Dreaming Princess: A Paper Doll Princess

logo-dreaming-princess-bw Whenever I meet young girls and ask them about paper dolls, which I confess I don’t do very often, they seem to often ask for Princesses. I don’t know what it is about paper doll princesses, but it seems to be a popular trend. As a child some of my favorite paper dolls were those of Peck-Grande which featured beautiful fairytale paper dolls with fantastic dresses (Here’s some images from their Beauty and the Beast paper doll or Sleeping Beauty paper doll). As far as I can tell, princess seems to translate to “amazing over the top gowns” and that works for me.

(The feminist in me always wants to give a lecture on the patriarchal nature of historical princess-dom right now, but the lover of pretty dresses in me doesn’t care.)

When I design complex patterns for paper doll clothing, I like to try to keep the outfits themselves fairly simple. I think it is easy to get the pattern “lost” in the lines needed for pleats and folds. So, when I decided I wanted to play around with complex patterns for these gowns, it wasn’t a hard decision to know that I needed a simpler silhouette.

Early Italian renaissance dresses (from about the 1490s) have always had a soft place in my heart. Someday I do want to do an actual “historical” paper doll from this period, but until then, I had fun playing with the silhouette in this paper doll princess set. These styles might look familiar if you remember Her Ladyship from 2014, she was inspired by the same time period.

A paper doll princess coloring page featuring four elegant dresses and two pairs of shoes. Free from paperthinpersonas.com.

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The model for today’s gowns is Monica. You can find more paper dolls featuring her here. Confusion about which Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll model is which? I wrote a guide a few months ago.

Every time I design a princess paper doll download with these sorts of elaborate patterned fantasy gowns, I swear that I won’t do it again and then I do. Insanity is doing the same thing over again, expecting different results, they say, but here I found myself once more painstakingly coloring an insanely complex pattern and grumbling about it.

My original plan was to go very traditional with the colors here. In the actual Renaissance, the expense of dye meant that darker colors were more fashionable and expensive than lighter colors. So, that was my first plan- black, red and gold would have abounded.

But then I realized that if I was going to use a dark brown skin-tone for the doll (which was my plan all along) and then went black and red with the clothing, it was going to be a really dark paper doll set. Plus dark colors on these kinda elaborately patterned outfits obscures the black line-work. I spent to darn long coloring this to obscure the nuances of those patterns. So, gold, red and black when out the window for rose, lime and teal. Nothing says spring to me like rose, teal and lime.

Plus, I think the brighter spring colors are nice for a May set. It’s spring here in Alabama, after all.

A black princess paper doll download featuring four colorful gowns and two pairs of shoes. Free from paperthinpersonas.com

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If today’s Monica princess color page needs some friends or more dresses, there’s literally dozens of options, but I think A Noble Lady, Pattern & Grace, Queen of Dusk and Book Loving Princess all make nice accompanying black and white paper doll sets as they are in a similar silhouette. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with deciding today’s Monica freelances as a circus performer or pirate, but I thought if people wanted more “princessy” looks than the four paper doll sets I mentioned above would work well. As many of you know, versatility is very important to me in my paper doll related activities, so I try to point out where one set might interrelate to another set.

After all, I don’t expect y’all to keep track of the 500 paper dolls on the site, especially since I can’t always keep track of them myself.

In case you’re wondering why both the color and the black and white version of today’s paper doll are being posted, there will be a post explaining ALL on Wenesday, or at least MOST. :)

It is nice to be back.

Three Marisole Monday Paper Dolls in Black and White

I wasn’t sure what to do post today, because I am taking the month of April off and I was struggling to decide what to do with this last Monday. Then I discovered I had three Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls that I converted to black and white last year that I hadn’t posted.

So, now I am. :)

First up we have Knights and Ladies, one of  my very early fantasy paper dolls in black and white. When I first drew this paper doll, I think the sleeves were inspired by the 1830s. I think… It has been a few years. :)

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Next, we have what is my mother’s favorite of all my paper dolls- my commercial fisher paper doll. I still am not totally pleased by the salmon, but I think the halibut came out very well.  While I no longer own quite so many pieces of fishing clothing, I certainly did in my younger days.

