Forest Green Empire Waist Dress with Red and Gold Trim (Versions 1 and 2)

Click for larger version (PNG):dark overskirt, light overskirt; click for PDF version: dark overskirt, light overskirt. Click here for the list of dolls.

Sorry about the confusion over the last contest! See, we were out of town for the weekend; I don’t like to announce that sort of thing to the whole Internet, so I didn’t say it, but I wanted to keep to my schedule so I set up Saturday’s post to go automatically. Right up until we left, I was sneaking looks at my computer, thinking “Surely someone will guess in the next ten minutes?” On Saturday, I saw my mom, and she informed me that Ana had guessed correctly, so she posted a comment saying that Ana had won — and she should know, because she was there. Then, to Mom’s surprise, people kept guessing anyways! I think she might have even taken it a little personally…

In any case, my birthday was the 3rd, and I had a wonderful birthday, complete with chasing down the FedEx guy for one of my presents, a mix CD from one of my best friends that I listened to while coloring tonight and a perfectly clear night on Puget Sound so Brian and I could stand out on the edge of the low tide and stargaze. (Oh, and my dad freaking out about the aging process, the day wouldn’t be complete without it: I suspect my 30th birthday next year will be a little hard on him.)

Anyways, Ana won the contest, and here’s what she wrote:

ok then cool. first off happy belated birthday and secondly I’d like the first black and white regency gown from may ( coloured, please. I’d like dress to be a deep forest green with the accents and trim in gold and deep red (preferably without looking too christmasy in the process).

Without looking too Christmasy? Oh, I think I failed that one right off the bat… Would that Ana had won in summer when the associations wouldn’t be so strong! But oh well, I enjoyed myself thoroughly, and Ana, I hope you like at least one of these versions!

This dress is actually a little difficult – it’s too fussy, and you see the overskirt is actually intended to be lacy or semi-transparent: with the rest of the dress forest green, I thought a forest green overskirt would simply look too heavy, so I originally wanted a semi-transparent gold overskirt. However, I failed to make it look anything like how I wanted, and I gave up and made it white with just a little bit of gold, despite how carefully I try to stick to the contest winner orders. Still, I couldn’t help messing with it in Photoshop, which produced the version with the darker, gold-embroidered overskirt, and I found a place in my heart for both versions. I think the darker one makes the dress look a little more exotic and the whiter one just can’t help but give off that Christmas vibe. Which one do you like better? Take the poll…

Prismacolors used: Dark Green, Tuscan Red, Jasmine, White, Pale Sage, Kelly Green, French Grey 90%, Cool Grey 20%, Bronze, Dark Umber, Black, Sakura white gel pen, colorless blender

Halloween Masquerade Costume Series #4: The Cursed Sisters, Part 3

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

The song was slow, and Linnetta found it positively mournful. Her partner seemed to be concentrating on the music as well, dancing ever more lightly to make up for her slow pace and dulled movements.

“Do you really believe that your family is cursed, Linnetta?” he asked suddenly.

“What, did you place a bet on my death too?” she replied, her fingers tightening on his shoulder. “How will I die? A sudden relapse perhaps, or does an assassin lurk nearby? Or will I slip and crack my head during the next song?”

“I’m rather of the opinion that you will live for quite a long time.”

“It’s good to know that someone thinks so,” she said.

Off to the side, Linnetta could see a woman in a sickly green gown whispering to the another woman, the previous arrival in spangled black. Those two together made her uneasy. Undoubtedly they were watching her, but then again so was everyone else. She would have felt elated at all the attention, if not for those women.


I’m sorry about the delay for today, this dress just was impossible! Hopefully tomorrow’s should go easier. Amelia guessed the contest answer, which I’m embarrassed to say was the Spice Girls, yes, no kidding, I know nothing about them except a couple bars of that one song and that flag dress, but apparently one of them had a gold dress I tried to draw at some point back in high school. And, what’s going on, fairies are losing? I thought for sure they had it this week. Well, vote, vote…

Wiki Dress #2: Gold Harvest Gown with Green Peplum and Celtic Patterns

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Now, I happen to know my mom edited this revision of this dress, and therefore it had to be drawn, because my mom’s awesome. I think I ought to ask her to design me dresses more often when I’m feeling unimaginative! She’s also more dangerous with the Prismacolors than I am – she does absolutely gorgeous drawings of flowers and plants on cards, then sends them to people. She jokes that you only get to come to her funeral if you got a drawing from her. Here was her description of the dress:

A sunflower yellow bodice,green peplum with a beyond floor-length skirt done in blended colors of harvest. The hem is heavily decorated with a matching line of Celtic designs in dark blue, with golden accents.

The neckline is decorated with very small dark gold and blue accents, with tiny sparkling swarovski crystals and blue pearls in the center. The waist is decorated with a slim swirly golden pattern and small crystal beads, and the skirt is draped, cascading down to the floor.

She also has a pair of long dark green gloves that reach halfway up. The back of each hand is embroidered with harvest and Celtic designs. On her feet are soft blue satin slippers.She also has a subtle webbed crystal frill tiara (worn front-to-back)with dripping tiny blue seed pearls. Around her neck is a matching crystal and single pearl necklace.

I guess you have to imagine the satin slippers, and there wasn’t enough space on the glove for a harvest design, but I think this came out really nicely and hopefully close to what Mom was imagining. This is one where I wish I could show you all the original — the harvest colors on the skirt are a lot prettier on the real thing. It made me decidedly twitchy to finish coloring the skirt, then draw patterns all over the hem, but it worked, I think!

5th Century AD Upper-Class Celtic Woman In Saffron and Green Léinte and Green Brat (for St. Patrick’s Day)

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Wikipedia says that “uncritical acceptance of the Annals of Ulster would imply that he [St. Patrick] lived from 373 to 493″ and for the purpose of paperdolling, I can be uncritical. This is my guess at what an upper-class Celtic woman might have worn during the time of St. Patrick. She wears a sleeveless saffron-dyed, heavily embroidered léine, which is a linen tunic, over another light green sleeved léine. At this point, the sleeves, if there were any, were long and straight; the larger sleeves that you might see at a Renaissance fair come later. The green fabric she wears as a cloak is called a brat, and it’s made of wool and edged with gold. She pins the brat with a white bronze penannular brooch, and she wears a woven leather belt.

I cannot say that this is entirely historically accurate; I’ve read about clothes from that time and done my best to make it so, but I’m no expert. I read a lot of great resources about clothing from this time period:

Ceara ni Neill’s Early Period Online
Paul Du Bois’ Book of Kells Images
Clothing of the Ancient Celts
Echna’s Celtic Clothing Page
Crafty Celts

Also, if you’re looking at the dress and thinking “Well, how would someone actually cut that out? Or were hand amputations common in the 5th century?” my advice would be to cut a line between the edge of the sleeve and the cloak and slip her hand through it. This is, of course, if you have already followed my advice (given somewhere…) to cut Sylvia’s hand away from her hip, so that dresses like Margaret Hale’s gown work better.

Brian told me I should have done something for Saint Urho. Maybe next year.