One of my goals of 2018 was to try to do a paper doll for each of the major holidays. I missed Purim, but I have gotten most of them so far. Today’s paper doll is to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I have only drawn one other St. Patrick’s Day paper doll, so here’s my second one ever.
As many of you know, St. Patrick’s Day is the feast day for St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick was a fifth-century Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. It’s said that he used the clover to illustrate the concept of the trinity (father-son-holy ghost) and that he banished the snakes from Ireland. Interestingly enough, the earliest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States happened in Boston in 1737 and in New York in 1762. That means that the holiday was being observed in the United States before there even was a United States.
Anyway, I had planned to do a St. Patrick’s Day outfit like I did for Valentine’s Day, but then it occurred to me that I didn’t have a redheaded paper doll yet and something about a redhead for St. Patrick’s Day just made sense. So, I did a full St. Patrick’s Day paper doll and an outfit. I named this new B Pose face Bridget, after the other patron Saint of Ireland, and she has jeans, sneakers and a clover t-shirt. She can, of course, wear any of the B Pose clothing, but she has a different skin-tone from Benedita or Beatrix.
I hope anyone celebrating tomorrow has a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! I’ll probably be having a quiet day at home. Does anyone have neat St. Patrick’s Day plans? Let me know in a comment.
Since yesterday, I shared Alice in her 18th century undies, it seemed only fitting to share an 18th century paper doll dress today.
In the 18th century, there were two major dress styles (along with countless variations, but these are the two biggies). They were the Robe à la Française and the Robe à l’Anglaise. Both styles consisted of an open robe with a petticoat. The stomacher, used to fill in the upper part of the robe, and petticoat could either match the dress or be in a contrasting style. The two styles are distinguished by the backs of the dresses. The Robe à la Française has pleats in the back that fall loose from the shoulders (see this example) while the Robe à l’Anglaise has those pleats stitched down into a more fitted style (see this example). The Robe à la Française was also called the a sack back or sacque back gown.
As fashion tends to do, the Robe à la Française began it’s early existence as an informal lose garment and became increasingly complex as the years went on. Today’s 18th century paper doll dress is a Robe à la Française based on this example from the Met Museum circa 1770. The original is made from scrumptious white on white imported Chinese silk. But, given the constraints of my art style, I decided to go with a rich deep red instead for today’s 18th century paper doll dress.
The hat is earlier than the dress dating from 1760. It is based on this one. Her shoes, or mules, are based on this pair from LACMA. Those wooden soles look really uncomfortable to me. I have no idea if it was at all likely to have your garters match your shoes, but since I could I thought, ‘why not?’
This gown is designed to fit over 18th Century Alice’s underwear and hoops. I would recommend adding a floating tab to the back of the skirt if needed, as it is very wide.
I love costume history and the 18th century is a favorite era of mine. I wanted to design an 18th century paper doll and I chose Alice as the model. Because of the paper doll’s historic underwear, she won’t be able to wear all the A Pose clothing. I made the decision that I was more concerned with having period underwear than with having versatility.
So, what underwear is she wearing? Well, Alice is wearing a shift, a strapless set of stays (like these or these) and has a pocket tied around her waist (like this or this). She also has a separate set of hoops. I based them on this set of hoops from LACMA. Hoops were only worn with the most formal of gowns in the 18th century, so they won’t fit under all the 18th century paper doll gowns I ever draw.
If you look at enough pairs of mid-18th century shoes, they do start to flow together at after a while. I could literally link to dozens that are in the same basic style as Alice’s brown shoes, her red shoes and blue shoes with pattens. Here is one example, here is another and here is another. The differences come from the shape of the toe and the heel.
By the 1780s, other styles were coming into fashion. So, her brocade shoes are based on this pair from 1785 from Historic New England. By the 1790s, shoes that look more like modern kitten heels had taken over like this pair.
Her blue shoes have attached pattens, which were leather and wood oversoles meant to protect the shoes from the muck and mud. This set was my main inspiration, but here is another example of the same idea.
