for me. Up until then, I really hadn’t sewn a lot of dresses. A few from vintage patterns, but not many. And part was due to never getting a good bodice fit. When you don’t feel great in something, you don’t want to wear it (or sew it), plain and simple! Once I hit on a bodice that made me feel awesome, there was no stopping me. I often used the Emery bodice as a sloper, and I sewed lots of vintage-inspired dresses for the better part of 2014. It was a huge shift in my sewing, although I did start to tire of all the dresses by the end of fall.

A few dresses I made in 2014 Cliffs of Insanity dress / Cuckoo clock dress / Elisalex with feathers / Seahorses wrap dress

 The year of learning to sew with knits

This was a major goal for me, and I squashed one of my sewing fears into the ground. Yeah! Of the knits I’ve sewn so far, my first Jenna cardigan is definitely my favorite. It’s one of those items I still look at and think, “I can’t believe I made this.” Expect to see a lot more Jennas in particular next year, as I already have two lined up to sew soon.

2014 knits I've sewn Coco top / Moneta dress / Galaxy Lady Skater mashup / Jenna cardigan

The year of playing with style and silhouettes

I ended last year and started this year taking a close examination of my wardrobe, but decided all that style navel-gazing was too much for me, so I just winged it. And was much happier for it. Not that I haven’t still been obsessing over why I don’t have a perfect black skirt or what are the next gaps I need to fill in, but I realized I’m happiest being organic about my style. Self-aware (which I am far more than I’ve ever been in my life, and I definitely should give some of that navel-gazing credit for that!), but relaxed.

I’ve had an unconscious shift in my style over the last couple of years, or more like a focusing in on what I really like and wear. I’m still drawn to 40s silhouettes of course, but I’ve enjoyed adding more 50s and even very early 60s styles into the mix. This is nothing new for me, but I’ve been doing it more than I had in recent years, as I’ve found some of the 40s styles I used to favor feeling a bit stuffy or boring to me. I’m no slave to a decade, so I’m just having fun with it. (Isn’t this my usual m.o., anyway?) I even tried out above-the-knee dresses a few times!

short-dress Pushing your (silhouette) boundaries

In March I had a dilemma where I faced the fact that I didn’t like cigarette pants on me, much as I adored the sleek Audrey Hepburn style. And then in August I took it all back. And then you watched my recent excruciating pants fitting saga in two parts.

pants muslins Pants muslins and back of thigh wrinkles have nearly done me in

But now I’m happy to report that I’m really thrilled with that Butterick B5895 pattern and have plans for several more pair, as I’m wearing the hell out of the denim and corduroy versions I’ve sewn so far. I’d also still like to try and nail down a non-stretch vintage trouser, too. I definitely see lots of trousers in my future. (Maybe 2015 will be the Year of Separates?)

denim cigarette pants Pants update / wearing the winning denim cigarette pants

This year also saw me pretty much phase wide-legged swing trousers out of my wardrobe. I think I’m finally realizing that at my shortie height, slimmer pants make me feel cuter and put a spring in my step. But they have to be slimmer with a vintage feel, or it doesn’t feel “me”. This year I also favored full, gathered (or semi-gathered) skirts over my previous favorite A-line. I’m still an insane kimono-sleeve aficionado, so no change there. 😉

Overall, I feel more comfortable with my own vintage style than I ever have. And I see some areas I’d like to play with more in sewing (some longer skirts, flannel fabric, more trousers, shorts and play suits, more blouses, rayon fabric, more knits), knitting (vintage cardigans until the end of time, relaxed fit pullovers for winter, a batwing bolero), and shopping (yes, it’s not all me-made around these parts!).

The year of balancing knitting & sewing a little better

Before I sewed as much, I knit a lot more. I struggled to find this balance in 2013. But this year, I’ve been a lot better. It comes in waves (sometimes it’s “sew sew sew” or “knit knit knit” or “sew and knit and sew and knit”), but I’m okay with that. This year I finished up seven sweaters (two of which haven’t even made it to the blog), two boleros, and several smaller things.

2014 knitting Knit for Victory bolero / Fenella yarn review and cowl / Vashon pullover / Ten of Hearts cardigan

I released my second knitting pattern in March, another stranded hat, Nisse. I had hoped to release more this year, but trying to juggle work, life, a blog and designing knitting patterns… not so easy. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to strike that balance effectively. Hopefully I’ll release at least one of the few patterns I have in my pipeline next year, but I’m not stressing out about it.

