Greta’s Trousseau: Spring Costumes

So, way back in December of 2013, I started a project called Greta’s Trousseau with this post. The idea was that I would draw a complete trousseau for a paper doll inspired by neo-Victorian and steampunk styles. This is the sixth page of Greta’s Trousseau. I don’t think it’s the last one, but we maybe getting close.


Today, Greta has a carriage dress, a visiting toilette, a dinner dress, afternoon costume and morning dress. Her Carriage Dress is based on two gowns from Harper’s Bazar in 1873. One a watering place costume, published in the June 28, 1873 issue and the other a Carriage dress published in the July 5th issue of that same year. Harpers Bazar is a publication which is a little hard to find online. I used Dover’s book of reprinted fashion plates edited by Stella Blum, but you can see some issues of Harpers Bazar from the Home Economics Archive and others from the Hathi Trust. Hathi Trust has better image quality, but does not include the 1873 year.

Anyway, her visiting toilette has an additional hat, as does her carriage dress. Her dinner dress and afternoon costume are the same skirt with two different bodices, a common practice in the Victorian era. Her morning dress is, of course, the most simple gown she has and with it she has slippers, stockings and some correspondence.

{Download a PDF to Print} {View a 150 dpi PNG} {Check out some More Mini-Maiden Printable Paper Dolls}
My goal was to create the massive wardrobe of an absurdly wealthy fashion obsessed neo-Victorian lady. Currently, Greta has sporting outfits including swimming, fencing, hunting, skating and riding. She has a seaside walking dress, two traveling suits, and clothing for exploring or hiking. For formal occasions, she has a ballgown with two bodices, opera toilette and two dinner dresses. For visiting, she has two outfits. There is a walking suit and a promenade costume. For the afternoons, she has an afternoon costume and a tea dress. For quiet days at home, she has a house dress and a morning dress. For the very rare occasion she might need one, she has a wedding dress and a diving suit.

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau in case anyone missed a page or something.

Greta’s Trousseau: Traveling to the Seaside

First paper doll of 2015! Yay!

Okay, so as I mentioned, I’ll be posting some stuff in the next few weeks with the 2014 date on it. That’s because I date things from when I save them, not when I post them on the blog and I’ve got some backlog to go through. Never the less… first post of 2015 and I am going to celebrate that.

In 2015, Greta’s Trousseau is steadily growing. She’s traveling to the seaside with her paper wardrobe to deep sea dive, swim and also, you know, walk around looking fashionable.

Her costumes are, left to right, a diving suit (because who doesn’t have one of those in their wedding trousseau?), a traveling suit, slightly fancier than the last one I posted, a swimming costume with flippers and a spear for fending off aggressive sea-life and a walking dress, because sometimes a girl just wants to look good while walking along the beach.


{Download a PDF} {View a 150 dpi PNG} {More Mini-Maiden Printable Paper Dolls}
For those counting this takes Greta’s Trousseau to just over sixty pieces and 21 distinct outfits. Wow. Of course, she can share with her friends Isadora, Hazel and Faye. It’s not like she’s the only one who can wear these outfits.

Next up for her paper doll wardrobe is probably going to be more sporting outfits, including golf, croquet and tennis. I also have a set with a morning dress and a nightgown in the wings.

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau for those who’d like to see it. Also, there’s a drawing/contest open at the moment, so check that out.

Greta’s Trousseau: Traveling Suit and Evening Attire

It has been a while since we’ve had to visit to Greta’s Trousseau. I have had these drawn for a few mnths and it has been taking me a long time to get my act together and sort out the adding of tabs. I loath having to add tabs, but it’s easier to add them than to remove them later for the fashion plates and I do like putting together the fashion plates.

So, in this page of Greta’s ever expanding trousseau, there is a ballgown which also has a more conservative long sleeved bodice. Dresses with two bodices were very common in the 19th century. Most “gowns” of the period are actually a top and a separate skirt. This women’s dress from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has an evening bodice and a day bodice. I imagine that Greta’s dress is more of a “ballgown” and then “dinner-dress” sort of arrangement.

Her traveling attire has two major outfits. One is a pair of bloomers with a blouse and hat for exploring or slightly rough and tumble travel. The other is a crisp traveling suit with a jacket, skirt and gaiters (or really long spats). These pieces can be mixed and matched for other outfit combinations, of course.


{Download a PDF} {View a 150 dpi PNG}{More Mini-Maiden Printable Paper Dolls}

In total, this takes Greta’s Trousseau to over fifty outfit pieces and seventeen outfits. Technically, based on my paper doll outfit math than there’s about 1300 outfit combinations, more if you include hats, of course. I don’t actually think most of those outfit combinations make a lot of sense, but it was fun to work out how many existed. Greta’s Trousseau isn’t over, by any means. There are more sporting outfits to be finished (including a really cute croquet dress) and a set of clothing for seaside visits which includes a scuba suit, complete with helmet.