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Last, but not least, one of my very early fantasy paper dolls. She was originally done all in shades of pink, so that was what why she was named Princess in Pink. Of course, now you could color her in any way you want and therefore she could be a Princess in Blue or a Princess in Orange or a Princess in Pistachio.

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I hope everyone had a lovely Easter if they celebrated. Mine was delightfully quiet.

There will be  formal announcement of my April hiatus on Wednesday.

Faye’s Casual Afternoon: Paper Doll Coloring Sheet

fayes-casual-logo Today, we have a paper doll coloring sheet for Faye of Mini-Maiden fame. One thing I try to do with the contemporary casual style Mini-Maidens is make sure there is some unique pieces to each set, but also that every set could be combined. I mean, think about it, if you put together Greta in AutumnMeet Faye, Isadora in Ruffles and BowsFaye’s Fashionable GeometricsMeet GretaHazel’s Geometric Style, Meet Hazel and Hazel’s Fresh Fashions than you would have nine paper dolls and at least 98 pieces of clothing and shoes. I decided not to even count the necklaces and purses and things.

The point I am trying to make, all be it maybe obliquely, is that every Mini-Maiden paper doll coloring sheet builds on every other one, allowing a ton of options that are fun. Because all the clothing can be shared among the paper dolls, there really are endless options.

Plus, if you’re hosting Easter and you need something to distract some small children, might I recommend printing out a few black and white paper doll sets to color? I swear it works. One friend told me it got her five year olds to be occupied for a whole 30 minutes.

Not to brag or anything, but seriously, have you tried to occupy five year olds before? Totally impossible.

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Anyway, moving back to today’s paper doll and away from the difficulties with occupying small children- I did something I haven’t done in a long time and tried to do a tweed texture on the skirt. I used to do a lot of texture in my black and white sets (here’s a better example of the “tweed texture”) and then I kinda abandoned it, but I’m trying to get back into the practice. I also did a crop top. I might hate them, but they seem to be coming back into style.

Though… I mean, I lived through the 90s and I would really rather not have to live through them again fashion-wise.

If you want more paper dolls featuring Faye, there are quite a few here.

So, Monday there will be some black and white Marisole Monday paper dolls I found in my archives and then I will probably be going on a haitus for the month of April. I need some breathing room right now and I think I should take it.

Thoughts? Comments? As always, I love to hear from y’all.

 

Nautical Summer: Paper Doll Clothing

logo-poppet-nautical One of the challenges of the Poppets is coming up with ideas, because contemporary children’s clothing is strangely the same as contemporary adult clothing, just shrunk down. (I could go into a while childhood studies discussion of this, but let’s not.) I however think that kids should look like kids, not like mini-adults and therefore I tend towards old-fashioned kids clothing. The Poppets, being children’s dolls, also get semi-old fashioned kids clothes. What can I say? My paper doll clothing tends to reflect my interests.

Something about warm weather always gets me thinking about the seashore. Today it was 80 degrees outside! Spring has come to Alabama and while I don’t dislike winter, I love Spring and Fall in my adopted state. It’s warm enough to go outside without a jacket and not yet so warm that I don’t want to go outside, becuase it’s over 90 degrees and 80% humidity. In honor of Spring, I decided to post nautical paper doll clothing.

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This whole set was inspired by this wonderful Whale fabric I found on Pinterest. I have a whole board devoted to patterns and I use it to collect inspiring pieces of fabric, wall paper or carpets that I see. Anyway, I saw that whale and I thought, “I bet that would make a cute motif for a t-shirt.”

Of course, by the time I was done it looked a lot different than the one on the fabric, but that was my inspiration for the top.

It’s always amazing to me what things can inspired other things. :)

So, I was trying to print some of these out to send to a friend and I discovered that on a Windows machine, Adobe’s fit to page works totally different than on a Mac. I couldn’t just move the image over to fit in the printable space. It was very annoying.

