Thursday, December 26, 2013

Clara's 1993 Dress with Dropped Waist

Clara's dress today is similar to many I remember my friends wearing in the early 1990s. A very straightforward dress, with simple slightly puffed, long, loose sleeves, a gathered skirt with a pointed dropped waist, and a nifty shaped collar.

Clara's shoes are plain, low-heeled shoes that were likely to be dyed to match the dress.

The original dress I used as a model was light pink with a white collar. The shoes were dark pink, worn with white tights.

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, December 19, 2013

Clara's 1954 "White Christmas" Dress


Have you seen White Christmas yet this year? It is a classic Christmas movie. I just love Betty and Judy's dresses at the end. The beautiful satin dresses are trimmed with fur and covered with big red sequin snowflakes. Silver holly trims dress and adds decoration to Betty's hair.

Clara's dress is based on Betty's dress from the finale. Can you see those nifty long red gloves that Betty is wearing? Very cool.


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, December 12, 2013

Clara's 1954 White Christmas Ballerina Dress



When I was little, it seems like many years we watched White Christmas. In the movie, four performers help rescue the failing ski resort of a retired Army General. At the end, there is a big finale with all the main characters. There are also quite a few children participating in the play. In particular, there are four young ballerinas dressed in white and red. In the snapshot above, the fourth dancer hasn't arrived onstage, yet.


I thought it would be fun to do a couple of Christmas costumes for Clara based on the 1954 movie, White Christmas.

Clara’s costume for this week is based on the young girls’ ballet outfits, complete with toe shoes and a crown.


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, December 5, 2013

Clara's 1950s Snowflake Dress


Clara’s dress is perfect for a winter party or a Christmas dinner.  The dress has a classic 1950s silhouette, with a fitted bodice and sleeves, and a wide circle skirt.

The sweetheart neckline was very popular in the 1950s, but this one is unusual since it has a fully curved neck with no straight lines, as most sweetheart necklines have. The wide waistline is trimmed with five ribbons, adding a nice element of design to the dress. The wide skirt is decorated with embroidered snowflakes.

A pillbox hat and some flat shoes finish off Clara’s Christmas ensemble.

The original dress was a deep blue silk with silver embroidered snowflakes. The hat matched the 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:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Clara's Pilgrim Dress

One of my most popular dresses for Clara is her Pilgrim's Dress from 1620 (click here to see the original post). Since it's Thanksgiving this week, I thought I would post the dress again for any newcomers to my blog.

If you read my original post, you will find out why the pilgrims did not wear buckles and black dresses, as they are widely portrayed in most Thanksgiving pictures, cards, and other merchandise.


Happy Thanksgiving!

To print Clara's "More Authentic" pilgrim outfit, use this PDF file:
 Clara's Dress 36 (717k)

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)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Clara's 1990s Lace Dress

Clara is all dressed up for a special occasion in this 1990s lace dress with a tulip-petal wrapped skirt. This dress has a very simple shape, but the lace adds a lot of texture to the design. The heavy lace top was very stylish, and dressy in the early 1990s. Lace was very popular in the 80s, and stayed popular in the 90s for a while.

The shoes are some cute slingbacks, decorated with a rose trim that matches the flower on the dress. With such a dressy outfit, Clara would probably wear nylons, although hardly anyone here in Arizona ever does (especially not in the summer!)

There's not much to say about 1990s fashion in general, other than it's sort of a hodge-podge of fashions from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. It's not as distinctive as fashion from, say, the 70s. Maybe the fashion will appear to be more distinctive when there is more of a time distance from the 90s to today — more of a historical perspective.

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, November 14, 2013

Heritage Fashion Paper Dolls now available for purchase



I am pleased to announce that earlier this year I created a set of paper dolls from the 1820s and 1830s. They were published, and are available for sale exclusively from "Celebrating Family History," a company dedicated to family history and creating and preserving family memories.

The 1820s and 30s were the early days of the American Frontier expansion, when pioneers began to move west. The paper doll collection includes a little fashion history, and a lot of beautiful historical clothing for a family in the early 19th century.

The collection is available in both black and white and color versions. You can read more about the collection here at Celebrating Family History's website. There is a link at the bottom of the page, or you can buy the paper dolls here.

I am working on another collection which will be available soon.


Clara's 1990s Jumper


1990s fashions borrowed a little bit of this and a little bit of that from the previous three decades. With elements of style from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, there is not a cohesive style that defines the 1990s. Instead, various fashions in many different styles were worn.

Clara's dress this week is a simple jumper cut in an a-line silhouette. The style is a very flattering dress, with a calf-length, drapy skirt. The scoop neck of the jumper is echoed by the wide scoop neck of the t-shirt.

Finally, Clara is wearing a pair of wedge-heeled slip-on shoes with some flower details. Wedge heels were very popular in the early 1990s.

The original jumper was a navy blue color and the t-shirt was white. The shoes were tan.

