When I was first drawing and prepping content for the new Dames and Dandies series, I made a list of what I thought might be the first nine clothing sets to draw for the new paper dolls. Both my Patrons and folks who follow me on Facebook got to see this list at the top of which was “Winter Big Princess Gown.”
For those of you who don’t know, “big gown” is my short hand for these sorts of full skirted over the top dresses I am fond of drawing. Wenesday’s Valentine’s Day dress is another “big gown”. I just like to draw things with huge skirts, because the size of the skirt allows for layering and over skirts and all sorts of other decorative elements.
It’s hard to draw a super over the top mini-dress. You just don’t have as much room.
So, anyway, I wanted to create a winter princess dress. You know, a sort of over the top, full skirted dress that would feel like the sort of thing a fairy tale princess might wear while wandering through a snow covered landscape. Possibly to meet a prince or possibly just because, she felt like it. Princes need not always be involved.
Today’s winter princess dress is trimmed in fur. The bodice feels a little military influenced, with the trimming, buttons and cuffs. The skirt is three layers. There’s an over skirt, an under skirt and a wide pleated bottom skirt.
The motif on the over skirt is supposed to be a snowflake, but I’m not sure that’s obvious. In fact, the first color scheme had a gold snowflake and it looked more like a star to me. So, I ended up recoloring the whole dress. I was thinking of snowy winter days when I colored this- blue-grey is a color I associate with the winter time.
One of the ironies of my working style is that I somehow end up with lots of paper doll content that ends up posting way out of season. Shorts in the winter cold are not at all uncommon in my paper doll world. However, since I drew all these outfits for the next few weeks in December, I felt wonderful about posting some honest to goodness winter clothing in January.
It’s been so chilly these last few weeks in the South. I’m not used to it threatening to freeze so much here. I’m keeping my heat on when I leave the house and a faucet dripping. I would leave my under-sink cabinets open, but my cat is very curious and I worry she’d get into the cleaning supplies I keep down there. These are the choices one makes when one has a cat, I suppose.
So far, no pipe problems. It is warmer this week than it was last week and cold weather kills off the bug population, so I am trying to be positive about the whole thing. Meanwhile, I’ve broken out my wool coat, gloves, boots, scarf and hat.
The B Pose paper dolls have done the same with today’s outfit. One fur collared coat, a pair of boots, long sleeved t-shirt and jeans. For truly cold places, you can imagine the jeans are lined in flannel. I really do enjoy drawing coats and I should do more of them, I think.
There’s an alternative version of today’s paper doll outfit over on the Patreon page for anyone to download if they like. While you’re there, consider becoming a patron. It helps pay for the blog’s server costs and such.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Vintage Santa Claus Illustrations and Layers
After I finished my Autumn sorceress gown, I began working on designs for a winter version. I knew I wanted fur and heavier looking fabric. After a few drafts (and with some inspiration from old illustrations of St. Nick), I came up with this design. I wanted it to feel lavish, but also warm.
Like the other dresses in the Sorceress Gowns Project colors really mattered. Initially, I wanted to make her fur trimmed coat red, but that felt a little to Father Christmas for me. So, instead I chose colors that reminded me of my visit to Alaska in November. Blues and greys that evoked the cool peacefulness of a winter day.
I wanted some big statement jewelry for her to really stand out against the turtle neck of her dress. So, I had fun designing that big gold bib necklace.
For her magical staff, I wanted snowflakes and the north star. I also added a ski poll like pointy bottom for hiking through the snow and being safe while doing so. I couldn’t decide between gold and silver for the colors of the staff, so I used both.
Her boots are fur trimmed. The soles are meant to reflect ice skates.
I also had a lot of debate about what color to make her stand. I almost made it white, but then I felt like it looked “unfinished” somehow, so blue won.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Crocuses and Melting Snow
When I think of spring I think of crocuses. Perhaps, because I grew up in a snowy place. I think of their little flower heads poking out through the melting snow, seeking light and warmth. So, when I set out to draw a Spring inspired Sorceress gown, I knew crocuses were going to be featured.
Beyond the crocus, I knew I wanted drape and layers. I wanted something that was soft and warm, the way I think of spring sun as being soft and warm.
The pattern on the dress is meant to invoke the melting snow. The white dripping down and off the grass and the slow emergence of color again. I love winter. I love the stillness and the peacefulness, but spring is a time of transformation.
Color wise, I returned to the crocus. I wanted greens and purples and rich yellow. I wanted things that were soft and sweet, but also vibrant. Spring is not peaceful to me (unlike winter).
Her corset features a crocus, of course, and so does her staff.
So, today’s two Sorceress Gowns Project paper doll dresses were about two very different seasons. I am deeply proud of both gowns, though there is a lot of diversity in them.
