Sunday, 19 February 2017

Banyan with block printed fish

I'm not sure if this is historically accurate enough to be called a banyan, but if not it's still pretty close.

 For print class we had to block print a border design and sew something with it. It had to be done in at least 2 colours, with the lightest being printed first, and then part of the linoleum block carved away and the next colour printed on.
A picture of a different block I carved,
because I forgot to photograph my fish block.
 I did a skeletal fish design with waves, in 3 colours. (The design in the above photo is being printed with ink, but for my fish print I used dye paste.)
First 2 colours printed.

All printed.
 The dye paste really didn't want to go on evenly, so it's a bit patchy.

I based my pattern on several different extant banyans/dressing gowns. The edges of the panels go straight down, so that the bottom corners are all right angles and the border design can be applied nicely.
A terrible photo of most of my pattern.
 For the main fabric I used what appears to be some sort of raw silk from my stash. (It smells like silk and has a squeaky texture, so I'm quite sure it is, but I forget where it came from.) The fish are printed on a fine cotton.
It's mostly machine sewn, with some hand finishing where necessary.
The border applied to the hem.
 The only interfacing is in the collar, neckline and button tabs.
 It's lined to the waist in a blue-green rayon bemberg, and a narrow facing of the main fabric extends all the way to the hem. These are all turned in and hand sewn to the inside.
Lining, with fish print facing.

Fish on the ends of the sleeves.

Finished lining. You can also just barely see the very small collar.
The bottom back panel is one large rectangle pleated into the top piece.
The hem is bound in dark blue linen, which I put through the bias tape folder.

 It fastens with 2 blue plastic buttons.

 I like it a lot more than I thought I would! It's quite comfortable, and doesn't keep coming undone like bathrobes that tie shut do.


  1. I'm impressed with your fish design and your carving ability. Of course, your sewing and pattern making are also impressive.

  2. Those fish are really something. You even gave them little skeletal fin rays!