Regency Fashions: Dress, Spencer and Bonnet

A Regency era round gown from 1802 in printed cotton with a Spencer jacket and bonnet for the Jewels and Gemstones Printable paper dolls. You can print the paper doll set in color or black and white for coloring. Free to print from

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I’ve been a on regency romance novel reading kick. I just finished the whole Pennyroyal Green Series which was okay. I confess that when it comes to my regency romance novels (or historical romances in general), I really only expect one out of five to be really good. Two out of five usually fail the 50 page test. (This is, for the record, where I read 50 pages and if I don’t want to continue I stop reading.)

It’s just that there are so many regency (and historical, I’m flexible on time period) romances in the world that I don’t see any reason to waste my time with ones that don’t engage me.

Anyway, since I have been enjoying this particularly fluffy genre, I remembered I had one regency dress I made a while ago that I hadn’t yet gotten around to sharing.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
So, the red dress is round gown. This was a style that was popular in the every early part of the 19th century and really evolved pretty directly out of the Chemise A La Rein . A lot of round gowns have trains, but not all. Most have very high waistlines and rounded out skirts. The style sticks around until about 1810 or so when it is replaced by more structured garments. Making things a bit more confusing is the fact that the round gown can refer to 18th century styles that fastened in the front. So, this make the terminology a bit of a nightmare.

Generally, though not always, you can sort of get a sense of the era of a garment in this period by how high the waistline is. The higher the waist- the earlier the gown. But fashion trends moved a bit more slowly than they do today and, like today, a lot of people wore what they liked even if it was a year or two out of date. After all, not everyone wears skinny jeans now.

When I was picking source images for this collection, I wanted to stay before 1810, though I wasn’t super picky about year.

Specific Source Images: This 1802 English Round Gown, This Undated Spencer (it’s undated, but the very very high waist is indicative of the very early party of the 19th century), and bonnets like these from 1808.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Jewels & Gemstones paper dolls & More Regency paper dolls
Around the Internet: Here’s a few nice articles I found- one on the changing Regency silhouette, 18th Century Round Gowns (earlier than this one), and another nice example from The Met of the style

Last Thoughts
While I don’t really know if I have favorite periods of fashion history, I do have periods I seem to go back to more than other periods. I think part of why I like the regency era is that there were so many amazing fashion magazines of the time that make it really fun (and fairly easy) to get a good idea of what was in style.

It occurs to me that some might have missed all of the Jewels and Gemstones Regency paper dolls thus far, so here they all are. There’s also a Dinner Dress and a Morning Dress for my Patrons. If you enjoy the blog than consider becoming a patron, there’s an extra paper doll dress for my Patrons on Fridays.

The Jewels & Gemstones Regency Dress Thus Far

As usual, comments are always delightful and I’d love to hear what you think about today’s regency paper doll dress. Is there an era of fashion you really love?

Regency Fashion Week: Walking Dress

An 1817 walking dress design taken from a fashion plate in the Lady's Magazine for the printable paper dolls I create. There's a matching bonnet, boots and bag.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
Okay, so I know I’m not supposed to have favorites, but I do. And this Walking Dress was one of my two favorite dresses I drew for Monday’s Regency paper doll.

My other favorite is a morning dress that is going up for my Patrons on Patreon on Friday.

Today’s walking dress was a form of half-dress, for those keeping track, which means we’re really only missing undress (the more informal of options), but if you’re a Patron, one of those will be up Friday.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Occasionally, I see something I just want to draw it. That was what happened with this amazing fashion plate. I was in love the moment I saw it. I was a little worried about the ruff at the neck, but I think it came out okay.

Specific Source Images: This Dress from 1817, these boots from the London Museum & this bag from the Met.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Regency Fashion Paper Dolls & More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: The London Museum (where the fashion plat and the shoes came from), A Nice Collection of Fashion Plates from Candice Hern, & A Quick Primer on Regency Fashion

Last Thoughts
If you’re super observant, you might notice that the cuffs on this dress are the same as the cuffs on the day dress. This cuff style was super popular. When you see a style popping up on multiple garments, it’s usually evidence that people were into it.

Friendly reminder that if you want to see a morning dress tomorrow, join us on Patreon. 2 dollars a month gets you an extra paper doll dress every Friday.

So, which dress this week has been your favorite? Personally, I’m a big fan of today’s dress. Let me know in a comment.

Regency Fashion Week: Day Dress

A paper doll dress inspired by the regency era- it's a printed cotton dress from 1810 with a bonnet and shoes. The historical paper doll clothing is free to print and play with.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
There’s a perception that the Regency era was all white dresses, white stockings and white shoes. Never mind the fact that there is still mud in the 1800s and there’s not the kind of laundry capacity we have now. I knew I wanted to do a richly colored day dress in patterned cotton.

Day dresses were a form of undress or half-dress (as I mentioned yesterday). This dress is a more middle class style and certainly casual. Printed cottons were very popular in the era and this color is called Turkey red. The “turkey” part of the name refers to the country of Turkey, not the bird.

