Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Croquet Costume

A croquet costume for Florence, a paper doll of a french fashion doll from the 1870s.
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There’s an excellent article about croquet costumes from the Machester Art Gallery and it includes some wonderful Victorian croquet costumes including the dress in blue white and red I based Florence’s croquet dress off of though it dates from a bit later then the rest of her attire being from 1875-1878 which is after my usual 1875 cut off date. In the Manchester Art Galleries wonderful costume collection, there is an archery jacket from 1787 which is beautiful. I never realized archery was considered an acceptable female sport in England as early as that or that the Royal British Bowmen allowed women full membership with voting rights and a snazzy official uniform.

Maybe Florence needs an archery costume. I like to think she’s the sort of adventurous lady who would do well in archery. On the other hand, I already have a skating costume sketched and a riding habit for next week, so perhaps putting more on my plate is not an entirely wise idea.

Here is Florence, the paper doll that wears these dresses.

Marisole Monday: Regency Romance

Technically, I realize this is late, but here’s the thing. It is still Monday on the West coast which is kinda like it being Monday in the Mid-west. I’m sure there’s a hole in my argument, but I am ignoring it and distracting with a pretty pretty printable paper doll.

marisole-regency-150

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Actually with quite a few printable paper dolls, I had set up a whole series of posts to post while I was in class this last week, except none of them actually did post. This made me sad and I was too busy to spend time fixing it, so over the next few days things will be popping up from the last week which should have gone up previously. Just keep your eyes open for them.

I haven’t been paying as much attention to the blog as I should, but I will start doing so over the next few days. There shall be lovely paper dolls and strange ramblings by me about life, the universe and paper dolls. Paper dolls being the most important factor.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Walking Costume & Hats

I have realized that most of the “walking” costumes I have drawn for the paper doll up to this point are more of promenade costumes and less walking costumes- like the spring walking costume or the winter walking costume.Florence's 1870's walking suit. Florence is a Victorian paper doll with a large trousseau.

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The difference seems somewhat minor, but a matter of formality. Promenade costumes were to see and be seen in, walking costumes were for walking. I imagine the paper doll wearing this costume to go to do her shopping and today she has gone to the milliner to get her new hats.

Hats aren’t worn much anymore, unless you’re the Queen of England (whose hats I totally adore) or going to the races, hats mostly function as useful things for keeping heads warm and not much else. I’m not necessarily advocating the return to hats, but hats were crucial for any well dressed lady in the 1870’s. Fashion magazines, along with dresses, offered detailed advice on fashionable hats and hat styles- colors, feathers, ribbons and flowers to be worn by ladies of all ranks and ages. Hair styles and hats are tightly connected and often changed together.

Here is Florence, just in case you missed the first post in this series and need a doll to go with these paper clothes.

Curves: Renaissance

There are certain periods of history to which I am naturally attracted and then there are certain periods to which I couldn’t care less about. I find the Renaissance is not an era which I naturally am interested in, but there is a RenFaire (I’m not sure how to spell that, actually…) around here every year and though I haven’t yet gone to the Faire (apparently the added “e” is required) it got me thinking about Renaissance costume.

curves-renassaince-150

 

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Now, I admit I don’t know much about Renaissance clothing, but it’s a very interesting time because the first costume books were published in the late Renaissance- the second half of the sixteenth century to be precise. The most famous of these books was by Vecellio who described not just the fashionable clothing of Venice (where he was from and where the book was printed), but also all over Europe and the world.The book was titled Degli habiti antichi et moderni di viverse parti del mondo or in English “The clothing, ancient and modern, of various parts of the world” and it has just recently come out in full translation by Thames and Hudson. Unfortunately, the copy my library has was checked out, so I had to make do with John Peacocks The Chronicle of Western Costume which, though I have heard many complaints about it and I do have a few of my own, is an excellent general source. Both of these dresses come from Venice in the late 1400’s. The hair is my own attempt at a simple head-dress and the SCA reference is a nod to the highly likely lack of actual historical accuracy.

Any organization which calls themselves the Society of Creative Anachronism does not take itself too seriously and neither do my paper dolls.

Marisole Monday: Empire Elegance

I love regency costume, though not as much as my Mother loves it. I find it simple and elegant and a little romantic, but it can get boring to draw after a while. I try to learn new things about the era each time I draw it- like I learned elastic actually existed (who knew?) and was being used for garters.

Never would have thought of that.

marisole-empire-paper-doll-150

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Days seem slip away quicker than I can blink and suddenly I am realizing time has passed. I suppose that’s the danger of having many commitments on my time- I’m always stretched thinner then I thought I would be. Working while going to school is incredibly forefilling and incredibly challenging. I love my program. I love my job, but my time is a premium. Fortunately, I paper doll to relax, so as long as I know what I am going to do, I can sit down on my couch with my clip board in my lap and draw away when I get home from work. Sure my dishes get neglected, but who needs dishes?

I’m still playing around with skin tones for Marisole, eventually I’ll get a set of them that I like on multiple computers.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Visiting Costume and Hats

 

A visiting dress for Florence, my paper doll of the 1870s.

