Marisole Monday & Friends Get A Walking Dress from 1880

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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Fashion Plate from 1880 and Things the Scare Me
An 1880s bustle dress for a printable paper doll from

A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1880. Free to print and color from

I am not from the south and while I use y’all, because I have picked it up after five years in below the Mason-Dixon line, I am not a local by any means. Still, there is a saying down here I’ve adopted which goes, “Can’t Never Could.”

In sort, if you say you can’t do something then you won’t try and you are dooming yourself to failure.

One of my long standing “can’t” do things has been drawing 1880s bustle skirts.

I’ve told myself I can’t draw a bustle skirt so many times, that I’ve convinced myself this is true. But I decided I was going to face my fear of 1880s bustle skirts by actually drawing one.

Step 1 was finding a fashion plate at the same angle as the paper doll to practice with. After a bit of hunting, I found this plate from 1880.

Next step was doing a draft on cheap lined paper and then doing a final on my nice sketchbook paper.

I’m actually very pleased how it came out. I might even try another one or two, but I have to find another fashion plate at just the right angle.

Not having to rotate something in my head really makes drawing it easier.

I have been thinking about trying the dress on the left of this plate, but rotating the plate before I print it so it is facing the right direction for Marisole Monday lady paper dolls. I prefer to draw from printed images rather than digital ones.

So, how did I do? Should I work on more 1880s stuff? Or is this a period that you’re not to keen on? Let me know in a comment.

Want to see sketchbook drafts of this dress? There’s up on Patreon. Join to check it out! And, you know, help keep the blog on the interwebs.

Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here

Victorian Ballerina Printable Paper Doll from the 1880s

logo-margot-victorian-1880Oh man, what to say about the last few days…

Well, I have been working on backend server CPU issues with my shared hosting service. Nothing really serious, but stuff that has to be dealt with for the blog hosting to continue to be cheap enough for me to justify continuing to keeping it online and free.

Still, I owed a paper doll to my last drawing winner, Lina of Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls, and I was not about to put off finishing that for another week, because I would keep feeling guilty about it.

Lina requested an 1880s period Marisole Monday & Freinds paper doll with a ballet outfit and several other dresses. I had some trouble getting all the pieces to fit on a single page, so I omitted some shoes from the image.

Should you want proper shoes to go with this set, then I recommend checking out On the Board Walk in color or black and white or Mia Goes to the Bathing Place in color or black and white. Both of those sets both have button up style boots which, while not period, are close enough to not look totally awkward.

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Lina was kind enough to send me reference photos and specific colors for the hair, skin and eyes of the paper doll, but left the color scheme mostly up to me. I wanted to use some rich colors, because by the 1880s chemical dyes were common and rich colors were very much instyle. There is a habit to think of the 19th century as sepia colored, because of sepia photos, but it was actually a rather garish era.

At least post, chemical dyes being invented.

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So, Lina also asked for a tutu based on this painting by Degas. The painting dates from 1871, a little earlier than the other costumes in the set. I omitted the sash, since I based the dress on the center figure. I don’t think the layers of the skirts really look like tulle, which bothers me. Liana has some great tulle on her blog.

The ballgown was based on this fashion plate. The gown was red, but I made it peacock blue based on a description in English Women’s Clothing in the 19th Century by Wilett-Cunnington that mentioned peacock blue ballgowns. I hate drawing lace, but it came out all right, I suppose.

The last two outfits are a swimming costume and a house dress. Old swimming costumes were extremely complicated and not very easy to swim in. Generally, I think of them as wadding costumes. Lina sent me this picture and I based it off that.

The house dress is classic 1880s style with bustle, drawn up skirt and long pleats. It’s a pretty typical gown for its period. Lina sent me this photo and I based the dress off of it. I omitted the pattern on the dress, because I knew it would reproduce poorly in the small scale of the paper doll set.

And that, as they say, is that.

If you haven’t ever checked out Lina’s blog, Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls than I recommend taking the time to do so. She makes wonderfully interesting historical paper dolls.