Her bonnet is a bit earlier than the dress- it’s a soft sort of style that was super popular before 1810 and then seems to fall out of fashion a bit for harder stiffer styles. I have one of those bonnets for tomorrow.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
The dress’s silouhette comes from this gown from the V&A Museum. The print on the dress and the colors are from this swatch from Ackermann’s Journal. That was a fashion journal that included pasted in fabric/paper swatches.

Specific Source Images: These stockings, these shoes, this dress, this bonnet (bottom left) and this fabric.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Regency Fashion Paper Dolls and More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: Turkey Red from Wikipedia and Another Nice Regency Dress Overview

Last Thoughts
One of the challenges though of working in historical clothing is that I don’t know what would be considered “tacky”. Would it be tacky to combine blue stockings with green shoes and a red dress? Is this too much color? How would a woman of this period actually feel about this combination? I have no idea.

I just noticed there’s a tiny coloring error in this set. How embarrassing! I’ll get it fixed when I can. Probably not this week though (this week is a bit crazy).

I’m not planning to do a mourning dress, but how cool are these mourning dress fashion plates? I always think of the obsession with mourning clothing being a Victorian thing, but here’s the early stages.

So, what do you think of today’s dress? Love it? Hate it? Wish it was white? Let me know in a comment.

Regency Fashion Week: Evening Gown Circa 1818

A golden yellow regency ballgown for the printable paper dolls with matching bag and gloves. Free to print in color or black and white for coloring. Great history activity for homeschooling.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
This is the first day of gown for the Regency paper doll I posted on Monday. Part of why I made this the first gown is that the shoes that go with this dress are with that Regency paper doll.

In the world of Regency clothing, there were three forms of dress- undress, half-dress and full-dress. Undress was most casual. Full-dress was most formal. Half-dress goes somewhere in the middle, but isn’t as easily defined. There’s a nice overview on Full-dress here.

Ballgowns, like today’s paper doll dress, were definitely full-dress. They were also really really low cut. So low cut, in fact, that I had to make the neckline higher to cover the stays I created. Sometimes, I kinda wonder how ladies stayed in these dresses before the era of fashion tape. I mean, one wrong move and you’d be flashing everyone at the party.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
When I planned out my Regency fashion week, I knew I’d need a ballgown. And I love regency era ballgowns. I think they are so pretty! I chose a gown from 1818 in a rich gold color to illustrate and I accessorized with the required over the elbow gloves and a small bag which I’m not sure is really an accessory a women would have carried.

Specific Source Images: This Dress from 1818 and this bag.

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Regency Fashion Paper Dolls and More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: A great Full-Dress overview,A Nice Collection of Fashion Plates from Candice Hern, & A Quick Primer on Regency Fashion

Last Thoughts
I think I always picture the Regency as being nothing but white clothing, but really I kept seeing this rich yellow. I love color! So, any excuse to use it.

I want to give a shout out to my Patrons without whom the blog wouldn’t be around. Thank you to all of them. Join up if you’d to get extra paper doll content & support the blog.

What do you think of today’s ballgown? Your style or not? Let me know by leaving a comment.

Regency Fashion Week: Amethyst with her Regency Underwear

A beautiful curvy paper doll with her regency period underwear based on primary sources. This regency paper doll has three pairs of shoes and several dresses forthcoming. You can print her in color or black and white for coloring.

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Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
This is the first day of Regency Fashion Week. I am so psyched. I’ve been wanting to do historical clothing for the Jewels & Gemstones since the beginning. There’s this myth that in the past everyone was super hot and skinny (I blame Hollywood). I chose Amethyst as the model for this clothing, because there’s also this myth that everyone was white (I blame institutionalized racism).

Technically, the Regency only lasts from 1811 to 1820 in England. That’s just 19 years. However, the styles we think of as “Regency” stretch from about 1805 through about 1825 when the waist line begins to drop. It lowers steadily through the 1820s before settling at the natural waist around 1828 or so. Personally, I chose the term Regency for this week’s paper dolls, because I think it is the term most people know.

Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Okay, now we get to get specific. There’s a myth that in the early 19th century women didn’t wear corsets. This is not true. Women totally wore corsets, but since the styles were changing rapidly, there wasn’t a single silhouette. No woman with actual curves wants to not wear some sort of bust support. The corsets (or stays) of this era were generally less boned than those of the 18th century and were short or long, depending on the style. I chose a long set of stays, because I have been told by folks to know more than me, that for bustier women (and the Jewels paper dolls got curves) this is a more comfortable style.

The shift our Regency paper doll wears was adapted from one I found in a museum. Shifts are kinda… not terribly changing garments and I made the sleeves a bit shorter than I think they would have been, so I could accommodate  evening gowns which often had very short sleeves.

One of the quirks of shoes of this era is that a lot probably laced up the ankles, but since the laces are often missing it is hard to tell from photos from museums of they had laces or not. I erred on the side of omitting the laces, but I am not sure that was the right decision.

Specific Source Images:
Stays: This pair from the Met 1811 and this fashion plate from 1813.
Shift: This Shift from the MFA 
Shoes (top to bottom):This pair from the Met from 1812. (I love these shoes so much I’ve drawn them before here).  This pair from the Met circa 1810s. (I made them yellow to match the Evening Gown later this week.) This pair from the Met 1795-1805 (I made them black for more mix and match options). This pair from the Met from 1810 (I put them on the doll and made them not white, which I am kinda regretting now, but oh well…)

Learn/See More
On the Blog: More Regency Fashion Paper Dolls and More Jewels & Gemstones Paper Dolls
Around the Internet: American Duchess on Regency Flats, A Nice Collection of Images of Free People of Color in the Regency from Mary Robbinette Kowal, the Regency Era from Wikipedia & A rare portrait of Marie-Antoinette’s sister-on-law, the Comtesse de Provence, wife of Louis XVIII, from 1810 (a very stylish plus-sized lady, love the crown)

Last Thoughts
I could write so much more on this era and why I chose what I chose for the paper doll, but we’ve got all week for this. I am going to try to space out my thoughts and if I get a bit pedantic than please, be kind. The truth is that I love history and I love historical clothing and I could talk about it for hours.

Regency week happened, because it won the poll I put out for my Patrons (actually Space Princesses surged ahead at the last minute and beat it, but I was already started on the Regency stuff, so Space Princesses will be later). I also chose it, because I really love this era’s clothing (and I have a soft space in my soul for a good Regency era romance novel.)

What do you think? Looking forward to Regency week? Not sure it’s your thing? Do you have a favorite era of historical clothing? Let me know in a comment!

Regency Paper Doll Clothing For the Sprites Printable Paper Dolls

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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: I looked at a lot of stuff to design these, but here are a few this fashion plate, this jacket, this dress and these shoes
A set of regency paper doll clothing to print from with a man's suit and a woman's day dress and shoes. The pieces are designed to fit the Sprite paper doll series.

A set of regency paper doll clothing to print from with a man's suit and a woman's day dress and shoes. The pieces are designed to fit the Sprite paper doll series..

I wanted to dabble in regnecy men’s fashion today. In part, because I have been reading a lot of regency romance novels lately. The Regency is also an era where I really love the men’s clothing. I think the women’s clothing is pretty nice, but the men’s clothing really enchants me.

As many of you know, I’m not quite as comfortable with men’s fashions as I am with women’s fashions in history. I can pretty well eyeball women’s clothing from the last 300 years and make a good guess at the era, but men’s clothing remains harder.

It’s partly that I find the changes more subtle and partly that I’ve never had a much of a passion for it.

But since I do love drawing for the Sprites, so I have been slowly trying to face my fears of men’s historical clothing. Which brings me to back to today’s set of regency paper doll clothing, that I created using a variety of reference images.

The man’s suit was based on this suit, this jacket, this suit and this suit. The dress is based on this dressthis dress, this dress and this dress. Her shoes are based on this pair, this pair and this pair. Because the dates on the source pieces range from the early 1800s until about 1820, I chose circa 1810 as the best middle ground date to describe these pieces of regency paper doll clothing.

Every time I post something “new” to me, I feel a little nervous, especially because I know that this is a era of fashion history that many people are very passionate about. Still, I hope to do what I do which is learn more and keep improving my understanding of the fashions of the era.

After all, every paper doll I create is a work in progress.

Looking for some Sprite paper dolls to wear these outfits? Pick out Sprite paper dolls here.

Marisole Monday’s 1820s Morning Dress With Cap in White

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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Cap from 1825-1830 and This Morning Dress Circa 1827

An 1820s morning dress for the Marisole Monday & Friends printable paper doll series from Free to print and play with.

An 1820s morning dress for the Marisole Monday & Friends printable paper doll series from Free to print and play with.

I wanted to make an 1820s dress and I wanted to do a morning dress, because morning dresses kinda fascinate me. I knew it I was drawing a morning dress, than I would have to draw a cap. So, today’s 1820s morning dress was born.

First thing, I kinda messed up. I wrote in my notes that the source image which I printed to draw from was from 1828, but actually it is from 1827. This error got repeated on the image of the dress, so I will fix it as soon as I have a chance, but that might be a while since I am traveling this week.

Anyway, here is the 1820s morning dress that I based today’s printable paper doll dress on from the Met. It had the most wonderful delicate flowers on it that I simply could not render to scale. Morning dresses were a private piece of clothing worn usually just for family members. They were classified as undress which was a least formal form of clothing in the 1800s. There was also half-dress and full-dress, if you’re interested.

No lady would be seen without a hat of some kind and caps were basically indoor hats. I based the paper doll’s cap off one from the McCord Museum in Canada and you can see it here.

Today’s dress from 1828 will eventually evolve into this style from 1830. The skirts will widen, the waist will drop and the sleeves will get yet bigger. The late 1820s is such an interesting period, because it is evolving into the 1830s.

I hope everyone enjoys today’s foray into the late 1820s for a morning dress. Tomorrow, the week wraps with a sci-fi outfit.

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

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