Marisole Monday & Friends Get A Walking Dress from 1880


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Fashion Plate from 1880 and Things the Scare Me
An 1880s bustle dress for a printable paper doll from paperthinpersonas.com.

A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1880. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

I am not from the south and while I use y’all, because I have picked it up after five years in below the Mason-Dixon line, I am not a local by any means. Still, there is a saying down here I’ve adopted which goes, “Can’t Never Could.”

In sort, if you say you can’t do something then you won’t try and you are dooming yourself to failure.

One of my long standing “can’t” do things has been drawing 1880s bustle skirts.

I’ve told myself I can’t draw a bustle skirt so many times, that I’ve convinced myself this is true. But I decided I was going to face my fear of 1880s bustle skirts by actually drawing one.

Step 1 was finding a fashion plate at the same angle as the paper doll to practice with. After a bit of hunting, I found this plate from 1880.

Next step was doing a draft on cheap lined paper and then doing a final on my nice sketchbook paper.

I’m actually very pleased how it came out. I might even try another one or two, but I have to find another fashion plate at just the right angle.

Not having to rotate something in my head really makes drawing it easier.

I have been thinking about trying the dress on the left of this plate, but rotating the plate before I print it so it is facing the right direction for Marisole Monday lady paper dolls. I prefer to draw from printed images rather than digital ones.

So, how did I do? Should I work on more 1880s stuff? Or is this a period that you’re not to keen on? Let me know in a comment.

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

A Printable Paper Doll Dress from 1870 for Marisole Monday & Friends


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Fashion Plate from January 1870
A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1870. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

A beautiful Victorian printable paper doll bustle dress based on a dress from 1870. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

If I had to pick a favorite period of fashion history, I’m not sure I could. I love the 18th century, the 1920s, 1960s, the Regency, the 1300s… I could go on and on, clearly. However, if I had to pick a favorite era of the Victorian period, then the bustles absolutely win.

I love them all. I love the soft draped bustle of the early 1870s, the narrow skirted bustle of the early 1880s and the tea-tray supporting bustle of the late 1880s. I don’t care how absurd they look.

I just think they are so much darn fun.

Despite that, I have drawn very few paper dolls with dresses from 1870. I think the reason is that I’ve also been intimidated by the bustle. So many loops of fabric. So much drapery. The angle has to be just right to show off the fit. But I decided to try it this time, so here she is- a dress from 1870 for Marisole Monday & Her Friends.

Just the ladies. This won’t fit the gents.

It is based off this dress from 1870 published in The Queen, the Ladies’ Newspaper in January. Queen was an English fashion magazine that published French fashion plates and started in 1861. In 1968, it was purchased by Harpers Bazaar. Until 2006, in England anyway, Harper’s Bazaar was published as Harpers & Queen. I’ve yet to find a good online archive of The Queen, the Ladies’ Newspaper full-text, but if anyone locates one let me know. Their fashion plates are lovely.

Without the accompanying information, it is hard to know what exactly this dress was intended for. Based on the style, I am thinking a seaside nautical thing. January magazines often published the first Spring plates, so I suspect this is a Springtime outfit.

Oh, and there’s a patron only blue version, too. Join to check it out! And, you know, help keep the blog on the interwebs.

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

Peony in the 1860s: A Dress from January 1864


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I seemed to me that I should close up the week with a winter dress from 1864. A dress that speaks to snow and city streets. In my head, I picture Peony wrapping up in this velvet coat trimmed in soft white fur and heading out to shop for the holidays. I had looked for a plate from 1865 (that’s when the Civil War ended), but I fell in love with this winter dress from 1864. A year early, but I hope people don’t mind. Technically, the war ended in May 1865, so I guess I’m still safely in my Civil War era theme.

And to go with the coat, I had to create a muff. I love muffs, but don’t think they would be practical today since I need my fingers for driving and things.

I simplified the coat a bit, because I couldn’t seem to figure-out what was going on with the sleeves in the fashion plate. I thought they were maybe bracelet length, but then maybe not, based on her raised arm… Anyway, in the end, you can’t really see the sleeves thanks to the width of the skirt. One advantage of those wide skirts from Civil War era children’s clothing.

Fashion plate This particular coat comes from a fashion plate from Le Follet. Le Follet is yet another French fashion publication. It came out weekly from 1829 to 1871, making it useful for tracing 19th century French fashions. Like all fashion magazines, it is important to remember that the plates show an idealized and fantasy version of contemporary fashion.

Women didn’t actually dress in these outfits anymore than women today dress like what we see in Vogue. However, these images offer a window into what women aspired to look like. In short, the these images are a fantasy of the idealized world of glorious dresses and domestic life.

