This is the second Meaghan printable paper doll of 2016, which seems surprising to me, but I checked the archives and its true. When my real friend Meaghan allowed me to name a paper doll after her, she demanded fantasy dresses, so I do my best to provide them as often as I can for her paper surrogate.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what the best ways to break up a paper doll across five days really are. Shoes are often an issue in paper doll creations, because skin is exposed. While any paper doll in the same pose can share dresses, only paper dolls with the same skintone can share shoes, especially shoes like these where even and exacto-knife couldn’t make some of these sandals work on my Edwardian Mia from the week before last, for example.
So, rather than start out with a paper doll and a dress this time, I am starting out with a paper doll and some fantasy sandals. There won’t be an accessory Thursday this week, instead each day there will be an accessory to go with the dress on display.
Also, I have a question for all my lovely readers, now that we’re five or six weeks into this new format, what do you all think? Please let me know in a comment.
Today’s printable paper doll dress is a promenade dress from 1908.
The gown is based on this illustration from an 1908 Macy’s Catalog. Macy’s was founded in about 1858 and had a thriving mail order business. Their catalogs are just a great source of information. I chose to not try to illustrate the stripes on the original dress fabric. I confess I am not too pleased with how the pleating on the skirt turned out. It should look much stiffer than it does, as taffeta is a very stiff fabric.
Oh well, no dress drawing is perfect.
In fact, a big reason I picked the Edwardian period was because I don’t have a lot of experience drawing these styles of dresses. One of the great challenges of this era is to capture the “pigeon breasted” look of the era. Bodices had a great deal of fullness in the front and then came into a narrow waist. This is actually a pretty challenging thing for me to illustrate in paper doll form.
Still, you get better at nothing unless you practice. So, this is me practicing.
While I chose lavender for today’s dress, the black and white version could be any color. The catalog describes this dress as a two-piece jumper model available in blue, red, green, brown or lavender. I think it would be stunning in red, too.
As always, I recommend printing from the PDF versions at the top of the post.
I was trying to decide which of the Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls would model this series of Edwardian dresses and I settled on Mia.
I was inspired to use her as the model when I found this wonderful photograph of an Asian woman, just called Alice, wearing a suit from probably the 1890s or early 1900s.
Today, Mia gets just a set of Edwardian underwear and, I confess, not even a complete set. Women in this era wore, in order, a chemise and drawers, or a combination, under a corset. Over the corset, she would have worn a corset cover and over that a petticoat. I decided to just show her corset cover and petticoat, thereby skipping a few layers. Seriously, ladies in this era wore a lot of underwear!
I based her underwear on this page from a catalog from 1902-1903. Her hair is the best I could do trying to draw a Gibson girl kinda bun like these. Drawing Gibson girl buns is clearly not my strength.
Though out the week I’ll be posting outfits for Mia and accessories on Thursday (as usual). I hope you all enjoy this little foray into the first decade of the 1900s.
It seems only proper to close out the week of steampunky paper doll goodness with a ballgown, don’t you think? I mean, after all, it is the most formal of the formal. Ballgowns were just below Court Dress on the formal scale and Court Dress was pretty much as formal as it got.
Plus Court Dress came with crazy rules like it had to have a train and at one point, it had to have panniers and… I could go on.
Since it amuses me (and that’s all that matters), let’s continue this week’s tradition of 19th century style explanations of Monica’s steampunk or neo-victorian outfits, here’s my ballgown description:
An elegant ball or evening dress suitable for a young matron or unmarried lady in pale leaf green trimmed in lavender. The bodice is two tones of green with a lavender side lacing and the skirt is cut in the mermaid silhouette with curved frills of satin flaring elegantly to the floor in pale blue, lavender and green.
Quick reminder: Black and white versions can be downloaded at the top of the post. 🙂
Monica’s Neo-Victorian Wardrobe
I do want to address one other thing. I was asked my a few people (one comment, one email) if it would be possible on Friday’s to combine all the outfits of the week into one page for ease of printing. The answer is No, for two reasons. Reason 1: I actually started this format to get away from having to do layout work which is super time consuming.
