Hazel Visit’s the 1940s: A Smart Dress from 1943


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A smart 1943 dress for my 1940s printable paper doll, Hazel. It's free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

Today’s dress for our 1940s printable paper doll is from another pattern cover. It is based on a Hollywood pattern from 1943. One of the things I liked about this dress was the two ways it was styled. In one option, it almost feels like a suit and in the other it is clearly a house dress. Just like today, people liked versatility in their sewing patterns.

Despite appearances, this dress is really made in one piece. Similiar styles are this 1944 Dubarry design, this 1942 Hollywood desig and this 1945 Simplicity version.

The pattern on the dress’s skirt is based on the fabric of this dress from 1942. It’s another example of the “two piece, but not really” dress style and I loved the fabric print which I simplified extensively to make into a paper doll version. Be sure to read the whole blog post, it’s totally fascinating.

Her hat is based on the hat worn by the fashion figure on the pattern cover, but small hats like this, sometimes called “doll hats”, were very popular. Here’s an example from 1940 and another example from 1940. I did my best to capture the look in a way that I still thought would stay on the paper doll’s head.

If you’re in need of a 1940s printable paper doll to wear this lovely 1943 dress, you can pick up Hazel in all her 1940’s printable paper doll glory from Monday’s post.

If you want an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes of PTP, you can follow the blog on Twitter or become a blog patron. Blog Patron’s get their own special behind the scenes blog and sometimes extra paper doll outfits. (Just sometimes, because I do have a life. Mostly.)

So, is anyone planning on coloring today’s paper doll dress? What colors would you use? I’ve been thinking rust and navy, but that’s just me. Other people’s thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.

Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

Hazel Visits the 1940s: A Dress from 1942


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A 1940's paper doll dress with matching beret in black and white for coloring. The dress is based on a 1942 DuBarry pattern design and fits the Mini-Maiden paper doll series.

So on Monday, I posted Hazel and her afternoon dress from 1940. That was kind a formal 1940’s look, so I wanted to show of something maybe a little less fancy for today. This Dubarry pattern from 1942 is a great example of the masculine influenced dresses of the early 1940s and I recreated as a 1940’s paper doll dress to print and color.

To go with it, I drew a beret which was a very popular hat style, but I’ll admit- beret drawing is maybe not my great strength.

So, a few things about this dress. It’s based on a pattern by the DuBarry company. DuBarry was a branch of Simplicity Patterns that were made from 1931–1946 exclusively for Woolworths. The wonderful Vintage Pattern Wiki has a bunch more Dubarry styles available for browsing, if you want to pop over there to see them. Two of my other 1940s favorites from Dubarry are this wedding dress from 1941 and this dress from 1944.

Most of the dresses I have drawn for this week come from sewing pattern covers. Though not always an obvious source for fashion history, sewing patterns, like catalogs, are useful to see what normal folks had access too. Most people weren’t buying designer clothing after all and I like to keep my paper dolls a little down to earth… except when they’re aliens.

The downside of these sorts of primary sources is that it is impossible to know what people thought about the pattern design. Did they like it? Was it popular? Did people think it as ugly?

For example, here’s a Simplicty pattern for a strange lace up poncho. Will some historian in the future think we all wore lace up ponchos in 2016? Probably not… but it highlights some of the danger of not using multiple sources when making decisions about what to create for historical paper dolls.

By the way, what do you think of today’s 1940’s paper doll dress? Do you like it? Hate it?

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Need a Mini-Maiden paper doll to wear today’s outfit? Pick a Mini-Maiden Paper Doll Here.

Hazel Visit’s the 1940s: The Doll and Her First Dress


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Hazel- a paper doll and her 1940s afternoon dress. She's the first in a series for 1940s paper dolls.

May I be honest with y’all? I like y’all, so I feel I can be honest.

I have been super busy in the last few days looking for an apartment. I have finally found a spot I like and am now starting to pack. So, during the chaos, I have fallen back on the Mini-Maidens. Frankly, they are the only series I can scan and prep in just one night.

I mean, I’d like to say I did this for purely artist reasons, but really it was a mental health decision.

Plus, I printed out some images from the 1940s as source material weeks ago and I decided to get the darn paper doll set done.

Anyway, today we have Hazel, one of the Mini-Maidens. She’ll be getting an early 1940s wardrobe. Because nothing says, stress relief like a 1940s fashion paper doll, am I right?

Why the early 1940s? Because the styles changed dramatically after World War 2. I wanted to look at the fashions for the first part of the decade, except for one purse that slipped in accidentally. You can check it out come Thursday where there will be an Accessory Thursday post. I know that will make some of you happy.

So, Hazel here has one dress for today. It’s based on this uncredited image from a magazine from 1940 that I found in the New York Public Library Digital Collections. I did my best on the hat, but I’ll openly confess that I am not totally pleased with how it came out. Still, you can’t please all the people all the time or even one artist most of the time. I struggle with hats, but I won’t get better if I don’t practice.

