In the world of 14th century dress in Europe, there’s a lot of layers. On Monday, you got to see the shift, the stockings and the shoes which were the first layers. Over that, women wore a kirtle.
Technically, add a girdle (belt) to keep your purse (which was also as close as anyone got to having pockets in the 14th century) and you were fulling dressed. This kirtle example has a spiral laced front and buttons on the cuffs.
Her girdle is based on this example. I looked at a lot of carved sculptures of the Virgin Mary when designing this set like this one and this one.
Her shoes come from Stepping Through Time by Olaf Goubitz. It’s a great resource. Her stockings would have been held up by garters, because bias cut wool doesn’t stay up on its own. However, based on my current understanding, the stockings would be rolled down over the garters to cover them, so that’s why the garter’s aren’t visible.
Today’s paper doll gown is a new addition to the Fantasy Maiden Series. I really wanted something that felt soft and drapy to contrast with the corset over top of it.
In my continuing efforts to come up with medieval fantasy style accessories that made sense, I gave her a primitive looking embroidery frame.
The color scheme of today’s dress was inspired by the sunset. I wanted it to be rich and warm, which I think I worked pretty well.
I wanted to thank the folks (there were a few) who emailed me after last week’s foray into coloring pages. Your emails were super kind. Thank you! And I learned things about people who like to color. I always love to hear from folks and it is kind emails that keep me going when I get full of ennui.
Ennui does happen occasionally. Fortunately not as much ennui as I felt when I was 14 and thought that “Darkened Shards” was a totally rational name for a paper doll website. I am not making this up- I really did have a site named that.
A few folks asked about my pets, so if you want to see my cat, she is occasionally featured on my Instagram feed which is also full of sketchbook photos, little videos of me inking and other fun stuff.
And if you’re a Patron (or become one), there’s a second purple based color scheme for today’s paper doll gown over there.
This is the first steampunk inspired set I’ve drawn for the B Pose dolls. I was kinda thinking of a like a street urchin dressed up. So, there’s tools, boots and a top hat.
Everything is better with top hats.
When I design sets in black and white, I often add patterns, because I think they are maybe more fun to color? I confess I’m not much of a colorer. I think I mentioned that yesterday. So, I am kinda guessing what people like to color.
I did have way more fun dawing those tools than I should admit. There was going to be hammer, but hammers are surprisingly hard to draw, y’all. So are screw drivers, but I digress.
Friday, there will be a cyberpunk set for the A Pose ladies. And who doesn’t need that?
Meanwhile, let me know what you think of today’s set in a comment and, if you love the blog, think about donating to help it out over on Patreon.
I don’t have a lot of familiarity with circuses, but I really like the colors and the shapes. I think the drama is awfully fun. I decided to create something fun and funky and maybe not very practical for average wearing.
Of course, the whole the idea of a circus based outfit, I suppose is that it isn’t very practical, but rather very showy. I mean, one doesn’t really associate circus with practicality.
Not that I know much about circuses except what I’ve seen on television.
I’ve loved Victorian fashions for as long as I can remember. I think it was probably early paper doll exposure, but what child doesn’t see the ruffles and the puffed sleeves and think, “I want to wear something like that?”
So, for me steampunk style paper doll clothing is a natural evolution of my love of all things Victorian. I’d happily draw steampunk quasi-Victorian outfits every day. I just adore them. When I started the Dames and Dandies paper doll series back in January, I knew I’d be drawing some fashions that embraced my love of all things Victorian.
Today’s steampunk style foray consists of a pair of boots with vertical striped stockings, a skirt trimmed in pleats and a vest over a blouse. There’s also a tiny top hat and a purse to flesh out the outfit. One thing I love about steampunk style paper doll fashions is the little details- the buckles, the studs and the little pleats. Sometimes I don’t want to draw detail, but usually I enjoy the tiny things that make a paper doll outfit unique.
Don’t worry. There is a floating tab designed to help keep that tiny hat on the paper doll’s head. Everything is better with tiny top hats.
Anyway, I always love to hear from y’all, so let me know what you think of today’s paper doll set in a comment. Should I do more steampunk? Less steampunk?
In my head, probably because I spent too much time researching clothing and dress, I tend to categorize my fantasy clothing based on the sort of “source” material. Nothing exists in a vacuum after all. So, sometimes I look to Medieval Europe and sometimes I borrow from the 18th century in France and sometimes I find myself looking at kaftans. Actually, I was inspired by this Pinterest image and this one. I’m pretty sure they are both kaftans, even if they aren’t labeled entirely in English.
On thing I don’t know is if it is supposed to be spelled kaftan or caftan (or if it’s like Chanukah and several spellings are okay.)
