As a kid, my favorite paper dolls were historical paper dolls. I had everything from paper doll flappers to knights. I still tend towards historical paper dolls in my own collecting, especially those depicting an era that I don’t see very often.
So, for last post of 2015, I thought it would be fun to post a round-up of all the historical paper dolls on Paper Thin Personas from 2010 when I did my first historical paper doll (a teddy bear with regency fashions) until 2015.
As some of you may recall, one of my goals in 2015 was to create at least ten historical paper doll posts in 2015. I surpassed my goal.
Mostly though, I wanted to a chance to dig back into my passion for historical dress research which I had let slip a little as I went through grad school. So, today I am going to share every historical paper doll on the blog organized by era of history.
This holiday season I’m visiting family in Arizona. My mom and I went to Tucson to see the miniature museum called The Mini-Time Machine.
It was absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend it to anyone in the area.
Anyway, onto paper dolls… I had a lot of trouble coloring this paper doll set. I didn’t want to do bright colors, but I also didn’t want to do everything grey and gold. I ended up developing a color palette based on mossy green and eggplant purple. I named it Watcher at the Gate. I knew I wanted the armor to feel as much leather as it did metal, so I added grey-browns. You can see all my palettes on ColorLovers, though I confess I only recently started saving them there.
I have created a lot of different paper dolls over the years, as anyone who spends any time digging around the archives could tell you. My favorites are ones where I get to do something different that I haven’t really done before. I think today’s set falls into the category. I can’t think of another paper doll I’ve drawn for the blog which is quite like this paper doll.
So, on Wednesday, there will be a round up of every historical paper doll I have ever posted on the blog (kinda amazing list, actually) and then on Friday… well, actually, I have no idea what goes up Friday. I need to work on that. 🙂
As always, comments are always appreciated and if you would like to support the blog than consider becoming a patron. There’s fun perks like the Vivian Project and early previews of paper doll sets.
First of all, Merry Christmas to anyone who celebrates. Today we have a completely non-thematic set of paper doll clothes. 🙂 This is what happens to me at the end of the year. I’m just all about getting the stuff I have done posted, so today we have some 1890s beachwear for the Poppets with a sailor suit and a swim suit.
Sailor suits were very popular in the 1890s and they were worn by all different ages of children (and some adults). You can find examples all over the place if you happen to be looking. I used the book Children’s Fashions, 1860–1912: 1,065 Costume Designs from “La Mode Illustree” which happens to be out of print, but is a great resource. Both the swimming costume and the sailor suit come from the illustrations in this book.
One of the interesting things about sailor suits is that they didn’t change in style much. Here is an example from La Semaine De Suzette in 1908. (La Semaine De Suzette was a French children’s magazine that published sewing patterns for the doll Bleuette through out its many year run. There are passionate collectors of the dolls who make the wonderful patterns. Someday I would love to do a paper doll of some of the amazing Bleuette patterns.) Some more examples from various eras include this sailor suit from the 1920s, a magazine illustration from 1890 and an extant example from 1905. Clearly, the sailor suit stuck around for a long while, making them a great subject for paper doll clothes.
I was going to save this post for January, but then I realized I have all my posts lined up for the rest of the year and so I figured I could share this a tiny bit early.
My goals for 2015 were many and varied. This isn’t really a post about how I did on those, but rather a chance to talk about where the blog went this year and a few lessons I learned along the way. PTP was born in January of 2009. It died in December of 2009 and came back stronger in 2010. It is six years old.
In the last six years of blogging, I don’t often look at where I am and what I am proud of. Being a librarian, I am constantly reading articles about blogging and social media- trying to learn what I should be doing. While this is often helpful, it sometimes leaves me feeling depressed. There is so much I should be doing. It is hard to remember what I am doing.
So, today, I am going to look at how the blog did in 2015.
Paper Doll Sets Posted on Paper Thin Personas in 2015
For those keeping track, that’s a total of 76 printable paper doll sets (not counting each black and white page of the same designs as separate sets).
Now, I haven’t gone back and done a date by date analysis of when each paper doll posted. However, since Marisole Monday & Friends Sets post over a two week period there would have to be 26 sets in a year to be a full year’s worth. The other paper doll sets there needs to be 52- one for each week. At 76 sets, I am just two sets short of the 78 I would need to have done two a week for an entire year- nothing shabby about that.
I am a tiny bit shamed by the 1 Flock paper doll set, especially since I actually have sets for that series that have been sitting in my Working Folder for months and month. Oh well… There’s always next year.
Types of Paper Doll Sets Posted on Paper Thin Personas in 2015
I thought it would be kinda fun to look at a few of my tags (which I use as metadata for each post) rather than the major paper doll series. Some of you may remember my goal for 2015 was ten historical paper doll sets and there will be 20. Yes, there is one historical set to be posted before 2016.
