Gothic Romance: A Curvy Goth Paper Doll

logo-bb-gothic My best-friend in highschool and middle-school was a curvy girl with a goth and punk style. Now, this might not seem like an odd thing to be today, but in Juneau, Alaska, in the early 2000s, this was practically unheard of. In the early days of internet commerce, buying a corset in Alaska required a willingness to shop online when the online options were limited to Amazon and a few catalog retailers. So, when I sat down to draw today’s curvy goth paper doll, I knew I wanted to celebrate my old friend and her willingness to break the mold.

Despite my interest in alt-fashion, I have never really wanted to wear it in public, but I respect people whose style choices are much more adventurous than mine.

Not that it is hard to be more adventurous than the girl who wears white shirts and cardigans to work nearly every day.

Anyway, when I work on designing something for a fashion genre, I try very hard to be as authentic as possible. Of course, as an outsider to any cultural group, it is nearly impossible to capture all the nuances, but I wanted for my goth paper doll to have a nice range to mix and match pieces which could also share with other paper dolls. After all, maybe she’ll want to wear a sundress or some thigh high platform boots one day.

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Color schemes for anything goth is going to be a lot of black (obviously) and I didn’t want to try to really break the mold here, so I stuck with my old friends favorite colors- black, red, and purple. Lavender was a Victorian color of mourning, so that seemed appropriate. Though the Victorians took their mourning culture way seriously.

While my natural tendency is to avoid patterns, I wanted at least one patterned piece in the bunch and a corset seemed like an obvious choice. The skull and roses pattern is mirrored in her purse and the limited color palette means I think it can go with either skirt.

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I have always loved patent leather, so the boots were an obvious place to make some shiny-texture. I am out of practice with that technique though and it took three or four tries to get it right. I’m still not in love with the outcome, but I’ll live.

Looking for more goth paper dolls? I have a whole tag for gothic fashion, though looking through it, I confess I thought I had more gothic paper dolls.

Hmmm…. Maybe I need to draw some more, because there’s not a lot there.

Should I draw more Gothic Fashion paper dolls?

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As always, I always love to hear that you think of the paper doll!

Maiden: A Printable Princess Paper Doll

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logo-maiden-fantasy-bwAnother printable princess paper doll this week. Clearly, I was in the mood to draw fantasy dresses. I did think about trying to get some other sets done and then breaking up my princesses, but in the end, that just didn’t work out. So, May has become a month of printable princess paper dolls for the Marisole Monday & Friends crowd and people are just going to have to deal.

So, in the 12th century, there was this garment called a “bliaut.” Now, I’ll be honest, I am still learning about 12th century clothing, but in my limited research the “bliaut” was a wide sleeved gown with a full skirt. The most famous example, I know of, is from the sculptures on the exterior of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres. Another example is the Unshaw Virgin from the British Museum. I’m still mid-research to create a historical 12th century paper doll, so while I work on that, I thought I would draw a fantasy paper doll inspired by the 12th century.

A black and white printable princess paper doll with four gowns, two pairs of shoes and some accessories. She can share clothing with a lot of my other paper dolls as well. Free from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Along with the 12th century, Maiden here owes a bit to Norse things with her bone comb and her knife. I think she could be a generation or two removed from my Maiden of the North paper doll from last year or maybe from the same “world”, but a different geographic region. I also think Marcus as a Warrior fits in as well.

Now, I will confess that I did try to make something very different from Monica’s Dreaming Princess set here. Despite the fact that they are both fantasy paper dolls with a distinctly princess vibe, the styles are pretty different. Maiden here is all about the 12th century while Dreaming Princess was all about the early Italian renaissance look. Plus, while Dreaming Princess was modeled by Monica, Margot is the model for Maiden, a title picked entirely because it fit in the space I had left after rearranging this set like a dozen times.

For colors, I wanted to use shades that reflected manuscript illustration. While Dreaming Princess was me channeling my inner-8 year old. This paper doll was much more my taste which tends towards more muted colors when I think of fantasy gowns.

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Now, next Monday, there will be something completely different!

(Well… not really. It’s a paper doll, but not a princess paper doll.)

Also, if you’re wondering, “Who is this Margot person Rachel keeps referring too?” Than allow me to refer you to the Guide to Marisole Monday & Her Friends.

Questions? Comments? I’d love to know what you think of today’s paper doll.

Ms. Mannequin’s Get Some Resort Paper Doll Fashion

logo-ms-mann-resort-summer One of my goals for 2016, has been to focus on the Ms. Mannequin series. My goal is for ten pages for Ms. Mannequin this year, though with my new posting schedule, we shall see how that works out. While I love drawing paper doll fashion, it has been a little bit of a struggle, because how many pairs of skinny jeans does one paper doll series need?

Therefore, I have been trying to think thematically. Instead of just drawing “contemporary clothing”, I want to try to draw clothing that (for at least that page) represents a capsule collection of pieces that could be interchanged. (I say this now, but I might end up changing my mind about this plan tomorrow.)

Today’s Ms. Mannequin capsule paper wardrobe is a resort collection. In the world of high fashion, there are four seasonal collections made by most big fashion houses. Traditionally the Autumn/Winter shows are held in February, and the Spring/Summer shows are in September/October, known as Fashion Weeks. In between these shows, there are two other collections often created. Resort or Cruise collections are shown before the Spring/Summer collection and Pre-Fall collections are shown before the Autumn/Winter collections.

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Now, I would love to be able to say that everything in this collection of paper doll fashions came from designer’s Resort/Cruise collections, but that would be a lie. Two of the inspirations include this Alice & Olivia’s Pre-Fall 2014 dress and this outfit from Balmain’s Spring 2015 ready-wear collection. I’m certain there were others, but those are the only two I could remember specifically. As a librarian, I really aught to be better about remembering to record and therefore cite my sources.

You might be thinking, “Well, those are cute clothes, but what about a doll to wear them?”

Never fear, there are eight Ms. Mannequin dolls (7 human, one alien) who I am sure would be happy to show off these outfits and I am working on adding a few more to the collection soon.

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.

{Click Here for a PDF in Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG in Color}{Click Here for a PDF of Black and White} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG in Black and White}
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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?