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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
All right, so I grew up watching Xena: Warrior Princess and I refuse to apologize for my love of completely pulpy, totally improbable fantasy warrior outfits. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t realize that this armor would be about as useful in a fight as an actual cocktail dress, but it’s never stopped me before.
One of the great joys of paper dolls, if I may get philosophical for a moment, is that they can be anything or anyone. Any character you can imagine, can be created with just a change of clothing. Starting a new series a little daunting after having created works like Marisole Monday & Friends where there are, literally, hundreds of paper dolls.
Now, I both get the excitement of revisiting themes I always have enjoyed (like my pulpy armor today), but also the overwhelming realization that there’s hundreds of themes I haven’t explored yet- astronaut, circus, pirate, Lolita, post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk, all of fashion history and, of course, mermaids.
But those will be explored in due course, I suspect. This isn’t going to be the last set of fantasy armor for the Dames and Dandies, though it is the first.
Meanwhile, is there a theme you’re dying to see? Let me know in a comment. And enjoy today’s pulpy armor.