This has been a busy week here among the corn. I’ve been working and schooling. I got to listen in on a fascinating lecture about the history of bibles (not the text, but the printing history of the book) and that was amazing. And, of course, I’ve been working on homework and other things while work is very busy. It’s been fun, but hectic.
Neither of these costumes for Flora were based on specific fashion plate. I felt like she needed a spencer jacket (the short jacket) which is such a well known early 19th century garment. It was named for George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer. The story goes he burned the tails off his coat while warming himself by the fire and just decided to cut them off. It seems doubtful this actually happened, but it’s a neat story. Jane Austen’s World blog had somebeautiful photos of spencer jackets. I confess to actually not being a big fan of Austen, but people keep telling me I should reread her novels. I keep telling them I have other things I’d rather read. This is a hard case to make to my good friend who wrote her Master’s thesis on Jane Austen.
I have been trying to play with pattern, which helps explain this set of paper doll costumes. I also saw that fantasy was the most requested type of paper doll, so I am also trying to draw more fantasy costumes. That’s really all I’ve got to say about these dresses.
This weekend has been very busy. I spent most of Saturday morning helping my friend push her car out from where it was stuck in a snow berm and then did a lot of reading and homework. I did go play board games with some friends on Saturday and managed to lose at Catan twice, but had a lot of fun while I did.
I need to buy that game. I enjoy it, but I don’t own a copy.
Today, we have Marisole: on Ice! When I was a kid and I watched figure skating, I always judged them on their costumes, but then…. doesn’t everyone? I also liked it when they skated to things that weren’t classical music. When I was working on this paper doll, I spent a bit of time on websites that sell figureskating gear and I learned some things like the tights that figure skaters wear cover the tops of the boots (this makes a lot of sense, actually, because it would make it easier to move) and that my ice skates don’t look much like actual ice skates.
I had fun drawing them though. 🙂
Marisole’s maroon costume is supposed to look as though parts of it are transparent, but I don’t think the effect worked very well. I need to figure out a way to making things look transparent when I color them on the computer, but I haven’t figured out a good way to do it yet… I think I will eventually. If anyone knows any tricks, I’d love to hear about them.
Last year, one of my most common search terms was “Gothic Fairies” and I felt rather bad about this since I didn’t have any on the site. So, at least now there is a slightly gothic fairy paper doll available for anyone whose looking for a gothic fairy paper doll. Actually, I wasn’t totally sure what a Gothic fairy paper doll was, but my research (google image search) suggests layers of torn garments and pale skin seem to be requirements of the gothic fairy look. I rather think she needs wings, but I don’t know how to add them, so that might be a later addition to the set.
The paper doll is rather a companion to Flora (not to be confused with my wooden doll named Flora. Apparently, I like the name Flora…), who is my other fairy paper doll. I don’t usually draw fairies, but they were fun.
So, I just realized I actually have three paper dolls on the site all named Flora (one short run doll, one pixie paper doll and the regency doll) and I don’t even like the name Flora that much… I feel a little like a ditz as a result, but I don’t plan on letting it get to me too much. I mean, all ready pretty much have accepted that I’m a bit spacey (usually I try to blame this on a combination of work, school and everything else).
Today Flora (the Regency one) has a morning dress and a set of short stays. According to Ewing’s book Fashion in Underwear (which is being reprinted by Dover), the short stays were common through 1800 with this example I drew dating from 1790. There was a dramatic drop in the number of stays manufactures in the early 1800s. I always thought stays and corsets were distinctly different objects, but I have recently learned that, according to both Ewing and a few others, that the terms were used interchangeably for most of the 19th century before “corset” survived into the 20th and “stays” stayed (bad pun, I know) in the 19th century.
Her morning dress is based on this illustration from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery which dates from and, of course, she has a cap to go with it. The morning dress was considered undress by the women of the era (there was also full dress and half dress) and was not usually worn outside of the house. It’s a beautiful garment though and the style of sleeve was called the “Juliet Sleeve” which I think is rather romantic and also.. um… does not bode well for the person wearing it.
Also, there’s a new poll. I’m enjoying polls. They take the stress out of decision making. 🙂
One quick announcements, before I forget. One, is that I have been getting some questions about the paper dolls and I thought it was time I added a FAQ. As always, I am reachable by email, but check the new FAQ if you have any questions. Also, if you email me, please understand that I work, I go to class and I don’t always have time to check my email every night. I do get back to people, it just takes me a little while sometimes.