Nisse knitting pattern by Tasha Moss Nisse: knitting pattern release

The year of not doing any tutorials

When I looked back at this year, outside of my nail care series in spring, I didn’t do a single tutorial. Which was surprising to me, since the three posts that had the most traffic this year are all tutorials I did last year. A vintage roller set, knitting seamless set-in sleeves, and making buttonholes by hand still get a ton of love. This year, I kept saying I was going to do at least a couple of different tutorials that just never materialized. Hopefully I’ll be better about that next year, although the way I do tutorials is extremely labor intensive, so I should try not to make any promises. 😉

The year of Instagram

Outside of blogging, the social media I prefer above all else is Instagram (you can find me there as bygumbygolly). Visual micro-blogging… gosh, I just love it! Even when I’m not able to keep up with blogging as much as I’d like, I can regularly be found Instragramming this and that. Gratuitous pet photos, holiday snapshots, hanging out with friends, and lots of outfits that never make it to the blog.

2014 Instagram all from Instagram

Oh yeah, and the best thing (in my opinion) that I shared on Instagram this year? The day we were legally able to upgrade our civil union to a marriage, on our 3 year wedding anniversary. Doesn’t get much more special than that. 🙂

marriage

The year of not blogging about much else but sewing (oops)

This year I failed to blog about almost anything else in my life but sewing! It was never my goal for this blog to be entirely about sewing, but in 2014, it pretty much was. Hell, I sewed so much this year that there’s lots of projects that never even made it to the blog!

We traveled a lot, although I was bad about documenting, well, pretty much every trip we took except for Dublin (which did get three posts: here, here, and here). But we also visited family in New Mexico, Washington D.C., and St. Louis twice each, and went camping in Wisconsin a few times. I have lots of fun photos from many of those trips, but never blogged about it.

2014 trips in St. Louis with our niece / hiking in Wisconsin / on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad in New Mexico

We also painted three rooms in our house. The bedroom and den in one whirlwind weekend, and the kitchen earlier this month. And you guessed it, I haven’t shared anything from that, either. In fact, I had no posts about our little 1955 house this year at all (other than you regularly seeing me standing in whatever corner I can take some decent photos in, ha). I wanted to show off our new paint jobs, our vintage lamp collection… well, there’s always next year!

Thank you!

I’m going to save my thoughts on my (very, very loose) goals for 2015 until next year. Suffice it to say it’s going to involve a lot of vintage. I have a couple of posts in the works to chat about some ideas!

But right now, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank each and every person out there who reads my blog. I started this blog in part because I love to write, and I love to share things I’m passionate about, even if no one is listening. The fact that anyone wants to actually read what I have to say is very humbling indeed. Thank you for making me want to continue on, helping, challenging, and inspiring me along the way. I’m so happy and proud to be a part of the various ways the online vintage, sewing, and knitting communities interconnect.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. THANK YOU!  xoxo

Filed: Knitting, Sewing, Travel and Adventures, Vintage Dibs and Dabs, Vintage Wardrobe

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Golly, 48 Comments!

  • Happy New Year to you and Mel, Tasha! I’ve really enjoyed your blog this year and look forward to seeing what you’re up to in 2015.

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  • What a fun and productive year you’ve had! Somehow I missed the release of your hat pattern- it is CUTE! I fear colorwork, but maybe someday I’ll work up the nerve to try it! And holy cow, has it really been three years since you got married? I would’ve guessed it was about a year ago, but man, time is flying by! Happy 2015 to you and Mel! I’m excited to see what adventures you get up to next year!

    Reply

    • Aw thanks Sonja! I do think the gnomes are rather fun, I’m pretty proud of that. 🙂 I can’t believe it’s been 3 years either (or even more that soon we’ll have been together 13 years… whaaaaa). I’m excited to see what 2015 brings for you, too! 🙂

      Reply

  • I just recently found your blog. You have some awesome makes this year and I love love your Nisse hat pattern 🙂 After taking up sewing, I have yet to find my sewing/knitting balance, but hope to 🙂 Congrats on your anniversary and marriage!! And almost Happy New Year!

    Reply

  • It was so great to read about all your transformations this year. From what I took away, we are both in the same mindset -we’re not so stringent about 2015. Isn’t it great to be free from that pressure!?

    From following you this year, it seems like you have infused your own style into vintage to make one intoxicating cocktail of sewing. Keep it up!

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    • Thanks, Maddie! It does feel pretty great to not put a lot of pressure or deadlines on myself, doesn’t it? I love the way you rounded up my style– thank you! Happy New Year! 🙂

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  • Holy crap you made so many amazing things!!!! It’s really neat to see it all wrapped up in one reflective post. I can’t wait to chat about your new goals for this year. Hopefully we have more matching outfits in our future 😉 😉

    xo

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  • Wow what an amazing year of makes! V impressed by your skills and ability to balance all that crafting with writing patterns and, well, life!

    Hope 2015 is just as productive as 2014 has clearly been for you. 🙂

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  • Fantastic round up, I love your fun yet practical sense of style. As I’m relatively new to your blog I haven’t seen your Cliffs Of Insanity dress before – OMG AMAZING! I seriously want a Princess Bride themed dress now!

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    • Thanks, Jo! Yes, I definitely go for fun yet practical, I like that you picked that as a combo! And thanks on the Cliffs of Insanity dress, one of my favs for sure. 😉

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  • Happy New Year!

    I enjoy your blog so so much. Please keep up the good work. 🙂

    Lisa.

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  • I’ve gotten so much enjoyment and inspiration from your blog this year Tasha. Thanks for putting so much personality and quality into what you share.

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  • Tasha,
    No need to thank me – I’m the one doing the “thank you” – for having so many colorful, inspiring and joyful posts over all this past time. Seeing all you have done over this year, in a single post.. what a pile of work, what a mass of hand-made art.. what amazing collection!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    Marija

    Reply

  • Wow, you’ve made so much this year! Seven sweaters??? Gee, I haven’t even managed to brave starting *one* for fear of how long it would take me!

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog this year, and look forward to doing so next year as well! Happy New Year! ^___^

    Reply

  • Happy New Year to you! I always found your blog very inspiring and I’m happy that this was a good year for you. I hope to see more from you in the next year and that many of your dreams come true!

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  • Congratulations on an awesome year! I love the posts that you do about sewing, which were a great kick in the ass for me to start sewing a little bit myself, but I would dearly love to see some of your tutorials again. Your roller setting tutorial is actually how I found the site over a year ago, when I first started seeing vintage as an important part of my style rather than something I just wore occasionally.

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    • Thanks, Jessica! I don’t do a lot of hair tutorials because I do a lot of variations on the same style, so there’s not much to talk about. lol But I may be getting a slight change in style soon so there might be cause for a new tutorial in the future after all. 😉

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  • What a year! You accomplished SO much, and are such an inspiration! I admire you so much for your skill and determination! The pants saga was certainly inspiring!

    Congrats on the “upgrade” to marriage (I love how you phrased that, and I think I would look at it just the same if I were in your position)!

    Happy New Year, Tasha! I can’t wait to see what you dish out in 2015!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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  • What a great year, Tasha! Sounds like you had a ton of fun adventures, not to mention all your great sewing and knitting projects. I do hope you release another knitting pattern because your knits are so intricate and swoon-worthy. Huge congrats on your marriage becoming official, not that it wasn’t already! Wishing you and Mel a joyful and productive new year. 🙂

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  • Thank you for four blog, it’s very interesting!
    Happy new year from Normandie, France!

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  • Happy New Year! Your blog is always such a fun and colourful place to visit. I loved your dress phase in particular! Wishing you much more happy creating in 2015 x

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  • This was/is such a fabulously engaging year recap post, dear Tasha. You knocked it out of the ballpark on the sewing front this year, girl. Way to go! Vintage, sewing, nails, how-tos, you name it, I always adore your blog and sincerely look forward to seeing what you have in the works next.

    May happiness, good health, and countless reasons to smile be yours in 2015!
    ♥ Jessica

    Reply

  • Such a lovely recap to such a productive year! Your pants saga made me excited to work from a RTW pants pattern to work to get it to be perfect.

    Congrats on your upgrade to marriage, that’s a great thing, and I wish you both many more years of happiness!

    Thank YOU for writing your lovely blog, Tasha! It’s always such a good thing to see in my blog roll when you make a new post, as your blog makes me very happy. I can’t wait to see what awesome things you bring to the table in 2015!

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    • I can’t believe anyone can say my pants saga excited them about something, but I’m so glad it did more than just strike fear into people’s hearts! lol Happy New Year, Carla!

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  • Happy New Year. I look forward to seeing what you make in 2015. I have really enjoyed reading all about your crafty ventures.

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  • Happy New Year! Congratulations on a year of great makes and of course, on your marriage ‘upgrade’ (if that’s the way to put it?)! x

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    • Thanks Kerry! Yes, totally cool to call it an upgrade, that’s how we were talking about it, for lack of a better term (since it’s not like there’s that many folks who can say they were able to do one and then the other!) 😉

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  • I love your style 🙂 You look great! I wish you a amazing, happy and great 2015!
    x Angela // the-style-doll.blogspot.com

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  • Your year in review is so impressive!!! You’ve accomplished so much! <3 And congratulations on your marriage! It's so special and so awesome that you were able to upgrade your civil union to marriage on your third year wedding anniversary! <3

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  • Happy New Year Tasha! I’m always amazed at your sewing and knitting skills! Can’t wait to see what you make this year!

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  • […] New Year! In my wrap-up of sewing and knitting in 2014, I mentioned that I had a few ideas floating around in my head for […]

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  • Please do post about your house! I only recently discovered your blog and after I finished geeking out over your sewing and knitting projects, I started to read the saga of the ranch house and was left hanging! Hanging, I tell you! I need to know how you solved the problem of the sofa, and the wall color, and . . . argh!

    Reply

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