Reason 2: (And this is the cool reason) These pieces wouldn’t fit on one page. Back in the old system, I would have draw two skirts and then four tops, two shoes and then a smattering of hats and other accessories. Over the course of the week we’ve had four skirts, four tops, five hats, two pairs of shoes, two parasols, one walking stick and a bag. That’s 15 pieces!
You are actually getting MORE paper doll content this way AND its less time consuming for me. Everyone wins!
By the way, I want to add that both people who asked these questions were super nice about it and I don’t mind at all getting questions and thoughts from you all. Please keep them coming.
So, on that note, questions? Comments? Thoughts? Let me know.
But to come down from the high for a moment, it has occurred to me that I’m not really sure how to write a pseudo-19th century fashion plate description of these pieces.
So, instead, I thought I would wax philosophical about accessories. In the real work, I am not a big accessories girl, but in the paper doll world, I just love them. Back when I was a kid, I had a paper doll book called, The Victorian Cat Family. It was an amazing paper doll book with literally thousands of fantastic tiny accessories all of which I painstakingly cut out.
Oh, the memories… Still love that book.
Anyway, I’m not the greatest artist when it comes to non-clothing items, but I try to spice things up with parasols, hats and shoes. Part of the fun of hats is that they change up an outfit. Also, I just love love love drawing paper doll shoes.
(Yes, I realize that is a kinda quirky thing to love. No, I am not ashamed.)
If you missed Monday, you might need a doll to wear theses fun shoes. Here’s Monica all ready for her neo-Victorian wardrobe.
All righty, Dinner or Carriage dresses were worn to evening of later afternoon events that were formal, but not formal enough to warrant full-dress. Carriage dresses are often identifiable, because they are are more fussy and formal than promenade dresses.
The basic order of formality is a walking suit is less formal then a promenade toilette which is less formal than a carriage dress. A dinner dress is less formal than a evening dress, but may also be worn to evening events like come concerts or lectures. Opera was its own insane category.
Who ever said Victorian dressing was simple?
Continuing my 19th century fashion magazines descriptions, here is today’s:
A pale blue bolero jacket with pale blue sleeve puffs worn over a lavender corset with brass button accents. The neckline of the corset is filled with a pale blue high-necked blouse. The matching skirt is lavender and trimmed in pale green with three rows of blue ruffles. The hat is a bowler style trimmed with dark purple fabric roses and a wide blue ribbon band. Without the hat, this ensemble would be a lovely dinner attire and with the hat would be appropriate for afternoon visiting or carriage rides.
I have to confess, I have never been one of those people who romanticizes history. I’m pretty much certain that I like air conditioning, indoor plumbing and antibiotics too much to want to live in the past, but sometimes when I’m working on fantasy romanticized history pieces like this series, I start to think, “Hmmm… it might be fun to get to put on fancy dresses and go to a ball!”
So tell me in a comment what era of history you’d like to visit sometime. I’ve never been able to settle on one, but I think it might be fun to visit the Library of Alexandria or the Aldine Press in Venice.
(My library geek is coming out in those choices.)
Thoughts from all of you? What time period would you like to visit?
Today’s neo-Victorian costume for Monday’s Monica moves to a much lower rung of the formality ladder.
Today, Monica has a morning costume or a house dress. There really shouldn’t be a hat with this costume, because house dresses and morning dresses were not something women wore outside. Still, I drew a lot of hats with these outfits. So, I thought people might enjoy a spare hat today.
To once again channel my inner 19th century fashion magazine, here we go:
A lavender shirtwaist of the crispest cotton with a jabot at the neckline. The sleeves are long and go over the hands, replacing the need for gloves of any sort. Worn over the shirt waist is a decorative long corset of misty blue leather trimmed in pale green ribbon. The skirt is tightly fitted, as is the current fashion, and made to match the corset’s trimmings. There is a decorative band of tea green right before the knees and then asymmetrical layers of ruffles. The matching hat is green and trimmed in over-sized bows.
