My favorite part of this set might be the wacky looking musical instrument. Just maybe, because I also love both of these dresses. Rarely do things come out as close to how I imagined them in my mind.
I am fascinated by historical dress, because dress is one physical manifestation of social and cultural phenomena. By it’s nature, dress is tied to technology and trade of the time when it was created. So, when I am creating a fantasy dress set, part of the process is thinking about consistency in design elements to create an coherent vision for a whole set. This vision comes out in both the sillouhette of the costumes and in specific repeated design elements.
The silhouette for all of Her Ladyship’s paper wardrobe is a high waist with long sleeves and square necklines (the riding and skating outfits don’t have square necklines, but we’ll get there in a minute). Nearly all the dresses are layered with an under-dress and than an over-dress on top. The two dresses that violate these rules are both for activities that, due to their athletic nature, have masculine overtones. The riding habit and the skating costume are both inspired by men’s wear.
Her Ladyship’s wardrobe feels like a “set”, because the outfits repeat design elements and style. This is also something I try to do with my one page fantasy sets and my contemporary sets. Dionisia’s wardrobe is held together by doublets. Akemi’s armors are all angular and layered. Denise’s contemporary clothing embraces various types of pleats. If a set feels disjointed, chances are that it is because there are not repeating elements to connect the items.
Petal is one of my new Poppet paper dolls. She’s got braids decorated with beads. When I lived in Illinois, the grocery store I usually shopped at was right next to a braiding place. The little girls coming out with their hair all braided and decorated with different colored beads were so cute. I chose white beads for Petal, since I thought those beads would match nearly anything.
Along with her braids, Petal has underwear, a skirt, a shirt and some shorts. I tried to base these clothes of things I’ve seen on the market for actual children. Since I don’t have kids of my own, I collect images of kids clothes on my Pinterest boards. Then I adapt them into paper dolls. I figure most people collect images for adapting into paper dolls. My image collections offer hints of things to come, though I have been known to keep projects on secret boards when I’m not sure I want them for public consumption.
Meanwhile, I am working on polishing up my Search Engine Optimization. I don’t know much about this topic, but I have been trying to write better titles for my posts. Paper Thin Personas remains on the second page of Google search results for Printable Paper Dolls, a fact that I find increasingly frustrating. Oh well… I can’t win them all.
Also, in the realm of blog paper work, the Email Notification thingy on the sidebar should be back up and working. If you already signed up for email notifications when the site updates, you should be receiving them. If you’re not into email options, feel free to follow me on Twitter. I announce post updates there as well.
By the way, Happy Thanksgiving to anyone whose celebrating. I’ll be making pie today and getting green beans prepped.
I play Pathfinder, a Dungeons and Dragons like game, most Friday nights with a group of friends at a local game shop. Generally, I have to know what my character is wearing before I can actually play the character.
Weird, but true.
Clothing is a direct expression of how my character thinks and functions in the world. Some people think about their characters in terms of unique weapons or speech patterns, I think about my characters in terms of what sort of shoes they would choose while trekking through a ruin.
Marcus here is a mechanic. So, his clothing is utilitarian. The double breasted vest is in his “good” clothes, with a belt for his money pouch and a decorative pointless armband. His tie is loose. His other brown vest is more of a work outfit. He wears vests to keep grease off his shirts. With this outfit, his tie is tucked up, so that it doesn’t get caught in machines. He’s on his feet a lot, so he has two pairs of boots. The cap keeps his dreads from getting in the way while he’s working (because hair in engines = pain) and his leather satchel is where he stores his tools. Work gloves, a scarf for cold weather and some tools complete the set.
You can also tell a little about Marcus’ personality here. His dreads are decorated with beads and I know from people who have them that dreads take some maintenance. Clearly, he’s someone who cares about how he looks. Is he perhaps somewhat of a ladies man?
Paper doll sets can be tiny windows into lives and worlds. That’s part of the fun.
A cloak, skates and skating outfit for Her Ladyship today.
Sometimes, I think about how liberating ice skating must have been in the 19th century. I think about the insane limitations placed on a lady’s behavior and then I think about ice skating. Socially acceptable and athletic and, probably, very exciting. There weren’t a lot of things you could do as a lady in the old days, but you could ice skate (also ride horses, archery and eventually tennis). I knew, from the beginning, I was going to make Her Ladyship an ice skating toilette.
Here it is… along with a cloak, because everyone needs something warm to wear in the winter time, yes?
By the way, I have no idea how to make that muff actually “work” as a muff. I was going to add a floating tab for it, but I couldn’t figure out where to put a floating tab that would keep it on her arm. So… I dunno. Maybe it’s just the idea of a muff that matters.
As I move towards the end of the year, I always find myself beginning to think about the future and what has been done this year. One of the doll artists I admire is Mimi Kirchner and she does these wonderful year end posts where she talks about all the dolls she has made. I never seem to get on the ball about doing something like that. I suppose because with holiday travel and other concerns, I don’t always have time to sit back and think about where the little hobby of mine has taken me.
It’s November all ready though… and December is around the corner. Next thing I know, it will be January and then we’ll be in 2015. I guess I better start thinking.
Meanwhile, today we have a new Pixie paper doll. Malina is the female form of Malcom. It’s a scottish name. I don’t know why I decided that this paper doll seemed Scottish to me. There was no ‘logical’ reason why. Maybe because Scotland is chilly and she has sweaters? Yes, we’ll go with that rather stretch of a connection.
Malina’s wardrobe is based on the “sporty” trend of 2014, much like Adannaya from earlier this year. The color scheme was inspired by apples and orchards and other fall harvest things, like gourds. (I bought a set of decorative gourds to put on my dining room table… I feel so festive.)