So, this ends our little foray into 1860s or Civil War era children’s clothing for the Poppet Paper Doll series. I’m a little sad to see it wrap as I have had a lot fun showing the fashion plates and talking about the era. If you missed a post, they are all linked below.

A Printable Paper Doll & Her Wardrobe of Civil War Era Children’s Clothing

I’ve had some questions about printing, so I want to mention this: When you print, you must make sure “fit to page” is NOT selected. That should give you the same size prints as before. I also do not recommend printing from the PNGs, because you can not control how your printer treats the file. This lack of control makes sizing a problem.

Importnat announcement: I’ve split up my personal and blog related twitter feeds. The new twitter feed for the blog is here. So, that will be home for the blog updates from now on.

As always, if you love the blog, consider supporting it on Patreon or just leave a comment. I always love comments. 🙂

Peony in the 1860s: A Paper Doll Dress from May 1860


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This is the paper doll dress that started it all. One fashion plate from 1860 inspired this whole week of 1860s children’s paper doll dresses. Isn’t it funny how that can happen? I came across this fantastic plate from Le Bon Ton (another 1860s women’s fashion magazine) and I just knew I wanted to dive into this era. It helps, I suspect, that I’ve always had a soft place in my heart for Victorian children’s clothing.

Mostly, I think it is more true to say that I’ve always had a place in my heart for antique dolls and that has led me to a soft place for children’s clothing.

Just like yesterday’s 1860s dress, today’s paper doll dress features a dress over a guimpe. (Yesterday, I got into a whole definition of the guimpe which I am not repeating here.)

Fashion plate from Le Bon Ton dated May 1869. Originally found on the Casey Fashion Plate index.

As you might notice from the fashion plate to the left is that you can see her pantelettes or pantaloons. Tomorrow, there will be two pairs of 1860s children’s underwear, so you two can create that look along with two pairs of shoes.

The fashion plates from the Casey Fashion Plate Index which is such a great resource. I will keep repeating how much I love it probably until the end of time, or at least this week.

As a friendly reminder, the black and white versions are linked above with the PDFs. Also, if you need a doll, here she is from Monday.

If you love the blog, than think about supporting me on Patreon or leaving a comment. As always, I love to hear from everyone.

Peony In the 1860s: A Dress from August 1864


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Poppets paper dolls dress with pink and black color scheme from August of 1864. From paperthinpersonas.com.

It’s day two of our Civil War children’s clothing week. Today’s paper doll dress is a mix of two dresses from the 1860s. A fashion plate from August 1864 inspired the dress design. The color scheme is from a different fashion plate from June 1865. The pink and black combination from that fashion plate was so contemporary that I wanted to use it. I think it is easy to forget how bold the Victorians could be.

This dress would have been in several parts. It’s not clear from the illustration, but I think the bodice and skirt are meant to be separate pieces. Underneath the bodice, a guimpe is worn. While It is also possible that the bodice and skirt connect, like a jumper, that is not how adult women’s dresses in this era were made.

fashion-plate2-1864
The dress design comes from this fashion plate.

If you’ve never heard the word guimpe before, don’t fret. It’s not a word that gets tossed around in most conversations. A guimpe was a high necked blouse-like garment women and children wore underneath a low-necked dress. Think of it like like a dickie or a camisole today. A guimpe was never supposed to be seen without a something over it. Some weren’t even complete blouses, but were just dickies and matching sleeves. Part of the appeal of the guimpe, I suspect, was that washing it was more easy than washing the entire dress.

(If you ever have a time and interest, laundry practices of the 19th century are actually fascinating if, you know, you’re me.)

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The color scheme comes from this fashion plate.

Both of the inspirational fashion plates come from the same publication Magasin des Demoiselles. This French fashion magazine in the 19th century was very popular. Many of the 1860s plates from Magasin des Demoiselles include children, along with the ladies. It’s a great resource for what the fashionable girl, or, more rarely, boy, would have worn while running about and being a kid.

Not that running around being a kid was really condoned too much in this era.

Both fashion plates are from the Casey Fashion Plate index which is an excellent resource for 19th century fashion plates.

As a friendly reminder, the black and white versions are linked above with the PDFs. Also, if you need a doll, here she is from Monday.

So, what do you think of my pink and black color scheme? Too bold for the era or okay? I always love to know what you think. Love the blog? Consider supporting it by becoming a Patron, every dollar is lovely.

Promenade and Play: Victorian Paper Doll Clothes for the Poppets

logo-promenade-playSo, life this week has been a roller coaster of sickness and travel, but I promised a second page of clothes for Peach in the Park to expand her Victorian paper doll wardrobe and I am pleased to say that here they are.

