Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Croquet Costume

A croquet costume for Florence, a paper doll of a french fashion doll from the 1870s.
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There’s an excellent article about croquet costumes from the Machester Art Gallery and it includes some wonderful Victorian croquet costumes including the dress in blue white and red I based Florence’s croquet dress off of though it dates from a bit later then the rest of her attire being from 1875-1878 which is after my usual 1875 cut off date. In the Manchester Art Galleries wonderful costume collection, there is an archery jacket from 1787 which is beautiful. I never realized archery was considered an acceptable female sport in England as early as that or that the Royal British Bowmen allowed women full membership with voting rights and a snazzy official uniform.

Maybe Florence needs an archery costume. I like to think she’s the sort of adventurous lady who would do well in archery. On the other hand, I already have a skating costume sketched and a riding habit for next week, so perhaps putting more on my plate is not an entirely wise idea.

Here is Florence, the paper doll that wears these dresses.

Curves: Steampowered

steampunk curvy paper doll

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I don’t usually name my Curves paper dolls, but then I don’t usually need too. In this case it seems necessary, because how could I present the famous Adele without an introduction? Who else has fought for truth, justice and all other noble things while also being a smart young lady with an innate sense of style? With her glasses firmly over her eyes, her walking stick in hand and her gloves loaded, Adele faces off with the Mars Men, the strange otherworldly beings from the next dimension and still manages to lay a proper table for tea. Truly a lady to be admired by us all.

Is it obvious I’ve been spending a lot of time with Victorian three volume novels?

On an unrelated note, one of my goals for the last few days of drawing has been to stretch myself a bit with the paper dolls, so expect to see more pattern and more detail. The plaid on the vest is an example. I’ve always been scared of plaid, but I think it turned out okay.

Truly Trudy Two

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The first Truly Trudy post talks a lot about where to find other comic paper dolls, so I don’t see much need to go over it again. The jacket is meant to be cut out and then put over the dress and is copied from a similar style I saw on one of the Katy Keene comics I looked at. I would say which one, but frankly I don’t remember. One thing I did notice is that Katy Keene has a lot of evening gowns and so do her friends. I adore the red and black dress in this set, but I’m pretty sure Gloria was supposed to be Katy’s rival. Having not read the comic, I can’t be sure but the speech bubble does suggest some malice.

Perhaps I should actually track down some comics and read them… though I suspect if I had read them as a child it really would have been for the paper dolls.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Walking Costume & Hats

I have realized that most of the “walking” costumes I have drawn for the paper doll up to this point are more of promenade costumes and less walking costumes- like the spring walking costume or the winter walking costume.Florence's 1870's walking suit. Florence is a Victorian paper doll with a large trousseau.

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The difference seems somewhat minor, but a matter of formality. Promenade costumes were to see and be seen in, walking costumes were for walking. I imagine the paper doll wearing this costume to go to do her shopping and today she has gone to the milliner to get her new hats.

Hats aren’t worn much anymore, unless you’re the Queen of England (whose hats I totally adore) or going to the races, hats mostly function as useful things for keeping heads warm and not much else. I’m not necessarily advocating the return to hats, but hats were crucial for any well dressed lady in the 1870’s. Fashion magazines, along with dresses, offered detailed advice on fashionable hats and hat styles- colors, feathers, ribbons and flowers to be worn by ladies of all ranks and ages. Hair styles and hats are tightly connected and often changed together.

Here is Florence, just in case you missed the first post in this series and need a doll to go with these paper clothes.

Curves: Renaissance

There are certain periods of history to which I am naturally attracted and then there are certain periods to which I couldn’t care less about. I find the Renaissance is not an era which I naturally am interested in, but there is a RenFaire (I’m not sure how to spell that, actually…) around here every year and though I haven’t yet gone to the Faire (apparently the added “e” is required) it got me thinking about Renaissance costume.

