Toddler Pink Coat

toddler pink coat by vivat veritas2I made myself a pink coat this year, and also for my daughter! I did not mean to match, but I had about an meter left of the wool I used for my coat, and that was the perfect length to make a mini version for Kiko.

I really enjoyed sewing her coat. It took much less time! I only sewed for two nights, about 2 hours at a time. Kiko goes to bed at 7pm, so after that is my sewing time. I used the coat patterns from a Japanese sewing book, but I cannot remember the name of the book! I have been trying to remember what that was, but since I borrowed the book from a library, I am not sure which one I used. I go to a local library every other week, and borrow a bunch of books including picture books for Kiko, novels and sewing books. I appreciate the library having a good selection of Japanese sewing books, as they have the entire series of “Drape Drape” etc. Most of the times, the books are returned without me making anything from the book, but I enjoy flipping through pages and reading the instructions.

The tracing of the patterns came easy as they are small. Instead of big Kraft papers I usually use for drafting patterns, I used copy papers. I skipped a lot of the tailoring for this coat, and used iron-on interface and avoided hand sewing as much as possible. The only hand sewing I did was to catch stitch the seam allowances down inside the coat, so they are not flopping around.

toddler coat lining by vivat veritas

I used a fun printed polyester fabric for the lining. It is the same as the fabric as this dress. I like the playfulness it adds to the coat.

I used flower decorative buttons and snap buttons for actual closure. I was not happy with these snap buttons though, as they are plastic as opposed to metal, and don’t snap as easy (I have to press hard) as I would like. I thought snap buttons will be easy for Kiko to button on her own, but because of the plastic buttons, I still end up doing them for her… I bought them online, so I did not know their quality before hand.

Overall, I am very happy with the result. I would use the pattern again. Maybe a Spring coat, with cotton twill or linen. It might be fun to alternate the round collar to hood, or go without a collar. It makes me happy when Kiko brags to her friends saying, “mommy made it!”.



toddler pink coat by vivat veritas3 toddler pink coat close upby vivat veritas6toddler pink coat by vivat veritas1 toddler pink coat back view by vivat veritas4


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In Progress:: Muslin, Custom Dress and Sketches

custom dress floral by vivat veritasSome in-progress photos of what I’ve been working on. I’ve shared a bit on the facebook page, but I am participating in the fashion show in a few months. I’m working on the new designs for the show… More info on the event coming soon!


dress muslin2custom dress floral by vivat veritas2dress muslin

I’m making a wedding dress muslin above. In order to avoid confusion, I marked each skirt panel with letters (SB (side back), CB (center back) etc..).
dress sketch1 dress sketch2 dress sketch3{sketches for more dresses}ChieSignature

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Sewing the Pink Coat:: Completed!

pink coat completed by vivat veritas

As I blogged here and here, I was making myself BurdaStyle Wool Long Coat 08/2012#101B this year. Finally the coat is completed! Actually I was done about a month or two ago..Just did not have a chance to take pictures and blog. I am very pleased with this coat. I’ve warn it many times, and it has helped me survived this winter which was unusually cold for Tokyo.

I love:
- the boxy men’s wear inspired silhouette
- it covers my body down to my knees, and is double breasted front style which keeps me warm
- the pink color! It is easier for people to find me in a crowd of gray and black coats
- silk lining. It is very warm and luxurious. It was worth the money for the fabric!

I am not so crazy about:
- the sleeve insertion. Can you see the wrinkle around the armhole in my back view picture above?
- the shoulder width of the coat patterns. They were very wide, and I had to take in about 5 inches! Next time I sew this coat, I would do a narrow shoulder adjustment before I start sewing.

Overall, I am happy with the result. I bought three meters of this wool fabric, and used two meters for the coat. I also made a coat for Kiko with the rest of the fabric. Kiko’s coat is done, I just need to take pictures! It is super cute, I can’t wait to show it here.


こちらは丸襟がかわいいお嬢様コート。お揃いはちょっと恥ずかしいけど、「Mommy made it!」と言ってもらえてうれしいです。


silk lining on pink coatcoat detailspink coat completed2 by vivat veritasWorn with forever21 sweater, Moose and Nigel pendant and 3.1 Philip Lim Pashli Mini Bag


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Build-a-Dress:: Moroccan Tea Glass Dress

build a dress by vivatveritas2

I still remember the time my host family in the U.S. took me to get “build-a-bear” at a mall when I was in high school. I know it was for little kids, but I enjoyed the experience nonetheless. I picked the heart and put sole into it, stare in amazement as the bear was pumped with some fluff, picked clothes and shoes. I don’t know what happened to the bear (it might have gotten lost during so many moves), but the excitement of building the bear stayed.