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, November 7, 2013

Clara's 1950s Flowered Dress


Today Clara has a cute, simple flowered 1950s dress with some bows and flowers. The skirt is a classic circle skirt – very popular in the 1950s – with a wide shape, decorated with some flowering vines. The bodice is a fitted shape with a slightly dropped waistline. The collar is a nice square shape, that was very popular in the 50s.

Clara's shoes are Mary Janes – round toe shoes with a wide strap – very popular in the 1950s for young girls.

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, October 31, 2013

Clara as Glinda of Oz

Glinda of Oz Cover, 1920. The last Oz book published by L. Frank Baum.
(Source: Wikimedia Commons – Artwork is in the public domain.)
Since Clara has already dressed up as Dorothy in Oz and Dorothy in the Emerald City, and also as Ozma, her final Oz costume will be of Glinda of Oz. 

Have you read all of the Wizard of Oz books? They are in the public domain, and are available for download for free from most book readers. If you want to read them online, you can read them on Project Gutenberg, which currently has 42,000 free ebooks. Just search for "Oz" and you'll get a list of all the Oz books — some of the versions even have illustrations. For a list of the books in order, you can check the Wikimedia article listing the books.


Illustration from Glinda of Oz, ©1920
Artwork in the public domain
Glinda is the wise sorceress who appears in most of the Oz books as a mentor and helper for Dorothy and Ozma. In the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, she is the Good Witch of the East.


John R. Neill illustrated 13 of the 14 Oz books written by L. Frank Baum. Neill's Art Deco style illustrations are beautiful, and romantic, with lots of drapy, floaty cloth and flowers, and other glitzy details.

In the books, Glinda is portrayed in several different ways by Neill, but always in a long, drapey dress. She usually wears a helmet type of headdress with a narrow crown and some curvey hair nets.

Clara's dress (on the left) is based on Glinda's costume in the book named after her, Glinda of Oz. She has a long dress with yards of cloth, and a wide, pointy collar. A little scalloped trim decorates the bodice of the dress. The headdress is based on the way Neill usually portrayed Glinda.

Once again (like Ozma's hair), apologies ahead of time for the hair and crown... they are not fun to cut out.

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:
Illustration from Glinda of Oz, ©1920
Artwork in the public domain

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Clara's 1883 Draped Dress


I'm taking a break this week from the Wizard of Oz series to post a special dress. This Saturday, October 26, is the third anniversary of Allison's death. We miss her so much. Actually all of October's posts were created ahead of time, since I don't like October much.



This fashion plate has special meaning for me. The beautifully framed picture was a gift from a dear friend.

The artwork is a hand-colored engraving from an 1883 copy of the Journal des dames et des demoiselles. The Journal was a Belgian fashion magazine published in French by Bruylant-Christophe et Compagnie.

Clara’s dress is based on the little girl's blue dress from the fashion plate. The bustle had come back into fashion in 1881 after five years of being out of style, and remained fashionable through 1889. Dresses were made of heavy fabric, and highly decorated. Clara’s dress is actually relatively plain, compared to some of the dresses of the era.

A simple crenellated, velvet decoration crosses the bodice and also appears at the cuffs. Her dress has a stylish dropped waistline, with a wide, gathered, draped waistband. Pleats were very popular in the 1880s, and Clara’s skirt is no exception – wide pleats add detail and dimension to the short skirt.

The velvet hat is decorated with lots of ribbons and tucks. It is hard to tell if the hat is a bonnet with a rolled-up brim, or a wide beret.

Clara’s shoes are simple boots, worn with tall, thick stockings to cover the young girl’s legs.



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, October 17, 2013

Clara as Ozma of Oz

Glinda, Dorothy, and Ozma from The Emerald City of Oz
Since Clara has already dressed up as Dorothy in Oz and Dorothy in the Emerald City, this week she is dressed as Ozma.

For the latest costume in Clara's Wizard of Oz series, I based the dress on Ozma's costume in The Emerald City of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, which was illustrated by John R. Neill. After writing the original book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Baum worked with the illustrator, Denslow, on producing a play based on the book. As the costume and set designer, Denslow was so difficult to work with that Baum refused to work with him ever again.

In 1904, Baum published a new Oz book called The Marvelous Land of Oz. This time, he used John R. Neill as the illustrator. Neill's illustrations are beautiful, romantic, and very much done in the Art Deco style popular at that time. Neill's distinctive illustrations appeared in the rest of Baum's Oz books.

Ozma is portrayed in may different ways in the books, but always in a long, drapey dress. She usually wears an "Oz" diadem (a headband ornament) with big poppy flowers on the sides. Ozma also has a funny narrow crown that she wears as well.

Apologies ahead of time for the hair and crown... they are not fun to cut out. I strongly suggest not trying to cut the spikes on the crown, but rather just cutting along the curve formed by the top of the points. Those little tabs at the shoulders are important to keep the hair from sliding down Clara's face.

(Update 10/18/2013) I had the wrong file linked. Here is the correct file.

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: