Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Clara's 1869 Winter Overdress


I hear reports of snow across the country, although we certainly haven't seen any (and are very unlikely to see any here in the Arizona desert). But we did turn on our heat for the first time today, and are glad that our heater works.

So I decided to draw a nice, warm dress for Clara today -- an 1869 silk or taffeta party dress, with a matching overdress.

Have you ever seen a 1950s or 60s movie, where the movie star arrives at a party with a gorgeous cloak that matches her evening gown? Such high fashion was not a new idea... in the 1860s, it was quite the thing to have a cloak that matched your party frock. Even then, the idea of having a cloak to match your dress was not a new idea, having been a practice of the wealthy for hundreds of years.

It seems very impractical to me to have a coat you could only wear a few times. However, it sure is cute!

Clara has a little feathered bonnet to go with her dress, and some tall button-up boots to finish off her outfit.

The original dress was cranberry red. The overdress was cream colored with red trim. The bonnet was a matching red with white ostrich feathers. The boots were black.

To print Clara's dress, use this PDF file:


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:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Clara's 1990 Bridesmaid Dress

This week, we will jump forward in time by a century from the last post, Clara's 1891 Party Dress. Although the dresses are separated by an entire century, many of the major fashion elements of the dresses are similar... the puffy sleeves, the full skirts, the tight bodices and pointed dropped waists. Even the use of lace is paralleled in the two dresses.

The more formal dresses of the late 1980s and early 90s are actually in a romantic style that borrow elements from Victorian styles of the previous century. The romantic style of dress was a sort of reaction to the ripped and sloppy looks of the early 80s.

The lace, puffy sleeves, and ruffles may have been a bit much for the fashion world, and by the end of the 1990s, most styles were pretty casual, and not very extreme.

Clara's dress this week is even more formal than some dresses might be in 1900, since it was intended to be a bridesmaid dress. The original dress is made with a layer of a gauzy peach fabric under a gauzy sheer layer of lacy white.

The original shoes were gold silk, of a shade that would clash with the peach dress. Fortunately, you can select your own colors.  Dyed silk shoes have been poplar for centuries, because they can be dyed the exact color of a dress, making a completely cohesive outfit. Nowadays, matching dyed shoes are usually only worn on very formal occasions like weddings.


To print Clara's dress, use this PDF file:


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:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Clara's 1891 Party Dress


Today's dress is a very frilly "princess dress" that most girls would love. Fashions in the early 1890s were very ornate, although the bustles and crinolines of previous decades were even more elaborate. Tight bodices and drapy skirts were quite popular, and sleeves got puffier as the decade went on.

Clara’s party dress is covered in lace and bows. The ruffles at the neck, elbows, waist, and knee are quite showy, adding enough detail to make this into a princess dress almost any girl would love.

Clara’s hat has a wide brim and is completely covered in ruffles and bows.

The party shoes worn by Clara are slippers with low heels. The shoes are covered with ruffled silk, and decorated with small bows to match the dress.

The original dress was light pink with a white lace collar. All the lace details and bows were black. The original hat was a straw hat with gold and white ribbons on top. The shoes were a light pink silk.


To print Clara's dress, use this PDF file:


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:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Clara's 1919 School Dress

Since today was the first day of school for my kids, I decided to post a cute little school dress from 1919.

Clara’s dress is a post World War I fashion. The war had a huge influence on fashion, as the flowing and frivolous styles of the early 1910s gave way to more practical fashions during the war. Clothing became more structured, borrowing details from military uniforms. Hemlines gradually became shorter as material was rationed.

This dress reflects military styling with the cuffed sleeves, yoke details, and the box pleats on the skirt. Patch pockets add a practical, cute detail to the dress.

Clara’s shoes are simple slip-on shoes with low heels and a little ribbon bow. The tall socks are simple, and mostly the same style as previous decades.

Clara has a soft felt cloche hat with a wide ribbon woven into the brim. A cute pom-pom adds a whimsical detail to the hat.

Hat styles were also transformed by World War I. At the beginning of the decade hats had wide, floppy brims, but by the end of the decade hats had pretty narrow brims.


To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:


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:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Clara's 1920s Summer Dress


Clara’s garden dress is from the late 1920s. Made of a drapy chiffon, the dress has many layers of sheer cloth overlaying a silky lining. The petal sleeves add a nice detail to the dress, and the ruffle at the waist adds a nice accent to the bodice.

