In the continuing epic of big skirted dresses, I offer up this princess ball gown. I imagine it comes from the same world as this dress and this dress. Now that I have three, maybe I should make it a collection? I am very conflicted about that idea, because I’m not sure I’ll draw more.
Okay, I probably will draw more, because I love me over the top ball gowns. The more wild, the better.
Today’s gown is partly inspired by dresses from Japan that I learned about from Liana’s paper doll blog years ago- color-dresses. They are these completely over the top colorful ball gowns worn to the reception after the wedding. Liana’s blog has the proper Japanese word for them, but I am hesitant to copy it, because I don’t know any Japanese. As I understand it (and I am not an expert on Japanese wedding customs), the bride often wears a kimono for the ceremony, a white wedding dress for part of the reception and then a colorful dress like this for the evening party. The gowns are wild and wonderful and remind me of what a princess ball gown might be.
I love them.
I would like to point out that today’s down is more restrained than a lot of these gowns. Here’s a few more that I adored. Seriously, this might be the best rabbit hole to go down ever if you love over the top gowns and who doesn’t love those?
So, I knew when I was working on a 1930s paper doll collection, I was going to illustrate some a 1930s evening wear. Day wear is important too, but I have some of that and evening wear seemed like the next step. I rarely do black evening gowns, because I think the line-work gets lost, but I really liked the idea of black and pink for today’s paper doll dress.
So, this attempt at 1930s evening wear is a complete outfit for a lady, except shoes. I didn’t want to deal with strappy 1930s shoes and the skintone. The evening gown is based on Butterick 5095 a dress pattern circa 1933. I designed her gloves like on the pattern illustration, but lest you think pink gloves are a little odd- here’s a pair of purple ones. Her purse is based on this beaded evening bag from 1930-1935.
If you’re thinking that you need a paper doll to model today’s slinky black evening dress, than might I recommend Benedita’s 1930s Version? She even has period underwear.
If you’d like to support the blog, think about donating through Patreon. It really does help keep it up on the internet and ad free. I think of the blog has having the NPR marketing strategy. Maybe, if people like it, they’ll help me off set the costs.
Speaking of NPR, if you haven’t seen it, the Mr. Rodgers documentaryWill You Be Me Neighbor? made me cry. It’s not a perfect movie. It had some flaws, but I really really enjoyed it. So, I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet.
A few months ago I asked my Patrons what they wanted to see as far as themes. Fairies blew every other option out of the water in the poll (and no one voted for cyborgs at all.. poor cyborgs). So, I decided that a set of fairy wings and fairy clothes made so much sense for the paper dolls.
All right, confess, I mostly wanted to draw fairy wings.
Anyway, the fairy wings are designed to glue against the back of the doll with the wings themselves free, so you can slip the tabs behind the doll’s shoulders. That way they can still wear clothing and most paper dolls I think want to be wearing clothing.
I’m also super conflicted when I draw fairies. I tend to just draw like flower inspired fairies, but deep down inside I often find myself thinking of older, darker and more traditional fairies. Those fairies are not at all nice and probably weren’t wearing flowers…unless those flowers helped them lure humans to some sort of horrible doom.
Anyway I haven’t drawn those fairies yet, so let’s just think of nice happy flower fairies. Much less likely to steal children or drown unwary travelers.
Love the fairies? Not sure about them? Should I do more? Let me know in a comment and if you want to have a vote in the next poll, than join the Patreon group.
At work, I dress in slacks, white shirts and cardigans, but at home I am a lover of maxi skirts and boho blouses. I love embroidery, texture and handmade looking details. I know some people manage to have a wardrobe that switches between “work” and “home”, but I’ve never really wanted that and would much rather just have a work wardrobe that I wear to work and a home wardrobe that I wear outside work.
The point is I really like hippy/boho clothing and I knew I wanted to draw some for the blog. So, here’s a little paper doll boho mini-wardrobe of eight pieces of paper doll clothing. There’s four tops, two bottoms, a romper and a bag. That means (ignoring the bag), there’s about 9 clothing combinations or 18, if you count the bag.
In the process of doing this, I also really got to thinking about what makes a Mini-Wardrobe and what just makes a paper doll outfit. I think the answers are: At least six pieces and more than one top and/or bottom. So, that’s my criteria going forward. I feel better when I have criteria. It is probably the librarian in me.
If you have any questions about any of that, you can ask in a comment or through email. I’ll try to answer the best as I know (but I am not an internet privacy expert or a lawyer).
Or you can let me know what you think of today’s post in a comment and to support the blog, think about donating through Patreon.
Back when I posted this pirate set for the C Pose guy paper dolls, I asked if people would like to see more pirate paper doll outfits. And since I got an adamant ‘yes’ from Annemarie, I decided to go to for it. After all, pirate printables seemed like a fun thing to explore through paper dolls.
So, here is a lady pirate costume for the B pose paper dolls. It’s totally an exercise in fantasy, but than a lot of my paper dolls are. Along with her stylish outfit, our lady pirate has a treasure map and a handy sword. After the agony of trying to draw a flintlock pistol, I wasn’t doing that again.
