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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Sewing the Pink Coat:: Fabric and Patterns

brush rose wool fabricI went to Nippori fabric district the other day and bought this pretty salmon pink (or blush rose) wool for a mere 300 yen per meter. I bought three meters of it. Such a score! I forgot the name of the store as it was new. I had not been back to Nippori since the bloggers meetup back in August, and there were some changes. One of my favorite shops, Zakzak (wrote about the shop here)closed one of their stores (the bigger garage one, which I preferred), and there were a few new shops. I’m sad about zakzak’s closure. They were dirt cheap, so maybe they were not making enough profit.

Anyway, as I bought this pink wool, I started to think about sewing a winter coat. To be honest, I hate winter. I hate cold. I hope wearing a cheerful color like this pink will help me get through the miserable winter. I made a teal color coat last winter, so I wanted to make something with a statement color this year as well.

For a coat pattern, I browsed through burdastyle’s coat library – I have a love and hate relationship with BurdaStyle patterns. I hate printing out the patterns and taping them together but I love the instant download. I keep going back there because their patterns are reasonable and I can get it right away.

I ended up purchasing Wool Long Coat 08/2012#101B. I see this kind of oversized, long coat with lapels all over the place here this winter. I posted one from a Japanese magazine, Vivi on instagram. They call it “Chester coat (チェスターコート)” over here. I wonder what they call in real English-speaking countries.

Here are some images from my moodboard – I’m deciding whether to shorten the length of the coat to about thigh length, or keep it around the knees. For practical purpose, it would be better to keep it long, but I’m not sure how I would look with oversized, long coat since I’m not that tall. Any thoughts?

vivat veritas winter coat inspiration boardOne, Three, Four from Natalie Off Duty, and Two from Karla’s Closet


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Fall 2013 Lookbook

New Lookbook is here! For this lookbook, I tried to get out of my comfort zone (dresses) a bit and ventured into some new styles. Actually there is no dress in this lookbook except for the silk dress, above. Both high neck knit and pencil skirts are not normal
Items I use for dressing myself, but I really like the current trend and enjoy the change. The lookbook shoot was fun (I wrote it here) and the model Noemie was super sweet to work with. We borrowed the bicycle from a man who was reading on the park bench and hanging his laundry on his bike.. when we asked if we could use his bike for few photos, he gladly agreed! I hope you will like the new lookbook!

P.S. Coupon Code “THANKU” to get 20% off! Ends November 22, 2013 >> SHOP & ETSY.


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Faux Leather Top

faux leather top still1Faux leather top, Tory Burch cardigan (similar), Oiajules bracelet, U/O jeans and Rag & Bone booties

I’ve been spending a lot of my train sitting time on reading up on design blogs like little green notebook, MADE BY GIRL, and small shop blog. Since we moved into a new place at the end of Summer, we are in the process of reorganizing and redecorating our space. From reading these design blogs, I’ve learned the importance of mixing textures. Instead of using one texture through out the room, you mix rug, wood, metal, glass etc to add depth. The same thing can be said for fashion as well. It is so much more interesting to have different textures mixed and matched.

This faux leather top is my favorite for two reasons – one is that it is not black but navy blue. We all tend to gravitate towards black in the colder season, right? Navy blue is a nice change. Number two reason is that it is sleeveless so you can wear it on its own, turtle neck inside or cardigan on top. faux leather top4 faux leather top still2 faux leather top vivat veritas

The top has been added to the shop, here.ChieSignature

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Made:: Ashley Madekwe Dress Knock-off

inspiration and what i made by vivat veritasEver since I saw this dress on Pinterest, I saved the image on my iPhone “to-make” list. It is a dress by a designer, Cushnie Et Ochs, worn by English actress, Ashley Madekwe for NYFW. I think the dress is trendy in every possible way: cutout, higher neckline, and midi length pencil style skirt. I decided to replicate it for myself to wear to an upcoming wedding. chocolate brown midirif cutout midi dress by vivat veritas-2 chocolate brown midirif cutout midi dress by vivat veritas6I had this chocolate brown jersey or pale pink in my stash, and I chose the brown. I wore a pink dress for the last wedding I attended, so I thought brown would be a nice change. Also, with pale pink, I was afraid that the midriff cutout won’t stand out and blend too much with my skin color.

