Marisole Monday & Friends Get A Walking Dress from 1880

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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Fashion Plate from 1880 and Things the Scare Me
An 1880s bustle dress for a printable paper doll from

A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1880. Free to print and color from

I am not from the south and while I use y’all, because I have picked it up after five years in below the Mason-Dixon line, I am not a local by any means. Still, there is a saying down here I’ve adopted which goes, “Can’t Never Could.”

In sort, if you say you can’t do something then you won’t try and you are dooming yourself to failure.

One of my long standing “can’t” do things has been drawing 1880s bustle skirts.

I’ve told myself I can’t draw a bustle skirt so many times, that I’ve convinced myself this is true. But I decided I was going to face my fear of 1880s bustle skirts by actually drawing one.

Step 1 was finding a fashion plate at the same angle as the paper doll to practice with. After a bit of hunting, I found this plate from 1880.

Next step was doing a draft on cheap lined paper and then doing a final on my nice sketchbook paper.

I’m actually very pleased how it came out. I might even try another one or two, but I have to find another fashion plate at just the right angle.

Not having to rotate something in my head really makes drawing it easier.

I have been thinking about trying the dress on the left of this plate, but rotating the plate before I print it so it is facing the right direction for Marisole Monday lady paper dolls. I prefer to draw from printed images rather than digital ones.

So, how did I do? Should I work on more 1880s stuff? Or is this a period that you’re not to keen on? Let me know in a comment.

Want to see sketchbook drafts of this dress? There’s up on Patreon. Join to check it out! And, you know, help keep the blog on the interwebs.

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  1. You should be very pleased with this. It’s just gorgeous! I’m not sure what I like best 🙂 The silhouette is great, the pleats are very nice, the color choices are (as usual) amazing, and that hat is adorable. Really, really nice!

  2. I love the dress, especially the pleats. But even more do I love these posts, where you share your process. Non-artist types like me tend to think that art just pops out of the artists’ brains, perfect from the start. These posts drive home the point that art is work.

  3. those double-breasted jackets are always fabulous and i love the dickie/falsefront at the neck.

    i found that studying bustle DE-construction really helped me understand how the fabric is draped. this dress has an upward foldover gather toward the back from a diagonal drape. the “tail” is part of the gather.

    can you tell i’ve spent too much time deconstructing 19th century clothes?

    : o p

    if you ever have a chance to work with stage costumes, it’s the best!

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