So, I wanted to try to draw some formal fantasy paper doll clothing. I originally created this fantasy outfit for the C Pose guys and I think of it as a kinda classic fantasy outfit in a style I draw a lot. I wanted to do a spin-off outfit that would feel more formal and refined- like if this was a peasant outfit, than today’s outfit would be a prince or something.
In my head, the tunic is velvet over a silk shirt. I’m not sure what the pants are made of. Maybe something like really thin fine leather? Or perhaps a very nice soft wool? Silk wouldn’t stand up well to any sort of wear. Rather than my usual sword accessories, I decided a book was more fitting, though I’m sure he can borrow a weapon from here if he needs one.
There’s an alternative color scheme available for my Patrons over on my Patreon page. Join if you want. It’s a fun group and I try to post content there every week from my sketchbook or other sources.
When I first decided I was going to create paper dolls in period underwear, I knew it would slow down my historical paper doll dress drawing. After all, once you put a paper doll in period underwear you have to make sure that the clothing you create for the paper doll fits over whatever the period undergarments are. It’s much easier to work from the bottom layers to the top layers in paper dolls. You draw the doll and then the underwear and then whatever goes over the underwear and then you do coats or whatever.
I also knew if I was going to go to all the trouble of drawing underwear and affixing that underwear in Photoshop and printing the doll again, I was darn well going to make more than 18th century paper doll gown to go over it. After all, if I only drew one dress than the return on paper doll underwear time investment would be fairly low.
So, when I drew Alice in her 18th century underthings I drew two dresses. The first was the classic very formal gown I shared several weeks ago. Today’s 18th century paper doll gown is a lot less complex and generally seen as less formal. Today’s 18th century paper doll gown is a round gown. Round gowns were gowns that fastened in the front and had no stomacher.
But don’t be fooled, a round gown could be plenty formal if made of a sufficiently expensive fabric. The gown this dress is based off of is from The Met and is made of green Chinese silk. It’s lovely. Under the gown, she wears a chemise. The other round gown inspiration was styled this way from the FIT Museum. (They call it a Robe à l’anglaise which technically it is, but it is also a round gown. Aren’t clothing terms confusing?)
The bonnet with the dress is based on this portrait and lots of examples from my costume history collection. The matching shoes were also inspired by the Met dress, because that gown also has shoes that were made to match.
One more quick thing, if you hope over and grab 18th Century Alice, because an 18th century doll down might need an 18th century looking paper doll, the hoops will not fit under this dress. Round gowns did not have the huge wide skirts that those hoops were designed to support. So, just bare that in mind. Also the bonnet is designed to fit over Alice’s hair, I don’t know how well if would fit over the hair of any of the other A Pose paper dolls.
Some people develop elaborate backstories for their paper doll designs. I’ve always wished my brain worked that way, but generally I end up tapping into my history background. So, I find my inspiration for each fantasy dress design there. For today’s paper doll design, I was thinking of 14th century medieval dresses of Europe. Dresses back then usually had a kirtle (under-dress) which as worn with a surcoat (over-dress) on top.
When I was working on this fantasy dress design, I wanted an over-dress that would feel more decorated than the under-dress. Basically, the opposite of putting children wore pinafores in the 19th century to keep their dresses clean.
Her chain belt owes something to the 12th century and the leather pouch I copied from this one I saw on Pinterest. I have no idea if that chain belt set up would work in the real world (I suspect not), but I did think it looked neat. And looking neat is really a more important priority in my paper doll drawing universe.
So, I’ve decided to take on The 100 Day Project on Instagram. Basically, I am drawing one dress a day (or more realistically several dresses and spacing them out over several days- I know me) for the next 100 days. If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you can here. You can also follow the hashtag #100dressesproject if you want to just see what I’ve drawn so far.
Will some of these become paper doll dresses later? I deeply suspect so. But I’m intentionally only spending a few minutes per dress. My goal is under 10 minutes, because this is a thing I’m doing on the side. It is not my life.
Also, I have an alternative color scheme for today’s gown on Patreon for anyone who’d like to view it. It’s not just for Patrons this time. 🙂
I’ve loved Victorian fashions for as long as I can remember. I think it was probably early paper doll exposure, but what child doesn’t see the ruffles and the puffed sleeves and think, “I want to wear something like that?”
So, for me steampunk style paper doll clothing is a natural evolution of my love of all things Victorian. I’d happily draw steampunk quasi-Victorian outfits every day. I just adore them. When I started the Dames and Dandies paper doll series back in January, I knew I’d be drawing some fashions that embraced my love of all things Victorian.
Today’s steampunk style foray consists of a pair of boots with vertical striped stockings, a skirt trimmed in pleats and a vest over a blouse. There’s also a tiny top hat and a purse to flesh out the outfit. One thing I love about steampunk style paper doll fashions is the little details- the buckles, the studs and the little pleats. Sometimes I don’t want to draw detail, but usually I enjoy the tiny things that make a paper doll outfit unique.
Don’t worry. There is a floating tab designed to help keep that tiny hat on the paper doll’s head. Everything is better with tiny top hats.
Anyway, I always love to hear from y’all, so let me know what you think of today’s paper doll set in a comment. Should I do more steampunk? Less steampunk?
Part of the fun of the Dames and Dandies has been restarting from scratch, but that also has been a point of tension. I want to already have done all sorts of things I just haven’t gotten around to yet. I value diversity in my paper dolls. I want paper doll aliens, cyborgs and mermaids that are all the colors of humanity (and some colors that humans aren’t- blue anyone?)
But since this series is only three months old, I’m settling for just trying to get a variety of human skin-tones and then branching out. Don’t worry, I plan to create my fairies and aliens soon. I’m just not there yet.
So, today I’m pleased to introduce the first white C Pose Dandy. This is Cyrus. I went through a bunch of names for him before I settled on Cyrus. I originally was going to name him Chester, but I decided I didn’t want another ‘Ch’ name.
Now that I have a set of four C pose guy paper dolls finished, you can expect to see some more versions of them soon. I really want to do some elven versions with pointy ears and some pirates and maybe a cyborg or two. This is all in the planning stages, so it might be a while before I can roll them out.
Wednesday, there will be some steampunk action for the A Pose Dames and then some medieval fantasy fun for the B Pose Dames. I finally have enough backlog to feel comfortable and I am some much more relaxed. Let the paper dolls continue.
And, of course, I always love to hear from you, so leave me a comment.
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!
This is Cameron the new member of the C pose Dandies family. He’s a black guy paper doll, as you can see, and I had a lot of fun researching black men’s hairstyles for him. I noticed this very square hairline seems to be the trending thing (as much as I know anything about men’s trends in hair) and I based the look that Cameron is sporting on this picture and this picture. Drawing men’s hair is something I am still working on getting better at, but I won’t get better if I don’t practice.
Along with his hair, Cameron has three pairs of shoes and can wear any of the C Pose outfits.I wanted to have more skin-tones and ethnicities represented in the Dandies, so along with Cameron here, I have a white paper doll named Cyrus who’ll be shared next Monday. Stay tuned for that.
I always feel bad for my paper dolls who end up with only shoes. I mean, I get it. It’s done so they have shoes, but really… give this poor guy some clothing, stat. Personally, I think he’d look great in the sci-fi set or in this warrior outfit.
Meanwhile, it’s after my bedtime and therefore time to sleep. Let me know what you think of the new paper doll in a comment if you like!
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!
On Monday, I posted some 1930s paper doll dresses and I wrote about how the 1930s just don’t “do” it for me, unless I see something that intrigues me.
This applies to other fashion themes as well. Post-apocalyptic fashions are a source of some tension for me, because after a while, you can only draw so many torn shirts. Still, I was going through my A Pose paper doll clothing and I noticed that it all felt really feminine and soft to me. So, I said to myself, the A Pose paper dolls need something a little harder and less feminine. So, the end of the world seemed like a logical thing to embrace.
I chose post-apocalyptic, because I found this great picture on Pinterest of some sort of futuristic, post-apocalyptic mechanic and I was intrigued. The mechanic part I didn’t keep, but I totally adapted her pants. I also gave them a hatchet, because sometimes you might need one and a canteen, because all the other post-apocalyptic sets have one, darn it.
I did notice that I now have a post-apocalyptic outfit for all the different poses. There’s the C pose version and a B Pose version as well. It’s almost turning into a collection, but I don’t know what I’d draw next for it, so I’m not ready to declare it a project, yet.
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.