Meanwhile, I’ve been fighting a truly awful few days of allergies. I had forgotten how rough spring is here in Alabama. I’m groggy and stuffed up and otherwise pretty miserable, despite the cocktail of medications I am currently taking. So, I am crawling back into bed and I hope everyone enjoys today’s fantasy gown!
I love costume history and the 18th century is a favorite era of mine. I wanted to design an 18th century paper doll and I chose Alice as the model. Because of the paper doll’s historic underwear, she won’t be able to wear all the A Pose clothing. I made the decision that I was more concerned with having period underwear than with having versatility.
So, what underwear is she wearing? Well, Alice is wearing a shift, a strapless set of stays (like these or these) and has a pocket tied around her waist (like this or this). She also has a separate set of hoops. I based them on this set of hoops from LACMA. Hoops were only worn with the most formal of gowns in the 18th century, so they won’t fit under all the 18th century paper doll gowns I ever draw.
If you look at enough pairs of mid-18th century shoes, they do start to flow together at after a while. I could literally link to dozens that are in the same basic style as Alice’s brown shoes, her red shoes and blue shoes with pattens. Here is one example, here is another and here is another. The differences come from the shape of the toe and the heel.
By the 1780s, other styles were coming into fashion. So, her brocade shoes are based on this pair from 1785 from Historic New England. By the 1790s, shoes that look more like modern kitten heels had taken over like this pair.
Her blue shoes have attached pattens, which were leather and wood oversoles meant to protect the shoes from the muck and mud. This set was my main inspiration, but here is another example of the same idea.
Historic hairstyles are a challenge for me every time. I’m still learning enough to illustrate them properly, but for today’s 18th century paper doll I really wanted to draw something that was as not too over the top. I used my historic hair style books and portraits, including this one, this one and this one. I could have gone gray with her hair, but I just didn’t really like how it looked.
Wednesday, there will be a gown for today’s 18th century paper doll version of Alice.
Date night was our agreed upon February theme. I was kinda not sure where to go with it. I first planned to draw a fancy evening gown, but how many of us wear that on an average date night? I certainly don’t!
Missy drew the base and her paper dolls often have a very anime style. I think this has been influencing me. I kept thinking about whimsical cute pieces as I was designing these date night paper doll clothes.
I had a bunch of fun designing her wig. It might end up needing a floating tab, so you may need to add one. I didn’t draw one, but I am thinking maybe I should have. Oh well, these things happen.
It’s hard to know with what paper doll dress to start a new paper doll series. It’s full of both excitement and worry. I decided to make the first outfit in the series a classic fantasy gown design. It’s actually the first gown I drew for the new series after I had the dolls finished, so I suppose it is a fitting place to begin.
I picked a rich dark blue as the primary color scheme for the gown with red and ocher. It should come as no surprise that her accessory is a book. I do love drawing books for my paper dolls. It’s the librarian in me. The garters are very decorative and I don’t know how practical they would be, but they do look nice.
Inspiration wise, the fantasy gown design owes a little to the 12th century dresses like the bliaut, but there wasn’t a specific gown I based today’s dress off of. If you’re not sure what a bliaut is, than picture the stereotypical medieval dress and you’re pretty much there. Historical bliaut’s were more loose and less fitted.
Today’s design probably owes more to Victorian interpretations of the bliaut like the one in The Lady of Shallot by Waterhouse or The Accolade by Edmund Leighton than actual 12th century bliauts. It’s astonishing to me, sometimes, how much the visions of the medieval era are shaped by the romantic paintings of the Victorians (and, to be technical, the Edwardians as Waterhouse was later.)
Meanwhile, I’ve got an alternative color scheme for today’s gown over on the Patreon page for my patrons to check out. Join if you’d like to support the blog!
As always, I would love to hear what you think in a comment.
I usually try to keep pretty good track of where things come from. I’m frankly not totally sure if I had reference images for this. I went back through my Cyberpunk/Sci-fi Fashion Pinterest board and I didn’t see anything that reminded me of it. But I also drew it a while ago, so I can’t be totally certain.
So, I was thinking a lot about layering and the interesting dynamics that layering can create.
It’s also an outfit that I am a little worried might work better in concept than in execution. The idea is that the various bands wrap around the paper doll’s body and the shorts are layered under the dress/tunic thing.
Given the way the dress/tunic thing is cut it would be rather exposing if there were no shorts involved.
I mean, sure if that’s what your paper dolls are into, no judgement from this corner, but my paper dolls are going to wear the shorts.
I had a really hard time coming up with a color scheme for this set. This color scheme I really liked. I reminds me a little of the 1990s Star Treks- The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. If it was in more neon colors than I think there would be a Fifth Element vibe.
I also created a pink a teal version. That version is posted over on my Patreon page for my patrons to enjoy. If you’d like to see it, consider becoming a patron. It really does help keep the blog on the internets.
Need a Marisole Monday & Friends Lady Paper Doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick One Out Here.