Colored 1700s Gown in Gold, White and Pink

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

Trazy won the contest before last, for being the closest to guess our wedding anniversary (August 9th). She wrote: “i think i would like the newest balck and white dress to be colored in the gold colors, and have some kind of royal feel to it. I want the bows/decorations/trimmings to be pink, and the rest either white, gold, tan, or something similar. the skirt should have some kind of lighter golden swirly royal pattern, a lighter gold than the background…”

I would write more about this dress, but this one took me four hours to color, and there is a sort of tingling feeling in the tip of my left thumb, plus I’m having trouble feeling the pad of my left index finger now as I type. I might have overdone it… but it was worth it!

Black and White 1700s Gown

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

OK, this is intended to be a robe à la française, but it’s not precisely what one would call “extensively researched.” I was more going for “pretty”… It looks a little understated, but you have to imagine it made out of a nice brocade or something that would show up when it is colored.

I’m not putting it on the doll because the black and white ones look funny on a doll, but that doesn’t mean I’ve decided yet. Some people have suggested a thumbnail with the dress and one with the doll and dress, but where would they go? They would both have to be significantly smaller, or I would have to write a lot more to balance it out. Either way it would look repetitive to me.

I prefer having the dress on the doll, but I won’t decide one way or the other until the poll closes.

Let’s do a new contest… Thanks to Kelly for the suggestion!
What day is my wedding anniversary?
Post your guess in the comments! Again, the rules:
1) If you’ve already won this year, please don’t enter.
2) One guess per person per day.
3) If no one gets the exact date by 9:00 PM EST, June 9th, I’ll pick the closest guess.
4) I’ll give one hint each day the contest goes on.
5) If you were actually at my wedding, you don’t get to guess. (But I’ll color a dress for you anyway, Mom, just remind me…)

Recession Themed Robe à la Anglais in White and Green with Pouf à la Bailout

Click for larger version; click for the list of dolls.

So, my husband and I live in Michigan, more specifically in Ann Arbor, one of the cities surrounding Detroit. On the good side, it’s almost spring and there’s nothing like the University of Michigan campus when everything is blooming and the students come out of hiding to play Frisbee by the Diag. On the bad side, the unemployment rate is 11% and our poor state is national shorthand for a grim future. Now, if I was a more diligent, self-promoting kind of artist, instead of the flighty, self-doubting, unambitious dabbler that I am, I would be taking advantage of the sad state of American finances, pitching books, putting out press releases, writing up guest posts for other blogs and who knows what else. Why’s this? Because paper dolls are the perfect toy for the modern recession.

Think of it: Iris and Sylvia can wear anything I draw, so it’s not like a regular old book with a limited number of outfits, and you can print this crazy gown for just as much money as it takes to print this subtle shift. Barbie can’t seamlessly transform into a mermaid or a ninja near as well as my girls do, and I doubt her people would let her dress up in anything too creepy. And you know what else? No Barbie doll, no other paper doll out there, no one in the world period, has a terrifying cross between one of Marie Antoinette’s court gowns and the symbols of American financial catastrophe. Yes, this may be a slightly strange toy, but that’s OK: for those that don’t yet see the tumbling Dow in the skirt, print out this pretty princess instead. We who see the humor of the pink slip petticoat and pouf à la bailout will play princesses of a more desperate time and space. Pass the cake.

Yes, I’m reading Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore To The Revolution and loving it. (thanks RLC for the recommendation!) See, I’ve always thought of 1800s fashions as beautiful and elegant (and OK, maybe at worst endearingly funny-looking) but I never could get into 1700s fashions, with the goofy hair and panniers and all. But this bias is probably because so many classic books I’ve read are set in the 1800s: the Austen books, of course, but also Vanity Fair, Little Women, Sherlock Holmes, the Anne series, Gone With The Wind, Edith Wharton novels, Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina — anyways, I can go on and on, but the point is that reading / watching movies based on / paperdolling these books gave me a vague idea of the 1800s in European / American women’s costume. However, I don’t have a similar basis for the 18th century. The only ones I can think of offhand are the Three Musketeers, A Tale of Two Cities and the Scarlet Pimpernel series, and Evelina which I just finished. Somehow, looking at all the robes a la polonaise for Evelina flipped a switch somewhere, and now I’m intrigued by that same goofy hair and panniers. I’d like to get more into fiction from the 1700s or set in the 1700s. Can anyone recommend anything for me? I’d love to have some 18th century audiobooks from Librivox, but I’ll also go the old fashioned way.

The hairpiece will sort of fit both dolls, but there’s one part of Iris’ hair that you would have to bend back. My next series of dolls will be bald.

Halloween Costume Series Day 20: Halloween Themed 1700s French Court Dress with Orange Bows and Spider Lace

Click for larger version; click for the list of dolls.

Now, I actually don’t believe in ghosts, but if Marie Antoinette walks the earth still, I like to think she has something like this to comfort her. It would certainly comfort me, not that I intend to become a ghost. Just think, if one was a ghost and wearing panniers one wouldn’t have to turn sideways to go through a door anymore! Thanks to Antoinette’s Closet for inspiration.

In any case, thank you everyone for following my costume month. My goal was to do one a day, and I got 20 done (plus one Hinawa, and a couple of Boutique posts) which isn’t bad. I hope those of you who aren’t really all that into Halloween didn’t get too bored, and I hope that those of you who do enjoy Halloween liked some of my costumes and are enjoying yourself in some fashion tonight.

So, now I want to know which one was everyone’s favorite. We’ll do this in four parts, with part 1 today and closing in two days…