As I came up with the idea of “build-a-dress“, I wanted it to be as exciting for my customers as it was for me as at the build-a-bear store. Thankfully, Spoonflower offers so many different fabric options from many fabric designers in the world! The one I recently made is with “Moroccan tea glass” fabric by miss bluemchen fabrics.



build a dress by vivatveritasChieSignature

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Made:: Kawasaki City Dress

kawasaki city dress by vivat veritasI made this dress back in August, but never had a chance to photograph it until now. I am not sure why, because I love the dress, and I’ve worn this numerous times already! I wore it on its own during the summer, which worked out great because the material is light weight cotton, and now I wear it with uniqulo heat-tech turtle neck (it’s supposed to retain your own body heat, thus keeping you warm..not sure if it is working), tights and booties.

When I came up with the design, I tried to think of the best way to place the panel print. I usually go for a design that is cinched at the waist (like this one), but for this dress, I made it one-panel and and slightly A-lined so you can see the cool city scape print. I named it “Kawasaki city dress” since the print makes me think of Kawasaki city, which is located in Kanagawa. They have many factories there, and the print looks like a futuristic version of Kawasaki city. bra straps copy I added the little ribbon with snap buttons at shoulders so it will prevent the bra straps from slipping off. I bought this for 100 yen at Okadaya.kawasaki city dress by vivat veritas2 kawasaki city dress4Outfit details: Dress – made by me (skirt version for sale here), Bag – thrifted for 500 yen, Watch – Michael Kors, Booties – Rag and Bone (seriously the best heeled booties I’ve ever worn). 

side view kawasaki city skirtI added the white side panels. I thought it would be an interesting contrast, but also to save the fabric! I only bought 1 and a half meter of it. I wish I bought some more, because when I checked the store today, I could not find the same one anymore. The white fabric is T/C poplin, left over fabric from making these Bermuda shorts.

柄が夜の川崎工場街を思い起こさせるので、Kawasaki City Dressと命名してみました★

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Made:: Boyfriend(Husband)’s T-shirt

gray t-shirt handmade5 copyI love the instant gratification of a simple sewing project like this. As much as I enjoy sewing pretty dresses, sometimes I really need just basic pieces, like t-shirts, button down shirts in monotone colors. It is rather boring compared to sewing dresses in fun print fabrics or sewing coats, but I want to be able to say on any given day, that I made the clothes instead of having bought them. There is nothing wrong with wearing the clothes from those fast fashion brands, but people seem to expect me to say that I made the clothes I wear daily, because I make clothes for other people.

So this t-shirt is the same one as I made for Andy, just deepened the V neckline for a more feminine look. I actually made three of the same t-shirt in this gray fabric for Andy. He goes through many t-shirts as he works out a lot and t-shirts and sweatshirts are pretty much the only things he wears (even to work!). I really perfected (in my mind) the patterns for his t-shirt. It fits the way I like, although he complains the fit is too slim and makes him self-conscious… I have to take pictures of him wearing it and ask you guys what you think!

I used the thread for sewing stretch knit fabrics, called レジロン糸, but not sure how what it is called in English.  For the shoulder seams, I used fusible interface tapes, sew the shoulder seams together, overlocked it and top stitched it from the right side.

I like the simplicity of this relaxed fit t-shirt and am sure it will be one of my wardrobe staple in the warmer seasons!

handmade gray t-shirt by vivatveritas1 gray t-shirt handmade6handmade gray t-shirt by vivatveritas2ChieSignature

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Sewing the Pink Coat:: Side Seams, Catch Stitches and Inseam Pockets

1 catch stitch

Hello! I wanted to show you my pink coat sewing progress. Last time I cut out the patterns and added the seam allowances to the patterns. I finally got to the actual sewing part! As I sew this coat, I am referencing a lot to Gertie’s Lady Gray Coat sew-along. Her tutorials are very helpful, although I am skipping certain tailoring steps this time, such as using hair canvas and pad stitching the lapel. I’m also not using the bound buttonhole technique since I will be using snaps.

The patterns I’m using is the BurdaStyle Wool Long Coat 08/2012#101B. I sewed the back to side, added the inseam pockets, and sewed the side and front pieces. I overlocked the seam allowances, pressed and catch stitched the seam allowances so they lay flat. Thankfully, this pink wool blend fabric I’m using is very easy to work with; it does not fray or leave marks when I press without pressing cloth. It is pretty thick so it’s easy to catch stitch the seam allowances without showing the stitches to the right side. 2 interface on hem

For the fusible interface, I used the one that was recommended at the fabric store in Nippori, called ZakZak. The store clerk gave me this black one with glue spots that are about 3mm apart from each other, so it almost looks like a polk-a-dot print. She said that way, the interface would not attach to the fabric completely, and will give the fabric room to move around and breath. 3 attatching pockets

Here is the picture of the side pockets. I was deciding whether to use polyester lining (I always have a roll of white polyester lining at hand) or silk satin, which was a left over from making this dress. When I met with Inna last summer, she was talking about how silk fabric would retain your skin temperature so it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As I was deciding on polyester vs silk for lining, I remembered her comments and decided to go with the silk. I am so happy with my decision to go with the silk! I love the luxurious silky (obviously) feel to my skin! It would be hard to go back to polyester lining coats. 4 pocket completedI’m pinning many winter coat inspirations on my Fashion Inspiration board on Pinterest! The boxy shapes worn as a cape is so refreshing, especially with the oversized clutch.coat inspiration board by vivat veritasSources: 1/2/3/4