Oh, the anticipation.
I only got up three male sets. That’s a little troubling… though there were only 25 Marisole Monday & Friends sets in total, so that’s not quite as bad as it might seem. Still, not great though.
So, much for staying positive…
Contemporary sets are generally contemporary fashion. I don’t include specialized sets like the ballerinas in that group.
When calculating fantasy sets, I included sci-fi, steampunk and fantasy all into one category. I just think they all belong together, since the differences are kinda semantic. One has rayguns. One has gears. One has swords.
Moving away from paper doll sets for a moment, I averaged 37,335 page views per month which is a rather useless stat. I mean, it just means the number of times a page on the blog was loaded on someone’s computer.
However, sessions and users are more interesting. Each time a unique person (as far as Google Analytics can tell) visits the blog than it is logged as a user. Sessions are the number of times a user loads the site. Multiple page views might be included in the same session. For example, if you visit the site and load five pages, than it is one session and five page views.
Clear as mud, I hope.
So, that’s it. A summary of where PTP is in the end of 2015. I hope to do one of these every year from now on as a way of tracking where I am.
Now, I think knights (and therefore knight paper dolls) come in several stripes. There’s the noble white knight on the noble white steed doing whatever noble white knights on noble white steeds do, but then there’s also the down and dirty, rough and tumble knight who will bite you if that seems like the best to survive the night. This knight
As you might have guessed, today’s Mia knight paper doll is definitely of the second variety.
You see, this version of Mia grew up in the rough streets of a fantasy city. Her choices were to become a criminal or become a Guard and she went the guard route. She’s a graduate from the school of hard knocks, but she’ll defend the city and take down anyone who doubts her ability to do so.
(I always feel a tiny bit absurd when I write this stuff about my paper dolls.)
Given that I had already got quite a few warriors, I wanted to do something different. So, I pawed around Pinterest for a while looking for ideas and settled on a city-guard like character. Maybe I’ve ready to many Terry Pratchett novels, but I really liked the idea of a city-guard/policeman type character. That’s how we ended up with this particular paper doll design.
I am particularly pleased with how her chain-mail came out.
Now, I will confess that I had planned to end the year on a modern paper doll, but I asked my patrons on Patreon what I should wrap with and several of them suggested a fantasy set. Anyone is, of course, welcome to join the Patreon to support the blog.
Today’s printable paper doll in black and white is Greta sporting an autumnal wardrobe. Greta’s wardrobe was inspired by what I see the college kids on the campus where I work wearing in the fall. Most of my paper dolls are pretty high fashion, or at least very trendy. This has to do with my source materials which tends towards InStyle and Bazaar, but most college students I work with seem a lot more attached to their jeans and t-shirts.
(In college, I lived in a hoodie, jeans and flip-flops- even when it was pouring rain.)
This more casual version of Greta has some jeans, shorts, capris and then a few tops. I focused on sweaters on this set and just gave her a casual t-shirt dress which seems to be a style I see around a lot these days. I can not wear t-shirt dresses, but hey- paper dolls don’t complain when you dress them. 🙂
This is my fourth paper doll of 2015 with glasses. I am really embarrassed when I realized that in 2014 I only did one paper doll with glasses. So, one of my unstated goals of 2015, was to do more paper dolls with glasses. While four isn’t that many, I suppose, it is still better than one. I really want to do a historical paper doll with glasses ever since I saw this portrait from 1839 with the cutest glasses. I just haven’t gotten around to it. Researching accessories is an often time consuming part of historical paper doll production.
Right now, I am polling my readers on what they might like to see in the future, that is NOT paper doll related (or at least not a printable paper doll.)
On Wednesdays, I'd be interested in seeing..
Tutorials on How To Draw (29%, 28 Votes)
Short Articles about Historical Costume (19%, 18 Votes)
Behind the Scenes Content (17%, 16 Votes)
Tutorials on How to do Things in Photoshop (16%, 15 Votes)
Interviews with Other Paper Doll Artists (10%, 10 Votes)
Thoughts and Advice about Blogging (9%, 9 Votes)
Total Voters: 47
As always, if you like the blog, I’d appreciate your support on Patreon. Thank you to everyone who already supports me. You guys rock!
Okay, so I got home from work last night and I was like, “I have no idea what to post on Wednesday…. Darn it!”
So, I decided the solution was screen captures of works in progress.
Because that might be the easiest thing to post EVER, though I don’t always like posting stuff in progress due the large number of things that never get past certain stages and then I feel guilty that I didn’t finish them, or people would get excited for something and then I won’t get it done and I’ll feel guilty.
