Mini-Maidens Visit the 1770s


{View Larger} {View the PDF} {More Mini-Maiden Paper Dolls}


Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Dress From the 1770s, This Dress from 1775-1780 and This dress from the 1770s
A paper doll dress based on the designs of the 1770s. The dress has matching shoes and stockings. It is black and white for coloring and fits the Mini-Maiden paper dolls.
Today’s Mini-Maiden paper doll dress should have maybe been posted on the 4th of July since that is Independence Day, but I decided to hold off on it. I’m not sure why exactly, but I did. So now, I am posting it on the 19th of July for really no reason, except that I really love 18th century clothing.

Often when I created historical pieces, there is a specific piece I am recreating. I choose a dress that I love and then I draw it. That was the case with my 1820s morning dress for example, but today’s 1770s gown is much more an expression of several gowns from the era. This dress, this one and one more all from the 1770s are some of the source images that I combined. Check out my 18th century pinterest board for way way more examples of clothing from this era.

Because I did not use just one dress, there is a a lot of room for error. It is highly possible that someone from the 18th century would look at this dress and think it was way off for reasons I can never know.

Clothing is full of tiny nuanced rules. Most of these are never written down and are now lost to us on the whims of time. Mostly, I’ve come to accept this as part of the creative process. I’m never going to be perfect.

Perfect, I am fond of saying, is the enemy of good.

I can however been well researched. In the interest of that, I wanted to mention that Dover has just reprinted the book, Eighteenth-Century French Fashion Plates in Full Color edited by Stella Blum. This is a great book that I have been wanting for a while. So, I just ordered my copy and while I get no benefit from the link above, I wanted to mention it in case anyone else has been wanting this book.

Should I do more 18th century stuff? I have been thinking about maybe a riding habit. Thoughts?

Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

Poppet’s Visit the 18th Century… Historical Paper Doll Clothes

logo-poppet-1700s-historicalSo, today the Poppets paper doll series is traveling to the 18th century and rocking some beautiful clothes. One of the great myths of historical costume is that children in the 18th century were dressed “just like adults” and while there is some truth to the fact that children wore very similar clothing to adults, it was rarely identical. Skirt length is a common way to tell that a dress was intended for a child, rather than an adult, along with simpler lines and decorations.

Today’s 18th century outfit is based on a a gown from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her shoes come from a painting by Carl-Ludwig Christine in 1772 of two sisters. Her pocket is based on these pockets from America. Her cap is an amalgamation of about a dozen different caps from portraits and is, I confess, a little odd looking. I am not entirely pleased with it.

poppet-1700s-historical-color poppet-1700s-historical-bw

{Download a PDF in Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG in Color}{Download a PDF to Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG to Color} {More Poppet Printable Paper Dolls}
One thing I do not have is a Poppet doll with proper hair for the 18th century, so I am letting Poppy model the historical dress.

Lastly, a bit of the site layout has changed. Mostly just colors, honestly, but I would love to hear what people think of the new design.

Marisole Monday: Happy 4th of July

To celebrate the 4th of July, I thought I would check out books from the library, sit down and set to work on drawing some historical costumes for Marisole set in the 18th century since the Revolutionary War (Or, as the Brits call it, the Rebellion of the Colonies) was in the 1770s. I’ve only done one other set of historical costumes for the paper doll and they were regency dresses (One set one in July and one in August in 2010). This is about as far from the Regency aesthetic as you can get- the French Revolution did have a way of changing fashion, also of decapitating an awful lot of people. Those wiley French.

marisole-18th-century-paper-doll-1

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, I’ll confess that when I have to name my favorite periods of historical fashion the 18th century doesn’t get a lot of attention. I’m just not that huge of a fan, but when I was in England I went to the Fashion Museum in Bath and I saw an actual 18th century gown in person. Despite my tendency to dismiss such costumes as too poofy, too over the top, too absurd for my taste, the actual dress was among the most astonishing pieces of craftsmanship I have seen.


marisole-18th-century-paper-doll-2{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print}{Click Here for the rest of this series}

The frustration of drawing historical costumes for Marisole is that her proportions are so darn strange. While I like how she looks, it means that historical dresses (which rely on a specific silhouette) look off. As I drew these costumes, I realized I was going to a have to allow myself to be a little more liberal then my natural leaning for historical accuracy allows and, besides, I don’t really know enough about the 18th Century to be hyper critical of my own work. I won’t say these costumes are historically accurate, I will say they are historically inspired.

Anyway, if you’d like to read more about 18th century costume, I recommend the excellent 18th Century Blog which is full of beautiful pictures and things, as well as, the exhibit Historic Threads. As for books, I used An Elegant Art, Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail and, of course, Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction, even if you never plan on sewing one of her patterns, this book is worth every penny just for the historical information. Someday, I will own all of Janet Arnold‘s books… Someday.

Enjoy the paper dolls and, for those in the United States, have a great 4th of July.

Edit 8/23/13: One of these paper dolls is now available in black and white for coloring.