Today’s printable paper doll outfit is and 1820s dress, specifically a winter walking costume from about 1824. I don’t know why, exactly. It’s a fascinating decade and the fashions change very quickly. I think I sometimes find it a little too “frou-frou” which is odd given my love of the 1870s. If there ever was a “frou-frou” era, that would be it.
This 1820s dress is based on this fashion plate. The original featured a muff the size of a small pony, but I decided to omit the muff because I couldn’t figure out how it would stay on the paper doll.
I have been trying to practice my bonnet drawing skills. I am slowly getting better at them. They are surprisingly challenging to draw, but are such a critical part of 1820s dress.
Along with the walking costume and matching bonnet, I drew a quick pair of simple boots from the period, examples similar to these are here from the Met and here from the V&A.
The 1820s fascinate me as a fashion era, because there is a clear evolution from the beginning of the decade to the end of the decade. In the beginning of the 1820s, the era this dress comes from, the waist was still quite high as you can see from this 1820 fashion plate. By the end of the decade, it has dropped to the natural waist, as you can see from this 1829 fashion plate.
The green gown for the B&B series is based off this dress from 1820, though I added the clasp detail on the belt. I love the three-dimensional padded appliques that were a common form of decoration in this era. I wanted to make it clear in my paper doll dress from 1820 that the designs were raised. I think that part of it came out well. I did not keep the striped pattern on the original dress. I thought it would be way to hard to not lose the applique leaf pattern if I did that. So, my version is a bit simpler in style. The shoes are based on this pair from the Bata Shoe Museum in Canada.
A few other notes about today’s dress. I’m not sure what the formality of a dress like this would have been in 1820. I am included to think it is a formal dress, but not really a ballgown. I think maybe a dinner dress? Something for half-dress, anyway. It’s not as informal as undress and not as formal as full-dress. Any thoughts from y’all?
Short sleeves would indicate evening wear after the 1820s, but during the era it is such a transitional period that I am hard pressed to guess exactly what the “rules” were for ladies. As I often say in these situations, I should do more research!
Today, in honor of Han Christian Andersen who was born in 1805, we have two regency pixies and their wardrobe. This is the last big Pixie set for a while, though I do have some one page Pixie paper dolls in the works that I am looking forward to sharing. I don’t think I’ll do another multipage set for a while. They are a lot of work.
Theses paper doll’s dresses are from about 1800 to about 1815, or so. The latest one being the morning dress with the neck ruff looking thing for Lydia (or Emma, either doll can wear the dresses) which was popular for a while though I find the style a little absurd, myself.
There is a tendency to make everything in this period white, as that’s what fashion plates usually show, but women aren’t stupid and there are plenty of dark fabrics with prints that were popular for day dresses. They don’t show stains as much as white (does anything show stains as much as white?) and they could go longer between washingings. There’s also a tendency to talk about women being out of corsets. This was sort of true, but as anyone with boobs can tell you, having no support is darn painful.
Since bonnets were going to be featured in this set (and I do confess I’m not very good at drawing bonnets), I knew I had to keep both of the paper dolls hair close to their heads. Lydia, above, has a braid and Emma, also above, just has her hair pulled back somehow. I imagine it in a neat bun, but whatever.
It was important to me to give these dolls some clothes, so I decided to do a separate sheet for their dresses. After all, one dress hardly makes a very fun paper doll. So, here is a riding habit, a few day dresses, a ballgown and one of the cropped spencer jackets which I’ve always liked. As for other regency paper dolls, there’s always Flora of the Regency, and two Marisole Monday & Friends sets- Empire Elegance and Regency Romance.
Thoughts? Do the Pixies need more historic outfits?
Do people care about these sorts of random historical fashion things? I never know if I should be straying so far from the topic of paper dolls… I’m still divided about the “posting pictures from my sketchbook” idea. It’s kinda fun, but, again, I’m not sure people enjoy them. Well loyal fans, what do you think?
Oh, and I spent some time tonight fixing some link problems some of the Magnetic Paper Doll images were having. If you like magnetic paper dolls, you can check out my directions and images on my Magnetic Paper Dolls page. More magnetic clothing sets will be forthcoming as I get them ready.
1. Archery was actually a common sport among upper class women in the early 19 century. Along with riding, it was one of the few athletic activities women were allowed to do. Flora’s archery dress is based on one from the Manchester City Galleries.
2. It is entirely possible for me to completely forget what day it is and therefore mess up my planned Curves post. (Sorry guys. It’ll go up next week. My bad.)
3. There are more people interested in a colored version of 2.0 Curves, then a black and white shadowed version, but the shadowed people are much more vocal… Hmm… Who should I listen to? Maybe I’ll outline it and try it both ways… My concern with shadowed has to do with what I feel like is a loss of detail due to the shading… I need to give it more thought, obviously.
Speaking of the Curves 2.0 epic adventure, I hope to have the new series up sometime before the end of the month. I don’t like starting a new series without at least a few posts drawn and prepped. It means I’m not struggling with keeping it going. That’s all the news for now. Enjoy Flora’s Archery and Evening Dresses.
So, confession time- I am getting a little sick of the regency period. I think I’ll be spending some time over the next few days doing research and thinking about ending the series. Can I kill two series in like three weeks… is that allowed? I’m just not excited by Flora much right now… Plus she has like 30 costumes which seems a pretty good number…. Though that might just be fishing for an excuse.
In the mean time, feel free to color and cut out these pretty regency dresses for Flora and, while you’re at it, vote in my current poll. So far I am shocked at the show of support my heavily shadowed paper dolls have gotten. I always thought of them as the black sheep of the blog (and I have the frustration with them that the shadows obscure details, especially on faces), but they’re getting lots of support, though color is winning at the moment. I rather thought it would.
For even more black and white paper dolls, I would recommend a new (well, old blog, but new to me) blog I found. Mostly Paper Dolls is a blog devoted to, in fact, mostly paper dolls (and some coloring pages and other things thrown in for good measure). Some of them are beautifully colored by hand, but most are black and white images from old newspaper microfilm. I really like this set from 1922, particularly the girl paper doll with the very period dresses. Perhaps I will color it myself someday… Anyway, if you have a few minutes and you feel like pouring through many pages of black and white paper dolls, I recommend Mostly Paper Dolls highly. The image quality suffers (mircofilm reproduction is usually shoddy, I’m afraid), but the quantity and wonderful variety more then makes up for it.
I’m having fun pouring through her archives, and I suspect others will too. 🙂