Sweet Lolita Valentine’s Day

A Valentine's Day inspired Lolita paper doll outfit.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
In the world of Lolita fashion (which is a street fashion from Japan), the outfits are called coordinates. This references the extreme level of coordination each outfit entails. Unlike in contemporary US fashion where “matchy-matchy” isn’t a good thing, Lolita fashion encourages thematic dresses.

A strawberry coordinate, therefore, might not just have a dress with strawberries on it, but strawberry purse, cardigan, shoes, tights and a color matched wig.

This is, in fact, part of what I find so charming about Lolita fashion.

So, today’s Valentine’s Day paper doll outfit is a heart based coordinate. I could have also done a card, letter based coordinate, but I wasn’t that creative.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Sweet Lolita is today’s theme which is a Lolita style that most folks are most familiar with. Lots of pastel and things. I chose to draw a JSK (jumper-skirt) over a white blouse. Initially, I thought about making these pieces separate, but as it turned out that didn’t work very well from a paper doll engineering standpoint.

Specific Source Images: This JSK (jumper-skirt) from Angelic Pretty. This purse from MILK.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Lolita Fashion Paper Dolls & More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: Lolita brands like Angelic Pretty, millefleurs, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, and metamorphose temps de fille

Last Thoughts

If you really like all things Lolita, I’ve done two other sets for the Jewels and Gemstones. One in Sailor style and one in Qi Lolita for my Patrons.

Tomorrow there will be a classic Lolita set (another genre in the Lolita world) and that’ll wrap up this week.

My Version of the Innocent Pierott

A Pierrot inspired paper doll costume to print and play with.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
Pierrot is a stock character of pantomime and commedia dell’arte, a semi-improvised form of Italian masked theater that had a huge impact on the arts of Europe. It’s one of the oldest forms of clowning. And by clowning, I don’t mean the sort of half-decent party clown, I mean the highly difficult art form that often requires actors to wear masks, do acrobatics and be funny- all the same time. Respect clowns. It’s a darn hard art form.

Pierrot developed in the late seventeenth-century, making him a younger stock character than most of the other stock male characters in commedia dell’arte. Interestingly, Pierrot has evolved over the years. He started out as a naive buffoon, pining after the beautiful Columbina, but inevitably losing out to Harlequin (another stock character) and never learning his lesson. Over time though, the sort of innocence of Pierott became seen as a sympathetic character.

Interestingly, Pierrot is also heavily featured in artwork. Often see as representing the innocence of the artist in the cruel unforgiving world. It also helps, not doubt, that his traditional outfit is so distinct- white face, white smock, loose white pants. I love how the costumes of commedia dell’arte stock characters are so distinct. You know immediately who is who which was, one should note, kind of the point.

One of these day’s I’ll do Harlequin or Columbina, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Obviously, today’s Pierott inspired outfit is based on Pierott’s traditional outfit of white smock, loose white pants, fluffy buttons, hat and ruff around his neck. I modified it, obviously, but that’s the basic theme. Sometime around the 1920s, Pierott’s costume added black to the white. You don’t see it much before that. There’s also some gender-bending in that era where you see very feminine Pierott images appearing. So, my lady costume for Pierott isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility.

Specific Source Images: Paul Legrand as Pierrot circa 1855, this Pierott costume and this 1920s Pierott

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Renaissance Inspired & More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: Wikipedia’s long article on Pierott. Quick Overview of commedia dell’arte, & TV Tropes nice overview of Stock Characters in commedia dell’arte.

Last Thoughts
A few of my favorite Pierott’s in art include- Schwarzer Pierrot from 1908 by Fritz Erler, Pierrot & Arlecine (Harlequinn) from 1914 by Russian artist Alexandre Jacovleff, and Self-portrait as Piero from 1911 by Zinaida Serebriakova. If you’re interested in checking out a few more of the clown.

I actually have a strange affection in  my heart for masked theater. If you can actually find some that is well done, it’s a really fascinating art form. I digress.

My Friday Patreon outfit is also theater inspired, but in a more circus sense. Join us on Patreon if you’d like to check it out. Support through Patreon is what keeps PTP around.

Do you like clowns? Do they freak you out? (No shame if they do.) I personally am cool with clowns (and have known a few), but I admit that the sterotypical clown outfits do nothing for me.

Patterned Renaissance Fantasy Dress in Teal

A fantasy dress inspired by Renaissance designs with an elaborate pattern of birds and flower for the Jewels and Gemstones. Available in black and white or color.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I would probably draw nothing but fantasy dresses for quite some time and never get bored, because there’s so much history to fashion to dip into a try. People have been wearing clothing for pretty much, well, ever. So, it’s a huge deep pool of neat stuff to pull ideas from.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Today’s paper doll gown is very much a renaissance inspired gown, though it’s not historically accurate in anyway. By the way, the dress is really close to Italian renaissance styles which the high waist and the split sleeves that show off the shift underneath.

