Thursday, April 3, 2008

Paper Dolls

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite activities was to make clothes for my paper dolls. I would lay my doll on a piece of "typing paper," then carefully draw the outline of a dress around her shape. Using crayons or colored pencils (this was in the days before watercolor markers) I would draw in the fashion details, add tabs, cut it out and - voila! A new dress. One of the the most thoughtful gifts I ever received was a folder of 8-1/2 x 11 inch papers printed to look like different fabrics and trims, which were designed to be used with paper dolls. Quite the thing in the mid-60s.

Today I played paper dolls again, with the help of my croquis, Polly. She was a good sport, and tried on as many skirts as I asked and helpfully offered her opinion on the best length for me.

For those of you who read my earlier introduction to Polly, it may come as no surprise when I say that my first instinct when choosing a dress or skirt would be to select the longest possible length, like the skirt on the far right. Looking at the skirt on Polly, however, I can see that it's actually a little too long. Probably 2 to three inches shorter would be more flattering.

Looking at the next two skirts, I think it's fairly clear that mid-calf length is out, but looking at the fuller skirt, I can see that if it were just a touch shorter, just below knee length, it might be okay.

But the most surprising to me are the three short skirts. It would never have occurred to me that a short skirt could be at all flattering, but of all the looks included in the picture, the short a-line and pencil skirts are my favorites.

The paper doll exercise is part of my preparation for the PatternReview Mini-wardrobe Contest. I don't intend, at this point, to toss out the pattern selections I've already made, but I will definitely take a second look at the lengths I've chosen. A trip to the mall for some snoop shopping may be in order.


CharityinAlaska said...

Paula - my eye immediately went to the shorter skirts. Very flattering. Great idea!


Sondra said...

I agree, the knee-length skirts look best. Isn't having a croquis great? It can really help you think things through. That exercise really helps you see how the rules of proportion work to make you look better. Can't wait to see some knee-length skirt reviews. ;)

Dawn said...

My favorite is the short A-line skirt. It is very apparent in this example how taking away all that other detail really helps us focus on the figure.

Tamara said...

The shorter skirts are very nice on you. I especially like the A-line.

Marita said...

this really is a great exercise, i liked more of the shorter ones also, maybe the really long one isn't out of pic if you team it up with the right top, this way it made you look tall but also big, the right top can really make a big difference.
I was also grazy about paperdoll, even my mom other draw clothes for them, but then came Barbie and I switched over and started with them and again mom made clothes for them too, couture for Barbies , gorgeous fur trimmed nightgowns etc., I enjoyed every moment, LOL!!!!

Lindsay T said...

This is so fun to see. I need to do this too.

BTW, I added your blog to my links list. I thought I had put it there a long time ago but then just realized it wasn't there! Chalk it up to a senior moment.