Clara’s shoes are leather, with low heels and some nice 20s style decoration in a band across the top of the shoe. In the 1920s, shoes were worn with knee-high stockings. Clara's socks are pretty plain, but sometimes socks in the 20s were quite decorated.

A soft felt cloche – or close-fitting hat – finishes off Clara’s summery garden outfit.

The original dress was an ivory chiffon with a flowery print of lavender blossoms and green leaves. The original hat was a deep indigo blue felt, which certainly would not match the dress in real life. The shoes were brown leather with black trim, a black strap, and black buttons.

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:


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:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Clara's 1960s A-Line Jumper


I can't imagine anyone wearing this cute outfit anytime soon. It is supposed to be 112° again today, just like it was yesterday, and probably will be tomorrow. However, since Clara can wear any outfit any time of year, she gets this jumper today.  :-)

Clara’s jumper has a classic 1960s A-Line silhouette, with an empire waistline, tied with a soft bow. Geometrical patterns were very popular in the 1960s, with lines, squares, and circles dominating the fashion industry. The innovative empire waistline adds an interesting angle to this outfit. A cute box pleat adds another geometrical accent to the skirt. 

The bulky turtleneck worn under the jumper is a classic 1960s style with  a wide ribbed neck and 3/4 length sleeves.

Clara’s shoes are patent-leather Mary Janes with low heels. The cute asymmetrical straps echo the angles of the jumper's waistline and box pleat.. The shoes are worn with thick knee-high ribbed stockings, similar to the turtleneck.

The original jumper was kelly green with a white turtleneck. The original shoes are black patent-leather, worn over white stockings. Bright, clear, primary colors were quite popular in the 1960s. Here are some popular colors for fashion from the decade.


To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:


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:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Clara's 1841 Rose Dress

Clara's dress for this week is a pretty day dress trimmed with roses. In the 1840s, the slope-shouldered look became popular, so dresses were sewn to hide the natural shoulder line, and mimic a round shouldered look. Women would practice holding their shoulders a certain way to accentuate the rounded look. The things people will do to be "in style"!

However, more practical women simply bought well-tailored clothing that were cut to provide the illusion of rounded shoulders. The wide v-neck and off-the-shoulder sleeve seam provide the appearance of sloping shoulders. The wide sleeves and the wide skirt also helped to accentuate the shape, while at the same time making the waist look much smaller.

You may remember from previous posts (like this one and this one) that young ladies in the early 1800s usually did not wear ankle-length gowns until they were teenagers. Instead, a proper young lady wore a mid-calf gown. In the 1840s, she also wore ankle-length pantalettes underneath. Even with a lightweight material, the layers of cloth and petticoats would be very hot in the summer.

Clara also has a bonnet to wear outdoors along with her dress. It has quite a few ruffles and a couple of roses to match the gown. And last of all, some plain boots finish off Clara's outfit for this week.


To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:


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:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Clara's 1930s Trench Coat

The Nancy Drew series was first published in 1930. My daughter is currently reading as many Nancy Drew books as she can find in the local library. She aspires to own every single Nancy Drew book, but that is not very likely, since there were 175 books published in the original series. I didn't know how many had been written until I looked it up a few minutes ago. She gets to stick with what she can find at used book sales and the library.

This week, Clara gets to wear a 1930s double-breasted coat, the uniform of sleuths in every clichéd mystery book and movie. Clara is wearing a similar coat and hat in the black and white illustration from an original copy of The Bungalow Mystery, one of the first three Nancy Drew Books published in 1930. The original cover has Nancy in a very cute blue suit with a stylish yellow scarf. The familiar yellow spines for the Nancy Drew book covers were not created until 1962, when the books were republished. 

After seeing the outfit for today, my daughter has requested some of the outfits from the other Nancy Drew books for Clara. We'll have to see if any of them will work as paper doll fashions.

Although trench coats were created sometime in the mid-1800s, they did not gain much popularity in the general population until after World War I. During the war, soldiers found that trench coats were very important to keeping warm and dry on the battlefield. After the war, designers began to create nicer styles, and women began to wear the double-breasted trench coat. At some point, the trench coat became the symbol of detectives and spies, but probably not as early as 1930, when the original book illustration with Nancy in a trench coat was created.

Clara has a cute double breasted trench coat, worn with a drapy scarf around her neck. She also has a floppy rain hat to match the coat. And finally, she has some galoshes to finish off her rainy-day outfit. Galoshes were pulled on and worn over whatever more fragile shoes were being worn underneath, thus protecting the shoes from mud or water.


