Geta’s Steampunk/Neo-Victorian Printable Paper Doll Trousseau… The First Part

greta-trousseau-set-1-imageThis is the first part of a multi-part paper doll project to create a neo-victorian or steampunk paper doll bride with a trousseau of outfits for every occasion. I feel like I’ve written before about my love of the idea of a trousseau. I remember as a child I was fascinated with the idea of having different dresses to do different activities. I wanted to tea dress and an afternoon dress and a morning dress. This all seemed very exciting to me. I’ve never given up my love of trousseaux or layettes or wardrobes and each time I do a paper doll, particularly a mix and match paper doll, I think about how each of the pieces can go or can’t go with each of the other pieces.

Several months ago, I hatched the idea of doing a steampunk paper doll with a trousseau, playing with the Victorian obsession with an “outfit for every activity”. I poured over old reports of trousseaux from major marriages of the guilded age, including Princess Beatrice whose style seems remarkably crisp and straight forward for such a frilly period. In the Ladies Book of Etiquette and Manuel of Politeness the following information about a proper bridal outfit, or trousseau, is offered, “In preparing a bridal outfit, it is best to furnish the wardrobe for at least two years, in under-clothes, and one year in dresses, though the bonnet and cloak, suitable for the coming season, are all that are necessary, as the fashions in these articles change so rapidly. If you are going to travel, have a neat dress and cloak of some plain color, and a close bonnet and veil.”

Clearly, this is going to be a larger project than just this post. This is the first of what I suspect will be several pages of trousseau for Greta. We’re starting with her wedding dress, with a jacket, a dinner dress and a house dress.


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The wedding dress could become a ballgown quite easily and that wasn’t an uncommon practice, because wedding dresses were often simply a women’s best dress. The dinner dress is more of a semi-formal dress, a step below a ballgown and right around the world of an opera toilette (don’t worry, she’ll get one of those two). Her house dress is, of course, the least formal with a book to read while she spends time at home. Ever stylish paper dolls need to relax sometimes.

All of Greta’s Trousseau posts are gathered together under the tag “Greta’s Trousseau.”

Mini-Maidens: Meet Hazel

So, I finally named my 4th of July paper doll with Mary’s suggestion, Hazel. I thought Hazel was a vintage sounding name to go with a vintage inspired set of costumes. I rather like how she turned out and I think her dresses are all very pretty. In my mind, Hazel is of African descent and is perhaps from London (though that would make her celebrating the 4th of July a little wierd).

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Random Rachel Story Time: When I was traveling around the UK in college, I spent several days in Newcastle hanging out with two wonderful girls from London who were both British-Nigerian. They rescued me from a rather awkward encounter with an older Irish man (fairly common problem in hostel traveling) and we spent the next two days traveling to art museums in the area together. I meant to look them up later when I was back in London, but I never got around to it.

Despite the inspiration, I openly confess it was really tough to get the features to look at all ethnically accurate while also being so stylized.

I wanted to thank everyone, though I will comment as well, who was so kind as to post Marisole ideas. I definitely think more than a few of them have potential. Every time I get frustrated with this blog, I am reminded of the quality of readers that I am so lucky to have.

Happy 4th of July…

Happy Independence Day!

So, in celebration of the 4th of July, here in the United States, I offer a paper doll, as usual. I mean, I don’t know how else I was going to celebrate. I’ve done some 4th of July paper dolls in the past… like these Marisole Monday rocking some 18th century attire which I had a lot of fun drawing.

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At home, in Alaska, they have fireworks at midnight on the 3rd of July, because it doesn’t get dark until about 10 pm. In Alabama, where I live currently, I have no idea what they do, but I can hear the fireworks from my apartment. I had a quiet 4th which, after two weeks of constant travel and stress, was just what I wanted.

This is a new member of the Mini-Maiden Family. I am thinking of naming her something that begins with H, but I am having trouble coming up with an idea. There aren’t a lot of good H names out there… So, at the moment I am divided between Helen or Hannah… neither of which I’m too smitten with. Suggestions from the audience?

Mini-Maidens… Faye of the Future… A black and white printable paper doll

Among my various hobbies, other than drawing paper dolls, I mean, I play table top rpgs. One of my favorites is Shadowrun which I play on Saturday nights, usually. Inevitably, a bout of Shadowrun playing leads to be drawing cyberpunk inspired paper doll sets. While I agree with the general complaint that Shadowrun isn’t very pure cyberpunk, it is still a lot of fun, plus in how many other games can you have elves with assault rifles? I openly confess I have some reservations about the portrayal of Native American’s in the cannon of the game world, but no more of a problem than I have with how women are portrayed in almost every game book ever, so I can get over it.

