Dyed and DED

 

Leaving this log here for anyone interested in natural dyes.

Disclaimer: some of the pictures do not accurately reflect the final colours. Will update this post after testing for light exposure and fade.

Fabric Preparation

All dyed are tested on cotton fabric. The cotton was boiled in a vinegar solution for 1 hour and then left in the dye bath for approximately 24 hours. To keep things safe and non-toxic in my kitchen, I’ve not used any mordants.

Beet Root

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Beet root bath consisted of about 1.8kg of beets (6 medium/large beets) chopped up and boiled for 1 hour. Liquid was strained and further reduced by half.

After soaking for 24 hours.

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After initial rinse (above)

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Beet root – final colour. Light brownish with slight tinge of pink.

 

Coffee

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For the coffee stain, I used leftover grounds and boiled them for an hour before straining the liquid out and letting the cotton sit in the solution overnight. There was a lot of sediment/fine grain caught in the fabric that required washing out.

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The final colour is a shade lighter than above. And I also find that the dye doesn’t take up evenly, so the result is a bit splotchy. But coffee is a pretty safe bet to get colour into your cotton. I’ve tried dyeing with black tea as well, and I find that quite good too.

Tumeric

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I had high hopes for tumeric. The colour stayed quite intense after rinsing.

BUT.

It loses colour from sun exposure. ):
These pictures (below) are before the fade caused by sun exposure. Will update this post with a photo.

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Next things to try:

I’m interested to see what pomegranate skins and onion skins will do. Those are the next two I’ll most likely attempt. (Am dehydrating pomegranate skins currently, in hopes it will enhance the colour during extraction)

I’m also curious to see the effects of avocado skins, avocado seeds, mango leaves and mangosteen skins. However, on that last point, I don’t particularly like eating mangosteen, so I’m not sure how to acquire the material without wasting the flesh.

And in any case, all this home testing makes me so conscious of how much colour and, therefore, dye there must be in my wardrobe. And I also don’t recommend doing this very often, I find that it requires so much water to conduct each experiment >> water to extract the dyes, water to pre-soak the fabrics, and then to wash the fabric to test how well the colour stays on the fabric.

DED. Too much effort.

 

Stella Charcoal

I hope everyone has dreary dark days when there is no better cure-all than a top to toe black ensemble. One less thing to worry about. No need to fret if the colours clash or if the patterns mix. Just a quiet day to blend in with the rest of the world as you go about the things you gotta get done.

Then again, its also in the subtleties of plays of textures that also keep things interesting. Monsoons coerced the knit cardigan and wool hat to repel December precipitation, and basic oversized cotton tee with Stella McCartney for Adidas leggings for easy mobility.

Trench Lapis

One of my recent fav reads is Net-a-Porter’s iPad magazine app filled with the week’s latest lusts and musts for the upper crusts of society. One feature from several weeks ago illustrated ways to update winter looks to carry you into 2011.

Suggestion #6 was an modern play on layering and contrast, revealing a bit of sleeve while keep the cold at bay. And I sorely wanted to try this rolled up layered sleeve look, especially because Singapore weather does not favor the trench.

Japan, with Mount Fuji in the backdrop for “mood” hahas, presented an opportune time to give this a go. With a cream trench, stripped (a la kueh lapis) knit sweater dress, jeans, polka dot scarf, wool hat and sunglasses, doubt I created sufficient “contrast” but it kept me amply warm. So points there!

Lanvin for H&M needing more love in Japan

The fashion community waited with baited breathe when news first broke about the H&M and Lanvin collaboration. And there was near pandemonium when the collection was first available for purchase online, overloading the server bandwidth and all the technical schzam that I shan’t frazzle my fringe in.

On my recent trip to Tokyo, I was shocked but sadistically overjoyed to see a contented shopper leaving the Ginza district outlet with her very own ‘H&M ❤ Lanvin’ bag tucked under her slender arm. Closer investigations into the store confirmed my hunch as I found signature pieces lined obediently in rows, awaiting my thorough inspection.

