Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Regency Ladies of Fashion - Ackermann's Repository & PaperWhimsy

I've been posting some great fashion images from the 200 year old publication of Ackermann's Repository and that has spurred me on to re-read some of my favorite Regency romances.

I'm currently re-reading The Essex Sister Series by Eloisa James and this has inspired me to 
get a bit creative with some of the lovely fashions from Ackermann's I've been posting.  
I decided to create a fun digital scene in the spirit of an antique toy theater using a variety of fashionable ladies and a great curtain from Ackermann's Repository.  I added those images in with several great elements from PaperWhimsy and set my stage to show off some fabulous Regency "togs".

"togs" - Regency slang for clothes, just in case you were wondering.

The Ladies of Ackermman's Repository and my PaperWhimsy Stage

A fun digital scene I created using Regency fashions from Ackermann's Repository and items from PaperWhimsy

I like to see the individual element people use in their digital creations;
so I thought show all the individual elements used to create my Regency scene above.

I took several of my favorite Regency fashion images from Ackermann's and removed their
backgrounds, this left me with a nice assortment of  "png" ladies to use in my digital creations.

In my previous "Achermann" posts I've blogged about the fashion plates from 1809 - 1815, 
so the majority of the ladies I used came from those dates.  
I've also thrown in two of my all time favorites which are court dresses from 1820 and 1822.  
I will blog about them latter when I post the Ackermann's fashions for those years.  
I've also used a great curtain swag from Ackermann's in my scene.  
I love curtains and Ackermann's has several great ones that I will be blogging about latter 
on after I've posted all the fashion plates. 

Keep checking back with me for more great images from the Regency era.

These are the Ackermann's Fashion plates I used


I also dropped in a few hats in the lower windows of my scene.

I used the blue and pink bonnets from this 1826 Ackermann's Plate

Stage Curtain

I created my stage curtain by taking an 1819 Ackermann's image of a swag, changing it's color and then extending the sides to create the illusion of a full set of drapes for my scene.

This is my stage curtain after making several digital alterations to the original

This is what the original Ackermann's Swag looked like


Setting the Stage - with PaperWhimsy images

The ladies are lovely; however without an interesting way to display them
they are not quite as intriguing.  I wanted a way to show them off where it seemed
to tell a story and I was able to do that by digging into my abundant stash of
PaperWhimsy products and giving them a fun playground to run around.
I love the way they peek out from all areas and at all angles as if they really are on a stage.

I altered the colors of most of the PaperWhimsy items so they would work for my scene;
but that is the great thing about purchasing digital images - you can alter them 
with editing software to custom fit your projects.
 One of my favorite paper series by them is of buildings with multiple windows.
They are so fun on their own as purchased or renovated for a different look altogether. 
I invested a bit of time to digitally erased out the central portion of each window,
as well as the area around the buildings; and am now able to then fill them
back in with other goodies and backgrounds to my hearts content.

These have been so much fun to tinker with, that
I wanted you to have a closer look at the altered buildings.

Here are a few close up views of my altered PaperWhimsy Buildings

Here are all three buildings without the ladies in the way so you can see them better

A closer shot in so you can see more of the details from the additional PaperWhimsy elements behind the buildings

Super close-up of the details on the First building
These close up shots really show the changes in the details I was able to make by altering
colors and adding new elements; so that the buildings pop out and take on a new life of their own.

This is the original arch image used behind the buildings. I altered the color and added a different texture inplace of the sheet music pattern.  You can see the top element above the buildings and the point of the arch through the top windows of  each building if you look closely.

I love the fact that using the "Pointed Arch" element behind each building gives the illusion
that these are hand-crafted items rather than just a digital image.
It made the perfect edge and kept my buildings from appearing to float in limbo.
There was also an added benefit that the "arch" element filled out the background behind
the middle building and gave lots of interest through the windows of all the structures so I
did not need to fill every window with additional items if I did not want to.

I find digital elements a great value since they can be altered in so many ways
and I get to use them over and over in a variety of projects. So much fun.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a different perspective on the Ackermann's Repository
fashion plates and that you create some fun art of your own with them.

 Here are some quick links to my previous 
Ackermann's Repository posts

Ackermann's Repository Fashion plates in Series 1
from 1809 - 1815


Drop by PaperWhimsy and check out all the cool images they have available. 

Here are some quick links to my previous posts 
using PaperWhimsy products

Enjoy and till next time...


  1. Absolutely gorgeous dolls!! I will have to come back to explore your blog!

  2. Thanks Karla - I'm glad you found my blog and hope you have a lot of fun exploring when you get a chance.

    I adore vintage paper dolls and these Regency era ladies from Ackermann's Repository do make wonderful dolls to create fun art with.

    Grins - Evelyn

  3. Evelyn - I write romances set in the Regency and found your blog a few weeks ago doing research on period clothing. What you've done here is truly amazing and so inspiring.

    Thank you for taking the time to scan and post all of these wonderful drawings. I'm back today to find inspiration for a character. :-) It's like shopping without spending money, so Mr. Lyons should be thrilled!

    A quick question -- as long as I link back to your blog, if I find a picture I'd like to post on my website or blog, would that be all right? Thank you! Larissa_Lyons AT yahoo DOT com

  4. Hey Larissa

    I'm so glad you are finding the Ackermann's ladies inspirational.
    I love these gals and will be posting more of them in the next few weeks, so keep checking back.

    Yes, please feel free to use them on your blog and I'd love a link back to mine.

    I enjoy reading Regency romance, erotica, shape-shifters and cowboy stories so it looks like
    in the process of finding me, I've found you and a new group of books to read as well.

    Grins and Giggles,

  5. Thanks, Evelyn!

    I'm so excited about being able to find character inspiration in the pages of this phenomenal publication. Thank you for sharing it with the world and making it possible.
    :-) Larissa

  6. Absolutely love what you have done. Just wonderful! Thanks so much for the images. Laura

    1. Thanks Laura - I really have had the best time playing with all the old Regency images from Ackermann's Repository and am so very glad to share them.

      They were meant to have a second life and I'm trilled to be the one to put them back out there in mass.

      I've turned 41 of these fashion plates into png images available in one zip file that can be downloaded from my deviantART account at http://eveyd.deviantart.com/gallery/33787251#/d4ggqth

      Then I've got a bunch of Ackermann's Repository curtains that are png's and ready to use in artwork over there as well - each is an individual download.