Recolored Regency Gown in Bright Colors

A lavender regency gown trimmed with white lace at the neck and sleeves. The sleeves are gently puffed and the bodice is ruched, trimmed on the right side with red roses and blue forget-me-nots. Under the bust is a pink ribbon sash decorated with a scroll pattern. The dress fabric is decorated with small embroidered white flowers, then at the edge of the skirt are pink swags, trimmed with lace, with pink hearts, red roses and blue forget-me-nots at the top of each swag. Intricate white embroidery surrounds the flowers. Under the swags are pleated turquoise frills that fan out to the ground and are trimmed with white lace. Long white gloves are attached to the outfit, and there is a pink wrap over the arms that is decorated with a shiny gold paisley pattern. At the neck is a thin gold chain and a pearl pendant.I didn’t finish the dress I meant to have up today (the contest winner), so for now, I will present the recoloring chosen by one of the two winners of my Oscar contest, dannyscotland! Technically, it was chosen by her 5-year old daughter, and it did turn out to be vibrant. She wrote:

I have consulted with my ‘assistant’ a.k.a. daughter, and she would like to have you color the Valentine’s Day Regency Gown. For five years old, she’s pretty specific, so please feel free to alter as you see fit. :-) And thanks for understanding. She (and I, I guess) would love to see turquoise gloves and bottom ruffle, a pink shawl, lavender dress (the body of the dress), red roses, and pink draping over the bottom ruffle, kind of like it is now. Maybe it could be a different shade of pink?

Dannyscotland, I hope you and your daughter like it! It was fun for me, because the finished dress is quite different from the original, but it does some fun things in and of itself. The blue of the ruffle actually complements the forget-me-nots, and with the lavender background, you can see that there is a very subtle swirl pattern on the fabric, which was pretty hard to see on the earlier version.

The top part of a blue gown with a delicate darker blue vine and white flower pattern and puffed sleeves. There are a line of pearls at the neckline and a wide gold belt with pearls.But wait – that’s not all there is today! RLC of Paper Thin Personas has been doing interviews with paper doll bloggers lately, and for this month, she interviewed me! Check out the interview for my thoughts on why I love paper dolls, how I created the pose for the new doll series and whether I prefer sparkly things with some shine or shiny things with some sparkle. Plus, I did a blue princess gown exclusively for RLC’s site! If you’d like to see and download the full dress, you’ll have to check out the interview.

Come back next week for the 1912 gown with colors and patterns chosen by my husband! (I’ll give you a hint: Beetles.) I’ll do the poll next week, too. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for site updates, paperdoll thoughts and very pretty opals. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.


Otohime’s Coral and Blue Undersea Gown from the Japanese Fairy Tale Urashima Tarō‎

A blue gown with a stylized wave pattern in a darker shade of blue. There is a vest and overskirt with uneven, coral-like edges in shades of orange and coral with a golden scaly pattern all over it. The vest forms a large V over the top and is held in place by a wide belt in an aqua and teal wave pattern with gold accents. There is a thin dark blue ribbon tied around the belt. It is held in place with a brooch made of polished green and blue abalone, and the two ends of the ribbon extend almost to the floor. Underneath the belt is a short overskirt in a semi-transparent white fabric with a subtle shimmer. The collar is formed by several overlapping robes in shades of blue, dark where it is in contact with the vest and progressively lighter until it reaches the neck. The sleeves are wide and bell-shaped, and at the shoulders there is another layer of the shimmery semi-transparent white fabric. There is a wide white ribbon that floats over the dress in a large circle and slips under the arms, its edges curling around the skirt.I’m sorry to have made you wait for this one! I just had some kind of block about it, but now it is done and I can go on to something else. This is my version of a dress worn by Otohime, who is a figure from a famous Japanese folk tale, Urashima Tarō‎ (浦島太郎). In the story, the young fisherman Urashima Tarō saves a turtle from some kids who are tormenting it, and as a reward, he is brought to the undersea palace of the Dragon God and meets his daughter, Otohime (乙姫), who was that turtle that he rescued. He stays there for a few days, but soon wishes to return home. Before he does, Otohime gives him a box, warning him not to open it. When he gets back, he finds that everyone he knew is long dead and his village has greatly changed. He opens the box, but in it was his old age, and he turns to dust and blows away. Some versions have happier endings, like this illustrated retelling. If you’re studying Japanese, give this version a shot.

Urashima Tarō‎ is a story that pretty much every Japanese person would know, and Otohime is a famous figure. As it’s a very old story, the way she is usually depicted is in a gown like this (with obvious Chinese influence) and not usually a Japanese outfit. As it’s a famous fairytale, though, the depiction varies with the artist.

Thank you for all of your fun entries in my contest! I really just need a post to enter someone in the drawing, but it’s more fun for me to read about whose costumes reign supreme. (The cast of Downton Abbey would triumph over the cast of the Titanic, according to my readers.) The winner, although I hate to admit it because he was talking about his plans for what he’d do if he won the other day and I know what I’m in for, is my husband Brian.

Come back next week to see what ridiculous design Brian will choose for my 1912 gown, and for a new poll! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for site updates, complaints about Facebook and gowns with interesting details. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.


1912 Dress Contest

A dress with a lace overskirt and bodice over an embroidered underdress. It is gathered slightly above the waist with a wide sash and a large rose at the front.The bad news is that I put off this Friday’s dress too long, intending to work on it on Thursday, and then didn’t have the time on Thursday that I thought I would. I should be able to post it tomorrow, and I’m sorry for the wait.

