Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Dresses From 1800

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.

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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.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Riding Habit and Day Dress

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.

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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.

Curves: Gothic Goddess

Hmmm… I just realized I misdated this paper doll… opps. I’ll fix it later. 🙂

I love how the hoop set looks under her skirt, I think they look like bones. Originally I was going to draw the costume on the left for Marisole and I spent a lot of time sketching it and re-sketching it and it never looked right. I’m glad I eventually decided to make it for Curves. I think it looks much better.

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There’s something about the heavily shadowed paper dolls that I draw that seems to lend itself to gothic styling. I think it’s the contrast. I first started drawing paper dolls in this heavy shadowed style because I liked the idea of paper dolls in black and white which didn’t need to be colored. I wanted them to stand alone as graphic works without needing the injection of color. I think sometimes they work well and sometimes they don’t.

Also, if I’d done this set for Marisole, it would have been another mostly black set of clothing for her and sometimes I just get sick of that. So, I’m glad Curves got it in the end for a couple of reasons.

Marisole Monday: Valentines Day

First, quick apology thing… if you emailed me in the last week or so… then I probably haven’t replied, because I forward that account to my other email and my other email was putting those emails into my spam folder. I think I’ve fixed the problem.

Now, onto the paper dolls…

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{Click Here for a PDF of the dark haired paper doll to Print} {Click Here for a PNG of the dark haired paper doll to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

I did this paper doll originally with tan skin and dark hair, but then I also did a version as a blond. I liked it well both ways, so I decided to post them both. At the top is the dark haired version and then you can click the thumbnail on the left and get the 150 dpi PNG version of the blond paper doll. There’s also a PDF for the blond paper doll. I figured regardless of what skin tone and hair color was desired, there could be a paper doll to fit the bill.

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I always associate Valentines Day with paper dolls. My grandmother used to send my and my sister Valentines Day cards when we were kids and they usually had a paper doll in them or some other activity. I still remember being excited at getting the cards and I would open them up and play with whatever had been included. Even all these years later, I remember what many of the cards looked like.

Teri Pettit’s Paper Doll Scans is a great site full of scans of paper dolls. She has a fantastic selection of greeting cards with paper dolls. Of course there are Valentine’s Day paper doll cards and paper doll cut outs. I distinctly recall that my sister got this paper doll for Valentine’s Day and I was totally jealous. I also seem to recall one of us (I don’t remember which one) got this paper doll card for something. Oh, the memories…

I think it’s a sad commentary on my mind that I can recall paper doll cards from years ago, but I can seem to keep my Latin declinations straight.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Spencer Jacket and Walking Costume

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.

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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.

Curves: Garden Fantasy

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I have been trying to play with pattern, which helps explain this set of paper doll costumes. I also saw that fantasy was the most requested type of paper doll, so I am also trying to draw more fantasy costumes. That’s really all I’ve got to say about these dresses.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Short Stays and Morning Dress

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).

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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. 🙂

Curves: On the High Seas

One quick announcements, before I forget. One, is that I have been getting some questions about the paper dolls and I thought it was time I added a FAQ. As always, I am reachable by email, but check the new FAQ if you have any questions. Also, if you email me, please understand that I work, I go to class and I don’t always have time to check my email every night. I do get back to people, it just takes me a little while sometimes.

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Ever since I read Treasure Island as a child, I have had a love of pirates that I can’t quite explain. Even at their most nasty (and Long John Silver is nasty), I love the ideas of high seas and high adventure. There’s something about swash-buckling that makes me smile. I blame it equally on my Mother and her love of adventure stories and my own natural inclination. Neither of these paper doll costumes has anything to do with history, but when you’re drawing a pirate paper doll, who needs history anyway?

History was fairly dark and full of nasty things like rickets. I prefer my pirates Hollywood style and rickets-free.

One of the things I have started doing is adding tabs to the Curves paper dolls when I draw them rather than later with Photoshop. I don’t think anyone but me can tell the difference and I think it saves time when I actually scan the paper dolls since I don’t have to add tabs as well as re-size, clean up and futz with. It may be the only time that is saved in psychological, but I’m okay with that. Anything to make me more likely to keep up to date with my posting.

Flora, A Regency Paper Doll: Her Chemise and Petticoat

Flora is a paper doll based on wooden dolls of the Regency era. She has underwear in this plate. She's free to print and color.

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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.

Curves: Angelic Devil

There was a time in my life when I thought I wanted to be a psychologist. I seem to recall even taking a course in the topic or two in college and writing a paper on toys and child development (I know I wrote the paper. I might have written it in a different class). My second- cousin once removed (I think) was a Freudian psycho-analyst long sense retired who took a real interest in my possible choice of career and suggested I read the works of Freud. After about ten pages into them, I decided I didn’t really want to be a psychologist that badly. Never the less, I took away from Freud a certain respect for the discipline and the knowledge of the Super-Ego and the Id. Usually portrayed as an angel and a devil in cartoons, the Id and Superego are both definitely alive and well in pop culture today.

I don’t think anyone has drawn them as a paper doll though.

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Truth be told, I’m not entirely satisfied with this paper doll anyway. The halo and the horns, I don’t know how they would stay on the paper dolls head after she is printed and that kinda bothers me. I try to make sure the paper dolls are actually playable and I know this particular paper doll isn’t. I’m trying to not let it bother me and I’m only mostly succeeding.

Also, I dislike her hair.

But not paper doll is perfect and at least this Curves paper doll is on time.

And there’s a poll. It’s not just about my random curiosity, I can almost promise that the results will be used in deciding what I draw more of… unless I get bored which has been known to happen.