Banana Spider Coat



Kayla Patterson

Outline the story …

My design process began with brainstorming ideas that all centered around the theme of the natural world. These ideas were then translated into many concept sketches, rendered physically and digitally. A process of elimination was done, selecting the sketches that best conveyed what I was attempting to depict, were within my skill set but still challenging, and what I liked best. The design I chose went through its own iterations until I was happy with all elements.
The design was created as a representation of the Golden Silk Orb Weaver, or "Banana spider" - which are common where I live. Arachnology is a study I have been fascinated with since I was very young, both from a scientific standpoint and artistic appreciation. The ways in which webs are used and constructed, the plethora of colors and body types, and the truly unique physical structure of spiders has been a long-standing inspiration to me. As well as a notable influence on all forms of my artistic expressions. This particular species is close to my heart because it is native to my area and I have fond memories of gazing at them and taking pictures whenever I came across one. They are big, beautiful, and truly a marvel of nature.

Outline the construction…

For the construction of my coat, a few base patterns were used: BlackSnail's 1890s Ladies Vest, a basic commercial sleeve pattern, and a self-drafted paneled skirt pattern. These were either highly modified and redrafted or self-drafted as a completely new pattern. This was a new skill for me, as I had only previously only worked with modifying existing patterns.
The garment is a medium weight polyester shirting, consisting of a fashion layer, fusible interfacing on the tailored vest, and a contrasting lining layer inside the vest and coattail. The color scheme was selected to emulate the coloration of the Golden Silk Orb Weaver. Pearlescent buttons were used at the front and cuffs as a nod to the white speckles the spiders exhibit on their abdomen. Acrylic faux fur was made into a detachable trim as a reference to the spiders' iconic fuzzy knees.
The embroidery detail was done by hand with a combination of pearlescent and satin white cotton floss. The stitching itself was done with a stem stitch to create as continuous of a line as possible.
This project was definitely a step up from my previous 2020 entry, both in scale and necessary pre-planning. As I had never drafted my own patterns, I went through many paper and fabric mock-ups before I even attempted putting the real garment together. Even then, there were still some things that I had to adjust on the fly. But I'm grateful for the learning experience and the chance to share it.




  1. Avatar Anna-Catherine Sendgikoski on May 7, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    Orb Weavers for the WIN!! I really like this! Nicely done!

  2. Avatar Steffi Wee on May 10, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Love the construction of the coat! Those sleeves are just *chef’s kiss*

  3. Avatar Jenny jenny b on May 22, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    What a stunning final garment – the colours and sleeves are incredible! Also, congrats on your first pattern drafting!!!

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