The good news is that I’m going to start the contest anyway! In my poll earlier this month, 1910s dresses trounced the competition. Since I added the detail that these were Titanic-era dresses, I looked to 1912 fashions for inspiration. As always, the winner of this contest will get to tell me how to color this gown. This is just a sketch, meaning that the decorations are just placeholders: my intention is that the part bordered with the scalloped edge will be a very detailed lace pattern, and the scroll designs are also subject to change. If the contest winner likes, I’m open to suggestions for what the patterns and lace should look like.

The contest will run until noon on Thursday, March 27, and the winner will be picked by a random number generator. If you’ve won one of my contests this year, please don’t enter this one.

To enter, please post one comment answering this question: Between the cast of Titanic and the cast of Downton Abbey, who would win in a fight? You can define “fight” however you like, if you’re so inclined: the old-fashioned criteria of “no weapons, knee deep in mud, last one standing,” or perhaps the battles would involve snarky quips, salad forks, dance prowess, making the other side cry with tragic love stories — you tell me which story set in 1912 reigns supreme and, if you like, why.


Tiny Tutorial #1: Draw Easy Rosettes

Draw Easy Rosettes! A Tiny Tutorial from Liana's Paper Dolls. It just takes ten steps to draw a great border or pattern.

Welcome to my first Tiny Tutorial! In this series, I’ll show you some of the tricks and techniques I use to create my dolls and dresses. First, let’s draw some rosettes.

A very light ivory ballgown with an almost exaggeratedly large, floor length skirt. It is off the shoulder, with a line of pink rosettes across the top. The bodice is fitted and decorated with a pattern of white lines and dots arranged into a sunburst shape, with a polka dot and grid pattern covering the background. Both patterns are shaded to look as if they're white frosting on a white cake. The waist is V-shaped and is edged with a line of small silver balls. The overskirt is open at the front, showing a large part of the underskirt. The top half of the underskirt has a pattern of delicate white scrolls and the words "Treat Yourself!" written in loopy cursive in pink frosting. The bottom half consists of three large rows of rosettes, designed to look like they were made out of icing. The top rosette row is very pale pink, the second is a shade darker and the third is even more darker, creating an ombre effect. The overskirt is edged with lines of small silver balls and is decorated with sunburst-shaped patterns of lines and dots going up the front sides and a polka dot and grid pattern covering the background.First off, let’s revisit the Broken Age cake dress from last Friday. The rosettes on the bodice and hem were meant to look like they were piped on with frosting, in the style of popular ombre rosette cakes. If you use Pinterest, I am quite sure you have scrolled past these cakes several times! The one I referenced was this purple specimen. The technique for drawing rosettes can be adapted for other things: look at these quinceañera gowns and this pink gown, isn’t it basically just a similar idea? It also makes a good border, especially since you can draw it quickly. It won’t look like a row of roses, but it doesn’t have to.

I did this with an iPad program, Procreate, that allows layers, so the guidelines are on a different layer than the finished drawing, and once I’m done I just delete that layer. You could mimic this by putting down guidelines with pencil and the actual rosette with pen, or wing it without guidelines.

Three small circles and two large circles drawn on guidelines.To start, draw the guideline along which your rosettes will be placed, then decide on the size of your rosettes. For small ones, draw an olive: two circles, one smaller than the other. For large ones, draw a bullseye: three circles. Repeat the pattern so that the edges are just about touching. (Don’t worry about whether they overlap or not. These are just guidelines.)

The first step of the drawing, a small shell-like series of lines in the middle of the circle.Draw 5-6 curved lines within the smallest circle. Start the lines from a single point on the edge of the circle and end them on different parts of the edge of the circle. The finished lines will look like a seashell.

The next layer of lines, with arrows to show their direction.Starting with the inside line of the second circle, draw curved lines towards the outside of the circle. Unlike the previous rosette, you don’t want them to start on the same point: you might have two or three starting on the same point, but not all of them. You’ll want to draw the lines the opposite direction from the lines on the middle circle. They shouldn’t be all the same width, like a camera shutter.

The final layer of lines for the large rosettes.If you’re making a large rosette, then repeat the process for the large circle. Again, be sure to draw the lines going in the opposite direction from the previous level.

The rosette lines without the guidelines.Remove the guidelines, and you have what look like a row of starbursts.

Filling in the areas that were left blank when the guidelines were removedNow you’ll go in and connect the areas that were left blank when you took away the guidelines. Start with the middle circle. If you’re doing three-circle rosettes, draw in the missing lines in the second circle too.

The final lines of the rosette.Next, draw the outside lines. When doing the outside lines of a rosette, draw a gentle arch continuing the end of one line to the end of the next one to form the petals.

The finished rosettes.Clean up the lines and you have your rosettes!

If you try out this style of drawing rosettes, I’d love to see the results. By and by I’d like to do some more in-depth tutorials about how I color and so on, but tutorials like these, where I isolate one part of my technique, are easier to do. If you can think of a technique I’ve used in a previous dress that you’d like to know about, post a comment and I’ll add it to my list of tutorial ideas!

Tiny Tutorial #2 will show you how I created the diadem from the recent ancient Greek peplos. As always, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for updates, paper doll related thoughts and pictures of 1910s gowns. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.