Historic hairstyles are a challenge for me every time. I’m still learning enough to illustrate them properly, but for today’s 18th century paper doll I really wanted to draw something that was as not too over the top. I used my historic hair style books and portraits, including this one, this one and this one. I could have gone gray with her hair, but I just didn’t really like how it looked.
Wednesday, there will be a gown for today’s 18th century paper doll version of Alice.
Confession: I can’t show off any C pose stuff, because I don’t have any in progress. I’m working on some, but it’s not yet ready for sharing. Instead, I have some B pose progress images from Photoshop files of what I have been working on.
First up is this fantasy outfit. I’m not sure about the color scheme. I think it needs some tweaking. So, you can expect that to change a bit, but the outfit was fun to draw and I think feels a little kaftan like.
Just like I’ve been working on historical 18th Century Alice, I’ve also been working on a 1930s Benedita and a 1940s Beatrix. So, here are two 1930s outfits. Both are from sewing patterns. I love the sleeves on the dress on the right. Very period and very over the top.
So, next week we’ll be back to paper dolls with 18th century Alice for at least two days of the week (maybe three, depending) and then we’ll go from there. I hope everyone has enjoyed WIP week and it has allowed me to get a lot of paper dolling done.
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There’s still a bit of a learning curve going on with the Dames and Dandies paper dolls. I’m still trying to sort out how many pieces I need to “make” a post and what works best for each pose. Pose B, for example, is better for showing off shoes and trouser details. Pose A, for example, I think is more historical feeling. Pose C is my only guy.
The first image is a sci-fi mix and match set. I settled on six pieces for the set. With two bottoms, three tops and one pair of shoes, there’s at least six different outfit combinations. I hope this feels like enough when I get to the layout stage.
Next there is a set of armor over a gown. I originally planned this design for the Sprites, but I never posted it or finished it for that matter. So, I redesigned it for the B Pose Dames. I might re-design the guy version for the Dandies, but I wasn’t as in love with it.
The second image is more of the sci-fi set. Then there’s a classic medieval inspired fantasy gown and a 1945 sundress. I designed a 1940s Beatrix version and I decided I needed at least two dresses to make a post and I needed an extra one. So, this fixes that set.
I had a plan. It was a good plan. However, it involved finishing the paper dolls shown below and I was very close. Very close.
Until I realized this evening that I had not saved the files correctly and I would have to redo several hours of layout work. I realized I just wasn’t going to get that done tonight and had nothing to post.
A solution presented itself in the form of a suggestion from a friend for “WIP week.” WIP stands for work-in-progress. This is my chance to share some WIP images from my computer and sketchbook. Plus, it’ll also give me a chance to “wip up” some backlog.
(Sorry, I love puns.)
Okay, so I’ve been working on these paper dolls with historical undergarments. This is Alice in some mid-18th century underwear. She’s wearing a chemise, stays, pocket, stockings and shoes. There’s also a set of hoops and three pairs of shoes.
One dress will be red in pleated and there maybe a second color scheme. I based this robe à la française on this gown from 1770. This dress is designed to fit over the doll and her hoops. It’s a very formal gown from 1770 and I had a lot of fun with the pleating.
I had thought about posting two versions of Alice, one with period underwear and one without, so she could wear jeans and such. In the end, I decided that I was just making my life “too complicated” and it made more sense just to post the period undies version. Of course, the 18th century gown will work on any of A pose paper dolls, but the Alice 18th century doll won’t be able to share all the A Pose clothing.
That might be more detail than you wanted to know. Wenesday there will be some photos from my sketchbook and on Friday I’ll share more progress images. Hopefully, this week will give me some time to get my backlog back in order and so we’ll be strong through the end of March and beyond.
Today’s version of Benedita, my Latina paper doll, has a formal hair style and an evening gown inspired by a design from Marchesa. Marchesa’s designs are usually elaborate and romantic. I simplified the gown a bit, bit kept the intense lime green color. Some of Marchesa’s stuff is a little too embellished for my taste, but I loved the drape of this gown.