What do you think of today’s gowns? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in a comment.
I’m writing this post on a Sunday night, as I often do. Outside, it is raining very hard and I am reminded of how much we all need outerwear. So, it seemed fitting to post a 1926 coat for the Poppet’s 1920s Children’s Wardrobe Collection today.
But paper doll outerwear poses a unique challenge, because paper doesn’t exactly conform to the shape of the coat in question. So, when I create outwear for paper dolls, I tend to size up in the hope that the layering will all work out all right.
There’s a lot of complex 1920s coats in magazines. Fur trimming was popular and so were asymmetrical styles. But I didn’t really feel like drawing all that. I just wanted a coat. Nothing too complex.
I haven’t really drawn many coats (or any?) for the Poppet’s. So, I figured if the coat could be both part of the 1920s Children’s Wardrobe Collection and serve as a regular coat than that would be useful.
This is the last piece I have ready to go for the 1920s Children’s Wardrobe Collection, but don’t worry. There’s four more pieces in my sketchbook that I inked today, including some really cute pajamas.
Just in case you are curious, today’s paper doll coat comes from 1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company by Dover. I now own all of Dover’s 1920s fashion books, so clearly they need to publish more of them for me. I am running out of places to find my 1920s children’s clothing designs.
The pelisse from 1822 was the one that was today’s paper doll gown’s strongest influence.
I went back and forth about the color scheme for a while, but I really wanted to do something in the red family. As it happens, I super like red.
Monochrome color schemes aren’t something I do much, but maybe I should play with them more. I find I often go back to the same colors for paper doll clothing over and over again.
I was trying to get all my wintery paper doll stuff backlog taken care off before it gets too warm, but frankly the weather has been freakish.
It keeps switching between Spring, in the 70s, and Winter, in the 30s and 40s. I don’t really care which one it chooses, but I dislike having to check my phone every morning to see if I need to grab my coat.
That’s enough complaining about Alabama’s wacky spring weather.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: The Greta’s Trousseau Project
So, back in 2013, I started a project called Greta’s Steampunk Trousseau. The idea was to draw the extensive ladies wardrobe of the 19th century in a steampunk style. I added steampunk costumes to Greta’s Trousseau until about 2015 when I lost interest in the project and moved onto other paper doll things.
But, earlier this month, I was panicking. That the end of January was near and I didn’t have any Mini-Maiden paper doll posts ready for February. Searching for something to post, I discovered this wintertime steampunk costume which I had created for Greta’s Trousseau.
I thought to myself, “I swear I posted that.”
And then a through search of my archives informed me that I hadn’t.
So, because I am not one to waste a perfectly good paper doll outfit find and because everyone needs thigh high gaiters, I cleaned it up and here it is today.
As some of you know, I love Victorian fashion magazines. So, here’s me channeling my inner Victorian fashion magazine to describe today’s steampunk costume:
An elegant, but practical, promenade toilette for the colder months of the year. The jeacket has draped sleeves trimmed in fur, a high collar and a longer silouette with provides additional protection from the chilled air. The draped skirt is trimmed in fur. The long gaiters provide needed protection against winter mud and muck, while also being a practical alternative to high boots. The hat is a simple style and trimmed in wide ruched ribbon.
In case you doubt how old this design is, here’s the doodle it was based on from 2014.
So, should I take on another long term project like this? I have a few ideas for one which I am letting my Patrons vote on right now. So far the things that have been bouncing around in my head range from another steampunk thing (I do love me my neo-Victorian stuff) to a alien space princess. Everything is better with Alien space princesses.
Thoughts from y’all? Is another long term thing like this a good idea? Let me know in a comment.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Holiday Barbie, Pageant hair-dos and Fur Trim
So, back when I decided in December to do a winter paper doll each week, I did what I often do. I messed around on Pinterest and went looking for ideas. A lot of what I saw were those Christmas Barbies and I think a little of that went into this dress.
Today’s Min-Seo paper doll’s dress is sort of weird medieval fantasy meets an ice staking costume. Or, in other words, Camelot on Ice. Everything is better on ice.
And the thing you need to do with such a gown is clearly fur trimmed blue booties and a pageant sort of up-do. Why not? What are you losing? The dress is already absurd. So, I say- go for gold on the absurdity scale.
Plus, somehow in my head “winter = fur trimming” and I can’t seem to shake that.
Not even sure I should be trying to shake that, but that’s neither here nor there.
Meanwhile, if you like the blog, then consider donating through Patreon, plus there’s a behind the scenes blog and early paper doll previews and other fun content. For example, earlier this week, I posted my annual Year In Review 2016 post.
Also, to my Patrons, Patreon is having some issues with their email system. So, if you usually get an email to know when I post there, you might want to pop over and see if you missed anything. I will let you know when the problem is resolved.