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DIY:: Cutout & Cropped Sweatshirt

before and after DIY sweatshirtHi everyone! I wanted to show my first DIY of 2014. I’ve mentioned the fashion blog, Karla’s Closet in this blog a numerous time. I am obsessed with her style. She is just so….cool, someone that I would love to be fashio friends with. On top of that she has an amazing figure! She is my style icon. I saw she added a peep hole in her sweatshirt in this post, and since then, I have not been able to stop thinking about wearing sweatshirts. I had not owned a single  sweatshirt  previously (not sure why, I wear hoodies as roomwear), but I searched online for a cheap sweatshirt so I could recycle. I found this white sweatshirt from Rakuten for 500 yen. It’s actually a child size, but I figured that they make sweatshirts oversized anyway, so it should be fine.

As you can see above, my “before” picture is rather sad, and unflattering. Here is what I did to make it better:marking the line

I wore the shirt in front of the mirror and figured out how much I wanted to shorten it. I ended up marking the line 16cm above the rib. chopped

Chopped off the rib, and kept it since I wanted to attach it to the new hem line. Then I cut the shirt in the line I marked above. stitching the folded over band sweatshirttopstitched sweatshirt hemI re-attached the rib to the new hemline (make sure to pin the rib before sewing, and stretch out the rib as you sew, since the rib is shorter than the actual hemline). Then I overlocked the seam allowance and topstitched it from the front.handmade outfits by vivat veritas3

After that, I made the cutout detail in the neckline. It seems like Karla’s version is just chopped off without finishing the seam allowances, but I was afraid that they will fray. mark the new neckline with french curve

Marked new line with french curve…facing neckline

Attached the neckline facing and topstitched it. voila necklineVoila! The only thing I DON’T like about this is that the neckline got stretched out as I finished the edges, and makes a weird curve. You can see it below. new necklinehandmade outfits by vivat veritas

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this little DIY! I like to wear it with the sleeves rolled up and a high waisted skirt. By the way, I made this skirt recently too! Just a simple I-line skirt, made with a stretched knit. I lined it with the same fabric to seal all the edges so that the edges won’t be stretched out.

Outfit details: Hat:Bop Basics, Sweatshirt: DIYed, Skirt: Made by me (similar here), Bag: Alexander Wang, Booties: Rag & Bone


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Holiday Gift Idea:: Dainty Gold Chain Hand Harness

dainty gold chain bracelet top by vivat veritas

How’s your holiday gift prep going? I have a friend who start preparing in the Summer. She starts collecting small stocking stuffers for her family when it is still 80 degrees outside! I admire her preparedness. Perhaps because I have a Grinch husband, I do holiday gift prep in the very last minute…

Anyway, I wanted to share this simple DIY jewelry idea, which can be a perfect gift for your girl friend or coworker. I’ve been into dainty gold jewelry since the Summer. It goes with everything, and I love stocking different gold pieces. My favorite is the jewelry from Gorjana. They are affordable too! But be that as it may, I made this hand harness based on the tutorial at Cupcakes and Cashmere. Emily’s has beads, but j kept it simple and just used gold chain, adjuster and clasp. I don’t know much about jewelry making at all, but this one took me only 15 minutes:)

dainty gold chain bracelet by vivat veritas dainty gold chain bracelet by vivat veritas2 dainty gold chain bracelet by vivat veritas3More Holiday gift idea…
Easy Fabric Wall Art


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DIY Greek Key Pillow Case

DIY greek key pillow caseWhile browsing through Little Green Notebook, I found many home furnishing items that have the “Greek key” motif. I find the motif very elegant, so I wanted to somehow, incorporate it into my home. I find this Greek key drawers makeover amazing, but I am not really good at refurbishing furniture (I recently painted my black IKEA chandelier to lavender, but the paint did not stick all that well since I didn’t use primer). I found grosgrain ribbon and mint green fabric from my stash (left over from these shorts), and decided to create the Greek Key pattern with it. So here is how I made it:

what you need to make greek key pillow casehow to make greek key pillow caseAt every turn (corner), I marked with pen, and made a mitered corner (useful tutorial here). I made the short length 6cm, and long length 12cm, based on this picture. Basically you continue making the pattern for all four corners. As I finished one side, I started to get confused because the ribbon twisted a lot. Pinning the ribbon to the pillow cover fabric as I went along helped.

After I finished with the ribbon, I pinned it securely to the pillow case fabric and sewed both edges of the ribbon. I left the pillow unsewn until I finished with the Greek key pattern. I think it’s easier that way. Once I’m done with the Greek Key pattern, I sewed the invisible zipper on one side and finished the rest of the edges. I only applied the Greek Key pattern on one side of the pillow, just because it took longer than I anticipated! greek key pillow case1 greek key pillow case2 greek key pillowChieSignature

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