I am having way more fun writing these 19th century style descriptions of these outfits than I really should probably admit to most people.
Still, I kinda figure that if you’re reading the blog than you probably already know that I am a trifle quirky and such things shouldn’t bother you at all.
Black and white versions can be downloaded at the top of the post, as usual.
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So, here we are in week two of the new system for PTP. It’s very exciting. I am feeling excited. Also a little nervous, I must confess.
Monica is our model today. She is, of course, from the Marisole Monday & Friend’s series. This whole week will be a neo-Victorian/Steampunk inspired week with hats, skirts and jackets. As I know I’ve said before, I have a THING for the whole idea of different outfits for different activities. When I’m in Victorian fantasy land, I like to decide which outfit goes with which Victorian activity.
A lady of quality in the Victorian era had a variety of gowns at different levels of formality. At one end of the scale was the house dress or morning dress and at the other end of the scale was a ballgown or full-dress.
Monica’s suit today is a promenade costume, I think. To channel my inner-19th century fashion magazine (everyone should have an inner 19th century fashion magazine), here how I would describe it:
A promenade or afternoon visiting costume in purple wool with a matching jacket. Underneath the jacket, the model wears a lavender shirtwaist. The jacket is trimmed in pale teal and aqua velvet and satin. A wide band of lavender satin decorates the skirt and then several rows of aqua ruffles. The chapeau is dyed to match the suit and trimmed in rosettes of aqua silk, feathers and brass buttons. The entire ensemble is quite smart for street or afternoon wear.
Sometimes I am conflicted as to whether I like the term Neo-Victorian or the term Steampunk better. The truth is that I think this set is more Neo-Victorian in its styling. One of the tropes of Steampunk is high technology made through steam-power and there’s none of those aesthetics in this paper doll. However, no matter how I feel about it, I confess that the SEO for steampunk is far better than the SEO for neo-Victorian.
Thoughts from the audience on that one?
Oh, and a few “housekeeping” things. The link to the coloring page version of today’s paper doll is at the top with the links to the PDF. As always, I strongly urge you to print from the PDF copy and to print it however you have been printing them from the beginning. That will assure that the new stuff and the old stuff still fits.
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The 1930s introduced beach pajamas for women, so Meaghan has a set of those with a striped sweater. Other trends of the era include bias cut evening dresses, of which she also has one. And no lady could leave her house without a fashionable hat and gloves, of course. Shoes wise, she has sandals, since this is a summer set and she needs sandals.
Whenever I see vintage fashions and I am jealous of them, I am reminded that I rather wouldn’t want to wear hats and gloves all the time.
Originally, I was planning a red, white and blue sort of nautical color scheme, but I didn’t like the idea of it once I actually started coloring. Once I was in the midst of the coloring, I decided to go with a coral, yellow and pale blue scheme. The colors are summery and bright.
There is no black at all in the set, I chose white as my neutral color instead. Something about white just screams summer to me.
One of my goals for 2016 was to draw ten historical paper dolls. I confess I am far from achieving that goal and we’re halfway though the year (nearly), so I seriously need to get my act together on this one. So, my goal for the next few days is to buckle down and get some drawing, scanning and finishing done.
We’ll see how that goes.
I have a few days off work and I always start these things with a long list of “goals”, but I fear my plans are often larger than my capacity. Still, I’m out of backlog and nothing is as good as an artist motivation as desperation.
Picking out colors wasn’t very hard, since I seem to always come back to the same ones when it comes to the 1300s. I blame it on medieval manuscripts I have seen. I always think of the 14th century was being red and blue and gold.
Sterotypical, perhaps, but none the less. There we are.
Between my new 1300s Buxom and Bodacious paper doll, my viking paper doll, and my Cranach paper doll, we’re starting to get a pretty nice set of early Western Fashions. I keep promising myself I’ll do one from a decade of the 19th century, but I can’t pick one. So, 19th century B&B series suggestions would be welcomed.