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:


  1. The link to Clara's Dress 70 is actually to #69 (Ozma's dress).

    1. Yikes! That's what happens when I change the order for the dresses. This is now dress 71. Dress 70 is Ozma, and Dress 69 will be Glinda, next week. Apologies.

    2. I did post the wrong dress for Ozma last week, but I updated the post as soon as I noticed it, so hopefully no one got the wrong dress.

  2. What a beautiful dress--love the details on all of these that you've posted recently. I enjoy reading your posts with the source pictures for the different outfits. You've been on my mind this week--love you!

  3. What beautiful creations you've been posting recently. Thank you. We're thinking about you today and remembering many happy memories of Allison. We love you all!

  4. That is a lovely dress. I wish Their Ladyships were more into paper dolls. I loved them when I was younger.