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By the way, I updated the Showcase recently and forgot to mention it. My bad. So, there’s some new work in there by Meredith and I have more to add, I just haven’t gotten the files re-sized yet. It will happen soon enough. Thank you, Meredith for participating.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that the blog will be going into hiatus for the month of June. I have travel, work obligations and I’m going to be presenting a paper at an academic conference, all of which leaves me terrified and really busy. I’ll still be checking my email and answering comments when I can, but I won’t be updating. I’ll give a longer announcement about it when we get closer to the date in question.

Thoughts? Comments? As always, I love to hear from you guys. 🙂

This is Greta: A New Black & White Printable Paper Doll

Okay, so news: After some deliberation I settled on Natalie’s suggestion for a name “Mini Maidens”, though I have to mention that DotRot’s suggestion of “Faye and the Holidaze” was probably the one that made me laugh the hardest. I have a soft spot in my heart for alliteration. I want to thank everyone for entering, since I hate naming things.

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Greta is the new Mini Maiden and she shares a face with the Valentine’s day doll. I’ve made a new category for the Mini-Maidens with separate subcategories for Faye and Greta, since those are the two members at the moment. Passover in on the horizon, but I don’t think I’ll be doing a Passover paper doll. Though a mini-bowl of matzo ball soup might be worth it…

Anyway, I hope everyone likes the Mini Maidens and their new place among the serial dolls on the site. They aren’t on the Index page yet. With one thing and another last night, I forgot to make them an icon, but they’ll be added soon.

Meet Faye: A New Paper Doll Series is Born

Some of you probably remember my Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day Paper Dolls which I did last month. After I did them, I found myself drawing a lot more for this pose. So, I decided to actually name the first of the dolls. I have named her Faye, after a Chinese foreign exchange student I knew in graduate school. Her wardrobe, like that of my grad school friend, is girly and a hint of boho. I haven’t updated the Printable Paper Doll Index with her yet, but I will be soon. Probably this weekend.

paper-doll-faye

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By the way, the new series needs a name. So, I am asking for recommendations for a good name for these little paper dolls. I’ll select my favorite from the comments in a week (Friday the 22nd) and the winner will get a custom paper doll set of their choice.

It’s been a while since I did a contest and so the rules are as follows:

      1. You can enter up to three names.

 

      2. You can only win one contest a year.

 

      3. I will announce the winner on the blog on the day the contest ends. I will also email the winner at their email address attached to the comment. If I do not hear back from the winner within a week, I will use a random number generator to select the next

winner

      .

 

    4. The winner will receive a one page custom paper doll based on one of my paper doll series within a month of the end of the contest. Sometimes life gets in the way of this goal, but I will email the winner if that is the case and we can make other arrangements.

So, enter your paper doll series names and we’ll see what we’re going to call this new set of paper dolls.

Valentine’s Day…

valentines-day-paper-doll

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So, it’s Valentine’s Day again.

I have a history of fairly unpleasant Valentine’s Days, but being that as it is, I still enjoy the holiday as an excuse to eat those weird message hearts that taste like chalk. Personally, I almost wish we’d consider returning Valentine’s Day to it’s roots.

By which I mean the feast of Lupercalia which the Roman’s celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of Feburary. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain all while drunk and naked. How’s that for a good time?

Apparently, the women thought (well everyone thought) that being slapped by a bloody hide of a dead animal would make them fertile.

Anyway, short of getting slapped with straps of wet animal skin, I’ve decided to draw and post a paper doll. Slightly less messy, I suspect, though also, perhaps, less fun. The Chinese New Year paper doll poll got lots of votes for friends to go with the New Year paper doll, so she can share clothing if you want snakes to go with the hearts.

Goats and dogs, you’ll have to draw yourself.

By the way, I have a history of Valentine’s Day paper dolls. I did two in 2011 Marisole Monday and Pixie named Valentina . I didn’t do one last year, so I thought I better do one this year.

A Chinese New Year Paper Doll

Happy New Year! Apparently, this year is the year of the Snake. My limited understanding of the Chinese Zodiac informs me that it’s both the year of the Snake and the year of Water. I really don’t know much about the Chinese Zodiac.

chinese-new-year-magnolia

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Anyway, I have been on a Chinese traditional dress kick since last year. I decided to draw a qípáo or cheongsam which is the figure hugging high collared dress of kung fu movie fame. The dress isn’t that old, but evolved around the 1920s in Shanghai. The original qipao was wide and loose and long and trimmed with bands of embroidered fabric.

The tunic on the left has “horse hoof” sleeves which were a standard part of Manchu dress during the Qing Dynasty in China. I shortened it to make it a little more modern. There’s also a pair of jeans, a pair of trousers and a modern qipao with a matching skirt, which is apparently not an uncommon way to wear one.

Speaking of all things Chinese, I was heavily inspired by the Kurhn dolls like this one which I guess are sort of Chinese Barbie dolls. Anyway, I hope everyone has a lovely New Years Day, I plan on eating dumplings in celebration. (Also, because I have them in my freezer.)

I am currently debating if I should give today’s paper doll some friends, because I really liked the pose and I had fun drawing her (though I’m not totally pleased with the hair).