In no real order, in this set of paper doll clothes there is a promenade dress or afternoon dress, a gymnastics outfit and a set of underwear consisting of a chemise, drawers and a stayband or corset. She also has a pair of shoes with stockings and a ballgown for her doll. It is entirely possible that the doll’s little ballgown is my favorite piece of the entire set, though drawing that small was a challenge. (Seriously, the doll is like two inches tall in real life. I kid you not.)

I drew these designs based on illustrations from several different Victorian fashion magazines including Harpers Bazaar and La Mode Illustre, which as French. I highly recommend Dover’s excellent books of fashion plate reprints when working on Victorian period fashions- they bring a richness to the process of research that is of great value. Plus it’s fun to draw surrounded by open books (at least, I think it is fun.)

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By the late 1860s, early 1870s, sporting activities were encouraged for children. Gymnastic’s costumes like the one in brown are often shown in magazines along with yachting and skating outfits. While it is hard to imagine a child really running around in the bustled up skirts of the era, it is possible to imagine them doing so in one of these more practical outfits.

I also think it is important to remember that while fashion magazines show perfectly coifed children, actual children’s garments are often more worn and simpler. Kid’s did get out in play even in the 1800s and parents did not dress them like little adults, despite what my fashion history teacher told me. The length of a girl’s skirt indicated her age. The poppets are, in my mind, between the ages of 8 and 11, so their skirts are mid-calve. The skirts would slowly lower until maturity when they would be floor length for many, thought not all, activities.

As a reminder, because I forget this sometimes too- any of the Poppet paper dolls can wear any of the other Poppet paper doll’s clothing. So, while I was thinking of Peach when I made these outfits, they could also be worn by Petunia, Paradisea, Poppy, Posey, Petal, or Primrose.

That is a lot of P names.

Anyway, enjoy the Victorian paper doll outfits.

Peach in the Park: A Victorian Printable Paper Doll

logo-peach-parkToday’s Poppet paper doll is all about Victorian children’s clothing of the late 1860s and early 1870s. I love Victorian children’s clothing. I just love it. I even love it in the 1840s when I generally think all the clothing looks really stupid.

I think it is a combination of my natural fascination with childhood studies and exposure to books like The Little Princess at a young and impressionable age. It is likely also because I have a fondness for the idea of antique dolls with little wardrobes of perfectly sewn clothing pieces. The Little Princess was full of dolls. Anyone else remember that book?

And I am not talking about the Shirley Temple movie version where her father wasn’t really dead. I’ve never forgiven them for changing that part.

Anyway, we have Peach, a new Poppet paper doll, with an elegant promenade costume from Godey’s Lady’s Magazine in 1969. Her fashion doll also has a Promenade costume from that same fashion plate. I couldn’t find a decent reproduction of the plate online. Because Godey’s plates folded out, when people digitize the bound volumes they rarely take the time to fold out the plates. The result is that the text is reproduced, but not the folded plate. This is one of my pet peeves about mass digitization projects.

Back to the paper doll- Peach has, of course, a French fashion doll with her who I have left unnamed. Her fashion doll has a walking dress of her own with a hat attached. I have rarely drawn something as small as the fashion doll and I am worried a little about the fit of the gown. I did a quick Photoshop fit test, but you might want to leave some black border for wiggle room on that one. I love the whole paper dolls with their own dolls which are also paper dolls thing. It is hard to pull off though.

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Anyway, I used several sources when working on today’s paper doll. The doll herself is based on the brown-complexioned bisque bebe dolls produced in France and Germany by companies like Steiner, Bru, Jumeau and many others. You can see some examples of these dolls on my Pinterest Board about Antique dolls. These dolls were most common in the late 19th century. As I mentioned above, her dress is from an 1869 Godey’s Lady’s Journal fashion plate. I used Dover’s excellent book- 80 Godey’s Full-Color Fashion Plates, 1838-1880 (ISBN: 978-0486402222), now out of print, for the 1869 plate. I know there are lots of sources online today for fashion plates, but too many of them omit the context of the plates, since plates were often cut. That is why I like having books of fashion plates in my collection for reference.

Next week, I will share a related Poppet clothing set with some underwear from the 1870s- when even children wore staybands or corsets- and two more outfits and a ballgown for her doll. Also, another pair of shoes with stockings.

I really do have to draw more historical children’s clothing for the Poppets. I had far to much fun with this set.

Remember that you’ll need to cut along the shoulders of the paper doll, so that she can wear her dress.

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