Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Clara's 1909 Swimsuit

Since it's still baking hot here in the Phoenix area, I have drawn another swimming suit for Clara.

This week, Clara has a swimsuit from 1909. The outfit is a sailor-suit style dress over long tights, and finished off with some bathing slippers. As you can see, the swimwear does not look very cool, nor very practical for swimming. However, if you compare this to swimming costumes from earlier decades, this swimsuit is a great improvement. It might be more accurate to call these vintage outfits "bathing dresses" instead of swimsuits, since they sure cover a lot more skin than many dresses nowadays, not to mention the amount of skin covered (or not) by modern swimsuits.

All I can think when I see this type of bathing apparel, is "how hot would that be?" My second thought is "that would be so very uncomfortable to swim in." Can you imagine swimming in tights? I am going to guess that most ladies back then did not actually swim, but merely waded in the water.

Still, I think the outfit is pretty cute, if not as a swimsuit, then as a dress, (except I would have to add sleeves).

The original swimsuit is a light aquamarine color with a white collar and black trim. The tights are the same aquamarine color. The swimming slippers are white with black ribbons. This colorful swim outfit is actually a little unusual, since most swimsuits from these early decades were black, or sometimes navy blue.

To print Clara's swimsuit, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 25 (783k)

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 (745k)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Clara's Vintage Swimsuits

To celebrate the hottest August on record here in the Phoenix area, I have a few swimsuits for Clara. Considering the fact that it is still 111°F right now, I think swimsuits are the only outfits that will work this week. Maybe next week, too, if it doesn't start to cool down.

One of Allison's favorite things to do in the summer was to swim, and we would probably be going swimming tonight if she were here. Not having her with us turns fun things into difficult things to do, especially if the activity was something she loved. Perhaps that's why we've not been swimming much this summer, despite having access to some pretty neat swimming pools and beaches.

[ sigh ]

Ok, so these are some pretty fun swimsuits. Clara has three swimsuits for a hot summer day at the pool or beach.

The first swimsuit is from the late 1930s, and has a fitted semi-gathered skirt with a cute anchor trim. This is actually a little more risqué than many of the suits from the 1930s, but the skirt is still pretty long, at least compared to what we wear today.

The suit from the mid-1940s is rather plain in design, but has some bold stripes across the chest. The bottom looks almost like some of the swim shorts that are popular right now.

The swimsuit from the early 1950s is nearly form-fitting, and has some cute stripes and polka dots. The suit had two layers: the part that is visible, and a tight swimsuit underneath. I may not be making any sense right now. It's probably the heat. :-)

To print Clara's swimsuits, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 24 (741k)

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 (745k)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Clara's 1901 Dropped Waist Dress

This week, Clara has a beautiful dress from 1901. This dress reminds me of the gorgeous fashions that Pollyanna wears in the movie, and those were quite amazing. Maybe I'll have to do some real Pollyanna dresses sometime.

Clara's dress has a lot of little details that I like. The shape of the yoke is more complex than many other dresses I have seen, with stepped trim around the edge. The sleeves have a nice flared sleeve over the puffy blouse. These smaller details give the outfit a lot of class and style. The dropped waist dress was a popular style in about 1901, and this dress is a little reminiscent of the sailor-style dresses that were starting to become popular (like this one here).

Once again, this dress is the short length that was proper for a young girl. In the early 1900s, girls would not wear floor length dresses until they were older. It's not until a couple of decades later that proper ladies could wear a short dress.

The original dress was a dark blue with a white lace yoke and white under-sleeves. The original boots are brown leather. The original hat was a golden straw with a white ribbon.

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 23 (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 (745k)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Clara's 1923 School Dress

Clara has a cute dress today for school. "School?" you say "... not for a few more weeks!" Nope. My children start school tomorrow! I can hardly believe how fast the summer has disappeared.

So in honor of the new school year, Clara has a nice, dropped waist dress with a cute hat and some comfortable shoes to wear. All suitable for the first day of school... in the 1920s, at least. The dress has stripes that add some class to the otherwise plain fashion design. In the 1920s, fashions began to have very straight, sometimes formless designs. Instead of fancy sewing and dress shapes emphasizing feminine attributes, designers relied on materials to show off. Amazing fabrics, ribbons, trims, and beads were used to decorate otherwise simple fashions.

Women bobbed their hair and wore fantastic hats. Although nothing like the huge contraptions from the earlier part of that century, the hats from the 20s are pretty classy. I have already blogged a little bit about the style of hat called a "cloche" in this post. Many times, these hats were worn jammed right over the eyebrows, sometimes at an angle. Clara's cloche matches the dress, having the same striped ribbon trim.

Clara's shoes are made of a soft canvas-type material, rather comfortable and plain, with a very low heel. They have a little braided trim to dress them up a bit.

The original dress was ivory with a gorgeous shade of coral pink (one of Allison's favorite colors) for the stripes. The original hat was a bronze-y brown. And the shoes were entirely ivory or perhaps originally white.

This outfit, unlike most of the ones I post, would actually work in real life. Coral, ivory, and brown... a nice combination. Most of the fashion pages I post have three elements that would look odd together in the original colors. This fashion ensemble happens to work together. Of course, you can't see that. Hmm. Oh well. I hope when you color the outfits, you kind of make the colors work together, and have a nice ensemble going instead of using the original colors I try to mention in the posts.

Just a side note here: Many of the shoes that have survived from the distant past are white, since they were wedding shoes worn for perhaps a day, then packed up with the wedding dress. So instead of being worn out and thrown away, wedding shoes have a much longer shelf life than most shoes that were worn everyday. So wedding shoes and party shoes tend to end up in fashion museums, while work shoes are scarcely to be found. Anyway...

Colors in the 1920s borrowed heavily from Asia, as did the designs and clothing patterns popular in the decade. Here are some colors from fashions in the 1920s:

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 22 (758k)

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.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Clara's 1830 Ball Gown

In the 1830s, the empire dresses of the previous three decades lost popularity, and some more complicated designs came into fashion. Small details like pleats and pin tucks were very popular. Lace, ribbons... well let's just say the more lace and ribbon on the dress, the better. At least in the eyes of the fashion designers of the 1830s.

Sleeves took on ridiculously wide proportions. In fact, this dress is pretty conservative on the sleeve size compared to some of the mutton-chop sleeves of the decade. The sleeves in some dresses were almost as wide as the skirt.

This dress is from about 1830, and has a gathered bodice trimmed with a wide band of lace. The wide skirt has matching lace, and rows of pin tucks at the hem. The dress was worn over many layers of petticoats, giving it a wide bell shape. The huge puffy sleeves hang off the shoulder, making the shoulders of the dress into a fashionable, sloping shape.

The slippers are pretty simple in design, with a button on the strap and a little bow for trim. Some flowers for Clara’s hair finish the ensemble.

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 1830s:

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 21 (917k)

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.