Blue, White and Purple Ancient Greek Peplos with Gold Jewelry

A blue peplos, which is a sleeveless draped garment held up with pins at the shoulders. The top is folded over and is light blue, fading to white at the hem at the waist. At the edge of the fabric is a gold heart and line pattern. Underneath is the skirt part, which is a rich blue, turning purple towards the hem. At the hem of the ankle-length skirt are gold line, wave and scroll patterns. There is a bracelet with two large purple stones, a gold necklace with purple stones and gold drops and a diadem with a heart pattern and purple gems.This outfit is the result of my second contest, which I held over Twitter. An ancient Greek outfit won out over a 1930s dress or a fairy outfit, so I started a Pinterest board and did some research into what they were like. Happily, in this day and age plenty of the relevant information is easily available for free!

I’d be happy to hear about other good sources of information — for all I know, something new has been found since these books were printed! I wanted to read these books thoroughly and do more research, but didn’t have time. So I will probably continue, albeit slowly, even though this outfit is all done.

The winner of the contest, chosen by a random drawing, was Karen Martin, and here’s what she requested:

I think for colors, I’d like white, blue, and gold, with maybe some purple thrown in?

She also got to choose from a list of patterns, and she chose the wave, scroll and heart patterns you see on the outfit. So here it is! Karen, I hope you like it.

Let’s start a new contest! Part 1 is a poll, which will close next Thursday. Once I know what I’ll do next, I’ll do my research and draw a sketch, then hold the contest on the 21st. Here are your options…

Come back next week for a dress based on a key scene from one of the coolest games I’ve played in a long time! As always, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterestfor updates, sneak previews and lovely Art Nouveau pendant pictures. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

Halloween ’10 Day 5: Queen of the Seas

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

As you know I generally have a soft spot for anything flowing and cool-colored, so I wanted to do a generic Queen of the Seas costume this month. If you were wearing this to a party with no particularly picky mythology or history geeks in attendance, you could perhaps call yourself the Queen of Atlantis, but I can’t just go blithely saying something like that somehow.

Lindsey commented on my blue and gold princess gown and said that she’d seen a similar one on Zwinky, but I can’t check it out because I use a Mac; can someone take a screenshot of it and send it to me, please?

The verdict is still out on the Good Queen…

Prismacolors used: Cool Grey 30%, 70%, 90%, Black, White, Indigo Blue, Denim Blue, Light Cerulean Blue, Sky Blue Light, Marine Green, Jade Green, Tuscan Red, Poppy Red, Pale Vermillion; Verithin Black and Cool Grey 70%; Sakura Soufflé White.

Halloween ‘10 Day 3: The Twisted Queen’s Black, Green and Red Gown

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

Now this is more like it, isn’t it, for proper life as an evil queen? This is the kind of thing our sorceress from yesterday generally prefers, so you can see why her inexplicable attachment to yesterday’s dress embarrasses her. (Well, it’s inexplicable to her: I know for a fact that her sister loved shiny ribbons and that particular neckline. But she doesn’t remember her sister anymore.)

She abandoned her flowery princess name shortly after awakening her powers, and she went by quite a few others over the years, but mostly she was called the Twisted Queen, even during the times she wasn’t really ruling much of anything. She liked that nickname, and although she made a point of removing the lips of anyone stupid enough to use it in front of her, she would reflect it in her gowns, her crown, her banner and so on. For it amused her to force the world to find patterns of entrails, of snakes, of ropes in the very hems of her skirts, and to cause every soul who saw her to recall her forbidden nickname.

She wore this gown to a summit held in a distant empire, but in truth she could have gone wearing a clown suit and it wouldn’t have harmed her reputation one bit, for things went wrong — as they so often do around her, on her most unstable days — and she was the only one to survive the meeting. But it’s a shame for no one to appreciate this dress, so she is graciously letting me share it with all of you. You may not actually appreciate it, and even for me, it is just a little too creepy to like… but if I was you I would at least nod and smile.

If you have been following me for a while, you might be wondering if the Twisted Queen was acquainted with the Good Queen. I wonder myself, come to think of it.

Prismacolors used: Black, French Grey 10%, 50%, 70%, 90%, Olive Green, Chartreuse, Yellow Chartreuse, Limepeel, Scarlet Lake, Sunburst Yellow, colorless blender. To be fair, French Grey was the entirely wrong color to use for the armband, and the color was corrected to be more similar to the crown in Photoshop.

Evil Queen Wedding Dress with Black and Purple Trim

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

You may or may not have seen this, but there’s a line of wedding dresses based on the various Disney princesses. You can probably guess that I’ve got a soft spot for Ariel and the gang, and I’m certainly fond of my pretty princess gowns, but it seems to me like something was left out… The fact is, it’s the villains who deserve the most spectacular wedding dresses! If you really think about it, theirs ought to be even more wonderful than any ever made for your standard issue simpering, vacuously beautiful princess. I mean, wouldn’t that be part of the joy of being a villain? You don’t have to worry about looking modest or maidenly, frugality isn’t even in your vocabulary, and if anyone out there gives you static about your wedding colors or where you have your registry, well, darling, that is simply the kind of situation that pet dragons, leftover poisoned fruit or comic-relief henchmen were created for.

So, let us pretend for a moment that Snow White never quite made it to the little cottage in the woods, and there were no red-hot shoes or other such fates for the Evil Queen. (Did you know that in the Disney version she had a name? I didn’t, but it’s Queen Grimhilde, according to Wikipedia. There’s your trivia for the day.) After her husband’s unfortunate death, she found her own Prince Charming, handsome, lacking in empathy and appropriately weak-willed, and threw herself a wedding good enough for the fairest of them all. I like to think that eight sweet little village seamstresses went blind embroidering the trim on her dress, and that the lace underskirt — which you will note, isn’t even visible, although I assure you it’s fantastic — is stained a kind of rusty red with blood from the fingers of artisans working themselves to the bone to get it done before the big day. (Sure, it could have been washed, but why would she? She likes it better this way.)

Now, I don’t really think you could package this up and sell it to a modern audience. Why? They couldn’t handle all this fierce in one dress, that’s why. For most humans, it’s probably better to stick with an imitation of Cinderella or Belle.

I’m not entirely sure that this is small enough to print on one page – so if you print it and it doesn’t work, let me know and I will fuss with it. (It’s almost 11 PM, so I’m rapidly running out of patience…) Also, I think the collar would be tough to cut out; I think you would have to cut between the doll’s shoulders and neck and her hair, and then you would cut a line straight through the middle of the collar, so the collar would slip behind her neck. Or cut off the collar entirely, I won’t hold it against you. It won’t seem as evil, though – some sacrifices must be made to achieve the proper look, you know.