Purple and Red Empire Waist Gowns with Black Lace Overskirts

A purple satin empire-waist gown with a ruched bust and small puffed sleeves edged with black lace. The black lace overskirt is secured with a black ribbon and extends past the knees, and it has a scalloped edge. The hem of the dress falls to the ankle, and is decorated with pintucks. There's also a black ribbon choker with a red gem set in gold.

The exact same as the purple dress, only red. Click for larger version (PNG): purple, red; click for PDF version:purple, red. Click here for the list of dolls.

Well, this isn’t the most Halloween-ish dress I’ve ever drawn, and there’s no particular story to go with it, so I’ve added a red version in hopes you’ll overlook those flaws. It might not be a bad one for the Halloween ball, though, considering most of those in attendance seem to prefer huge poofy skirts and overdone detail. Besides, it would be harder to hide a gigantic spider under this dress: always a plus.

Not my best October, but not a total failure either. I’m feeling a little more into the idea of drawing lately, though, so we’ll see how the rest of the year goes!

Gold 1930s Gown with Black Lace Peplum

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

So somehow I got it in my head that Kathleen, who won my last contest for guessing my favorite book, never posted the dress and coloring scheme that she wanted, and as it turns out I was wrong — I don’t know if I missed the post or just forgot about it, but either way it was there, and I’m sorry, Kathleen. In any case, this is what she wrote:

OK, how about the 1930s evening gown with the peplum. It’s kind of old, but I love it. And could you do like a metalicy gold for the dress with black lace for the peplum?

I liked how this one turned out — I haven’t done that much indulgent gold for a while! I think that the lace part kind of breaks up the straight gold and lends it a little sophistication.

Prismacolors used: Black, Goldenrod, Cream, Sunburst Yellow, Dark Umber, Light Umber, colorless blender

1910 Pink Evening Gown with Black Lace and Cream Sash and Gloves based on The Intrusion of Jimmy by P.G. Wodehouse

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

I just finished listening to The Intrusion of Jimmy by P.G. Wodehouse. I’ve mentioned it before on this blog, but I love listening to Wodehouse, because his stories are light and simple enough that I can miss parts if I get distracted by housework or chatter, but engaging enough that they keep my mind from dwelling on the dullness of dishwashing. Anyways, I’m always up for a story where boy meets girl, everything that can possibly cause boy maximum humiliation and trouble happens, but all comes right in the end.

The thing I liked best about this book was Jimmy’s character, because although a lot of Wodehouse’s heroes are rather more like Jimmy’s friend, Lord Dreever – the kind of laid-back fellow who pre-empts criticism by describing himself as “a bit of an ass” – Jimmy himself was curious, capable and generous. Now, the first two of those are rare enough, but he also seemed to have a darker side than any of the other Wodehouse heroes I can recall. At the beginning of the book, Jimmy makes a bet that he can break into someone’s house, and later that night a burglar happens to break into his own apartment; Jimmy disarms him, convinces him that he’s an infamous European jewel thief and gets the man to take him along on a burglary, all without turning a hair. It’s not like he views it as a lark; rather, he takes the whole thing quite seriously, breaking into someone else’s house almost as much out of curiosity as he did from the desire to win the bet. I guess his background as a reporter made his ability to keep so calm plausible, but still, that’s all pretty cold-blooded. Things like that made me feel that, as much as I liked him for his curiosity and wit, there was something about him that wasn’t quite right, and even though he never expressed the desire to steal so much as a rhinestone brooch, there was something about him that gave me the feeling that he very well could go in for a life of crime if it was interesting enough. It turns out that in the original story that the book was based on, Jimmy really had been a jewel thief! I somehow feel like he makes more sense to me now, although I can’t really hold his past incarnation against him.

Jimmy falls for a lovely girl named Molly, and taking the standard meet-cute love-at-first-sight Wodehouse pattern to new heights, he doesn’t ever actually talk to her during this process, but just admires her over the course of a five-day trans-Atlantic trip. I always figure that the Wodehouse heroines have the most marvelous, flattering, feminine clothes possibly available to humans, because eligible young men are always falling instantly in love with them, so it’s a disappointment for me that Wodehouse seldom describes dresses in detail. The book is from 1910, so here we have a 1910-style gown, with black lace over a pink dress. I do like the dresses I’ve seen from this year – the shape seems like a nice balance between the Edwardian shape and the straight-up-and-down lines that are coming.

By the way, I’ve never thought to look up what P.G. stood for; it turns out to be “Pelham Grenville.” Might have to swipe that one for our firstborn.

Prismacolors used: Kelp Green, Pale Sage, White, French Grey 10%, 20%, 50%, 70%, Light Umber, Dark Umber, Tuscan Red, Black, Cream, Pink Rose, Clay Rose