Since these guys are sized to print out as a half page, because I originally conceived of one day putting them into booklet format, the placement of the image really does matter. To fix this problem, I stick a one inch white border around the PDF.

If you’ve always been printing them as a 5 by 8, this might not matter. However, if you have been printing them as a larger scale, this might matter for fit purposes.

Let me know if anyone hates this and I’ll decide if I can come up with a better solution that doesn’t require me re-doing the whole series.

Ms Mannequin In the Summer: Paper Doll Clothing

Ms. Mannequin Series Logo- Summer So, whenever I think of summer I think of bright colors and boho vibes and white pants. (I don’t own white pants, but I actually really want a pair.) So, inspired I confess by a Patron who said “Summer” when I asked what themes I should explore in 2016, I wanted to think about what made paper doll clothing feel like summer clothing and not spring, autumn or winter.

Summer to me is bright and colorful. Summer is flowing and you can imagine breezes moving clothing around. From my Alaskan childhood, I will also forever associate summer with long days, commercial fishing and bonfires on the beach. I wanted though to think of summer from a different point of view. Less of a jeans tucked into Xtratufs (we were wearing boots over our jeans long before it was cool) and more white sand beaches, board walks and iced lattes.

In short, boho fantasy summer that I never experienced as a child. (Nor perhaps really even exists outside the realm of paper doll life.)

Still, what are paper dolls for if not for exploring a bit of fantasy?

Nine mix and match piece of paper doll clothing for the Ms. Mannequin series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com. Nine mix and match piece of colorable paper doll clothing for the Ms. Mannequin series. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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So, as for the specifics of today’s Ms. Mannequin set, I try to make each page of clothing for the Ms. Mannequin series make sense as a stand alone page. So, for this page, I wanted to focus on tops and bottoms that could be mixed and matched. I’m a little unsure about the tunic with the ruffles on the hem, since I don’t know how well it will layer over the other pieces, but I keep seeing that style about, so I wanted to include it. Colorwise, I went with a theme I tend to like a lot which is greens and yellows paired with pinks and teals. There isn’t really a “neutral” in this set, except the white trousers, but I think everything mixes and matches pretty well anyway. I was going to draw skinny jeans, but I’ve already drawn them over on this set of Ms. Mannequin clothing.

In fact, if you’re looking for more mix and match options, I would recommend these white capri pants (or the gray shorts), these khaki capri pants and this pair of jeans.

Any of the Ms. Mannequin dolls can wear these pieces, but I think Tanya’s skintone would be set of very nicely by the teal and yellow tunic.

Thoughts about summer? Let me know in a comment. :)

Roses & Violins: Classic Lolita Fashion Paper Doll

Marisole Monday & Friends: Classic Lolita Fashion As I mentioned on Wednesday, I had to get this set of paper dolls done, or I wouldn’t have anything to be posted today. Anyway, as I said today’s classic Lolita fashion paper doll set was partially the result of a request from a patron and partly the result of me never being able to extract decent black and white version of my sweet Lolita and gothic Lolita paper doll sets.

So, I inspired by this violin purse from the Japanese fashion company Innocent World. While I will admit in a heartbeat to not being an expect on Lolita fashion, which is a Japanese street style based on Victorian children’s clothing, I have noticed that a lot of Lolita outfits (called coordinates) seem to be heavily themed. Once I settled on the purse, I knew I wanted the patterns of several of the pieces to have a music or violin theme.

I’ve also noticed that many of the Lolita fashion blogs I read while working on this set, seem to recommend buying JSKs (Jumper-Skirts, I think?) over full dresses, since these can be worn over various blouses. The paper doll pose makes that sort of layering tough, but the short sleeved dress on the far left is meant to be a JSK. I have a Lolita Style pintrest board where you can see way more of my inspiration.

A Classic Lolita fashion paper doll coloring page from paperthinpersonas.com.

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My one big regret about this set is that I didn’t do any hats or bows, which are a big part of  Lolita. Oh well… I suppose nothing is perfect. Mia is modeling today’s fashions, if you are keeping track of who is who in the Marisole Monday & Friend’s family.