Sewing the dress was fairly easy and quick. I bought a zipper for the dress, but ended up not inserting it because the fabric had enough stretch. The skirt is pencil skirt pattern I drafted myself a while ago, and I lengthen and added a vent in the back. From the photo I had, I could not tell what the back of Ashley’s dress looked like, so I just made the back without any cutout or low back. I hope I don’t look scanky with this dress. I hope the quiet color and the midi length skirt counteracted with the bold cutout..if not, please tell me before Sunday, when I have to go to the wedding! chocolate brown midirif cutout midi dress by vivat veritas5

Worn with ASOS pumps, vintage clutch, Michael Kors watch & forever 21 necklace. ChieSignature

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DIY Sheer Blouson Jacket

front back jacket by vivat veritasI bought this navy blue bomber style jacket at a thrift store called Nishi Kaigan (meaning West Coast 西海岸 in Japanese). I was pretty excited to go to this thrift store since I had heard about its mammoth size (which is rare in Japan) and cheapness, but I was rather disappointed when I got there. Yes, the place was huge, but from the piles of clothes, I did not find any gems or treasures that I always  manage to find when thrifting. I was not even completely sold on this jacket, I did not want to go home empty handed so I grabbed it. It is made out of Linen and stretch rib for waist and wrist, but I needed to spice it up before wearing it. I bought a sheer chiffon Georgette fabric that matches the color of the jacket and inserted the sheer panels in top half of back and sleeves.

After the quick DIY, it became one of my favorite outer pieces to throw on during the fall. Navy matches with almost anything in my closet and I like how it is a slightly different from wearing black.

DIY bomber jacket3 by vivat veritasDIY sheer blouson jacket by vivat veritasDIY bomber jacket by vivat veritasWorn with one of the first top I made, mint shorts, thrifted bag, Michael Kors watch, Gorjana necklace and Oia Jules bracelet.ChieSignature

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Wedding Project Progress: Dress Shirt Completed

Hi! It’s me, Rina. I’m working on the bride’s dress and the groom’s dress shirt and bow tie as I said on this post. I finished making the shirt and bow tie!
Photo1 Photo2 Photo3 Photo4

I used a relatively hard fusible interfacing for the collar and cuffs so that the shirt looks a bit more formal. The fabric color of bow tie fits to the tuxedo, which Chie is making. I hope the groom likes it!

新郎のドレスシャツと蝶ネクタイが完成しました!襟とカフスには固めの接着芯を付け、パリっとした感じがでるようにしました。蝶ネクタイの色はChieさんの作っているタキシードと合わせています。新郎が気に入ってくれるといいなー。rina signature

More Rina’s posts….
- Dress for Jazz Concert
The Process of Making Wedding Dress
Book Review: Over 100 Years of Style by Decade and Designer, in Association with Vogue
Handmade Dog Cllothes

Silk Painting – Sample Dress Completed

silk painting1 copyIn my last post about Silk Painting, I showed what the paint looked like on polyester satin. I painted on 100% silk satin, and was very surprised by how much different the result was (polyester vs. silk). I much prefer painting on 100% silk. The paint spreads and mixes the color on silk beautifully, which I did not experience on 100% poly satin. I only have six basic colors (yellow, red, blue, purple, brown and black) plus lightening medium (to thin the paint without using water), but I was able to create the flower and grape motif pictured below. I used a small embroidery hoop to stretch the silk, so I painted one petal at a time, and re-stretched the silk on different parts of the fabric. Thankfully, the paint dries pretty quickly (might dry even quicker if I were to use a hair dryer) . I find it easier to complete the darts and one side seam before painting. That way, you can extend the motif from the front piece to back piece without having a gap because of the side seam. The dress is just a test before I paint on the bride’s dress, so she can see the pattern placement. The dress will be added to the shop for a sample sale price soon! silk painting 2 silk painting 3 silk painting 4ChieSignature

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Dress For Jazz Concert

Hi, This is Rina. One of my longtime friends, Marisa, had a jazz concert on the last weekend at a comfy restaurant, Elegance.
Photo1Duo with a bass

 I made her sky blue dress. She has been a classic pianist for more than 20 years, and she has recently made a switch to jazz.
Photo2 Photo3Me and Marisa

The dress I made is pretty simple, a flair skirt dress. But, I had to tailor this dress specifically because her dress cannot impede her movement while playing. Since I didn’t choose stretch fabric, I had to adjust the pattern so that it would fit her body movements. I’m really happy to see her playing piano in this dress in front of many people. She is going to have another concert in November. I’ll try to make another dress for her. I’ve already started working out in my mind what will be a good fit for her!


彼女は長年クラシックをやってきたのですが、最近ジャズも弾き始め、精力的に活動しています :) 11月にまたライブを行うようなので、また彼女の為にドレスを作りたいと思います。次はどんなドレスがいいかなあ。rina signature

More Rina’s posts….
- The Process of Making Wedding Dress
Book Review: Over 100 Years of Style by Decade and Designer, in Association with Vogue
Handmade Dog Cllothes

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