Flora, A Regency Paper Doll: Her Chemise and Petticoat

Flora is a paper doll based on wooden dolls of the Regency era. She has underwear in this plate. She's free to print and color.

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So, I am a little late with this post. I had planned on putting her up last night, as I usually do, but ended up spending more time working on homework then I’d originally planned. After that, I put in some time studying my Latin and crashed early. No paper dolling time really at all. So, I got up early the next morning, finished my Latin homework and then had enough time to prep the images, but not enough time to post. Annoyed more then anything else, I went to Latin, went to work, went to dinner and now, finally, have gotten home.

With a slight delay, I am pleased to introduce Flora, my new regency paper doll and yes, her name was chosen because it was alliterative. Don’t judge me for my adoration of alteration. The paper doll is based on wooden dolls of early 1800’s. Her body is the same as that of a manikin doll shown in The Complete Book of Doll Making and Collecting which contains many photographs of antique dolls. The hair style was adapted from a wooden tuck comb doll though without the comb since it would make bonnets difficult.

Her full slip is based on illustrations from Dress and Undress: A History of Women’s Underwear which is considered to be one of the best works on the topic. I agree that it is fantastic, but I wish it had more pictures. All of the paper dolls underwear designs come from this text which was one of the few that discussed the differences between early 1800’s underwear compared to later when the corset returned. To go with her slip, I have included a simple chemise which was drawn from this one in the Fashion Museum in Bath, England. I adore the Fashion Museum site and wax on about that more on my Research Resources page.

That is all I think I need to say about the paper doll. Of course, if you haven’t all ready done so, you may wish to vote in my poll.

Curves: Angelic Devil

There was a time in my life when I thought I wanted to be a psychologist. I seem to recall even taking a course in the topic or two in college and writing a paper on toys and child development (I know I wrote the paper. I might have written it in a different class). My second- cousin once removed (I think) was a Freudian psycho-analyst long sense retired who took a real interest in my possible choice of career and suggested I read the works of Freud. After about ten pages into them, I decided I didn’t really want to be a psychologist that badly. Never the less, I took away from Freud a certain respect for the discipline and the knowledge of the Super-Ego and the Id. Usually portrayed as an angel and a devil in cartoons, the Id and Superego are both definitely alive and well in pop culture today.

I don’t think anyone has drawn them as a paper doll though.

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Truth be told, I’m not entirely satisfied with this paper doll anyway. The halo and the horns, I don’t know how they would stay on the paper dolls head after she is printed and that kinda bothers me. I try to make sure the paper dolls are actually playable and I know this particular paper doll isn’t. I’m trying to not let it bother me and I’m only mostly succeeding.

Also, I dislike her hair.

But not paper doll is perfect and at least this Curves paper doll is on time.

And there’s a poll. It’s not just about my random curiosity, I can almost promise that the results will be used in deciding what I draw more of… unless I get bored which has been known to happen.

Marisole Monday: Knights and Ladies

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I threw this together on Saturday when I realized I didn’t have a Marisole for Monday. It’s not my best work, but I do love the sleeves on the red dress. I’m working on my ruching (sp?) since I got some books on drawing fashion from the library. So, you can expect to see more of it as I practice. I’m also practicing shiny fabric. Neither has come easily as I thought it would.

I’m trying to stretch myself.

Part of that means trying to draw an actual male who looks like a male rather then like a rather unconvincing woman in drag. The upside is there might be a male paper doll someday. The downside is that that male paper doll might look like a woman in drag. We shall see.

Edit 3/28/2016: There is now a black and white version of this paper doll. Find it here.

Pixie: Yasmine

When I don’t know what to draw for printable paper dolls, I tend to draw formal dresses. I think because formal dresses take up space (I don’t need a lot of them) and I can just kinda be random (which is nice). So, here we have a formal gown sort of post.

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The name “Yasmine” is Arabic/Persian and was later adapted into Jasmine. I’ve always liked it. She’s kinda inspired by this Bollywood film Dil To Pagal Hai (The heart is Crazy) which stars the beautiful Karisma Kapoor who (like our paper doll) has the most amazing green eyes. That’s all I got about that. The only relation to the film, by the way, is that the paper doll and one of the actresses both have green eyes. Anything deeper is just… um… not there.

Curves: Flowers & Ruffles

I’ve always been interested in and concerned with proportion of printed fabric. I blame it on years of making real life doll clothing. I always am concerned my prints are too big to fit my paper dolls properly. Of course, the size of the dolls and the thinness of my pens limit how detailed I can really be (thank goodness), so I am always somewhat limited.

