Introducing Emi!

Emi, the new doll. She has light skin with yellow undertones, dark brown eyes and brown hair gathered up in a bun, with bangs and two curls around her ears. She is wearing a sleeveless gown with a sweetheart neckline. The bodice is white satin with a subtle scroll pattern,  and the skirt is sparkly all over and starts off sky blue, then gradually turns into dark blue at the hem. It's gathered into folds at the hips, while the front of the dress appears flat. There's a golden belt with a scroll pattern, and at the center is a magenta gem surrounded by a ring of pearls. There's also a gold circlet decorated with a magenta gem and two pearls.Meet Emi, my third doll! I’m happy with how she turned out, even though the dolls are always a lot more work than I anticipate. She is intended to be Japanese or have Japanese ancestry, and her name is pronounced like “Amy,” not “Emmy.” I’m glad to have her join Mia and Leyla, and I hope to do a better job of getting new dolls out! (One a month may have been overly optimistic.)

One thing to note about the PDFs: I was asked to provide a doll with less revealing underwear, so I put a dress on the base dolls. Most of the outfits will work fine with this dress, and given my propensity for drawing outfits that use a lot of virtual fabric, those that prefer the more modest doll base will probably be able to enjoy most of the things I draw. I made the original underwear pretty minimal so I can do more interesting mermaid designs without worrying that the underwear would show, and any mermaid designs I do will not take the dress into account. Each PDF for the dolls now contains both versions, and I’ll also separate the dolls from the dresses and have them available as Gumroad downloads.

I feel like I want to try to get ahead this month, so that I have posts ready to go before it’s time to post them and I can concentrate on doing something fun for Halloween. It felt good when I was able to do that before, but then a week-long vacation wiped out my buffer. I’ll probably do several dresses in the same theme, to cut down on the research and design time. Help me choose the theme!

Next week you’ll probably see whatever wins the poll, or appears to be winning the poll when I get started! Don’t forget that you can now download combined color and black and white PDFs of all of my 2014 dolls and outfits for free! Also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for sneak previews, paperdoll thoughts and lots of very pretty dresses. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

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!

Blue Winter Gown, and an apology

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

Remember me?
… I know, I know. I do some of the best dresses I’ve ever drawn, and then I up and vanish on you. I’m very sorry, everyone… I do tend to swing between obsessions, and I don’t know if it’s quite time to return to paperdolls, but my mom was quite right when she said it’s past time for the fire gown to be the first thing everyone sees when they look at the site. This isn’t the December birthday dress or anything… it’s just pretty. I hope. I’m kind of rusty. And it’s blue because I’m feeling blue about being such a lousy paperdoll blog maintainer. Kidding. Sort of.

I will have another couple of updates in the coming days, but for now I thought I had just better post something, apologize for the complete and total neglect, and get it over with!

Two Prom Dresses from Liana’s Paper Doll Boutique

Click for the doll.

So I said I drew a few prom dresses for the Boutique, and here are the first two of them! I don’t think they’re particularly based on any real gowns, but it’s been a long time…

Johanna at 18th century fashion linked to a sort of museum social networking site, Creative Spaces which is a way to tag, collect and organize works from different museums that are participating. I love this, because one of my biggest issues is, say, looking for gowns from a specific year and going through this crazy avalanche of Google image searches and bookmarks and links to sites I’ve never seen before and links to sites I’ve used before and then forgetting where I saw what. I’m sure there’s some widget I could use to fit with my stream-of-consciousness research style, but in the meantime I like where this is going. If you join up, add me as a contact and then explore the Things Liana Likes notebook!