Sunday, December 11, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 11

One of the things my extended family likes to do at the holidays is visit one of the Yankee Candle flagship stores.  There's one in western Massachusetts.  This year, my parents took my kids for a visit.  Inside, there are several themed rooms and my favorite is the Bavarian forest.  It always makes me think of Christmas.

So today's outfit is inspired in part by a family tradition and in part by illustration's in John Peacock's Chronicle of Western Costume.

Right-click to download and print

In drawing this, I wanted to give the skirt a bell shape.  It was partly aesthetics and partly practical - I needed to cover part of the arms of the doll with the outfit.  Speaking of practicality - I'm not completely sure the tabs on the top of the dress will do anything.  I haven't printed and tested these yet.

This outfit is based on a German Renaissance costume.  I wanted colors that were muted and warm.  I also wanted a German pattern and came across something called German brick stitch. It isn't anything I'm familiar with, but I did find some images that I thought I might be able to adapt to create an Illustrator pattern.

Much like the Santa paper dolls, I feel like almost every outfit is my favorite.  This is definitely high on the list! Make sure to come by tomorrow for more!!


  1. those sleeves are awesome! i love all things bavarian too! i always think of it as an endless world of winter, which delights me.

    i do so hate tabs ~ hahaha ~ every time i think about capitulating to proper convention and putting them on my dolls, i flake out.

    maybe it's my 19th century sensibility. the original paper dolls never had tabs.

    1. Me too - I think of Bavaria as perpetual winter, with dark trees and elaborate clockworks.

      I don't know much about the history of paper dolls, but it seems to me that tabs would be something of a necessity. Unless paper dolls were like early fashion dolls and not actually toys. Might do some reading while I'm snowed in today!

    2. A lot of early paper dolls had separate heads that you moved between the bodies, so the outfits (which were often two sided) made like a pocket for the head. Later on, some of them would slide over the top of the doll, pasted together on the edges. I don't know when Tabs became common, but I know they are on the Lettie Lane Paper Dolls and the Boston Globe dolls and those date from the early part of the 20th century.

      There's a great part in Paper Dolls : A Guide to Costume where she reprints an entire guide to makeing paper dolls that was published in the 19th century. Of course, I don't have my copy on me, but it gives instructions for drawing the outfit on the fold and then using the fold to hold it on the paper doll (if that makes sense).

      I think once paper dolls were primarily printed flat rather than sold in envelopes, then tabs were needed, but you do see some outliers.

      Oh, and I love this paper doll outfit. I should have said that sooner. :) Reminds me of the work of Cranach, the German painter.

    3. It definitely has a Cranach feel. Maybe I'll do a great works of art paper doll sometime! I really should know more about the history of our craft - thanks for the information!!