My OPDAG Paper Doll: A Foray Into Home Sewing Patterns of the 1940s

A paper doll with dresses from home sewing patterns from the year 1944 produced by Simplicity Patterns.

|PDF of My 1944 Paper Doll To Print |

I wanted to create a 1940s fashion paper doll around a theme, because honesty, I work better when I think in terms of theme, but I struggled a little to come up with an idea. After the paper doll was published in Paper Doll Studio Magazine, I had a great conversation with Julie of Paper Doll School and she suggested I should add some sort frame or something in the background. I have to admit, I do think it makes for a much more visually compelling paper doll.

My 1944 Simplicity Patterns Paper Doll

After some thought, I settled on picking a single source for the doll’s wardrobe and what source could be better than sewing pattern covers?

Anyone whose followed the blog for any length of time knows how much I love sewing pattern covers.

Sewing patterns are a great source for vintage clothing, because they often take the high end designs that were showing up on runways and tone them down for a home audience. In a time where it really was cheaper to sew your own clothing, sewing pattern companies competed to bring the trendiest designs to market.

I chose to focus on Simplicity, because I find Simplicity designs of this era tend to be less high fashion than some of the other brands.

My source patterns were Simplicity 1005, view 2, Simplicity 1047, view 1, Simplicity 1009, view 2, and Simplicity 1040, view 2. Her slip comes from Simplicity 1144, view 2. Additionally, her hats and other accessories were drawn from the illustrations on these pattern covers.

I’m currently working on my contribution for the Renaissance theme for Issue 126. For those of you who know my paper doll poses well, while this 1944 uses the same base pose as my Spites paper dolls, I scaled her differently and I don’t think she can share clothing.

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2 comments

  1. I recognized your art style the minute I saw it when I was leafing through my issue, before I even looked for the artist’s name! (I may have squealed “that’s Rachel!”) but we won’t dwell on that. 🙂 Congratulations, it’s very exciting!

  2. It’s such a clever theme! I think sewing patterns are a great way to see what a more average person wore at the time. Certainly more than movies and magazine! The border was a nice addition to a lovely set!

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