I did kinda got carried away designing pieces for this set and I ended up with two many to fit on the page. Rather than just let them rot on my hard drive, I posted them over on my Patreon page. You don’t have to be a Patron to view or download them. You can see the extra dress, shoes and parasol here. Next week, I’ll post the color versions there as well.

I think if I end up with “extra” pieces in the future, my Patreon page will be a handy place to put them.

Thoughts on my foray into classic Lolita fashion? Feel free to leave me a comment.

A 1960s Paper Doll to Color Featuring Isadora

Mini Maidens Logo IsadoraI have, over the years, created a lot of paper doll sets and I just couldn’t believe I’ve only done one 1960s paper doll and I haven’t felt comfortable calling her historical, because I can’t verify my sources on her. So, here’s another one, giving me two 1960s paper dolls.

Let’s talk sources, since that’s what divides “historical” paper dolls from “inspired by” paper dolls. (At least that’s my standard today, I haven’t always been SO militant about it.)

The dresses for this paper doll set were drawn based on this image and this image both of which are Creators Studios fashion illustrations from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.  Two of the other dresses were based on pattern covers from McCalls in 1965 and Simplicity in 1965. Ankle boots from the V&A dated 1967.

Another of the dresses is an André Courrèges mini-dresses from 1965 thanks to the FIDM Museum Blog which is totally my favorite museum blog. Is that bad? Am I allowed to have a favorite? Cause I totally do.

I swear I had a reference for her other boots and her pants and matching top, but I’ll be darned if I can find them… So, I’ll add them if I track them down.

One of my 1960s paper dolls, Isadora is rocking a mod wardrobe of 11 pieces. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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So, can I confess that I tend to get Isadora and Hazel confused? I totally do. And so as I was working on this post, I actually had it labeled as Hazel for a few hours before I realized that I wasn’t looking at Hazel.

How embarrassing!

Today’s 1960s paper doll was a request from one of my Patrons. (Want to join?) At the end of 2015, I sent a private survey to all my Patrons asking for ideas for 2016. It was anonymous, so I don’t know who put down 1960s, but I do confess it made me realize I’d done very few 1960s paper dolls.

And that was easy to fix!

Thoughts on Isadora and her sixties fashions?

Hazel’s Futuristic Fashions: A Paper Doll Coloring Sheet

Mini Maidens Logo- Hazel's Futuristic Fashions See this is where I would LOVE to say that this was some grand plan of mine to counter balance my post-apocalyptic paper doll set from last Friday against today’s futuristic paper doll coloring sheet, except that I totally didn’t plan it out that well. I am NOT that organized- except when I am and on those occasions, expect bragging.

The truth is that I am out of backlog which is hyper rare for me and not very fun, so I literally was working on this paper doll set at 11:30 last night, trying to get it all saved and then woke up early this morning to write this post before work. I do not like working this way, Sam I am. I do not like it at all.

So, hopefully this weekend (during which I do not have to work), I will finally be able to sit down and work solidly for a few hours and get some paper dolls ready for blog food. For the blog is like a monster, as I once explained, and it hungers.

Today, it gets to snack on a futuristic fashion paper doll with thirteen pieces. I have to confess I was a little jealous of Boots “separate head” method of making paper dolls while I struggled to think about all these high necklines on these paper doll clothes. But I guess you can always print out too, cut one’s head off and glue it to the other paper doll if you like. What’s a little paper doll surgery among friends?

Hazel's Futuristic Fashions is a paper doll coloring sheet featuring a futuristic/sci-fi clothing. There's eleven pieces of clothing, including two pairs of boots. She's free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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So, if the B&B paper doll last week was ready for the end of the world, I think today’s paper doll is much more about a semi-utopian future with glass dome houses, lots of white and probably space ships. You know, a very Star Trek kinda place.

To make her shirt on the left with the ridged shoulder, you’ll need to attach the floating tab, because the shoulder pieces stick out above the shoulder and otherwise the garment won’t fit properly. Just an FYI for everyone.

