2016 in Review & What’s Ahead

2016-in-review-and-whats-ahead-vivat-veritas2016 is ending soon. Thank you for all the support you’ve given this year. I hope to be able to keep creating beautiful things and sharing things I learn on my blog. To sum up the year, I wanted to recap some highlights from 2016. Wedding dresses and client worksbridal photo in hamarikyuBridal photoshoot with Tulirefashioned wedding dress vivat veritas bridal3Refashioned wedding dresstulle-lace-wedding-dress-back-viewTulle knee length wedding dress close up and back of purple dressLavender wedding dressivory-lace-mini-dress-by-vivat-veritasIvory lace mini wedding dress white fur cape and sparkly romperSparkly costume for J-pop singersorange kimono dressKimono dressback view of emerald green kimono wrap dressMore kimono dress 35 Blog posts I wrote 35 blog posts in the year 2016. That is much less than what I wrote last year, which was 69. There are many unblogged objects which I want to show here in the future. With limited time, writing blog posts was not my top priority and updating Instagram took over the place to showcase what I made. Of the small number of the blog posts, these three posts generated the most page views: - Bluff-stitched patch pocket tutorial - How to alter the back of a dress that is too small to zip up Realistic look on hours I spent on my handmade business

It's interesting that these posts are informational posts as opposed to "what I made" posts that were popular last year.


I started a newsletter in 2015. For 2016, I wrote once a month. It is usually a recap of my blog posts of the month, some behind the scenes stuff and links of things I enjoyed reading/watching. If you are interested, sign up here.

What I sewed for myself I had some opportunities to sew myself new clothes. Here is the roundup: back style - beige wrap dressTransitional Piecestripes body suit and levis 501 jeans2Stripes body suitme made may outfit vivat veritas blogNeutial stripe skirtkhaki color wrap dress with big pocketsKhaki wrap dressmerckwaerdigh bhs10 size aMerckwaerdigh BHS10simple-outfit-white-button-up-and-blue-jeansArcher button-up with fly front modification For Kiko I sewed some stuff for my daughter. She recently turned five. We started going to Nippori together to choose fabrics. She likes that her opinions are incorporated in her clothes. Princess aurora dressModern Princess Aurora Dresssimple knit dress in panda fabricPanda dresspeacoat-dusty-green-handmadePea coat Most frequently used patterns Last but not least, my most used patterns were Carolyn pj from Closet Case Files. It is a great pattern to make it as a gift!  Carolyn Pajama Closet Case Files3Carolyn pajama in silk satinaztec-pattern-carolyn-pajamas-by-closet-case-files-3Aztec Carolyncarolyn-pajama-pink-and-ivory-pipingCarolyn pajama in Pink P.S. Here is 20142015 in review. 2016年の総まとめをしてみました。こうやって見てみると色々作ったなとしみじみ。 作ってお客様に羽ばたいていったものたちや、自分のクローゼットに参加した洋服たち。 来年も素敵!と思っていただけるものを作っていきたいと思います。 今年1年、ありがとうございました! chie sig2Find me elsewhere:

Realistic Look on Hours I spent on My Handmade Business

realistic-look-on-hours-i-spent-on-my-handmade-businessAs the end of the year is quickly approaching, I was thinking back of the list of things I wanted to do in year 2016. I wrote in this post back in 2015 that I wanted to track the number of hours I spend working on my business. The main part of the business is designing and making wedding dresses. A less time consuming, but equally important aspect of the business, is the culmination of other less time consuming projects. These are things like selling on handmade market places like etsy and creema, participating in various photoshoots and working on other sewing projects like custom kimono dresses and costumes. This past year, at the end of every work night, I would keep a log of the hours I spent in excel. vv-work-hour-log-screenshot It is pretty simple; I only have three columns - date, hour and the specifics of my activity. Between January 1st to December 23rd (total of 358 days), I spent the total of 737 hours. On average, I spent two hours every day working toward my business. It is about 14.41 hours per week. In reality, I don't work on Sundays and there are some days that I did not get to put my hours toward because of travel or family. So it might be more accurate to say that I spend 2.8 hours, or approximately three hours every weekday after/before my 9-5 job on my personal business. I included the following to my log: - Sewing time - Time I spent on buying materials - Blogging - Writing newsletter - Taking and editing photos - Consultation time with clients - Networking events or parties - Time I spent on making my own clothes. Although it was not many hours, I counted this into log as my study time and material for blogging. - Updating etsy and creema shops - Accounting and taxes I did not include the following: - Transportation time from home to meetings or to fabric shops - Knitting I do for pleasure - Time spent at post office to ship orders - Updating SNS For the upcoming year, I am hoping to spend a similar amount of hours. About 2 hours a day would be a good goal for me to keep up my work/life balance. I am lucky to have a full time job that I can work from home so that I don't loose time in transit. My kids go to bed at 7pm and don't get up until 7am, which allows me to have the night and early morning dedicated for what I like to do. Looking back, the majority of time was spent on sewing, which is fun for me but I need to spend more time on marketing/networking. This will bring more business but would necessitate a decrease in time on the sewing machine. But there is the rub, if I cannot have more business but less time to sew. So, I need a sewing assistant who can come over to my house and help. So.... finding that person is my next goal. I will continue to log my work hours in 2017. It would be interesting to compare again this time next year. chie sig2

MADE | Kids Pea Coat

made-kids-green-pea-coat-size-130cmJust in time for the Winter's arrival, I finished making a new coat for Kiko. The last coat I made for her lasted for two years but it was obvious that it has run its course. This time we went to Nippori together to pick up the fabric for her coat. It was during the fabric district's fall sale and we scored this green wool for about $5! It was pre-cut fabric and the size was 140cm width x 120cm. It was just enough to make a child's coat in size 130. She is size 120 in Japanese size but I sized up to 130 so she can wear this for a next 2-3 years. peacoat-dusty-green-handmadeThe patterns are from Muki Kurai's book. Besides the children's pea coat, the book includes adult size pea coat patterns as well so you can be matching! I decided against the idea of matching pea coats since I bought myself Vogue V9133 patterns. But now I'm back on the Vogue site, I like V9069 and V8960 which seem to be both out of print.dsc_0228-copy dsc_0229-copyThe coat was pretty simple to sew but had some challenging elements like the welt pockets. I don't sew welt pockets often, so I have to look up my sewing book every time to review how to do it. The pattern does not provide the lining patterns so I modified the outer jacket pattern to make my own. The new name label is from the Dutch Label Shop.close-up-of-kids-pea-coatIt's still a bit big on her, so I rolled up the sleeves and temporarily sewed them at the hem. It looks warm and the pockets are useful in keeping hands warm! girls-peacoat-wornkiko-green-pea-coat-wornクライ・ムキさんの「男の子と女の子とママの服」からピーコートを作りました。サイズは130。5歳の娘にはちょっと大きめですが、これから2,3年着ることを予測して大き目を選びました。 生地は日暮里の秋のセール中に見つけたグリーンのウール。アイロンをかけるとすごく獣くさくて、娘が臭い臭い言っていました笑 匂いは乾いてしまえば飛ぶので気にならないです。 前回作ったコートはポケットがなくて、次作るなら絶対ポケット付きにしよう!って決めてました。手を突っ込んだり、手袋や拾ったもの(ビービー弾とか。。)を入れるのにぴったり。型紙のひとつひとつのパーツは大人のものより小さいので短時間で仕上げられました。chie sig2 Find me elsewhere: