Dark & Steamy: Steampunk Printable Paper Doll

Erin, who won my little Trivia contest from last Monday, wrote me the following description of what she wanted for her custom Marisole paper doll.

I know that I want my doll to be very pale with brown hair… As for style of clothes and what not, I know that I love Victorian and Steampunk style. Belts, buckles, zippers, lace, keys, and corsets. That kind of stuff. I have included a few links as inspiration I guess, but feel free to disregard them. I dislike the color yellow, LOVE red, black and purple, but other than that… I’m not overly picky.

I asked for a little clarification on shades of brown (she said red brown) and exactly what sort of colors for metals she liked and then set to work. Like a deadline, it was oddly liberating to be paper dolling based on someone else’s guidelines. I do hope she’s pale enough, because outside of doing another vampire paper doll, I couldn’t imagine going paler than this color. I think it reads as “pale” rather than reading as “corpus.”

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Since one of my favorite features of Victorian dresses was the fact that women got to wear all sorts of different clothing for different activities, I decided to treat the paper doll as though she was an actual Victorian lady in need of costumes for the range of standard Victorian lady activities. I guess I’ll talk about each costume in turn.

Here we go.

The Morning Dress: Morning dresses were always more casual then other costumes. Erin sent me a reference link to this beautiful costume. I loved the colors and the drape. To make it a little more Victorian feeling, I added sleeves. Though technically a morning dress would never be worn outside the house, I added a hat since the reference costume featured one. Also, I like hats.

The Walking Costume: The other set of reference images I got was for a beautiful 1880’s reproduction bustled suit and I confess the early 1880’s when skirts were tight, before the huge bustle emerged is one of my favorite times in Victorian fashion. I made the suit purple (to match the purple/red color scheme), created a totally non-period hat and added some accents in silver and brass.

The Afternoon Dress: Mostly an excuse to draw a wild leather corset (well, I imagine its in leather, I suppose technically it could be any fabric you like), the afternoon dress was inspired by the corsets of 1910. The net/lace overlay was my attempt at lace, though I have mixed feelings about how it turned out. Afternoon dresses were also often visiting costumes, so she had to have a hat.

The Ball Gown: No costume set could be complete with out a ballgown and as I love drawing corsets, no ballgown couldn’t not have a corset top. The far left costume of this fashiion plate inspired the oddly bondage-esque skirt. I got a little carried away with my lock and key motif I think, but I had fun doing it.

As regular readers know, I’m a wee bit obsessed with Victorian inspired costumes. I’ve done two other steampunk/neo-Victorian Marisole paper dolls. There was the slightly candy like one (a lesson in how colors don’t look so bright before I process the images for Web and then seem to get brighter) and a more traditional color scheme.

I will probably do another trivia contest thing next week. So, keep your eyes open for that.

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10 Responses to Dark & Steamy: Steampunk Printable Paper Doll

  1. Sara says:

    If I was Erin I would die of pleasure! Pfft, I’ll die of pleasure anyway!

    Beautiful dresses! =)

  2. Marie Louise says:

    That is crazy amazing!

  3. Monica says:

    That is so…..awesome….


  4. Corissia says:

    Gorgeous. There’s not really any thing more to say after that. Fantastic job.

  5. Erin says:

    OMG…. I am simply blown away with what you have created!!! I never imagined it would look this…. wow. The hair…. the dresses…. (and yes, she is exactly as pale as I wanted…) Thank you soooo much for this!!! It’s perfect!!

  6. Erin says:

    Forgot to mention…. those shoes??? I seriously want each of them to wear myself. :-)

  7. Sonny says:

    I was wondering, is that a necklace, between the girl and the morning dress?

  8. RLC says:

    Yep. It’s a necklace. At least, that was my intention Sonny, though it could be worn other ways I suspect.

    And I’m very glad you liked the paper doll, Erin. She was a lot of fun to draw. A lot of fun.

  9. marge says:

    Are you sure you are studying the right courses in school? I think you should be a fashion designer. This is a fabulous set. A Wonderful job.

  10. Janani says:

    This is so pretty! It looks so sophisticated, somehow. Not that it shouldn’t look sophisticated, but.. oh well, we know what I mean. Erin had such good ideas!

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