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:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Touching Base

Hi

I got my scanner set up, so I should have paper dolls appearing weekly soon. Currently, this is what my house looks like, so I hope you will excuse the delay in posting new paper dolls.

In the meantime, here are the three most popular fashion pages for Clara:
1838 Frock and Pantaloons
 1902 Hollyhock Girl
Victorian Half Cape and Dress

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Still here, but not quite

Apologies for no new paper dolls recently. We are remodeling, which means the computers were moved, and my scanner is not hooked back up yet. With trying to keep some normalcy for the children, moving stuff, and all the arrangements with the contractor, the paper dolls had to go on the back burner.

Anyone interested in pictures of termite damage? I have quite a few. It's very interesting to rip drywall off the walls. Anyway...

In the meantime, I love the cute paper dolls that Karen creates. She has teddy bears, horses, elves, and other darling pages to print. She usually posts in both black and white and color. (Her site is in both Danish and English, so that's kind of fun.) You can find Karen's Paper Doll blog here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Clara's 1910s Dropped Waist Dress

During the 1910s, fashion designs became softer and less tailored than those of the previous decade. Dresses like this one and this one were very structured, pleated, and decorated. 

Clara’s dress is from about 1910-1915, so it still has the dropped waist popular in the previous decade. The top is blousy with four simple pleats. The sleeves are also slightly puffed, and are cut at 3/4 length and finished with a wide cuff. This only decorations for the dress are the small ruffles at the neck and sleeve.

The dress was originally white with yellow daisies all over, so the dressmaker was probably relying on the pattern to dress up the outfit. Still, the dress is plain enough to just wear everyday... after all, Clara can't wear an evening gown to school!

No hat for this week. Instead, Clara has a hair bow to top off the outfit. I adjusted the tabs for the bow, so hopefully it will stay on!

It may surprise you to see that Clara’s shoes are boots, and not exactly what you might expect to be worn with a dress. However, boots were very practical, and were worn with day dresses in the early 1900s. This little clip from a postcard shows a girl wearing boots with her dress. 

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:


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:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Clara's 1895 Victorian Winter Dress

I hear it snowed somewhere in the country this week. Here, the citrus trees are blooming and it smells heavenly. Nevertheless, I drew a winter dress for Clara this week for all of you who had snow and ice.

Clara's dress is from the late Victorian fashion era. Victorian dresses in the 1890s were very tailored, and decorated. They often had sleeves that were called leg-o-mutton sleeves, due to the shape created by their wide upper arms and tight lower arms. 

Clara’s dress has a blousy top with a wide lace collar, and the very typical wide sleeves. The skirt has a bell shaped silhouette, also very popular in the 1890s. 

Clara’s hat has a stiff bow, a buckle, and some feather trim. Hats appeared in many styles in the 1890s, but this one is the sort of wide, flat hat popular in the mid-nineties.

And finally, Clara has some sturdy button-up boots with thick stockings to keep her warm.

The original dress was gray silk with a pink lace collar and belt. The gloves were white. The hat was all black, and so were the boots and socks.

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:


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:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Clara's 1930s Day Dress

The 1930s saw a big change in fashion design compared to the Roaring Twenties. Tucks, ruffles, ribbons, and more structured designs were added to more feminine shapes. In the 1930s, many women sewed their own clothing because of the Great Depression. Sewing patterns became more popular, and women copied the clothing of movie stars, using many of the same patterns worn by the most popular actresses. 
Clara's dress has a square neck and a nice ribbon trim on the bodice. The skirt is gathered at both sides, emphasizing the hips, and creating a very feminine outline. Compare this to Clara's striped 1923 dress, which has a very straight, dropped-waist outline.

Clara also has a cute, floppy cloth hat trimmed with a pretty bow. The hat was worn low over her eyebrows to frame her face better.

Finally, Clara also has some soft suede leather shoes with low heels and a plain ribbon trim.

The original dress was a bronze-brown wool. The original hat and bow were lemon yellow. The original shoes were seal grey with a grey ribbon. Clothing colors from the 1930s were generally darker or soft, dusty tones, and patterns (if used) were very understated.

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:

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:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Clara's 1970s Turtleneck and Tunic

I think I finally found a cute 1970s dress for Clara. The seventies really leave something to be desired, with unflattering colors and styles. Fortunately, not all the styles are in poor taste – and this tunic is one of the nicer fashions from the early 70s.

