Crossover Back Chambray Shirt

DIY crossover back chambray shirtI bought two meters of chambray fabric at Nippori Tomato during the Summer, thinking of making a dress shirt for Andy. After my failed attempt (talked about here), I lost the motivation to make anything for him. On top of that, he was just given around 30 new(used of course) pieces from his friend. Even his male friend could not stand seeing him wear the same old t-shirts and sweatpants. So I thought it would be good timing to just take the fabric and make something for myself.

Again, I based this shirt on Grainline Studio’s Archer button up. This is my sixth time using this pattern (my other versions 1, 2, 3, 4. The pattern fits me well and making button up is a perfect in-between project. It is intricate enough to be interesting to sew but not time consuming enough to be too daunting to start, like coat.

To change things up a bit, I modified it to make cross over back. The inspiration comes from my Fall Sewing List, particularly Antonio Berardi poplin shirt. It retails $735!
Grainline Studio Archer Button Up Chambray Version Handmade chambray button down with a cross over backThe adjustment is easy, as described below. Instead of making the center front folded, the back panel separated in two. I added 5cm in center back, and using curved ruler, cut slightly curved line toward the hem. I also lengthen the hem by about 7cm. I folded the hem twice the center back, crossed over and attached to back yoke. DSC_1918 copyCross over back modificationAnother modification I made was the pockets. I experimented with the pocket flaps in the past in my silk version. On top of the added flaps, I made the pocket bellows pocket. I love to add little details like this to a simple button up. Also enjoyed learning new skills.

Finally, I did all the button holes by hand. I did one in the past, but working on 8 button holes by hand took longer than I planned!

Next up in my sewing cue is khaki parka using BurdaStyle pattern! Some sneak peak on my instagram.


Chambray button down via Vivat Veritas BlogHappy Halloween via Vivat Veritas Blogchie sig2

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Fall in Karuizawa

Karuizawa Cabin4

It’s officially Fall here in Japan. The color of the leaves are changing and mornings are cold. We went to a place called Karuizawa to enjoy the last of the warm weather a few weeks ago. Karuizawa is in Nagano prefecture, and it is only an hour away from Tokyo station by bullet train. It is easy to get to and this small town is beautiful, filled with restaurants, cute zakka and souvenir shops. It is also close to the mountains so it is very easy access good hiking trails.
Kiko and Andy2 Kiko and Andy1 Karuizawa Hiking view

We hiked from Kyu-Karu Ginza to Usui Pass. After walking for about 4km, this beautiful mountain view showed itself. It’s right between Nagano and Gunma prefectures. We met a local man who was killing time while waiting for his daughter. We got talking and he ended up giving us a ride back to our cabin because we missed the last bus back to the town (last bus ends at 4:30pm!). This would not have happened in Tokyo. When you step outside of Tokyo, I find people much more willing to talk to you even if you are a stranger.
Karuizawa Cabin3 Karuizawa Cabin2

The rustic cabin we stayed. Karuizawa Cabin1 Karuizawa Cabin1 5 Fall berries Big Swing for Kids2 Big Swing for Kids1 Bear warning Karuizawa

The sign warning about bears.
Andy and Kiko


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Wedding Welcome Bears

Handmade Wedding Welcome Bears by Vivat Veritas Blog

I’ve had this blog since 2008, and this is the first stuffed animal project I’m posting in nine years! This was such a fun project to work on. It was refreshing to be sewing these cute bears which is different from garment sewing. No need to worry about the fitting!

I don’t know about other countries, but in Japan, it is very common to have a “welcome doll” of some sort at the wedding. They are usually sitting next at the reception area of the wedding. I have two friends’ weddings coming up in November and was asked to make them.

I googled “Teddy Bear Patterns” (テディベア 型紙)in Japanese and came up with this. For some reasons, the letters are not readable, but I just needed the patterns so it didn’t really matter. The fabric is a white fur bought in Okadaya. I’m a big fan of Okadaya online. It ships for 390 yen (about 3 USD) within Japan, and depending on their sale’s schedule, they reduce the shipping cost to half the price. It is cheaper than getting to Okadaya’s physical store in Shinjuku by train and I usually end up buying other stuff that I don’t plan on like extra fabrics or chocolate. Anyway, totally recommended if you live in Japan.

I bought 20cm of the fur and it made four bears and I still have some left. I used 2mm stitch length to sew the pieces in machine. Making four bears took much longer than I anticipated since it involved a fair amount of hand sewing like enclosing the opening for head, body, legs and arms.

Cutting out stuffed bear piecesTeddy Bear Making Cutting Out PiecesBuilding a bear via Vivat Veritas BlogAttaching eyes to teddy bear Teddy Bear in ProcessThe most fun part of this project was to make tiny dresses and vests! So fun. It reminded me of my childhood days when I was obsessed with my dolls (mine was called Jenny) and her dresses that my mom made. I just used left over satin and laces that were laying around.Tiny teddy bear wedding dress Wedding welcom bears2

Attaching pearl beads to imitate pearl necklace.Attaching white pearls to teddy bear dressSince I was making two of each bears (male and female), I made paper patters for the clothes. That way, I don’t have to guess the length and fit for the second time. Bear vest patternsBride Bear via Vivat Veritas Blog

Tada! They are so adorable. Kiko liked them and she was sad when I told her they were not for her. Maybe I should make one for her. I found a doll pattern shop on Etsy, called Gingermelon. I might make some for Kiko. Wedding welcom bear




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