Specific Source Images: I didn’t really look at anything while I was drawing it (the perk of spending so much of my free time collecting clothing images), but if you’re interested in similar styles here’s a few options: This gown, this gown and this gown.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Renaissance Inspired & More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet:Actual Renaissance Dresses from Italy look different than this one. Here’s a few: this one , these ones or this one.

Last Thoughts
I love drawing super detailed pattern motifs, like the one above, until I am coloring them. While I am coloring them a little piece of me cries and cries and wonders what I did it. Such a pain to color!

Despite that, I chose to color this twice. No really! There’s a second blue version over on my Patreon page that anyone can see and download.

Meanwhile, I’d love to hear which version you like better. This teal version or this blue version?

Regency Fashion Week: Walking Dress

An 1817 walking dress design taken from a fashion plate in the Lady's Magazine for the printable paper dolls I create. There's a matching bonnet, boots and bag.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
Okay, so I know I’m not supposed to have favorites, but I do. And this Walking Dress was one of my two favorite dresses I drew for Monday’s Regency paper doll.

My other favorite is a morning dress that is going up for my Patrons on Patreon on Friday.

Today’s walking dress was a form of half-dress, for those keeping track, which means we’re really only missing undress (the more informal of options), but if you’re a Patron, one of those will be up Friday.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Occasionally, I see something I just want to draw it. That was what happened with this amazing fashion plate. I was in love the moment I saw it. I was a little worried about the ruff at the neck, but I think it came out okay.

Specific Source Images: This Dress from 1817, these boots from the London Museum & this bag from the Met.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Regency Fashion Paper Dolls & More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: The London Museum (where the fashion plat and the shoes came from), A Nice Collection of Fashion Plates from Candice Hern, & A Quick Primer on Regency Fashion

Last Thoughts
If you’re super observant, you might notice that the cuffs on this dress are the same as the cuffs on the day dress. This cuff style was super popular. When you see a style popping up on multiple garments, it’s usually evidence that people were into it.

Friendly reminder that if you want to see a morning dress tomorrow, join us on Patreon. 2 dollars a month gets you an extra paper doll dress every Friday.

So, which dress this week has been your favorite? Personally, I’m a big fan of today’s dress. Let me know in a comment.

Regency Fashion Week: Day Dress

A paper doll dress inspired by the regency era- it's a printed cotton dress from 1810 with a bonnet and shoes. The historical paper doll clothing is free to print and play with.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
There’s a perception that the Regency era was all white dresses, white stockings and white shoes. Never mind the fact that there is still mud in the 1800s and there’s not the kind of laundry capacity we have now. I knew I wanted to do a richly colored day dress in patterned cotton.

Day dresses were a form of undress or half-dress (as I mentioned yesterday). This dress is a more middle class style and certainly casual. Printed cottons were very popular in the era and this color is called Turkey red. The “turkey” part of the name refers to the country of Turkey, not the bird.

Her bonnet is a bit earlier than the dress- it’s a soft sort of style that was super popular before 1810 and then seems to fall out of fashion a bit for harder stiffer styles. I have one of those bonnets for tomorrow.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
The dress’s silouhette comes from this gown from the V&A Museum. The print on the dress and the colors are from this swatch from Ackermann’s Journal. That was a fashion journal that included pasted in fabric/paper swatches.

Specific Source Images: These stockings, these shoes, this dress, this bonnet (bottom left) and this fabric.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Regency Fashion Paper Dolls and More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: Turkey Red from Wikipedia and Another Nice Regency Dress Overview

Last Thoughts
One of the challenges though of working in historical clothing is that I don’t know what would be considered “tacky”. Would it be tacky to combine blue stockings with green shoes and a red dress? Is this too much color? How would a woman of this period actually feel about this combination? I have no idea.

I just noticed there’s a tiny coloring error in this set. How embarrassing! I’ll get it fixed when I can. Probably not this week though (this week is a bit crazy).

I’m not planning to do a mourning dress, but how cool are these mourning dress fashion plates? I always think of the obsession with mourning clothing being a Victorian thing, but here’s the early stages.

So, what do you think of today’s dress? Love it? Hate it? Wish it was white? Let me know in a comment.

Regency Fashion Week: Evening Gown Circa 1818

A golden yellow regency ballgown for the printable paper dolls with matching bag and gloves. Free to print in color or black and white for coloring. Great history activity for homeschooling.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
This is the first day of gown for the Regency paper doll I posted on Monday. Part of why I made this the first gown is that the shoes that go with this dress are with that Regency paper doll.