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Recently, I was pawing through fashion shows on style.com (a wonderful source for contemporary designer fashion) and thinking about what I wanted to draw when I cam across Christian Dior’s spring 2009 collection. They were designed by John Galliano, with 17th century Dutch painters serving as the major inspiration. Some of his formal dresses were some of my favorites.

I fell in love with the huge prints on the dresses. The distorted proportions were fascinating and while I don’t think I want to wear a dress covered in tulips the size of my head, I loved that one existed. So, I decided to draw some dresses with giant floral patterns for Curves. After all, why should the skinny models on the runways get to have all the fun?

Among the other things I did for this paper doll was redesign her underwear. While Curves has an illustrious history of wearing her strapless bra and panties (selected mostly because they can easily layered over), I do love undergarments of all eras and I wanted to draw something which might look like it really could support this absurdity of these skirts. Enjoy.

Marisole Monday: Sweater Style

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Usually, I come up with a color scheme for a post and then work it into the costumes. There’s almost always something with a pattern which I can use multiple colors in. Addison (one of the Pixie paper dolls) and Marisole: Wings & Petals are both good examples of this principle at work. However, since there wasn’t any pattern on today’s Marisole and no ways I could imagine incorporating a coherent color scheme, I just sort of picked colors that reminded me of winter and went with them.

Winter always makes me happy, because I means I can break out my gray clothing and not feel guilty about it. Of all the neutral colors in the world, gray is my favorite. It has all the features I like about black, but it’s not black. It’s like a delightful lighter better black (which I rather suppose is the definition of gray).

Update 8/11/2014: This paper doll is now available in black and white for coloring. You can find her here.

Pixie: Gianna

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Pretend there’s an intelligent, complex, remarkable post here. I mean there isn’t… but let’s pretend.

Curves: Goes to Court

The trouble with fantasy dresses is knowing what to call the posts since I usually sort of doodle them when I am bored in class. I doodle a lot in class which shouldn’t surprise anyone. I was inspired partly by regency costumes and partly by the topic of “Relational Diagramming of Databases” which was the class in which I doodled these.

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I don’t think these are the costumes of a princess, but rather of a lady of the court. Someone who is wealthy, but not expected to dress to a certain code. Royal costumes were often symbolic or influenced by ritual attire and needs, so I tend to avoid them unless I can decide what the “rules” were. One of my favorite thing about the costumes of Queen Amidala in the new Stars Wars films (actually, her costumes are the only redeeming feature of those movies) is that they feel like the attire of a queen- ritual and restrictive.

And while I intended this paper doll to symbolize a “Royal Court”, it is totally possible she is actually going to criminal court for having done something like poisoning her husband, or not, depending on how nice you want your paper doll to be.

Marisole Monday: Retro Pin-Up: Sweet

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Today’s printable paper doll is the companion to yesterday’s paper doll. I don’t often do follow-up Marisole’s and I think the last time I did it was for Gothic Lolita paper doll and the Sweet Lolita paper doll… well, actually, there was also both a black and white and a full-color version of Marisole Modern Girl.

Every time I do a two color version, I always swear I won’t ever do it again. It always takes twice as long as I think it will. However, I think it’s kinda fun to play with color and I think people like it, so I keep doing even when I should know better.

Marisole Monday: Retro Pin-Up: Saucy

This paper is sort of a gift for a friend who very much likes retro-vintage styling. Sometimes, when I don’t know what to draw I ask my friends what they think I should draw. This has caused some totally unusable suggestions, but mostly the suggestions are good if a trifle odd. These are the people who can be blamed for my zombie paper doll and my attempt at a Gothic Lolita paper doll, both of which I rather like (the zombie more then the Lolita, to be honest).

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This one came out with a series of suggestions that included Ninja Vs. Pirate (I’m not even sure how I would draw that), superhero (well, actually Batgirl from the 1960’s.. ideally, Batgirl tied up from the 1960’s, but I think this says more about the guy making the suggestion then anything else), and retro-pin-up. Obviously, the pin-up was the easy one.

Unlike many of my vintage costumed paper dolls, this doll has more in common with people’s ideas of what was worn then what was actually worn. I borrowed designs from Pinup Girl Clothing and a few others who I don’t recall. I use online stores a lot when I’m looking for ideas.

EDIT: Since posting this, I have, in fact, drawn a superhero paper doll and Ninja Vs Pirate paper doll.