[Cont’d from here] How did I wind up here, drawing “paper dolls” to add my fabric designs to? Maybe in old age I’m simply circling back to one of my first loves — 1950s paper dolls. Rita Hayworth. The Maguire Sisters. I could lose myself for hours dressing them and having them act out their stories. In fifth grade, my girlfriend’s mom taught us how to draw our own clothes for them, which kept me fired up through Tuesday Weld (“Dobie Gillis,” 1959-63) and into the Ann-Margaret (“Bye Bye Birdie” 1963) era.
I guess I used crayons. No one ever told me I was good or suggested I had any aptitude for drawing, much less fashion design. It was just fun.
Flash forward to now. Having fun with fabric design. Taking courses at the Textile Design Lab. More fun to design for women’s fashion than for quilting or home decor. But I need paper dolls to try my creations on…
Enter Zoe Hong’s fashion design channel on YouTube. She has a 4-step process for drawing your own croquis models. The secret: tracing paper! (To hell with that figure drawing class I never finished.) And so my “Nellie” model evolved from a swimsuit ad.
I dressed her in a jumper. Patterns got added through Photoshop.
My years doing infographics introduced me to the charm of small multiples (same graphic bunched together, different info on each), but my instructors didn’t share my aesthetic. More outfits!
So I put my base sketch back under the tracing paper, dug into the designer collections recently on the catwalk, and created some new outfits. I was a kid again with my paper dolls.
Oh, if you want to see my updated and (I hope) final designs, check out this Adobe Portfolio page.