Fashion Doll Friday: A Pair of Dinner or Evening Gowns for Flora

So, confession time- I am getting a little sick of the regency period. I think I’ll be spending some time over the next few days doing research and thinking about ending the series. Can I kill two series in like three weeks… is that allowed? I’m just not excited by Flora much right now… Plus she has like 30 costumes which seems a pretty good number…. Though that might just be fishing for an excuse.

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I shall have to give it more thought.

In the mean time, feel free to color and cut out these pretty regency dresses for Flora and, while you’re at it, vote in my current poll. So far I am shocked at the show of support my heavily shadowed paper dolls have gotten. I always thought of them as the black sheep of the blog (and I have the frustration with them that the shadows obscure details, especially on faces), but they’re getting lots of support, though color is winning at the moment. I rather thought it would.

Curves: Tea in the Garden

I almost never sit down to a blank piece of paper with no idea what I am going to draw for the paper dolls. If I did, I think I would draw the same thing over and over again. I can always tell when I’m on “auto-pilot” with my work, even if others can’t.

curves-printable-paper-doll-tea

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However, I’m a little embarrassed to admit the idea of these paper dolls came from a box of tea. It’s not even a type of tea I regularly drink, but I was in the tea isle picking up usual Lemon Ginger tea (which I often drink in the mornings rather than coffee) when I came across the box and I thought, “I think that would make a neat paper doll.”

I never said my mind was a logical streamlined sort of place.

Speaking of my mind, I’ve been thinking a lot about the new Curves series I’m working on. I’ve decided a few things already, but one thing I haven’t decided is color or black and white or shadowed. So, that’s the poll question. I openly confess I might not do what the poll decides, but I’m curious what people think.

Fashion Doll Friday: A Pair of Day or Afternoon Dresses

I usually try to do a lot of research before I draw for Flora, but I wasn’t up for the work today, so I just sort of tossed together these dresses.

I’m not sure I should admit that… hmm….

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For even more black and white paper dolls, I would recommend a new (well, old blog, but new to me) blog I found. Mostly Paper Dolls is a blog devoted to, in fact, mostly paper dolls (and some coloring pages and other things thrown in for good measure). Some of them are beautifully colored by hand, but most are black and white images from old newspaper microfilm. I really like this set from 1922, particularly the girl paper doll with the very period dresses. Perhaps I will color it myself someday… Anyway, if you have a few minutes and you feel like pouring through many pages of black and white paper dolls, I recommend Mostly Paper Dolls highly. The image quality suffers (mircofilm reproduction is usually shoddy, I’m afraid), but the quantity and wonderful variety more then makes up for it.

I’m having fun pouring through her archives, and I suspect others will too. 🙂

Curves: Teatime Dresses

Sometimes, paper dolls don’t come out like you wanted.

I had planned to do some Sweet or Gothic Lolita style dresses, maybe with striped stockings and some neat hats. I really think the heavy shadowed style lends itself well to all things gothic and that was what I wanted to tap into that. Sort of a dark Alice in Wonderland vibe.

curves-tea-time-paper-doll

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I like the doll- I love her hair and I think her face is quite pretty. Both dresses failed to be what I had hoped they would be. I should have redrawn them, but I didn’t want too. I suppose this is part of the reason I am working on a series to replace this one when I stop caring enough to really edit my work it tends to be a bad sign.

For more successful forays into the Lolita-look try Marisole’s Sugar and Spice and Sugar and Spice 2.0.

I’ve been thinking a bit about the request to show more work in progress. It is something I have been wanting to do for a while, I just have trouble scanning pencil and I’m not sure I like how it comes out… I need to give it more thought. I haven’t given up on the idea yet, I’m just not sure how to make it work.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Long Corset and House Dress

regency-long-corset-house-dress

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There is a myth that women gave up corsets in the early 1800’s and that’s just not true. A corset, or stays if you prefer, provides a fair bit of support for women, just like a modern bra. They did, however, alter the look of their undergarments. The long corset on the left is from about 1810, though I have seen similar things cited with later dates. I’m afraid I don’t know enough about women’s underwear in the early 1800’s to be sure.

Flora’s other dress is a basic house dress- something worn for work as much as anything else. I based it off of this dress though I simplified the skirt. I’d like to draw a few shawls, since they were such a standard garment of the day, but I haven’t decided how to do them yet.

