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.
When I was first drawing and prepping content for the new Dames and Dandies series, I made a list of what I thought might be the first nine clothing sets to draw for the new paper dolls. Both my Patrons and folks who follow me on Facebook got to see this list at the top of which was “Winter Big Princess Gown.”
For those of you who don’t know, “big gown” is my short hand for these sorts of full skirted over the top dresses I am fond of drawing. Wenesday’s Valentine’s Day dress is another “big gown”. I just like to draw things with huge skirts, because the size of the skirt allows for layering and over skirts and all sorts of other decorative elements.
It’s hard to draw a super over the top mini-dress. You just don’t have as much room.
So, anyway, I wanted to create a winter princess dress. You know, a sort of over the top, full skirted dress that would feel like the sort of thing a fairy tale princess might wear while wandering through a snow covered landscape. Possibly to meet a prince or possibly just because, she felt like it. Princes need not always be involved.
Today’s winter princess dress is trimmed in fur. The bodice feels a little military influenced, with the trimming, buttons and cuffs. The skirt is three layers. There’s an over skirt, an under skirt and a wide pleated bottom skirt.
The motif on the over skirt is supposed to be a snowflake, but I’m not sure that’s obvious. In fact, the first color scheme had a gold snowflake and it looked more like a star to me. So, I ended up recoloring the whole dress. I was thinking of snowy winter days when I colored this- blue-grey is a color I associate with the winter time.
The first dress I designed was the lily ball gown, but this dress is what turned that dress from just as “this would be fun to draw” into a “oh, I could make this a series”. So, I really think of today’s Beatrix princess paper doll as the inspiration behind the whole week.
When I was planning the Dames and Dandies series, I new I was going to have a stable set of “faces”, but I wanted those faces to have many versions. So, this is Version 2 of Beatrix– The Bellflower Princess Paper Doll version.
Also, huge shout out to my Mom, who when I was describing the flower I was remembering from the garden as a child, recalled the name of it and spelled it correctly enough for me to goggle it. The formal name for bellflowers is Campanula, by the way, which is what she told me.
I just thought Campanula Princess didn’t roll off the tongue as well as Bellflower Princess, hence the name change.
In the order of this princess paper doll design, the dress came first. Once I had it drawn, I wanted a crown and I came up with the idea of the flowers coming out from a pair of buns.
Once I had that idea in my head, I had to figure out how to actually create in a way that would work for someone cutting out the paper doll. So, I drew the hair style and the crown pieces separately.
Than, I used Photoshop to create one version of Beatrix with out the crown and second version with the crown. So, the hair with the crown can be cut out and placed over the hair without the crown.
This also assures that this version of Beatrix can wear a hat without floral crown pieces getting in the way.
I don’t often share my process photos here, because I try to save them for my Patrons. So, if you want to see more images of the raw beginnings of paper doll sets, than donate and join Patreon. I try to post a few “behind the scenes” images every month. I also put them up on Instagram erratically.
I grew up in Alaska. And if there is one thing that is true about Southeast Alaska, it is a super green place. There’s so many trees and foliage and moss. It’s as though the whole forest is shades of green.
Among all these mounds of different green things, there were many ferns. I grew up referring to most of the ferns as fiddlehead ferns, only to learn recently that there are several species that have that common name.
The “fiddlehead” of the fern is the coiled part that develops as the fern is growing.
I wanted to design a men’s suit to go with all the floral theme, but I couldn’t think of a masculine flower. So, instead I found myself reminded that the top a fiddlehead fern looks a bit like the top of a cane.
Once that occurred to me, today’s 18th century inspired men’s suit for a paper doll prince was born. It’ll fit the C Pose paper dolls, FYI.
Yeah, I confess my brain works in strange ways sometimes.
The fiddlhead ferns trim his cutway coat, decorate the cane and his crown. Full blooming ferns decorate the sleeves. The shapes on the edges of fern leaves echo the trim on the vest. The colors of ferns inspired the green color scheme.
I mean, I could hardly make a “fiddlehead fern suit” and then turn it bright red.
Also, I should add, that fiddleheads are edible and are quite tasty sautéd with butter and garlic. On the other hand, what isn’t tasty sautéd with butter and garlic? I think I would eat shoe leather if it was covered in enough butter and garlic.
This suit was designed, of course, for the C Pose dandies and goes with yesterday’s lily ball gown. I don’t draw a lot of prince paper doll clothing, so I had fun designing this suit and crown for a paper doll prince, or king, I suppose.
It feels at this time of the year as though Spring will never come. The weather in Alabama has been unusually cold and while I try to look at the bright side (fewer bugs), it has been a long grey winter. So, let’s look at paper doll clothing inspired by flowers.
This whole week will be devoted to the floral fantasy ball. Today, we have a Lily ballgown for the A pose paper dolls. Wednesday will be a Fiddlehead Fern inspired suit for the C pose gents. Friday Beatrix will debut as the bellflower princess with her own paper doll princess dress.
I love lilies. There were a bunch of yellow and orange lilies that grew by the door of our house when I was child. My mother is a wonderful gardener, but nothing else would grow in that corner. Those lilies grew there when we bought the house. As far as I know they are still there.
I wanted this paper doll princess dress to be elegant. It was also a chance to practice drawing lillies. I didn’t want the paper doll dress to feel to bridal, so I chose a rich color. It started out as purple, but I changed it to teal once I realized I was going to end up with two purple dresses if I kept it purple.
