Promenade and Play: Victorian Paper Doll Clothes for the Poppets

Victorian paper doll clothes So, life this week has been a roller coaster of sickness and travel, but I promised a second page of clothes for Peach in the Park to expand her Victorian paper doll wardrobe and I am pleased to say that here they are.

In no real order, in this set of paper doll clothes there is a promenade dress or afternoon dress, a gymnastics outfit and a set of underwear consisting of a chemise, drawers and a stayband or corset. She also has a pair of shoes with stockings and a ballgown for her doll. It is entirely possible that the doll’s little ballgown is my favorite piece of the entire set, though drawing that small was a challenge. (Seriously, the doll is like two inches tall in real life. I kid you not.)

I drew these designs based on illustrations from several different Victorian fashion magazines including Harpers Bazaar and La Mode Illustre, which as French. I highly recommend Dover’s excellent books of fashion plate reprints when working on Victorian period fashions- they bring a richness to the process of research that is of great value. Plus it’s fun to draw surrounded by open books (at least, I think it is fun.)

Medieval inspired fantasy outfits for the Poppet paper dolls coloring pagesVictorian Paper Doll and Dress from the 1870s in black and white for coloring
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By the late 1860s, early 1870s, sporting activities were encouraged for children. Gymnastic’s costumes like the one in brown are often shown in magazines along with yachting and skating outfits. While it is hard to imagine a child really running around in the bustled up skirts of the era, it is possible to imagine them doing so in one of these more practical outfits.

I also think it is important to remember that while fashion magazines show perfectly coifed children, actual children’s garments are often more worn and simpler. Kid’s did get out in play even in the 1800s and parents did not dress them like little adults, despite what my fashion history teacher told me. The length of a girl’s skirt indicated her age. The poppets are, in my mind, between the ages of 8 and 11, so their skirts are mid-calve. The skirts would slowly lower until maturity when they would be floor length for many, thought not all, activities.

As a reminder, because I forget this sometimes too- any of the Poppet paper dolls can wear any of the other Poppet paper doll’s clothing. So, while I was thinking of Peach when I made these outfits, they could also be worn by Petunia, Paradisea, Poppy, Posey, Petal, or Primrose.

That is a lot of P names.

Anyway, enjoy the Victorian paper doll outfits.

Peach in the Park: A Victorian Printable Paper Doll

Peach In the Park is a paper doll of a black Victorian child doll inspired by BJDs with her own antique fashion doll. She has one dress based on a 1869 fashion plate, shoes, a hat, and a doll. The doll has a dress of her own, also based on an 1869 fashion plate. Peach is part of the Poppet paper doll series and can share clothing with the other Poppet paper dolls. Today’s Poppet paper doll is all about Victorian children’s clothing of the late 1860s and early 1870s. I love Victorian children’s clothing. I just love it. I even love it in the 1840s when I generally think all the clothing looks really stupid.

I think it is a combination of my natural fascination with childhood studies and exposure to books like The Little Princess at a young and impressionable age. It is likely also because I have a fondness for the idea of antique dolls with little wardrobes of perfectly sewn clothing pieces. The Little Princess was full of dolls. Anyone else remember that book?

And I am not talking about the Shirley Temple movie version where her father wasn’t really dead. I’ve never forgiven them for changing that part.

Anyway, we have Peach, a new Poppet paper doll, with an elegant promenade costume from Godey’s Lady’s Magazine in 1969. Her fashion doll also has a Promenade costume from that same fashion plate. I couldn’t find a decent reproduction of the plate online. Because Godey’s plates folded out, when people digitize the bound volumes they rarely take the time to fold out the plates. The result is that the text is reproduced, but not the folded plate. This is one of my pet peeves about mass digitization projects.

Back to the paper doll- Peach has, of course, a French fashion doll with her who I have left unnamed. Her fashion doll has a walking dress of her own with a hat attached. I have rarely drawn something as small as the fashion doll and I am worried a little about the fit of the gown. I did a quick Photoshop fit test, but you might want to leave some black border for wiggle room on that one. I love the whole paper dolls with their own dolls which are also paper dolls thing. It is hard to pull off though.