I keep finding myself going back to my thoughts at the beginning of today’s post. How does one calculate the value of a hobby? What level of achievement is needed to actually feel that this blog accomplishes it’s goal?
Hmmm…. I haven’t really got answers to that question.
For those of you who don’t know this, I generally write these posts the day before they go live. The idea is that they post will go live at midnight on the day it’s scheduled. I don’t always succeed in that goal, but that, never the less, is the goal.
Tonight while I write this post for tomorrow it is pouring rain outside. Not slightly drizzling or thinking about raining, but actually torrents of water. I love nights like this, but they make me want to do thing except wrap up in a blanket and drink tea… which is not an impossible wish to achieve on a Sunday night.
In a world with steam engines and airships, Marcus knew from a young age he wanted to be on those ships. Growing up in the Caribbean, freight vessels came into port and he always hung around to listen to stories of far way lands. So, as soon as he was old enough, he ran away and got a job on one of the airships and worked his way up from errand boy to head mechanic.
By and large, I don’t write stories for my paper dolls, but somehow this character made sense to me and I thought I would share. Over the years, I have always admired Liana’s wonderful stories for her paper doll outfits. I am trying to branch out a bit in my blog habits, so I would love to know if people like the ideas of forays into fiction.
So, contemporary is the name of the game. (Blame it on September’s wealth of wonderful fashion magazines and my tendency to find drawing from them WAY easier than inventing my own stuff.) I thought I would take a break from my thrilling day of National Novel Writing Month 2014 to share some future Pixie stuff.
The top set is another foray into athletic wear. That trend is still going strong. Not for me, really, I’m much more boho in my attire, but for other people.
So, florals are the focus of the top set. Dark florals are, apparently, a thing for fall. I also keep seeing combat boots are back again. It is truly the return of the 90s. And I am a little afraid.
Below that we have a kinda random collection of clothing. I wanted to do a crop top, but I rather think they look stupid. Anyway, so I did one with a striped skirt (I have a vague feeling I based the outfit on something Taylor Swift wore once.) Anyway, there will be polkadots on the dress and the set will include a lot of black and white.
Tea pots are one of those things which I hate drawing. Somehow, they are a lot harder to draw than one would think. Anyway, I managed to draw one for this paper doll set. I avoid teapots in general.
I also avoid drawing animals, cars and anything involving mechanical parts, particularly gears.
I think accessories are a really fun part of paper doll play. When I was a kid, I had a set called Victorian Cat Paper Dolls and the number of accessories were astonishing. There was even a bed for the youngest daughter of the cat family. I remember painstakingly cutting out every accessory. When I think of that amazing set, I am regretful that I think my own drawing skills limit what sorts of wonderful accessory items I can include. I also think my own imagination limits it. I have trouble coming up with accessory ideas.
Since we have a tea set, there is obviously a tea gown here to go with it. On the right, there is an afternoon dress. I have never felt like I really know what an ‘afternoon’ dress is for. It’s always been my impression that afternoon dresses were dresses one wore when receiving guests, rather than when one was going visiting. Maybe I’m wrong?
What I really need is like an “idiot’s guide to Victorian wardrobes”, so if someone knows of one, totally let me know.
I’m also trying to decide what to do for Hanukkah. Should I do a post a day, like I did last year or should I do a little mini-series? Thoughts?
It has been a while since we’ve had to visit to Greta’s Trousseau. I have had these drawn for a few mnths and it has been taking me a long time to get my act together and sort out the adding of tabs. I loath having to add tabs, but it’s easier to add them than to remove them later for the fashion plates and I do like putting together the fashion plates.
So, in this page of Greta’s ever expanding trousseau, there is a ballgown which also has a more conservative long sleeved bodice. Dresses with two bodices were very common in the 19th century. Most “gowns” of the period are actually a top and a separate skirt. This women’s dress from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has an evening bodice and a day bodice. I imagine that Greta’s dress is more of a “ballgown” and then “dinner-dress” sort of arrangement.
Her traveling attire has two major outfits. One is a pair of bloomers with a blouse and hat for exploring or slightly rough and tumble travel. The other is a crisp traveling suit with a jacket, skirt and gaiters (or really long spats). These pieces can be mixed and matched for other outfit combinations, of course.
In total, this takes Greta’s Trousseau to over fifty outfit pieces and seventeen outfits. Technically, based on my paper doll outfit math than there’s about 1300 outfit combinations, more if you include hats, of course. I don’t actually think most of those outfit combinations make a lot of sense, but it was fun to work out how many existed. Greta’s Trousseau isn’t over, by any means. There are more sporting outfits to be finished (including a really cute croquet dress) and a set of clothing for seaside visits which includes a scuba suit, complete with helmet.
I was inspired by the colors of red and pink snapdragons when I decided on the color scheme for this paper doll set. I ended up relying more on the greens than on the pinks, but I do love the colors of a garden in bloom. I used this stuttershock photo as my color inspiration.
I have sick for the last few days and will be sick for a few more. I’m not in danger, just groggy and easily tired. I fortunately had this paper doll done already or there wouldn’t have been a monday update. What I hate about being sick is that things which aren’t normally exhausting become entirely exhausting.
Going to the grocery store yesterday was an act of heroic difficulty, but I managed and I’m glad I did it. I was getting very stir crazy. (No worries about infecting my fellow shoppers. I’m not contagious.)
I hope everyone enjoys today’s paper doll. I hope to have another Marcus set done for next Monday and then I’ll see where we are with things. I promised someone a majorette paper doll and I want to do my 8 days of paper dolls for Hanukkah, so I need to start building up the backlog for that.