Banyan

I mentioned on Twitter that I was going to make myself a banyan (18th Century gentleman’s house coat) to wear in the writing shed and around the house when the heating is not on and the depths of winter are very deep indeed.

I found this pattern online http://thebuzzatthehive.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/the-english-bedgown.html and decided it looked easy enough to attempt by eye.

First step, I bought 2 meters of very cheap muslin to make a pattern. Two meters was not long enough, but I figured that as long as I knew where the right angle where it expands at the hip was, I could just cut longer from there. My first attempt at cutting made the waist too long and the dart was practically by my knee, so I marked that on the muslin in preparation for actually cutting the fabric.

I found the fabric on ebay; there was a lovely teal silk, and a fur fabric for the lining.

First I cut out the silk using the muslin as a pattern.

There are four layers of material folded up there. I’ve cut the front in two halves, but the back is in one single piece, as per the pattern. Whether I seam it to give a flare in the skirts at the back or not remains to be seen.

Here’s the fur turned back so you can see what it looks like on the outer side.

Then once I’d cut out the silk I used that as a pattern to cut out the fur

And I cut the arms all the way to the selvage, thinking that I could turn the fur back and give them fur cuffs that way. Again, I’m working on instinct here. I think it’ll work but I’ll only be sure once I come to try it 🙂

I’ve lost the light now and also it’s late and I’m tired, so that will do for today. I’ll start sewing it together tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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