Project Throwback: Hortinatura

Li Elelkoort’s Bloom Magazine really helped me to develop my conceptual research, where it analyses trends in horticulture and nature with informative and inspirational photography, texts, and relating it to a fashion context. Exploring the horticulture lifestyle in particular encouraged me to look beyond and seek inspiration from elements that were not so generic such as the development of floral prints.

Seeing as my project was nature inspired, the right location  for the photoshoot was really important to me. I wanted to steer clear of creating glossy high-fashion images à la Vogue. That’s not what my collection was about. The whole visual concept had to be paired down. So the shoot took place at this gorgeous near by woods next to my old uni campus. The weather that day unfortunately presented itself as a bit of a challenge. However, we were able to conquer the elements and ended up with a quite successful photoshoot.

To the models, photographers and other crew members who were involved that day: once again thank you. Thank you for making it all possible and allowing me to look back at something I am truly proud of.

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For more images, visit



Baby Dye Dye Dye

So this week was quite a busy week doing some samples. I got to spend some time in the dye room to dye some fabric samples using disperse dyes. Disperse dyes are ideal for synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon. This water insoluble dye method requires an equation to create the dye solution.

1. Dye { Dry weight of fabric X dye% = Dye power required in grams (g)

2. Water { 40 X Dry weight of fabric = amount of water in litters (l)

3. Acetic acid (or Aluminium Sulphate) { DWF X 3 = amount in (g)

Within this equation, “dye%” depends on the color you wish to mix. It is a fixed rule that black is 8% while all other colors require 5% of the dye powder.

To create the solution, you start off by heating up some water and bringing it to a simmer. Then you add the calculated amount of dye and acetic acid or aluminium sulphate. I started off by sampling with clear vinyl and creating a blue dye solution. First I left the piece of fabric in the dye for 2-3 minutes which gave it a light blue coloring on the transparent fabric. The longer you leave the fabric in the solution, the darker the color will become. The longest I left a sample in was 10min, which was more than enough to give it a nice dark blue. Once I became more comfortable with this particular dye method, I decided to create a dip dye effect. This required me to put in the fabric sample in the solution for 1 minute then slowly pulling it out every minute, until it has been in the solution for a total of 10 min. Surprisingly when I began to experiment with a light weight fish net tulle, the color didn’t change significantly whether I left it in for 2 minutes or even 10 minutes.

Overall I really enjoyed experimenting in the dye room and wish to further develop this technique for my final major project, as the dip dye aesthetic is well suited for my concept.

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Beating The January Blues

I reckon most of us have it by now: The January Blues…
As soon as the festivities have passed and all of a sudden not all is calm, not all is bright anymore, it’s back to reality.

However, I decided to embrace the challenges ahead for this new term to distract myself from the post-Christmas blues. This first week back, I started working on my new concept for my final project by gathering relevant images and laying them out on an A3 sketchbook. One of the things that our tutors encourage us last term was to make sure that we were able to visually communicate our chosen concept effectively. So therefore, it is essential for us to have the right kind of images along with well drawn designs on interesting templates.

I decided to explore the concept revolving the preservation of the natural world. First I began gathering images online and created a digital moodboard on Photoshop that would stimulate the creative process. Aesthetically, I looked into this idea of transparent materials encasing/preserving object from the natural world such as flowers, animals, and food. I did some samples by PVC laminating dried flowers onto mesh and will continue to do some more samples throughout the week.

Unfortunately, these last 6 months of university is going to be quite stressful. So therefore I figured that a positive attitude and working on the kind of concept will help me beat the cold winter blues and get me through the rest of the year.

Within the next week or so, I will be posting more updates about the development of my research and samples. In the meantime, below are concept images:
Concept Page Collage 13

Concept Page Collage 14

Concept Page Collage 12

Concept Page Collage 15

Concept Page Collage 11

Fashion Theory & Concept

A few days ago, I had a hand in for one of my main projects for this term. The main focus was to produce 2-3 garments, 12 portfolio pages, a sketchbook, toiles and their appropriate developed pattern pieces.

For my concept research, I decided to look into the idea of “the modern day explorer”, inspired by my summer visit in Lisbon, Portugal. In terms of market sector, I decided to explore the Active/Outwear designing a range of functional pieces. Each outerwear garment has this cohesive design feature of transparency through the choice of fabric such as airtex.

These past few months have been quite stressful however I believe that after looking my portfolio pages that it all paid off in the end.Below are some portfolio pages from this

Portfolio Page 13

Portfolio Page 14

Portfolio Page 15

Portfolio Page 16

Portfolio Page 17

Portfolio Page 11

Portfolio page 12

Final line up with title

Getting Back On Track (I Hope…)

So it’s been a good month since I have posted something on my blog. Apologizes for the absence but 3rd year has really taken a toll on me. My so called “to do list” seems to be never ending with more and more things I constantly need to add onto.