Ever since I read Treasure Island as a child, I have had a love of pirates that I can’t quite explain. Even at their most nasty (and Long John Silver is nasty), I love the ideas of high seas and high adventure. There’s something about swash-buckling that makes me smile. I blame it equally on my Mother and her love of adventure stories and my own natural inclination. Neither of these paper doll costumes has anything to do with history, but when you’re drawing a pirate paper doll, who needs history anyway?
History was fairly dark and full of nasty things like rickets. I prefer my pirates Hollywood style and rickets-free.
One of the things I have started doing is adding tabs to the Curves paper dolls when I draw them rather than later with Photoshop. I don’t think anyone but me can tell the difference and I think it saves time when I actually scan the paper dolls since I don’t have to add tabs as well as re-size, clean up and futz with. It may be the only time that is saved in psychological, but I’m okay with that. Anything to make me more likely to keep up to date with my posting.
Where to start about this paper doll set… Well, it all started with the blue dress which is the strange love child of a kimono, a peacoat and a 1850’s hoop skirt and then sort of evolved from there. Secretly I kinda love it, but publicly I’m a little more unsure. The underwear in yellow and cream came out of the desire to draw absurd underwear (and practice my ruching as I mentioned last week) and then I felt like I needed a second dress to fill in the set, so I drew her odd formal costume with the pleats and underbust corset with the flower. My favorite is the blue dress, though I know I shouldn’t have favorites among my paper dolls.
The poll is, of course, on going. I am not at all surprised that fantasy is in the lead. I always rather suspected it would win out in the end, but I wasn’t sure where everything else would fall in between, so it has been education in its own way.
When I was a child, I loved the work of Cicely Mary Barker who did wonderful illustrations of fairies and is now quite the commercial enterprise thanks to Penguin. When I was reading them, of course, they weren’t as big as they are now. She died in 1973. My neighbor had an address book with an illustration for each letter (all 26) and I remember being enchanted by them as a child.
Now, I confess I am well aware that actual fairy folklore is considerably darker then the short of cute little flower fairy which the Victorian’s brought us, but the flower ones are easier to draw. What does a Banshee wear anyway? Well… that might be a question to answer at Halloween.
So, I am a little late with this post. I had planned on putting her up last night, as I usually do, but ended up spending more time working on homework then I’d originally planned. After that, I put in some time studying my Latin and crashed early. No paper dolling time really at all. So, I got up early the next morning, finished my Latin homework and then had enough time to prep the images, but not enough time to post. Annoyed more then anything else, I went to Latin, went to work, went to dinner and now, finally, have gotten home.
With a slight delay, I am pleased to introduce Flora, my new regency paper doll and yes, her name was chosen because it was alliterative. Don’t judge me for my adoration of alteration. The paper doll is based on wooden dolls of early 1800’s. Her body is the same as that of a manikin doll shown in The Complete Book of Doll Making and Collecting which contains many photographs of antique dolls. The hair style was adapted from a wooden tuck comb doll though without the comb since it would make bonnets difficult.
Her full slip is based on illustrations from Dress and Undress: A History of Women’s Underwear which is considered to be one of the best works on the topic. I agree that it is fantastic, but I wish it had more pictures. All of the paper dolls underwear designs come from this text which was one of the few that discussed the differences between early 1800’s underwear compared to later when the corset returned. To go with her slip, I have included a simple chemise which was drawn from this one in the Fashion Museum in Bath, England. I adore the Fashion Museum site and wax on about that more on my Research Resources page.
That is all I think I need to say about the paper doll. Of course, if you haven’t all ready done so, you may wish to vote in my poll.
There was a time in my life when I thought I wanted to be a psychologist. I seem to recall even taking a course in the topic or two in college and writing a paper on toys and child development (I know I wrote the paper. I might have written it in a different class). My second- cousin once removed (I think) was a Freudian psycho-analyst long sense retired who took a real interest in my possible choice of career and suggested I read the works of Freud. After about ten pages into them, I decided I didn’t really want to be a psychologist that badly. Never the less, I took away from Freud a certain respect for the discipline and the knowledge of the Super-Ego and the Id. Usually portrayed as an angel and a devil in cartoons, the Id and Superego are both definitely alive and well in pop culture today.
I don’t think anyone has drawn them as a paper doll though.
Truth be told, I’m not entirely satisfied with this paper doll anyway. The halo and the horns, I don’t know how they would stay on the paper dolls head after she is printed and that kinda bothers me. I try to make sure the paper dolls are actually playable and I know this particular paper doll isn’t. I’m trying to not let it bother me and I’m only mostly succeeding.