Usually, I try to save my notes as to where I get my fashion plates that evolve into paper dolls, but I forgot this time, I’m afraid. The dress on the left is a promenade costume and the dress on the right is a day or walking dress. I am realizing I haven’t yet drawn gloves for Flora and I should. When short sleeves were standard, the need for gloves was pretty serious. England is not, after all, the warmest country.
So, I’ve got up a new poll, again, largely for my own amusement more then anything else. It’s a question I have always wondered about and now I get to know the answer.
The dress on the left is not based on anything, really, but the one on the right is based on a fashion plate from the Casey Fashion Plate Index. The Casey Fashion Plate Index demonstrates both what I love and what I hate about a lot of library digitization projects. It’s a wonderful resource, but navigating it can be a real chore. And the lack of searching flexibility annoys me. Still, you win some and you lose some in the land of digital print indexes.
I know someone asked for wigs with this paper doll, so here is one. The design is based on illustrations from Corson’s Fashions In Hair which is the seminal text on hair. An absolutely amazing text. And on my wishlist of things I want someday.
Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for a good looking trousseau for a paper doll, but I love this 1940’s paper doll from The Paper Collector. If you’re not a regular reader of The Paper Collector, then you are missing out on daily updates of neat printed paper things from postcards to some dynamite paper dolls. It’s one of my not so guilty pleasures each day.
So, the question on the table should be “How are these regency dresses unlike all other Regency dresses?” and the answer is ‘Because they are from an earlier period.’ (I realize this is kinda a Passover Seder joke and those of you who have never had to sit through one will not be as amused as those who have). The answer is not because we get to recline while coloring them (another Passover joke), but rather the shape of the dresses. At the turn of the 19th Century when it was just beginning (around 1800), the shape of the dress was nearly flat on top with a fair bit of fullness in the bottom though it shifted away from this form fairly quickly.
As the fashion plate from 1800 shows, the shape of these dresses was slightly different in the late 1790’s and early 1800s. The plate I based these costumes on, as well as many others, can be seen in the Claremont Colleges collection. It’s a wonderful collection of fashion plates.
In other news, Erin (who doesn’t have a website I can link, I don’t think) correctly identified my favorite holiday as Purim and therefore as won my contest. Purim is coming up in March (like all Jewish holidays, it starts at sundown and then goes until sunset the next day). There will be a Purim paper doll, I just haven’t decided if I want to make it a Pixie or a Marisole doll or something totally new. Thoughts continue…
Erin, if you could please send me your request (paperthinpersonas(at)gmail(dot)com). I’ll need hair color, eye color, style and anything else you want to tell me. Thank you.
The dress on the left is based on a Hyde Park walking costume, but I think it should be a riding habit since I haven’t seen many very good riding habits from this period. Also, the hat amuses me pretty deeply. The Hyde Park walking costume is a fashion plate from the Casey Fashion Plate Index.
There’s a new-ish paper doll blog called Silent Moonstone which features some darling paper dolls. They sent me a very nice email asking about how I color Marisole and Pixie. The short answer is that I use a combination of Photoshop and a filter called the B-Pelt Filter. Someday, I might make a tutorial with a long answer, but for now that’s how I do it.
Oh, and I suggest people check back on Sunday. There’s something fairly exciting happening here on Sunday. Okay…. I think it’s exciting… no one else might.
This has been a busy week here among the corn. I’ve been working and schooling. I got to listen in on a fascinating lecture about the history of bibles (not the text, but the printing history of the book) and that was amazing. And, of course, I’ve been working on homework and other things while work is very busy. It’s been fun, but hectic.
Neither of these costumes for Flora were based on specific fashion plate. I felt like she needed a spencer jacket (the short jacket) which is such a well known early 19th century garment. It was named for George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer. The story goes he burned the tails off his coat while warming himself by the fire and just decided to cut them off. It seems doubtful this actually happened, but it’s a neat story. Jane Austen’s World blog had somebeautiful photos of spencer jackets. I confess to actually not being a big fan of Austen, but people keep telling me I should reread her novels. I keep telling them I have other things I’d rather read. This is a hard case to make to my good friend who wrote her Master’s thesis on Jane Austen.
So, I just realized I actually have three paper dolls on the site all named Flora (one short run doll, one pixie paper doll and the regency doll) and I don’t even like the name Flora that much… I feel a little like a ditz as a result, but I don’t plan on letting it get to me too much. I mean, all ready pretty much have accepted that I’m a bit spacey (usually I try to blame this on a combination of work, school and everything else).
Today Flora (the Regency one) has a morning dress and a set of short stays. According to Ewing’s book Fashion in Underwear (which is being reprinted by Dover), the short stays were common through 1800 with this example I drew dating from 1790. There was a dramatic drop in the number of stays manufactures in the early 1800s. I always thought stays and corsets were distinctly different objects, but I have recently learned that, according to both Ewing and a few others, that the terms were used interchangeably for most of the 19th century before “corset” survived into the 20th and “stays” stayed (bad pun, I know) in the 19th century.
Her morning dress is based on this illustration from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery which dates from and, of course, she has a cap to go with it. The morning dress was considered undress by the women of the era (there was also full dress and half dress) and was not usually worn outside of the house. It’s a beautiful garment though and the style of sleeve was called the “Juliet Sleeve” which I think is rather romantic and also.. um… does not bode well for the person wearing it.
Also, there’s a new poll. I’m enjoying polls. They take the stress out of decision making. 🙂
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.