Thoughts on the 1940s? Is it an era you like? Or hate? I find people seem to be pretty adamant about this decade one way or the other.

Meaghan’s Fantasy Gowns: Her Final Gown


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meaghan-fantasy-set-5-color

First of all, Happy Friday to all!

This it the last of the fantasy dresses for paper dolls this week and it is actually one of my favorites. I’ll confess it wasn’t one of my favorites when I first designed it, but it has grown on me and now I’m sorta loving it. (That might be the teal talking. I have a deep affection for teal.)

Sometimes my fantasy sets come with a well formed world in my head and other times they are just a chance to play with a specific silhouette that interests me. This week’s series of garments certainly falls more into the “silhouette” that intrigues me category. It would be inaccurate to suggest that I started with a clear idea of the “world” and then created the dresses.

Never the less, seeing them all together as I get to do on Friday, some idea of the universe from which these dresses come can be formed.

Given the paper dolls delicate shoes, I think it is safe to say that she either rarely goes outdoors, it is the middle of summer or she is living in a place where foot protection isn’t needed. So, I think we are dealing with an urban enviorment. Hiking through the woods in those sandals? I do not think so.

All her dresses are long and most are quite flowy. While this is beautiful, it sure isn’t practical. I think therefore we can assume that she is wealthy enough to not be concerned with practicality.

So, in the end, I think we’re dealing with a princess or a noble woman in a society where she doesn’t have to worry about hurting her feet and can spend time practicing her flute. Not a bad life I don’t think for my paper doll.

A Fantasy Paper Doll & Her Gowns

So, my challenge to you is, what do you think of her life? What stories do you think this paper doll collection tells? Let me know in a comment and have a fantastic weekend!

Meaghan’s Fantasy Gowns: Her Third Paper Doll Gown


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An elgant paper doll fantasy gown with a matching circlet. Deisgned to fit the Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

Clearly, this is not Accessory Thursday. This, “Hey it’s a dress” Thursday which, I will confess, does not roll so smoothly off the tongue.

I put the accessories, which were shoes, on Monday with the doll, because they were NOT very interchangeable among the various Marisole Monday & Friends. I am soliciting opinions about this decision in a poll below.

One way in which this week’s dresses have diverged from my other dress is that I didn’t have a specific color scheme in mind. I tried to stick to colors that all sorta went together, but I didn’t start out with a clear plan. Since I am spreading things out over a week, I don’t feel as beholden to a color scheme as I once did.

This paper doll gown is actually the design that inspired the whole set. In my head, the vest she wears has the long skirt attached to it and is made from a thick black velvet trimmed in gold braid. The berry pink fabric is a heavy cloth, but the cream fabric is softer.

Her circlet is made from soft leather with decorative beads. I intentionally made it longer on the sides, so that you can adjust it to the dolls head as needed to get a good fit. If you missed her, here’s the doll from Monday.

By the way, just out of curiosity, I have a poll about Accessory Thursday.

Do you miss Accesory Thursday?

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Tomorrow, there’s an elegant teal gown and, as usual, the round-up of the whole set of printable paper dolls for your ease of printing.

As always, I love to hear what people think in a comment.

Meaghan’s Fantasy Gowns: Her Second Paper Doll Dress


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A paper doll fantasy dress design in teal and cream. It fits the Marisole Monday & Friend's paper dolls.

As I promised yesterday, today there’s some music to do with yesterday’s flute.

The process of designing fantasy paper doll dresses usually begins with a silhouette. For example, I wanted all these dresses to be high-waisted and very full at the hem making a distinct a-line shape. Each gown also has an “over-robe” and an “under-robe” creating a consistent look. This is part of what I think about each set. I’m really not designing “four dresses”, rather I’m designing a week of themed dresses, so I try to think about a connecting thread either with a time period (like I did for the Poppets of the 1860s) or a stylistic choice- like making all these similar in their silhouette.

I’m not suggesting for a micro-second that this is always easy, but I find I think better in themes, though once in a while, I am tempted to just do a random week of whatever occurs to me; however, I don’t know if that style would be sustainable for me for a long period. I like being organized, what can I say?

I blame it on the librarian in me.

The librarian in me is also why I like drawing books for my paper dolls so much. I tried something kinda new here in that I drew an open book, rather than my usual closed book. I know basically nothing about music, except how it was printed and that’s hardly much to use when one is trying to play it. I faked my “music notes” here just to give it something that clearly wasn’t text. I think this might be my first music book, so maybe the other paper dolls with instruments just play by ear?

If you missed Monday, here’s the paper doll to go with this dress, though it will fit all the Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls, so there’s no reason not to share.

By the way, I am currently collecting people’s thoughts on the new format after six weeks. If you haven’t tossed in your two cents, please do in a comment. If you have already tossed in your two cents, feel free to toss them in again. I won’t mind.

Meaghan’s Fantasy Gowns: Her First Gown & Flute


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Fantasy gown for a paper doll! The doll to wear the gown is available on paperthinpersonas.com along with a lot of over lovely gowns.

Fantasy gown for a paper doll! The doll to wear the gown is available on paperthinpersonas.com along with a lot of over lovely gowns.

I used to feel a little guilty about princess paper dolls. I love fairy tales, especially classics like The Twelve Dancing Princesses and East of Sun, West of the Moon. Yes, the whole commercial empire that is the Disney Princess phenomena made me uncomfortable. I wondered, and still do wonder, about the messaging little girls receive about femininity, relationships, and power.

On the other hand, I like drawing fantasy dresses. I enjoy them and I have been asked by little girls if I have any “princess” paper dolls. When they ask this, they aren’t really asking for the sociopolitical role that a princess play. Rather, they want a girly doll with pretty dresses. So, I’ve learned that sometimes it is important to categorize things as “princesses” for the ease of people looking for “fantasy gowns.”

That brings us to this week’s theme of fantasy gowns for Monday’s paper doll, one of the many versions of Maeghan. I have no idea if she is a princess or not, I leave that up to all of you too decide.

What I do know about her is that she is a musician, because with today’s printable fantasy gown we have a flute. I played the flute briefly in Middle School. I was not a very skilled flue player, but that’s neither here nor there. As it happens, I have no musical talents to speak of.

If you missed the paper doll, here she is, but I also think any of Marisole Monday & Friend’s girls- Marisole, Monica, Mia, Maeghan and Margot would look good in this paper doll dress. I particularly think this Mia paper doll with her red hair would look great in that dark periwinkle color.

Tomorrow, there will be another fantasy gown and a book of music, so that’s fun.

As always, I’d love to hear what you think in a comment. Currently, I’m soliciting opinions on the new format six weeks in.

Meaghan’s Fantasy Gowns: A Paper Doll & Her Shoes


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A redheaded paper doll with three pairs of fantasy sandals. She is part of the Marisole Monday & Friends series and can wear any of their clothes or shoes.

This is the second Meaghan printable paper doll of 2016, which seems surprising to me, but I checked the archives and its true. When my real friend Meaghan allowed me to name a paper doll after her, she demanded fantasy dresses, so I do my best to provide them as often as I can for her paper surrogate.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what the best ways to break up a paper doll across five days really are. Shoes are often an issue in paper doll creations, because skin is exposed. While any paper doll in the same pose can share dresses, only paper dolls with the same skintone can share shoes, especially shoes like these where even and exacto-knife couldn’t make some of these sandals work on my Edwardian Mia from the week before last, for example.

So, rather than start out with a paper doll and a dress this time, I am starting out with a paper doll and some fantasy sandals. There won’t be an accessory Thursday this week, instead each day there will be an accessory to go with the dress on display.

Also, I have a question for all my lovely readers, now that we’re five or six weeks into this new format, what do you all think? Please let me know in a comment.

Alice & The Mad Hatter: The Last Outfit


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Two paper doll outfits- one for Alice consisting of a red and white skirt and a yellow corset over a white blouse. and one for the Mad Hatter consisting of a pea-green suit, red top hat and purple and blue vest.

“Tut, tut, child!” said the Duchess. “Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.” — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9

Alice and the Mad Hatter are preparing to celebrate an Unbirthday today it seems!

Now, one of the fun things about their clothing is that it is mix and match. Personally, I would pair Alice’s skirt with her top from Wednesday. Yesterday’s green bowler hat would go great with the Mad Hatter’s green suit today.

Frankly, I hadn’t really thought much about outfits when I was drawing this set, so I had to try to make things cohesive with the colors. I’m not sure that worked great, but I’m still learning how to make this new format work.

I really need to learn to think less in “pieces” and more in “outfits.”

Oh well, live and learn!

Alice & The Mad Hatter Paper Dolls

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m not sure what next week will bring. I may need a hiatus for a few weeks as I move and deal with some other stuff. I haven’t decided yet, but I will let y’all know as soon as I do.

As always, I’d love to hear that people think of the theme this week!

Alice & The Mad Hatter Paper Dolls: Accessory Thursday


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Hat and shoes for Alice and the Mad Hatter paper dolls! Plus lots of tea accessories. “Who are YOU?” said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 5

Well, my friends, it is Accessory Thursday! And today, we have shoes and hats for Alice and the Mad hatter.

I had a great deal of fun designing sock patterns for the Mad Hatter and shoes for them both. Designing hats was also fun, but I need to get better at drawing top hats. Still, you get better by practicing, so I got in a lot of practice with this week’s sets.

If you missed the dolls, here is Alice and here is the Mad Hatter. Shoes with a pink base are for Alice and the teal based ones are for the Mad Hatter. I’d think that would be obvious based on the leg poses, but I thought I should clarify in case there was any confusion.

If you’re a lover of the blog, then please considering supporting it on Patreon, plus there’s an extra outfit for my Patrons this week and who doesn’t want some of that?

And, as always, I love to hear what y’all think, so comments are always appreciated.