A Paper Doll Robe à la Française from 1770

An 18th century paper doll dress based on a 1770 Robe à la Française with a hat and matching shoes in black and white or color.

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Since yesterday, I shared Alice in her 18th century undies, it seemed only fitting to share an 18th century paper doll dress today. 

In the 18th century, there were two major dress styles (along with countless variations, but these are the two biggies). They were the Robe à la Française and the Robe à l’Anglaise. Both styles consisted of an open robe with a petticoat. The stomacher, used to fill in the upper part of the robe, and petticoat could either match the dress or be in a contrasting style. The two styles are distinguished by the backs of the dresses. The Robe à la Française has pleats in the back that fall loose from the shoulders (see this example) while the Robe à l’Anglaise has those pleats stitched down into a more fitted style (see this example). The Robe à la Française was also called the a sack back or sacque back gown.

As fashion tends to do, the Robe à la Française began it’s early existence as an informal lose garment and became increasingly complex as the years went on. Today’s 18th century paper doll dress is a Robe à la Française based on this example from the Met Museum circa 1770. The original is made from scrumptious white on white imported Chinese silk. But, given the constraints of my art style, I decided to go with a rich deep red instead for today’s 18th century paper doll dress.

The hat is earlier than the dress dating from 1760. It is based on this one. Her shoes, or mules, are based on this pair from LACMA. Those wooden soles look really uncomfortable to me. I have no idea if it was at all likely to have your garters match your shoes, but since I could I thought, ‘why not?’

This gown is designed to fit over 18th Century Alice’s underwear and hoops. I would recommend adding a floating tab to the back of the skirt if needed, as it is very wide.

There’s a blue based color scheme for my Patreons on the Patreon page.

Need a doll to wear today’s paper doll? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

Trendy Winter Styles For The A Pose Dames

Trendy winter clothing for paper dolls with a sweater, and two different bottoms.

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I love fashion magazines, particularly People Style Watch, because it has really clear clothing photos that make it super easy to draw paper doll clothing based on the styles.

Yes, I judge fashion magazines on how easy it is to draw paper dolls based on their photos.

Anyway, one of the things I enjoy in the fashion magazines is seeing what is considered trendy in any given season. This winter two big trends have been sleeve details, folkloric florals and embroidered jeans. I love embroidery, so I am not at all upset about this trend.

Today’s A Pose paper doll clothing covers all these trends. There’s a bell sleeved sweater, a folkloric printed skirt and a pair of embroidered jeans. To accessorize each outfit, I also added a pair of ankle boots. The pattern on the jeans is based on traditional crewel embroidery designs. I’ve always loved crewel embroidery.

It’s one of those things that I feel like if I had time, I would want to learn how to do. I never seem to eke out the time to do it, though.

(Also, because I was curious, the phrase “eke out” dates back to the 1590s and means to “extend or make last longer.” Who knew it was that old?)

Anyway, this is the first contemporary fashion set for the A Pose girls dames.

Need a Doll to wear today’s outfit? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a Paper Doll Dress to Print

A beautiful Valentine's Day paper doll dress inspired by the 18th century with a full skirt and puffed sleeves. Available in color or black and white for coloring from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Since the Dames & Dandies are a new series, one of my goals is to try to get a paper doll outfit done for the holidays. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was a child, my grandmother would send us holiday cards with paper dolls in them all the time. Here is a scan of one, I remember getting. I’m sure it says something about me that I can remember that card after 20 something years.

Anyhow, I love drawing over the top heart covered gowns for Valentine’s Day paper dolls. So, it wasn’t hard to decide to draw this one. I’ve been working on an 18th century paper doll with period underwear, so I thought I would design a dress that could go over the set of hoops. That’s how we ended up with this over the top rococo influenced Valentine’s Day paper doll dress.

By the way, I have no idea when that 18th century doll will be done. So, don’t hold your breath.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone has an amazing Valentine’s Day!

Need a Doll to wear today’s outfit? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

The Lily Ball Gown For Paper Doll Princesses

A paper doll princess dress inspired by lillies. The dress has a wide skirt and two layers over it. The skirt and crown are decorated with lillies.

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It feels at this time of the year as though Spring will never come. The weather in Alabama has been unusually cold and while I try to look at the bright side (fewer bugs), it has been a long grey winter. So, let’s look at paper doll clothing inspired by flowers.

This whole week will be devoted to the floral fantasy ball. Today, we have a Lily ballgown for the A pose paper dolls. Wednesday will be a Fiddlehead Fern inspired suit for the C pose gents. Friday Beatrix will debut as the bellflower princess with her own paper doll princess dress. 

I love lilies. There were a bunch of yellow and orange lilies that grew by the door of our house when I was child. My mother is a wonderful gardener, but nothing else would grow in that corner. Those lilies grew there when we bought the house. As far as I know they are still there. 

I wanted this paper doll princess dress to be elegant. It was also a chance to practice drawing lillies. I didn’t want the paper doll dress to feel to bridal, so I chose a rich color. It started out as purple, but I changed it to teal once I realized I was going to end up with two purple dresses if I kept it purple. 

Anyway, to talk about the paper doll gown, I wanted to design this gown for weeks. I originally doodled it out in my notebook and I knew I wanted to make it a huge skirted sort of ballgown. The crown was partly inspired by something sort of Art Nouveau.  Hop over to the Patreon page to see the original thumbnail doodle I did of this gown and the subsquent sketchbook pages. 

