If you’re going to be an astronaut, why not be a sexy retro scifi astronaut?
The correct answer to that question is probably- Because it’s utterly impractical.
But practicality pretty much never been a consideration in my paper doll universe, because it gets in the way of me getting to draw insane armor and retro space astronauts.
See, one has to have proper priorities.
So, let’s talk inspiration. I have always been fascinated by retro futuristic fashions. I keep a Pinterest board to collect inspiring images of the genre. The classic being the late 1960s work of Pierre Cardin, but the period was full of strange and delightful sci-fi creations like Barbarella. It’s one of the oddest films… I digress.
The point is, I suppose, that I like messing around with different genres. I think I’d get frightfully bored if I stuck to just one thing all the time. So, today we have a foray into retro space and yesterday there was a medieval fantasy gown and tomorrow there’s a ninja. That’s all okay.
I’ve love to hear what you think of today’s retro sci-fi outfit? Impractical, sure, but fun maybe?
Meanwhile, you can see the sketchbook page this came from on my Instagram feed. If you want more sketchbook pictures, I tend to post them to Patreon first for my patrons before I share them with anyone else.
I thought it would be fun to end the week with a fancy paper doll gown since I posted my paper doll tuxedo last week. So, here’s an evening gown for the B pose ladies based on this evening gown from Marchesa’s Pre-Fall 2016 collection. I loved the shape of the original gown.
In case you are wondering, the low cut neckline of the gown is possible because of the skimpy underwear of the B pose ladies. Without those handy leaves, the neckline on this dress wouldn’t be possible. That’s why I tend to draw such skimpy undergarments for my paper dolls. I don’t want to be limited in my neckline options.
Today’s gown isn’t a perfect reproduction of the Marchesa Pre-Fall 2016 evening gown. To start with, my gown isn’t made from lace and the skirts are a lot fuller. I wanted this to feel like a confection. The sort of light weight floating thing that would move beautifully when you walked if, you know, paper dolls could walk.
Marchesa is one of my favorite designers. I adore the elegant evening wear the line produces even though I don’t think I’m skilled enough to draw most of it. The highly detailed textiles they use are hard to render in ink. I think perhaps I just need more practice.
Secretly, I also like drawing evening gowns, because they tend to be complete unto themselves. I don’t have to think about tops and bottoms. I can just draw the gown and maybe a matching bag. They feel like less work than separates and, unlike cocktail dresses, I don’t feel a strange need to always draw two. One evening gown will do.
So, I guess you could say I also look at evening gowns as a lazy option.
So, I tend to work in spurts. I suddenly decide that I want to draw 1930s clothing (as I did recently) and then I draw several and then I don’t draw any for months. This is just how I am. I try to build enough of a backlog that I can space out these posts in such a way that people who want to see 1930s clothing don’t feel disappointed when it takes months for it to show up again.
Today’s dresses are both appropriate for any 1930s paper dolls out there. I used my favorite source for these things- The Vintage Pattern Wiki. It’s amazing and so fun to dig through (if you’re a clothing lover like me.) So, the dress on the left is based on Simplicity 1091. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a way to see if there was a more precise copyright date on the pattern other then the cover art which is distinctly 1930s. The second dress is based on Vogue 7316 C from 1936. The hats and gloves are based on a variety of sources, including the pattern covers.
In my head these are summery dresses, but I suppose there’s no reason they have to be, through the one on the right would be awfully cold come winter time.
Just for fun, in case you missed any of the 1930s pieces so far, here’s a round up of all the 1930s posts so far…
The 1930s Paper Doll Collection So Far..
I’m excited to say that I just drew a new set of 1930s underwear and so soon there will be a second 1930s paper doll to join Benedita. Of course, given my turn around times, “soon” might equal sometime in the next six months. I am a bit slow at these things. Meanwhile, the 1930s dresses will fit any of the B Pose dolls, they just might back the right shoes and hair for a period look.
As always, I love to hear from you guys, so leave a comment and a huge thank you to my Patrons and if you’d like to help out the blog by making a donation, you can do that over on the Patreon page.
This is the first steampunk inspired set I’ve drawn for the B Pose dolls. I was kinda thinking of a like a street urchin dressed up. So, there’s tools, boots and a top hat.
Everything is better with top hats.
When I design sets in black and white, I often add patterns, because I think they are maybe more fun to color? I confess I’m not much of a colorer. I think I mentioned that yesterday. So, I am kinda guessing what people like to color.
I did have way more fun dawing those tools than I should admit. There was going to be hammer, but hammers are surprisingly hard to draw, y’all. So are screw drivers, but I digress.
Friday, there will be a cyberpunk set for the A Pose ladies. And who doesn’t need that?
Meanwhile, let me know what you think of today’s set in a comment and, if you love the blog, think about donating to help it out over on Patreon.
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!