Curves: Fairy Tale Princess

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On Saturday, I went to a nearby town, had dinner and then went to the drive in movie. It’s one of the few drive-in’s left in operation. We saw the new X-men movie which was quite uninspired and rather awful (though the actor who played Magneto was really quite stellar, tragically the rest of the cast was not).

Besides which, and this is going to sound nit-picky, but the film is supposed to be set in the sixties. While the men’s clothing was perfectly fine, most of the women were costumed in stuff whose only relation to the fashions of the 1963 was the fact that some had miniskirts (which didn’t really get going until 1966) , with the exception of Emma Frost, who looked a bit like the similarly named Emma Peel. Being a big fan of Emma Peel, I was not about to object.

I’m all for miniskirts, but really…

Of course, I say this while posting a paper doll which has absolutely no relation to any real historical costume what-so-ever. She’s a fairy tale princess. Does she need to be at all historical? I think not. I suppose the same argument could be made for superheros…

Be that as it may, I’m still annoyed by the mini-skirts.

However, I am now thinking about the idea of an Avengers paper doll. Jumpsuits, cut outs… could be an awful lot of fun.

Curves: Goddess on Earth

curves-goddess-on-earth-paper-doll

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I spent a fair bit of time tonight trying to figure out how to spell goddess. I swear that word has too many Ds for my own sanity. It’s quite late and I have no excuse for this except it was 97 degrees outside today and I spent most of it hiding in my apartment and then going out for frozen custard.

There’s something fantastic about frozen custard. The real stuff which is freshly made and has eggs in it and is fantastic.

Anyway, on a non-custard related note, classes start for me again next week. I’m not really looking very much forward to them, but I am trying to tell myself its worth it. At the moment, I am feeling fairly mixed about the topic. I’ve been enjoying my class free summer. This, unfortunately, will not last.

Such is life.

Enjoy the paper doll.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Stripes and Pleats

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It’s nearly Saturday and I am quite wiped out. I went out for drinks with some people after work and then came home and did a bit of cleaning. It was fun, but also tiring after a long intense week of work. This weekend I’ll be taking it easy and hopefully getting some more paper dolling done. It’s humid and hot here- so hot I can feel it on my skin. I very much dislike the heat and would take a rainstorm over this any day.

I am not at my most coherent today, so I offer up these dresses and a reminder that I have a poll in the sidebar.

That is all. I am crawling into bed now.

Curves: Fur Trimmed Gothic

So, this is a stupidly titled paper doll, but her sleeves are fuzzy, so that should be worth something. 🙂

Curves is a complicated series for me, in part because it fore fills two goals. I began it when I did all my paper dolls for the blog in the heavily shadowed style of Curves, but I wanted to do a full figured paper doll since the ones I had seen online were not very attractive and I thought I could do better.

curves-gothic-fur

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Two years later, Curves is my only regularly updating paper doll in the heavily shadowed style I developed in college and still often use for non-paper doll drawing. I like the style, because I believe it doesn’t need to be colored, it has a strong enough graphic presence without adding color. A lot of people color them, and that’s fine with me, but my goal was to make a black and white paper doll that didn’t need to be colored.

There were some side effects of this. The heavy shadows, strongly influenced by Frank Miller’s graphic novels, make for a fairly “dark” paper doll. In several ways, the details are often obscured and lost while the tone is also distinctly heavy. Being a bit of a noir movie lover, I don’t mind the tonal shift, but I do think it lends its self to some styles better then others. Gothic, vintage, and some fantasy clothing comes out looking wonderful, but the average jeans and t-shirt leave something to be desired.

I don’t want to give up my heavily shadowed dolls, because I do like them. I also don’t want to stop drawing a full figured paper doll since I think its important. Unfortunately, I also getting somewhat bored with Curves after two years. I think there needs to be a Curves 2.0. I just haven’t figured out yet how to pull that off or what it’ll look like when I do.

Progress reports and thoughts on the subject will be forth coming. Until then, enjoy the furry Gothic costumes for this new Curves doll and anyone’s thoughts on the matter are welcome.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Spencer and Day Dress

flora-regency-spencer-bonnet

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The spenser is based on a fashion plate from 1819. The dress is based on a different fashion plate from 1811. I totally loved the sleeves and knew I wanted to draw it. The bonnet needs to have the back piece pasted on around the edges so that it can slip over the dolls head.

For another sort of paper fashions, check out Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave, a show organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco featuring fantastic costumes made from paper. The word “astonishing” comes to mind when describing them.