White Regency Gown with Blue Wrap, Red Roses and Forget Me Nots for Valentine’s Day

A white 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 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 blue 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.Happy Valentine’s Day! Here is my gift to all my beloved readers, whether you’ve just found my page recently or have been following me for a while. I’ve been drawing on and off for a long time now, but it’s been off a lot more than it’s been on. That means I have very patient fans, so I wanted to do something extra pretty for all of you!

This gown is not based on any particular Regency style, so it is more of a costume than a historically accurate dress. I also tried some new coloring tricks with this one. I use Photoshop’s paths tool to make the lines so nice and clean, but it doesn’t really lend itself to details, so the roses and a lot of other details were drawn in Procreate, my iPad drawing app.

The medieval dress I posted last week was the result of January’s contest — want to help decide what the next theme will be, and maybe get the chance to pick out the coloring yourself? I’m currently running February’s poll over Twitter! I’ve tweeted three categories to choose from, so if you’re using Twitter just follow me and tweet your favorite category. (Don’t forget to include my username, @LianaPaperDolls, so I can see it.) I’ll draw a gown from the winning category and start the contest over Twitter next week!

Come back next week for a outfit based on one of the most popular dramas on Japanese TV! As always, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for update notifications, peeks into how I work, thoughts about designing paper dolls and pretty pictures of jewelry. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon. If I can rustle up a few more patrons, I’ll be able to post a bonus dress!

Red and Green Medieval Gown with Oak, Rose and Violet Embroidery and Fur Trim

A gown with a red overdress and green underskirts. The overdress has a scoop neck trimmed with brown fur, and it has sleeves that are fitted to the elbow, trimmed at the elbow with brown fur, then fan out in a wide bell shape, with the edge of the sleeve very long at the wrist. At the edge of the sleeve is a stripe of golden ribbon patterned with scrolls. The red fabric is a shiny brocade with a pattern of oak leaves, scrolls and roses. Down the front of the dress is a stripe of embroidery over an ivory base. The embroidery shows red roses, purple violets, green oak leaves and scrolls, and the flowers are trimmed with small pearls. The embroidery is bordered with stripes of golden ribbon patterned with scrolls. The front of the overdress is split and open at the waist, curving down and ending at the knees with the front of the underskirts entirely visible. The hem of the overdress is trimmed with brown fur. There is a wide golden belt in a pattern of large, overlapping loops that falls at the hips. Set in the front of the belt is a large, smooth purple gemstone. The underskirts, which fall to the floor, are in two layers. One layer is a bright grass green in a shiny brocade patterned with oak leaves, scrolls and roses. It is open at the front and split, showing the second underskirt underneath. It is bordered with stripes of gold ribbon patterned with scrolls. The underskirt is sea green and patterned with golden curling vines.One quick thing before I get into talking about the new dress: I’ve signed up with Patreon, a service that helps people become patrons of the art and media they like. If you would like to support me and my work, please take a look at it!

This gown is the result of my most recent contest, which consisted of two parts. I held it on Facebook, and in part 1, I asked my followers to choose between three categories: evening gowns, medieval dresses and mermaid tails. Medieval dresses won, so I spent some time collecting images of medieval dresses I liked on Pinterest and making some sketches, leading to this black and white sketch and contest part #2. (You’ll note there’s no necklace on the finished dress — I made one, then decided it was just gilding the lily.) In this stage of the contest, people just had to like the post to enter. Eleven people did, and the first winner, chosen by a random number generator, was Nikki Paulsen, but she never got back to me by the following Sunday, and so unfortunately I needed to pick someone else, too. (Nikki, if you read this, I’ll still recolor it for you any time! Just e-mail me or leave a comment here or on Facebook.) The second winner was Hannah Bristol, and here was her request:

The style of the dress makes it seem like a very foresty, homey type of gown. I think I’d like to see the overcoat in earthy tones of red with gold accents, maybe with a brownish-gray fur trim, and the underskirts in shades of green.

I’m not sure if I exactly hit “homey” and “foresty” notes with all of the embroidery, satin and gold trim, but the results are lovely, so maybe it’s something Maid Marian could wear when she needs to get dressed up. Hannah, I hope you like how it turned out! I really enjoy trying to fulfill someone else’s color scheme, because I feel like I always learn something I wouldn’t have when I color it by myself. I posted a series of pictures showing the steps in making this dress on my Tumblr, if anyone is interested in that.