Sometimes my schedule seems to be so tight, I feel like that I am busier that Barack Obama! In addition to doing late nights in the studio, I ventured up to London a few times to source various swatches and final fabrics. Even though my trips to London where for business rather than pleasure, I still enjoyed the times I’ve spent on so called fabric scavenger hunts with some of my fashion peeps. We went to renowned places such as Clothhouse in Soho and Goldhawk road, which is known as the “street of fabrics”.

Yesterday was our individual toile review where we had 3 of our tutors critique us on what we have accomplished at the stage. To summarize what I have done/what I would like to do so far, here is a quick breakdown: I am doing a Womenswear/Outerwear/Activewear outfit that will consist of a jacket, loose t-shirt, and cigarette trousers (or “pants” if you are American like me..).

However before my review, I was focusing way too much on the jacket to the point where I just ended up making it way too unnecessary complex and over-designed. Even though I was successful in achieving the design feature I wanted to achieve of having a cape sewed onto the sleeves, I still became stuck and confused. My tutors caught on with this at the review and suggested to not use certain fabrics and alter the silhouette in addition to rethink the fabrication. I didn’t put much thought on which tops/bottoms I designed so far would go with the jacket creating an appropriate outfit which, was something they would have liked to have seen.

After leaving my review with respected and well meant constructive criticism, I still had some mix feelings on what my next steps were going to be. So today after speaking to a series of technicians and tutors to gather various opinions, my thoughts where on a roller-coaster of “yay I know what I am doing” to “S*** what now???”.

It even got to the point where I had to question my “design identity” that I have been working with for the past 2 years (Women’s functional active garments). However as the day drew to a close, I was given some great advice by my the main tutor for this unit that put me back on track on what I wish to achieve. I basically was told to try and avoid over-designing garments and work with simpler shapes, but still making it cool and contemporary by focusing on fabrication, finishing and details. We ended up spending some time looking at Alexander Wang collections online to get an idea on what cool contemporary fashion with a sporty aesthetic looks like.

Now that I feel more confident in what I am going to do, I wish to develop the appropriate patterns and toiles tomorrow and do another 12 hour day in the studio. At the end of the day though, I genuinely do need to remind myself that minor(or in some cases even major) setbacks are a part of what will make me into the best I can be as a designer, maker or whatever it is I aspire to be.


Work in progress..


First Week, First Workload

So as of today, it has been exactly been one week since I started university again. The first week began with us receiving our unit brief for the term. For this Fashion Theory and Concept Development unit, we are required to create 1 fully styled outfit including at least 2-3 garments and to design a full 6 outfit range plan of a 2D collection. We have been heavily encouraged to compete in various design competitions in order to promote ourselves as designers. In addition, we must conduct a well written Dissertation of 5,000 words with appropriate imagery and self-initiated Bibliography.

Scheduled on our first 2 days of our itinerary, we were assigned to attended construction workshops. The first was how we (re-) learned how to construct a fly with a basic open-end zip. We have been given this particular exercise before at first year, so it was rather nostalgic for me to sew something like this on our first day back.

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The next day, we got to explore some creative pattern cutting techniques by learning how to spiral cut. Some students have used this particular technique during our last project before the summer break and already had an advantage in completing the given exercise. I on the other hand was rather struggling in developing the pattern. I don’t think I have ever seem so many darts in my life! However I did manage to get the hang of it (somewhat) and would like further practice this particular style of pattern cutting, as it is a desirable technique to have.

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Day 3 followed with us presenting out summer projects. This was something I discussed in greater detail on my previous blog post. And last but not least, we had a lecture about our dissertation which included discussing what is expected of why providing us sufficient research advise.  This enormous writing piece counts as 50% of our grade for this unit so its best that we don’t f*** it up!


Blue Pleats

Hello my fellow WordPressers!

Sorry for my 3 week absence as I have been enjoying some summer time off.

However, I will make sure not to completely neglect blogging and will keep myself busy with some sewing, drawing and doing research for my major final year project. During my first week back in my hometown to visit friends and family, I decided to stop by at a local fabric shop to gain some inspiration on how I would design/create future garments. I ended up buying some fabric and a magazine with design ideas and traceable pattern pieces.

My first garment I sewed up so far is a sleeveless top with pleats on the front and a longer back. Below are step by step images on how I sewed up the garment together:



1. Cut out front and back pattern pieces.


2. Front pattern piece.


3. Back pattern piece.


4. Sew the two halves of the back together.


5. Fold 3cm wide pleats 5cm apart from each other on the front pattern.


6. In order for the pleats to stay stiff, stitch the edges of the folded pleats on the wrong side of the pattern.


7. Then on the right side, cross-stitch the center front of the pleats.


8. Add another cross-stitch between the center front and the side seam. (Do on both left/right side)


9. Sew shoulder and side seams together. Back is now longer than front.


10. Close up of side seam.


11. Finished garment.


12. Close up of design detail.


13. Garment side view.