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.
Some new post-apocalyptic designs for the B Pose Dames to match the designs I did for the C Pose Dandies. I had a lot of fun with these, though like a lot of my post-apocalyptic stuff, they are not terribly practical. Still I never let practicality get in the way of my paper doll designs.
I love fashion magazines, particularly People Style Watch, because it has really clear clothing photos that make it super easy to draw paper doll clothing based on the styles.
Yes, I judge fashion magazines on how easy it is to draw paper dolls based on their photos.
Anyway, one of the things I enjoy in the fashion magazines is seeing what is considered trendy in any given season. This winter two big trends have been sleeve details, folkloric florals and embroidered jeans. I love embroidery, so I am not at all upset about this trend.
Today’s A Pose paper doll clothing covers all these trends. There’s a bell sleeved sweater, a folkloric printed skirt and a pair of embroidered jeans. To accessorize each outfit, I also added a pair of ankle boots. The pattern on the jeans is based on traditional crewel embroidery designs. I’ve always loved crewel embroidery.
It’s one of those things that I feel like if I had time, I would want to learn how to do. I never seem to eke out the time to do it, though.
(Also, because I was curious, the phrase “eke out” dates back to the 1590s and means to “extend or make last longer.” Who knew it was that old?)
Anyway, this is the first contemporary fashion set for the A Pose girls dames.