Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Paper Dresses and Shoes

For several years a little nagging voice in my head kept telling me to make paper dresses. At one point I started a pattern and made a crude white dress from scrap-paper. For 2 1/2 years it hung on my bulletin board and everyday I looked at it and thought "I should really get back to those dresses".

Finally, for whatever reason, I took a couple of weeks off from illustrating and dedicated my time to refining the pattern and making several dresses. I put them on Etsy and they sold out.

My friend Dean Rhys Morgan saw them and asked if I would put them in his booth at the New York Gift Show. Dean represents such artists as Jeremiah Goodman, Michael Stennett and Jane Bixby to name just a few so, needless to say, I was quite honored.

I have also included shoes in the line and will be adding other items before the January show in New York.

I thought it might be interesting to show a little bit of the process. All of this happens after I figure out the basic pattern. For the dresses this took about 4 days and a dozen or so scrap-paper dresses. The shoes took a little longer (the heel was a killer).

Currently I am working on groupings of stitched paper flowers for a class that I am offering through the very talented Alma Stoller. Registration will begin December 1.

I guess the moral of the story is that you really should listen to that little voice in your head. If you are putting off something that you have always wanted to do-go for it! You never know where it will lead you.


Cutting and gluing the bodice.

Drying after joining the shoulders.

Drying after setting the sleeves.

Selecting skirts.

Pleating the skirt.

Matching up the skirts and bodices.

Adding a collar to "Jewell".

Adding trim to" Julia".

A flower detail for "Bluebell".

"Bluebell's" completed collar.

6 lovely ladies.


  1. Paula, I love this story. I adore the pictures you have posted and being able to see the process ! Congratulations to listening to your inner voice. They are so beautiful! Much continued success always!!!

  2. Hi Paula - I agree with Sue, nice story. And yes, that inner voice that continually compels us to create the things that satisfy a specific urging within, I can relate. What fun!

  3. Dearest sweet paula, such a beautiful and very inspiring post! I am so loving your work in progress and your dresses are really beautiful! Thank YOU so much for such a sweet reminder of a beautiful sentiment! Have a lovely merry happy sunday and love to you!


  4. These are brilliant, very inspiring - glad you decided to follow through and create them. Blessings, Amanda

    Amanda - Realityarts-Creativity
    Art Blog

  5. Absolutely gorgeous! How did you ever come up with such a wonderful item?? Happy to have found your blog!

  6. Paula, your paper creations are amazing! I love the detail and how "tight" the designs are!

  7. So lovely to see your process!!! Beautiful work!