I went back and forth on the shoes, but ended up deciding that one pair of black shoes and one pair of white shoes would be the most versatile for future designs. I try to think about what increases the play-ability of a set. Plus all of the Benedita dolls will have the same skintone, so Benedita 2 here can share shoes with Benedita 1.
Eventually, there will be a Benedita 3 (she’s already in progress and going to be a 1930s historical version).
Really what I wanted with version 2 of Benedita was to have a dramatically different doll than I created in version 1 of Benedita.
I have no idea how convoluted this will get when I’m at like Benedita 12 or something, but I’m up for it.
Meanwhile, I hope everyone has a super great weekend. This has been a crazy busy week, but I am hoping for a quiet weekend of drawing paper dolls. Frankly, I’m kinda out of content, so I really do need to get some things done. However, the things in progress are pretty cool (I think) and feature a lot of historical content.
When I first started the Dames and Dandies series, I made a list of some of the things I knew I needed to draw for them. A sort of wish list of sets that I knew I would want, because I try to draw a diverse variety of styles and sets.
One of the things towards the top of the list was to create what I think of as “classic fantasy” attire for all of the poses. To me, classic fantasy is sort of quasi-medieval looks with tunics for men and long gowns for women. Lots of solid colors and boots, maybe a sword or two.
In short, the think of Tolkien inspired stuff that tends to be classic when you imagine fantasy clothing.
There’s an additional color scheme for today’s paper doll on my Patreon page.
Today, I am pleased to share version 2 of Akiko whose rocking a Sweet Lolita dress and ringlet curls. For those of you not aware of the Japanese alternative street style known as Lolita, here’s a brief run down- It’s a alternative fashion style from Japan- think Gothic fashion or Punk fashion in the United States and the UK. According to Lolita the influences are Victorian children’s clothing. As someone whose seen a lot of Victorian children’s clothing, I don’t quite agree, but you can decide for yourself if you want by looking through my Lolita Fashion pinterest board.
One thing I adore about Lolita is that it is not just about the dresses. Rather, the idea is to put together a “coordinate” which is a perfectly coordinating outfit from the tights to the dress to the bonnet. This is not surprising given that this style came from the country that developed a system of colors and motifs for kimonos based on the seasons when they were to be worn. Talk about matchy-matchy.
For my first Dames and Dandies foray into Lolita (and not my last, never fear) I went with Sweet Lolita, though there is a Gothic Lolita variant on my Patreon page that I hope you will download and play with as well. I tried to capture the bell shaped skirt and I designed what is known as a JSK (Jumperskirt) which is a sleeveless dress designed to go over a blouse. I made 2 matching pairs of shoes and one purse.
So, I did my usually research hunt for reference photos when I started my latest Lolita fashion paper doll. My previous favorite fashion blog devoted to Lolita, F Yeah Lolita has not updated in a long time. So, I dusted off my librarian searching skills and found a few new ones that I really liked. Magical Girl Me, Lolita Fashion on Tumblr and Miss Carol Belle’s Lolita Fashion Sewing and Pattern Advice all appear to be currently active, if you’re looking for more information on Lolita styles. I also had fun reading through Lolita Tips. Reading through that led me to the amazing Loli Library where I think I could easily get lost for hours staring at pretty dresses.
So, let me know if you like this Sweet version or the Gothic version better in a comment. I’d love to know! And if there’s a great Lolita fashion blog I don’t know about, I’d like to know that too!
Date night was our agreed upon February theme. I was kinda not sure where to go with it. I first planned to draw a fancy evening gown, but how many of us wear that on an average date night? I certainly don’t!
Missy drew the base and her paper dolls often have a very anime style. I think this has been influencing me. I kept thinking about whimsical cute pieces as I was designing these date night paper doll clothes.
I had a bunch of fun designing her wig. It might end up needing a floating tab, so you may need to add one. I didn’t draw one, but I am thinking maybe I should have. Oh well, these things happen.