For anyone whose interested, here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau.

Greta’s Trousseau: Operas and More…

In the continuing epic of Greta’s Trousseau, today we have a bunch of outfits designed to help Greta do more mundane activities than fencing or hunting. Like any fashionable neo-victorian lady, Greta simply must have a costume for all occasions and her trousseau provides.

Today’s outfit set includes an opera toilette which fitted into a rather odd spot in the ladies wardrobe. Opera attire and ballgowns were both considered to be full dress (the most formal sort), but opera outfits usually included some sort of cloak (which I have omitted because eventually I’ll do a whole set of outerwear) and some sort of hat or headdress. I’ve also noticed that they seem to be a little more fanciful than other costumes. Greta’s consists of an off the shoulder top with a boned bodice, a floral decorated top hat and a full skirt without a train. She wears matching shoes.

Her promenade costume and visiting attire would have both been semi-formal wear. The promenade costume features a military influenced jacket where as the visiting attire is softer and more lady-like. Both outfits have matching hats. Her only costume without a hat is her tea dress which she could have worn while receiving guests in her own home and therefore wearing a hat would have been odd. Changing the bodice and adding a hat, turns this outfit into a walking suit, less formal than a promenade costume but with the same military influences.

Hmm… I really should have drawn her a parasol. I shall have to do that in the future.


{Download a PDF} {View a 150 dpi PNG} {More Mini-Maiden Printable Paper Dolls}

All of the shoes, except the ones with the opera costume, are “borrowed” for the other sets in Greta’s Trousseau. I just find that I can only draw so many pairs of button up boots in one sitting, though I will be doing more shoes as we expand Greta’s activities. I know I need do to some winter boots for her and she’ll be needing some for the seaside as well.

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau. I am looking forward to adding more to it as time permits.

Greta Trousseau Doodles

Lately, I’ve been working a lot on Greta’s Trousseau… mostly trying to come up with more ideas and make a list of planned outfits.


These are some plans for a ballgown for Greta. I want to do something summery and so I liked the idea of roses on the bodice and skirt. I think it will be short in front with a skirt in back which will match back to the styles of her wedding gown and a croquet dress I’ve drawn, but not yet posted. I have a fair number of dresses I still need to finish up with and post.

Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking seasonally and therefore am working on a winter walking costume for Greta trimmed in lush fur, since that seems fitting. Her fur trimmed Promenade Costume (slightly more formal than a walking costume) is going to have a skirt and jacket and some sort of thigh high spats. I’m excited.

As I mentioned the last time I posted doodles, I actually draw these in a lined notebook, but I use a Xerox machine to scan them and it doesn’t scan the blue colored lines on the paper. Odd, but true.

Steampunk Paper Doll Trousseau: Greta’s Sporting Costumes

Today, we have some sporting outfits for our steampunk paper doll bride. Since the fun of Victorian trousseaux (or should it be neo-victorian trousseaux?) are their costumes for every occasion, I had a lot of fun thinking up outfits for Greta to wear while she did a few different sports. Being a highly talented paper doll, I’m sure no sport is beyond her skill (and I have a few more sporting outfits planned- though perhaps not for a while).

Greta has a steampunk/neo-victorian inspired riding habit, a hunting costume, a skating toilette and a fencing toilette. What else could a steampunk paper doll bride want? (Okay, more outfits, but I am working on that. 🙂 )

Wealthy women have actually been involved in sporting activities for longer than most people think. Archery teams in the Regency were regularly co-ed. I’ve been 18th century illustrations of women doing archery, but I’m not sure women actually did it that often, sepcially since a lot of those illustrations are intended to be erotic- oh, the scandal. Women had been riding horses forever and in the South, prior to the Civil War, hunting or shooting was a common activity for women of wealth. By the 1900s, women could choose between tennis, golf, bicycling, skating, croquet and a variety of other sporting events.


{Download a PDF} {View a 150 dpi PNG}{More Mini-Maiden Printable Paper Dolls}

My favorite is the fencing toilette. Someone asked for a fencing outfit (a long time ago) and I don’t know much (anything) about fencing, but I had a lot of fun drawing it. I suspect having open laces on the sides of your leggings is not… you know… very practical, but what’s the fun of drawing steampunk fashions if they have to be practical?

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau. My question to everyone is, what sorts of outfits should I add to Greta’s expanding steampunk paper doll trousseau?

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.


{Download a PDF} {View a 150 dpi PNG}{More Mini-Maiden Printable Paper Dolls}

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.”