I’ll openly confess that I think part of my love of pirates is directly linked to my love of boats. I adore being out on the water. I grew up in a family that commercially fished, so I grew up on the water. I find it very soothing and peaceful to be out in the ocean- though I am prone to seasickness on the open water.
I’ve had requests for pirates from a lot of parents who are throwing pirate themed birthday parties. I think this set of pirate printables and my other set for the guys would be really fun for kids. Paper dolls are great ways to encourage storytelling play.
That’s really all I have to say about this one. Tomorrow, there will be some clothes for the C Pose guys.
I am back home in Alaska for the 4th and I am very excited about it. There will be fireworks at 12:01am on the Fourth, because it doesn’t get dark until then in Alaska. I am very excited about that. There’s always a big bon fire on the beach as well.
I decided to do a set of contemporary summery clothing for my 4th of July themed paper doll clothing set. I realized quickly that shorts and a t-shirt didn’t seem like quite “enough” so I drew an outfit for each of the Dames and Dandies paper dolls.
For the A pose, I did shorts and a boat-necked shirt. For the B pose, I did a blue dress with white polka-dots. For the C pose, guys I drew surf shorts and a t-shirt. All summer time clothing.
Anyway, enjoy the 4th of July if you are celebrating (or just have a wonderful Wednesday) either way!
I always think of these big full skirted dresses as ‘princess dresses’ even though princesses wear all sorts of different dresses across time. It’s probably the influence of the 1980s on my childhood along with movies from Disney that makes me think of these dresses in that context.
I’d say there’s a bit of the 1860’s in today’s summer paper doll dress, but I’m not really sure there is. No lady of the 1860s would be caught dead during the day in a dress that showed off this much shoulder.
Usually, this is the point where I link my inspiration, but frankly this one came mostly out of my head. I don’t even think I did a thumbnail pre-sketch, which is a bit unusual for me. I do remember drawing the top of the dress first and then deciding I needed something on the skirt to fill up the empty space beneath the over skirt.
I wanted this dress to feel summery like my last foray into this style (back in February) felt wintery. I do think both this dress and the February dress come from the same universe, so to speak. I see them as sister dresses.
I have been debating drawing more of these dresses. I think there needs to be an autumn and a spring version as well. What do you think? Big skirted princess dresses? Let me know in a comment.
I think I read last October that for the first time, superhero costumes outsold princess costumes. This makes me a little sad, because I am sucker for a good princess dress. It also highlights the popularity of superheros and helps explain today’s superhero costume paper doll.
I love a good superhero movie. I happily watched Deadpool 2 last weekend and Infinity War the weekend before that. I enjoy the splash and the explosions. I like seeing things blow up and I like seeing adventure.
When I design a superhero costume for my paper dolls I try to keep things fairly neutral. I don’t really want to decide too much about the superhero powers or anything. I want the person who colors the paper doll or cuts it out to be able to decide what she can do. It should be for them to decide.
So, with this superhero costume paper doll I went with a star motif (which I tend to use) and I made a magical sword for smiting evil doers. I chose colors based on the old three color printed comics, so red yellow and blue. All bright bold primaries.
I’m not totally pleased with the color scheme, but I think it works pretty well. Besides, this is just the first superhero costume paper doll, I can always make more. That’s the wonderful about paper dolls.
Let me know what you think of today’s paper doll in a comment. I always love hearing from you guys.
I don’t have a lot of familiarity with circuses, but I really like the colors and the shapes. I think the drama is awfully fun. I decided to create something fun and funky and maybe not very practical for average wearing.
Of course, the whole the idea of a circus based outfit, I suppose is that it isn’t very practical, but rather very showy. I mean, one doesn’t really associate circus with practicality.
Not that I know much about circuses except what I’ve seen on television.
I’ve always had a place in my heart for gothic fashion. Perhaps, because I grew up in the late 1990s gothic fashion revival. Or just because I really like all things Momento Mori and always have.
When I am working on coloring gothic fashions, I do worry all the shades of dark grey I used to make things look black can end up obscuring some of the details. That’s why I’ve put the black and white version in front of the colored version this time, so you can really see the ruffles and a pleats.
I chose black, because black is the most common gothic color. I accented it in lavender, because in Victorian mourning traditions, lavender (or mauve) was considered half-mourning. In case you’re wondering, the complexity of mourning dress half myth and half real. There’s tons of references to it in fashion magazines and etiquette manuals, but how closely it was actually observed is hard to say.
Anyway, the purse is a bit of a reference to Momento Mori art (which I love) and also a bit retro. I suppose it’s a nod to retro rockabilly sensibilities. The shoes, blouse and skirt all owe a lot to the Victorians, though no Victorian would wear such a low cut garment during the day.
In case you are wondering- “Hey, where is your collab paper doll?” Well, life got busy and I lost track of time, so my contribution will be up Monday. But you can check out Julie’s and Missy’s contributions in the meantime.