1930s Blue Flower Patterned Dress with Lace Scarf and Cherry Brooch

A 1930s-style blue dress with a small pattern of white flowers and green leaves. The neckline is decorated with a white lace scarf pinned with a plastic brooch in the shape of a yellow bow over a pair of red cherries. The scarf falls in a lace-edged ruffle down the front of the dress. The sleeves are slightly puffed, and there are rows of pintucks down the front of the bodice to each side of the ruffle. It's belted at the waist with the same kind of fabric. The skirt is just past knee length and is slightly flared at the base.
I’m breaking my paper doll slump with this 1930s-style dress! If you don’t follow me on Pinterest, you probably should, or at least you should select a couple of my boards to follow because I actually have nearly 200 boards. (I suggest Jewelry, Gorgeous Dresses and, of course, Liana’s Paper Dolls.) You may be asking, what does one person need with nearly 200 boards? The answer is, I have one board for fashion plates, illustrations and actual examples of clothes from almost every year between 1788 and 1965. Even if you aren’t foolhardy enough to hit that “Follow All” button, it’s fun to go to my profile and just scroll down, watching the fashions change. Whenever I want to draw a historical outfit, I’m always scrambling through Google Image Search, museum sites and so on for examples of outfits from that time, so having these boards is a great resource for me! I particularly like 1930s clothes, so I did a 1930s dress today. It’s mostly based on late 1930s styles (I think mostly 1937), but the pattern and decorations are my own invention.

In other news, I now have PDF collections of my 2014 dolls and outfits to download! So if you want to print them out, you don’t have to fuss with each individual PDF any more. They’re pay what you want, including $0, and you don’t even have to sign up for anything or have any credit card information if you get them for free.

I don’t have an elf dress ready for the next contest, but let’s get it started anyway! I will have it done by next week at the latest, and the winner can decide on the coloring then. I promise it’ll be pretty!

To enter the contest, post a comment with your favorite time period for clothes. One comment per person please, and I’ll choose the winner with a random number generator. If you’ve won a contest this year, please don’t enter again. (And Mom, you’re free to enter!) The winner will get to tell me how to color an elf dress.

Pink Satin Dress with Lace Trimming

A pink satin dress with straps over the shoulders and an empire waist. The above-the-knee length skirt is covered with white lace, with a sparse pattern of flowers near the top, and an elaborate pattern of ribbons, flowers and leaves by the hem. Another row of lace adorns the hem. There is a layer of sheer white fabric attached at the bodice, which drapes over the skirt and is cut away in front, trimmed with more lace.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

You may have noticed that the original black and white masquerade dress had rows of lace that the recolored versions did not. That’s because to color in Photoshop I start by tracing the original drawing with the pen tool. I looked at those little fussy bits of lace and realized that, should I take the time to retrace them, I would be choosing the way of pain, and that I should be able to find another method of making lace. So for a few days now I’ve been working on using Photoshop’s tools to make lace. This is all done with brushes, paths, patterns and shapes, all of which I made myself (well, the ribbons are a default Photoshop shape). Farewell to simple half-circles indicating lace… This is just a beginning, but I think once I have more brushes and more practice I should be able to do some gorgeous lace for paperdoll outfits!

Would you believe this dress started life as a Regency gown? I lopped off the puffy sleeves and everything below the first layer of skirts. I hope it doesn’t show too much, but I was getting rather frustrated with it toward the end! But now it’s done I’m reasonably happy with it.

Masquerade Gown with Sparkly Pink Bodice, Red Velvet Trim and Blue Flowered Skirt with Cream Ribbon

A masquerade gown with a sparkly, light pink bodice The neckline is off the shoulders and slightly V-shaped, and is trimmed with a line of light blue ribbon ribbon. The sleeves are three-quarter, and their edges are trimmed with more blue ribbon. There are long ruffles attached to the edges of the sleeves, and they are dark red and decorated with large, lighter red swirls. The bodice extends over the top of the skirt and is gathered at one hip, decorated with a cream-colored bow. From the bow, four rows of ruffles fall towards the base of the skirt like a waterfall. Each one is dark red and decorated with large, lighter red swirls. The skirt is light blue with an apple blossom pattern. The flowers are cream, pink and dark red, and are interspersed with white butterflies. The skirt is long, and falls to the floor.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

Sparkle Week continues! I must admit that everything I know about making fabric sparkle in Photoshop I learned from the Disney princesses. Yesterday was sparkles over dark color, today is sparkles over light color. I made this brush myself, too, with help from this tutorial. The pattern on the red fabric is from Pixels & Ice Cream, and the pattern on the skirt is from flashtuchka’s Vintage Floral Patterns.

I’m very annoyed by how Photoshop handles brushes and patterns. I always find myself saving and losing brushes, and if I download a pattern set I have to remember how to credit it. It’s all very kludgy, it seems to me. Am I doing things wrong? Is it improved in future versions? (After all, I’m using CS2, which was released in 2005…)

March Birthday Gown with Blue Tunic and Daffodils

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

Today, we have a March birthday gown; the birthstone is aquamarine and the birth flower is the daffodil. I always like doing these, but I have an uncomfortable feeling that in all these months I’ve been drawing them, I’ve skipped a couple of months entirely… I had better make a chart sometime.

“What do you think you’ll do today?” my husband asked me.
“Oh, a March paperdoll.”
“Like the Ides of March?”
“Well, not that kind of March.”
Please do refrain from getting backstabbed in this dress, the blue is far too nice to spoil!

I think I have pretty much recovered from being so horribly sick, so I’ll do my best to get back on the paperdoll schedule! (True, today’s is a little late, but where I am, it’s 10:30. That’s not even approaching midnight! Plenty of time.)