Summer Gataway to Ajiro, Shizuoka

Ajiro Pool copy

I think Airbnb is the greatest invention – traveling and finding a place to stay on a budget was a pain before, when you had only two options: staying in a hotel or staying with friends or family. Back in June, I was going through Airbnb and found this amazing Spanish style house in a place called Ajiro in Shizuoka prefecture. It is little over an hour away from Tokyo and the beach is nearby. I booked a room immediately and we just went there last weekend.

Ajiro is a quiet fisherman’s town. It is one stop away from the big beach and hot spring resort, Atami. When you go outside the metropolitan area in Japan, you get a very different feel – it is quiet and people are very friendly. We asked directions to the super market from an elderly lady on the street. Not only did she give us the directions, but she also offered her friend to take us to the super market! We decided to walk since it was relatively close but it makes me smile to bump into people who offer kindness to strangers.

The place we were staying was about 1.5km away from the nearest station. The host said to take a cab but Andy and I decided to walk, since we walk and bike daily. We thought why not?! We get to see things on the way. Little did I know there was a reason for cab comment. It was 45 degrees uphill all the way to the house. It took us close to an hour. I felt horrible for Kiko but by the time we realized it was a bad idea, we could not find cab anywhere and it would have been dangerous to climb down the hill. I’m still amazed Kiko made it to the top without much whining.

The host, Yoshiko’s house was lovely and she provided the experience that was more than a regular trip. It was kind of like a home stay experience. She was an amazing chief and we hung out, chatted and drank wine together. Wine tasted so good after all the walking!


Summer House in Ajiro (via Local Beach Beautiful Spanish Style Home Spanish Style house in Ajiro Shizuoka Summer gataway (via vivatveritaschie sig2Find me elsewhere:

Upcycled Kimono Dresses

Upcycled Kimono Dress via Vivat Veritas Blog

Hello! I recently worked on a few kimono dresses so I wanted to show the finished products here. These dresses were upcycled from vintage kimono fabrics. This was the first time I worked with kimono fabric so it presented a few challenges!

The first challenge was that the kimono fabric in Tanmono(反物) form has a very narrow width. If you haven’t seen what Tanmono looks like, here are some examples. Its width is about 35cm and the length is about 12 meters. This is not where I sourced the fabric, but Ichiroya has many beautiful antique kimonos – I love this, this and this (all 100% silk). They also have an English page. Since the width is so narrow, the patterns need to be adjusted so that I can cut out each piece without disrupting the patterns or motifs of the fabric.
blue kimono dress kimono remake blue kimono dress via vivatveritas Kimono upcycle dressBeige Kimono Dress Details Beige Kimono Dress Inside Beige Kimono Dress Vent Beige Kimono Dress

Second challenge is how to match the patterns of the fabric. Since many kimono fabrics are one-of-a-kind, in one roll, you might get all different patterns. What I did was to take a look at the entire fabric (12 meters of them!) before I started cutting and planned out accordingly. For the below dress top, I looked for a similar pattern in the fabric and although they were not completely the same, I mixed and matched so that they look like they belonged together. The process is similar to matching plaids. I’ve worked with plaids in the past (did not love the process though) so it helped. Beige Kimono Remake Dress via Vivat Veritas In process of Kimono Dress1 kimono dress in process

Overall sewing from Kimono fabric was fun, and I love handling the 100% silk. Have you made something with antique or traditional fabrics? What were the fun parts and challenging parts?

pink kimono upcycled dress via Vivat Veritas pink5



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Handmade Bow Ballet Leotard

Bow Ballet Leotard

My daughter started taking ballet lessons in last October and I made a lace ballet leotard for her back then. It’s been nine months and I already had to make a second one since she’s grown out of the first one! Although the leotard had some stretch, at the end her nipples were exposed and its time had passed. I already made the pattern, so I made simple modifications on the pattern and didn’t need to change much (here is a good alternative PDF pattern on etsy). I added 5cm in bodice and few centimeters around chest and waist. It turned out that chest is a bit big for her but I have no doubt that she will grow out of this leotard very soon.

She did not like the last dress I made for her, but thankfully she received this leotard with much love and gratitude. So funny that a child has preferences over what she wears at this young age.

The fabric is a leftover from the jazz dance costumes I made back in 2012.  It’s some kind of spandex mix two way stretch fabric I bought in the second floor of Nippori Tomato, knit section. After making her leotard, I still have a ton left so I’m thinking of making myself bathing suit for this summer. I’ve been eyeing this vintage inspired one piece number by Ohh Lulu Sews. Has anyone made this?


White bow leotard handmade bow leotard for little girlhandmade bow leotard for little girl via Vivat Veritaschie sig2Find me elsewhere: