In my head, probably because I spent too much time researching clothing and dress, I tend to categorize my fantasy clothing based on the sort of “source” material. Nothing exists in a vacuum after all. So, sometimes I look to Medieval Europe and sometimes I borrow from the 18th century in France and sometimes I find myself looking at kaftans. Actually, I was inspired by this Pinterest image and this one. I’m pretty sure they are both kaftans, even if they aren’t labeled entirely in English.
On thing I don’t know is if it is supposed to be spelled kaftan or caftan (or if it’s like Chanukah and several spellings are okay.)
Meanwhile, I’ve been fighting a truly awful few days of allergies. I had forgotten how rough spring is here in Alabama. I’m groggy and stuffed up and otherwise pretty miserable, despite the cocktail of medications I am currently taking. So, I am crawling back into bed and I hope everyone enjoys today’s fantasy gown!
On Monday, I posted some 1930s dresses, but paper doll dresses aren’t much use without a 1930s paper doll to wear them. So, here is Benedita, being a 1930s paper doll today! Never has the “dames” title for this printable paper doll collection been more fitting.
Benedita’s 1930s corset was based on this one from The Met. The original corset has a ruffle at the bottom. I had drawn it that way, at first, but to make the slim skirts of the 1930s work over the ruffle was basically impossible, so through the Power of Photoshop, the ruffle went away. Sometimes, paper doll creation requires editing changes, because fabric can fold and paper… doesn’t.
And yes, today’s 1930s paper doll is wearing shoes. Why? Because I thought it would be easier to put her in shoes than deal with the fact that she can’t be barefoot (she’s wearing stockings) and I didn’t want to deal with the whole “toes under stockings” thing. So, the solution? A nice neutral pair of black shoes.
(And you can always put something over them, if you think she would secretly like to be a fantasy warrior or something.)
Now, just like my 18th Century Alice, 1930s Benedita can’t wear all the clothing I’ve ever drawn for the B Pose paper dolls without her underthings showing. So, if she does decide she wants to go slay a dragon in this ridiculous get up, than she may need need to be okay with her corset showing. Or you can always cut her head off and paste it onto another Benedita’s body. It’s a little gruesome, but no one will judge a bit of paper doll decapitation.
Love her? Hate her? Have an opinion on what decade I should do next? Let me know in a comment!
Some era’s of fashion history I love more than others. I’ve always been a little conflicted about the 1930s. I adore the asymmetry art deco influences of the era, but often find the actual clothing a little dull. Still, once in a while I see a 1930s design and think, “I want to draw that.”
For today’s 1930s paper doll dresses the “thing” I wanted to draw were those sleeves on the dress on the left. That dress is from a McCall 7209, copyrighted in 1932. You can see similar sleeves in McCall 8371 and McCall 8599 from 1935 or Simplicity 1325 from 1933. The sleeve details of the 1930s foreshadow the broad-shouldered silhouette that will become popular at the end of the decade and then take over in the 1940s.
The other of the 1930s paper doll dresses is the one on the right with the scarf. That’s from McCall 8206 and is copyrighted 1935. It’s a more subdued dress and closer to what I think of when I think of the 1930s. The skirt drops quickly from the late 1920s when it’s just below the knee to mid-calve by the early 1930s.
I tried to pick colors schemes that coordinated for these, so that the hats could be worn with either dress.
If you’re thinking, but there’s no paper doll with historic underwear to go with these dresses, fear not. I have a 1930s Benedita in the works to accompany today’s gowns, but until she’s done any of the B Pose dolls can share these dresses.
Meanwhile, there’s an alternative color scheme on the Patreon page from my Patrons- donate and join if you’d like to support the blog. Now, would be a smart time to join, because I am currently doing my annual “Make requests” poll for my Patrons. If you’ve ever wanted to see a ballerina pirate paper doll dress, now would be the time to ask.
One of my goals of 2018 was to try to do a paper doll for each of the major holidays. I missed Purim, but I have gotten most of them so far. Today’s paper doll is to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I have only drawn one other St. Patrick’s Day paper doll, so here’s my second one ever.
As many of you know, St. Patrick’s Day is the feast day for St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick was a fifth-century Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. It’s said that he used the clover to illustrate the concept of the trinity (father-son-holy ghost) and that he banished the snakes from Ireland. Interestingly enough, the earliest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States happened in Boston in 1737 and in New York in 1762. That means that the holiday was being observed in the United States before there even was a United States.
Anyway, I had planned to do a St. Patrick’s Day outfit like I did for Valentine’s Day, but then it occurred to me that I didn’t have a redheaded paper doll yet and something about a redhead for St. Patrick’s Day just made sense. So, I did a full St. Patrick’s Day paper doll and an outfit. I named this new B Pose face Bridget, after the other patron Saint of Ireland, and she has jeans, sneakers and a clover t-shirt. She can, of course, wear any of the B Pose clothing, but she has a different skin-tone from Benedita or Beatrix.
I hope anyone celebrating tomorrow has a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! I’ll probably be having a quiet day at home. Does anyone have neat St. Patrick’s Day plans? Let me know in a comment.
Today’s version of Benedita, my Latina paper doll, has a formal hair style and an evening gown inspired by a design from Marchesa. Marchesa’s designs are usually elaborate and romantic. I simplified the gown a bit, bit kept the intense lime green color. Some of Marchesa’s stuff is a little too embellished for my taste, but I loved the drape of this gown.
I went back and forth on the shoes, but ended up deciding that one pair of black shoes and one pair of white shoes would be the most versatile for future designs. I try to think about what increases the play-ability of a set. Plus all of the Benedita dolls will have the same skintone, so Benedita 2 here can share shoes with Benedita 1.
Eventually, there will be a Benedita 3 (she’s already in progress and going to be a 1930s historical version).
Really what I wanted with version 2 of Benedita was to have a dramatically different doll than I created in version 1 of Benedita.
I have no idea how convoluted this will get when I’m at like Benedita 12 or something, but I’m up for it.
Meanwhile, I hope everyone has a super great weekend. This has been a crazy busy week, but I am hoping for a quiet weekend of drawing paper dolls. Frankly, I’m kinda out of content, so I really do need to get some things done. However, the things in progress are pretty cool (I think) and feature a lot of historical content.
Some new post-apocalyptic designs for the B Pose Dames to match the designs I did for the C Pose Dandies. I had a lot of fun with these, though like a lot of my post-apocalyptic stuff, they are not terribly practical. Still I never let practicality get in the way of my paper doll designs.
When I was first drawing and prepping content for the new Dames and Dandies series, I made a list of what I thought might be the first nine clothing sets to draw for the new paper dolls. Both my Patrons and folks who follow me on Facebook got to see this list at the top of which was “Winter Big Princess Gown.”
For those of you who don’t know, “big gown” is my short hand for these sorts of full skirted over the top dresses I am fond of drawing. Wenesday’s Valentine’s Day dress is another “big gown”. I just like to draw things with huge skirts, because the size of the skirt allows for layering and over skirts and all sorts of other decorative elements.
It’s hard to draw a super over the top mini-dress. You just don’t have as much room.
So, anyway, I wanted to create a winter princess dress. You know, a sort of over the top, full skirted dress that would feel like the sort of thing a fairy tale princess might wear while wandering through a snow covered landscape. Possibly to meet a prince or possibly just because, she felt like it. Princes need not always be involved.
Today’s winter princess dress is trimmed in fur. The bodice feels a little military influenced, with the trimming, buttons and cuffs. The skirt is three layers. There’s an over skirt, an under skirt and a wide pleated bottom skirt.
The motif on the over skirt is supposed to be a snowflake, but I’m not sure that’s obvious. In fact, the first color scheme had a gold snowflake and it looked more like a star to me. So, I ended up recoloring the whole dress. I was thinking of snowy winter days when I colored this- blue-grey is a color I associate with the winter time.
The first dress I designed was the lily ball gown, but this dress is what turned that dress from just as “this would be fun to draw” into a “oh, I could make this a series”. So, I really think of today’s Beatrix princess paper doll as the inspiration behind the whole week.
