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