A black and white printable paper doll of a ball-jointed doll with Victorian 1870s clothing and her own doll to dress. Peach is part of the Poppet series and can share clothing with the other dolls in that series.A color printable paper doll of a ball-jointed doll with Victorian 1870s clothing and her own doll to dress. Peach is part of the Poppet series and can share clothing with the other dolls in that series.
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Anyway, I used several sources when working on today’s paper doll. The doll herself is based on the brown-complexioned bisque bebe dolls produced in France and Germany by companies like Steiner, Bru, Jumeau and many others. You can see some examples of these dolls on my Pinterest Board about Antique dolls. These dolls were most common in the late 19th century. As I mentioned above, her dress is from an 1869 Godey’s Lady’s Journal fashion plate. I used Dover’s excellent book- 80 Godey’s Full-Color Fashion Plates, 1838-1880 (ISBN: 978-0486402222), now out of print, for the 1869 plate. I know there are lots of sources online today for fashion plates, but too many of them omit the context of the plates, since plates were often cut. That is why I like having books of fashion plates in my collection for reference.

Next week, I will share a related Poppet clothing set with some underwear from the 1870s- when even children wore staybands or corsets- and two more outfits and a ballgown for her doll. Also, another pair of shoes with stockings.

I really do have to draw more historical children’s clothing for the Poppets. I had far to much fun with this set.

Remember that you’ll need to cut along the shoulders of the paper doll, so that she can wear her dress.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Dinner or Wedding Dress

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And so, today is the last Florence paper doll post. Actually, I can’t say its the LAST, because lord knows I might decide in five months that what I really want to do is draw the paper doll something new and then I will, but it is the last committed Florence post.

So, since we are on the eve of the New Year (which is quite exciting) and I am considering the future of PTP, I have decided a few things. One is that the short run dolls are ending. I don’t know how I will post my paper-dolls that aren’t serial, but I think some sort of gallery might be the right format for them. I ended up having to reformat them in strange ways to get them to fit with the rest of the site and I didn’t always like the outcome. For the moment, Sundays will be paper doll free- however, I will be working on a Gallery for the site. We’ll see how long it takes me to produce it.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Seperates and Accessories

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This is the second to last Florence post with her last being a wedding dress/dinner dress for next week. The regency wooden doll is going slowly. I have the doll drawn, but am struggling with regency underwear information. My sources suggest that while some women shed corsets (mostly radical french women), most still wore some sort of corset like garment. The challenge is figuring out what those garments were. So, I have six books on historical underwear spread across my dining room table while I try to figure it out.

Speaking of paper doll research, I have been collecting a series of links I use for research. You can find them up in the new Research Resources section.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Tea Dress and Cashmere Wrap

It’s been a long week of writing a paper. It’s over through and turned in. I’m excited that its over. I’ve also been inking a fair bit today and working on something fun for Marisole for Monday which should be fun. I do like inking. It’s very calming after a long hectic day at work. Of course, working on the blog is a luxury which explains why I’m a little late today.
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I’ll be starting a new Fashion Doll Friday series on Dec 1st. Currently, the regency wooden doll is in the lead, but it’s open until next Sunday. I must confess I rather suspected the regency doll would be in the lead, though the fifties fashion doll may yet recover and pull a head. Both sound like they would be fun.

So, vote if you wish. Comment if you wish. Let me know what people think they would like.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Morning Dress

So I’m a little peeved at WordPress right now. This post was supposed to go up Friday afternoon. Obviously, it didn’t. So, I’m back dating it for the day it should have posted and getting it up today. Apparently, the world has decided against playing nice with me today. (On the upside, I got my homework done this after noon and bought a really cute pair of riding boots. So… things aren’t all bad.)

Today, we have a morning dress for Florence. We also have a poll to vote for the future of Fashion Doll Fridays. My intention is to draw another historical fashion doll and then work on drawing a full wardrobe for her much as I have for the last year and a-half for Florence. A few people have expressed sadness at the ending of Florence. I hope people will come to like whatever comes after as much as they have liked Florence. She will continue for four more weeks (cause that’s how much I have draw for her.) And her final post is quite cool. So look forward to that one.

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For me, the challenge of Florence was to draw a historically accurate French fashion doll based on the dolls produced by the Bru company (which I did, mostly… her head is more Gaultier or Jumeau in nature) and give her a wardrobe which she would have had from the period of the soft bustle. The question for the poll is, of course, what sort of doll should I draw next?

The options are, in date order, a Georgian doll from the 1700’s, a Regency era wooden doll, a hoopskirt wearing china headed doll, a bisque headed doll from the 1910s (I couldn’t find a good photo of this except for in books, think Titanic era clothing) or a hard plastic 1950’s fashion doll.

So, vote if you wish. Comment if you wish. Polls are open until Nov. 1 with the new doll series starting on December 1st.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Yachting Costume

Today’s paper doll costume is based off an 1872 dress housed in the V&A Museum which has a fantastic costume collection. I first saw the dress in a book describing it as a yachting costume which is not, I found out later, how the V&A describes it. I’m still calling it a yachting costume. After I saw it on the paper doll, I realized it should have been a bit shorter. Oh well.

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I must confess I am getting a little weary of Florence. I have been drawing for her for over a year and a half. While I like the early 1870’s, I find my patience with the costumes is slipping. The stripes are much sloppier on this dress then they should have been and the bustle is awkwardly shaped. The paper doll has 22 dresses at the moment, not including hats and underwear. I have a list of paper doll dresses I still want to draw for her, but I worry I’m not really that interested in drawing them.

Of course, I have nothing to replace Florence with, so I guess for the time being she’ll continue. Still, I’m curious- If my readers could pick out an era to have a paper doll devoted too, which era would they choose? I might make a poll, but for now it’s just a casual inquiry.

Fashion Doll Friday: Reception Gown

So, there are a few scheduling changes happening which are explained over on the About Pages. Mostly, just me explaining how thing actually are working vs. how I thought things would work eight months ago when I started this mad crazy thing up after the site collapse. Oh, the adventures of a website owner.

Victorian reception gown for a paper doll

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Somedays, I love my scanner/printer thing. It does what I ask it. It doesn’t complain. It fills my heart with joy and happiness and then there are they days when it refuses to scan, scans at an angle or simply does weird and mystical things as though it were possessed. Outside of striking it with incense and casting out the demons, I have no idea what to do about it and I don’t plan on using the incense solution. Today was one of those days, but eventually the stars aligned properly and I got a scan to turn into a printable paper doll.

Go me.

Despite by frustration with the scanner, or perhaps because of it, I’m just not pleased with this paper doll dress. I don’t like the fringe even though it is very very period and I don’t really like the folds of the bustle and I’m not pleased with the train and… Yeah, I could go on and on. I do think when I feel like I’m on a time press, I let myself get sloppier then I like. Still, they can’t all be winners, right?

Fashion Doll Friday: Afternoon Dress

Today was full of errands and craziness and being late with my Friday paper doll post. These things happen. My classes start on Monday and I am looking forward to it. I do love class, but it’s also a little scary as I inch towards graduation.

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Afternoon dresses were worn when receiving guests in the afternoon. They weren’t worn out, so they didn’t need a hat, but since they could be worn as visiting dresses, I decided to include a hat as well. I loved the boots which are based on these wonderful shoes with lots of little straps that button up the leg. I’ve always really liked them. The dress is based on a real afternoon dress from the V&A Museum.

Fashion Doll Fridays: Florence’s Riding Habit

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It’s so humid here, I feel as though I live in a pond, under water, fully dressed. Kinda makes me unhappy. On the flip side, I have a riding habit here. I have to confess I’ve only ridden a horse two times in my life and am sort of scared of them.

They are very large. Also, they always seem to be planning something.

However, riding was a typical and socially acceptable activity in the Victorian era and a good excuse to wear boots with tassels on them. Interestingly enough, riding habits were one of the only things Victorian women bought from tailors, not seamstresses. Partly because of this, they always have obviously masculine influences attached to them- hence the jacket and necktie.

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