Nightfall in the WildWood



Crystalinne Pantano


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Photography: Darryl Asher

Outline the story …

Cyanotype was invented as a photography process in the 1840s. It has also been used to capture delicate botany by creating prints of pressed flowers and leaves in rich Prussian blue and white.

I deeply admire the process which feels like a mix of dye and photography, bringing me back to my college darkroom photography days.

Inspired by the paintings The Fairy Dance and Question to the Stars by Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach, I created an homage to the woodlands in evening. The foliage at the bottom is thick with ferns, spruces, wildflowers, and a tangle of leaves drifting upwards in a light breeze. The top of the skirt settles into small fern fronds and forget-me-not flowers reminiscent of the night sky.

The bodice unveils the woodland theme with a more dainty and magical floral note. Ferns spring up followed by wildflowers, foliage, and more forget-me-nots reaching softly into the sky.

The blouse extends the sky, in drifting cloud-like fabric with a hand painted, subtle star print. This fabric was inspired by John Atkinson Grimshaw’s Spirit of the Night painting depicting a fairy above a city draped in a sheer cloth speckled with stars.

I finished the enchanting ensemble with a handmade dewdrop glass necklace and hair pins for extra twinkle. It’s ready for star spotting on a warm woodland night as a full outfit or separates.

Outline the construction…

My goal was wearable separates, focusing on the fabric design.

I made a rectangle skirt with a large front panel, two smaller back panels, waist band, drawstrings, and rounded pockets. Edges finished with an overlock or pinking sheers.

I cut the bodice from a pattern by Lunneth on Etsy with pinking sheers and seamed it together to create a unified printing surface.

The skirt and bodice are cotton sateen to accept the cyanotype.

Cyanotype printing was the largest hurdle and had to be done indoors in a stable environment. Once saturated with cyanotype solution and dry, it was moved to the exposure area for print design.

In dim lighting I hand placed thousands of dried leaves and flowers with tweezers.

After a 4 hour exposure under UV LEDs the solution is rinsed, the fabric air dried, and machine washed twice.

I sewed the skirt together first, with a back invisible zipper and waist clasp with drawstrings in the back waistband and a hand stitched hem. The bodice has sew-over boning in channels with top stitching to secure it. I used a machine eyelet as a template then hand stitched each eyelet on top.

The blouse pattern is an adjusted Mood’s Onella top and two part sleeves from McCall’s M8123 by Angela Clayton. The blouse is a stretch nylon, hand painted with a star pattern using Speedball screen printing ink.

I finished it all by making a dewdrop inspired glass necklace and hair pins.




  1. Avatar Jenny jenny b on April 26, 2023 at 5:23 pm

    Incredible work!

  2. Avatar Sarah Sarah Coombs on April 26, 2023 at 10:59 pm

    That fabric treatment process you worked out is so cool! What a great way to incorporate nature in the making of the outfit, and the finished result is just beautiful!

  3. Avatar Stephanie on April 28, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    Insane, I really love and appreciate your determination withe the cyanotype, it really paid off, just stunning!

  4. Avatar Stella of Stellarland on April 30, 2023 at 11:10 am

    First photo taken on snowy landscape elevates the design! It looks as if the white embroidery starts to climb up Your skirt!

    • Avatar Stella of Stellarland on May 4, 2023 at 10:40 pm

      I am clearly stupid.. as I didn’t focus on the technique used..

      Hard work and the result is amazing!

  5. Avatar Christiane Christiane Edel on May 2, 2023 at 10:26 pm

    The print result is just stunning! I never knew such detail could be achieved with this technique.

  6. Avatar Anna-Catherine Sendgikoski on May 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    Wow…wow! I am blown away! I love Cyanotype and I barely know how to do it! So inspiring! I love this!!

  7. Avatar Stephanie Stephanie Tietze (list as Piera on the entry if possible please) on May 8, 2023 at 7:37 am

    I love how this turned out. It’s such an interesting technique.

  8. Avatar Holly Holly Delaney on May 10, 2023 at 8:08 pm

    What a wonderful technique and outcome! Very creative.

  9. Avatar Eirik Pellock on May 17, 2023 at 10:16 am

    This is incredible I never thought this type of bleaching or photography was a think. I hope you made a video on how to do this. I really want to try it. Very creative and beautiful.

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