I have been seriously considering trying out Periscope to film myself maybe live inking a paper doll set? Is that something people would find interesting? Worth trying out or no?

The Man Paper Dolls Get their Suits! Finally, right?

A man paper doll with two suits and a pair of shoes. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com. So, if I’ve had ONE major request of my man paper dolls, it was to have suits for them. I mean, yes, historical has been a common request, but suits have also been one of those things people seem to really want. And I get it, Marisole Monday & her female friends have some beautiful dresses (like this set and this set and… I could go on), so why wouldn’t we want a man paper doll with some fantastic suits to back them up.

And I gotta confess- Drawing suits is hard! I complained to my boyfriend about it and his reply was, “Try wearing them everyday.”

Yeah, not a lot of sympathy from that corner of the living room.

So, when I look at these suits for printable paper dolls, I see things I think I could have done better, but since drawing suits is hard and I am still learning, I have decided I am going to be proud and pleased of what I did rather than focus on what I wish I could change.

(Easier said than done, I know.)

A man paper doll with two suits and a pair of shoes. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

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It was tough to decide what sorts of suits to draw for today’s printable paper doll. I knew I wanted to do two different styles (so Marcus and Mikhail could double date) and I didn’t want to deal with the whole “shirt tucks into the pants” thing. So, I kept it simple with a suit with a vest (can I confess that I have a THING for suits with vests? Love ’em) and a single breasted suit.

Despite what my costume history professor told me in grad school, men’s suits do have subtle nuanced changes they have gone through over the years. For example, right now both lapels and ties are very thin which I’m not that keen on. So my ties are a bit thicker than are really in style at the moment.

I avoided patterns on the ties, because I knew the knot in the tie would shift how the tie pattern ran and I didn’t want to think about that too hard. Lazy? Yeah, a little.

Anyway, as always, let me know what you think in a comment. :)

World’s End: A Post-Apocalyptic Fashion Paper Doll

A post-apocalyptic fashion printable paper doll in black and white and color for coloring with a 13 piece wardrobe. She's free to print from paperthinpersonas.com Personally, I blame Mad Max: Fury Road. Because I saw it not long before I drew this printable paper doll set, which is actually one of two post apocalyptic B&B paper dolls that I have been working on. Also, Mad Max: Fury Road had really wonderful visuals and amazing costumes. (Plus, it was a genuinely good movie.)

Because what everyone needs is paper dolls ready to face the end of civilization as we know it.

Honestly, I love post-apocalyptic fashion. I don’t know why, exactly, but there’s something about the whole style that interests me. I even have a post-apocalyptic fashion Pinterest board and who doesn’t need one of those?

So, when I was designing these outfits, I wanted to mix the idea of “salvaged clothing” with the idea of “homemade” clothing.  So, I imagine the skirt is handmade from pieces of leather while other pieces have been salvaged. She has a air-filter mask on the far left to protect herself from toxins, a canteen, and, of course, two weapons- a machete and a gun.

A post-apocalyptic fashion printable paper doll in black and white for coloring with a 13 piece wardrobe. She's free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com

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Something about desert wastes always makes me think about machetes. I don’t know why. Also, why is it that in post-apacolyptic movies it’s always a desert?

I mean, it could be a world covered in snow. That would be just as deadly to people. Though I suppose it is easier to find deserts to film movies in.

I digress.

Color wise I really wanted to avoid the cliche browns and grays that seem to be so common to apocalyptic fashion. Instead, I settled on a purple and blue color scheme with beige as my neutral.

A post-apocalyptic fashion printable paper doll in color with a 13 piece wardrobe. She's free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Her tattoos are color matched to her clothing, because… why not?

I’ve been drawing paper dolls for a long time, but I am really pleased with today’s printable paper doll as the first Buxom and Bodacious of 2016. My goal is to post nine more this year for a total of ten. I think it’ll happen… Or at least I hope it will.

So, what would you wear at the end of the world?