Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Clara's Victorian Play Dress

Victorian fashion in the 1850s is generally dominated by the crinoline, sometimes known as a hoop skirt. (Clara has a Victorian Crinoline here.) However, large skirts would not be practical for a little girl to wear every day. Clara’s Victorian play dress is more useable and less fragile than a dress-up gown. The dress is a nice design with box pleats on the bodice, a full skirt, and butterfly sleeves.

Clara’s boots are a little awkward in style, due to a funny trait: there is no left or right foot. Both shoes are exactly alike and could be worn on either foot. Shoes such as these, known as “straight soles” were made for several hundred years beginning in the 1600s and continuing through the end of the 1800s. "Straight soles" were less expensive than pairs of shoes made for the right and left feet.

Clara today also has a nice summer bonnet. Bonnets were very popular in Europe and in America. In fact, they were the most popular kind of headgear in the 1800s. The wide ribbon was very popular in the 1850s, and was often a color that contrasted with the dress worn.

The original dress was an ivory wool with little green leaves. The original boots were blue with black toes. The original hat was in a vintage photo, so the colors are unknown.

You may also be interested to know that along with white, ivory, and gray, these were some of the popular colors for clothing in the 1850s:

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 14 (595k)

Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will be available on this blog as long as I continue to 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)

If you like my paper dolls enough to want to share with others, please email or post a link to my blog rather than sending or posting a copy of the paper dolls. Refer your friends so they can enjoy the free, printable paper dolls on my blog. Please do not post my artwork on your own sites, modify any of the files, or distribute them to others.

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