A cloak, skates and skating outfit for Her Ladyship today.
Sometimes, I think about how liberating ice skating must have been in the 19th century. I think about the insane limitations placed on a lady’s behavior and then I think about ice skating. Socially acceptable and athletic and, probably, very exciting. There weren’t a lot of things you could do as a lady in the old days, but you could ice skate (also ride horses, archery and eventually tennis). I knew, from the beginning, I was going to make Her Ladyship an ice skating toilette.
Here it is… along with a cloak, because everyone needs something warm to wear in the winter time, yes?
By the way, I have no idea how to make that muff actually “work” as a muff. I was going to add a floating tab for it, but I couldn’t figure out where to put a floating tab that would keep it on her arm. So… I dunno. Maybe it’s just the idea of a muff that matters.
Tea pots are one of those things which I hate drawing. Somehow, they are a lot harder to draw than one would think. Anyway, I managed to draw one for this paper doll set. I avoid teapots in general.
I also avoid drawing animals, cars and anything involving mechanical parts, particularly gears.
I think accessories are a really fun part of paper doll play. When I was a kid, I had a set called Victorian Cat Paper Dolls and the number of accessories were astonishing. There was even a bed for the youngest daughter of the cat family. I remember painstakingly cutting out every accessory. When I think of that amazing set, I am regretful that I think my own drawing skills limit what sorts of wonderful accessory items I can include. I also think my own imagination limits it. I have trouble coming up with accessory ideas.
Since we have a tea set, there is obviously a tea gown here to go with it. On the right, there is an afternoon dress. I have never felt like I really know what an ‘afternoon’ dress is for. It’s always been my impression that afternoon dresses were dresses one wore when receiving guests, rather than when one was going visiting. Maybe I’m wrong?
What I really need is like an “idiot’s guide to Victorian wardrobes”, so if someone knows of one, totally let me know.
I’m also trying to decide what to do for Hanukkah. Should I do a post a day, like I did last year or should I do a little mini-series? Thoughts?
So, after a short break last week to share something more Halloween themed, I am pleased to present Her Ladyship’s Summer Dinner Dress and an At Home Gown. I really like both these dresses and had a lot of fun with their patterned sections. Normally, I freehand scrolling floral patterns, like the one on her Summer Dinner Dress, but this time I drew segments and then constructed the pattern in Photoshop. I’m not entirely sure it was a more effective method than free handing it.
Honestly, this week hasn’t been a great one for me health-wise, so I am going to keep this post short and then probably crawl back into bed to sleep more. Sleep is nice and my bed is warm.
Fall always seems to come slowly to Alabama. It’s finally here now and I am very happy with the crispness in the air when I pad out of the house in the morning to drive to work. I enjoy this crispness and it makes me want to bake pies or cookies.
Her Ladyship, on the other hand, is strictly spring based this morning with a Spring frock and a Breakfast Gown. Taking my cues from Victorian dress, the Breakfast Gown would be the least formal sort of dress. I’m not sure about the formality of the Spring Frock. I had fun with the wigs in this set and wigs are some of my favorite things to give a paper doll set. I think every set is more fun with wigs.
I’m still debating if I will post one of these paper doll pages on next Friday or something more Halloween festive. I haven’t got anything ready for Halloween and, unlike Liana who writes wonderful tales about her gowns, I rather don’t have much of a story inspiration. I’m very jealous of the creativity behind the stories behind her paper dolls.
Mine can mostly be boiled down too… “Pretty dress.”
Or in the case of today’s dresses, “Two dresses that I don’t like that much, but posted because they were done and part of the set and I liked the wigs to much to abandon them.”
Not really stirring stuff, but perhaps I get points for honesty.
I remember my surprise when I first found out that archery was considered a socially acceptable sport for women of wealth in the 18th century.
Never the less, women have been doing archery for many years and I wanted to make sure that Her Ladyship had some sporting attire. So, I selected two sports I knew have long been considered “okay” for women of means- riding and archery.
(Plus the Hunger Games gave archery this strange new allure amongst the young folk, or so I am told.)
In page three here, we have the riding habit on the left, complete with hat and a slightly shorter skirt that would have been useful on a horse. I should add that I have never ridden a horse. In fact, horses are huge and they kinda scare me.
Her archery costume was inspired by similar costumes from the Regency period. I don’t know how practical it would be for archery, but I really think practicality is over-rated and paper dolls never complain.
I might be a little obsessed with the wigs. Not confirming that, just mentioning it.
As I know I have mentioned in the past, I just love the idea of having different outfits for different occasions. I want a dinner dress and a visiting costume and a carriage gown.
I simply love the idea of getting to change my clothes several times a day, plus trying to decide what exactly “business casual” means can be very trying. I think if my outfits were labeled than it would make getting dressed in the morning much easier.
Also, it should be noted I am not in anyway a morning person.
So, today in our second page of the mini-series, I am pleased to present a second dinner dress, this one perhaps more formal than last week’s version, and a visiting gown. I really wanted to make these gowns fun to color, so there is a fair bit of pattern in Her Ladyship’s wardrobe. For accessories, today there are two wigs, a choker, a book and a goblet of wine. Well, I think it’s wine, but it could be poison or water or the tears of the innocent. Whatever.
I have realized that I have not given credit where it is due. I was inspired to do this revamp of the Lady of the Manor, because one of my readers named Amy confessed that she had colored six different versions of that set. I remember reading that and thinking… Well, clearly I should do something like that again.
In life, there are certain rules, like stopping at red lights and not stealing library books. One of my rules is: Don’t waste blog content.
In that vein, I’ve decided to make my new fantasy set, Her Ladyship, a mini-series. There will be a new page every Friday until sometime in December. (I haven’t decided if I am going to skip Halloween to post something more festive.)
My plan (though we all know about the best laid plans of mice and men) is that I will post these Friday paper doll updates in addition to my regular two posts a week. For those keeping score, that means three paper doll updates a week.
She’s not a princess, though she may yet marry a prince. Rather, I imagine she is a noble women and she may or may not be married. Her dresses are all based on fantasy versions of Italian renaissance dress and, of course, she has wigs. Only one wig today, but I promise in later pages there are a lot more wigs to be had. Most of the wigs have floating tabs to help keep them on the paper doll’s head.
Thoughts? Opinions? Feelings about my ten week plan? Feel free to let me know.
I think everyone goes through a “drawing creepy things in college” phase.
This paper doll was part of my “drawing creepy things in college” phase. I was obsessed at the time with the Duino Elegies by Rilke. The First Elegy contains what remains my favorite Rilke quote, “Because beauty’s nothing but the start of terror we can hardly bear, and we adore it because of the serene scorn it could kill us with. Every angel’s terrifying.” I memorized the entire first elegy out of the A. Poulin Jr. translation I bought for a dollar at a thrift store in college.
Anyway, this paper doll was inspired by angels (the terrifying kind) and fairies (also the terrifying kind) and so she’s a little dark. She’s up in the Printable Paper Doll Index along with the rest of the random non-series paper dolls I’ve ever posted.
Since it’s the last day in May, this also begins my month long hiatus. I will still be checking in on the blog, and checking my email, but I have conferences and work obligations that are going to make this coming month nearly impossible for my usual update schedule.
I hope that when I return on the first of July, I’ll have had time to make some changes to the site, built up a big of a backlog and be able to continue out the year strong. We’ve had 55 posts over the last five months and I’m quite proud of that. See you all in a month.
My best friend in middle school and in high school and college was a girl with a distinctly punky style. I admired her guts at wearing vynal pants in our small Alaskan town. This was before the days of days of universal internet shopping (we had Amazon and it pretty much only sold books back then), so the school was pretty sedate in style. (Not from desire, as much as lack of access.) Her style, on the other hand, was loud and bright and adventurous. I’ve always admired her for having the gall to go for it when I didn’t.
Since I wasn’t going to actually wear the clothing I admired so much, I made up for it by drawing paper dolls. This was dates from my college years, back in 2005. I remember planning on doing that brick pattern, by hand, for the entire sheet of clothes and then concluding life was way to short. Unlike a lot of my stuff from college, I’m still pleased with this one, though I see a few flaws that I would correct now, except that I want to keep the integrity of my old art.
I have also, quietly, migrated the Dictionary Girls into retired status. The series hasn’t been updated in six months and I hate to leave it hanging as a “possibility” when I know, secretly, that it’s probably not. I do want to have a full figured paper doll series, I just need to think about how to handle it. Having said that, inspiration might strike and they might return. I just don’t want people to think they update often when, in truth, they don’t.
I don’t have very many Asian paper dolls, partly because it took a long time before I was comfortable drawing epicanthic folds, which are a characteristic of many East and Central Asian people, though are by no means exclusive to those groups. There is a huge variety the shape of the epicanthic fold and I never felt like it looked right until I got to grad school and ended up sitting across from a Chinese student for an entire semester. I don’t know what she did to stay awake, but what I did was use her as a model for my first Asian Pixie paper doll, named Zoe. Of course, she didn’t have blue hair or such a huge head, but I digress.
So, the Poll is over, since January is done and a child paper doll won to my own astonishment. So, I’ll get on that. In the mean time, enjoy Madison.