Emerging Designer Competition

On September 20th I participated in Western Canada Fashion Week’s Emerging Designer Competition. I designed a 3 piece, casual outfit and won 3rd place! The 13 other competitors had a large variety of designs and it was a great experience taking part in the competition. 

Photo: Ferd Isaac
Photo: Ferd Isaac

My iceberg inspired design consisted of printed leggings, a silk tank, and knitted sweater.

Photo: GREX Photographic Visuals
Photo: GREX Photographic Visuals

I wanted to create a wearable outfit and was inspired by the shapes and lines of ice and the arctic.

The organic cotton leggings are digitally printed with a glacier photograph. The a-line tank has a low back and raw finished neckline and armholes, it is made from a silk with a lot of volume so it has movement and floats. The open sweater is machine knit with draped pockets and angular, drop-stitch details on the back.

WCFW DesignThis outfit incorporates environmentally conscious features including:

  • certified organic cotton
  • digital printing which doesn’t use water and reduces dye waste and water pollution
  • ‘rescued’ fabric – excess fabric purchased from companies who want to avoid it going to the landfill
  • wool made from recycled fibres that would have otherwise been discarded in the production process
Photo: Kelly Rosborough
Photo: Kelly Rosborough

Thank you to the team who helped bring everything together and to the judges for the recognition! It was great to be part of the event and see the design talent from Edmonton and across Canada!



Red Cabbage -Natural Dye

posted in: Dyeing, Knitting | 0

Using red cabbage as a dye is fun! Not only is it a beautiful colour but it has magical ph colour-changing properties. The dye is considered fugitive and unfortunately will fade, but I have still had lovely results.

Red cabbage neutrally is a blue-purple and with acid turns a pink, bases turn it green.  You can even use red cabbage to make your own ph indicator strips!

Red Cabbage

To dye my wool yarn I chopped up a red cabbage, boiled and strained it to get the liquid. I then soaked half the skein (wanting some variegation in the yarn) in the dye bath with a little alum added – only useing a small amount because the alum affects the ph and therefore the colour changes.

Removing the wool, it was a beautiful blueish-purple. For fun (and to see if it would last), I sprayed some lemon juice on a few sections, turning the yarn pink!

Red cabbage acid

When rinsing out the yarn it sadly but expectedly changed the pink back. I then decided to soak the other half in the exhausted dye.

The final product is a pale blue after about a month and a half, which I’m happy with because I love the colour and actually expected it to fade a lot more.

red cabbage yarn

red cabbage yarn2

I knit a hat with the yarn, and 4 months later the colour hasn’t faded anymore.

Red cabbage dyed, hand knit hat - Verena Erin

Have you tried dyeing with red cabbage? I would love to hear your comments or tips!  :)


Iris -Eco Print

posted in: Dyeing | 0

Having seen lovely blue and green dyes from irises, I harvested some of these yellow and deep purple ones for printing.


I bundled the irises and some pink rose petals into a cotton and silk blend, bias slip dress, and gently steamed it for around an hour. Unwrapping the bundle later, I was excited to find bright blues and almost neon yellow-greens.

hanging to dry
printed dress hanging to dry

The pink petals also gave off a little colour which works nicely with the blue. Hopefully I will have a photo of the full, finished dress soon!

Herb Robert -Eco Print

posted in: Dyeing | 0

A while ago I made this white, cotton & silk blend tunic part of a collection for my portfolio. It has been sitting around waiting to be dyed.

Knot Tunic - Verena Erin

I found out that Herb Robert (geranium robertianum) produces a brown dye and noticing the little purple flowers around our yard, decided to use it for printing.

Herb Robert - Natural Dye Journal

I used the whole plant except for the roots and positioned them to hopefully get an interesting pattern with the stems and leaf shapes. I then bundled the fabric and steamed it for about an hour, leaving it to dry overnight. The result was a nice print but the colour was a pale yellow. Wanting a stronger contrast I did a post-mordant with iron which produced some darker browns and soft grays.

Printed tunic with Herb Robert - Natural Dye Journal

Herb robert print - Natural dye journalHerb robert print - Natural dye journal

I am happy with the results although I didn’t get a lot of clean leaf prints, I think this is due to the fact that the plant stems are very stiff and using the whole plant didn’t allow firm contact on the fabric, for printing again I would just use the leaves.  Also I did notice that because of the iron the fabric is less soft which is unfortunate but expected with the silk fabric content (iron mordant isn’t recommended for protein fibres).

Overall I really like the effect but think it needs a little more colour so I will probably over-dye with a light ombre or another leaf print.

Project X

posted in: Fashion Design | 0

A collaborative, student-led, creative project for the Kwantlen graduation fashion show.

Design Illustration
Design Illustration


Verena Erin Project X Outfit - Photo: Lumiere Studio
Outfit – Photo: Lumiere Studio
Project X Group Photo - Seadance Photography
Group Photo – Seadance Photography

Thanks to:

Model – Angie Clark
Makeup – Stephanie Adisaputro
Photography – Lumiere Studio and Seadance Photography

See more images from the photoshoot.



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