Anyway, to talk about the paper doll gown, I wanted to design this gown for weeks. I originally doodled it out in my notebook and I knew I wanted to make it a huge skirted sort of ballgown. The crown was partly inspired by something sort of Art Nouveau. Hop over to the Patreon page to see the original thumbnail doodle I did of this gown and the subsquent sketchbook pages.
As I mentioned Wednesday, my initial plan was to start with this set for the Pose C paper doll guys, because I figured- All the guys I know wear jeans.
But then I also thought, ‘Jeans are kinda boring’
And that thought won out. So, here are the jeans and basic tops. I figure the guys of pose C (or guy of Pose C, as there is only Changrui at the moment) can wear these to hang out with friends, go to the bar or on a casual date. The shirts are all based on things I’ve seen college students wearing.
I have no idea what is fashionable for men these days, so I tend to rely on college student observation. I suspect college students tend towards the casual, so if I decide to draw some suits for the guys I’ll have to do some more research.
The fact is that most men’s clothing in the last 50 years has changed in nuance, not substance. The width of the tie worn with a suit. The shape of the trousers. The presence or lack of a hat. These are the things that define men’s clothing.
It’s all much more subtle than most changes to ladies clothing, but perhaps I only say that because I lack the practiced eye to analyze it. Something worth thinking about, I suspect.
Any way, I am pretty satisfied with these jeans and I like the t-shirts. When I think of playing with paper dolls, I am reminded that they need basics as much as they need exotic options.
One of the ironies of my working style is that I somehow end up with lots of paper doll content that ends up posting way out of season. Shorts in the winter cold are not at all uncommon in my paper doll world. However, since I drew all these outfits for the next few weeks in December, I felt wonderful about posting some honest to goodness winter clothing in January.
It’s been so chilly these last few weeks in the South. I’m not used to it threatening to freeze so much here. I’m keeping my heat on when I leave the house and a faucet dripping. I would leave my under-sink cabinets open, but my cat is very curious and I worry she’d get into the cleaning supplies I keep down there. These are the choices one makes when one has a cat, I suppose.
So far, no pipe problems. It is warmer this week than it was last week and cold weather kills off the bug population, so I am trying to be positive about the whole thing. Meanwhile, I’ve broken out my wool coat, gloves, boots, scarf and hat.
The B Pose paper dolls have done the same with today’s outfit. One fur collared coat, a pair of boots, long sleeved t-shirt and jeans. For truly cold places, you can imagine the jeans are lined in flannel. I really do enjoy drawing coats and I should do more of them, I think.
There’s an alternative version of today’s paper doll outfit over on the Patreon page for anyone to download if they like. While you’re there, consider becoming a patron. It helps pay for the blog’s server costs and such.
It’s hard to know with what paper doll dress to start a new paper doll series. It’s full of both excitement and worry. I decided to make the first outfit in the series a classic fantasy gown design. It’s actually the first gown I drew for the new series after I had the dolls finished, so I suppose it is a fitting place to begin.
I picked a rich dark blue as the primary color scheme for the gown with red and ocher. It should come as no surprise that her accessory is a book. I do love drawing books for my paper dolls. It’s the librarian in me. The garters are very decorative and I don’t know how practical they would be, but they do look nice.
Inspiration wise, the fantasy gown design owes a little to the 12th century dresses like the bliaut, but there wasn’t a specific gown I based today’s dress off of. If you’re not sure what a bliaut is, than picture the stereotypical medieval dress and you’re pretty much there. Historical bliaut’s were more loose and less fitted.
Today’s design probably owes more to Victorian interpretations of the bliaut like the one in The Lady of Shallot by Waterhouse or The Accolade by Edmund Leighton than actual 12th century bliauts. It’s astonishing to me, sometimes, how much the visions of the medieval era are shaped by the romantic paintings of the Victorians (and, to be technical, the Edwardians as Waterhouse was later.)
Meanwhile, I’ve got an alternative color scheme for today’s gown over on the Patreon page for my patrons to check out. Join if you’d like to support the blog!
As always, I would love to hear what you think in a comment.
This is the first post of the new series, Dames and Dandies. I really should be calling it the only paper doll series, but we’ll stick with new paper doll series for now.
There will be three poses for these printable paper dolls. This is the A Pose. There will also be a B Pose. And a guy paper doll pose called the C pose. Right now, we’re starting with the A pose. Wednesday and Friday, I will be posting clothing for the A pose and then next Monday I’ll post the first doll in the B pose series.
C pose guy paper dolls will post the week after that. Nice and alphabetical, you know? Also right now, I have more guy content than either the A or the B pose ladies. Weird… that has never happened before in my paper dolling life.
This is Alice. She is the first of the A pose dolls and this is the first version of Alice. Other Alice versions will, I suspect, follow. In fact, I already have a few in process so… not only do I suspect it, I know it to be true.
While I would love to switch to a daily updating schedule, I just don’t think there’s really very sensible with my graduate school classes starting up again in a few days. So, right now, the blog will update Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.
And so, it begins… 🙂
Feel free to ask me any burning questions you may have or even just non-burning ones. The truth is that I might not have an answer yet, but I do want to hear everyone’s thoughts and concerns.