Happy Flag Day! In celebration of Flag Day and in great anticipation of the new American Girl character, Caroline Abbott from 1812, I had my friend Randa at FreeStuff4Kids.net design us our very own Regency era inspired paper doll and dresses to color, decorate and play with. I also decided to play around with some of the dresses we already have and see what I could do to make them a little more like something Caroline would have worn.
Before we even get to the printables you can have fun “creating” your own Regency fashions using dolls and dresses you already have. One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the dresses in the 1812 time period was the high waistline. You can get creative with doll clothes you may already have and make your own Regency style dresses. I used Elizabeth for our model (who is our next Downy spritz candidate) and borrowed Felicity’s summer dress. I turned the lacy sleeves under to make them shorter and give them a little poofiness (yes, I know that is not a word). Then I took a piece of ribbon and tied it around her waist but at a higher level than it should be for Felicity. Ideally this would work even better using Felicity’s Night Shift or another dress that had no waistline sewn in. I’m sure with a little creativity you can come up with some fun fashions of your own, too.
Now for the good stuff – the printables! Print out multiple copies and design a whole wardrobe of dresses for your 1800′s girl. Add embellishments like small paper or fabric flowers, rick rack trim, or pieces of ribbon to give the dresses your own touch. You could even make some of the dresses a little shorter for day time play or school dresses. Cut out your model and the dresses and have a paper doll fashion show. Another way to give the paper doll and her outfits more play value is to laminate them before you cut them out and then add self adhesive magnets to the back of the dresses. Then you can easily change up the dresses or create scenes on your refrigerator door or on a large metal cookie sheet.
What do you think of this style? It was a very short-lived trend in fashion as the waist lines quickly came back down by about 1820.