Also, just for Patrons, there is a super fun purple version.

I’m curious. What are some of your favorite flowers? I love lilies, pansies and poppies. How about you? Share in a comment! And maybe you’ll inspire another paper doll princess dress.

Need a Doll to wear today’s outfit? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

The First Steampunk Paper Doll Look for the Dames & Dandies

Steampunk paper doll clothing! A top hat, jacket over corset and a pair of leggings with boots. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

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There are themes I tend to return to over and over again. One of those themes is steampunk clothing. I have for as long as I can remember loved Victorian fashion. I was drawing modern styles influenced by the Victorians long before I ever heard the term “steampunk.” For years, oppositional as I am, I refused to use the term “steampunk” as a matter of principal.

Today, I don’t mind so much. I’ve adopted the philosophy that it is better to use a more universally recognized term “steampunk fashion” than my own personal preference for “neo-Victorian fashion”. This is probably the metadata writing librarian in me.

Anyway, today’s steampunk paper doll outfit was influenced by this lovely photo, particularly the women’s jacket. I also really wanted to experiment with drape while designing this coat and I had a lot of fun drawing the hem line.

The leggings and the boots are fairly “standard” styles for me. I’ve drawn a lot of lace up boots with straps over the years. I was thinking long term a bit though with these pieces. As the first steampunk designs for the A Pose Dames, I wanted to make sure they would be mix and matchable easily with future steampunk designs.

And fear not my steampunk loving readers (I know there are a few of you out there), there will be more steampunk designs. In fact, tune in on Friday for a Regency steampunk suit for the C pose gents.

Meanwhile, if you are a Patron, hop over there and there’s this whole outfit in a totally different color scheme for download. If you’re not a Patron, consider joining! There’s behind the scenes posts, a whole different paper doll series, and alternative color schemes.

Also, let me know what you think of today’s paper doll outfit in a comment. Do you love steampunk? Not so sure about it? Let me know. 

Need a Doll to wear today’s outfit? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

Let’s Visit the 1970s & Get Some Clothing

A set of printable paper doll clothing from the 1970s. A pair of tops and pants from home sewing patterns of the era.

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It’s taken a while for me to start liking the 1970s as a fashion era. For a long time, I just wasn’t that into it. So much of the clothing from the 1970s felt clown like to me. Over the top.

Which is odd when you consider my other favorite eras are all about over the top. I mean, have you seen the 18th century? Over the top is kinda the defining concept of the Rococo era.

What I’ve slowly been realizing is that while a lot of 1970s fashion is not to my taste, there are pockets that I simply adore. The folkloric stuff is right up my alley and I have a strange fondness for a lot of the more absurd platform shoes and the black power African influenced stuff.

Today’s paper doll designs are from home sewing patterns of the era. Sewing patterns tend to be closer to everyday wear than designer things you might have seen on the runway.

Pants became totally acceptable for women to wear in the 1970s. This was a slow process that started way back in the 1920s with lounging pajamas. So, these pants are from Simplicity 9374. They have a laced up fly (which is false) and a back zipper.

Front flys on pants were still seen as a little too risque.

The shirts are from McCall’s 5021. One of my favorite things about clothing from the 1970s is the embroidery. I love embroidery on clothing. It’s also back in style which makes me giddy as a schoolgirl. 

It just occurred to me as I wrote that that “giddy as a schoolgirl” is a trifle sexist. Hmm… I’ll have to think about that. 

Meanwhile, let me know what you think of 1970’s clothing in a comment. Do you like it? Hate it? Is there a historical era you’d like to see me draw for the new series? 

And, if you want to help out the blog, consider joining Patreon. Every little bit helps. 

Need a Doll to wear today’s outfit? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing

And Then There Was a Fantasy Gown

A fantasy gown design for the Dames and Dandies printable paper doll series from Paperthinpersonas.com. Free to print in color or black and white.

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It’s hard to know with what paper doll dress to start a new paper doll series. It’s full of both excitement and worry. I decided to make the first outfit in the series a classic fantasy gown design. It’s actually the first gown I drew for the new series after I had the dolls finished, so I suppose it is a fitting place to begin. 

I picked a rich dark blue as the primary color scheme for the gown with red and ocher. It should come as no surprise that her accessory is a book. I do love drawing books for my paper dolls. It’s the librarian in me. The garters are very decorative and I don’t know how practical they would be, but they do look nice. 

Inspiration wise, the fantasy gown design owes a little to the 12th century dresses like the bliaut, but there wasn’t a specific gown I based today’s dress off of. If you’re not sure what a bliaut is, than picture the stereotypical medieval dress and you’re pretty much there. Historical bliaut’s were more loose and less fitted. 

 Today’s design probably owes more to Victorian interpretations of the bliaut like the one in The Lady of Shallot by Waterhouse or The Accolade by Edmund Leighton than actual 12th century bliauts. It’s astonishing to me, sometimes, how much the visions of the medieval era are shaped by the romantic paintings of the Victorians (and, to be technical, the Edwardians as Waterhouse was later.)

Meanwhile, I’ve got an alternative color scheme for today’s gown over on the Patreon page for my patrons to check out. Join if you’d like to support the blog! 

As always, I would love to hear what you think in a comment. 

Need a Doll to wear today’s outfit? All the A Pose Dolls & Clothing