First up, we have set you might recognize from my post about stages of the drawing process. It has tabs added and is now waiting for me to do layout. I hope is to have it posted as the first paper doll set of 2016. Finger’s crossed that I’ll get her done in time. I’m finally pleased with how it has come out.
Next up we have a Mad Max inspired set that I am ALMOST done coloring. Fascinating fact, I drew this almost a year ago and I still haven’t gotten it wrapped. (See what I mean about something things never getting past certain stages?) Not because I don’t like it, mind you, just because I can’t seem to find the time. It’s so close though… I should just buckle down and do it.
Yes, she will be different colors when this is all done. I promise.
Chloe asked if my elf warrior example in the Sprites post was just an example or if I was really planning on creating one. Well, here she is. Her name is going to be Willow and she will have red hair. Not just because I adore red hair, but because its an homage to Willow Rosenberg of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I was such a Buffy Fangirl when I was in highschool. I can’t even tell ya. Still love that show. Anyway, I digress.
If anyone is wondering, “Why are some of these such odd colors?”
I think maybe I drew this paper doll, because I want it to get cold in Alabama. It just hasn’t happened yet and it’s annoying me. So, I might not need my cute purple winter coat, but at least Marisole has her cute paper winter coats.
My wardrobe would be so much larger if I could just wear winter coats that I drew on pieces of paper. Seriously, that would be pretty cool.
So, let’s talk color scheme, shall we? I use ColourLovers to track my color schemes and this scheme was one I created called Seaweed and Salt. I always name my color palettes in ColourLovers totally random things. The inspiration color was that electric green color which I created named Acid Cabbage Attack– Hex Code C2DB06. It should work for all your bright green color needs. 🙂
(See, I know someone who reads this was thinking- Obnoxiously bright green is totally what I need in my life.)
As much as I make fun of Acid Cabbage Attack (and yes, I did name it), I actually think that bright green is a lovely color against Marisole‘s skin-tone.
My only regret about this set is that I chickened out of making one of the coats Acid Cabbage Attack colored.
Clearly, I am having way to much fun with my background-color xtml code. Also Acid Cabbage Attack makes me think of that TV show about the evil tomatoes, or as it a movie? Did this actually exist or is my memory just inventing things?
Happy Hanukkah to everyone like me who is celebrating tonight! It’s the Sixth night of Hanukkah tonight and I’ll be lighting the candles in my window and saying my prayers at sundown. Some of you might be playing with this set of Poppet paper doll clothes.
I always tell myself I am going to do a Hanukkah paper doll and then I never seem to actually pull it off. This year I managed it. I chose the Poppets, because Hanukkah tends to be most celebrated by those with children. Plus the Poppets are dolls and I can imagine that dolls might be given as a gift and that seems fitting.
For the holiday, the Poppets have a sweater, tights with Stars of David on them, and a purple skirt trimmed in blue. Of course, they also have a menorah.
A menorah is a candelabra that usually holds nine candles. Eight candles are for each night of Hanukkah, and the ninth candle, which stands usually taller than the others, is to light the eight candles. It is called the shamas. So, every night you say prayers, light the shamas and use it to light the other candles. Chabad has a nice FAQ about the holiday, if you want to know more.
Frankly, drawing a menorah is actually rather hard. I ended up drawing half of this one and then using photoshop to duplicate it. I don’t think it came out very well, but there is always next year.
I keep telling myself I will be organized enough to do something special over the holiday, like Julie at Paper Doll School does during her month of December post. I never seem to really get around to it. The Holidays are just such a busy time for me.
Again, maybe next year.
I hope that whatever holiday everyone is celebrating this time of the year (or no holiday, that’s cool too) is filled with friendship, family and fellowship.
Well, not a rule, but a guideline. I don’t start a new series unless I have at least six paper dolls ready to post for that series.
Six paper doll sets is a good minimum for two reasons.
Reason 1: Can I stand this style enough to draw six printable paper dolls?
Reason 2: Even if I decide I hate it, at least there are six and six isn’t a number to be ashamed of.
The Sprite paper doll series is going to replace the Pixies & Punks paper doll series in 2016 and I’ve been working on it quietly for quite a few months. It is basically the same two poses redrawn- something I have wanted to do for ages.
The series will feature both male paper dolls and female paper dolls. The plan is to go one for one- so for every female paper doll there will be a male paper doll in the same theme. For example, if there is a male elven warrior than there will be a female elven warrior for the next post. If there is a female mermaid than there is a male mermaid for the next post.
The first paper doll to go up will be Zachary. There are two different version of Zachary at the moment. One is a cyberpunk version and the other is a more normal casual version.
The second paper doll will be Yukimo who also has a casual version and a cyber version.
I plan to name the paper dolls in reverse alphabetical order.
Right now, I have drawn Zachary, Yumiko, Xavier and Willow.