Tuesday, May 10, 2011

1902 Hollyhock Girl

Clara's dress for this week is based on a painting by John Hafen, "Girl Among the Hollyhocks" from 1902. Hafen's painting of his daughter in a field of hollyhocks reminds me of my mother, as I mentioned in this post for Mother's Day.

Clara's dress is representative of those from the turn of the twentieth century. Photos of schoolgirls from the this period frequently feature girls in white dresses, dark, thick socks, and ankle boots. The dresses are usually trimmed in lace and ribbon, with lots of ruffles. Ribbons were usually pink, or another pastel color.

In the painting, the girl is wearing a frilly white dress with a pink ribbon around the waist and arms. Drapy ruffled sleeves, yoke, and hem add to the outfit. The dark socks and shoes seem a little incongruous with the white dress, but that was the style. If Clara was going to a dance, she would probably have some slippers, but the boots are great for walking to school, playing, and tending the garden.

And today Clara is in the garden with a group of hollyhocks. Most of the flowers in the painting are white and pale pink, but hollyhocks grow in many other shades, including magenta, red, and yellow. Hollyhocks are a striking flower, growing up to ten feet tall, and are usually grown in naturalized or old-fashioned gardens. On today's fashion page, Clara's hollyhocks are framed to make them easy to color and cut out, and then can be used as a background image.

Popular colors for 1900-1910? Mostly white and pastels were popular. Evening gowns would have bright jewel tones, but day wear was more muted. Here are some colors found in clothing from about 1900:

To print Clara's dress, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 9 (909k)

Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will continue to be available on this blog as long as I post new fashion pages for her. You can read the introduction for the Clara paper doll here.

To print the Clara paper doll, use this PDF file:
The Clara Paper Doll (718k)


  1. Thank you for your beautiful blog. I love Clara and the lovely dresses you have designed for her. I'm touched by your talent and your generosity; I will follow this lovely collection, and fill a box of my own for my grand daughters to play with when they come to visit.

  2. Thank you. I hope your grand daughters enjoy them!