Usual suspects were present – overpriced accessories and shoes that would eat your heart for dessert. But, rather unexpectedly, high rollers such as the signature red tulle tutu dress and yellow ruffle toga dress were also rounded up in this raid.

Conversations in the interrogation room did not reveal much and without a confession, I found it hard to post bail for this baby. But if you are convinced of her innocence, by all means, Japan still has sizes!

Back from Tokyo, Japan

Just wanted to drop a quick update to say that I’m back from the land of the rising sun, back from Mount Fuji, sushi, cat cafes, bright neon lights, pachinko, boots and fake eyelashes.

The weather warranted layers upon layers of clothing. And I did mostly sight-seeing rather than shopping.

Can’t wait to go back with more shopping allowance 😀

More photos coming soon.
Stay tuned!

Sarah

Three-in-a-row

Sarah’s holidaying in Tokyo with her family! And here I am stuck in fickle-weathered Singapore. For those of you who miss her already, here’s what she wore to Parco’s next-Next Fashion Show last Friday at Millenia Walk.

First, an A-line white shirt from Zara, ruched leggings ala Sass & Bide from Bysi, and black leather lace-up wedges from Aldo.

While we were walking around, she set her eyes on this black crepe maxi-dress-jumpsuit from Max Tan. It is so cute because it really does look like a maxi dress from afar, but is actually one that is sewn up at the bottom with two tubular openings for the ankles. Got. To. Have. At. Some. Point.

Eventually she brought home a vented leather/wet-look jacket with extra long sleeves by Mae Pang. Sleek and sultry I say. Lots to check out from both the designers and more, so buy smaller presents and splurge on yourself instead. Okay I kid.

Sooo this weekend I’ll be going solo at Topshop Knightbridge’s opening party – their largest store outside of their Oxford Circus store in London!


Hansel’s birthday/opening party at Mandarin Gallery on Friday. Can’t wait to see what the store decor is like.

And lastly, Front Row’s 5th Anniversary Fete on Sunday at White Rabbit. For more informations, go here.

Hope your December is going well so far. This month makes me feel kinda reflective and I’m not quite sure what to make of this year. More happy days ahead!

Picture credits to here, here and here.

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

The Charles and Keith boots that I love are fraying at its threads. The faux leather is flaking slowly from my excessive and obsessive wear over the past who-knows-how-many years. The fabric buckles exactly the way I wear them – at the ball of my feet, the ankle and from stuffing my jeans into already-prime real estate. I sense that these C&K boots don’t have long to live.


This Christmas, I hope to find, nestled snugly under the Christmas tree, a pair of size 40 black suede lace-up wedge booties by Hussein Chalayan for PUMA’s Urban Mobility collection.

The combination of thick suede and rubber wedge makes this shoe OOZE comfort it’s like wearing hot chocolate and walking on air. *slurps! Throw in the extra three inches of height (a girl can always do with more) AND the fact that it’s a slice of designer goods at a sliver of the price… These babies have bumped themselves up to the top of my list of desirables this December.

But that’s not to say these sweeties are completely within grasps. At $400 for the bootie version at Hide&Seek and $356.97 from Revolve Clothing for the high-cut boots, they are, sadly, not within means.

Thus, I write this letter to you Santa.
Please make your list, check it twice.
Hope I’ve been sufficiently nice.

Paperbag Pants

Do you have those days where you want nothing more than to wear a paper bag over your head as you go about your routine and mile-long list of to-dos because it’s just such long and dreary day. You want nothing more than to snuggle in bed, tucked safely in the comforts of your blanket where the world can’t get you? But since Responsibility beckons, settle for the second-best option which is to dress purely for Comfort as you attempt to conquer the abyss of chores.


And then, there are also those days that for no reason in particular, there is a sense of flurry and fun to dress up and paint the town red. Figuratively, of course.

I’m wearing a basic white tank, pseudo paperbag-waisted pants and lace-up wedges. Just because I felt like it. Despite only having to run a handful of errands in school today. And make-up-less because my skin has decided to revolt by going through a second round of puberty-worthy breakouts ):

But I also attribute it to the stresses of exam week,
which is NOW!

Ok, back to the books for me

-Sarah