My intention is to hold these contests once a month and spread them among my various social media venues, the blog and the mailing list. I haven’t decided where the next one will show up, but it will start on the 13th.

Next time there will be a special Valentine’s Day present for all of my beloved readers, so come back next Friday! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for updates and fun things, Twitter for my thoughts and sneak previews, or Pinterest for lovely dresses and jewelry. You can also sign up for my mailing list at the top of this page!

1930s Evening Gown in Gold and Red

A 1930's style evening gown. It is sleeveless, and has a deep V neck with ruching at the shoulders and chest. It has a peplum around the hips and a long, fitted skirt that flares out slightly at the ankles. The bodice and peplum are bright gold, with delicate scroll embroidery around the neckline and the edges of the peplum. The skirt is a vivid red, with a gold vine pattern covering it.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

The recoloring fun continues! I think I’m getting a handle on it. I feel like I’m learning something new each time. I’ve used Photoshop for a long time, but I’ve taught myself and so I missed a lot of useful things and tricks, so I feel like I’m new at this. But I think it’s turning out pretty well! Of course, I’m also thinking that I need to start making custom brushes and patterns, so learning more just leads to more work… The gold pattern on the skirt and the embroidery on the bodice are both from Obsidian Dawn.

No one has guessed Milo’s favorite food yet! The rule is one guess per person per new post, so if you’ve guessed already go ahead and guess again. Winner gets to tell me how to color this dress.

I was thinking I’d make a little present for people who sign up for my e-mail list, does anyone have any ideas? A wallpaper? A special outfit?

Queens of the Sea #2: Lai Choi San’s White Satin Robe

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

Welcome to day two of the Queens of the Sea series, part of the Random Magic Pirates book tour! Here is the mini-bio for today’s pirate, provided again by Lyrika:

Lai Choi San
The Queen of Macau Pirates
The Jade Empress
The Enigmatic Empress

Lai Choi San was a 20th century Chinese pirate, who prowled the South
China Sea during the 1920s and into the 1930s.

She commanded a fleet of a dozen junks based in the South China
Sea. Finnish adventurer and freelance writer Aleko E. Lilius managed to find a way to
work among her crews, and he recounts his impression of the
cool-headed commander this way:

‘What a woman she was! Rather slender and short, her hair jet black,
with jade pins gleaming in the knot at the neck, her earrings and
bracelets of the same precious apple-green stone.

She was exquisitely dressed in a white satin robe fastened with green
jade buttons, and green silk slippers. She wore a few plain gold rings
on her left hand; her right hand was unadorned. Her face and dark eyes
were intelligent…and rather hard. She was probably not yet forty.

Every move she made and every word she spoke told plainly that she
expected to be obeyed, and as I had occasion to learn later, she was
(I Sailed with Chinese Pirates (1931), Aleko E. Lilius

Lai Cho San was also the inspiration for a 1930s comic strip,
Terry and the Pirates, featuring a
cold-blooded villainess, The Dragon Lady. The series, by artist Milton
, sparked a radio series (1937-1948) and a later TV series
in the early 1950s.

You can read more about Lai Choi San at In the Library of LadyViolet, as part of the Queens of the Sea series.

It was kind of Lilius to describe her outfit so well, wasn’t it? That made today’s overall design very easy to come up with, meaning that I could spend less time thinking about it and more time admiring pictures of 1920s-era vintage Chinese robes. I could have sworn that the word “necklaces” appeared in that description at some point, though. Oh well. I’m sure she had a least a couple of necklaces!

Imagine trying to keep a white satin outfit like that clean anywhere near a ship… Even if it’s not what she might have worn on duty, so to speak, it can’t have been easy. I imagine that’s one perk of what was no doubt a generally rough existence — she could task some poor underling with the duty of keeping her clothes immaculate. Although, given that she may have never existed at all, I suppose a fantasy character could keep all manner of delicate white clothing perfectly clean.

Don’t forget to enter my contests! Click here for the chance to win an original drawing, for those of you who can give me an address if you win, and click here for the chance to design a pirate outfit, open to everyone!

I wanted to clarify one thing about the first contest – it’s open to international visitors as well as domestic ones. And yes, all you have to do is post a comment to enter — although it is a little boring for me to watch the comments roll in, next time I do something like this, I will make people write something more imaginative! But I won’t change the rules on you mid-stream, this time.

Don’t forget: check out the tour schedule here! And for more information about Random Magic, here’s the trailer for the book.

Also, check out the Rum + Plunder treasure hunt for more pirate prizes!