DIY:: 90′s Dress to Peplum Top

Untitled-1One of my favorite things to do when I go to my parents’ house is to go through my old closet (and my mom’s and sister’s…). I like to revisit pieces that I owned but forgot about and think of a new way to style and upcycle them. I found this satin dress from my closet the other day. It was a hand-me-down, and I never wore it as a teenager. When you wear the dress, the satin fabric sticks around your thigh, and it was not comfortable or appropriate for 16 year old. Now as a 30-year-old, I took a look at the dress and noticed that the floral print is actually quite attractive. I cut off the top at a natural waist length, and added a gathered rectangle fabric at hem to make it into a peplum top.

I really like this as a top. I’ve worn them a several times already, paired with jeans or white skinny pants. 



DIY peplum top after photos by vivat veritas

{Outfit details: Jeans – Uniqulo, Sandals – ANTHOM, clutch – gift from a friend}black and white clutch details by vivat veritas blog peplum top in progress vivat veritas blog{Adding a peplum}

peplum top outfit details by vivat veritas blogupcycled peplum top by vivat veritas blogChieSignature{find me elsewhere: shopfacebooketsytwitterpinterest}

Simple is the Best

ami vivat veritas portfolio shoot1

I recently participated in a portfolio shoot for a model named, Ami. She wanted something simple and relaxed, so I styled up the bat sleeve sweater, black sheer top, faux leather peplum top and cream color sweater. I’m enjoying the minimalist trend, as you can see it from the dress I made recently.

ジーンズ以外(モデル私物)、すべてVivat Veritasのものです(Shopはこちら)。

ami vivat veritas portfolio shoot3 ami vivat veritas portfolio shoot2



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Made:: White Tank Dress with Tulip Hem

white tank dress with tulip hem vivat veritas blog

I initially made this dress for a photoshoot, and then was going to put it up on my etsy shop, but I ended up keeping it for myself because it is super comfortable to wear. I found myself reaching out for it at least once a week. When it was still cold out, I wore it with plaid flannel shirt, leather jacket, tights and booties. Now it is warm out, so I can wear it on its own or with something light weight sheer jacket I DIYed before. It is also one of those versatile pieces that you can dress up or dress down. Today I wore it with Nike sneakers and backpack which  I thrifted for 300 yen at a flea market at Tomioka Hachiman Shrine in Monzen Nakacho last month.



white tank dress6

The small cut out details on the shoulder and curved hem make it a bit different from regular tank dress. I call it a “tulip hem” since it looks like a tulip, flipped upside down. The whole dress is lined with the same fabric so it is not sheer. The fabric I used is hard to describe – It is a ribbed jersey, and I think the fabric content is polyester. I grabbed it at sale’s section at Tomato in Nippori, so they did not have the exact fabric content available. I think the fabric worked out with the design very well. You don’t want to use too thin of a jersey fabric for this type of design, so that you can see the underwear line from a mile away. By the way, I recently bought this Calvin Klein underwear, and I love it! It is a hipster, and it really does not show the line even if you wear skinny pants.white tank dress with tulip hem vivat veritas blog2 white tank dress8white tank dress with tulip hem vivat veritas blog3

Outfit details: Dress – made by me, Pendant – Moose and Nigel, Sneakers – Nike, Backpack – thrifted and Watch – Michael Kors 20140514-KikoAndChie5


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In Progress:: Wedding Dresses

A few recent snapshots from my sewing room. Many hours spent sewing white satins and chiffon Georgette these days. Although I am grateful for the work, I kind of miss having the time to sew for myself. After seeing Sonja‘s Nettie bodysuits, I am obsessed with the thought of the same. I want to wear it like Karla rocks it.

最近のアトリエ内の様子です♪catch stitch seam allowanceCatch stitching the seam allowances to the muslin underlining.

DSC_0205 copy

Draping the bust pleats. I cut the satin fabric in bias, and hand draped the pleats. Once I decide on the pleat lines, I pinned it to the dress form and basted it. Then take it off the dress form, pressed to mark the creases and then took it to my sewing machine to sew the pleat lines.hand draping the bust pleats wedding dress hemming the wedding dress with horsehair braid

Here is the picture of attaching the horse hair braids at dress hem. I really like the clean finish that the horse hair provides. I’ve read that you can use hard tulle fabric to attain the same effect, but have not tried yet. It certainly save the money since horse hair braids are not cheap, considering you use meters of it. Has anyone try the method? hemming the wedding dress with horsehair braid2 sewing the drape folds sewing wedding dress skirtMy messy sewing room…

underlining the bust

Underlining each satin piece for the bodice with muslin fabric. It is amazing how the fabric transforms with different dress bust drapes

Here is the picture of the wrong side of the bust pleats after machine sewn them. I cut the seam allowances and press them open and clip where necessary. wedding vailSimple single layer tulle vail, hand sewn to a delicate comb.


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Made:: Floral Spring Coat for a Toddler

kiko floral spring coat by vivat veritasThe first year I lived in Philadelphia, I was surprised that the Summer came right after the Winter. There were multiple days of 40 degrees and all of the sudden, the temperature rose up to 80s and everyone starts wearing t-shirt and flipflops. As I love hot weather, I did not mind having Summer and skipping Spring. However in Japan, we have a rather prolonged Spring, where the temperature goes back and forth which makes me wonder every morning what in the world I should wear. I’ve learned to have multiple layers for Spring season in Japan, so I can take off one layer when I am dying of heat and humidity in a train, and put it back on for chilly night.

Be that as it may, I thought perhaps Kiko could benefit from light weight Spring coat. I was very pleased by the winter coat I made for her, I decided to make another one with the same pattern. I made a few adjustments this time -

♡ Added in seam pockets on the side, however, the pocket openings were too small for her hands!
♡ I did not add the round collar like the coat, and instead, left as no-collar coat.
♡ No lining.

I completely forgot that the seam allowances were not included in the pattern. As with many Japanese patterns, you have to add your own seam allowances when you cut out the patterns. One reader commented in the past that she does not add seam allowances to the paper pattern, but to add it while cutting the pieces out of the fabric. I tried that for her coat and it was very easy to do. I completely forgot to add the seam allowances on the go this time though. So the coat ended up a size smaller than the last one, but it worked out alright since the fabric is not bulky and there is no lining. kiko floral spring coat2kiko floral spring coat by vivat veritas2

I did not make her many clothes at all when she was a baby since we were lucky to have people giving us clothes as gifts or hand-me-downs. Also as a baby, Kiko could not care less what she wore. Now that she talks, it is more fun (or frustrating at times) to see her reaction to the clothes I make for her. Last time was a big success since she is into pink, but this time, she was not so crazy about it. It was a good opportunity to teach her to appreciate the gifts she is given even if she does not like it.



chie and kiko 20140407



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