In the world of Regency clothing, there were three forms of dress- undress, half-dress and full-dress. Undress was most casual. Full-dress was most formal. Half-dress goes somewhere in the middle, but isn’t as easily defined. There’s a nice overview on Full-dress here.

Ballgowns, like today’s paper doll dress, were definitely full-dress. They were also really really low cut. So low cut, in fact, that I had to make the neckline higher to cover the stays I created. Sometimes, I kinda wonder how ladies stayed in these dresses before the era of fashion tape. I mean, one wrong move and you’d be flashing everyone at the party.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
When I planned out my Regency fashion week, I knew I’d need a ballgown. And I love regency era ballgowns. I think they are so pretty! I chose a gown from 1818 in a rich gold color to illustrate and I accessorized with the required over the elbow gloves and a small bag which I’m not sure is really an accessory a women would have carried.

Specific Source Images: This Dress from 1818 and this bag.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Regency Fashion Paper Dolls and More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: A great Full-Dress overview,A Nice Collection of Fashion Plates from Candice Hern, & A Quick Primer on Regency Fashion

Last Thoughts
I think I always picture the Regency as being nothing but white clothing, but really I kept seeing this rich yellow. I love color! So, any excuse to use it.

I want to give a shout out to my Patrons without whom the blog wouldn’t be around. Thank you to all of them. Join up if you’d to get extra paper doll content & support the blog.

What do you think of today’s ballgown? Your style or not? Let me know by leaving a comment.

Regency Fashion Week: Amethyst with her Regency Underwear

A beautiful curvy paper doll with her regency period underwear based on primary sources. This regency paper doll has three pairs of shoes and several dresses forthcoming. You can print her in color or black and white for coloring.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
This is the first day of Regency Fashion Week. I am so psyched. I’ve been wanting to do historical clothing for the Jewels & Gemstones since the beginning. There’s this myth that in the past everyone was super hot and skinny (I blame Hollywood). I chose Amethyst as the model for this clothing, because there’s also this myth that everyone was white (I blame institutionalized racism).

Technically, the Regency only lasts from 1811 to 1820 in England. That’s just 19 years. However, the styles we think of as “Regency” stretch from about 1805 through about 1825 when the waist line begins to drop. It lowers steadily through the 1820s before settling at the natural waist around 1828 or so. Personally, I chose the term Regency for this week’s paper dolls, because I think it is the term most people know.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Okay, now we get to get specific. There’s a myth that in the early 19th century women didn’t wear corsets. This is not true. Women totally wore corsets, but since the styles were changing rapidly, there wasn’t a single silhouette. No woman with actual curves wants to not wear some sort of bust support. The corsets (or stays) of this era were generally less boned than those of the 18th century and were short or long, depending on the style. I chose a long set of stays, because I have been told by folks to know more than me, that for bustier women (and the Jewels paper dolls got curves) this is a more comfortable style.

The shift our Regency paper doll wears was adapted from one I found in a museum. Shifts are kinda… not terribly changing garments and I made the sleeves a bit shorter than I think they would have been, so I could accommodate  evening gowns which often had very short sleeves.

One of the quirks of shoes of this era is that a lot probably laced up the ankles, but since the laces are often missing it is hard to tell from photos from museums of they had laces or not. I erred on the side of omitting the laces, but I am not sure that was the right decision.

Specific Source Images:
Stays: This pair from the Met 1811 and this fashion plate from 1813.
Shift: This Shift from the MFA 
Shoes (top to bottom):This pair from the Met from 1812. (I love these shoes so much I’ve drawn them before here).  This pair from the Met circa 1810s. (I made them yellow to match the Evening Gown later this week.) This pair from the Met 1795-1805 (I made them black for more mix and match options). This pair from the Met from 1810 (I put them on the doll and made them not white, which I am kinda regretting now, but oh well…)

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Regency Fashion Paper Dolls and More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: American Duchess on Regency Flats, A Nice Collection of Images of Free People of Color in the Regency from Mary Robbinette Kowal, the Regency Era from Wikipedia & A rare portrait of Marie-Antoinette’s sister-on-law, the Comtesse de Provence, wife of Louis XVIII, from 1810 (a very stylish plus-sized lady, love the crown)

Last Thoughts
I could write so much more on this era and why I chose what I chose for the paper doll, but we’ve got all week for this. I am going to try to space out my thoughts and if I get a bit pedantic than please, be kind. The truth is that I love history and I love historical clothing and I could talk about it for hours.

Regency week happened, because it won the poll I put out for my Patrons (actually Space Princesses surged ahead at the last minute and beat it, but I was already started on the Regency stuff, so Space Princesses will be later). I also chose it, because I really love this era’s clothing (and I have a soft space in my soul for a good Regency era romance novel.)

What do you think? Looking forward to Regency week? Not sure it’s your thing? Do you have a favorite era of historical clothing? Let me know in a comment!