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Now, I admit I don’t know much about Renaissance clothing, but it’s a very interesting time because the first costume books were published in the late Renaissance- the second half of the sixteenth century to be precise. The most famous of these books was by Vecellio who described not just the fashionable clothing of Venice (where he was from and where the book was printed), but also all over Europe and the world.The book was titled Degli habiti antichi et moderni di viverse parti del mondo or in English “The clothing, ancient and modern, of various parts of the world” and it has just recently come out in full translation by Thames and Hudson. Unfortunately, the copy my library has was checked out, so I had to make do with John Peacocks The Chronicle of Western Costume which, though I have heard many complaints about it and I do have a few of my own, is an excellent general source. Both of these dresses come from Venice in the late 1400’s. The hair is my own attempt at a simple head-dress and the SCA reference is a nod to the highly likely lack of actual historical accuracy.

Any organization which calls themselves the Society of Creative Anachronism does not take itself too seriously and neither do my paper dolls.

Truly Trudy One

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Truly Trudy is based on the classic comic paper dolls of the fifties like this butterfly basedKaty Keene from Marge8’s Blog. Katy Keene had lots of friends who got paper dolls too. I never read the Katy Keene comics since they were a bit before my time, but I do remember reading Archie and Veronica on commercial fishing trips and trading the comics back and forth with my sister.

The Paper Collector also has a bunch of these old newspaper and comic paper dolls including Katy Keene And the newspaper paper dolls Mopsy Modes or Boots or Brenda Starr by Dale Messick who was the first women syndicated cartoonist.

Though I’m not totally pleased with everything about Trudy, I do think there are some strong points. Her pose is perfectly comic book, though I don’t know if she’s busty enough to really have that fifties pin up look. Her face I feel mixed about. I don’t really draw open mouths very often and this is really why. She was a bit of an experiment and is one I may come back too another time.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Visiting Costume and Hats

 

A visiting dress for Florence, my paper doll of the 1870s.

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Inking paper dolls still terrifies me every time I start. Still, when I finally erase the pencil lines and the paper doll is sort of revealed, it is a magical kind of moment. I felt that way about this dress and these hats. I wasn’t sure if I liked it until I’d finally lost all the pencil.

I’m glad I didn’t give up on it. I think it turned out well. So, I seem to have come down on the “liking it” side of the spectrum. Never would have guessed that two hours ago.

Looking for the paper doll that goes with this outfit? Here she is.

Curves: Flora Fauna

Generally, I find myself feeling dismissive of “flower fairies”. Complicated and often dark folklore seems to always turn into light children’s stories over time, but I still am a purist when it comes to my fairies. I like them grim and dark and full of blood. Of course, the blood has mostly been taken out to make them more acceptable to most parents (not to children who, on the whole, seem to not mind blood so much). Despite my usual distrust of anything deemed “darling” or “cute”, I began this drawing because I wanted to practice drawing flowers. So, I did and the result is… a lot of flowers.

A curvy black and white fairy paper doll with four dresses. From paperthinpersonas.com.

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Keeping with my own slightly grimmer views on the world of fairies (and yes, I know I could spell it differently, but writing faeries would make my feel like a pretentious git with a need to spell out the digraph), I have done this Curves paper doll’s face very differently from her other paper doll friends. They are mostly human, after all, she is… Other. But as Other as she might be, I can’t stand her chin. I just… think it looks weird. It didn’t look weird when I sketched it…

Oh well, at least her undies are still cute.

Curves: Retro Style

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Her hair is my favorite part inspired by the thirties and twenties when women wore their hair in finger waves tight to the skull like Josephine Baker who was an entertainer, exotic dancer, movie star, French Resistance fighter and all around amazing woman. Seriously, cool lady.

And I do regret that my fashions for her aren’t quite as fantastic as a paper doll inspired by the remarkable Josephine Baker deserves, still I had fun with them and I wanted to do something a little retro, but not an actual vintage piece. So… there you go then.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Masquerade Costume and Ballgown

 

Florence's ballgown and masquerade costumes from the 1870s.

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So, I’m be bit belated today. Okay… very belated and, to be honest to entirely pleased with either paper doll dress. I wasn’t when I first drew them and I’m still not. I liked the masquerade costume more then the ballgown. I was terrified of drawing the train and I still don’t like how it came out. Oh well, it just means I’ll be doing another ballgown for Florence. It’s been quite a few months since I did the old one, I think I could do it better now.

Trains are totally impossible for me. I need to keep practicing on them.

Oh, and here is Florence, the paper doll that can wear these outfits.