When I was planning the Dames and Dandies series, I new I was going to have a stable set of “faces”, but I wanted those faces to have many versions. So, this is Version 2 of Beatrix– The Bellflower Princess Paper Doll version.
Also, huge shout out to my Mom, who when I was describing the flower I was remembering from the garden as a child, recalled the name of it and spelled it correctly enough for me to goggle it. The formal name for bellflowers is Campanula, by the way, which is what she told me.
I just thought Campanula Princess didn’t roll off the tongue as well as Bellflower Princess, hence the name change.
In the order of this princess paper doll design, the dress came first. Once I had it drawn, I wanted a crown and I came up with the idea of the flowers coming out from a pair of buns.
Once I had that idea in my head, I had to figure out how to actually create in a way that would work for someone cutting out the paper doll. So, I drew the hair style and the crown pieces separately.
Than, I used Photoshop to create one version of Beatrix with out the crown and second version with the crown. So, the hair with the crown can be cut out and placed over the hair without the crown.
This also assures that this version of Beatrix can wear a hat without floral crown pieces getting in the way.
I don’t often share my process photos here, because I try to save them for my Patrons. So, if you want to see more images of the raw beginnings of paper doll sets, than donate and join Patreon. I try to post a few “behind the scenes” images every month. I also put them up on Instagram erratically.
Meet Benedita! The second of the B Pose paper dolls.
I knew from the start that Beatrix was going to be named Beatrix. She just looked like a Beatrix to me. And then I had to decide what to name the second B Pose paper doll which wasn’t easy. I knew I was going to give her another B name, but I had trouble picking one.
Finally I settled Benedita, because I’d already decided that she was a Latina paper doll. Why had I decided this? Because I thought it was important to start the new series with a variety of different skin-tones and ethnicities. Plus it allowed me to name her Benedita and make a Much Ado About Nothing connection.
Benedita is a Portuguese feminine form of Benedict, meaning blessed. It’s also, apparently, a popular name in Brazil.
Benedict (or Benedick) is also the name of the male lead in Much Ado About Nothing. My first B pose paper doll was named Beatrix (as you may recall) and that is the name of the female lead in Much Ado About Nothing. So, clearly, I had to name the second paper doll after the male lead in the play.
Slightly convoluted, yes, but my mind words in strange ways sometimes.
I was super sick last week with… well, the Doctor wasn’t sure. The flu test was negative, but whatever it was knocked me flat on my back for the whole week. I’m slowly recovering. I hate being sick.
Assuming I get everything done, there will be a new A pose doll named Akiko on Wednesday and then on Friday, the 2018 Paper Doll Collaboration gets to debut. Let me know what you think of Benedita in a comment or anything else you’d like to share.
One of the ironies of my working style is that I somehow end up with lots of paper doll content that ends up posting way out of season. Shorts in the winter cold are not at all uncommon in my paper doll world. However, since I drew all these outfits for the next few weeks in December, I felt wonderful about posting some honest to goodness winter clothing in January.
It’s been so chilly these last few weeks in the South. I’m not used to it threatening to freeze so much here. I’m keeping my heat on when I leave the house and a faucet dripping. I would leave my under-sink cabinets open, but my cat is very curious and I worry she’d get into the cleaning supplies I keep down there. These are the choices one makes when one has a cat, I suppose.
So far, no pipe problems. It is warmer this week than it was last week and cold weather kills off the bug population, so I am trying to be positive about the whole thing. Meanwhile, I’ve broken out my wool coat, gloves, boots, scarf and hat.
The B Pose paper dolls have done the same with today’s outfit. One fur collared coat, a pair of boots, long sleeved t-shirt and jeans. For truly cold places, you can imagine the jeans are lined in flannel. I really do enjoy drawing coats and I should do more of them, I think.
There’s an alternative version of today’s paper doll outfit over on the Patreon page for anyone to download if they like. While you’re there, consider becoming a patron. It helps pay for the blog’s server costs and such.