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Inking paper dolls still terrifies me every time I start. Still, when I finally erase the pencil lines and the paper doll is sort of revealed, it is a magical kind of moment. I felt that way about this dress and these hats. I wasn’t sure if I liked it until I’d finally lost all the pencil.

I’m glad I didn’t give up on it. I think it turned out well. So, I seem to have come down on the “liking it” side of the spectrum. Never would have guessed that two hours ago.

Looking for the paper doll that goes with this outfit? Here she is.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Masquerade Costume and Ballgown

 

Florence's ballgown and masquerade costumes from the 1870s.

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So, I’m be bit belated today. Okay… very belated and, to be honest to entirely pleased with either paper doll dress. I wasn’t when I first drew them and I’m still not. I liked the masquerade costume more then the ballgown. I was terrified of drawing the train and I still don’t like how it came out. Oh well, it just means I’ll be doing another ballgown for Florence. It’s been quite a few months since I did the old one, I think I could do it better now.

Trains are totally impossible for me. I need to keep practicing on them.

Oh, and here is Florence, the paper doll that can wear these outfits.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Swimming Costume and Seaside Walking Dress

Strangely, the seaside walking dress is drawn from a fashion plate which depicts a woman standing on a cliff face, as though she’s been hiking. This leads me to suspect the dress was actually intended for seaside walks and the shorter skirt also hints at this option. I would doubt if women actually wore such a thing hiking, but I have seen photographs of women in the 1900’s wearing high heels standing on a Glacier, so I don’t doubt they did it.

A seaside walking dress and a swimming costume for Florence, a Victorian paper doll.

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Who said fashion was practical?

The swimming costume has a cap with it to cover Florence’s paper hair. Though it was drawn after a plate, her hair style made it a little more awkward then it otherwise would have been. Still, as reader pointed out when I first posted the paper doll’s swimming costume I had forgotten to give her the swimming cap any Victorian lady would have worn over her hair. I have not omitted it this time proving I am trainable.

Here is Florence, the paper doll whose supposed to wear this fantastic swimsuit and seaside walking dress.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Traveling Suit

Today we have a traveling suit for Florence’s trousseau. I have known I needed one of these for her, so I went onto finding a fashion plate.

Autumnal traveling suits for Florence from 1873.

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Florence’s paper doll traveling costume is based on this fashion plate from the NYPL’s digital gallery (I say based on because it is fairly obvious where the paper doll clothes and the actual plate deviate). The dress is labeled in German and my German is practically non-existent.

Kleid aus einfarbiger und gest... Digital ID: 804190. New York Public Library

I’ve been meaning to ask my German speaking co-worker to translate it for weeks and keep forgetting. I tried babelfish and it didn’t exactly work. It game me an answer, but the answer made no sense. Truth be told, I don’t know if its a traveling suit or not, but it looks fairly similar to others I have seen. Anyway, Florence is my paper doll and if I want to declare this her traveling costume, I darn well can. My life might be full of other sources of chaos, but my paper dolls do as they are told… sometimes.

Suits for women were in style in the 1870’s, so it seemed only reasonable to give Florence one, since she is the most fashionable of paper dolls. I also wanted to use the opportunity to make a few tops to go with the same skirt or several skirts. I expect I shall do this more often and a smart color-er of these paper doll clothes would be wise to consider this for future mix and matchable clothing options. It was common to have two bodices to go with one skirt during this era, so one bodice might be a formal dinner dress while the other bodice would be an afternoon or a visiting costume. The very smart lady (or paper doll, in our case) could, of course, turn an afternoon costume into a visiting costume by adding the right jewelry and a smart hat.

Here is Florence, just in case you missed the first post in this series.

Curves: 1860’s

When I was a kid, I always wanted one of those cakes with the doll sticking out of it. You know, the kind where the skirt is made up by cake and the doll comes out the top. (Here’s a picture, for those of you who weren’t doll obsessed children in the early 90’s) Now, whenever I see the dresses of the mid-1860’s when the hoop was at its widest, I think of those doll cakes. Of course, all fashion is about swings. A item of clothing reaches its most extravagant and then slides out as something else enters to replace it, just as the length of shirts have gone from belly-shirts to tunics in the last fifteen years or so, the hoop skirt’s width moved from all around towards the back until it eventually transformed into the bustle. By the mid-1870’s, it was hard to see how it had ever once been a full hoop skirt.

1860s Curves paper Doll

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The advantage of such a wide skirt is that it calls attention to a tiny waist and the women of this ear were well aware of the allure of that feature, so belts were much in vogue. Curves has traveled back in time for a moment, to embrace this gown from 1861.

Now, I knew I couldn’t fit Curves in period hoops and the size of the skirt on the same image, so I put the paper doll in a modern set of underwear. Perhaps, she is a Civil War re-enactor. That gets me out of the whole- why isn’t she wearing a corset and hoops and all the things a woman in 1860 wore under her dress.