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: