1940s Week: The 1940s Summer Paper Doll Dresses from Vintage Sewing Patterns

A set of 1940s paper doll clothing with two dresses based on sewing pattern covers, a white purse and a straw hat. The paper doll clothing can be printed in black and white or in color.

Printable Black & White PDF Printable Color PDF More Paper Dolls & Clothes
I posted the prompt on Facebook, the Patreon Page and here to ask me a question and that I’d answer it in a blog post. So far, Melissa and Laura Jay have taken me up on it.

Laura Jay asked: Where do you get your inspiration?

Well, Laura, that’s a short answer to that and a long answer. The short answer is: Everywhere, but mostly Pinterest.

The Long Answer is: I believe inspiration is a myth. We become inspired by doing. Don’t know what to draw? Just start drawing. Don’t know what to cook? Just start cooking. The word ‘inspiration’ conjours images of fairies who come and provide the perfect idea.

There is no perfect idea.

Take today’s 1940s paper doll dresses. The sources were Simplicity 1628, McCall 4280, and a hat and purse from The Met. But those weren’t what inspired me in the first place.

What inspired me in the first place was that I drew the straw hat, because I was looking for 1940s hats and I thought it was super cute. But I didn’t think it went well with Wednesday’s dark eggplant dress, by the time it was done. So, I decided to draw a pair of summery dresses to go with the straw hat. That meant pouring through the Vintage Pattern Wiki until I found two dresses I liked- McCall 4280 came first and then Simplicity 1628.

Once they were done, I realized I needed a purse or something and I went looking for a 1940s purse that felt summery. I was completely unsuccessful and on a deadline, so I used this purse and made it white. I still think that was cheating a little. I store all the things I see on Pinterest boards, like my 1940s fashion one.

I’m not sure I did a very good job answering your question, but I hope I gave some insight in how my brain works when I’m putting together a set. Meanwhile, don’t forget that on Monday there was a 1940s paper doll to go with today’s 1940 dresses and Wednesday there were two other dress options.

Meanwhile, let me know what you think of today’s dresses in a comment whenever you have a moment and if you’d like to ask me a question, please do!

Need a doll for today’s paper doll clothing? All the B Pose Dolls & Clothing, but I would recommend the 1940s Beatrix if you want period underwear to match the era of these dresses.

6 comments

  1. Love that yellow dress, and the hat is perfect with it! I don’t see why the purse would be cheating- most of what makes a purse summery is the color, anyway. 🙂 Both links are giving the color version. Thank you!

    1. Yeah, these off the shoulder dresses were super popular and trendy in the mid to late 1940s. I close to copy one with straps, because of Beatrix’s underwear style.

  2. I absolutely agree with your concept of inspiration is caused by doing. I do think occasionally an idea can pop into your head, but that’s rare and sometimes frustrating as you try to commit it to paper. My ideas usually come while I am drawing something else.

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