The tunic is worn over a turtleneck. The tunic itself has cap sleeves and a v-neck, both trimmed with wide yarn stitches. A large tied belt adds some flair to the outfit. The turtleneck is also a classic 70s style, with drapy sleeves and tight cuffs. The entire look is an example of the “peasant style” of fashion design, which was a very popular look for the decade.

Clara’s shoes are clogs trimmed with rivets and decorative metal buckles. Thick soles were very popular in the 1970s. The clogs could be worn with or without socks, so I have both version, depending on your taste for tall socks or (sort-of) bare feet.

The original dress is denim, worn over a red turtleneck. The clogs were a dark brown leather with brass buckle trim and rivets.

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 46 (762k)

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:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Clara's 1843 Carriage Dress and Cape

I hear that other parts of the country have snow and icy weather. Denver was snowed in, the BBC was full of weather reports about snow in England, and Sarajevo had three feet of snow. My family spent Friday and Saturday shoveling 7 tons of dirt – not snow. Our citrus trees needed new water basins. If you are in the area, stop by and you can have some lemons!

Nevertheless, despite our beautiful Arizona weather, I decided Clara could use a warm winter cloak. So this is dedicated to all of you who recently cranked up the heater or tossed a few extra logs on the fire.

In the mid-1800s, wealthy ladies had dresses to wear for many different occasions. Evening dresses were worn nightly for dinner or a dance. Walking dresses like this one from 1877 were worn as the lady went shopping or strolling through town. There was no creativity in naming the dresses – all the dresses were named after the time of day or activity they were designed for: evening, morning, walking, riding, carriage, etc.

Carriage dresses were less ornate and more durable than visiting dresses or evening dresses. They were designed for the warmth and protection of the wearer on a long journey in the open, drafty carriages of the day. Clara has a long silk carriage dress for a winter journey. The dress has long fitted sleeves, and Clara is wearing some wide-cuffed gloves.

Clara also has an embroidered cloak for extra warmth. The heavy wool cape provided plenty of protection from the elements, with the added bonus of being quite stylish. The wide collar – almost a half-cape – is a typical fashion design for capes from this era. The leaves were hand embroidered along the edge of the cloak.

A bonnet would provide warmth and protection for Clara’s hair, and would have been the hat style of choice for travelling. This bonnet is tied with an oversized bow that was quite fashionable.

Finally, some simple half-boots with short ties finish off the ensemble. The shoes are not elaborate evening slippers, but are everyday, durable shoes. They are not particularly well designed or fitted, so they would probably be quite uncomfortable.

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 45 (791k)

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:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Clara's 1940s Bolero Dress

In the 1940s, the fashion industry was heavily influenced by Spanish designers, such as Cristóbal Balenciaga. These designers made Spanish-styles in fashions quite popular. Additionally, the 1940s saw many famous Latin actors and actresses on the silver screen, making Spanish and Latin influence widespread.

Clara’s dress for today has a some Spanish styling with a false bolero jacket. The panels sewn into the bodice of the dress create the look of a bolero. The puffy sleeves and flared skirt also show the Spanish influence on this fashion design.

Clara also has some nice sling-back shoes, worn with ankle socks. Although the style is typical 1940s, these shoes could certainly be worn today – but maybe without the socks.

Finally, Clara has a popular hairstyle for young girls in the 1940s – some loose braids tied with bows, and worn with long bangs.

The original dress is coral pink with white daisies. The original shoes are white leather.

To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 44 (791k)

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:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Clara's 1950s School Dress

In the 1950s, all girls wore skirts or dresses everyday, and Clara's outfit for today is a classic 50s fashion. Although pants were becoming socially acceptable as a fashion, skirts remained quite popular for another decade or so, before pants overtook skirts as the most popular fashion for girls.

This particular dress has a fitted top with a cute diamond-shaped tie. The wide, full skirt is a classic 50s circle skirt, an iconic fashion silhouette for this decade.

The shoes are some cute little slip on shoes, worn with (what else) the classic bobby socks.

Finally, Clara has a cute 1950s haircut: a chin-length bob that curls out at the bottom. She has a headband, one of the most popular forms of hair decoration in the '50s.

The original dress was red and black. The original shoes were black and white.

Some of the popular colors for clothing in the 1950s were:



To print Clara's Dress, use this PDF file:
Clara's Dress 43 (281k)

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: