Just a quick update with a book review. This compilation from Stella Blum is one of the nicest (and cheapest) resources available for black and white fashion designs from the 19th century. It's available at Amazon with a new cover. The version I posted at right is the one I actually have (an earlier edition). I use this book a lot to get ideas and have learned a lot about the construction of these clothes (especially all of those complicated folds and tucks!) from studying the pictures.
The original source of this material, was Harper's Bazar, a large-format fashion magazine that began publication in 1867. Harper's Bazar included fashion patterns for ladies to make their own clothes. You can usually see copies of the magazine for sale on eBay and the like. They are not very cheap to purchase individually, which makes this compilation quite nice, even if it only shows a representative portion of fashions compared to the original source. The original magazine was densely illustrated and showed a great deal of detail, not only on the clothes, but patterns for embroidery, lace, and other trims as well ~ along with accessories (hats, gloves, shoes, etc.).
Theodore Menton and Tom Tierney both created a lovely paper doll sets based on these magainzes, both of which I will blog about later (with pictures of course!).
I try not to make resolutions in order to avoid disappointing myself, but I do hope to post here more frequently (with a good deal more original art!). Now that the dolls are more or less in order, I can focus on the clothing. I've spent the last few days ogling some lovely images from a variety of 19th century magazines (like Harper's, Demorest's, and Godey's). I am also hoping to have something to post this coming weekend (even if it is something small).
The "Happy New Year" card to the right is probably from the turn of the century (maybe even 1900 itself), judging by the dress. I love the red coat on the woman. It looks so velvety.
Along the line of allegedly not making resolutions, I will say that I do intend to submit more work to the Paper Doll Studio in the spring. I have also been invited (tentatively, yet!) to create something for the 2010 International Paper Doll Convention ~ more on that later, I hope!
I am still organizing content to fill here, but hello in the meantime! I am using this first post to set up the tagging feature. It's my goal to add new content at least twice a week, so even though this probably won't be a "daily", I hope you will subscribe to the RSS Feed and check back regularly!
One of the things I hope to focus on here is paper doll men, which I think are highly underrated and underrepresented in the paper doll world. So while you can expect to see an array of beautiful dresses, expect to see even more frock coats, military uniforms, and other contemporary occupational wear.